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Gbajabiamila, Sanwo-Olu, others set-up seven-man team for Lagos-Badagry expressway project

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and other lawmakers from the state have inaugurated a seven-man team to engage Federal Government on completion of Lagos-Badagry expressway construction work.

They, through the committee, have resolved to engage the apex government to resolve some lingering issues around the reconstruction work on the international corridor.

The seven-man ad-hoc committee is led by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, with a mandate to dialogue with the central government and secure a guarantee for quick completion of ongoing work on Okokomaiko-Seme Border stretch of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

The committee, set-up after two days of rigorous deliberations at the yearly Executive-Legislative Parley of the Lagos State Government on Saturday that was attended by members of the State’s cabinet, members of Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), traditional rulers in Victoria Island, was expected to give feedback to the State Government within weeks for further actions.

As gathered, they resolved to set-up the team after South West 2 Zonal Coordinator, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), an agency set up for the monitoring and maintenance of roads recently announced that the ongoing rehabilitation works of a section of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway are currently 88 percent completion of the Igboelerin to Agbara section of the road.

Inauguration of the ad-hoc committee was part of the seven-point resolutions agreed at the parley that afforded participants to discuss challenges confronting the state and possible solutions.

As part of the resolutions, participants demanded improved protection for Federal and State-owned assets within Lagos, and continuous investment in security infrastructure in the State.

They further argued that the level of destruction wreaked in Lagos during the violence that trailed last year’s youth protest called for the installation of digital security gadgets to complement physical protection being provided for key Government assets in the State.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Aderemi Adebowale, who read the resolutions, said that the participants pushed for massive investment in education, entrepreneurship, and ICT to address youth unemployment and restiveness.

The resolution reads in part: “In the last two days, we have discussed and shared various ideas on how Lagos can be further secured and transformed to become the logistics and port hubs in Africa. Part of what needs to be done is acceleration and improvements on infrastructure of the State with emphasis on road construction and sustainable integrated transportation system through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. Quick completion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway, an international corridor, is key to boosting the State’s economy.

“To this end, we are raising a seven-man ad hoc committee chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, to engage the Federal Government through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure for the completion of the road from Okokomaiko to Seme Border. Other members of the committee include Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser on Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu, two federal legislators, and two legislators in the State House of Assembly.

“We are calling for improved protection for Lagos infrastructure through the installation of digital scanners at all entry points and continuous investment in security infrastructure and equipment. This must be complemented with regular capacity building for security personnel to align with global best practices.

“To equip police officers serving in Lagos with adequate gadgets, there is a need for the State to access resources from the Police Trust Fund domiciled with the Federal Government. We charge all federal legislators from Lagos in the National Assembly to lobby for this. Henceforth, there must be unique data on registration, identification, and licensing of private guards and security operatives in Lagos, as well as the need to develop defined competencies for informal security guards.”

It was agreed that Local Government Areas should start contributing to Security Trust Fund, rather than leaving it to the State Government. Participants at the parley also agreed on the need for security clearance from relevant Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs) for the creation of motor parks in Lagos in order to regulate and address activities of miscreants.

Sanwo-Olu assured the participants of complete implementation of the resolutions but said all hands must be on deck to sustain development and good governance in the State.

The Governor, who said the essence of governance was to prudently deploy public resources for public good, noted that the State’s citizens desperately yarned for delivery of democracy dividends that would improve their wellbeing.

He said: “The Executive and Legislature must work together to ensure that the rebuilding of Lagos is done urgently and efficiently. The vast majority of our people want Government to work for them. They don’t make any distinctions between the Executive and the Legislature; as far as they are concerned, we are all public officials elected to deliver on the mandate of efficient governance.

“There is no room for making excuses to our citizens, or blaming another arm of Government for the inability to deliver. It is up to us to ensure that, even though we are separate and independent arms of Government, we must always be on the same page and constantly resolving whatever issues and differences we have.”

The Governor thanked the participants for the ideas shared and direction offered during the deliberations, pledging to accelerate the process of implementing the resolution.

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