By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, Sept. 25, 2020 The Lagos State Government on Friday flagged off the execution of different projects in the 377 wards across the state, toward taking development to the grassroots.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said at the event at Ikeja that the projects were in fulfilment of promises made during the electioneering campaign.
Sanwo-Olu said that the execution of the projects would change the narrative about what grassroots development and government’s responsibilities were all about.
”The state-wide 377 ward projects being launched today 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 site.
”I urge residents who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these projects to take ownership by monitoring the implementation process and ensure that the job conforms to quality and standard specified in the project design,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the process of identifying the needs and the design of the projects were in line with the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and participatory governance, in which the people were considered as key stakeholders.
He described the grassroots as the bedrock of development, adding that the projects were strategic in promoting the wellbeing of the people across the communities.
Sanwo-Olu said that his government would continue to give residents the voice on issues that affected them.
”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,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu charged all elected and appointed officials in public offices to be responsible in dealing with people, as governance would be meaningless without the input of the people on whose mandate public officers derived their powers.
The Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said all contractors would mobilise to sites on Monday, Sept. 28. to commence the first set of 68 projects.
Hamzat, who is the Chairman of the Projects Implementation Committee, said that the projects’ selection followed a meeting between the governor and all the 377 councillors across the state, during which Sanwo-Olu asked them to nominate specific projects that could be executed in their wards.
He said that the state government would be constructing 257 community roads and drainage, rehabilitating 86 public buildings, while two jetties, nine water projects and 23 power projects would be installed across the wards.
The deputy governor said that the projects were distributed across the three senatorial districts in the State, with Lagos Central having 94 projects, Lagos East 99 and Lagos West 184 projects.
”The projects will be implemented by contractors in collaboration with Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including 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 councillors and party executives,” he said.
The Chairman of APC in Lagos, Mr Tunde Balogun described the projects as grassroots-focused, confirming that the Sanwo-Olu’s administration was the first to embark on such massive projects across wards in a single move.
Balogun said that by directly engaging the councillors in the execution of the projects, the governor had established strong connection with the grassroots.
”The State Government has been investing in provision of infrastructure to make the state economy strong 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 lasting impact on the grassroots,” he said.
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 as “a new dawn” in the history of governance in Lagos.
Abu said the projects would accelerate development across communities in the state.
The Chairman of Councillors Forum, Mr Nurudeen Alimi, said that by the gesture, the governor had taken dividends of democracy to the grassroots in a way never seen before in the state.