When Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was being considered as the flagbearerer of All Progressive Congress (APC) for the position of the Governor of Lagos State prior to the 2019 general election in Nigeria, little did many people know that Mr. Sanwo-Olu was a ‘Child of Necessity’ destined to rule by God. His reign was to prove rightly the judgement of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the elders of the party in Lagos who believed and reposed their confident in him.
Going two years into his adminstration in the metropolitan Lagos State, Nigerians and indeed the world are seeing unfolding in Lagos what could be described as unprecedented growth and development, which are results of hard work, deliberate, well thought out policies and governance administered with the milk of human kindness.
We would all agree that Lagos State has a Governor who, among other qualities, possesses great belief in positive cause, which means that creative solutions to curb and eliminate problems have received excellent attention and better implementation.
When he took over the mantle of leadership, Mr. Sanwo-Olu made bold to say that the effort to take Lagos to the new heights in line with his campaign promises and manifesto of the APC remained on course, revealing that his administration had taken bold steps to build on the foundations laid by his predecessors.
The is an administrator per excellence who resolves to make Lagos greater and committed to the course instigated to make Lagos a 21st century economy and a safe place to live. This is being manifested through the six pillars of development, known as Project T.H.E.M.E.S. (Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology).
The development agenda was carefully formulated to tackle the problems identified in sectors that are strategic to the growth of Lagos State. Sanwo-Olu’s government’s themes agenda perfectly resonates with 21st century leadership, and the ongoing implementation has put Lagos on the path of one of the sustainable cities in the world.
When he came on board, and because he knew what he needed to do. he found it easy to get down to work; to restore the aesthetics of the environment and improve the health of residents/ This led to immediate upgrade of Lagos’ waste management infrastructure to achieve efficient services in waste disposal and also to realise cleaner environment.
From ‘Zero Tolerance for Potholes Initiative’ to the directive giving to the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to operate a minimum of two shifts by managing traffic until 11:00 pm daily, rolling out of 65 high-capacity buses in addition to the existing buses in the fleet of Lagos Bus Services Limited, launching of Uber Boat water transportation service, reviving of the Blue Line Mass Transit Rail project and reconstructed and commissioning of 13.68 kilometre-long BRT corridor (Oshodi – Abule-Egba section of the Lagos–Abeokuta expressway) all pointed to the good works of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to efficiently manage Lagos traffic and transportation sector since he assumed office
In infrastructural development, the administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ben able to touch most areas of the state massively. The government entered into a Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) agreement that involves banks handling the rehabilitation of roads as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). For instance, Access Bank with partnership with the state government has upgraded Oniru network of roads under the PIIP arrangement.
Under Governor Sanwo-Olu, the China Development Bank has injected a $629million financing facility to accelerate the completion of the Lekki Deep Seaport project, which started in 2011. When completed in 2022, the deep seaport would have two container berths of 680-metre long and 16.5-metre water depth. It will also have the capacity to be berthed by fifth-generation container ships, with a capacity of 18,000 TEU ship. Governor Sanwo-Olu affirmed that the project will transform the Lekki corridor into a new economic hub and offer a new impetus for socio-economic growth in the state.
The resuscitation of Adiyan Waterworks, Phase Two to provide drinking water for more than five million Lagos residents to help address sanitation challenges and fight water-borne diseases, massive road construction in Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, the hitherto abandoned Pen Cinema flyover project which was just being completed and commissioned by the Governor in company of the National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu are many of the good works of the Governor in infrastructured facelift of Lagos.
While commissioning the Pen Cinema flyover, Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “I am delighted to stand before Lagosians today to celebrate the delivery of this landmark project, which again, reflects our administration’s belief in the principle of continuity in governance and demonstrates our commitment to the urgency of infrastructure development and the welfare of our people. The completion of this flyover and five network of roads sends a strong message about our determination to accelerate our futuristic vision for a world class transportation system complemented by a good network of roads for social and economic transformation.”
The people of Lagos are feeling the good impacts of the Governor’s housing programmes as many housing units have been constructed across the state. A 264-unit of flats ranging from one to four bedrooms for upper and middle-income earners in two different estates in the Ikate Elegushi and Lekki area of the state was commissioned in January this year.
The 492-flat housing project in Igando area of Lagos, the 132-unit Lagos HOMS project at Iponri in Surulere area have been commissioned, while the 360 units in Igbogbo, 744 in Sangotedo, 660 in Agbowa and 680 in Egan Igando are slated for commissioning soon.
In the areas of healthcare delivery and the environment, Governor Sanwo-Olu is leaving nothing to chance to ensure that his government is giving Lagosians good life and good place to live in.
The government launched ‘Ilera Eko’ campaign to achieve universal health coverage for all Lagosians by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) in order to create more awareness and sensitisation on the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS). A 149-bed Maternal and Childcare Centre, MCC, in Alimosho General Hospital, a four-floor 110-bed Maternal and Child Centre (MCC) were commissioned recently (this is eighth facility completed by the state government to provide specialized mother and childcare services while two other similar facilities located in Epe and Badagry are nearing completion), the Healthy Bee Initiative of the Lagos government, a free healthcare programme aimed at combating organ impairment and life-threatening ailments in children that benefited over 25,000 residents and many others are some of the laudable achievements of Sanwo-Olu’s government in the health sector, while the government has also strenthened the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to ensure a clean metropolitan Lagos. The government has encouraged zero waste generation in the state and promote a healthier and cleaner environment; reduce carbon footprints and increase economic security by tapping the domestic source of the material.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, since he assumed power, has proved to be a leader who feels the pains of his people, so in the area of social welfare and empowerment programmes, he is fulfiling the biblical injunction of ‘Be your brothers’ keeper’.
It is not suprised however to see the Governor, with his benevolent spirit, he has helped legal residents whose businesses were affected by the carnage trailing the END SARS protest to resuscitate their businesses. Sanwo-Olu initiated the N5bn MSME Recovery Fund under the Lagos State Entrepreneurship Trust Fund (LSETF). Vulnerable and indigent Lagosians also have good story to tell about the magnanimity of Governor, who empowered a total of 1,050 people. These set of people, apart from financial support, business support tools and equipment such as grinding machines, hairdressing tools, sewing machines and tyre repair kits among others were generously giving to them. To the surprise of these people, the Governor promised that he would be doing this humanitarian and empower programme to the vulnerable on quarterly basis.
The retrirees are not left out in the scheme of things as the Governor had made sure they received the dividends of his government. In November, 2020, the state government disbursed about N1.3 billion into the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) of 246 retirees in the state’s public service for October. The beneficiaries included employees from the mainstream service, Local Government Service, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), and other parastatals of the state government.
In the area of security, Governor Sanwo-Olu left no one in doubt about his resolve to not only strengthening security of the state, but he affirmed his administration’s plans to improve efficiency of the security architecture. He has always said that he would continue to push for domestication of state policing as a strategy to combat crime and beef up security.
He revealed recently of his administration’s plans to employ technology in intelligence gathering, even as he planned to roll out 2,000 security cameras across communities through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).
He has been emphasising that effective security is an essential component of his government’s developmental agenda for Lagos State, hence his proactiveness in the handling of the state’s security by providing the needed qualitative support for the police to effectively discharge their duties.
In this part of the world, you get to know a competent leader through how such leader could weather the storm during crisis. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has shown to be a leader with the ways he and his team have been able to stir the ship of the state since the outbreak of novel Coronavirus pandemic. Because of the strategic position of Lagos State, the state naturally became the epicentre of the disease popularly called COVID-19. As the Incident Commander, Governor Sanwo-Olu ensured that the outbreak does not get out of control.
Lagos has also been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria with a functional incident command centre and, apart from the existing isolation centre, the government recently opened another in Victoria Island. The new centre is a purpose-built medical facility equipped with ICU capacities in response to the resurgence of the coronavirus in Nigeria with Lagos still the hub of the infection.
That is why the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu could not hide his admiration with the way Governor Sanwo-Olu has stood tall during this health crisis. Tinubu said that in the face of the pandemic, Governor Sanwo-Olu had stabilised and brought Lagos back on a focused journey, despite economic turbulence occasioned by Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Unexpected COVID-19 pandemic brought out his inherent leadership quality,as he led the battle from the front as the incident commander. Sanwo-Olu rallied Lagosians to battle the pandemic, even as he continued to deliver on his electoral promises.
Sanwo-Olu’s government provided the requisite medical facilities, consumables, incentives and palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown on Lagosians
The unparalleled developments currently being witnessed in Lagos state under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is not a coincidence because the ship of Lagos is in the hand of a leader who we all see to be marching both government and the people together brilliantly.
Lagosians can now be rest assured that the years ahead have a fortune to offer, even when we know that the task ahead is enormous.