My 2100 Momentous Days In Office


By Babatunde Fashola

On the 18th November 2012, when I presented our activity report from the last 100 days, I told you that it was a momentous milestone; because apart from the progress we had made, it was the occasion that coincided with our 2000th day of partnership that started on May 29th 2007.

The fact is that each of those 100 days has been momentous for their own unique reason, from the first to the twentieth.

For one, they have helped us in many ways. First by keeping us on our toes and making us self-driven in addition to being people driven.

Every member of our government knows that we have a rendezvous to keep with the people who put us here.

They know that while we will honestly report challenges and setbacks, we are duty bound to report progress about what we are doing with their time and money.

To the credit of public service we have never come back to tell you that things are still the way they were.

Every time, with your support, and the hard work of our public servants we have been able to tell you that things have progressed from when we last met.

I assure you, that today’s (Tuesday) report will not be different.

It is a momentous day because it is now 2100 days of a rewarding partnership between the people and our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria.

It also means that this team has approximately 820 days left to consolidate on the gains we have made together.

You will all recall that during my presentation at the last 100 days event, I gave you a report of our 3rd quarter budget performance for year 2012.

Please permit me to repeat parts of what I said at the time because they are instructive to what I propose to deal with shortly.

I said: “As you will by now have known, we have presented our 3rd Quarter Budget performance report of 65% for the 3rd Quarter.

When the 1st and 2nd Quarter performances of 65% and 84% respectively are put together with the 3rd Quarter, we delivered an aggregate performance of 72% from January to September 2012.”

I also promised that we will improve on the budget performance as we conclude our bond issuance project, because funding is also critical to budget performance.

I am happy to report that we successfully completed the bond issuance programme for N80b which was the largest bond issuance by any state of the federation and it was fully subscribed.

This is eloquent testimony not only of the growing economy of Lagos, but of its financial stability, its integrity and investor confidence in the ability of the Action Congress controlled government.

Of course, the consequence of that, was increased performance of the 4th Quarter budget which resulted in an overall budget performance of 89% for the whole year.

Regrettably, because our performance throws up the inefficiency of our political opponents especially in the way that our national economy has been mismanaged by their party, they have the temerity to accuse us of fraudulently reporting performance.

Let me remind them that we are the first government that has made it a duty to invite other political parties to our annual budget presentation.

Let me also remind them that since our first full budget in 2008, we have made it a duty to report not only quarterly budget performance, but the total end of year which has been 71% in 2008, 74% in 2009, 78% in 2010, 77% in 2011 and 89% in 2012.

No state government in the country and certainly not their government at the centre which their party manages have paid such diligent attention to the presentation of budgets and also submission of its yearly report of implementation.

If they now choose to accuse us of budgetary fraud, I need only to remind them of a few which interest all of us Nigerians.

The first is how over N2 trillion of our national budget of about N4 trillion in 2011 ended up being enmeshed in the most monumental fraud of fuel subsidy that has ever been recorded.

Over 50% of a country’s budget enmeshed in fraud and yet there are no answers.

It is understandable that our success will embarrass their party. We implemented 89% of a budget that had 53% capital content and 47%recurrent content and they have been unable at the national level where their party is in control, to implement a budget that has over 70% re-current provision.

I believe that their party can do better than this. The earlier they start to work towards this, the better our country will be for it.

We have already started the implementation of a 2013 budget while their party now shows how dysfunctional the government they manage has become, because the passage of the 2013 budget for our country has become a public squabble (a roforofo fight as Fela will call it)  while the development of our nation is held back in their amateurish grip.

I have heard them say also that my inspection of projects to assess progress, resolve challenges and ensure their completion is a waste of resources.

The fact is that they cannot point to a 100 kilometre road that connects two states that their party in the centre has completed in 14 years.

In this state, in less than 20 months, we completed the Okota Link Bridge that improved connectivity and eased transportation between no less than seven Local Governments.

In three years, we completed the Lekki Link Bridge which is the first cable stayed bridge in West Africa.

In their desperation to appear busy, they have embarked on an ill-conceived Good Governance Tour, because there have no projects to inspect.

The question to ask is whether Nigerians need a tour to know that they are being well governed. We do not need a Good Governance Tour in Lagos before citizens know that their lives are improving.

Completed projects such as the Ibeshe Road in Ikorodu, the Mother and Child Centres in Amuwo Odofin, and Alimosho, the completed School of Nursing are examples of good governance.

The progressing road projects from Mile 12 to Ikorodu, Yaya Abatan/College Road, Okota-Ago Palace Way, Ejigbo Ajao Link Bridge and road network are other examples.

Education infrastructure in our Polytechnic in Ikorodu comprising a new access road, a sports complex, a School of Technology are proof of the progress  we are making which shows the inefficiency of our opponents.

The impact of the success of our Y2012 budget implementation is also visible in the complete makeover going on now in LASU.

Some of the good news coming out of that school in the last one hundred days in addition to the satisfactory progression of infrastructure work are that:

a) It is now listed as one of the top 10 institutions of excellence in law studies in Nigeria by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and it is the only state university so listed.

b) It recently graduated 11,362 students and the certificates of all graduands were ready and signed on graduation day.

This is proof of the remake and turnaround that we are all committed to.

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Our government and our party will not shy away from announcing our successes simply because it shows up the inefficiency of our opponents.

They must as the saying goes, shape up and measure up to us, or ship out, if the kitchen is too hot.

While the projects I have mentioned represent some of the progress that we are making and the output and impact of the implementation of the 2012 Budget, there are others which I am proud to report because, the impact of the budget was multi-sectoral.

The first is the successful hosting of National Sports Festival tagged EKO 2012.

By many standards and the assessment of our guests, we put up a spectacle that will be remembered for a while to come; because as is now customary in this State, we simply raised the bar.

We recorded many individual and team successes ourselves.

From our previous 9th position, we placed 3rd overall. We won the soccer events in male and female categories for the first time since the 1970s.

We held firmly to our principle of fair play and officiating, and because of this, for the very first time, every state won a medal.

This is something to be proud of. We were not desperate hosts determined to win at all costs.

In this way we send a strong moral message of ethics, hard work and competition to our future generation.

The eventual and deserving champions, Delta State have paid glowing tribute to our sense of fairness and I think that this will ensure that our own athletes will be fairly treated in future wherever they compete.

From our sporting progress I must move to report what is going on in the housing sector.

Remarkable progress is being made at our housing construction sites in Agbowa, Igbogbo, Sangotedo, Mushin, Ilupeju, Ogba, Surulere, Magodo and Igando.

We have also given approval in year 2012 for preliminary work to start the housing schemes for 540 units of housing in Ajara in Badagry and 1008 units of housing in Badia in Ijora, while the main works will start in 2013.

Let me say for the Ijora Scheme that our intervention is a strategic one, to upgrade the quality of life there.

It is about a kilometer to the Orile and Costain train stations and we intend to accommodate the present occupiers in the new units in addition to other people who will desire to live there.

In the justice sector, progress is being made towards the completion of the High Court and Magistrate’s Court projects in Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Ikeja and most of them will be completed and put to use this year.

Of course the progress of the Blue Line intra-city rail line has been widely reported and the tracks for the first section of seven kilometres from National Theatre to Mile 2 Station are already being laid and hopefully that section will be completed as promised in the middle of the year.

There remains a lot of work to be done in getting the project beyond Mile 2 to Okoko and beyond National Theatre to Marina.

The signs of continuing work are visible and we are satisfied with the progress being made.

In the area of public transportation, apart from road construction that is progressing across the state, our jetties for water transportation are coming to completion.

I can report from my inspection of the Mile 2 Jetty that the work is virtually completed save for the fuel dump and the rehabilitation of 6 boats expected to be completed this year and full services should soon be restored to this route.

Progress is being made on the Osborne Jetty while the Badore Terminal should be handed over by April 2013.

Our Traffic Law has also recorded increased acceptability and compliance, and it has most importantly delivered on its objective which is the safety of lives; as recent reports now show.

In the area of Drivers’ vision which my last report showed that about 10% of drivers reporting to the institute had bad vision, we have been able to reduce the number through corrective measures like provision of eye glasses.

This will help reduce the incidents of human error and the accidents they occasion on our roads.

We continue to see increasing enrollment of drivers at our Drivers’ Institute and this can only translate to better and safe drivers.

As I reported to you during my last 100 days report, we are happily seeing a reduction in the amount of road traffic fines.

Between November and December 2012, we recorded a 24.2% reduction in fines, and I repeat we are happy to see this; because, it reinforces our position that this is about safety of human lives and not about money.

We have also happily experienced a further reduction of 35.9% between November and December of incidents of people driving against traffic.

I must also mention that as a result of the Traffic Law, our streets are becoming safer and the evidence of this is that we are seeing more people going out to exercise, walk and jog.

I am also seeing our children now riding their bicycles again in the way I did as a child and also running with skate boards.

While these are welcome signs, I urge all of them to be safety conscious. I urge them to wear reflective vests that make them visible to other road users. I urge them to keep the roller skates off the highways, and to ride the bicycles along the proper route of traffic and not against traffic.

From LASUTH and all our General Hospitals, the reports show a progressive and successful reduction in the number of motorcycle accidents reported in the State.

In August 2012 before the Traffic Law was implemented, 646 motorcycle accidents were reported from all the hospitals.

By September 2012 when the enforcement started, the number of accidents reduced to 525 cases for that month, there was a further reduction to 362 in October and 222 for November; we recorded an increase to 243 in December and a significant reduction to 140 in January, 2013.

Reported cases of deaths from these motorcycle accidents also show a positive trend that the law is working.

August 2012 reported 12 deaths; September recorded 8, October 5, November 8, December, 2 and zero in January 2013.

I am happy and very proud to be the head of a Government that reduced road traffic accidents on motorcycles from 646 a month to 140 a month and a government that reduced deaths from 12 incidents in August 2012 to zero in January 2012.

This is the primary duty of any responsible government. To save lives and protect property. This is the signature of service of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Lagos and all the states under its management.

•To be continued.

•Governor Fashola of Lagos Statedelivered this speech while rendering an account of his stewardship to commemorate the 2100 Days in Office at the Blue Roof, LTV 8 Complex, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

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