Seat of Power

SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (SAN), ON OCCASION OF HIS 2500 DAYS IN OFFICE AT THE LTV AUDITORIUM ON TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is yet another 100 days.

So it is time to account to you our employers again about what we have done with your time and your resources.

This is the 25th consecutive time we have done so.

You did not impose it on us.

We undertook to do it as a necessary condition for sustaining our democracy.

We have not failed to do so, because we value your trust and we understand that this is about you and not about us.

At the last 100 day reporting occasion, I changed the format of reporting by asking the members of the State Executive Council to break into 3 (three) teams and address you in your different Senatorial districts.

This is not the first time we have done this. For those who seek an explanation for that format, it is simple.

Yes, I am the beneficiary of your very precious mandate, but a lot of men and women do an enormous amount of work to assist in giving effect to our promises to you.

It is only fair that from time to time, you should hear from them and also give them credit for their service.

From their report to me after the last 100 day report, you received them very warmly and showed a lot of appreciation for their effort.

On their behalf I have returned today to our usual format, first to thank you for the warm reception you accorded them, and to report to you today, the 2500th day of our journey, the progress we have made in the last 100 days.

First, I will start with the report of the 4th quarter budget performance for 2013 which we presented during the last 100 days.

Standing alone, the 4th quarter of year 2013 budget performed at 125% and brought the cumulative year 2013 budget performance to 85%.

Although this 85% budget performance for 2013 is high by many standards, both nationally and internationally, it falls 4% short of our achievements of 89% in 2012.

But it shows to our adversaries, who questioned our 2012 results, that our high over 80% budget performance was no fluke; and the reduction by 4% is largely attributable to the revenue shortfalls every State has been experiencing under the poor economic management of the PDP led Federal Government and the illegal deductions that are now being made for Police and pipeline protection which are their responsibilities.

They misplace $20b, and resort to picking the pockets of States to discharge their own constitutional responsibilities.

But inspite of these unconstitutional acts, the evidence of our high budget performance is the number of projects completed and services rendered which we have been busy handing over in the last 100 days.

They include the Kodesoh and Simbiat Abiola Roads, which we completed and handed over on December 27, 2013.

The Isapakodowo market in Oshodi to resettle those relocated from the Oshodi Rail line and the Aka Bashorun Memorial Park, which were handed over on January 7, 2014.

The progress that was recorded when we inspected on-going works at the Maidan-Agiliti Bridge and road network on January 9, 2014.

The 4 Storey, 110 Bed Maternal and Child Health Centre at Amuwo and the newly dualized Alaba Cemetery Road in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, which were handed over on January 21, 2014.

On January 27, 2014, 12 (Twelve) years after the tragic bomb explosion at Ikeja Cantonment, we completed and handed over the January 27 Bridge linking Ajao Estate and Ejigbo together and a network of roads that have reduced commuter journey times by 75 minutes.

On January 30, 2014, we started the issuance of the Electronic Certificate of Occupancy and on February 3, 2014 we launched the Lagos Homs project, our strategic intervention to deliver housing to ordinary people on a minimum of a 10 year mortgage and a maximum interest of 9.5%.

On February 6, 2014 we were at Iba to handover a block of 12 classrooms, while a public spirited citizen, Chief Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija donated an 18 classroom block in Sabo Oniba Ojo.

On the same day, our water transportation received a boost in the rural and riverine areas of Ojo and Ijegun Egba with the handing over of two new ferry terminals and support services to ease transportation along that corridor.

On the 13th February, we were in Igando, in Alimosho, to handover another Maternal and Child Centre of 4 (Four) floors and 110 (One Hundred and Ten) beds. This is the 7th of such facilities in Lagos that have become fully operational and helping to reduce the incidents of infant and maternal mortality.

The others are in Ikorodu, Ifako-Ijaiye, Isolo, Gbaja-Surelere, Ajegunle and Amuwo Odofin that I mentioned earlier.

On the same day, we opened a new School of Nursing in the same Igando, Alimosho, to train young men and women in healthcare delivery and care giving and provide jobs in a sector where there is employment waiting.

In a State where everybody is committed to making a difference, the job of caring for citizens is not left to those of us in the public service employment alone.

Our spouses have taken their share of this responsibility and this was evident when the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) hosted the first ever senior Valentine’s Day on February 15, 2014.

They took retired public servants and elderly private citizens to their retirement villa in Lekki and treated them to a day of fun.

Only those who benefitted from this initiative can fully tell you their experience.

Our spouses in COWLSO arranged for the elderly women to have their hair made, manicured their nails, provided lunch, indoor games and musical entertainment. Our senior citizens danced to their hearts delight.

On behalf of these elderly citizens, the people and Government of Lagos, I thank all members of COWLSO especially our First Lady, my darling wife, Mrs. Abimbola Emmanuella Fashola.

On February 20, 2014, our work took us to Ikorodu, where we commissioned the new Asphalt Plant, inspected the state of work at the Agbowa Housing Estate and relocation site in Agbowa for the Oko-Baba Saw Millers, where appreciable progress is being made.

On March 4, 2014, the first draws for the Lagos Homs housing initiative were held and 31 new home owners emerged in Lagos for that month and we expect more every month as we remain committed to providing a minimum of 200 new homes every month.

On March 13, we were at Olusosun Ikeja, to flag off the expanded eye health programme and the School Vision Corridor to enable us detect and correct eye diseases and defect in our school children in order to aid their learning capacity.

On the 18th of March, we were in Victoria Island to open the 6th edition of Lagos Summit on Climate Change from where many solutions have been developed in the past to help combat flooding in our State and to protect our environment.

On the 20th March 2014, we were in Ojodu for the week long Health Mission to deliver healthcare service to our citizens at the grassroots for free.

A total of 22,876 (Twenty Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy Six) citizens benefited from the week long consultations, eye treatment, dental care, surgeries and other forms of medical services.

 

Our ability to provide these services to poor people who cannot ordinarily afford them is because many of you, our respected citizens pay your taxes promptly.

I have told the beneficiaries that you the tax payers are their agents of mercy and they have asked me to thank you immensely.

I do so now in public, and urge those who are still withholding taxes to please pay up.

It is the best way to show we care, it is the way to give back to the common man who is struggling and it helps to reduce inequality.

Between the 20th of March and today, a lot of service in other diverse areas continues to be delivered, at various levels that are too numerous to recount at a forum such as this.

I am also pleased to report that the Saturday service in limited areas such as Lands Bureau, for land matters, Physical Planning for development and planning permits for construction, Motor Vehicle Administration and Vehicle Inspection services for transport related matters, to respond to citizens whose work during the week prevents them from accessing these services, continues to record success.

The Saturday service commenced in March 2013 and at our monthly meeting on Friday 28th of March 2014 when we reviewed the performance, a total of 21,467 (Twenty One Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty Seven) citizens have benefitted from the Saturday service.

Wherever you go, across this State, you will see members of our resourceful public service at work, doing one thing or the other, patching roads, clearing drains, fixing electricity poles, building drains, schools, health centres and doing something to improve the quality of life in their State.

Before I conclude, let me use this opportunity to respond to the latest commentary of our cynical opponents.

Their new found refrain is that our services are only for the elite.

From my report to you today you can see the politics of lies and deliberate falsehood upon which their comments are based.

It is the elite, who are in Isopakodowo market in Oshodi and in computer village in Ikeja where the Kodesho Street and Simbiat Abiola Road were re-built.

It is the elite who use the public hospitals and the Maternal and Child Centres in Ikorodu, Ifako-Ijaiye, Isolo, Surulere, Ajegunle, Amuwo Odofin and Igando.

It is the elite who will use the roads in Maidan-Agiliti and the bridge across the swamp behind Mile 12 in Ketu, and it is the children of the elite who use the classrooms in Iba and Sabo Oniba in Ojo.

The elderly citizens that COWLSO women showed love to are their own definition of the elite.

The Oko-Baba Saw Millers are their own definition of the elite of our society.

The children who benefited from eye defect diagnosis and treatment in Olusosun and the 22,876 (Twenty Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy Six) beneficiaries of our free Health Mission are their own elite.

The first batch of new home owners that have completed their documentation who received the keys to their homes in our office on Monday 31st March, 2014 are also elites.

I know how disconnected our cynical opponents are about the realities of our society, and how they cannot see that their amateurish governance at national level is inflicting pain on everybody.

I doubt if they know these locations let alone having ever visited them.

I do, because they are my constituents, the people for whom I hold this office in trust, the real employers of public servants.

If our opponents know how challenging the lives of ordinary people are, their conscience must be heavy, if they have one, to allow $20b to disappear.

That kind of money will radically alter the lives of these people for the better.

But unfortunately, our opponents do not understand.

As I have said repeatedly, nothing but the best is good for our people, and we will not give you anything less.

Our disconnected opponents classify ordinary people we give service to as the elite. This is why they do not want things to change.

This is why they say we should continually live under a tattered umbrella. They are wrong. The umbrella is our Country’s problem. It has been since 1999.

Service is the purpose of the social contract in a democracy and this is what we commit to until the last day of term.

I have news for our opponents. Change is not just on the way, it is here!

Thank you.

 

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

Governor of Lagos State

 April 2, 2014

 

Related Stories:

Comments

comments

About the Author