Lagos - Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has denied a media report that the state government obtained 15-million-dollar loan from the Export-Import (Ex-IM) Bank of America.
A recent media report had reported that the bank granted 15-million-dollar direct loan to the state government.
Fashola, while inspecting some ongoing projects in Ikorodu area on Tuesday, described the report as mischievous.
He said the story was far from the truth, explaining that Ex-IM only assisted the state government in purchasing 32 fire- fighting engines from an American company.
He said that the bank had never granted any direct loan to the state.
``We didn’t apply for any loan and we did not take any. I think the interesting thing about the news report is that while it focused on the 15 million, it very loudly omitted to say what the purpose was for.
``What I can also say is that no state governor can borrow money without the approval of his state Executive Council, not even from a local bank.
``Now, I also know as a fact that as a sub-national government, we cannot take loans from overseas without sovereign approval, and that's why we go to the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council, when we want to raise money.
``What really happened was that we applied for a supply of 32 fire engines from a company in the U.S. and anybody who is familiar with Ex-IM loans would know that it is a strategy by America to promote exports for its own companies to overseas countries.
``Now, fire engines are not what you can walk into any company and purchase easily. The American company that would manufacture them need some capital to put them together and export to us.
``So, what Ex-IM Bank did was to provide the capital to the manufacturer, guaranteed by a Nigerian bank, which we will pay to, so we are only buying a product, we did not take any loan,'' he explained.
Fashola explained that all the external loans taken by the state were received to fund developmental projects for the good of Lagosians.
On the ongoing expansion work on Mile 12-Ikorodu road, the governor said the project was being executed to catalyse the total transformation of Ikorodu and its environs.
He promised speedy completion of project, adding that the expansion of the 14-Km road would come with nine bridges.
Fashola expressed ispleasure over the shoddy handling of the rehabilitation of Awolowo road, Ikorodu, by the contractor, saying that the state government might revoke the contract.
At the Ipakodo Jetty, the governor said the government was improving water transport infrastructure, to facilitate easy movement of residents on water.
He said the more than one million passengers were being moved from one place to the other on water monthly, adding, ``the state government aims to double the figure very soon."
Fashola implored residents to support the state government in delivering ongoing projects by paying their taxes and complying with the laws of the state
NAN reports that the governor also inspected the housing project at Agbowa, Igbogbo-Bayeku and Lagos State Polytechnic.