WORLD Bank has said that the
role of Lagos State to the nation’s
stability and growth could not
be over-emphasised, as the state
remains the economic gateway
to the country, for the rest of the
Country Director of the World
Bank, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud,
said this yesterday during
a courtesy visit to Gov.
Akinwunmi Ambode at the
Lagos House.
Benmessaoud said the giant
strides being recorded by
the present administration in
the state had received global
attention, adding that the World
Bank was proud to be part of
the transformation.
“Nigeria needs Lagos, Lagos
is a huge part of the growth in
the country and the growth is
about job creation and national
“We are really honored to
have been your partner and we
would be honoured to continue
the partnership.
“We really acknowledge the
national, regional and local
importance of Lagos, being the
gateway to Nigeria and for the
rest of the world.
“There is a success story that
is being told not only in Nigeria
but globally and that success
story is really thanks to the
leadership that you (Ambode)
brings in, with a clarity of
“Also, worthy of note is the
speed with which you take
decisions and implement
programmes and projects,”
Benmessaoud said.
He recalled that the World
Bank’s previous engagements
with the state had been unique.
The country director also said
that the bank looks toward
other opportunities to build on
the positive momentum and
partner with the state on its
urban regeneration drive.
Benmessaoud added, “We are
closing our ongoing portfolio
which is very small right now,
we would very much like to
support you and go for the next
generation of programmes that
are responsive to your vision.
“We are very pleased to
partner with you as you set an
agenda for a transformative
He said the visit to the
Governor, therefore, was to
explore ways to build on the
existing partnerships in the
areas of transportation, energy
and the environment.
According to him, the
partnerships will help in
meeting the growing demands
of residents, as well as attract
more investors into the state.
“The objective of the visit is
to maintain and capitalise on
the positive momentum that
we have created through our
partnerships over many years.
“We will also see how we can
leverage that partnership in
helping you, supporting you,
and achieving your vision for
the urban transformation in
Lagos State.
“This will enable you to create
a livable city, bringing more jobs
that will not only retain and
expand the existing businesses
but also attract new businesses
and generate more revenue
for the state and attracting the
private sector,’’ he said.
In gis response, Ambode
thanked the World Bank
for its partnership over the
years, noting that they had
contributed to the success story
of Lagos State, especially in the
transportation sector.
The Governor commended
the successful execution of
the three Development Policy
Operations DPOs, of the bank,
saying that the World Bank had
been able to show evidence that
the partnership had been very
“It has been very fruitful and
we’ve become totally responsive
to ensure that whatever it is
that we are getting in terms
of support from multilateral institutions continues to
“We show credibility also
to show that we plan well
for such support and we
are willing to also continue
to abide by international
standards to ensure that
whatever it is we are getting
as support is used for the
common good of every citizen
in Lagos State, which is the
whole essence of service,” the
governor said.
Ambode also said that his
administration has fashioned
out a work plan to integrate
water, rail and road transport
systems to evolve a viable
means through which
Lagosians can commute
within the state, with ease.
“I think the new sets of
proposals are the kind of
strategies we should put up
for Lagos State and that is
what this visit speaks to.
“I will like to see a strong
support in the transport
sector, so that we can have
support for water, rail and
other infrastructure that go
with it.
“Like I said, we already have
a work plan that integrates
the three together, which we
would share with the World
“We will also improve on
our discussions in terms
of advisory management,
financing and also a different
kind of support that
ultimately helps us to deliver
the dividends of democracy
that we actually promised our
“We are very serious that
we want to improve on
transportation, improve on
the environment and also
power, because we believe
that is the whole essence of
making the state investorfriendly.
“We have improved
a lot on security and we just
think that moving 23million
people on a daily basis in a
comfortable way would mean
that we will have to integrate
our transport management
system. “This will be in such
a way that you can move
actually on water, using the
rail also and then the road, as
well,” he added.