The Federal Government on Tuesday completed the process of handing over the State House, Marina, to the Lagos State Government.
The process which started about 20 years ago was completed with the signing and exchanging of documents between the state government and the Federal Government in Abuja.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, signed for the state government while the Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, signed on behalf of the Federal Government.
Speaking before signing the documents, Ambode described the hand over as a sign of greater things and greater collaboration between the state and the Federal Government.
He disclosed that the state government’s intention is to turn the property into a tourist center that will help improve the economy of the state.
The governor said, “We are delighted to be here on a historic day that finalizes the intention of President Buhari to bring positive change to Lagos.”
“We thank the President that approved that the presidential lodge is released to Lagos State. We have been trying for 20 years.”
“I am pleased that on a day like this, it is my predecessor and the current minister that is now doing the final hand over. He has also been part of efforts to get the property back to Lagos. It is by God’s doing that he is positioned today to do the final handover.”
“We see this as a sign of greater things and greater collaboration between the Federal Government and the state. It will improve the economy of the state because our intention is to turn that property into a national monument that we will christen a National Heritage Centre for Leadership.”
“We will also use it as a tourist center to attract Nigerian and foreign tourists and use it as a means of improving the economy of the state.”
Fashola, on his part, described the hand over as being consistent with the President’s promise to respond to many things that have been left undone.
He said, “We are here to sign and exchange documents which formally vest the Presidential Lodge in Marina in the Lagos State Government in fulfillment of the commitment and promise yet by President Buhari.”
“This is a long journey that has come to an end. It is a journey that has taken almost two decades when the state government continued to ask that this property is vested in it. For reasons difficult to understand, it did not happen.”
“But a President of change, a promise keeper, has made it happen. So while the state government has already taken possession as handed over by the Presidency, we are here to formally sign and exchange documents that will give the state government right to the property.”
“It is consistent with the President’s promise to respond to many things that have been left undone. Projects like Bodo-Bonny Bridge is now bringing hope and expectation to the people of Bonny.”
“The project waited for almost 30years and some works have started now. The same thing is happening with the Mambila Project that saw people of Taraba State waiting for almost 40 years.”
Fashola said with the handover, Lagos State has joined the league of states with stories of promise fulfilled.
Ambode was accompanied to the brief ceremony by the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello; and the Commissioner for Information, Steve Ayorinde, among other government officials.