Sanwo-Olu Remains The Best For Lagos.By Prof. Ojo Emmanuel Ademola
By Prof. Ojo Emmanuel Ademola
Come March 11, 2023, Nigerians will return to the polls, once again to elect state governors and state assemblymen and women to drive the affairs of the various states. This second leg of the electoral process will conclude the 2023 general election and usher in a tranche of new leaders that would govern Nigeria for the next four years, starting on May 29, 2023.
In Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve centre, the economic hub of Nigeria and arguably, Nigeria’s most powerful, richest and most viable state, the race is for incumbent Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to get another four years term to complete the humongous project of taking Lagos far up the lofty developmental height he had been pursuing since he was elected four years ago. For Sanwo-Olu, APC and most Lagosians, the task to keep this hard-working governor on the job tallies with the desire to complete and indeed expand the growth of a state that had witnessed rapid development and exponential growth in the past four years Sandi-Olu has been governor.
Baring the risk of sounding immodest, Sanwo-Olu towers far and ahead of the other contestants for the job and had shown with his stellar performance these past four years that he indeed fits perfectly into the big shoes he inherited four years ago. He has shown that he is a detailed, meticulous and goals-driven agent that satisfies the need of Lagosians for a capable driver to pilot the Lagos train.
Schooled and honed in the same far-sighted Asiwaju leadership school that had gifted Lagos, and indeed Nigeria, with proven performers that have authored the hugely successful Lagos story, Sanwo-Olu has been faithfully dedicated to the task of growing Lagos and fast-tracking its development. This Asiwaju leadership school and its graduates have ensured that Lagos remains the hub of economic growth, not only in Nigeria but in the entire African continent.
Lagos state remains the envy of every nation-state in Africa, and due to the advantages of continuity since 1999, Lagos is frequently mistaken for a separate nation-state. The fact that the political ideology that enables a people’s and society’s growth and development is built and established on structures of continuity cannot be overstated. Simply put, the risk posed by changing political ideology as the foundation of growth cannot be imagined; a failure. The inquiry is: Hasn’t Sanwo-Olu delivered on promises made during the last election circle?
Effective resource management toward laying a solid foundation for future growth is ensured by continuity. All Nigerians call Lagos home, and the APC will continue to go above and beyond for the city’s residents. Lagos is home to a diverse population of Nigerians, and the city, which is run by the ruling party, maintains a level playing field for all of its residents. Effectively, continuity in governance is a progressive governance pathway to ensure effective resource management towards building a sound foundation for future growth. Lagos is home to all Nigerians and the APC will continue to deliver beyond the expectations of the inhabitants (Nigerians) of Lagos. Nigerians of Lagos are diverse and the city provides an equal playing field for all inhabitants under the watch of the ruling party and the party will continue to tow this line.
Beneath Sanwo-Olu’s soft mien lies a steely and fully equipped leader that not only knows his way around the problems facing Lagos but has enduring solutions to these problems. Sanwo-Olu has these past four years, showing that he is able, capable and well-driven to take Lagos to greater heights and he is doing just that.
In August last year, CNN listed five critical infrastructures that would drive the economy of Nigeria in the coming years. Of these five projects, four are in Sanwo-Olu’s Lagos. Apart from the Dangote refinery, three others are Lagos state projects or projects where Lagos has predominant interests. These are Eko Atlantic City, Lekki Deep Sea Port and the Red and Blue Rail lines. Sanwo-Olu met these projects at various levels of development and has brought them to conclusive construction stages. Lekki Deep seaport has been completed and put to full commercial use. Eko Atlantic City has been developed and is presently functional. The first stage of the Blue rail line has been commissioned, the second stage started while the Red line is at the conclusive construction stage.
Sanwo-Olu has expanded the Lagos transportation sector with heavy investment in an intermodal transportation scheme that involves the intra-city rail lines, the expansion of the Lagos waterways and the expansion of inter-city multi-modal link roads all over Lagos. Today, Sanwo-Olu has developed a tripodal transportation system involving road, rail and water, making it the only state in Nigeria enjoying that ambitious transport modem.
Lagos enjoys an ease of doing business rating that makes it Nigeria’s prime investment destination. Lagos attracts over 60% of Nigeria’s foreign investment today because Sanwo-Olu has made it easy for businesses and investments to thrive while removing various bottlenecks that hitherto vitiate business operations in Lagos. This has boosted Lagos’s revenue profile and continues to expand by the day, as Lagos continues to thrive economically.
Education in Lagos has witnessed massive expansion as the massive rehabilitation and equipping of public primary secondary schools has become a tradition under Sanwo-Olu’s regime. The exponential expansion in tertiary education has seen Lagos get two brand new universities with the upgrading of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin and the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education Epe to Lagos State University of Education (LASUED) and the Lagos State College of Technology, Ikorodu to Lagos University of Science and Education (LASUST). The premier Lagos university, LASU has witnessed such huge transformation and re-tooling that has made it one of the best-rated universities in Nigeria today.
In the health sector, Sanwo-Olu has carried out rapid expansion, maintenance and equipment of Lagos state health facilities. The Lagos State Infrastructure Assets Management Agency (LASIAMA) had been created to maintain Lagos healthcare facilities and it is doing creditably well to bequeath functional and efficient healthcare to Lagosians. More hospitals are being built all over Lagos while more primary health care centres are being established in various nooks and crannies of Lagos to meet the health needs of the expanding population of the state. Lagos, under Sanwo-Olu, has maintained the enviable record it has held as the standard bearer in good and functional health care delivery in Nigeria.
The Lagos judicial system remains the most modern, the best equipped and best remunerated and motivated in Nigeria. Lagos courts continue to wear modern looks, and new courtrooms built and equipped with modern types of equipment to make for speedy justice delivery under Sanwo-Olu.
Let us note that such a gigantic project as the Imota Rice Mill has been completed and commissioned recently, that construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge which promises to be the longest bridge in Africa is about to commence. We are not overlooking the rapid construction, expansion and rehabilitation of many roads in Lagos, the innovative junction improvement project that has greatly enhanced city transportation in Lagos.
The continued environmental upgrade of Lagos thrived under Sanwo-Olu who has built on his predecessors’ environmental template to give Lagos one of the cleanest, healthy and safest environments despite its massive population. What’s more, the perennial flood menace that ravages other parts of the country has been largely tackled in Lagos under Sanwo-Olu through rapid sewage and drainage de-silting as well as massive dredging of interconnecting canals and waterways.
Security has been a cherished priority of Sanwo-Olu as governor. In his resolve to ensure Lagosians sleep with two eyes shut, Sanwo-Olu has continued to equip, motivate and expand the security agencies and under him, Lagos remains the safest state in Nigeria even with its expanding population. Security agencies in Lagos are well-remunerated and capably equipped to tackle the security menace of the state. Millions of citizens of other states, fleeing from insecurity in their states, today find Lagos a safe haven where their security is guaranteed.
in the area of public transportation, we would not forget the rapid expansion Sanwo Olu has made of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) with the expansion of its routes and fleets. The BRT scheme has been extended to the inner parts of Lagos with the introduction of the Last Mile bus services that use smaller BRT buses and taxis to access inner roads in Lagos.
Lagos under Sanwo-Olu has been a paradise for civil servants as the government pampers them with perks and perquisites to make them more productive. Recently, the governor ordered mass promotion and salary increments for Lagos workers who are paid far ahead of the national minimum wage scale. Suffice it to say that Lagos State under Sanwo-Olu has the best-paid and best-motivated workforce in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu has sustained the culture of religious harmony and amity that had prevailed in Lagos under his predecessors. The multi-religious mix of Lagos enjoys full bloom as the governor has established regular interfaces and engagements with religious groups in the state to maintain harmony. In similar veins, he has ensured ethnic harmony and peace among the various ethnic groups that live in Lagos. With the appointment of people from other ethnic groups into his cabinet and top civil service positions, the governor has, these past four years, enhanced the unity and peace of all ethnic groups in Lagos and that has helped to prevent inter-ethnic frictions in Lagos for the past four years.
The massive work Sanwo-Olu has been doing in Lagos is exhaustive. I just stated these few to show that with him as governor, Lagos is in very safe hands. With Sanwo-Olu, Lagos is in very capable hands. With this governor, the economic growth of Lagos and Lagosians is well guaranteed. He is building a Lagos of the future; a Lagos that will attend to the needs of not just every Lagosian but every Nigerian. Under this governor, every Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, tongue, creed and ideology finds a home. Often people have criticised him as being too tolerant but then he sees his task as Governor of a critical state like Lagos as that of a father of every Nigerian, no matter where one comes from. He accommodates and tolerates and this is a worthy attribute a governor of a cosmopolitan state like Lagos should possess.
Above all, Sanwo-Olu is equipped with the drive, zeal, vision, and capacity to take Lagos to greater heights. He is building a greater Lagos. will serve every Nigerian and etch the economic growth of Lagos and Nigeria on immutable stone.
With his stellar performance these past four years, one needs no other reason to project him as the best, most qualified candidate to rule Lagos for the next four years. With what Santo-Olu has achieved in Lagos these four years, I can safely say he is the best man for the job. Any other choice besides him amounts to taking a very risky choice that may torpedo all the huge gains Lagos has achieved since 1999 and that will bode seriously set back for Lagos for Lagosians and indeed for Nigeria. We can’t afford such risk now so let us all troop out on March 11, eschew all religious or tribal differences and vote for the best man doing incredibly good work in Lagos these past four years for our good and the good of Nigeria. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the man!
Prof. Ojo Emmanuel Ademola