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Don asks Fashola to make construction sector top priority

By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS — Professor of Economics in the Oxford University, United Kingdom, Paul Collier, yesterday, urged Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State to institutionalise his decision and make construction sector its top priority if he intended to make the state one of the mega-cities in the world.

Collier made the remarks at the opening of the 5th Lagos Economic Summit, Ehingbeti 2010, with the theme: “Lagos: Investment opportunities in Africa’s emerging model mega-city ”

In his keynote address entitled “Making Lagos a World Class Economic Hub,” Collier said the state government would need a robust construction sector to drive its infrastructure, which include transportation, road network, power generation, manufacturing and agro-allied.

Though Collier was not physically present at the summit due to flight disruptions by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud across Europe, he delivered his keynote address through a Power Point.

He said mega-cities in the world depended heavily on construction sector to develop and posited that government must be ready to build a capacity to run its chain of decisions and policies as a lasting legacy to develop the state.

According to him, “it will be like investing in the process of investment by building institutions that successive administrations can tap into.

“There is different between good and great leaders. Great leaders are those who create institutions to drive the economy. These are leaders who have character, charisma and highly intelligence.

“This is what the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola is doing. He is putting together institutions that will live beyond the achievement of any good leader. He is institutionalizing his decisions.”

Lagos spends 60% budget on roads, others
Earlier in his opening address, Fashola said the state government spent 60 per cent of its annual budgets on roads, schools, healthcare, security, jetties, markets, court rooms, the environment and water supply in the last two years.

Fashola, who is also one of the five state governors stranded abroad by the volcano ash in Europe was represented by his deputy, Princess Sarah Sosan, said it became necessary to organise the summit to showcase the opportunities for business and return on investment that lay in the metropolis.

“We believe that a lot of works still need to be done and require not only expertise and partnership but also investment and funding,” he said.


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