BY ONYEKA AJUMOBI ONOCHIE
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Lagos State government today announced a memorandum of understanding under which IFC will seek to provide advisory services to enhance infrastructure development and strengthen Lagos State’s long-term financial sustainability.
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 mobilization 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” said Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State.
With a population of 20 million, Lagos State is Nigeria’s economic epicenter and main hub for commercial and industrial activities, accounting for 30 percent of the country’s GDP. Faced with a fast-growing population, Lagos State has been working to improve its economic and social infrastructure to enhance economic development. Lagos State aims to become Africa’s third largest economy, measured by GDP, by 2023.
Eme Essien, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria 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.”
IFC’s Cities Initiative works to mobilize commercial financing for priority urban projects, to connect cities with capital markets, and to help improve municipalities’ credit-worthiness through financial management training. The program supports efforts to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities that open new markets, and create opportunities for all. Over the last 15 years, IFC’s Cities Initiative has invested $13.5 Billion in over 400 city-related projects across more than 70 countries.
“IFC is a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group and is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. It works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity,” emphasized Essien.