19th October, 2011
Â Kamal Ayinde Bayewu, Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers, FCIB, and Chairman, Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government, Lagos, speaks about his achievements in office and other issues.
As chairman of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government, what are those things you did, that excite you today?
Well, one has been able to some extent, changed the perception of the people in this local government as to who they are, what they are capable of doing on their own, and compete favourably with other citizens of Nigeria and the whole world. I have been able to lift their spirit to believe in themselves and that has given me a lot of satisfaction. I have been able to upgrade the standard of living of the people in terms of infrastructural development, in terms of health care service, in terms of environmental upgrading and in terms of making the older ones to believe in themselves, that they are part and parcel of the local government.
I have been able to build bridges of unity, making people believe that we are one, yet, we have our diversities, but, we can live in unity, and this is what our people want and are happy about, you see, when you are in an environment, you find out that you do not have much of money but you are living in peace, if you are not living in peace and you have much money with you, you will not know when you keep that money away.
I am so satisfied today, because, of the kind of things that we enjoyed in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, it has never been like this before.
It is on record that you have 250 elderly persons that you give allowances on a monthly basist. What inspired this?
Let me take it from the Islamic injunction that says, we must take care of our old ones, whether they are our fathers or our mothers, whenever they reach old age,. So, I now look at it, that we talk of youths, ourselves, but most times we neglect the older ones, and I see that some of these people are just there, they had served the community and the country, but what do we give them after the services they had rendered?
I now said we must give them something, they must be part and parcel of this government, that is why we started this programme in 2009, when it was conceived, we started with 100 persons, on N5,000 stipend on a monthly basis, we placed them on free medical services to the extent that we now incorporate that into the local government books, so that, even if this administration is no longer there, they are regarded as non-pensionable staff of the council.
It is on record that you did a lot of roads, judging by the reports of the Auditor-General for Local Governments, yet there were complaints. Why?
The complaints are from Arumo, and Ugbewankwo streets. Alayabiagba and Aiyetoro have been classified under the slum areas programme of the World Bank project. It will be uneconomical for us to spend whatever small resources we have on a road, when we know that they are roads under the World Bank project.
The World Bank would start work on those roads first week in November. In fact they have moved to site. The Boundary road is going to be linked with Ugbewankwo street to Arumo, Layinka, Kojo, Agugu, and Agugu will come out to Baale Aiyetoro. The World Bank is here already. What I told them, two, three years ago is coming to pass. So whatever resources that you have, you must know how to allocate it.
The contractors are on ground, the roads will start and these are part of the things you are going to be seeing in the next dispensation. We also told them that there are roads that belong to the state and others are federal roads and we have been able to collaborate with the state to do such roads in our area. Now we do not have complaints again on Baale Adeyemo road, Mba Cardoso road, very soon Kirikiri road which is even a federal road will be addressed.
Before we do something on that road, we need to write to FERMA, for example, we wanted to do Trinity road, we wrote to FERMA, they said no, donâ€™t do it because it is our road and that they have given it out to another contractor. Why would you have to pay double on the same issue? look at Baale Aiyetoro, the state have already come to measure it and did the soil test, but because it is a trunk C road, we have to do it and people are enjoying it. Whatever we have the resources to do, we will definitely do, for the benefit of our people.
What is holding up the blocks of flats proposed for Cemetery Street?
Some of the tenants that are there, especially Apapa Diamond Club, are not cooperating with us. There are three properties there, one is used by our staff and we have asked our staff to vacate the place, Apapa Diamond Club is using another, the last one is already demolished. But in a bid to be closer to the people, we called them, gave them notice to quit the property, for almost two years, we need to go through the normal process of ejection, that is why we went to the magistrate court. The moment we are able to eject them we will start the estate.
At the beginning of your tenure, you encouraged sports, but after that time we never heard of it again, why?
No, the competition has been going on, we participated in the MTN Soccer and we now have a team. The chairmanâ€™s cup at that point in time was to source for something which we got and later we metamorphosed the game into Lagos Junior League. The team is what is now representing the local government area in the Speakerâ€™s cup, in the Lagos Junior League and other competitions.
Right now, we have another programme that will take us back to secondary schools, to source for talents. It is not only football this time around, we are looking at the situation where we will now have a recreation centre, a sports centre. People from Turkey have been here to measured the land that we will use. Its only that the project will be done by private participation.
What should the people expect from you in this second term?
Human capital development. We must ensure that we have youths that can stand on their own. We must ensure that we have an industry, which is the music industry. We must propagate it. Now we want to start what we call â€œAjegunle Carnivalâ€, have a youth centre where the youth will come to interact, equipped with library and computer sets. We are going to upgrade our roads. We need a lot of things and if you do not develop your human capital, you can not get any result.