By Rasak Musbau
Even in the most difficult of times, the people of Lagos State still have reasons to smile. In his accustomed manner of connecting with the people, the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is unrelenting on the delivery of good governance.
The 3rd president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson once said, “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.”
One of the major takeaways from the first term in office of Governor Sanwo-Olu is that a leader will always achieve good governance when honesty, passion and vision brought into policy-making and execution are greater than fears and excuses.
Despite fundamental challenges such as COVID-19, #EndSARS violence and global economic downturn economic among others, the Sanwo-Olu administration has continued to bring dividends of democracy to the people.
It is, therefore, heart-warming that the governor is seeking to be re-elected for a second tenure. In my view, this is good news for the residents of the state. Sanwo-Olu has used a greater part of his first term in office to improve their living condition.
This he has done through the creation of wealth and more job opportunities, provision of quality social security system and galvanization of the youths with fresh ideas and tools to make them productive citizens among others.
Against all odds, he has set Lagos on a new trajectory of economic growth and development via with his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda.
Good enough, Sanwo-Olu’s re-election conversation has so far been dominated by what his government has done to uplift the welfare of the people. This implies that his work speaks for him.
What the governor has achieved, thus far, are there for the people to see. They are not by any means hidden. Last January, the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state was characterized by commissioning of people-oriented projects. These include Lekki Deep Sea Port, Lagos Rice Mill in Imota, the John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History and the iconic Lagos Blue Line rail project (the first to be executed by any sub-government in Africa).
Perhaps, for a logistic factors, the President could not commission the 18.75-kilometer Six-Lane rigid-pavement Eleko Junction to Epe Expressway. The all-important road has since been commissioned by the governor.
In the last three and a half years, the Sanwo-Olu administration has completed and commissioned more than 970 road projects. These include the Agege Pen Cinema Bridge, Oniru network of roads, Ikoyi network of roads, Lagos-Ogun Boundary roads Phase II, Lekki Oniru Traffic Circulation Projects and 37 networks of roads in Ojokoro.
Others are Isawo-Agric road, Ikorodu, Oshodi-Abule-Egba BRT lane, Ijede Road Phase 1 in Ikorodu, Tedi-Muwo Link Bridge, Lagos-Ogun boundary Roads in Alimosho and 6 reconfigured Roundabouts – Allen, Ikotun, Maryland, Lekki and Ajah among others.
The government also carried out 110 palliatives and 361 sectional rehabilitations on roads across the state, while over 650 inner roads were rehabilitated by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation [LSPWC].
The state’s education sector has also been positively impacted by the governor. One visible way through which this has been achieved is the renovation and construction of public schools.
To beef up the teaching personnel in public schools, about 1,500 new teachers were recruited, while 15,000 others were trained through the Eko EXCEL programme on 21st century modes of teaching and learning. With the strong impact of the EKO EXCEL programme, the face of public education has been positively altered in the state. An acronym for, “Excellence in Child Education and Learning”, the programme is designed to reposition public education and improve methods of teaching to meet contemporary demands.
The Sanwo-Olu administration has equally improved the public health sector. Lagosians and Nigerians in general will not forget in a hurry the innovative and brave way Sanwo-Olu managed the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.
As part of efforts to tackle the third wave of the dreaded Coronavirus, 10 COVID-19 Oxygen Treatment and Sample Collection Centres as well as 20 Local Government Area (LGA) Based Sample Collection Sites were activated.
Similarly, four Mother and Child Centers (MCCs) in Epe, Ajah, Badagry and Igando were completed and commissioned, while the reconstruction of the New Massey’s Street Children Hospital in Lagos Island is on course. When completed, it will be the biggest Children’s Hospital in Africa.
Comprehensive renovation of public health facilities is equally ongoing at Ebute-Meta Health Centre, Harvey Road Health Centre, General Hospital, Odan, Lagos, General Hospital, Isolo, Ketu-Ejirin Health Centre. The administration has also revamped the Jigi Bola initiative (blindness preventive programme) across all LGs and LCDAs in the state.
With the inauguration of newly upgraded/rehabilitated fire and rescue service headquarters and three newly-built fire stations, the government has equally recorded a major asset expansion in its emergency response services.
The huge investment committed to the retooling, upgrading/renovation of fire stations is to make the state’s Fire and Rescue Service more effective and enhance its performance. The turnaround reinforces Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to the security of the lives and properties of Lagos inhabitants.
The governor is not just putting in place world-class infrastructure; he is also building a formidable public service to help drive his vision for Greater Lagos. The public service is a major vehicle and formidable delivery arm of government services to the people.
While most states of the federation are incapable of paying the salaries and pensions of their workers, the state pays as and when due. Just last December, the governor approved the payment of 100% of the staff’s basic salary as an end-of-the-year bonus.
Without a doubt, Sanwo-Olu has creatively used his first tenure in office to transform Lagos into a 21st-century economy supported by world-class infrastructure and modern social amenities.
With the steady strides of the governor and his team, it has been demonstrated that with the right leadership, an enabling environment can be created for the citizenry to prosper. In my view, with Sanwo-Olu’s pedigree and performance; he remains the man to beat in the coming election.
- Musbau is of the Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency, LASIAMA, Ikeja, Lagos