Infrastructure Renewal: Fashola Woos Soros
Feb 12, 2008 - In pursuance of his avowed determination to transform Lagos into a new Mega-city,Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Tuesday wooed renowned international investor, Mr. George Soros to partner with his administration in the renewal of decaying infrastructure in the state.
Receiving the renowned investor who came at the head of a delegation of the Open Society Institute which paid him a courtesy visit, Fashola said the greatest challenge facing his administration at this point in time was the renewal and building of new infrastructure to service the ever increasing population of people and industries in the state.
The governor, who said there are numerous investment opportunities in the state, declared, “We are focused to engage our people, not only to participate in governance, but also to open up vistas of opportunities where they can also participate in transforming this state”.
Fashola named the areas of investment opportunities to include, Transportation sector, Education, Health, the Environment, among others, adding that the challenge was to develop support services to support the vast investments in the state.
According to him, the unrestricted influx of people into the state has created challenges for the government in terms of population explosion adding that the state plays host to over 65 per cent of industries in the country.
“People flock into the state from everywhere seeing it as a land of opportunities.
Our policy of free Education, free Healthcare and others has actually made the state most attractive”, the Governor said, adding that by the prediction of the United Nations, Lagos would be the third largest city in the world by 2015.
He, however, maintained that with the team he has in his administration, he is ready to face and overcome the challenges.
“We have just passed the most ambitious budget ever in the history of this state to address the challenges of the decaying infrastructure in the state and in the next few years, we are likely to see a brand new Lagos ”, he said.
On Transportation, the governor said the state government was currently focusing on road construction and rehabilitation pointing out that the aim was to establish the most efficient and effective means of transportation in the city.
According to him, investment opportunities also exist in the development of the waterways and light rail system across the state, adding that the intention of government was to reduce the large number of buses on the road and by extension, the quantity of poisonous gas emitted by such buses.
On electricity, the governor said the government has already marked out an estate to be designated as Power Park where power would be developed and distributed around the state thereby eliminating the use of private generators in homes.