Release abandoned, surplus assets to Lagos, Okunnu tells Federal Government
An elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing, Femi Okunnu, yesterday decried the dilapidating state of the Federal Secretariat and other government assets in Lagos State.
While lamenting the lack of maintenance of the assets in Lagos and their decaying state, he demanded that they be returned to the state government for proper rehabilitation and use.
He said this while presenting the report of a Special Committee raised by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Federal Government Assets in the state, which he headed.
Okunnu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said Ikoyi, Banana Island, Osborne Foreshore, Festac Town, Satellite Town, Trade Fair, among others belonged to the Lagos State Government.
He added that the title deeds of the lands were vested in the governor of Lagos and called on the Federal Government to handover the assets to the state without further delay.
He said the issue of the Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi was particularly saddening to him due to the fact that its was constructed during his tenure as Federal Commissioner for Works.
His words: “The Federal Secretariat makes me sad because I built it when I was the Federal Commissioner for Works. The land in which the secretariat is situated is part of the Crown land now state land.
“The title is vested in Lagos State but when he was governor, Brig-Gen Omobola Johnson (rtd.), released the land to the Federal Government when they wanted to build Federal Secretariat.”
Okunnu added that the title deeds of Festac Town, Trade Fair and Satellite Town were vested in the Government of Lagos State and that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) remained the tenant of the State Government.
“We hope that discussions between Lagos and the federal authorities over Federal Government lands and state lands in Lagos will be held to settle this palaver once and for all,” he said.
Responding, Ambode commended the committee for the report, saying that their passion in ensuring that the state recovers its lands, buildings and disputed quarters was highly appreciated.
He said the report came at a time when the state government needed space for developmental projects that would improve the socio-economic wellbeing of the people in line with present realities, adding that such projects would help to reflate the state’s economy and improve its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).