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Wale Babalakin Cries Out

Erudite lawyer cum businessman, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN) has cried out to Nigerians… “The Federal Government disrespecting the rule of law is partly responsible for why the country continues to wallow in an economic quagmire.”

“The government’s penchant for disobeying court orders is scaring off many prospective investors. The belief that Nigeria is a wealthy country is false, N2.2tn out of the N9tn in the 2018 budget is for debt servicing, while only N2.7tn is earmarked for capital expenditure.”

“The Federal Government had found it impossible to finance critical infrastructures to create an enabling environment for investment. My personal experience on the concessioning of the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, which is built and managed by one of my companies, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited.”

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“11 years after the concession agreement was signed, a government agency continued to violate the terms of the agreement by running a parallel domestic aviation terminal in competition with MMA2. It is sad that the government failed to adhere to the rule of law despite various court judgments and the award of N132bn as damages against it in 2009.”

“Instead of putting pressure on the government to honour the contract agreement, the banks started harassing us to pay their money. In the first six quarters, we were repaying N1.8bn per quarter to the banks and we were generating N300m. We were losing N1.5bn every three months and we had no public sympathy.”

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“So, we went to court and the ruling was in our favour. So, when AMCON came after us, we said you are an agent of the Federal Government and those messing up our transaction are agents of the Federal Government. We took the two of them to court and the court ruled in our favour and told AMCON to go and collect its money from the Federal Government.”

“MMA2 is over 10 years now and nobody has managed to build a similar terminal. This shouldn’t be the case. For every project you hinder unlawfully, 12 will not come in and the country will not develop.”

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“As regards my experience on the acquisition of the abandoned Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi, Lagos, by my company, Resort International Limited. After acquiring the property, we started developing it and pre-sold half of the flats we were putting up there at a knock-down price because we were reluctant to borrow money.”