Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday called on the Federal Government to ensure that the implementation of critical power projects is practical and should start from Lagos in order to enable the nation achieve the greatest impact with minimum effort and resources.
Governor Fashola who spoke at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island venue of the launch of a Roadmap for Power Sector by President Goodluck Jonathan added that investment decisions must be made in Lagos on the basis of economic and developmental common sense rather than emotional cronyism.
He affirmed: â€œThis is Nigeriaâ€™s largest consumer market, this is Nigeriaâ€™s financial power house, this is the countryâ€™s largest consumer of electricity, and this must be the prime destination for the investment of Nigeriaâ€™s prime resource if we truly desire to achieve the greatest impact with the minimum of effort and resourcesâ€.
The Governor said it was an honour and immense pleasure for him to welcome Mr President back to Lagos, where it all began 50 years ago as Nigerians count down the clock of the next 36 days to the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration.
Governor Fashola said year 2010 will make it 21 years since the capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria moved from Lagos to Abuja, â€œa decision which has left Lagos with the role of commercial capital of Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region which she continues to discharge admirably inspite of the oddsâ€.
â€œThis visit, coming 21 years after that historic movement, is capable of many interpretations, but I do sincerely expect that after we have listened to Your Excellency, the most important interpretation will be the one you will leave us withâ€.
The Lagos State helmsman expressed the belief that the interpretation will hopefully be the acknowledgment of the critical role of Lagos in the Nigerian State and a commitment to do what is just and right to assist the Stateâ€™s development in the interest of all Nigerians.
He said global and international impressions of countries are formed by impressions of first entries to their commercial or administrative capitals or both, adding that cities like Paris, New York, London, Accra are the places from which global impression of France, USA, England and Ghana are formed even though fewer people hardly ever visit their other famous cities like Lyon in France, Chicago in America, Portsmouth in England and Kumasi.
â€œThe impression of Nigeria is formed from Lagos by the millions who use her sea and airports. If we must therefore improve on that impression, Lagos is like the sitting room of the Nigerian household that must be maintained in a pristine condition, and must get Federal funding support for electricity, roads, water supply and critical infrastructureâ€, the Lagos State Governor emphasized.
President Goodluck Jonathan in his address commended Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for the warm welcome reception he received, adding that the warm applause which the Governor also got at the Eko Hotels gathering must be a reflection of the fact that he is doing well in Lagos.
He said his Government is committed to putting in place reforms in the power sector that will ensure uninterrupted power supply for all Nigerians by privatizing electricity generation and distribution.
President Jonathan also said the Federal Government would boost natural gas supply to fire new plants that would generate power.
The event had in attendance many big wigs including State Governors, Ministers and stakeholders in the energy sector.