‘Ambode has laid good foundation’
A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Kamal Ayinde Bayewu, spoke on achievements of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in his first 100 days in office. Seye Olumide reports.
Ambode’s first 100 days as Lagos governor I will say it has been eventful and resourceful too. Some of the things that he has put in place, structures that he has created, will be of immense benefit to the state in the long run. He has been able to take care of the elderly ones in terms of payment of their pensions.
He has been able to look at the health sectors in terms of provision equipment like well-equipped ambulances and creation of emergency centres in case of accidents.
He has been prompt to attend to a number of tragedies that have happened in recent times while also assuring the victims of government support. That is the hallmark of a good leader.
He has demonstrated a lot of compassionate spirit to the admiration of the people of the state. I see a very rewarding future for Lagos State and I can see that the governor has started on a very good note.
If you want to compare the achievements of the immediate past governor, Babatunde Fashola and the things that he did in terms of structure, I can see a governor that will surpass that.
Failure to set up his cabinet after 100 days in office The electorate in Lagos voted for continuity. So, being an experienced man who has been part of the government of the state, he knows what to do to put necessary structures in place.
Because the governor is doing some internal restructuring, he needs to put certain things in place before the appointment of his commissioners.
The governor must have a blueprint that the commissioners will work on. They can’t just come in and start work immediately. By the time the governor is done with the blueprint, I am sure the cabinet will be in place. I’m sure the governor will appoint the very best hands to work with. His economy policy Governor Ambode has been saving cost for Lagos. Not in terms non- appointment of commissioners but there are some things that he is doing now that in my calculation will save Lagos state about N31 million per month.
And the process is still ongoing in terms of the restructuring that he has done within the ministries, commissions and various boards. Recently, he gave an order that all agencies of governments operating in private houses where they are paying exorbitant fees as rents should move to the state secretariats where there are enough offices to accommodate them.
Think of how much will be saved and be used to provide amenities for Lagosians through that channel alone? These are cost saving measures that Ambode has put in place.
He is also trying to expand the base of our revenue in Lagos State and with that one, I see us having more revenue and less cost. That will mean, a lot of money will be freed for capital projects.
Care for the aged in the last 100 days The governor upon assumption of office ordered that N11 billion be released for the payment of pension arrears of retirees.
That was a very good step that he has taken, taking care of our aged. I was at a programme for the elderly and Reverend Father Moses Iloh said ‘Nigeria will reap from the neglect of the senior citizens’. But here, the governor has taken care of the senior citizens and showed that they are still valuable to us in the society and that the state government appreciates their labour for the development of the state. But I expect him to go further.
What I want him to do is to find a way to create an agency, directorate or even a ministry to take care of these old ones. He should also set up more Old Peoples Homes so that these pensioners can go there and find a relaxed atmosphere for themselves away from the hustle and bustle associated with Lagos.
I want to appeal to Lagosians to also assist the state government in our little ways by showing love and concern to these elderly ones. Addressing challenges confronting youths He recently ordered the employment of 1,300 teachers to our primary schools with a promise to bringing in more people.
He has created a new Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, a ministry that will look into the employment issue and investment opportunities.
And the moment these investment opportunities are coming in, then the employment window will now be opened to the youths. I think with the programme he has started with, I wish that the people who will take care of these ministries and the commissioners that are coming will have the same kind of vision the governor has.
With that, the implementation of these programmes will be very easy and everybody will be able to key in to that new Lagos we are talking about.
Fear that the PDP might upturn Ambode’s victory at the Supreme Court It is certain that the PDP will still meet the same waterloo at the Supreme Court.
If you look at the premise upon which Ambode won both at the tribunal and at the appeal court, the law will not change at the Supreme Court. But I expect that the PDP should sheath their sword, come together and let us think of how we can move Lagos state to the next level.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu laid the foundation, Fashola took it to another level and Ambode is taking it to another level. Let us join hands with him. We should stop all these distractions.
I believe once the governor get victory at the Supreme Court, it will afford him the opportunity to be focused and continue his job of giving Lagosians the very best.
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