Agbaje pledges reforms in education sector
GOVERNORSHIP candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has promised not to increase tuition fees paid by students of the Lagos State University (LASU), just as he has assured non-indigenes of fairness and justice under his administration.
While he lamented the poor state of education in Lagos, he said a PDP administration under his leadership would do a comprehensive job on the sector to restore its lost glory.
Speaking at a town hall meeting in Ojo Council yesterday, Agbaje hinged his position on the woeful performance of most students from the state who took part in the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 2014.
According to him, “As a beneficiary of the Lagos State Scholarship in the past, I will ensure that LASU fees were not increased, while deserving students would enjoy scholarships and bursaries.”
The PDP candidate was accompanied by his deputy, Alhaja Safurat Abdulkareem.
He faulted the educational policy of the current regime, saying, underfunding of schools had forced up to 80 students to be massed in a single class
“We say that can no longer obtain. We are saying that we have to take education more seriously just as Chief Obafemi Awolowo did.
“The amount budgeted on vocational schools shows a lack of seriousness. It is hard for skilled workers to get jobs because they have no certification. And we are determined to ensure that people acquire skills and certification so that that they can compete globally.”
On the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, Agbaje said, “They said BRT will replace Molue, but BRT has now turned to Molue. As we travel through Lagos roads, we see them breaking down all over the place. When you enter one, you pray that it will not break down before you reach your destination. The few ones that are on the road, you can see that those are the ones that they have placed their posters upon.”
The PDP candidate promised the people of Ojo that he would commission for their use the Blue Line, running from Iganmu through Badagry, which has been under construction for some years now.
He said: “The project is being delayed because those in power in Lagos want to be the ones to make money from it. We will complete it and commission it for you. And in the next 10 years, there will be at least five more of these blue lines in several areas of Lagos.”
He also accused the present government of not paying the necessary attention to the housing needs of the people.
“It is not that they have no money to build low-income house, it is because they have no interest in such a venture. They have taken all the land for themselves. But that land belongs to the people because God gave it to the people,” he said.
According to him, apart from direct building of houses by the government, a scheme would be put in place to encourage private developers to build affordable for the masses.
“And those that will build it will have to be told that they have to reduce the price,” he said.
Accusing the government of paying lip service to free health, he promised a hospital scheme whose backbone would be a government-supported insurance health plan.
“The state government will pay the insurance for the people,” he told the people, amidst cheers. “You will choose your doctor from a long list, either near your house or your office. So the doctor knows he has to perform if he wants to retain you and make money from the government.”
Promising to push local content in the execution of government projects, he said jobs would become available for the people, adding that, 5 percent of the budgets in all ministries and agencies would be reserved for the youth, to help them establish businesses.
He promised that the era of deporting indigent non-indigenes from Lagos was over, saying, even the Americans had introduced the visa lottery scheme because it recognised that immigrants had value to add.
“The same way, non-indigenes coming to Lagos have come to add value to Lagos State,” he said. “Instead of stopping people from coming to Lagos, they should have equal spread of development.”