17th February, 2011
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State has promised to open up the state for more development by spreading projects to all the parts.
Speaking at an open forum for governorship candidates in the state organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Fashola explained that his administration was not unmindful of the need to spread development projects to all parts of the state and prevent over concentration of projects in some places.
The forum which was also attended by the governorship candidate of the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, Dr. Shamusideen Ade Dosunmu, was moderated by Dr. Doyin Salami, a senior lecturer at the Pan African University, Lagos.
Fashola, who is also the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the April polls, disclosed that his administration was in the process of developing eight integrated cities where everything will be structured to meet the standards of a mega city.
Looking back at the past three and a half years, Governor Fashola disclosed that his administration has been able to reduce incidence of violent robbery in the state to the barest minimum.
Harassment and attacks by area boys, he said, had been wiped out because the government has meaningfully engaged the social miscreants by providing them with jobs.
The governor also disclosed that more companies were relocating to Lagos while there is an increase in investments as a result of the conducive environment created by the government.
The ACN candidate said his government embarked on aggressive road rehabilitation and construction of light rail project to improve transportation in the state.
He also identified the provision of logistics for the police and the controlled demolition of the burnt Bank of Industries building on Broad Street, Lagos, without causing any collateral damage to buildings and residents of the area, as some of his achievements in the past three and half years.
In his own submission, the Lagos State PDP governorship candidate, Dr. Dosunmu promised to run an open administration where the people will be its main focus, if elected in April.
According to him, government exists in order to serve the people, adding that if given the mandate to rule the state, he will take direct responsibility for the provision of infrastructure and other public utilities.
He explained that government policies will be classified into different public utilities which costs will be borne by the government.
He also promised to adopt a liberal tax policy and do away with multiple taxes. â€œGovernment must take direct responsibility for the provision of education, healthcare, houses, roads and water,â€ he declared, adding that privatisation will be introduced in sectors where the government lacked the technical expertise or inadequate fund for the execution of projects.
â€œGovernment does not have business in constructing houses if itâ€™s not for the social good. Government is about meeting the needs of the majority of the people.
â€œPublic transportation must be affordable. Essentially, my government, if elected, will focus on delivering social goods to the majority of Lagosians,â€ he stated.
During the question and answer session, most members of the panel who are from the organised private sector, criticised the multiple tax system of the state government but Governor Fashola was able to convince them on the need for the taxes which is to aid the development of the state faster than the rest.
He also enlightened the industrialists that the taxes were statutorily imposed by the PDP-led federal government and challenged them to take up the matter with the Federal Government and the National Assembly for a review.