Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said the government would embark on the development of projects specific to each of the 377 Wards in the state.
The governor, who performed the symbolic takeoff of the 377 projects at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Government Secretariat, Alausa, said it was in fulfilment of one of the key promises of his electioneering campaign.
He said over 250 roads would be built and 23 power projects done under the programme tagged “Operation 377”, adding that the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat would manage the process.
According to the governor, the projects were arrived at using a bottom-top approach, as 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 grassroots development and the government’s responsibilities.
He said: “The state-wide 377 ward projects being launched today (yesterday) 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 mobilised to move to the sites. I urge residents who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these projects to take ownership of them by monitoring the implementation process and ensure that the jobs conform to the quality and standards specified in the project designs.”
Sanwo-Olu said 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 are considered as important stakeholders.
The governor described the grassroots as “the bedrock of development,” stressing that the projects were strategic in promoting the well-being of the people across communities, adding that his administration would continue to give residents a voice on issues that affect them.
Sanwo-Olu 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 contribute to the commonwealth.”
Sanwo-Olu urged all public officers to be responsible in dealing with the people, noting that governance would be meaningless without the input of the people from whose mandate public officers derived their powers.
Deputy Governor Hamzat, who is the Chairman of the Projects’ Implementation Committee, said the government would build 257 community roads and drainage, rehabilitation of 86 public buildings, two jetties, nine water projects and that 23 power projects would be installed in all the wards.
Deputy Governor said all the projects were distributed across the state’s three senatorial districts, and that Wards in Lagos Central would have 94 projects, Lagos East, 99 and Lagos West 184 projects.
He said all contractors would move to their sites on Monday, noting that the intervention was in demonstration of the governor’s campaign promise to run an inclusive administration.
The projects’ selection followed a meeting between the governor and all 377 councilors across the state during which Sanwo-Olu asked them to name specific projects they wanted executed in their wards, he said.
Hamzat said the cost of the projects were evaluated by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and professionals in public service, and that it was re-evaluation by an independent consultant.
Hamzat said: “The projects will be implemented by contractors in collaboration with 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 councilors and party executives.”
At the brief but symbolic ceremony were some members of the Executive Council, All Progressives Congress Local Council chairmen, councilors and scores of party stalwarts, led by the State’s chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Tunde Balogun.
The APC Chairman 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 councilors in the execution of the projects, the party chairman said. the Governor had established a strong connection with the grassroots.
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. “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 leaving a lasting impact on the grassroots,” he said.
Hon. Nurudeen Alimi, spoke on behalf of the 377 councilors, saying the Governor, by the gesture, had taken “dividends of democracy” to the grassroots in a way never seen before in the State.
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