By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said he was satisfied with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s performance as he commissioned the world-class Oshodi Transport Interchange, the Mass Transit Buses and the Murtala Mohammed International Airport all in Lagos State.
The President at the occasion showered encomium on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his outstanding performance in the past four years.
President Buhari who expressed delight while commissioning the three key projects which he said reflected the drive and success of his administration, noted that the policy thrust of his government was to pursue policies and programmes that will positively impact on our citizens.
He stated that the new Oshodi Transport Interchange; the Mass Transit Medium and High capacity public buses and the reconstructed Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road by Lagos State Government clearly demonstrated the need to continue to provide high impact projects for the development of infrastructure and opportunities for job creation at all levels.
According to him, “Just as this transport interchange with three different terminals is going to change the face of public transportation, the mass transit buses totaling 820 will move the people of Lagos State in a more comfortable and more efficient manner.
“These projects by Lagos State are perfectly aligned with the efforts of the Federal Government to improve the country’s infrastructure, especially in the transport sector.
“To complement the Oshodi transport Interchange, the Federal Government has recently approved the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway up to Oworonshoki and Old-Toll gate which was last attended to, 40 years ago.”
Continuing, President Buhari said, “We have recently commissioned the new International Airport Terminals in Port Harcourt and Abuja as well as the rail lines from Abuja to Kaduna.
“The Lagos to Ibadan rail line is under construction. Our government will continue to prioritise high impact infrastructure which will vastly improve the lives of our people.
“This is my second working visit to Lagos state within a span of one year. I was also here in February to solicit for your votes. I thank you for supporting me. Earlier this morning, I commissioned Ayinke House at the Institute of Maternal & Child Health and also the Lagos Theatre in Oregun.
“Your Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has performed satisfactorily and we should all commend him for his contributions to the growth and development of Lagos State.”
President Buhari thanked the people of Lagos State for their support for his government and the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In his remarks, Governor Ambode thanked Buhari immensely for his support in seeing through the completion of the projects, as “they would not have been possible without your direct influence and support.”
He said, “In our promise to deliver people-oriented projects and programmes, a closer look at all the projects indicate that nearly all the different pillars of our development plan as a State have been affected positively through these projects.
“The Institute Of Maternal and Child Health at LASUTH contributes to our health and education sectors simultaneously.
“The Lagos Theatre, Ikeja is about our Social Development Sector while the Oshodi Transport Interchange and Buses come under our Transport, Infrastructure and Commerce sectors. The Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road is an Infrastructural Development project.
“All these projects together form the thrust of our vision as a government and the end result is to make life better for all our people, irrespective of gender, tribe or political leanings”, he stated.
“It is on record that our State has never had this measure of support from the Federal Government as we have enjoyed under your leadership.
“These projects would not have been possible without Mr. President’s quiet but impactful decision to approve and release the payments of the Paris Club refund and the refund on Federal Road projects incurred by the States.”
On how he utilized the Paris Club refund, he said, “Mr. President, the first tranche of the Paris Club refund to States approved by Your Excellency was what we used to pay the 40% down-payment for the 820 buses you see here today. We are grateful Mr. President.”
He added that the second tranche of the Paris Club refund, in addition to the refund by the Federal Government on Federal road projects executed by States, was applied to the construction of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road.