In his inaugural speech, tagged ‘Awakening a Greater Lagos’, the 6th Civilian Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, promised to advance the social and economic progress of the State and its people.
Describing Lagos as Nigeria’s door to the global economy, Sanwo-Olu promised the mammoth gathering at the swearing-in ceremony that he will remain himself and be steadfast in all his endeavours, saying: “the Babajide Sanwo-Olu you see today shall not change and try to become something I am not. My prayer is only that I grow and improve as your Governor to implement good policies and bring the prosperity you deserve.”
No doubt, the past year has been an intriguing experience for both the government and the people. Through a combination of strategic thinking and pro-active engagements, the administration has positively impacted on the lives of Lagosians.
The socio-economic landscape of the State from May 2019 till date has been positively altered by the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the current administration, which was espoused to inspire a ‘Greater Lagos’.
Considering its conviction that the entrenchment of a well-oiled social security system is essential for the evolvement of a better society, the Sanwo-Olu administration has put in place several innovative strategies to address the fears of the people in varied scopes.
In its resolve to develop public education in the State, the current administration also introduced programmes and initiatives such as the homegrown feeding for primary school pupils, school rehabilitation, Public-Private-Partnership dialogue, recruitment of 3,000 teachers in public primary and secondary schools and improved welfare schemes for teachers, just to mention but a few.
Farmers have benefitted from a partnership with the State Government programme of decentralizing access to inputs like fertilizer, seedlings and access to training in new farming, processing, storage and marketing techniques.
A network of 30 roads was commissioned at a go in Ojokoro LCDA. 1,017 new LASTMA officers were inducted and deployed to manage traffic at strategic locations across the State. Eight new state-of-the-art ferries were commissioned on 4th February to boost water transportation.
It is quite important to stress that in all its plans, policies, programmes and activities, the people are at the core of every move of the administration.
Thus, as it repairs and enlarges roads, builds hospitals, clears the drains, invests in intermodal transport, empowers more residents, creates more opportunities for economic enhancement and valiantly confronts the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the foremost drive of the administration has always been to improve the lots of the people.
This is not really surprising, considering the people-centric philosophy of the administration that safeguarding the interest of the people must always be the driving force of government.
This is because of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s conviction that the citizens are the bedrock of democracy. Consequently, the State government has never derided itself from having the monopoly of knowledge with regards to finding the right solutions to the myriad of challenges in the State.
It has, therefore, consistently thrown its doors open to divergent opinions and views from various sources. As a people’s government, the Sanwo-Olu administration has established an effective communication strategy between the government and the citizenry.
The visible achievements of the administration in terms of infrastructure development, quality health care delivery, environmental regeneration, employment generation, upliftment of the youth, upgrading of public infrastructure, provision of security, the entrenchment of law and order among others, have created a sense of relief among Lagosians and, indeed, Nigerians that, at last, they have a government that is capable of delivering enduring positive change, which they have for long been clamouring for.
True democracy cannot exist in a society incapable of supporting the aspirations of its people. With the steady strides of the Sanwo-Olu administration in the past year, it has been demonstrated that a truly representative government must create the enabling environment for the people to prosper.
Though it may be too early to assess the government, considering all the actions taken so far, the Sanwo-Olu administration has demonstrated that Lagos is a city with its eyes squarely focused on the future. It is reassuring that the Governor is a focused leader who has a clear vision and he is determined to change the face of development in Lagos State for good. Interestingly, his support-base has continued to swell by the day because he is matching words with action.