The governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatude Fashola, on Tuesday, explained to the House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loan and Debt Management why the state must be allowed by the Federal Government to access a $600 million World Bank loan, saying the loan was needed to fund infrastructure deficit in the state.
The governor stated this while meeting with the House Committee over the non-inclusion of Lagos State by the Federal Government in the Medium Term Frame Work for External Loan borrowing.
According to the governor, “we have a commitment with the World Bank for a loan of $600 million offered to Lagos.
It is supposed to be in three tranches and the first tranch was paid in 2011. We were expecting the payment of the second tranch when we got the shocking information that the loan facility had been stopped.
“As I speak, we have not received any official communication from the Federal Ministry of Finance about their concerns.
I know that through the telephone communication I had with the Minister of Finance, she had told me that she could not accommodate Lagos State in the 2013 borrowing plan. My plea is for the second tranch to be included in the 2013 borrowing plan and the third included in the 2014 borrowing plans,” the governor stated.
When the committee demanded from the governor if the development was politically motivated, he said that “I have to be careful what I say here. Whatever may be the reason, I think the interest of over 20 million people of Lagos State must be paramount in policy formulation in this country. That represents more than 10 per cent of the country’s population. That is where the largest non-oil Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) comes from.
“And the interests of those people are more paramount, really. Because the roads have no political colour. The water that we have to provide has no political colour and security is politically-blind,” Fashola maintained.