Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Thursday accused the Federal Government of frustrating his administration from securing a $600 million loan currently being sought from the World Bank to fast-track infrastructural development in the state.
Speaking at the public presentation of a book titled: “Blessings: A History of Eko Club” and authored by Mr. Lateef Bada, Fashola said the questions being raised about the loan was unnecessary.
He pointed out that the Federal Government “is frustrating the state government’s effort to rapidly develop the state by playing politics with the $600 million loan the state government is seeking from the World Bank to develop infrastructure.”
The governor told his audience that the issue of infrastructural development and urban regeneration in the country “is indeed paramount, and such should not be subjected to unnecessary politics.”
He also dismissed the fears expressed in some quarters that the facilities would be diverted for other purposes, saying the government had an impressive record of utilising loans for the intended purposes.
According to him, “they ask what they are doing with the money. They are stealing it. They are mismanaging it. The suggestion for the establishment of an urban renewal fund in the state is excellent, but who is going to bring the fund? From where?”
He explained that $200 million out “of the total $600 million loan we are trying to get from the World Bank is for urban renewal. But it is convenient for the other political side to say don`t give them the money. Why? ``.
He said the state government was committed to the infrastructural development of the state, adding that a development master plan had been designed to achieve this. He said that some old communities in the state, especially those on the island were being redeveloped and modern structures were being put up to replace old ones.
The governor commended members of Eko Club for partnering the state government on development, noting that their endorsement of the Traffic Law was a proof of their passion for the state`s progress.
Also speaking at the book presentation, President of the club, Mr. Labi Lawal, said the idea of the book was conceived to preserve the history of the club and transmit it from generations to generations.
Lawal commended Fashola for his achievements in the state, pointing out he had provided leadership, which had greatly changed and transformed the face of the Lagos metropolis gradually being developed as Africa’s model city.
Professor Jinadu, a political scientist, reviewed the book and described it as edifying and rich in historical value.