Eight years after the Lagos House, Ikeja, Lagos, was commissioned by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has finally moved into the ultra modern edifice as his official residence.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, we gathered, moved into the complex in the last week of December 2015.
Prior to his movement, we learnt that the governor had been coming from his personal residence at Park View Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos to Ikeja to work every day.
We further found out that the governor could not move into the complex immediately after his swearing in because of some renovation that was going on. It was after completion of the renovation that he moved in in the last week of December 2015.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode will be the first governor of the state to live in the complex since it was commission-ed in 2007.
His predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola only used the Governor’s Office in the complex. His official residence was State House, Marina, Lagos Island, for all his eight years in office.
Asiwaju Tinubu, who commissioned the building in 2007, had only 55 days left as the governor of the state at the time the complex was commissioned.
Lagos House, Ikeja, was started 1988 by late Admiral Mike Akhigbe, who was then the military administrator of the state. But it was abandoned mid-way. It was resuscitated by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in 2006, when it was reawarded to Arab Contractors and OAP Nigeria Limited for completion.
Lagos House, Ikeja, is fashioned after the White House in Washington DC, USA. It has all the facilities that can be found in any government official quarters, anywhere in the world.
The Governor’s Quarters, ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered, boasts of a Jacuzzi, a modern clinic, with all the state-of-the-art equipment, a dining room, with a capacity to sit 30 guests, a kitchen and store. All these are available on the first floor of the Governor’s Lodge.
The basement will serve as the private residence of the governor and his family.
The basement has a lounge that is capable of sitting 100 people. It also has six bedroom, sitting room, a study, a library and two private lounges for the governor and his spouse.
There are also chalets for the first family’s guests. Each chalet has its own living and dining room, a study, kitchen, laundry and store. The chalets also parade a parking lot and gardens of their own.
The Governor’s Office is also within the complex, a few metres away from the governor’s residence. The Governor’s Office is a one-storey and his aide de camp (ADC) occupying the first floor of the building.
Also on that floor are the conference and meeting rooms, the executive council chambers and a courtesy call room.
The ground floor of the Governor’s Office accommodates the Chief of Staff waiting rooms, with a capacity to accommodate 20 guests each, a banquet hall that can sit 200 guests and many other offices.
Not very far from the Governor’s Office is the games house. Inside this house is a lawn tennis court, a badminton court, gymnastics room, table tennis room, billiards room, darts room and a swimming pool.
There is also a helicopter pad, a mini golf-course and a football field exclusively for the governor and his family.
ENCOMIUM Weekly got in touch with the Hon. Commissioner for Information and Strategy to confirm the story of the governor’s movement to Lagos House, Ikeja and the amount spend by the government on the renovation.
We also asked the commissioner what will happen to State House, Marina, now that the governor has moved to Ikeja.
The commissioner responded through a text message thus:
“Yes, the governor has moved to the Government House, in Alausa, in line with his commitment that Ikeja deserves to wear the toga of the capital of this great state, where the No1 citizen should feel proud to reside.
‘However, since it is not an old building that would require renovation, there was no need to spend money on it. It was a simple matter of occupying the lodge.”
“Marina will continue to be Lagos State Government property that will be put into good and productive use for the citizens of Lagos state.”
When Lagos House was completed in 2007, it reportedly cost N3 billion.
- TOLANI ABATTI