According to Naij, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos has urged his predecessor and current works, power and housing minister, Babatunde Fashola, to ensure that the federal government returned all disputed properties in the state.
The properties and buildings include the whole of Ikoyi, Banana Island, Osborne Foreshore, Festac Town, Satellite Town, Trade Fair, among others. Ambode spoke when he received a report from a special committee he set up on federal government assets in the state. Ambode receiving the report from the committee led by Femi Okunnu The governor commended members of the committee which included Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana; Partner of SimmonsCooper, Mrs Victoria Alonge, and others for the painstaking efforts put into the report.
He said: “It is our hope that this initiative will put an end to the long-standing dispute between Federal and Lagos state governments over the federal government disused lands and buildings and disputed quarters in various parts of the state which are no longer in use for the purposes for which they were originally released to the federal government “We are hopeful that this report will get favorable response from the federal government especially given the fact that the Honourable minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), was a passionate advocate of this issue during his tenure as the governor of Lagos state and is also now a representative of Lagos state in the federal cabinet.” Ambode said the report came at a time the government was in dire need of space for developmental projects to improve the socio-economic well-being of its residents.
He directed members of the committee to move further by mediating between the state and the federal government on how the assets would be released. Elderstatesman and former federal commissioner for works and housing, Alhaji Femi Okunnu, expressed sadness over the current status of the federal secretariat in Lagos. Okunnu, who chairs the committee, also complained about other abandoned and surplus assets of the federal government in the state, urging that the assets be returned for effective and proper usage. Ambode said he was happy Fashola, a former governor who was passionate about reclaiming such assets, is now the minister in charge He noted that the listed areas belong to Lagos state adding that titles of the land were vested in the governor.
He also urged the federal government to handover the assets to Lagos. “The federal secretariat gives me sadness because I built it when I was the federal commissioner for works.