We Will Continue To Redefine Governance — Fashola

Gov-Babatunde–Fashola

Gov. Babatunde Fashola.

In keeping with the tradition of his administration since inception in 2007, Lagos State  Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Friday rendered account of his stewardship in the  last 1, 200 days, saying his administration is committed to redefining governance in the  state.

Gov. Babatunde Fashola.

The 1, 200 Days stewardship rendering, however, went a notch higher as the account was  rendered in the three Senatorial Districts of the State – Lagos Central, Lagos West and  Lagos East Senatorial districts – with Lagosians in each place given opportunities to ask  questions and raise issues which members of the State Executive Council were on hand to  provide answers and render clarifications.

Governor Fashola, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan,  said his administration would also continue to be innovative, proactive and daring, adding  that it would, however, rely on the peoples’ mandate and continued support to reach the  desired goal.

“Taking cognizance of the fact that governance is all about the improvement of humanity, our  administration has remained hooked to your partnership and look forward to sustaining same  to the next level”, the Governor said adding, however, that Government has made provisions  to get feedbacks on its services to the people.

Attributing his administration’s successes to, stakeholders’ and community involvement in  policy cum planning process, exploitation of local assets in the determination, execution  and monitoring of people-oriented projects and harnessing of the creative energies of the  Cabinet and the wisdom of the legislature, Governor Fashola declared, “The result had been  delivery of high quality infrastructure and basic social services in the last 28, 800 hours  in pursuit of a better life for our State’s population projected to be in excess of 20  million this year”.

“Today, our Lagos is a huge Work in Progress as we are renewing and developing new  infrastructure which have been designed to be human and environmental friendly through the  provision of ramps, walkways, fire hydrants and service ducts”, the Governor said adding  that till date, his administration has delivered 151, 454 kilometres of high grade roads  spread across the State’s three Senatorial Districts.

Such high grade roads, the Governor said, include Ajara-Erekiti-Ikoga Road, Lateef  Adegboyega Street, Shibiri-Etegbin Road, Ajangbadi-Ilogbo-Elegba Road, LASU-Iba Road and  Okota-Itire Overhead Link Bridge adding that with the completion of the roads, traffic  bottle-necks is gradually easing and communication and transportation greatly enhanced,  particularly, among the Okota, Aguda, Surulere, Lawanson, Yaba, Ejigbo, Ire-Akari Estate and  Isheri Osun communities dispersed in seven local government areas.

“Another core public infrastructure which fuels the State is Power for which Badagry plays  host to our Electricity Partnership facility with El-Swedey, an Egyptian company which is  already in operation”, the Governor said adding the Lagos City Hall, which he described as  “the heritage pride of our mega-city”, was restored and handed over to Lagosians as a  national and international tourist and heritage site.

The Governor said as a way of ensuring that the rural areas play a critical and  complimentary role to the cities, the Government has been experimenting with solar energy as  a test run to provide communities with electricity, pointing out that various schemes have  already been initiated at Bishop Kodji and Sabo Kodji villages in Amuwo-Odofin, Dadd Kesse,  Agbojetho and Ilogbo in Badagry.

On the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Governor Fashola, who said the project is very much on course,  pointed out that as at the last count, over 70 local and foreign companies had signed a  Memorandum of Understanding and have made financial commitments signifying interest in the  zone adding that another 53 companies have registered in the Free Zone investment agreement  while 12 companies have executed investment agreements to secure employment opportunities  for over 800 Nigerians and 70 Chinese nationals within the zone.

Governor Fashola appealed for calm and understanding on the erection of tolls on the  Lekki-Epe Expressway reiterating that Government has already put in place a committee to  ensure that all parties are satisfied. “I urge you all to allow the committee do its work”,  the Governor pleaded.

Pledging the commitment of his administration to the Millennium Development Goals, Governor  Fashola said his administration has upgraded over 100 primary health centres and developed  110 bed maternal and childcare centres at Amuwo Odofin General Hospital, Ifako Ijaiye,  Ikorodu, Isolo, Surulere, Ajeromi, Amuwo Odofin, Alimosho and Gbagada which, he said, is  being developed as an annex of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital with  specialization in kidney and cancer treatment.

“At the tertiary healthcare level, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) now  houses such first class medical facilities as the BT Diagnostic and health Centre, Pediatric  Ward Complex, etc” the Governor said adding that the Emergency and Accident Centre located  at the old tollgate of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has been completed and commissioned with  200 accident patients attended to date.

On Education, Governor Fashola said his administration has been providing quality and  functional education through the distribution of basic textbooks to pupils, payment of  examination fees, provision of laboratories/workshop and general improvement in school  environment as well as enhancement of teachers welfare.

Governor Fashola expressed gratitude to corporate entities and individuals who, according to  him, “have taken up the gauntlet to help rebuild our schools under the Support Our Schools  programme”. He urged parents and communities to be actively involved in the development of  the children pointing out that the education of the young remains the responsibility of all.

Other sectors where the Government has made extensive progress, according to the Governor,  include Security through the Security Trust Fund, Sanitation and liveability where he said  Government has pursued the development of mini-waterworks in several local government areas,  and put an Independent Power Plant in place at Adiyan to sustain constant water supply, the  Green Lagos programme, the introduction of climate change clubs, provision/cleaning of  drainage channels, institutions of regulatory framework and hosting of international fora to  extend the frontier of action as part of concerned efforts to draw attention on the need to  treat the environment with care.

Urging the people to treat the environment with care, Governor Fashola declared, “As  citizens of Lagos and in the face of high rainfall and massive flooding globally, we must  act responsibly in our waste disposal habits and the use of electricity adding that  reduction in the use of cars while embracing public bus services are essential to combating  the growing menace of global warming.

He said as part of its poverty eradication programme, Government has provided 4, 028 persons  with vocations in its Skill Acquisition and Vocational Centres adding that till date, about  350, 000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, have been created through Government projects,  programmes and policies.

The Governor expressed deep appreciation to Lagosians “on behalf of Members of the State  Executive Council and the Legislature for giving us the opportunity to serve the people”,  and for paying their taxes without prompting.

“Let it be noted that any time accolades are rained on our administration for touching lives  and making a difference, I cannot but thank God Almighty for making this possible and you  the citizenry for your continuous support through your prayers, performance of civic duties,  especially your voluntary payment of taxes as well as playing your part effectively in your  various endeavours”, the Governor said and urged the people to treat with utmost care  projects completed and handed over to them.

While making a presentation on the theme: “Inclusive Governance for More Rapid and  Sustainable Development”, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Supo Sasore  (SAN) said in the last three years the State Government has constructed 151, 454 kilometres  of roads spread across the three senatorial districts.

He added that under the plan to provide uninterrupted power supply to selected areas on the  Island, about 20 streets have been identified in addition to the General Hospital which will  enjoy 24 hours power supply.

On the transportation sector, Mr. Sasore said operation would soon commence by commercial  cargo ferry operators towards encouraging a proper usage of the water ways just as the State  Government would continue to regulate dredging to prevent natural disasters that may  accompany it.

In the judicial sector, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, recalled that a  couple of weeks back, the State handed over the J.I.C Taylor Magistrates Court with a  capacity for 20 court rooms to ensure speedy dispensation of justice and also revealed that  Government has passed the Mortgage Law and is in the process of providing 1000 units of  houses which would be located in Ibeju Lekki and Abijo adding that 200 units was ready for  handing over to would-be beneficiaries in the mortgage scheme in the next 90 days.

The Commissioner also told the audience that urban regeneration is being carried out in  Isalegangan where some of the houses would be replaced with 50 brand new dwellings while in  Education the reinvigorated educational policy of the administration has led to an increase  of the total population of students in public schools which is now 1.1million with the  schools attracting 250,000 new students in all public schools spread across the State.

While responding to a question on why the State Government is constructing three separate  tolls in one Local Government Eti Osa on the Lekki Expressway, Sasore assured the residents  and citizens that whatever decision is finally taken will take due cognizance of the  interest of the citizenry.

He explained that part of the provision of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the  Lagos State Government with the Concessionaires on the Lekki Expressway is to provide an  alternative road before tolling it, adding that Government is committed to ensuring that  this is done.

Pointing out that the Lekki Expressway also serves as a gateway to the Lekki Free Trade Zone  the Commissioner noted that already the Zone has attracted about 53 companies who have  signed up to do business in the area with several others also showing interest.

On what plans are in place to promote agriculture, Sasore said Government has embarked on an  agriculture programme called Youth Empowerment Scheme at Araga in Epe just as it is  encouraging small and big scale farmers to increase their capacity hinting that Government  also has a plan for all residents to practice independent farming because it is a government  that is concerned about food security.

Answering questions on the readiness of the Government to ensure that the case of Cholera  now ravaging some states of the country does not affect Lagos residents, Commissioner for  Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the State Government is embarking upon public enlightenment and  advocacy to sensitize members of the public on maintaining healthy habits as a way of  preventing Cholera outbreaks.

Dr Idris disclosed that the State Government is doing everything possible to solve the  problem of resident doctors who are currently on strike adding that, progress was being made  on efforts in this direction.

Also speaking at the event, Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Prince  Ademola Adeniji Adele said emphatically that development has been spread evenly to all the  three senatorial districts of the State describing it as a privilege to have been a part of  the “focused and purposeful” governance of Lagos State by Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) in the  first term.

He gave a commitment that all members of the cabinet remain steadfast in ensuring that Mr.  Babatunde Fashola (SAN) completes his first term in office and also get another term of four  years.

Earlier in his welcome address, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi  Bamidele said the story of Lagos in the last 1, 200 days of democratic governance has been  that of progressive and incremental transformation.

While congratulating Muslims on the Eid-il-Fitri festival which coincided with the Day, the  Commissioner said the event was in continuation of the administration’s determination to  account to Lagosians every 100 days noting that the issues being discussed like poverty  eradication and development were of common interest to all. .

Said he: “Presently we have in place a government that is genuinely committed to managing  the State resources for the common good of all. Wherever you go in Lagos, you can see the  administration of Babatunde Fashola at work without trumpeting or splashing his face on  billboards. His work simply speaks for him”.

Bamidele solicited the support of Lagosians in Government’s bid to offer fresh hope and new  direction to the people, adding that the people of South Africa recently showed the rest of  the world that when people are united, they could actually achieve great things together.

The interactive session at each of the three senatorial districts were attended by members  of the State Executive Council, Body of Permanent Secretaries, former Military Governor of  Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and his wife, Chairman of the Action Congress of  Nigeria, Chief Henry Ajomale, Vice Chairman Cardinal James Odumbaku, Local Government  Councils and Council Development Area Chairmen, political leaders and traditional rulers  from each of the three districts as well as top government functionaries and captains of  industries.