Fashola Calls For Closer Economic Collaboration Between Nigeria, Germany
Apr 26, 2010 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Monday called for closer Nigerian- German economic collaboration and specifically between Lagos and Hamburg especially in the area of ferry services that can help transport people and vehicles across the Lagos waterways.
Governor Fashola spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja when he received the Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Walter L. Von den Driesch on a courtesy visit added that such a collaboration would assist the state in decongesting its road network.
Said he: “Our State is so blessed with water and we have as a deliberate policy now decided that we will harness more of such opportunities. We are now at a point of concluding three major terminals which are purpose built to carry the highest capacity size of vessels.
“These are some of the things we wish to immediately pursue without leaving behind opportunities for collaboration of other dispensations with Lagos Port which is a major hub for delivering of goods not only for our country but for the sub-region”.
He maintained that the State Government will ensure that its Ports retain the pre-eminent advantage it currently enjoys despite the envisaged fierce competition it may face from other emerging hubs.
Governor Fashola said the invitation from the German Government for him to attend a business forum represents a partnership opportunity especially coming immediately after the 2010 Ehingbeti Summit which is designed for investment partnership, adding that he believes that enormous opportunities exist for development of port and water transportation in Lagos.
He reiterated that the accolades for the achievements recorded by the present administration should not be his only but that of his colleagues and a resourceful team of civil servants in the public service.
In his words: “We have only managed to build a team. I am only the team leader. It is like someone being on a bus and exiting at his bus stop, but the bus will continue to run. We are proud of the positive image we are building not only for our State, but our country as a people who have resolved to change what they do not accept”.
He averred that the State recognizes that globally the challenges that face the city states and country leaders from Bombay to New York are not so different, but consist of mainly challenges of healthcare, education, transportation, security and climatic change, adding that it is only the intensity that differs.
According to him: “If you are dealing with public transportation, in some parts of the world it may be water public transportation, it may be rail public transportation in some parts and in some we are dealing with tricycle public transportation, but from city to city, it is not different”.
Speaking earlier, the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Walter L. Von den Driesch who was accompanied by, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nigerian German-Business Association, Mr Jaiye Doherty said since he arrived in Nigeria a couple of months ago, he has observed that the city of Lagos is much better than its reputation projected by the foreign media.
Mr Von den Driesch said he had been opportuned to watched a particular documentary about the transformation of the city of Lagos and the miracle worker leader in the State, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) in Hamburg titled: “Lagos, the miracle on a daily basis” before he came on posting to Nigeria, adding that the film which was recorded in German language had made Governor Fashola a household name in Hamburg, whom many residents are desirous of seeing in person and interacting with.
The Consul General said the urge to forge a collaboration between both cities which are also port cities informed his bringing of a special invitation from Hamburg to the Governor to be a guest of the city at a business forum in his honour.
Among those who were present at the event were the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Opeyemi Bamidele, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Prince Niyi Oyemade and Special Adviser on Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu.