Entertainment, People

‘Governor Ambode and his team are on the same page’ – Steve Ayorinde

1-Steve-Ayorinde-Lagos-Commissioner-for-Information

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Mr. Steve Ayorinde debunked the story flying around town that the Fourth Mainland project announced earlier by the government has been abandoned.

In the second part of our interview with the amiable gentleman with more than two decades as a journalist under his belt, he enumerated the focus of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s government…

 

A lot of people are of the opinion that the governor is performing well now in order to get second term. That once he gets the second term he will relax. Are we likely to see this kind of performance in governor’s second term if he gets it?

I think what the governor is doing largely speaks of his campaign promises. You will see how everything has led to one campaign promise or the other. Job creation, investment drive, infrastructural development, security that would be top notch, education and health facilities, sport development, etc.

So, there is a deliberate execution of promises. If Lagosians see that this is a man that they can entrust their lives with for another four years, we will cross that bridge when we get there.

What is not in doubt is the fact that, this is a government that does not discriminate. This is a government that has shown its capacity in two years. This is a government that the opposition is praising,  from Chief Bode George to other governors in PDP…  saying that this is a good example of what a progressive government should be.

So, tell me in about one and a half years when the primaries will begin, what will be the basis for a challenge? What will be the point that a new governor would want to prove other than to say continue.

There are a number of projects, without a doubt, that will require extension of time that and that will require the governor to do more than a term.

Is true that the government has abandoned the 4th Mainland Bridge project as being speculated?

That is not correct. What has happened is that we realized that some investors that we had, did not have the capacity to execute it.

But Lagos government did not put everything in the investors’ hands. Lagos state will execute it with a consortium. Before the end of this year the project will commence without a doubt. The area where it will start from is already earmarked. The preliminary work has actually started since the beginning of the year.

This is a government that does not say anything carelessly or loosely. We know what the 4th Mainland Bridge means to the economy of the state, means to the integrity of the administration – and it would be done because we have started. Before the end of this year you will see that the governor is a man of his word.

Is it true also that the Federal Ministry of Work is standing between the Lagos State government plan to construct a BRT lane from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja and beyond?

There are a number of projects that the state government is seeking the understanding of the Federal government before executing them. As you are aware the Airport road and the Presidential Lodge are some of such projects. Of late is the BRT corridor from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja. There are discussions that are ongoing as to the interest of the Federal government to revisit that area. But, of course, the intention of Lagos state government is very clear and it has already been budgeted for this year. Lagosians want a second corridor for BRT from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja and Abule Egba and ultimately to Ota, to repeat the kind of success we have had from the Ikorodu corridor to Marina corridor.

It requires a bit of clarification here and there as we are currently doing with the Federal government. Our appeal to Lagosians is to give us a bit of time while we sort out things with Federal government. We are determined to deliver that corridor to the good people of Lagos.

A lot of people are of the opinion that the governor is performing well now in order to get second term. That once he gets the second term, he will relax. Are we likely to see this kind of performance in governor’s second term if he gets it?

I think what the governor is doing largely speaks of his campaign promises. You will see how everything has led to one campaign promise or the other. Job creation, investment drive, infrastructural development, security that would be top notch, education and health facilities, sport development, etc.

So, there is a deliberate execution of promises. If Lagosians see that this is a man that they can entrust their lives with for another four years, we will cross that bridge when we get there.

What is not in doubt is the fact that, this is a government that does not discriminate. This is a government that has shown its capacity in two years. This is a government that the opposition is praising,  from Chief Bode George to other governors in PDP…  saying that this is a good example of what a progressive government should be.

So, tell me in about one and a half years when the primaries will begin, what will be the basis for a challenge? What will be the point that a new governor would want to prove other than to say continue.

There are a number of projects, without a doubt, that will require extension of time and that will require the governor to do more than a term.

Is true that the government has abandoned the 4th Mainland Bridge project as being speculated?

That is not correct. What has happened is that we realized that some investors that we had, did not have the capacity to execute it.

But Lagos government did not put everything in the investors’ hands. Lagos state will execute it with a consortium. Before the end of this year the project will commence without a doubt. The area where it will start from is already earmarked. The preliminary work has actually started since the beginning of the year.

This is a government that does not say anything carelessly or loosely. We know what the 4th Mainland Bridge means to the economy of the state, means to the integrity of the administration – and it would be done because we have started. Before the end of this year you will see that the governor is a man of his word.

Is it true also that the Federal Ministry of Work is standing between the Lagos State government plan to construct a BRT lane from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja and beyond?

There are a number of projects that the state government is seeking the understanding of the Federal government before executing them. As you are aware the Airport road and the Presidential Lodge are some of such projects. Of late is the BRT corridor from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja. There are discussions that are ongoing as to the interest of the Federal government to revisit that area. But, of course, the intention of Lagos state government is very clear and it has already been budgeted for this year. Lagosians want a second corridor for BRT from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja and Abule Egba and ultimately to Ota, to repeat the kind of success we have had from the Ikorodu corridor to Marina corridor.

It requires a bit of clarification here and there as we are currently doing with the Federal government. Our appeal to Lagosians is to give us a bit of time while we sort out things with Federal government. We are determined to deliver that corridor to the good people of Lagos.

 

– TOLANI ABATTI           

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