By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos—The Federal Government yesterday, officially handed over its State House in Marina to the Lagos State Government.
Mr Jalal Arabi, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, while handing over the property, urged Lagos State Government to judiciously use the edifice, maintain it and protect its structural and historic integrity.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2016 approved the handing over of the State House to Lagos.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had made a formal request to the Presidency to have the presidential lodge released to Lagos to enable the state to transform the Marina-Onikan axis into a world-class arts and tourism hub.
The edifice built before Independence in 1960 had housed several Presidents and Military Heads of State, before the relocation of the nation’s capital to Abuja.
“We are gathered here to transfer the State House, Marina to the Lagos State Government and it is all in the spirit of togetherness, the same Nigeria, unity for a purpose.
“Nothing has changed and nothing is lost,” Arabi said in an emotion laden speech.
Also, Mr Tunji Bello, Secretary to the State Government, while receiving the State House, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his statesman-like gesture in releasing the edifice to Lagos.
Bello said that handing over of the edifice was an affirmation of the healthy intergovernmental relationship existing between the Federal and Lagos State Government.
He assured the presidency that the state government would put the edifice to the best and most judicious use, “ensure its transformation without compromising its structural integrity and preserve its architectural finesse”.
Bello said, “We will ensure that the edifice becomes a tourist destination which residents of Lagos, in particular and Nigerians in general, will not only be proud of, but compares to similar ones in distant locations.”
LASG hands over modern bus park to Marina NURTW
Meantime, as part of measures to eliminate the persistent traffic gridlock on the Marina-Apongbon axis, Lagos State Government, yesterday, handed over a newly built bus park at “Ajeigboro,” Marina to officials of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, for public use.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Central Business District, CBD, Mr. Agboola Dabiri, while commissioning the park, said the decision to create a bus park at Apongbon axis was taken at the State Executive Council meeting where Governor Akinwunmi Ambode mandated his agency to create the park as part of effort at seeking lasting solution to the incessant traffic situation experienced in the axis.
Dabiri, revealed that with the commissioning and hand-over of the facility to members of the union, the State Government would no longer tolerate the indiscriminate boarding and alighting of passengers by commercial vehicles from broad street, Marina and Apongbon environs.