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Ambode dissociates Lagos from Nigeria recession crisis, says outlook strong

At a time the national economy is facing recession, Lagos State government has announced that the state is even growing faster than when the national economy was assumed to be seamless, an indication that recession impacts is either minimal or non-existent.

Commissioner for Information, Steve Ayorinde in an interview with CNBC Africa said “Recession is a word that we approach cautiously in Lagos because Lagos State actually generated more money last year than the year before it, when there was no recession”.

“If you also look at the budget we’ve passed into law, N812 billion, which means that you can see that in about two years of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s Administration, the governor has almost doubled the budget size that he met in 2015, which means that the economy of the state is expanding.

“Lagos State is now an oil producing state, it has the largest petrochemical industry, the largest fertilizer west Africa, the largest refinery in Africa in a year or two will all be happening here. It means that something is happening and work has started and without a doubt, this is the fifth largest economy in Africa.

Continuing, Ayorinde recalled that “It has two of the most lucrative ports in Nigeria are in Lagos, so you can’t discount the fact that financially speaking, there’s actually no recession in Lagos state, but as I said we have to be sensitive to the general mood of the nation and what is going on

However, he was careful noting that “While we’re not trying to be insensitive to the broader country’s plight with the recession, I think it’s important to really highlight what is going on in Lagos”.

“Like you mentioned, we’re looking at doubling the budget size in 2 years. So let’s get a sense of where that spending is going and the impact that you’re expecting.

“In Governor Ambode’s first two years 2 similar bridges are on their way, not just to serve as iconic structures but to ease traffic in two of the most densely populated areas in Lagos. Those two fly over bridges will be ready before the 27th of May as part of the legacy and iconic projects that we thought are necessary to celebrate Lagos at 50. As we’re commissioning those two, work will be starting on another bridge to serve Agege. Work is progressing. In terms of infrastructure, roads are a major concern of this administration.

“For a state that has about 9,000 roads, 6000 belong to local government and local council development areas means that there’s a lot crying for attention in these areas. This was why last year, we embarked on 114 roads, the first of its kind in Nigeria, we’re concentrating on inner and local government community roads. That’s 2 per local government and LCDA. This year we expanded the scope to 181 roads. This means that the least that any LCDA will get is two, but we realise that there are other areas that require more than two because of the nature of the road network