LAGOS, Jan. 17 (Xinhua/GNA) - Nigeria's economic hub, Lagos has sealed a major partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enhance provision of infrastructure in key sectors and strengthen the state's long-term financial sustainability.
Akinyemi Ashade, State Commissioner for finance, who told Xinhua in a statement on Wednesday, said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the partnership had already been signed.
He expressed optimism that the development would go a long way in helping scale up municipal infrastructure, increase revenues and generally make life more comfortable to residents.
The commissioner added that IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group, would seek to provide advisory services to enhance infrastructure development in key areas including power, environment and transport, with special focus on provision of electric buses.
The statement also quoted IFC's Country Manager for Nigeria Eme Essien as saying that the partnership was in line with the organization's program, tagged "IFC's Cities Initiative."
Essien said it was aimed at mobilizing commercial financing for priority urban projects, connecting cities with capital markets, and helping improve municipalities' credit-worthiness through financial management training.
The IFC's country manager said a total of 13.5 billion U.S. dollars had been invested over the last 15 years across more than 70 countries through the initiative.
Essien said the program essentially supported efforts to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities that opened new markets, and created opportunities for all.
According to him, the Lagos announcement is only a first step in the building of a long term strategic partnership with the largest municipality in Nigeria.