The Lagos State Government has emphasized the need for the Federal Government to support in her quest for the development of critical projects and infrastructure in the state.
Speaking through the Deputy Governor Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, during a courtesy visit of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 45, 2023 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) at the Office of the Deputy Governor, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu said most of the major projects taken by the state are beyond what a state can execute without the Federal Government support.
The Governor stated that support from the Federal Government is essential for the state to effectively execute some infrastructure, citing the rail project which is currently executed by the state as one of such projects which requires funding by the Federal Government, stating that “Lagos is the only sub-sovereign in the world that is funding rail by herself”.
He added that, “If you notice, in New York, Addis Ababa, or anywhere else in the world, it is the Federal Government that funds their rail project, Lagos is the only sub-sovereign in the world that is funding rail line projects on her balance sheet.”
According to him, “We cannot have a population that is growing like this and we don’t have a rail, there will always be congestion, the rail is key and that is why we are hitting it and it is huge financially”.
Speaking further, Sanwo-Olu highlighted some infrastructure efforts put in place by the government, including the recently purchased electric buses that are presently being tested.
Other important project is the Imota Rice Mill, which processes 32 tons of rice per hour and requires more land.
Despite all these, the population of Lagos is another challenge as Lagos only occupies a small portion of the entire land mass of the country, whereas, the state accommodates 11 percent of the nation’s population. Also, to meet up with the required supply of rice to the rice mill, the State Government partnered with different states such as Kebbi, Niger, Kano, Ogun and some other states in the South, adding that the state needs two hundred tons of paddy in other to supply the plant, noting that “If we can continue to do this interaction, there is no reason for Nigeria to import rice”.
He however urged the participants to push the narratives to the public and ensure that the citizens understand that they must grow what they eat and must eat what they grow.
Sanwo-Olu noted that the visit of the Institute to the state is very essential saying “the sub-sovereign in our country is where we can actually make changes in the lives of the people in the state and of course the local government”
The Director General, the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Prof. Ayo Omotayo commended the activities of the State Government on making remarkable strides in every sector of the State.
The Director General explained that the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 45, 2023 was on a state visit, to learn and understand how the three variables namely; industrialization, energy security and climate are been applied in the development of the state, also to collate data that will help in compiling a detailed report on the state.
He noted that the participants have visited the following Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs): Economic, Planning and Budgets; Special Duties; Science and Technology; Imota Rice Mill amongst others.