The federal government has handed over the presidential lodge in Marina to the Lagos state government.
President Muhammadu Buhari had promised to entrust the edifice to the Lagos government in the bid to boost tourism development.
Speaking after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the federal and state government on Thursday, Tunji Bello, secretary to the state government, said the successful handover to Lagos is a “new dawn of politics of tolerance and inclusiveness which the All Progressives Congress (APC) has brought to the Nigerian landscape.”
He said Lagos would not compromise its structural integrity while preserving the architectural finesse and beauty.
He promised that the administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos governor, would ensure the edifice becomes a tourist destination.
While appreciating Buhari for approving the release of the edifice to Lagos, Bello applauded Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing for ensuring that the handover was realised.
“The list of appreciation will be incomplete without mentioning the Permanent Secretary in the State House, Abuja, Mr Jalal Arabi with whom I co-chaired the committee that midwifed the handover process for the painstaking job. Same goes for all the directors and top staffers in the Presidency with whom officials of the state government worked,” he said.
“Mr Arabi and his team have been very supportive forthcoming and painstaking in the last couple of months since we commenced this exercise by ensuring that nothing is left out. We are indeed very grateful to you and your team.”
Earlier, Jalal Arabi, permanent secretary, state house, Abuja, said Buhari is a man that honours his word.
Arabi said the transfer of the edifice was achieved through a “family discussion which was devoid of any bitter feelings”.
The permanent secretary said he and his team carried out the directives of the president thoroughly and ensured that all the equipment and property were not removed.