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In its bid to help Lagos state government achieve its Mega City dream, especially in the area of public transportation, the French Republic has promised to donate the sum of N83.7 billion. The French government, however, said that the fund will go a long way in the sector if private stakeholders key in the agenda.
The government of France on Wednesday, July 4, said that it is willing and interested in supporting Lagos state in its mega city agenda by donating €200 million (N83.7 billion) to set up a functional public transportation system in the state. The French Republic, through its president, Emmanuel Macron, made this public during the young leader’s visit to the state, Vanguard reports.
France’s secretary of state to the ministry of economy and finance, Delphine Geny-Stephann, said that the establishing of sustainable metropolis remain a key challenge in many cities throughout Africa of which Lagos is one of them. She stated: “Lagos happened to be one of the most populated city on the continent and embodies the challenges, the difficulties but also the huge opportunities of African cities. “€200 million will soon come to help setting up an efficient public transportation system in Lagos. But this will not be enough, so we need the help of the private sector, and our companies are ready to offer their help and expertise.” Geny-Stephann said that the bond between France and Nigeria is betting closer to what it should be, considering the importance of Nigeria as an emerging power. She said: “The variations in the price of oil are not a sufficient explanation.
“Sure, French investments in Nigeria have developed. But for 80 percent of them, they only come from the extracting sector. We have to address this challenge together, both in France and Nigeria. “There is something else we have to admit which is a distorted image of one another. In France, Nigeria is too quickly associated with violence, corruption and seen as a place where business is difficult. This is not an accurate vision. Also some people say that France is all about red-tape and that the French economy belongs in the past. “On renewable energies, we are going to offer a better access to electricity. On technologies, the French Tech is fast asserting itself as a European leader, and France is about to win its bet to become a “start-up nation”. Yewande Sadiku, the executive secretary and CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, stated that the federal government has kick-started the economic recovery growth move which is expected to lead to the development of the Nigeria’s economy, adding that the country will be pleased to have France to lend its support to bring the vision to fruition.
Sadiku said: “Nigeria remains a good destination for investment in Africa and we are improving the business environment on a daily basis and going to ensure that France investment in Nigeria is win-win affair.”