…As construction of the 4th Mainland Bridge set to commence
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the State Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, and Senator Tokunbo Abiru, have initiated the move on rebuilding Lagos projects in the aftermath of EndSARS’ destruction of infrastructure across the state.
The personalities made the move at the 16th Edition of the Lagos Executive/ Legislative Parley, with the theme: ‘A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos,” held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday.
The annual parley with various stakeholders in attendance focuses on issues that are germane to the development of the state.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the entire world and subsequent #EndSARS protest, which was subsequently, hijacked by hoodlums witnessed colossal destruction of public and private properties in the state, estimated to cost the sum of N1.1 trillion.
Speaking, Sanwo-Olu said, “Lagos is rebuilding stronger; to rebuild Lagos is to rebuild ourselves; to rebuild Lagos is to rebuild our infrastructure.
“The parley provide us with the opportunity to set the agenda for the future of the state. It is to sustain our Lagos and put it on a pedestal of growth in the next 10-30 years to come.
“As the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria, Lagos was not left out of the lockdowns. This as you all know has adversely affected the socio-economic life of our people and slowed down our efforts at infrastructural development and poverty alleviation.
“As if that was not bad enough, the #EndSARS protest reared its head, culminating in a grounding of social and economic activities, as well as unimaginable destruction of both public infrastructure and private properties.
“We thank God that we were able to bring the situation under control with the help of God and a resilient citizenry. We have no alternative to rebuilding Lagos, with a sense of urgency. To do this, all stakeholders in the development and growth of Lagos State must come together to share experiences and proffer solutions.
“Let me be quick to say that beyond the immediacy of these disruptive events of 2020, it is important for us all to think and plan for the long-term future of Lagos. Just last week, we were at the 18th Lagos Economic Summit, tagged ‘Ehingbeti 2021’, to chart a path towards accelerating the sustainable growth of Lagos State over the next decade. In addition to making this long-term planning and envisioning part and parcel of public administration in Nigeria, we must also ensure that we follow through in terms of implementation.
“The Executive and Legislature must work together to ensure that the Rebuilding of Lagos is done urgently and efficiently. The vast majority of our people want the Government to work for them.
They don’t make any distinctions between the Executive and the Legislature, as far as they are concerned we are all public officials elected to deliver on the mandate of efficient governance.
There is no room for making excuses to them or blaming another arm of government for the inability to deliver. It is up to us to ensure that, even though we are separate and independent arms of government, we are always on the same page and constantly resolving whatever issues and differences we have.”
On the proposed and long-awaited Fourth Mainland Bridge, the governor said, “We did not promise 4th Mainland Bridge as part of campaign promises but we will build 4th Mainland Bridge. We shall lay the foundation before the end of the year.”
In his address, Gbajabiamila said, “We need unity across arms of government. This unity does not mean one arm subservient to the other. Nation-building is a joint task.”
He added further that every stakeholder must strive to ensure that the electoral promises are delivered to the people.
Harping on the theme, Gbajabiamila said, “Rebuilding is remodelling the way we do things; remodelling our values; remodelling is a continuous process.”
He stated that beyond the infrastructure decay, remodelling also includes: health, moral values and education to get Lagos to the next level.
On his part, Obasa urged the organizers to sustain the annual programme, saying there was a need to engage policymakers and interact.
He advised that the engagement should not be limited to public officers, adding the civil societies and the youths have a critical role to play.
Obasa stated that the youth require reorientation in order to ensure that they were tailored in line with the desired values in the State.
In her welcome address, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale said, “To fast track the rebuilding of the State, we shall in the next 48 hours discuss extensively around the theme of the retreat – ‘ A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos’ delving deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: a catalyst for growth and Role of Social Media in Nation Building.
“Also, there shall be presentations by a number of Ministries and Agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Office of Civic Engagement among others. These MDAs shall be shedding light on their operations as relating to the attainment of sustainable socio-economic growth of Lagos State.”
Also in attendance were: Deputy Governor of Lagos s)State, Dr Obafemi Kadiri, members of the State Executive Council, members of the state House of Assembly, chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, led by its chairman in the stare, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, among others.