In keeping promises made during the electioneering, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday, flagged off the execution of 377 state-wide projects across all wards in the State.
The intervention, which was said to be first of its kind in the State, was initiated at the instance of the Governor. It will bring about the construction of over 250 roads and installation of 23 power projects across the State.
Members of the State cabinet, All Progressives Congress Local Council chairmen, councillors and scores of party stalwarts, led by the State’s chairman of APC, Hon. Tunde Balogun, graced the flag-off ceremony held Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa.
Sanwo-Olu said the intervention was initiated in response to the series of requests by the various communities across the State to address specific challenges. He said the execution of the projects would change the narrative about what grassroots development and Government’s responsibilities are all about.
He said: “The state-wide 377 ward projects being launched today are state intervention projects in grassroots development. The projects are conceived in response to requests by the various communities across the State to address specific challenges. These projects are not universal; they are diverse, reflecting the needs of each ward across the state.
“The implementation of the projects will commence immediately after this official flag-off, as contractors have been fully mobilized to move to site. I urge residents who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these projects to take ownership by monitoring the implementation process and ensure that the job conforms to quality and standard specified in the project design.”
Sanwo-Olu said the process of identifying the needs and the design of the projects was in line with the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and participatory governance in which the people were considered as key stakeholders.
The Governor described grassroots as “the bedrock of development”, stressing that the projects were strategic in promoting the wellbeing of the people across communities. He said his Government would continue to give residents a voice on issues that affect them.
He said: “This administration’s development agenda is driven by the spirit to build a Greater Lagos that is livable, and conducive for the growth and development of enterprise. The dream of a greater Lagos is not exclusive; it is predicated on the principle of inclusiveness by which development is not considered as satisfactory until it has addressed the yearnings of the greatest number of the people who contributes to the commonwealth.”
Sanwo-Olu charged all elected and appointed officials in public offices to be responsible in dealing with people, noting that governance would be meaningless without the input of the people on whose mandate public officers derived their powers.
Chairman of the Projects’ Implementation Committee and the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said all contractors would mobilise to sites next Monday, noting that the intervention was in demonstration of the Governor’s campaign promise to run an inclusive Government.
He said the projects’ selection followed a meeting between the Governor and all 377 councillors across the State, during which Sanwo-Olu asked them to nominate specific projects that could be executed in their wards.
After identifying the projects, Hamzat said the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and and professionals in public service evaluated the cost of the projects. This effort, the Deputy Governor said, was followed by a re-evaluation exercise by an independent consultant.
Giving the breakdown of the projects, Hamzat said the State Government would be constructing 257 community roads and drainages across the State. He added that 86 public buildings would be rehabilitated, while two jetties, nine water projects and 23 power projects will be installed across the wards.
All the projects, the Deputy Governor said, are distributed across the three senatorial districts in the State, disclosing that wards across the Lagos Central will be having be having 94 projects, while wards in the Lagos East will have 99 and wards in Lagos West, 184 projects.
Hamzat said: “The projects will be implemented by contractors in collaboration with Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Directorate of Technical Service, Lagos State Electricity Board and Public Works Corporation. Supervision and monitoring of the projects will be done in collaboration with the ward councillors and party executives.”
The APC chairman, Hon Tunde Balogun described the projects as grassroots-focused, confirming that the Sanwo-Olu administration was the first to embark on such massive projects across wards in a single move.
By directly engaging the councillors in the execution of the projects, the party chairman said the Governor had established strong connection with the grassroots.
“The State Government has been investing in provision of infrastructure to make the State’s economy stronger and give people a new lease of life. Despite these efforts, the Governor still found the reason to touch the grassroots by initiating these 377 projects. With this, Sanwo-Olu will be leaching lasting impact on the grassroots,” he said.
Chairman of APC in Ikoyi-Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Prince Abiodun Abu, who spoke on behalf of all the party chairmen across councils, described the intervention “a new dawn” in the history of governance in Lagos.
He said the projects would accelerate development across communities in the State.
Hon. Nurudeen Alimi, spoke on behalf of 377 councillors, saying the Governor, by the gesture, had taken dividends of democracy to the grassroots in a way never seen before in the State.