Two weeks after protests against police brutality that was marred with violence, looting, and destruction of property in Lagos State, the state government, has announced plans to set up trust fund for rebuilding of property destroyed by arsonists during the carnage.
It explained that the rebuilding process which was being spearheaded by the state’s Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was aimed at building trust and return the state back to its enviable heights and status among committee of states in Nigeria.
Aside from the planned trust fund, the government disclosed that plans had been concluded to also adopt new governance style that would aid stronger Lagos through partnerships and stronger institutions.
Sanwo-Olu, who signed an Executive Order for formation of an eight-man board to coordinate efforts toward restoring lost assets, said that the decision was aimed at putting the destruction behind the state and face necessary task of rebuilding.
Addressing newsmen during a press conference on Wednesday at the Governor’s Office, Alausa, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu announced that the Citibank Nigeria Chairman, Yemi Cardoso, would be heading the board of the Lagos Rebuild Trust Fund.
He listed other members to include the Managing Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LP, Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi, SAN; Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman; Co-Founder and CEO, Flutterwave; Gbenga Agboola; Vice Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank, Bola Adesola, among others.
Sanwo-Olu said that the fund would be responsible for getting detailed cost of restructuring and rebuilding of destroyed assets and that the board would also advise the government on most critical assets to prioritize and identify needed emergency response services.
The rebuilding plan, the governor said, would be all-inclusive, stressing that the government would welcome support and contributions from well-meaning individuals and corporate organizations who believe in the Lagos dream.
“I believe this is the starting point of a new socio-economic process. I am hopeful that this initiative will help us to seamlessly make the transition to a rebuilt Lagos with upgraded public structures, facilities, and amenities. I know that the ashes that presently dot our landscape will birth modern and globally acceptable infrastructure.
“At the centre of this decisive action to rebuild Lagos is the need to closely work with the people and organisations who call Lagos home; those who believe in the Lagos dream, and those who share our collective vision of a mega-city that thrives on peace and unity among all ethnic groups. Those who know that the future of Lagos is tied to our ability to keep nurturing our state and those who are ready to commit their resources to the glory of our state, because their future is the future of Lagos,” he said
Continuing, he added, “in the last few weeks, we have been inundated with local and global offers of assistance to rebuild our state and recover all we lost to arson and violence in October. It is obvious that we can no longer wait to begin the onerous task of reconstructing Lagos. In the next few days, our government will be sending a bill to the House of Assembly for the establishment of a Trust Fund to rebuild Lagos.
“Today, I am signing an Executive Order to set up an eight-man Lagos Rebuild Trust Fund Committee, which will begin to oversee our recovery process. To ensure the highest standards of probity, transparency, and accountability, FBN Trustees headed by Mr. Kunle Awojobi will oversee the Lagos Rebuild Trust Fund Committee. The committee will comprise five members from the private sector, two members from the public sector, and one member from the International Donor Aid Community.
“We will embrace new standards of governance and build stronger partnerships, stronger people, stronger institutions, and stronger Lagos. Our strength lies in our uncanny ability to overcome the most complicated challenges because we have people who genuinely love Lagos State and will assiduously do all they can to preserve its peace and unity.”