By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that his administration’s has embarked on remarkable projects towards the steady realization of “Greater Lagos’ aspirations to make life better for all in a 21st century economy in the last one year.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Friday, in a statewide live broadcast to residents to commemorate the first year anniversary and the maiden Democracy Day, which coincided with annual June 12 anniversary.
The governor who rolled out various achievements of his administration within the year under review, said, “Without a doubt, in the last 365 days, so much has happened in our State that we must be proud and thankful for.
“in my inauguration address, I promised you a ‘Greater Lagos’. Today, on the first anniversary of that inauguration, it is my pleasure to brief you about the progress we have made in the journey towards a ‘Greater Lagos’, using the THEMES agenda as our vehicle.
“Traffic Management and Transportation is the first leg of our THEMES Agenda. Considering the pivotal role of transportation as a major driver of socio-economic activities, our goal is to develop a reliable intermodal system of transportation.
‘On February 4th, 2020, we made a giant leap in our resolve to develop an integrated transport system by officially commissioning eight new, state-of-the-art ferries, to kick-start our expansion of the LAGFERRY Service. Since then we have seen a remarkable increase in the number of commuters on our waterways.”
Last phase of Marina rail project commences
He continued, “Similarly, with the successful completion of the elevated sea-crossing track of the Blue Line Mass transit project, at Marina, Lagos, late last year, construction work has begun on the final phase of the scheme. The project is critical to the achievement of our vision for intermodal transport.
Shortlists 8 firms for 4th Mainland Bridge construction
“The plan to construct the 4th Mainland Bridge is equally on course. Recently, we shortlisted eight out of the over 30 firms that expressed interest in the project. In the coming weeks and months, you will certainly hear more on this all-important project.”
Sanwo-Olu, who added that several roads had been rehabilitated while others are at various stages of completion, listed the projects to include: Oshodi-Abule- Egba Bus Rapid Transit, BRT Corridor, the Pen Cinema Bridge, the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the Agric-Ishawo Road and the four junctions’ improvement projects at Allen Avenue, Maryland, Ikotun and Lekki among others would soon all be ready for public use.”
A major highlight of intervention in roads, he said was the commissioning of a network of 31 roads at Ojokoro area in December 2019.
Sanwo-Olu added more completed projects have been slated for commissioning in the coming days which include: The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) for our Bus Reform Scheme at Ikeja and Oshodi Bus Terminals; The Oshodi Abule-Egba BRT Corridor; Oyingbo Bus Terminal; Concrete Jetty with Shoreline Protection and Waiting Shelter at Baiyeku, Ikorodu LGA;Fadipe/Salami/Eyiowuawi/Odubanjo Streets in Shomolu LGA; Alhaji Akinwunmi Street in Mushin LGA; and Adagun-Imeke-Iworo-Ajido-Epeme Road in Badagry LGA.
On traffic management, he disclosed tgat 1,017 Lagos Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA officers were recruited and inducted to achieve better flow of traffic and reduction in travel time.
Sanwo-Olu revealed, “In the area of unhindered access to healthcare – which is the second pillar of our agenda – two Mother and Child Centers (MCCs) at Eti-Osa and Igando respectively commissioned. In the next couple of weeks, the Badagry and Epe MCCs will also be ready for public use.
“In our first 200 days in office, the Lagos State Government, working in collaboration with the BOSKOH Health Mission International and the Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation, delivered diverse free medical interventions to over 250,000 Lagosians across several locations in the State.
“Closely linked to healthcare, for us, is the state of the Environment. This is why we are working hard to ensure a flood-free Lagos. We have carried out extensive dredging and disiliting on many drain channels across the State.
“In the area of Education, our Third Pillar, the following completed projects ready for commissioning: 18 Classroom Blocks at Muslim Junior College, Egbe, 18 Classroom Blocks at Maya Secondary School, Ikorodu, 18 Classroom Blocks at Eva Adelaja Junior Secondary School, Bariga, Block of 20 Classrooms at Bashua Military School Primary School, Shomolu, 13 Classrooms at Saviour Primary School, Ifako-Ijaiye LGA, Block of 20 Classrooms at Ayanleye Memorial Primary School, Ifako-Ijaiye LGA and Block of 6 Classrooms at Ansar Ur Deen, Ibonwon, Epe.
“Similarly, we have equally made remarkable inroads in the training of teachers for 21st century competence. Through the EKO EXCEL training initiative, 3000 primary school teachers have been trained on how to competently utilize technology in teaching.
“We are on transformative journey in public education The results have been amazing. Enrolment rates into our public primary schools have risen, while attendance rates have also improved remarkably. ”
Disburses $600,000, to drive investment in research, devt of tech-focused
In the area of technology, Sanwo-Olu revealed that his administration had set up the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), with start-up funds in excess of $600,000, to drive investment in research and development of tech-focused solutions across the six pillars of our administration’s THEMES agenda.
Signs $629M financing facility for Lekki Deep Seaport project
He continued,”The Greater Lagos we promised you is a Megacity that is fully and confidently a 21st century economy. This is the thinking that has propelled us to sign a $629 million financing facility aimed at completing the Lekki Deep Seaport project.
“When that project is completed, Lagos will have one of the most modern and capable Ports not just in Africa but in the world.
360 home units ready for commissioning
In the area of housing, he stressed that a 21st-century economy is one that is capable of meeting the housing needs of the people, saying four major housing projects are now ready for commissioning. They are: LagosHoms, Igbogbo Scheme with 360 home units comprising 120 1-bedroom, 120 2-bedroom, and 120 3-bedroom apartments; among others.
“On January 30, 2020, we handed over apartment keys to 492 beneficiaries of our administration’s maiden rent-to-own housing scheme at the Lateef Kayode Jakande Housing Estate, Igando. It was, indeed, a joyous moment not only for the beneficiaries, but for me as well. More housing schemes will be delivered in the coming months.”
In the area of agriculture and food security, Sanwo-Olu said much had been done with initiatives such as the Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) which is designed to build the capacities of actors in the Rice, Aquaculture and Poultry Value Chains, enabling them to become large scale producers and processors of rice, fish, eggs, and poultry.
“When the Imota Rice Mill is completed at the end of this year, it will be a game-changing addition to Nigeria’s ongoing rice revolution,” he assured.
He said his administration is also strengthening the capacity of farmers through the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP), the Sea Food Festival and the Eko City Farmers Food Market, adding that the provision of extension services to farmers is also a priority.
Sanwo-Olu said that the final pillar of the pillar, Security and Governance, his administration has invested hugely in Transformational Security, using Technology as well as revamping Security Command-and-Control Center with improved data-gathering and processing, to stay permanently ahead of crime and criminality.
Amotekun to commence operation soon
“We are also partnering with neighbouring States, and one important step in this regard is the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), which has been codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’. You will begin to see the full operationalization of the scheme in the coming months,” he stated.
We ‘re taking steady steps towards realization of Greater Lagos’ aspirations
Sanwo-Olu continued, “The future, no doubt, looks bright. We are making sure and steady steps towards the realization of the ‘Greater Lagos’ of our aspirations.
“While we are not yet where we want to be, it is clear that we are not where we used to be. We must use the successes we have recorded in the last one year, to inspire us to even greater collective effort to make life better for all of us.”