By Benjamin Ehigbo
As Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu marks two years in office on May 29 this year, analysts and observers have been assessing how far he has gone in his journey to lift Lagos State to greater heights.
It is believed in many quarters that the governor, in the face of the pandemic and its ravaging effects, coupled with the #EndSARS protest, among other turbulent issues since he assumed office, has done very well.
Having been able to weather the storm, the All Progressives Congress in Lagos has applauded and celebrated Sanwo-Olu.
Mr Seye Oladejo, Lagos APC Spokesman, in his remarks while assessing the governor, commended the him for an impressive mid-term success in spite of the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recession and the EndSARS protest.
“The Lagos State government under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has become the reference point for good, focused, impactful, inclusive, responsible, responsive, innovative and humane governance.” He said.
He added: “We are indeed convinced that Lagos State is in safe hands. He is indeed the man for the season. As a party, we are proud that you have kept the faith as our flag-bearer and on course to fulfill our progressive manifestos to the delight of all Lagos residents.
“As the second half begins, we are convinced that all projects will be completed and more impactful policies, programmes, and projects will be implemented as you finish strongly,” he said.
He also noted: “The state government embarked on the massive construction and rehabilitation of roads and fulfilled its commitment to complete inherited projects.
“In the past two years, the state government commissioned over 600 buses under the Bus Rapid Transport system, while it recently launched the 500 First and Last Mile Buses.
The plan is to have in place 5000 FLM buses to cater for inner transportation and replace okada.
“The waterways have become a safe and reliable mode of transportation since the inception of this administration,”
Oladejo said that Sanwo-Olu had overhauled its health facilities in response to prevailing and future challenges and excelled to the admiration of his most uncharitable critics.
The spokesman, who noted that Sanwo-Olu’s performance had not only become a reference point, but also a manual for top-notch management of a pandemic.
He said that the health projects cut across the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare system.
Oladejo also listed Sanwo-Olu’s impacts on environment, education, technology, security, science, research and innovation, housing schemes, agriculture, tourism as well as empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes.
It will be rescaled that the governor has unveiled iconic projects to commemorate his second anniversary in office which began from Tuesday, April 27.
Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat stepped in the saddle on May 29, 2019.
The new projects are part of what Sanwo-Olu’s administration will be offering the people of Lagos.
The projects typify a glimpse into the future that he often refers to as #AGreaterLagos, to make life more comfortable for the citizenry.
The State Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement said a series of activities had been put together to showcase the administration’s performance and impact on Lagosians.
According to the statement, “mid-term report will begin with briefings by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government rendering accounts of their achievements in the past two years.
“Events of the second anniversary include media interviews and interaction of key members of the Lagos State Executive Council, including Dr. Hamzat, the media and various segments of society.”
Omotoso said the Governor would unveil iconic projects in the Health, Education, Transportation, Housing and other sectors, besides the various infrastructure projects that had been completed during his tenure
He said: “The ground-breaking of the New Massey Street Children’s hospital, which is billed to be the biggest in Africa, will be performed by Mr Governor.
New schools and housing units will be commissioned.”
On the road transportation sector, the Commissioner, said: “Since taking the oath of office, Governor Sanwo-Olu has commissioned roads across the State, such as the Tedi-Muwo Road and Link Bridge at the Lagos-Ogun State boundary that cuts across Alimoso and Agbado-Oke Odo;
the 1.4km dual carriage Pen Cinema Bridge; the 13.68 kilometres Oshodi-Abule-Egba BRT corridor; 31 networks of roads in Ojokoro LCDA as well as six junction improvement projects to tackle traffic congestion under the Traffic Management Intervention Plan.
“In Lekki, the Government is building the Regional Road and the Lekki-Epe Expressway. In Ikorodu, work is progressing on Agric-Isawo Road; Bola Tinubu-Igbogbo-Imota Road; Ijede Road; Oba Sekumade Road in Ipakodo; and Itamaga to Ewu Elepe Town.”
In the housing sector, Omotoso said no less than 3,500 housing units had been delivered with thousands more to be completed before the end of the second quarter.
The Commissioner further said, “Major strides are also visible in water transportation as an alternative means of commuting passengers to reduce pressure on road infrastructure across the five divisions of Lagos State.
“No less than 15 jetties are in various stages of completion at the Ijede Waterfront and Offin in Ikorodu; Marina Waterfront, VIP Chalet, Apaa and Isalu Ajido in Badagry; Oke-Ira Nla and Takwa Bay, Eti-Osa; Liverpool Road in Apapa; Ebute-Ero on Lagos Island; Mile 2; Ijegun-Egba and Ilashe in Ojo; Ito-Omu in Epe, as well as Ilado in Amuwo Odofin.
“Mr Governor has just performed the ground-breaking of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line Project to complement the 29km Blue Line Project, which has reached 93% completion stage.
Phase One of the project will be delivered in the last quarter of year 2022 to convey passengers from Okokomaiko to Marina.”
According to Omotoso, in the aspect of social intervention, “over 38,000 residents are beneficiaries of programmes that provide empowerment for youths and succour to other residents through agriculture; healthcare and grants for women in rural areas. There are many who have graduated from the State’s 19 Skills Acquisition projects.
These figures exclude the residents who enjoyed free treatment in public hospitals during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
While stating that the Smart City Project was on, he added that “about 3000km of fibre-optic cables are being laid in the first phase of the project, which will be 6,000km when completed.
It will provide faster and more reliable internet that will improve education, security and commerce to boost the attainment of a 21st Century Economy.”
In the area of technology, the Commissioner said “Schools, hospitals, security agencies and members of the public can hook up to the internet connectivity to advance teaching and learning; consultation and treatment of patients as well as surveillance of crime and traffic violations across the State. Besides, thousands of cameras will be installed to check crime.
“The recent acquisition of body cameras for security and traffic monitoring is an innovative approach to monitoring, identifying and checkmating criminals.”
According to him, Governor Sanwo-Olu would round off the second year anniversary events by engaging the media, captains of industry and other stakeholders at an interactive session on May 28 when he would deliver a state of the State address.