The sprawling megacity of Lagos, with over 20 million residents, is the cultural and financial coronary heart of Nigeria. For over 20 years, the state has launched into audacious infrastructure renewal tasks which can be capital intensive. The execution of ongoing tasks alone, not to mention the challenges of city sustainability within the context of Lagos make governing the state a herculean activity. On this article, Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat unfolds the agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration. Deputy Political Editor RAYMOND MORDI experiences.
On the outset, the notion of many Lagosians in regards to the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration was not completely a constructive one. Primarily based on the efficiency of his predecessors in workplace since 1999, Lagosians weren’t satisfied that he may step onto their sneakers.
Given the mountain of labor in all sectors in Lagos someway Governor Sanwo-Olu’s mild mien didn’t match into the mildew of a performer within the eyes of some residents.
However, nearly one yr after, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos has as soon as once more proved critics flawed.
Because the inception of the administration, Governor Sanwo-Olu has been working quietly in a number of sectors; to proceed from the place his fast processor in workplace, Akinwinmi Ambode stopped, and likewise to provoke new insurance policies to up the ante within the improvement of Lagos.
Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat just lately unfolded a number of the blueprints of the administration, sector by sector, in an interview with the editorial group of the Information Company of Nigeria (NAN).
Within the schooling sector, as an illustration, Dr. Hamzat stated the administration has launched into a coverage reform, which is dubbed ‘Eko Excel’, the state is re-engineering its instructing strategies and likewise adopting a holistic method to tackling challenges within the sector, to convey out the very best within the pupils.
He stated: “We began with 300 faculties. What meaning is that each one the first college lecturers could have a pill that permits them to focus on instructing in order that they don’t must do all of the lecturers notice that must be completed and schedule of labor.
Now we have skilled them in realizing the essence of instructing. Simply altering the essence of instructing and even how they discuss to the kids/handle them. Even when a toddler does one thing flawed, there are methods of correcting them.
“World wide, the main target has all the time been on the availability of apparatus for the lecture rooms and to have an ideal classroom for studying however these issues don’t train youngsters because it doesn’t imply the kids will come out effectively. You might need an ideal classroom but it surely doesn’t make something.
So over time, what the state authorities has completed is to give attention to the lecturers as they’re the widespread denominators. It means we should focus on the lecturers. They’re the widespread denominator.
“After six years the kids will go however the lecturers stay over and over. So we realise that the very best factor to do is to focus on the lecturers, their welfare, expertise, their coaching and the best way they method it. That’s what Eko Excel is doing.”
The deputy governor stated it’s too early to evaluate the affect of the scheme. He added: “In two to a few years’ time, we’d see how the instructing methodology has modified. We’d see the way it has affected the tradition of our schooling, the kids and the whole lot.
We’d additionally have the ability to collect info higher via the tools that may assist us to geo-reference. So, we will know, as an illustration, in school 4A in Agidingbi Main Faculty, 20 college students got here to class or 21 youngsters got here at 9 am. – so why are they coming to high school late? Is it that they’re residing removed from college?
“All this info will assist us to plan effectively. Additionally, it has helped us in monitoring the time the lecturers resume work.
Additionally, if a trainer is coming late to high school, why is it so? For instance, a trainer instructing in Ikorodu and residing in Oworonshoki, so why can’t we simply transfer the trainer to across the place she or he lives for comfort and good supply on the job.
“We’re additionally discovering out that some faculties have solely seven youngsters whereas in some faculties they’ve as much as 60. So it tells us that in some circumstances, possibly we’re constructing within the flawed locations.
So, possibly we have to construct extra lessons in such areas as a result of, in some native governments, the variety of youngsters at school is extraordinarily small in comparison with some others.”
One other element of Eko Excel, the deputy governor stated, would handle malnutrition amongst college youngsters. He stated main schooling is the inspiration of improvement and that it is very important repair it.
He stated research present that 52 per cent of youngsters below 5 years of age within the northern a part of the nation are malnourished. He stated within the south the share is about 20.
Hamzat stated whereas it’s essential to construct roads, present facilities and different issues that it’s equally essential to deal with the youthful inhabitants by addressing malnutrition amongst youngsters between the ages of zero to 5 as a result of, as docs have informed us, that is the time the mind develops.
He stated: “So we now have a committee on diet and likewise a division on diet however what’s shocking is that research exhibits that it’s not the kids of the poor which can be largely malnourished. The kids of the wealthy and center class can truly be malnourished as effectively if they don’t seem to be consuming proper as a result of as youngsters they wish to eat something.
“If we will cut back that quantity, it will be a implausible achievement though it’s not one thing that individuals like to speak about however the affect shall be good as a result of we’d now construct youngsters which can be wholesome and clever thereby the way forward for our nation shall be secured.”
On the well being, he stated the Lagos State Authorities has elevated the finances to the sector by nearly 70 per cent and are planning to construct new hospitals throughout the state.
He stated: “We wish to be sure that each a part of Lagos is roofed when it comes to healthcare supply companies. For example, we’re planning to construct a Common Hospital in Ojo; that axis doesn’t appear to have any in the meanwhile. We’re additionally planning to construct a spinal harm hospital someplace in Gbagada.
We’re additionally getting folks to assist us design as we now have been made to grasp that loads of our Common Hospitals must be redesigned.
“For instance, you go to UCH, Ibadan at night time with out air conditioner (AC) you’re feeling chilly due to the architectural design. It’s designed in order that air can move via… that’s cross air flow. Now we have gotten those who design hospitals for the tropics.”
Hamzat stated the federal government isn’t just all for constructing new buildings, however constructing ones which can be simpler to take care of and permits for air flow.
He added: “A part of the problem in most hospitals is that you simply go for the therapy of 1 ailment and later get contaminated with one other factor.
So these are the questions we requested our medical group. We’re not medical docs however we all know this stuff occur. So, we’re redesigning our hospitals.”
On the hardship imposed on residents by the ban on industrial bike and tricycle operators, in any other case referred to as Okada and Keke by the federal government, Dr. Hamzat stated the underlying motive behind the coverage is to cut back accidents on the roads and thereby protect the lives of Lagosians.
He stated: “A very powerful factor for us is that individuals should be alive earlier than they’ll do something. When life is misplaced, then there may be actually nothing else. It’s the lifeless finish.
So for us what’s essential is how will we safe this society? There are particulars and data that the federal government typically has you could’t even share with residents as a result of they received’t have the ability to sleep if you happen to disclose such info.”
The deputy governor stated critics of the coverage have been insisting that options should have been put in place earlier than the ban got here into impact.
He stated: “However, I disagree as a result of it should have been too late if we delayed additional; if we didn’t safe the lives of our kids we shall be very irresponsible. That’s the reason it was restricted in sure areas the place we noticed the upsurge.”
On the menace of members of the Nationwide Union of Highway Transport Employees (NURTW) on Lagos roads, the deputy governor stated the problem is that it’s a nationwide union recognised by legislation.
He stated just like the Affiliation of Educational Union of Universities (ASUU), there are various issues that members of the union do this the state authorities doesn’t assist, “however as a union recognised by legislation in our nation, we’ll hold partaking them in dialogue.”
He stated: “Whether or not we prefer it or not, they’ve some roles that they play within the transportation sector as a result of you realize what, the transportation sector just isn’t one thing that personal folks go into with out subsidy from authorities everywhere in the world.
However they’re doing it with out such help, so we should discover a solution to make it higher for them and for us as a folks. The engagement should proceed for us to have a peaceable society.”
The deputy governor spoke extensively on the visitors gridlock in Lagos, attributing it, for essentially the most half, to the breakdown of automobiles, which impede the free stream of visitors.
The Lagos quantity two citizen additionally attributed the visitors gridlock to ongoing street constructions in varied components of town. He stated: “For example, at Ojota, we’re changing the entire stretch of Ikorodu Highway with concrete. At Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, we’re additionally doing concrete.
The issue is that on that hall, we’re doing 300 metres daily but it surely takes 14 days to execute it correctly.
So, as a result of it takes 14 days, no automobile can move inside these quantity days. It signifies that for a very long time, that hall would proceed to expertise visitors whereas the challenge is ongoing. a problem about there.
“In reality, it is likely one of the causes that we’re speaking to the corporate that possibly we should always use bolstered bitumen quite than concrete, notably as the development work approaches Oworonshoki.”
Alaka, he added, can also be experiencing an analogous visitors gridlock due to the enlargement challenge additionally ongoing there, it’s a downside.
As a result of loads of this stuff are occurring, there shall be (gridlock). “However, I believe it’s higher to do it as soon as and in one other six or seven months, everyone shall be okay,” he added.
Hamzat stated the administration is making the most of the physique of water that surrounds Lagos, by creating water transport. He stated 14 boats had been just lately bought and are getting used to convey folks in a most comfy approach.
He urged many residents alongside the coastal line to reap the benefits of the waterways to get to their locations, and thereby cut back strain on the roads.
His phrases: “We’d like the water not simply to farm but additionally for transportation. The Lagos State Authorities simply procured these 14 new boats. The fantastic thing about it’s that each one these boats had been inbuilt Nigeria. After all, we introduced the engine, however we now have been in a position to construct that capability to construct boats.”
Hamzat stated Lagos deserves a particular standing due to the character of the tasks it’s shouldering inside the Nigerian federation. He stated the state is pursuing it via a invoice on the ground of the Senate initiated by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
He stated: “We’re pushing it; possibly we’re going about it otherwise. It may not be within the newspapers. It’s by speaking to everyone that’s concerned within the course of. It’s actually happening however otherwise. If one thing just isn’t working in a selected approach, you attempt one other method.”
On the perceived heavy borrowing in Lagos and the debt profile, he stated there isn’t any approach the federal government can meet up with the large infrastructural deficit with out borrowing. He stated: “There’s a musician in Epe within the 1970s; he’s lifeless now.
His identify is Ligali Mukaiva; he was not educated, however he stated one thing profound that has caught to my reminiscence since. I used to be in main college then.
The person sang a tune that any businessman that doesn’t use different folks’s cash is not going to succeed. So, the truth is, the place do you get assets to construct for at the moment?
“I bear in mind throughout Asiwaju Tinubu’s authorities after they took a bond of 15 billion. The opposition stated Oh; he has mortgaged the lives of the younger folks.
That mortgage has been paid. Throughout BRF authorities, we took 375 billion bonds, that bond has been paid. With out that, we can’t construct the Lekki Hyperlink Bridge.”
He stated Lagos will get solely N8 billion or N9 billion month-to-month from federal allocation. “By the point you pay salaries, you solely have N1 billion left. What are you able to do with N1 billion? So, the truth is, how do you supply the discover for infrastructural improvement?” he stated.