Chairman of China Railway Construction Company (CRCC), Mr. Chen Fenjian has assured Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the support of Chinese business community in his effort to sustain Lagos State’s infrastructure development.
Mr. Fenjian, who is also the Secretary of Communist Party of China, made this disclosure to the Governor during a meeting at the CRCC Headquarters in Beijing. He called on the company’s management for increased collaboration with Lagos Government in the areas of infrastructure and urban development.
The meeting was one of the high-powered sessions held with key decision makers and investors in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Beijing to get strategic support and financial intervention for the outlined developmental plans in the State.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, after expressing appreciation to the company’s leadership for their contributions and investment in Nigeria, requested the Chinese businessmen to do more for Nigeria to sustain its growth and socio-economic stability.
Sanwo-Olu said: “I admit that CRCC has made significant contributions and investment towards development of Nigeria. As an individual who has been in government before now, I know fully well that it is not every project that government has funding for, but delivering projects is a major responsibility of the government.
“So often times, government finds alliances and partnerships that will provide funding and strategic supports towards delivering of projects that make living easy and life comfortable for citizens. And these roles your organisation has played really well for Nigeria and Lagos State.
“There is so much more than we can do together. I am sure that if you did not find Lagos State or Nigeria viable, you would not have stayed or had the confidence to invest and deploy your resources, even when government can only provide guarantee.”
Sanwo-Olu informed the audience that Lagos had a number of projects that could be taken up through competitive and rigorous bidding process.
“These projects include the construction of the fourth Mainland Bridge in Lagos, our Railway projects, the Lekki Free Trade-zone access Road and Urban development projects across the State. Lagos State does not have the resources to deploy towards execution of these projects at once, but are we are a viable State of over 22 million people, with a GDP of about $136 billion, which ranks us as one of the leading economies in Africa even though we are just a sub-national government,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Responding, Fenjian said he had been to Lagos many times and knew how important Lagos’ wellbeing was strategic to Nigeria’s development.
He said: “The development of Lagos will contribute to continued growth of Africa which is important to China and the world. As a Fortune 500 country, with presence in about 127 countries including Nigeria, we have the capacity to support your government and the greater Lagos dream”.
“In the past few days, I am aware that you have made contacts with key Chinese investors and agencies on your developmental plans for Lagos State. Let me assure you, because you have demonstrated courage and shown commitment to your people’s welfare, Chinese community will support you to actualise your goals”.
“As a party man, I know that socio-economic growth, infrastructural development and shared prosperity are the reasons for electing a public officer into office. Therefore, I am obliged by political shared responsibilities to the electorate to ensure that CRCC collaborates with you and actively participate in the process that will birth strategic and high-impact infrastructural development in the State.”
Fenjian charged the leadership of organisations present at the meeting to consider the Governor’s proposals and activate partnerships that would create a win-win situation for Lagos and CRCC.