The President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has done more to make states economically viable than any previous administration, according to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO).
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group said that this was obvious from the role played by the federal government in the realisation of recently commissioned projects in Lagos State.
“It is no longer news that Buhari was in Lagos to commission at least three major projects in the State, but what many people may not know is the role played by the federal government in bringing the projects to fruition.
“We know that the State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-olu alluded to this in his speech at the commissioning, but what he spoke about does not cover what the Buhari administration did on the Lekki Deep Sea Port and other infrastructural projects in Lagos.
“In the President’s words, driven by his vision to bequeath a legacy of poverty elimination through job creating infrastructure, he placed all matters relating to the Deep Sea Port on top priority by giving unalloyed backing to the Nigerian Ports Authority and its supervising ministry, the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
“This, according to Transport Minister Muazu Sambo, is what paved way for the speedy approval of federal government’s equity contribution which gave the project the necessary statutory cover and financial guarantee.
“In addition, the President also allocated the ‘right of way’ of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway Line, for use by the Lagos Mass Rail Transit’s Red Line which is to be inaugurated in July this year,” the group added.
BMO said that the support Lagos State Government has received from the Buhari administration in the last seven years is not restricted to the two recently commissioned projects.
“Unlike what happened during the 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), we invite Nigerians to note that the Buhari administration approved important fiscal waivers on Custom Duties to enable Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu deliver on key infrastructure projects such as BRT buses, LAG-RIDE vehicles, as well as rolling stock for the Blue and Red Rail Lines.
“We also want to place it on record that Lagos was one of the pioneer beneficiaries of the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which transformed the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway, and will deliver a brand-new access road to the new Lekki Deep Sea Port.
“Also, Lagos has benefited from the Sukuk Bond projects, like many other states.
“Let us add here that all 36 states have enjoyed federal government’s interventions running into N6.5 trillion in the last seven years and these include budget support facilities packaged like soft loans to be repaid over 30 years and the recent 13 per cent derivation refund to oil producing states,” it said.(NAN)