THE Lagos State Government, on Sunday, reviewed its 200 days in office and gave itself thumbs up for steering the ship of the state on the path of growth and development despite initial teething problems and inclement weather.
However, the state government’s claims were thumbed down by the Lagos Governorship Candidate of the Action democratic Party, ADP, in the 2019 election, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi; and Publicity Secretary of the Lagos Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani.
Gbadamosi and Gani said the Sanwo-olu administration has not lived up to the expectations of Lagosians since May 29, 2019 and has failed on all fronts so far. Specifically, Gbadamosi scored Sanwo-Olu less than 20 per cent on performance.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, faulted Gbadamosi and Gani, saying that the duo were oblivious of the facts on ground.
‘’When we took over we could not do much road repairs because of the rains. Now, the roads are being fixed across the state. We have revived many abandoned housing programmes and doing so much in the health, and education sectors and infrastructure. I am confident we will succeed. Those giving us 20 per cent may be doing so in their bedrooms. They are not seeing what is being done,’’ he said.
According to him, the state government is refurbishing 300 schools, restarted the Lagos-Badagry Expressway construction of which the Marina-Okokomaiko railway line will be operational in 2021 adnd opened bid for the construction of the Fourth mainland bridge among others.
How we are ensuring greater Lagos
Reeling out its achievements in the last 200 days, the state government led by Mr. Omotosho said the move to make Lagos a 21st century economy has started with the signing of the $629 million funding for the Lekki Seaport project with funding provided by China Development Bank.
The officials recounted the achievements on each of the THEMES agenda of the governor.
Transportation, traffic management
Under the First Pillar of THEMES, Transportation and Traffic Management, various steps were taken to aggressively address the challenge of bad roads and ease movement across the State. Eight Multi-national construction firms were mobilised to carry out massive repairs on critical highways in what we christened Operation 116.
This was followed by extensive palliative and maintenance works, especially by the Public Works Corporation, which has rehabilitated hundreds of roads and cleared several drainage channels in various parts of the State.
Others include the flag-off of the reconstruction and upgrading of strategic roads in Ikorodu such as the 6.05 kilometres Phase One road from Itamaga to Ewu Elepe town; 7.8 kilometres Owutu-Agric-Ishawo road Phase One; Bola Tinubu-Igbogbo-Imota road; and Victoria Island, Lekki Traffic Circulation project on Oniru axis.
The government ensured Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) agreement that involves banks handling rehabilitation of roads as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
For instance, Access Bank is partnering with the State Government in Infrastructural upgrading of Oniru Network of roads under a Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) arrangement.
To strengthen the drive for a multi-modal transport system, Governor Sanwo-Olu launched the Uber Boat water transportation service. The business, a partnership between the global ride-hailing company and Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, is exploring the State’s abundant waterways and reducing the pressure on roads. Besides, it attests to the confidence global investors repose in Lagos as an investment destination of choice.
To ease movement, the government advertised bids for the 38 kilometre Fourth Mainland Bridge of which 39 constructions including Julius Berger expressed interest and were short listed, yesterday.
The arrangement will include the construction and operation of a tolled road plus a bridge between Ajah, Eti-Osa and Mainland Lagos to serve as an alternative route to the eastern part of Lagos State.
The officials said Sanwo-Olu administration is bringing about a renaissance in the state’s public health sector. Under Pillar H, which stands for Health and Sanitation, the 149-bed Maternal and Childcare Centre, MCC, in Alimosho General Hospital was commissioned.
The specialist centre, facilitated through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, is evidence of the working partnership between the Federal and the State Governments.
The facility is equipped with ultra-modern equipment that aid prompt delivery of maternal and child care services. Presently, the administration is working hard towards the completion of more MCCs.
In fact, the Badagry and Epe MCCs are nearing completion.
The latest of the several people friendly medical interventions in the State is the free surgical intervention programme for residents, which was organised in partnership with a non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation. It comprised free surgeries for residents suffering from Lipoma, Hernia, Fibroid and Breast Lumps, as well as free dental and general health screening.
Also, the government has resuscitated the Adiyan Waterworks, Phase Two with contractors mobilised to site. The water treatment plant, with a production capacity of 70 million gallons per day, was begun in 2013. After resuscitation, it will provide drinking water for more than five million Lagos residents and will help to address sanitation challenges and fight water borne diseases.
Within the period under review, LAWMA acquired 10 boats to boost its marine waste operations. Following the launch of the Lagos Blue Box initiative on September 5 2019, five Community Recycling Centres were activated in five Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
Since the inception of the initiative about 340,050 bags were distributed to various households to encourage sorting of waste.
On the the third Pillar E, an acronym for Education and Technology, a new primary classroom block with computer laboratories and outdoor recreational facilities, was commissioned at Ajegunle; rehabilitation of public schools has begun, with the inauguration of a Special Committee; and no fewer than 5000 primary school teachers will be trained to complete the three-pronged education strategy of fixing the infrastructure, fixing the curriculum and fixing the manpower through recruitment, training and development of teachers.
Giving credence to its policy to promote a smart city with technology, the administration organised the Art of Technology Lagos where the governor announced a N250m grant for tech start-ups to encourage young people with fantastic ideas.
The administration gave a N350million bailout for personnel cost and increased the subvention of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education from N200million to N250mllion.
In continuation of the use of skill acquisition as a tool of empowerment, 4, 885 youths graduated from 17 Skill Acquisition Centres located in the five Divisions of the State.
In line with the national campaign for return to agriculture, the administration boosted the fortune of farmers through the Agricultural Value Chains Empowerment Programme. Hundreds of farmers were empowered with inputs to kick start or improve their businesses. The 32 metric tones per hour capacity Imota Rice Mill is also one of the many strategies for expanding revenue accruable to the State and also attain sufficiency in rice production. The rice mill which is situated on a land mass of 8.5 hectares of land will produce 650 bags of 50kg rice per hour and has two lines to produce 16 metric tones each.
The disbursement of N1.181 billion to the Retirement Savings Account of 279 retirees of the Civil Service confirms the priority accorded the well-being of the senior citizens.
Sanwo-Olu performed poorly, no cause for cheer – Gbadamosi
Disagreeing with the state government’s claims Gbadamosi, who said he is aspiring to take over from Sanwo-Olu in 2023 because he can do the job better, scored Sanwo-Olu low across all sectors of governance, saying that “the governor could have done better.”
He said: “Sanwo-Olu needs to find his spine, he needs to find his backbone, he needs to find his will and execute what he said he will execute if elected the governor of Lagos state when we had that famous pre-election debate. The governor needs to wake up and sort out the lowest of the low hanging fruit.”
According to him, his mission is to help the incumbent government in office by pointing out how to get things done in a workable and practical way. “It is not just about criticising and pointing out the flaws, it is about pointing out how well to achieve what we all want, which is good governance.
“So, we have to do whatever we can do to help the incumbent government to achieve good governance.”
According to Gbadamosi, there are still very many green areas which are not built up in Lagos State because there are no roads to open up such areas.
“And the reason they are not built up is because there is no road. For instance, the Lekki -Ajah axis is still largely undeveloped. There’s no road; no coastal road. Imagine if we put a 10-lane expressway along the coastline, the area will develop; and if you build a solid infrastructure in Lagos, you make money,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu celebrating 200 days of failure, wastefulness – Lagos PDP
In like manner, the Lagos PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani said the Sanwo-olu administration has not lived up to the expectations of Lagosians.
Gani said: “It is very unfortunate that Sanwo-Olu would celebrate failure and the peoples’ disenchantment with his administration. Again it’s a waste of tax-payers money. This governor has left undone the pains of Lagosians. Many of which can be done within 50 days.
He belatedly announced minimum wage but has not paid it. Rather than remove tolling of roads, he introduced strenuous payment style, eventually worsening traffic jams. The inner roads repairs policy initiated by his predecessor has been viciously abandoned hence all inner roads have gone worse.
“Lagos has been rated amongst three northern states as four states with unqualified teachers; Lagos debt profile has geometrically increased with him gulping more loans.
Sanwo-Olu should be mourning that innocent girl who died because Lagos could not have standard hospitals close to communities, could not have contract with private hospitals to treat and get paid, could not provide so called touted CCTV on our streets. All street lights have gone. Everywhere in Lagos is cult and gang wars. Yet Lagos realises at least ₦60billion every month.
“Lagos has gone down within Sanwo-Olu’s 200 days, yet he is celebrating failure and wastefulness. We will have all these accounted for one day.’’
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