Thursday October 06, 2022 5:51 PM

Sanwo-Olu, GAC And The Endorsement For Second Term

There is no reason for changing a winning team. That was the message by the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday when it endorsed Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for a second term.

The highly esteemed apex body is made up of party elders from five geo-political divisions-Lagos, Ikeja, Epe, Ikorodu and Badagry. It is also representative of the three senatorial districts, the pre-existing 20 local governments and additional 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), The Nation reports.

Through humility, hardwork and other components of proper conduct in political life, the model governor and Incident Commander, fondly called Mr. Sellable by enthusiastic Lagosians, got the nod for continuity, which eluded his equally hardworking, but combative predecessor.

There was no dissenting voice at the GAC meeting. Party elders and leaders were in one accord. It was a historic endorsement of a unique captain, who has lived to expectation through his utmost fidelity to the platform, impressive performance, particularly the implementation of the legendary 24-year blue print, promotion of inclusion and sensitivity to public yearnings.

Ahead of next year’s governorship poll, Lagos APC has put its house in order. Post-primary crisis is averted.The endorsement is not final. But, it implies that Sanwo-Olu has no rival; he may be the lone aspirant and ultimate standard bearer. The shadow poll, a party official said, will be a grand festival of voluntary affirmation. Thus, the progressives in the Centre of Excellence have declared that there is no vacancy in Alausa Government House.

There only two major parties in Lagos State. Lagosians now look forward to a contest between the governor, who will campaign based on his score card and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, who will only reel out some promises.

There was wild jubilation yesterday among party faithful. Many chieftains said they expected the GAC position, thanking the party elders for objectivity.

GAC Secretary Chief Mutiu, Are, who confirmed it yesterday, said Sanwo-Olu has impressed the people with his style of administration, adding that he deserved to exercise the right of first refusal.

The leader of the apex group, Second Republic House of Representatives member Prince Oluyole Olusi, said the GAC merely upheld the wish of the people.

He added: “The endorsement is based on the reaction of the people. Everywhere, people have given Governor Sanwo-Olu more than a passmark. They have described him as a successful governor, a servant of the people per excellence.

“These praises by Lagosians are due to the improvement, development and services rendered by the governor in all aspects of governance; in education, health and rural development. Governor Sanwo-Olu is a gentleman to a fault.

“Based on these qualities, based on the consent of the people of Lagos, the GAC has no alternative than to accede to the request. They want him to have another chance.”

Echoing Olusi, another GAC member, Alhaji Akanni Seriki-Bamu, leader of the party in Epe Division, described the governor as an ‘omoluabi.’ He hailed his decisiveness, abundant integrity, dependability and capacity for team work.

He said: “In the first place, we have a calm man, a gentleman at the helm of affairs. He is accommodating; he carries along the party and the masses. He cannot hurt a fly. The former governor even abused him. He kept quiet.

“He has respect for elders. He has listening ears. I am grateful to him for the hospital in Epe. People from other states even go there for medical care.”

Other elders hailed the synergy between Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, noting that due to the display of maturity and mutual respect, there is no friction. To them, the Lagos experience should be emulated by other states.

Lagos APC hailed the elders for their leadership and candour. Its Publicity Secretary Seye Oladejo said Sanwo-Olu has done Lagos proud by living up to expectation in the last three years.

Oladejo hailed the governor’s zeal, leadership, focus and passion for result-oriented governance.

Highlighting the governor’s achievements, the publicity secretary said the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic brought out his inherent leadership quality, sressing that he led the battle from the front.

He said his government provided the requisite medical facilities, consumables, incentives and palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown on Lagosians.

“Sanwo-Olu has passed the true test of leadership in flying colours. It is commendable that the setback and the distraction occasioned by the pandemic have not hindered his administration from fulfilling its promises to the electorate,”Oladejo stresed.

Despite the Covid-19 challenge, economic recession, and #Endsars protests, Lagos State has been on the path of steady development under Sanwo-Olu. Indeed, the governor has led the state to recovery across the sectors.

His score card showed that his administration has not derailed. Rather, the governor has worked hard to fulfill his campaign promises to Lagosians. The governor has promoted inclusion, not only in the party and the government, but also in the state.

The governor took off by unveiling his well articulated THEMES agenda, which has remained the main thrust of the social contract between the government and people.

The acronym, THEMES, captured the expectations of the teeming population about the dividends of democracy. When he unfold. The agenda has been impactful across the state.

It is an understatement. THEMES has remained the main thrust of the social contract between the people and the Sanwo-Olu government.

THEMES is the acronym for Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism and Governance and Security. It also captures public expectation and the implementation is the baseline for feedback.

But, the greatest feat is the pervading atmosphere of security that is conducive for business and peaceful coexistence.

Also, the sustenance of the infrastructure battle is laudable. Lagos has become a huge construction site. Schools, hospitals, roads and long bridges are bring constructed to ameliorate the impact of infrastructural deficit, the latest being the construction of Opebi-Ojota-Mende Maryland Bridge.

Lagos is the economic capital of Nigeria. Since the Federal Government has neglected the former federal capital, the burden of providing these infrastructure is on the governor of a state that shoulders enormous national and sub-regional responsibilities.

In the spirit of continuity, Sanwo-Olu has not neglected inherited projects. Therefore, there is no abandoned project in Lagos State.

Traffic management and transportation are a major challenge of mega cities, where survival largely depends on unhindered intra-city transportation. This also have implications for economic activities, health and security.

The state government decided to develop the three modes of transportation-roads, rail and waterways. According to Ladi Balogun, who oversees the water transportation in the state, the move has expanded the channels of transportation and eased intra-city movement.

LAGFERRY, the agency in charge of water transportation, has 20 ferries plying various routes in the state.

The agency has 15 jettiesto boost its operations. They are located in Apaa, Badagry, VIP chalet, Badagry, Italy, Ajido, Badagry, Ilado, Amuwo- Odofin, Ilashe, Ojo, Ito Omu, Epe, Offin, Ikorodu, Takwa Bay, Eti-osa, Ijede waterfront, Ikorodu, Marina waterfront, Badagry, Oke-Ira Nla, Eti-Osa, Liverpool, Apapa, Ebute-ero, Lagos Island, Mile 2, Ijegun-Egba, Ojo.

The construction of a command and control center for the waterways and the procurement of search and rescue boats has enhanced safety on waterways.

Oladejo listed the roads completed by the administration in two years. They include: Oniru network network of roads, Ojokoro network of roads-31 in number- the Pen Cinema fly-over, Agege, Oshodi/Abule-Egbe BRT corridor, Phases One and Two of Badagry Expressway, Lagos-Ogun boundary roads, six major junction improvements at Lekki One and Two, Ajah, Maryland, Ikotun and Allen Avenue. Jide Oki / Ade Adedina/ Olugbani streets in Iru/ Victoria Island, Ijegun-Egbe road and Ishuti road in Igando. St. Finbarrs road/Diya street in Yaba Iwaya road .

Also, 216 inner roads in the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs were rehabilitated.

Other projects include the Lekki Regional Roads, Lekki-Epe expressway, Agric Isawo Road, Ikorodu, Bola Tinubu-Igbogbo-Imota Road, Ijede road, Oba Sekumade road and construction of 100 bus shelters, 78 of which have been completed.

The intra-city rail projects -the blue and the red lines- fall into the framework of mass transportation in the state. Sanwo-Olu is not relenting in his determination to turn the dream into reality.

The completion of the Lagos Rail Mass (LRMT) Blue Line Project ( Mile 2 – Marina) and the Red Line is expected to bring succour commuters. It will save a lot of man hour and foster economic.

In the past three years, Sanwo-Olu has commissioned over 600 buses under the Bus Rapid Transport system. He also launched the 500 First and Last Mile Buses. The goal is to provide 5000 FLM buses to cater for inner transportation and replace okada.

LAGFERRY, the agency in charge of water transportation, has 20 ferries plying various routes in the state.

The agency has 15 jetties under construction to boost its operations. They are located in Apaa, Badagry, VIP chalet, Badagry, Italy, Ajido, Badagry, Ilado, Amuwo- Odofin, Ilashe, Ojo, Ito Omu, Epe, Offin, Ikorodu, Takwa Bay, Eti-osa, Ijede waterfront, Ikorodu, Marina waterfront, Badagry, Oke-Ira Nla, Eti-Osa, Liverpool, Apapa, Ebute-ero, Lagos Island, Mile 2, Ijegun-Egba, Ojo.

The construction of a command and control center for the waterways and the procurement of search and rescue boats has enhanced safety on waterways.

The Covid-19 pandemic is challenging. Lagos State, as the epicenter of the pandemic, responded to the enormous challenge.

The pandemic, which crept in as the government was settling down, showcased the governor as a great manager of human and material resources.

Sanwo-Olu displayed the expected political will to lead from the front and ensured the provision of the wherewithal to curtail the pandemic and reduce its impact.

Sanwo-Olu’s performance became a reference point in the management of the pandemic.

The state government is now better equipped and prepared to manage similar challenges in future in terms of technical know-how and availability of requisite infrastructure.

The government, through the Medical Project Implementation Unit (MPIU), has begun the upgrade of infrastructure in the state-owned facilities to build a resilient health-care and increase access to health.

The implementation cuts across the primary, secondary and tertiary health-care system.

The government has completed and equipped 2 Maternal and Childcare Centers (MCC) in Eti-Osa and Badagry. Another 110-bed MCC has been recently completed in Epe.

The government renovated the Mainland hospital in Yaba with a future plan to converting it to an Institute of Research for Infectious Diseases.

The general hospitals at Apapa, Harvey road , Yaba , Isolo, Odan and Ebutte-Metta health Centre were renovated for accessible health care delivery.

Presently, a 280 bed general hospital in Ojo and 150 bed New Massey Street Children’s hospital are under construction.

The construction of a 1,500 bed Psychiatric Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre at Ajidun has also been approved.

The state government in collaboration with the private sector has completed and handed over an oxygen plant at the Mainland and Gbagada General Hospitals. In the same vein, Triage and Oxygen Centres in 10 locations across the state have been delivered.

The welfare of health-care workers has also received attention with the construction of a 24 unit Doctors and Staff Quarters at Gbagada General Hospital.

At inception, the issue of the enviroment was a major challenge to the Sanwo -Olu administration.

The state government has been able to re-energize and re- organize the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Private Sector Participation in Refuse disposal for cleaner Lagos.

The government launched the LAWMA Academy. It also expanded the Olusosun Dumpsite to 42 acres to accommodate more waste and ensure that trucks can have a quicker turnaround time.

The state government constructed collector drains at various locations across the state.

Trapezoidal channels and collector drains were also constructed to check the menace of incessant flooding.

Education and Technology take a prime position in the present administration. The state government is of the view that quality education is germane to the execution of its various developmental agenda.

The Sanwo-Olu administration has completed over 1,097 projects in 970 schools across the state.

The government has provided blocks of classrooms, administrative offices, school furniture , laboratories and modern toilet facilities across the six Education Districts.

3000 teachers at both primary and secondary schools, were recruited and trained to join the State teaching workforce while those already in service were developed through continuous training to update their skills and knowledge with modern technology.

The state government signed an agreement with six private investors for the proposed LASU 8,272- units hostel.

The government implemented a 3,000km of metro fibre connection across the state to promote security. It also provided a fully digital mapping platform and an integrated end to end land administration system which includes integrated land automation system.

The Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), with start-up funds of $687,000 to drive investment in research and development of tech-focused solutions across the six pillars of the administration’s THEMES agenda was set up.

In two years, the Lagos State government has delivered 14 housing schemes, adding 7,000 affordable housing units to reduce deficit in the sector.

The projects which are situated across the state include Lateef Jakande Gardens , Igando, Lagos State Affordable Public Housing Scheme, Idale Badagry, LagosHoms Lekki Phase 2 and Babatunde Raji Fashola Estate, Courtland Villas, Igbokushu.

Other completed schemes are located in Odo Onisarutu Ayandelu, Agbosasa, Magodo/Omole, Gbagada and Ibeshe.

It is note-worthy that the homes are for both low and high networth individuals. The Lagos Mortgage Board has strengthened the “Rent to Own” policy to provide many residents especially first-time home-owners with the desired opportunity.

The agricultural sector has been defended and refocused to promote food security. In line with this, the five-year Agric road-map was launched.

No fewer than 879 farmers and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) benefited from the Lagos Agro-Processing, Prodctivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project.

The government created the Eko Farmers’ Market to deliberately provide ready-made off-takers for farmers to dispose of their products on regular basis.

The Rice mill at Imota created 250,000 employment opportunities.

The government introduced a #1B Agric Value Chain Fund targeted at businesses that operate within the agric value chain.

However, the EndSars protest left in its wake unimaginable destruction and developmental set-back. The negative inpact of the pandemic on the economy and livelihood took a prime position of concern in the governance of the state.

The governor, rather than brood on the colossal losses, rallied the citizenry to rebuild, regain and restore the state. The sheer audacity of the leadership attracted support from all and sundry across the nation. The state government has extended its milk of kindness to mitigate personal and corporate losses.

The Lagos State government also underscored its humane nature with the various impactful empowerment and poverty alleviation programs.

Ovet 3,673 businesses were supported with #1.156B and a plethora of interventions including grants, mentorship, business advisory, capacity building and market access opportunities.

Also, 1,835 businesses were supported with #939.97M and saved a total of 10,000 direct jobs and 40,020 indirect jobs via the MSME Recovery Fund which was an intervention program to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the EndSars protest.

The Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme (LEAP) to reduce the effects of the pandemic on small businesses.

A #5B EduFund in partnership with First Bank Plc and EdFin FMB and a #1B fund targeted at businesses in the tourism, hospitality, entertainment, arts and culture sectors was set up.

Sanwo-Olu accorded great priority to security. The novel Lagos State Security Trust Fund remains the rallying point for the provision of the requisite support for the security agencies in the state. The provision of operational vehicles , communication gadgets and other logistics has no doubt made Lagos State the safest in the country.

Sanwo-Olu also tackled the menace of okada riders, whose mode of operation, lawlessness, threat to lives and general well-being can no longer be tolerated.

To Lagosians, the commitment to increase the manpower of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Watch and equip them accordingly is a step in the right direction.

According to Lagos APC, the state has become the reference point for good, focused, impactful, inclusive, responsible , responsive , innovative and humane governance.

“We are indeed convinced that Lagos State is in safe hands. He is indeed the man for the season,” said Oladejo.

Olusi said “Sanwo-Olu will do better in his second term,” urging Lagosians to support him.

Seriki-Bamu said: “We can predict greater performance to the joy of Lagosians and other Nigerians in his second term.”

Source: The Nation.

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