14th September, 2010
In keeping with the tradition of his administration since inception in 2007, Lagos StateÂ Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Friday rendered account of his stewardship in theÂ last 1, 200 days, saying his administration is committed to redefining governance in theÂ state.
The 1, 200 Days stewardship rendering, however, went a notch higher as the account wasÂ rendered in the three Senatorial Districts of the State â€“ Lagos Central, Lagos West andÂ Lagos East Senatorial districts â€“ with Lagosians in each place given opportunities to askÂ questions and raise issues which members of the State Executive Council were on hand toÂ provide answers and render clarifications.
Governor Fashola, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan,Â said his administration would also continue to be innovative, proactive and daring, addingÂ that it would, however, rely on the peoplesâ€™ mandate and continued support to reach theÂ desired goal.
â€œTaking cognizance of the fact that governance is all about the improvement of humanity, ourÂ administration has remained hooked to your partnership and look forward to sustaining sameÂ to the next levelâ€, the Governor said adding, however, that Government has made provisionsÂ to get feedbacks on its services to the people.
Attributing his administrationâ€™s successes to, stakeholdersâ€™ and community involvement inÂ policy cum planning process, exploitation of local assets in the determination, executionÂ and monitoring of people-oriented projects and harnessing of the creative energies of theÂ Cabinet and the wisdom of the legislature, Governor Fashola declared, â€œThe result had beenÂ delivery of high quality infrastructure and basic social services in the last 28, 800 hoursÂ in pursuit of a better life for our Stateâ€™s population projected to be in excess of 20Â million this yearâ€.
â€œToday, our Lagos is a huge Work in Progress as we are renewing and developing newÂ infrastructure which have been designed to be human and environmental friendly through theÂ provision of ramps, walkways, fire hydrants and service ductsâ€, the Governor said addingÂ that till date, his administration has delivered 151, 454 kilometres of high grade roadsÂ spread across the Stateâ€™s three Senatorial Districts.
Such high grade roads, the Governor said, include Ajara-Erekiti-Ikoga Road, LateefÂ Adegboyega Street, Shibiri-Etegbin Road, Ajangbadi-Ilogbo-Elegba Road, LASU-Iba Road andÂ Okota-Itire Overhead Link Bridge adding that with the completion of the roads, trafficÂ bottle-necks is gradually easing and communication and transportation greatly enhanced,Â particularly, among the Okota, Aguda, Surulere, Lawanson, Yaba, Ejigbo, Ire-Akari Estate andÂ Isheri Osun communities dispersed in seven local government areas.
â€œAnother core public infrastructure which fuels the State is Power for which Badagry playsÂ host to our Electricity Partnership facility with El-Swedey, an Egyptian company which isÂ already in operationâ€, the Governor said adding the Lagos City Hall, which he described asÂ â€œthe heritage pride of our mega-cityâ€, was restored and handed over to Lagosians as aÂ national and international tourist and heritage site.
The Governor said as a way of ensuring that the rural areas play a critical andÂ complimentary role to the cities, the Government has been experimenting with solar energy asÂ a test run to provide communities with electricity, pointing out that various schemes haveÂ already been initiated at Bishop Kodji and Sabo Kodji villages in Amuwo-Odofin, Dadd Kesse,Â Agbojetho and Ilogbo in Badagry.
On the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Governor Fashola, who said the project is very much on course,Â pointed out that as at the last count, over 70 local and foreign companies had signed aÂ Memorandum of Understanding and have made financial commitments signifying interest in theÂ zone adding that another 53 companies have registered in the Free Zone investment agreementÂ while 12 companies have executed investment agreements to secure employment opportunitiesÂ for over 800 Nigerians and 70 Chinese nationals within the zone.
Governor Fashola appealed for calm and understanding on the erection of tolls on theÂ Lekki-Epe Expressway reiterating that Government has already put in place a committee toÂ ensure that all parties are satisfied. â€œI urge you all to allow the committee do its workâ€,Â the Governor pleaded.
Pledging the commitment of his administration to the Millennium Development Goals, GovernorÂ Fashola said his administration has upgraded over 100 primary health centres and developedÂ 110 bed maternal and childcare centres at Amuwo Odofin General Hospital, Ifako Ijaiye,Â Ikorodu, Isolo, Surulere, Ajeromi, Amuwo Odofin, Alimosho and Gbagada which, he said, isÂ being developed as an annex of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital withÂ specialization in kidney and cancer treatment.
â€œAt the tertiary healthcare level, the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) nowÂ houses such first class medical facilities as the BT Diagnostic and health Centre, PediatricÂ Ward Complex, etcâ€ the Governor said adding that the Emergency and Accident Centre locatedÂ at the old tollgate of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has been completed and commissioned withÂ 200 accident patients attended to date.
On Education, Governor Fashola said his administration has been providing quality andÂ functional education through the distribution of basic textbooks to pupils, payment ofÂ examination fees, provision of laboratories/workshop and general improvement in schoolÂ environment as well as enhancement of teachers welfare.
Governor Fashola expressed gratitude to corporate entities and individuals who, according toÂ him, â€œhave taken up the gauntlet to help rebuild our schools under the Support Our SchoolsÂ programmeâ€. He urged parents and communities to be actively involved in the development ofÂ 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,Â include Security through the Security Trust Fund, Sanitation and liveability where he saidÂ Government has pursued the development of mini-waterworks in several local government areas,Â and put an Independent Power Plant in place at Adiyan to sustain constant water supply, theÂ Green Lagos programme, the introduction of climate change clubs, provision/cleaning ofÂ drainage channels, institutions of regulatory framework and hosting of international fora toÂ extend the frontier of action as part of concerned efforts to draw attention on the need toÂ treat the environment with care.
Urging the people to treat the environment with care, Governor Fashola declared, â€œAsÂ citizens of Lagos and in the face of high rainfall and massive flooding globally, we mustÂ act responsibly in our waste disposal habits and the use of electricity adding thatÂ reduction in the use of cars while embracing public bus services are essential to combatingÂ the growing menace of global warming.
He said as part of its poverty eradication programme, Government has provided 4, 028 personsÂ with vocations in its Skill Acquisition and Vocational Centres adding that till date, aboutÂ 350, 000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, have been created through Government projects,Â programmes and policies.
The Governor expressed deep appreciation to Lagosians â€œon behalf of Members of the StateÂ Executive Council and the Legislature for giving us the opportunity to serve the peopleâ€,Â and for paying their taxes without prompting.
â€œLet it be noted that any time accolades are rained on our administration for touching livesÂ and making a difference, I cannot but thank God Almighty for making this possible and youÂ the citizenry for your continuous support through your prayers, performance of civic duties,Â especially your voluntary payment of taxes as well as playing your part effectively in yourÂ various endeavoursâ€, the Governor said and urged the people to treat with utmost careÂ projects completed and handed over to them.
While making a presentation on the theme: â€œInclusive Governance for More Rapid andÂ Sustainable Developmentâ€, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Supo SasoreÂ (SAN) said in the last three years the State Government has constructed 151, 454 kilometresÂ of roads spread across the three senatorial districts.
He added that under the plan to provide uninterrupted power supply to selected areas on theÂ Island, about 20 streets have been identified in addition to the General Hospital which willÂ enjoy 24 hours power supply.
On the transportation sector, Mr. Sasore said operation would soon commence by commercialÂ cargo ferry operators towards encouraging a proper usage of the water ways just as the StateÂ Government would continue to regulate dredging to prevent natural disasters that mayÂ accompany it.
In the judicial sector, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, recalled that aÂ couple of weeks back, the State handed over the J.I.C Taylor Magistrates Court with aÂ capacity for 20 court rooms to ensure speedy dispensation of justice and also revealed thatÂ Government has passed the Mortgage Law and is in the process of providing 1000 units ofÂ houses which would be located in Ibeju Lekki and Abijo adding that 200 units was ready forÂ 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 inÂ Isalegangan where some of the houses would be replaced with 50 brand new dwellings while inÂ Education the reinvigorated educational policy of the administration has led to an increaseÂ of the total population of students in public schools which is now 1.1million with theÂ 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 separateÂ tolls in one Local Government Eti Osa on the Lekki Expressway, Sasore assured the residentsÂ and citizens that whatever decision is finally taken will take due cognizance of theÂ interest of the citizenry.
He explained that part of the provision of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by theÂ Lagos State Government with the Concessionaires on the Lekki Expressway is to provide anÂ alternative road before tolling it, adding that Government is committed to ensuring thatÂ this is done.
Pointing out that the Lekki Expressway also serves as a gateway to the Lekki Free Trade ZoneÂ the Commissioner noted that already the Zone has attracted about 53 companies who haveÂ 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 anÂ agriculture programme called Youth Empowerment Scheme at Araga in Epe just as it isÂ encouraging small and big scale farmers to increase their capacity hinting that GovernmentÂ also has a plan for all residents to practice independent farming because it is a governmentÂ that is concerned about food security.
Answering questions on the readiness of the Government to ensure that the case of CholeraÂ now ravaging some states of the country does not affect Lagos residents, Commissioner forÂ Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the State Government is embarking upon public enlightenment andÂ advocacy to sensitize members of the public on maintaining healthy habits as a way ofÂ preventing Cholera outbreaks.
Dr Idris disclosed that the State Government is doing everything possible to solve theÂ problem of resident doctors who are currently on strike adding that, progress was being madeÂ on efforts in this direction.
Also speaking at the event, Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, PrinceÂ Ademola Adeniji Adele said emphatically that development has been spread evenly to all theÂ three senatorial districts of the State describing it as a privilege to have been a part ofÂ the â€œfocused and purposefulâ€ governance of Lagos State by Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) in theÂ first term.
He gave a commitment that all members of the cabinet remain steadfast in ensuring that Mr.Â Babatunde Fashola (SAN) completes his first term in office and also get another term of fourÂ years.
Earlier in his welcome address, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. OpeyemiÂ Bamidele said the story of Lagos in the last 1, 200 days of democratic governance has beenÂ that of progressive and incremental transformation.
While congratulating Muslims on the Eid-il-Fitri festival which coincided with the Day, theÂ Commissioner said the event was in continuation of the administrationâ€™s determination toÂ account to Lagosians every 100 days noting that the issues being discussed like povertyÂ eradication and development were of common interest to all. .
Said he: â€œPresently we have in place a government that is genuinely committed to managingÂ the State resources for the common good of all. Wherever you go in Lagos, you can see theÂ administration of Babatunde Fashola at work without trumpeting or splashing his face onÂ billboards. His work simply speaks for himâ€.
Bamidele solicited the support of Lagosians in Governmentâ€™s bid to offer fresh hope and newÂ direction to the people, adding that the people of South Africa recently showed the rest ofÂ 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 membersÂ of the State Executive Council, Body of Permanent Secretaries, former Military Governor ofÂ Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and his wife, Chairman of the Action Congress ofÂ Nigeria, Chief Henry Ajomale, Vice Chairman Cardinal James Odumbaku, Local GovernmentÂ Councils and Council Development Area Chairmen, political leaders and traditional rulersÂ from each of the three districts as well as top government functionaries and captains ofÂ industries.