BY DAPO AKINREFON
WHEN Governor Raji Fashola made a pledge to review his government’s activities every one hundred days at the beginning of his first term in 2007, few would have believed him. Even then, few would have believed the achievements the Governor has set in his more than 1,800 days in office.
Last week Wednesday, the Governor again brought his governance of the state to public review as he gave an account of the last 100 days since he last gave the report of his stewardship.
It was remarkable that the Governor kicked off his account of developments in the last 100 days by first observing his own fidelity to his promise of accountability saying “I promised to give a regular account to you, our employers.”
But beyond the ethereal is the fact that between when the governor rendered his17th and 18th accounts much may have happened as he inferred that day.
The event which was held at the Adeyemi-Bero auditorium inside the state secretariat, had in attendance, the state deputy governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji, top government officials, lawmakers, traditional rulers among others.
Account of stewardship
Rendering his account, Fashola said his administration completed and commissioned a number of projects in the period in review adding that all the promises made during the previous 100 days have been delivered.
According to him, “during the last 100 days, we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the 2002 bomb blasts that wrecked havoc on several parts of Lagos on the January 27, 2012, at which occasion we awarded the contract for the construction of the Ajao-Ejigbo link bridge. I am happy to inform you that progress is being made there.”
However, it was not very cheery news for the people of Ijegun, Isheri Oshun and Isolo Jakande as the Governor confessed having problems notably finance in concluding the work on the road.
Noting the enormity of the work on the road he said: “It is a 5.5 kilometre road with a bridge of 500 metres that will require 1,018 piles driven to a depth of 19.5 metres. This project will cost the government not less than N10billion which we are working assiduously to provide so that work can continue. We have re-evaluated the project in a bid to get the contractors back on site and I promise and assure you that as long as we have the funds we will complete the project.”
Education, notably the increase in the bar to accessing public education, is one area the administration has had to contend with.
Noting steps taken to improve the standard of education in the state owned university, he expressed delight that the various projects in “LASU, are making progress. We have also enunciated many far-reaching policies in the primary, and junior and senior secondary schools in order to improve the quality of education in the State.”
“We believe that a faithful implementation of these policies will gradually increase the performance of all our students in their terminal exams. Of course we recognize that not all students have the aptitude for grammar and reading. Some of them have a stronger aptitude for doing things with their hands.”
Commenting on his administration’s drive to eradicate unemployment and create jobs for the youths in the state, he explained that “we have also recently inaugurated the Apprenticeship Scheme, to empower young people with skills in vocations where our economy is in such dire need. As we make progress in these areas, the tales of hiring artisans from neighbouring countries because they are better trained, will gradually become a thing of the past.”
Given the peace that has attended Fashola’s stewardship of the state it was not strange that the Governor ended his address with a commendation to Lagosians for sustaining the peace in the state and that despite the tension and the differences “of tribe, tongue, ethnicity or religion” of those living in the commercial capital of the country.
Celebration is propagandist —Lagos PDP
The Lagos State chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was however, not pleased describing the report as as propagandist, misappropriation and actionable.
In a statement by its publicity secretary, Mr Taofik Gani, the party frowned at the frequent celebration of the Governors 100 days in Office “because it has always been more of festivities and funfair amongst ACN party members rather than presenting actual developments in the State.”
It claimed that the administration has realised “over N2 trillion in the Last 5 years. What can be shown for it? The assumed developments in the State cannot be linked directly to the state’s huge budgets.”
In addition, the party berated the state government on the doctors’ strike and the increase in the fees of the state university saying “presently, the LASU School fees has been astronomically increased, Lagos doctors are on Strike, The ferry service is in comatose, portable Water is not common.
“Yet obnoxious taxes and levies have been introduced in the state. Lagosians demand to know where exactly their taxes (IGR) and Federal Government allocations are expended,” it stated.
Our achievement is alien to PDP — Raji
Dismissing the submission made by the Lagos PDP, the Special Adviser to the governor on Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Raji saying Lagosians are satisfied with the state government’s performance.
According to him, “the people of Lagos state believe that the state government is responsive to their demands. All the achievements of the government are alien to the Lagos PDP. So far, they are satisfied with the performance record of the administration of Governor Fashola.”