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OPINION: Sanwo-Olu And The Future of Lagos

THEWILL APP ADS 2

For the three-and-half years Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, have held sway at the Lagos Government House, theirs have been a perfect study in delight. Mr. Governor in his inaugural speech at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos was vehement and quite laconic in identifying his government’s posture as a continuation of one his predecessors, Governor Babatunde Fashola’s enviable developmental strides, his focus and faithfulness to the blueprint and masterplan of Lagos.

Governor Sanwo – Olu, like Governor Fashola, immediately after swearing- in, hit the ground running, same day, moved straight to the office for the day’s work schedule he already drew, ready to face the inherited challenges, contentious issues, etc headlong since government is a continuum. He embarked upon serious grafting, signed up executive orders, typifying the tenacity of purpose he wanted his administration defined- a new beginning of definitive activities.

Sanwo-Olu’s strategic thinking approach to governance paved the way for his success through his motivational, welfarist interventions of his immediate constituencies that will work with him. The civil servants, the security operatives, the army, Police LASTMA etc. Judiciary, state doctors, teachers, trade unions etc thus maintaining a fairly well-motivated workforce and the human resource base that will drive his material and other developmental resources of the state. This is obviously good thinking in an atmosphere where doing the work well without compromise seems difficult because of pernicious economic realities and extreme poverty that pervades the whole country and by extension the world. No thanks to the Covid challenges.

Mr. Governor’s performance index can best be assessed by his THEMES Agenda which is as audacious as it is ambitious. We intend to briefly examine them.

The six cardinal programme agenda are, Traffic management and transportation, the ‘H’ for Health and environment, ‘E’ for education and technology ‘M’ for making Lagos a 21st century economy, the second ‘E’ for Entertainment and Tourism and ‘S’ for Security and Governance.

Mr. Governor typifies the traffic management posture with a lucid orientation enunciated in the popular television advertorial “A new sheriff in town”, which necessarily insists on decorum, orderly behaviour and away with showmanship, bigmarism and impunity on our roads. This orientation drive sent jitters down the spine of road commuters that no matter whose horse is gored the law will take its course. This brought some level of traffic sanity on our roads. The Governor did not just talk tough, a series of arrests were made, brought them to mobile court and got convictions.

As regards transportation, across the state were various road infrastructure projects already completed within the period in review. They are Ojota-Opebi link bridge, lyana Iba interchange, Agege-Pen Cinema dual carriage fly over, Oniru circulation project, among others currently ongoing.

The Blue Line Project is already completed while the Red Line is in an advanced stage of completion. About 500 shuttle buses for intra-city transport, the waterways infrastructure strategically positioned at various locations, mainly Lagos Island, Ikorodu, Iba and the newly-acquired LAGFERRY boats are all working efficiently with the latest rescue gadgets. These are bold infrastructure expansion and many more.

The health sector and environment has also witnessed massive boost, the primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities are so innumerable, the Massey Children Hospital, a new General Hospital at Ojo and a 500-bed Mental Health Hospital at Ketu-Ejirin.

In the area of Education and Technology, the Sanwo-Olu Administration has been superb, the quality of the teaching staff in our primary, secondary and tertiary institution has greatly improved, teaching aids in class rooms and programmes in all the media, radio /television etc. The Governor, in a recent television interview, said 1047 new classrooms were built in less than four years, 197 new school projects and have touched over 1,000 different things in schools including 200,000 new chairs and benches and 2000 new beds in boarding houses schools. New Comprehensive Colleges to teach not just book knowledge but also entrepreneurial skills and vocations like music and acting. Two additional state universities showcase so much he has spent 11% of the last year state budget on. Lectures at LASU have been uninterrupted with improved welfare of staff, LASU homes for the staff and the newly commissioned LASU Student Arcade. Lagos youth have been provided with more digital skills, the Governor also commissioned and rehabilitated digitalized public school libraries here and there. While entrepreneurs are getting supported with capital from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, the Job Initiative Lagos (J.I.L) has also been providing support initiatives.

All these within this timeframe, to all intent and purposes, cannot but give the Sanwo-Olu’s Administration an excellent mark. In fact, the achievements are so numerous but for lack of space, we would have been able to chronicle some more.

The entertainment/tourism, security and governance have all witnessed major boost. The J.K Randle Cultural Centre, Onikan and many social intervention initiatives from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism are some of the landmark initiatives of the Sanwo-Olu Administration in Lagos State.

***Olabode Ayo-Phillips is a member of the Directorate of Publicity, Tinubu/Shettima, Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat Independent Campaign Council, Lagos.*