Fashola replies Ambode, accuses Lagos governor of misleading Nigerians on Works Ministry cooperation

FILE PHOTO: Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and Works Minister, Babatunde Fashola

A day after the Lagos State governor accused the Federal Ministry of Works of frustrating some of his plans in Lagos State, the minister has replied.

In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode accused the federal ministry of two things: failure to allow the state government rebuild the Oshodi road that leads to the Lagos Airport and failure to ensure the proper handover of the Presidential Lodge in Lagos to the state government as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On Thursday, the Works minister, Babatunde Fashola, who is Mr. Ambode’s predecessor as Lagos governor, denied the allegations.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Hakeem Bello, Mr. Fashola said his “response is to ensure that members of the public are not misled by deliberate or inadvertent mis-statements” of the Lagos governor.

The minister explained that the request of the Lagos government to take over the Oshodi-airport road, as well as three other federal roads in the state, was still being discussed at the Federal Executive Council.

“Federal Executive Council Memorandum are debated and commented upon by all members and in cases of roads, surveys, maps and other material have to be provided to assist members understand the location and connectivity of the roads, (in this case Four roads), in order to assist how they vote on the Memorandum,” Mr. Bello said.

On the presidential lodge, Mr. Fashola’s aide said it was currently being run by the presidency and that his ministry was working with relevant security officials for the handover.

“The Presidential Lodge is a high security location and officials of the Ministry also require security clearance to enter in order to do any works,” he said.

Mr. Bello, who listed some other areas the works ministry has cooperated with the Lagos government, then questioned his successor’s motive for the allegations.

“The motive behind these public accusations must therefore be scrutinised coming barely a week after the Governor spoke with the Honourable Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN on the outstanding requests of the state for several minutes …”

Read the works minister’s full reaction below:

The attention of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has been drawn to certain statements credited to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode claiming that the “Federal Ministry of Works“ has been frustrating the efforts of his administration to carry out a “total reconstruction of the International Airport Road from Oshodi.”

The Governor also reportedly accused the “Federal Ministry of Works and Housing” and Security Services of denying the State Government access to the Presidential Lodge in Lagos six months after President Muhammadu Buhari approved it off for the State.

This response is to ensure that members of the public are not misled by deliberate or inadvertent mis-statements.

The allegations of lack of cooperation from the Ministry and frustration of Lagos State Government development initiatives are simply not true and the facts do not bear them out.

In 2016, the Hon Minister for Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, approved the use of the Federal Ministry of works yard at Oworonsoki for Lagos State Government to create a lay-by to ease traffic.

The Hon Minister also approved that Lagos State be granted the Rights to manage the Street Lighting on the 3rd Mainland Bridge to support the security initiatives of the State, a request which the previous Federal Government administration had denied Lagos State for years.

During the same year the Hon Minister also supported the approval of the World Bank Loan of $200m to Lagos State, again a request the previous administration had denied Lagos State.

As far as International Airport Road which is currently the ground for alleged “frustration” is concerned, the correct position is that the Lagos State Government presented a request for FOUR roads that it would wish to take over.

This is consistent with the position being canvassed by the Hon Minister for States who are interested to apply to take over Roads that are within their States.

The Ministry has presented the Memorandum conveying the request of the Lagos State Government to the Federal Executive Council as was done with a similar request by the Kaduna State Government in 2016.

Due to the fact that TWO of the roads also connect Ogun State, the Federal Executive Council could not reach an immediate decision on them because it requested the input of the other State Government affected.

The Kaduna State Government requested the Federal Government to transfer two roads within Kaduna Metropolis to the State in November 2015. Due process was followed and the request of the State Government was approved in August 2016, a period of ten months.

Federal Executive Council Memorandum are debated and commented upon by all members and in cases of roads, surveys, maps and other material have to be provided to assist members understand the location and connectivity of the roads, (in this case Four roads), in order to assist how they vote on the Memorandum.

As far as the Presidential Lodge is concerned, it is under the management of the Presidency and not the Ministry.

After the approval by Mr President that the Presidential Lodge be handed over to the State Government, there was a directive to the Ministry to work out the modalities for handing over.

The Ministry has prepared a vesting instrument to convey the transfer and all that is needed is a survey plan.

The Presidential Lodge is a high security location and officials of the Ministry also require security clearance to enter in order to do any works.

Access to the lodge is not under the control of the Ministry.

The motive behind these public accusations must therefore be scrutinized coming barely a week after the Governor spoke with the Honourable Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN on the outstanding requests of the State for several minutes and the Minister took time to explain the situation of things to the Governor. (The first telephone conversation the Governor has had with the Minister since May 29, 2015).

If there is any lack of co-operation it is on the part of the State Government that has refused to acknowledge not to talk of approving the Ministry’s request for Land of the National Housing Programme in Lagos.

The Ministry is not frustrated by this lack of response and remains optimistic that a response will come from Lagos State.

The Ministry remains committed to serving the Government and Good People of Lagos and will treat all their requests on Merit and in accordance with necessary due process as will be done to other States.

As far as the refund of N51Billion is concerned this is not a new item. Almost all if not all states have these claims and the Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing has verified these claims.

What is left is the process of raising the finance to pay the Debt owed to the States.

Those who are familiar with the workings of Government will attest to the fact that it is an intricate sequence of processes, consultation and collaboration.

Equating processes to a lack of co-operation is therefore akin to creating a storm in a tea cup.


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  • El Patron

    Na them sabi

    • Legunsen FRank Temitope

      obviously some of us here don’t understand governance.

  • Malik

    Ambode is an 1d1ot for this mess. And he should release land to the Ministry, Lagosians need affordable housing.

    • Say the truth

      You are the moron who should learn how to contribute to debate in public space.

      • Absolutely Sane

        No! You are the jackass that should learn to look at both sides of the divides to pick reasonable points. Why are you blinded by animosity and still parade yourself as sane human being? You need help man!

        • Malik

          Don’t respond to ‘Say the truth’. He lacks comprehension – na olodo – that’s why he can’t deduce from two laid out points of argument. Na the person wey allow am log in to this forum I blame.

  • new republic

    Nigerian will know from Fashola’s reply that he is a pain in the ASS

  • ailandaaa

    Why would FEC debate handover of a dilapidated FG road to a state that wants to urgently effect repairs for a whole 10 months?!!! What is going on? No wonder nothing seems to be moving. Ambode is right.

    • Michael

      I have to agree with you. I’m not a fan of Ambode but it is obvious that Fashola is clutching at straws and being petty. Nigerians never cease to amaze me with their pure wickedness that stands in the way of our advancement. Is this the type of thing that Fashola should be delaying on? The same moronic people who tell us they need investors in Nigeria? Yes the first impression any investor will have apart from the disgusting MM1 is the delapidated airport road which Amobode is offering to repair. Shame on Fashola!

      • persona

        Handing a road over is more than just repairs.
        1- You should have asked why repair federal roads at the expense of lots of state roads by all states? The answer is simple, when you fix state roads, you get nothing BUT when you fix federal roads, you get paid and what do governors use it for? Every state desires to fix federal roads over states because the people think you’re doing your job fixing state roads and using tax payers money.
        2- Because we are from same state doesn’t mean I should push your agenda above others.
        FG has to consider the potential revenue loss when these roads are now owned by state government as the toll by the airport will now be for states and that is revenue loss to FG. If FG has no capacity to fix the road, they will eventually hand it over but you have to consider if I can sustain my revenue first before I hand over.

  • emailofemi

    This fashola is a sore loser, he’s still bitter on the emergence of Ambode

    • Water No Get Enemy

      Shut up there, don’t create unnecessary animosity between two brothers. Eko o ni baje!

    • Denny

      Have you read this story?

    • jubril yusuf

      Ma da loun ko gbe bo. Ilu wo lo ti wa na?

    • Absolutely Sane

      If Fashola is a loser with 8 years of Governing Lagos state and triple outstanding portfolios that has no equal among all the ministers, then you must be out of your mind. Your statement is simply suggesting that you should be on a bed in a psychiatric hospital.

    • Ola

      someone should take this thing to psychiatric home

      • Demola

        @emailofemi:disqus , is this person in Nigeria?. I don’t think so bcos she needs help. Probably insane

    • Manmbombano123

      When did you leave Yaba left

  • Opekete

    Most people that comments on this forum seems not to understand what is called bureaucracy.

  • Ajayi Ifayemi

    Whatever you say about Fashola, I like the way he takes his time to respond to issues. Fashola is following due process, Ambode is in a hurry. I can understand where both of them are coming from. Ija lo de loring d’owe. My suggestion is that they both take things easy. Both of them, Lagosians, are doing well in their respective areas. They should keep it up but devoid of unnecessary animosities. Eko o ni baje o!

    • jboy

      Good talk

  • sammyctu ode

    Ambrose you have been doing a good job so far but don’t spoil it with immaturity. You should know better not to open your mouth too wide cos you are dealing with an intelligent mind called Fashola. Compared to Fashola you are still a green horn, you can learn a lot from him and it’s better you cooperate with him and FG so that we Lagosians can enjoy the FG presence which the useless clueless Jonathan and purpose less pdp animals denied Lagos state for 16 years. Ambrose, diplomacy is better than confrontation so please use God’s wisdom to handle sensitive issues.

    • Water No Get Enemy

      Good talk!

  • Harry

    Let the roforofo begin. I’m grabbing my pop corn now.

  • SamPsalm

    Well answered. That’s the way to defuse useless intrigues. Lagosians and every Nigerians who flies or somehow intersects those 4 roads cannot but want them redeveloped. Building is grunt work – and where ownership is diffused as this case hints, mature engagement is important. But all said, i guess, this back-and-forth now puts the 2 gentlemen on the public’s very harsh light to show that they are indeed not playing games with development. Which could mean the roads are about to be built.

    But a little intrigue: Ambode has only made one phone call to Fashola since May 29 with all the free and bonus recharge credits Glo, MTN, Etisalat and Airtel give him? Him no do well.

  • Oladeji Y

    I have always nurse this fear Ambode will tear apart the camaraderie that has help Lagos thus far. As hard as some people push to put gulf between Tinubu and Fashola, he (Fasola) stayed way from controversy and confrontation. If Ambode continues like this, he will surely destroy the go-getting team of Lagos.

    • Manmbombano123

      Spot on

  • John Abayomi

    “As far as the refund of N51Billion is concerned this is not a new item. Almost all if not all states have these claims and the Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing has verified these claims”, this man called Fashola is the biggest hypocrate I have ever seen in my life, first he touted himself as my Mr holy and clean, little did we know that he can award 2 bore hole contract for over 139 million NGN as if the contract is to drill Olumo Rock, little did we know he can use 79 NGN state fund for personal website development as it was CIA website, and naive Nigerians and APC supporters will say PMB is sincere with Nigerians? PMB single handedly collapsed 3 ministries and gave it to a man with corruption and inflated contracts accusations hanging around his neck as at the time, that is after Nigerians waited for over 6 months for him to assemble “the best hands” Nigeria has got to offer while the economy regressed, anyway that is topic for another day.

    Back to the issue of N51Billion, this hypocrate called Fashola continuosly lambasted ex President Goodluck Jonathan over money owed Lagos State by the then federal government, constantly blaming his inability to perform on money owed Lagos State by the FGN, now he is a minister who has done nothing but support electricity tariff increase while Nigerians live in perpectual darkness, again while this man called Fashola was in opposition as governor of Lagos State, he submitted that a federal government that can not guarantee uninterrupted power supply have no business in government, he even boasted he was capable of giving Nigerians constant power supply in 6 months if he/APC is elected to lead at the centre, only a bad tradesman blames his tool, Fashola like most of PMB ineffectual and incompetent cabinet ministers has continously blamed previous government for their lackluster performance, can somebody please remind this incompetent bunch that INEC has announced timetable for 2019 presidental elections?

    Ambode though has his shortcomings is not asking for too much, he is just asking Mr Fashola to get to work and stop using what is due to Lagos as a payback tool for his inability to install his stooge as Lagos State governor, now that APC is managing the affairs at the Federal level? we know too well all your inflated contracts that littered Lagos State and the huge debt your adminsitration left behind in Lagos.

    Can somebody remind Fashola that there is nothing speacial about him and he isn’t different from other political SAN in Nigeria? I am yet to read about any land mark case won by this man before he became SAN overnight?, Can somebody please tell Fashola without the support of Tinubu he couldn’t have won Surulere LGA chairmanship? can someone please remind our minister (Fashola) he lost his ward in the last election? we are children of history and we know quite well the reason PMB appointed his set of incompetent ministers without recourse to the political leaders/leaders of thought of all the regions, so Mr Fashola you have less than two years to to get to work instead of writing your usual lengthy rebuttal you are better known for than providing a decent housing policy, new road network and electricity for Nigerians?

    • niran ade

      ‘Little did we know’ that you just open your mouth to “tabon” as you wish. Get back in line and stop talking too much.

      • John Abayomi

        Bro I wrote this piece on the go on my mobile and didn’t have the opportunity to proof read, as such there may few typos here and there, seems it is easier for your to attack my typos than the substance in my submission, inwhich case I take your criticism in good faith, thanks for your observation.

  • Riseup Nigeria

    My take away from fasholas rebuttal is that him and ambode is not the best of friends,again it reinforced my strong belief that APC government of buhari is just window dressing Nigerian problems and pretending that they are doing something good for Nigeria.
    What Nigeria needs to make sincere progress is a holistic unbundling of these joke called a nation which some have rightly described as something like a zoo.
    If this nation continue to operate under this warped structure, 100 years to come Nigerians shall continue to regret that they are citizens of this nation.
    Does it not bother Nigerians that the governor of a state can be denied the chance and opportunities of building bad roads in his state because other members of FEC who have nothiing to loose ,who are not from his state,did not vote in his favour to develop his state.they must have to look at the map of the road,and if the road leads to other states,those states governors must agree or disagree before the governor builds a dilapidated infrastructure in his state.come on ,no wonder our nation is like this.
    Let’s restructure this nation now and do a true federation before it is too late .

    • Absolutely Sane

      John Abayomi is your partner in senselessness, it’s so clear that you think with your anus. The Honorable Minister is so clear that a mad man would understand that Ambode is using a public office and state matter to nurture personal grudge. A lot of you find this difficult to understand because of your history of lawlessness that had kept you jumping due processes several years back. You still have the belief that it is business as usual. No it is not. You may not be used to abiding by the due process as a result of insanity of the past but right now got to. What else do you want the man to explain? If Lagos is granted the right to repair the road that is co-owned by two states, won’t they later claim the control of the road? Won’t tax collection and putting Lagos traffic official on the cause headlong collision between Lagos state and Ogun state? The Minister is a man that has foresight. He reasons a lot better than you animal. How are you expected to reason when your home is a zoo and your room(s) is a cage where you’re locked in.
      Why didn’t Ambode talk about denying the Ministry approval for land to be used for national housing scheme? Please let all reasonable Nigerians reading this post ignore some baifrauds’ comment on this platform.

      • John Abayomi

        Hello Sir, can do please do research and tell me how FGN come to owe Lagos State over 50 Billion NGN? perhaps it is because Lagos State was suplying Aso Rock hospital right? sit down and be writing your crap, how many federal road did Fashola repaired at inflated price during his reign as governor of Lagos state? do your research and refer back sir mr know it all and due process

    • Uche

      Awesome insight

  • ronke benedict

    Fashola is such an egomaniac!!! Please lets take time to review this press statement. Fashola is claiming the glory for all the achievements that Ambode has made with his comments on allowing the state to light up the 3rd mainland bridge and also the oworonshoki lay-by. It then begs the question, why did you need to allow it? why did Fashola and his ministry not DO. No matter what is said, Ambode, by giving this press conference, has now forced Fashola to act. Fashola now has 2 choices, he either does the road in record time, or hands it over. Let people who want to work, work! Fashola is too concerned with maintaining an image and that will be his undoing. Let him not forget the story of the emperor’s new clothes.

    • Defender

      Do you read stuff with your head upside down?….Do yourself a favour by reading the article again. Olori!!!

    • Manmbombano123

      Trash for attention

    • realist

      Your opinion is one sided.

  • Olu

    I knew that Gov. Ambode was mischievous the moment i read his accusation yesterday, it is only cheap politicians that run to media to run down their fellow politicians. Gov. Ambode should now that what goes around comes around.

  • realist

    Personally I feels that Ambode goofed, he brought the matter to the open too hastily, he ought to have exhausted all avenues even if it is true that Fashola is truly working against the request of Lagos state. He could consult other respected citizens of Lagos to talk to Fashola with that the matter would have been maturely settled. Now brought both men statements side by side is obvious one is not with good intentions.

    • Michael

      How do you know that Ambode hasn’t exhausted all options?

      • realist

        Because I don’t want to speculate, my opinion is based on what is revealed to the public. Probably you are a member of Ambode kitchen cabinets, you are free to tell us what transpired that is yet to be brought to the open.

        • Michael

          I don’t have anytime for Ambode not to mention being a part of his kitchen cabinet as you put it but his position on the road is clear cut and right. If you have any pride in your country you’d know that the approach road to the airport is in a sorry state and each federal government has ignored it for selfish reasons including OBJ due to pettiness. Yet Lagos is meant to attract investors that benefits the country. What I have which you seem to lack is common sense. You said categorically that Ambode has not exhausted all options yet you know nada about what has gone on behind the scenes.

    • kcee

      Isn’t the Airport Road supposed to be one of the first priority as a Minister been that he had governed Lagos and knew quite well the strategic importance? Did Ambode needed to remind him about Airport Road? Am sure he passes through there almost every week, yet still couldn’t allocated emergency impress fund to fix it as a citizen of Eko.
      Make Una think well abeg

  • George

    Mugabe is dead

  • Asuk

    A divided house.