THE Lagos State Government says it has sealed a major partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enhance the provision of infrastructure in key sectors and strengthen the state’s long-term financial sustainability through improved revenue generation strategies.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, in a statement on Wednesday, said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the partnership dated Jan.7, 2019 had already been signed.
Ashade expressed optimism that the development would go a long way in helping to scale up municipal infrastructure, increase revenues and generally make life more comfortable to residents.
He said IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group, would seek to provide advisory services to enhance infrastructure development in key areas including power, education, health, environment and transport, with a special focus on the provision of electric buses, among others.
“IFC’s advisory services will be designed to improve procurement for key transport projects and support project development in areas including power, transport, municipal waste, health, education and energy efficiency.
“IFC will also be able to advise on strategies and policies for electric buses and ride-hailing services and assist Lagos State on its revenue mobilisation strategies.
“We welcome IFC’s support and are confident that signing this memorandum will translate into viable infrastructure projects, expertise building and better access to financing for the benefit of all Lagosians,” Ashade said.
He said IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, Eme Essien noted that the partnership was in line with the organisation’s program tagged ‘IFC’s Cities Initiative’.
“Essien said it is aimed at mobilising commercial financing for priority urban projects; connect cities with capital markets, and to help improve municipalities’ credit-worthiness through financial management training.
“ The IFC’s Country Manager said a total of 13.5 billion Dollars had been invested over the last 15 years across more than 70 countries through the initiative.
“Essien said the program essentially supports efforts to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities that open new markets, and create opportunities for all.
“ IFC’s manager also said today’s announcement is only a first step in the building of a long term strategic partnership with the largest municipality in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Our objective is to support Lagos State’s efforts through IFC’s Cities Initiative to improve living conditions, expand and renew its infrastructure, and help reinforce Lagos’s position as an attractive investment destination and by extension Nigeria’s position.”