Fashola visits Ambode, assures on Federal projects in Lagos

 

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, over the weekend paid a courtesy visit on his successor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, where they both agreed to collaborate and quicken the development of the State.

Fashola, who described the visit as home-coming for him, said he had come with his team to Lagos as part of a nationwide project monitoring exercise to inspect the job done so far on Federal Government projects.

He stated that debts owed state governments, especially regarding road interventions will be repaid by raising Public Bond Instrument, PBI. He also solicited the support of the Lagos government in securing the Right of Way for the Federal Government, which is a challenge across the Country.

The Minister commended Governor Ambode for his interventions in the repair and maintenance of federal roads in the State, pledging to support Lagos more, so as to make life more comfortable for residents.

He assured that his Ministry had made representations to the Federal Executive Council on modalities to pay debts owed State Governments including Lagos, for rehabilitation of federal roads over the years, saying that the debts would be paid through bond instrument.

He equally expressed readiness to assist the Lagos State power initiative, especially in the rural areas.

“We have no other responsibility than to assist each state, develop at its own pace. Federal Government is not in competition with any state.

“Federal roads are essentially those which connect one state to the other. Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which connects Lagos to Ogun, upward to Oyo and out to the West or toward Ondo is a major case in question.

“We are currently working on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The Apapa Road through Creek Road to Tin can Island, Mile 2, Oshodi, Oworonsoki to Kirikiri. Contract had already started in the last administration but there was no sufficient fund for it.

“We have made some substantial recommendations in 2017 and hopefully those recommendations would meet with parliamentary approval but the road is strategic because it helps to evacuate the port and that is critical to a State like Lagos,” he said.

Ambode described the visit as historic, adding that it was gratifying to receive the Minister for the first time at the Lagos House, Ikeja, since he left office on May 29, 2015.

He said: “On behalf of the people of Lagos State, I would like to wholeheartedly welcome Mr. Babatunde Fashola, my predecessor and now Minister for Works, Power and Housing and especially, back to the Alausa office where he actually left about 22 months ago.

“I want to say that this is a historic moment for us, notwithstanding that the Honourable Minister lives in Lagos, this is the first time he is stepping his feet into the Alausa premises and we need to honour him for that and say a big thank you for coming back home.”

Ambode also lauded Fashola for serving the State meritoriously, saying that his administration improved on the template already laid down during the previous administration.

“We want to say that whatever it is that we have done in the last 22 months is just more or less a fall out of the great achievements the former governor had already put in place.

“We have decided that we would carry on with a sense of continuity in all the things that have been done. I had always said that what we wanted was this continuity of the last 18 years, but continuity with improvement and we are happy that all that has been done in the last 22 months is just a continuation of the template the former Governor left behind.

“We are happy that the sense of collaboration that we have expressed here is what we believe can carry whatever it is that Lagos stands for, moving forward. As you may be aware, Lagos is celebrating its 50 years of existence this year.

“The last 18 years has been so dramatic and historic in terms of the growth and development that we have seen in Lagos, commencing from 1999 when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu came into office and the eight good years spent by you and the two years we have done. So, obviously, there is a remarkable change between 1999 and now,” Ambode said.

The Governor also pledged to expand the existing collaboration with the Federal Government, saying that it would not only benefit Lagosians, but Nigerians in general.

He assured that the requests made by the Minister in regard to Housing projects of the Federal Government and other road construction would be accelerated, while also expressing optimism that the debts owed Lagos would be refunded.

 

 

In : Lagos

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