The Senate has scored the Lagos State Government high over the utilisation of the $400 million loan given to the state by the World Bank for developmental projects and slum upgrade.
The World Bank had in 2010 approved a Development Policy Operation, DPO, loan for a total sum of US$600 million to the Lagos State Government to be implemented in three tranches of US$200 million per annum.
Two tranches of US$200million each had been given to the state government during the previous administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in September written to the Senate to expeditiously approve the third tranche of US$200million to enable the state to consolidate on the gains of the second tranche of the DPO II.
After inspecting projects which the monies had been used for in Lagos on Tuesday, the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Development Policy Operation gave the state a pass mark for judiciously utilizing the first two tranches of World Bank Loan, DPO I and DPO II, that was approved for the state in 2010 and 2013.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya who led other members of the Committee to inspect some capital projects in the state to which the loan was deployed, expressed satisfaction with the work done so far, urging other states to borrow a leaf from Lagos.
The Committee took time to inspect the 1.36km Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, popularly called the Cable-stayed Bridge, the Cardiac and Renal Centre located within the Gbagada General Hospital and the Light Rail Project along the Mile 2- Orile corridor.
Gaya said, “I believe I like other members of the team are impressed and if other states can be like Lagos, I believe it’s easier to get this kind of loan and this loan can be utilised for such purposes. “It’s a very impressive outing, if every facility being utilised in the manner I have seen, I think there is need to give out more loans. What we have seen on ground is very nice, I appreciate and commend Lagos state government for using the fund for the purpose to which it was collected.”
Senator Chris Anyanwu, who is also a member of the Committee, said the projects inspected to a large extent portrayed the state as a centre of excellence. “What we have seen so far, from the hospital to the educational sector and the rail way, we know that Lagos is the centre of excellence; and it’s a state that boasts of housing all Nigerians and other international communities.
“I think the Cardiac and Renal Centre is very important to Nigerians not only to Lagosians and I believe that if it is completed on time, it would help the state government to generate revenue to be able to carry out other projects. I am very impressed and the contractors are doing a good job and I am sure for the DPO III that Lagos state has applied, it will also judiciously put it to use”, he said.
Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Gbenga Ashafa, who joined other state government officials to show the Senate Committee around, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for deeming it fit to put into fore, the development of infrastructure in Lagos state through the DPO.
Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Solomon Olamilekan thanked the Committee for painstakingly going round to see things for themselves, saying it would go a long way to ensure the last tranche, if approved, is judiciously put to good use.
Other members of the Committee who were on the visit include Senator Buka Abba Ibrahim, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Senator Duro Faseyi and Senator Ibrahim Abdulla.