By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Lagos—Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, has called on the World Bank to consider partnership with the state government, in funding key projects in transport, energy and water sectors, saying such collaboration would not only impact positively on the economy of the state but the country at large.
Ambode spoke at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, when Executive Director of the World Bank, Mr. Patrizio Pagano, led a delegation on a courtesy visit to him.
Explaining that the state government had in the last three years invested in the provision of infrastructure across all sectors and sections, he however, noted that collaboration from the Bretton Wood institution in key sectors in the state would go a long way in boosting the economy and making life comfortable for the people.
Putting the present population of the state at 24 million, Ambode stated that available statistics from the United Nations confirmed that an average of 86 persons enter into Lagos every one hour,which was considered the highest in the world. To this end, the complexity of the state according to him, warranted the need for support in funding key projects.
“So, if the World Bank were to generally support the development of the Nigerian economy, beyond the fact that you would be having anything to do with the Federal Government, I think that the greater part of what you should concentrate on should be issues that relate to major sectors, that have to do with Lagos because anything that is driven by Lagos, more or less has an overall positive impact on the Nigerian economy,” Governor Ambode said.
While responding to the traffic congestion raised on the Airport Road by leader of the delegation, the Governor said the development was a signpost of the fact that there was urgent need to invest massively in other modes of transportation.
Earlier in his remark, Pagano explained that the delegation which consisted of 10 World Bank Executive Directors representing 96 countries, was in Nigeria to study the challenges and expectations of the partners in West Africa from the bank, adding that the team was delighted to learn the challenges faced by Lagos, which he described as Nigeria’s most dynamic state.