This is the 20th in the series of my 100-day account rendering Town-Hall meetings to you, the good people of Lagos. This occasion is significant because it coincides with 2,000 days of your partnership and support for our government; formed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); and freely elected by you. It remains a humbling privilege to be the lead public servant and we remain truly grateful and unassuming of your trust and confidence.
At the report presented on the 1,800-day, I had briefed you about the challenges we were facing in securing funding for the Mile 12-Ikorodu Road expansion and the court action that was delaying the construction of 660 housing units in Agbowa. We have since concluded the financing and commenced construction with about 584 people now employed in construction; and have awarded the construction contract for Mile 12-Ikorodu Road expansion.
At the 1,900-day event, I did not personally address you. It was decided that the heads of those involved departments should brief you about the work being done in your various constituencies.
I am aware of the entire proceedings in the East, West and Central Senatorial Districts and have held extensive meetings to put in place plans to address your concerns within the limits of our resources. Thank you for your active participation and support. We are all certainly better for it.
This is why we have commenced a statewide tour to assess the progress of on-going projects and have mobilised our budget to ensure the completion of those projects.
Today, we return to our usual format of reporting every 100 days with updates from my last report.
We have presented our 3rd Quarter Budget performance report of 65% for the 3rdQuarter. Combining the 1st through to the 3rd Quarter, we have delivered an aggregate performance of 72% so far.
We have also presented the budget estimates for 2013 to the state House of Assembly, and we are dedicated to finishing the 4th Quarter stronger than we did in the 3rd Quarter.
Some of the projects and programmes being delivered in your various local government and senatorial districts include: the award of 185 inner city road contracts; the award of 1,404 housing units, the award of the Adiyan Phase II 70 million gallons-per-day Water Project and the construction of a 60km pipeline network to be dedicated to such areas as Iju, Agege, Ifako-Ijaiye, Alimosho, Ojo and Ikeja.
We are also concluding plans to upgrade Ishasi Waterworks from 4mgd to 12mgd to service the Ijanikin-Badagry axis. On November 6, 2012, we visited Oyingbo Market and the two markets being built in Tejuosho; the 36-unit housing project in Shitta; the 60-unit housing project in Mushin, the expansion and concrete lining of the System-6c canal that passes through Itire; the reconstruction of the damaged Ilasamaja pedestrian overhead bridge and the reconstruction and expansion of Kodesoh Road in Ikeja.
On November 13, 2012, we inspected our 540-unit Lagos HOMS project at Sangotedo; the on-going construction of road projects in Kasali Oluwo Street, Odo-Egiri Road, Igbonla Road, Salabiu Olanrewaju Street and Oba Animashaun Road; the combined High Court and Magistrate Court in Epe; the Epe Waterfront reclamation and shoreline protection project; and Oba’s Palace at Ilara-Epe. At Badore, we assessed the progress of the Badore Ferry Terminal and Jetty, the Langbasa Road, Ado-Kekere Street and Kajola Street in the Aja Area.
At the commencement of the reform process in 2007, the average number of students obtaining five credits including Mathematics and English was 7%. This year, we have reached 38.28%. For the first time, our state is now in the top 10 of the 36 States at the forefront of public education revival, and the only South-Western state in the top 10 this year.
In the last 100 days, our technical colleges graduated a total of 6,000 students; many of whom have been employed by private sector operators who are partnering us to design their curriculum to meet industry standards. The electrical graduates amongst them work with the Lagos State Electricity Board to light up Lagos. The renovations of the classroom block in Agidingbi Technical College were done by the students and not an external contractor. Our new Electronic Engineering Academy in Agidingbi was built in partnership with Samsung Electronics that guarantees employment for every child trained at the Centre.
We are currently constructing housing units in 10 sites in Igando, Omole Phase I & Phase II, Sangotedo, Mushin, Ilupeju, Agbowa, Ogba Phase I & Phase II, Surelere and Igbogbo. Employed are 882 main contactors, 836 sub-contractors, 1,835 artisans, 1,940 labourers, 905 suppliers and 49 food vendors; totalling 6,450 people employed in less than one year.
We are rapidly coming to the completion of the Gbagada Heart & Kidney Centre, the Isolo General Hospital Mortuary and the Ayinke House. Our health missions continue to take basic healthcare for diagnosis and cure to our people in their communities, screening and treating them in their thousands for diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Our preventive health initiative at the grassroots level is taking shape in partnership with our local government chairmen. We have successfully trained and graduated the first batch of 300 graduate volunteers to serve.
We are improving on rice cultivation, milling and bagging; poultry production and processing; fish and seafood production, education and provision of extension services to farmers. We held the first Lagos Seafood Festival to showcase our aquaculture potentials and to expose and export our very proud seafood menu beyond Lagos. Our quest to create farms outside our state is yielding results as we have acquired 500 hectares of land in Ogun State, to grow rice to feed our mill in Imota.
SPORTS AND TOURISM
In October, we hosted the 12th edition of the Governor’s Tennis Cup, which is the only International Tennis Federation sanctioned tournament in West Africa. The event attracted entries from 361 players from 30 countries. Taking a cue from this, a private sector company has launched an initiative called “Breaking the Mould”, which brought the world famous Williams Sisters - Venus and Serena - to Lagos. In the next few days, we will be hosting the 18th edition of the National Sports Festival and we expect up to 20,000 visitors who will bring in revenue.
On May 29th 2012, we commissioned the Lagos Traffic Radio broadcast on 96.1 FM; to help commuters get advance information and plan their journey. Also, the new Traffic Law was signed into effect on August 2nd 2012. With on-going advocacy and the installation of over 17,000 road signs, we are experiencing more voluntary compliance and seeing improved driving culture. Between July—before the law came into effect—and September 2012, of the 13,322 people attending our Drivers’ Institute, about 10.1% had bad vision and have since been referred for corrective action to improve vision and return them back to the road.
Between August 2nd when the law came into effect and the end of September 2012, we noticed a 68.4% increase in attendance in the Drivers’ Institute. During the same period, 58,174 vehicles came in to obtain their Road Worthiness Certificates, a 20.9% increase from the period before the law. We also noticed a 48.4% increase in the issuance of drivers’ licence which should suggest safer drivers and accident reduction. More importantly, fines have reduced between July and September by 24.2%; contrary to the opposition’s claims, no amount of money can be a substitute for the lives of citizens we are entrusted to serve and protect.
Also, the number of vehicles arrested for various violations has dropped by 16.9%, arrests for driving against traffic decreased by 35.9% and BRT lane violations has decreased by 74.2%. The 25 general hospitals report that Okada-related accidents dropped by 18.73% in September while deaths recorded during the same period dropped by 42.86%. The Office of the Commissioner of Police reported a drop in Okada-related crimes by 30% in September and by 60% as at the end of October, when compared to the month of July, before the law came into effect.
Our recent monitoring and evaluation assessment report on the impact of the law reveals that:
a. 65% of people sampled after the law want to reduce alcohol intake as opposed to 30% before;
b. 93% now want to reduce drug intake as against 71% before the law;
c. 77% are now convinced that alcohol is a danger to them and their passengers if they drink and drive, as against 10% before the law; and
d. Only 4% now say they can still purchase alcohol within the motor park after the law, as against 58% before the law.
While we are not yet where we want to be, but I am positive that a lot of gains lie ahead. I do not believe that it is the desire of Lagosians to live in a state where people will act with impunity without regard to the safety of others. Despite our detractors and local challenges, we have started a BRT model of urban mass transit; which can only grow. I am happy also that the vision of my predecessors for an urban rail transport is now alive again with the construction of the Blue Line from Eric Moore; which has now reached Mile 2. Our BRT expansions to Badagry and Ikorodu Town are progressing.
I remain convinced that the legacy of public transportation Lagosians deserve is one that puts us on the global map and not one that condemns us to a dependency on foreign imports. This should be our path to sustainable prosperity and safety. I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy new year in 2013, and once again appeal to you to drive safely and think of your safety and that of others. Thank you for your attention.
*Being highlights of the address by Lagos State Governor Fashola in commemoration of the 2,000 days in office.