Infrastructure gulps N106.8 billion in Lagos

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), flanked by his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule (left) and Commissioner for Establishments & Training, Dr. Benson Akintola (right) during the 3rd Quarter 2016 Town Hall meeting (5th in the series) to render account of stewardship of Governor Ambode’s administration, at the Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

At least N106.8 billion has so far been spent on infrastructural development in Lagos State since January this year.

Some of the infrastructure ranges from roads to pedestrian and flyover bridges, lay-bys, slip roads as well as light up projects.

The State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode gave these highlights at the 5th edition of his administration’s Town Hall Meeting held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos Central Senatorial District.

Governor Ambode affirmed that the initiatives had boosted the economy of Lagos and Nigeria as a whole, just as he stated that government was set to further stimulate the economy by empowering local contractors.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello and Chief of Staff, Mr. Olukunle Ojo.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; his Deputy, Dr.
(Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello and Chief of Staff, Mr. Olukunle Ojo.

“A total of N166.8 billion has been spent on capital projects this year, this is more than double the N53.6 billion spent for the same period last year, the State generated a total revenue of N97.3billion in the last quarter with an expenditure of expenditure of N110.2 billion and the cash reserve of the State has remained positive; we will concentrate more on capital projects, we will put money in the hands of our local contractors and through them stimulate the economy, immediate payments will be made to contractors handling health sector and education sector projects within the next two weeks,” Governor Ambode assured.

Budget performance
The Governor hinted that the State’s budget performance from January to September this year, stood at 69 percent as against 65 per cent for the same period in 2015.

According to the Governor, Lagos will kick-off its empowerment programmes beginning from next week.

“We will roll out all our empowerment programmes immediately to assist all our youths, artisans and the needy; the funding for the N500m Lagos State Persons Living with Disability Fund has been provided and beneficiaries will start getting support from this quarter,” he reiterated.

Community policing
To beef up the security in the State, especially at the community level, Governor Ambode also stated that plans were ongoing to recruit at least 5,000 Neighbourhood Watchers who would be placed on a minimum wage of N25, 000 monthly.

He said the neighbourhood Safety Agency Bill which he signed into Law on August 15, 2016, was part of efforts to institutionalise and deepen community policing in the State.

 “The law that has just been passed which is the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law, 2016 and in line with the resolution taken by the House of Assembly, we would go all out to make sure that this agency is activated and all our neighbourhoods will be covered and then centralise with the State government with all the necessary equipment and resources to ensure that we establish what we call community policing and that is the way to go,” the Governor said.

Another 114 roads
He said with the completion and delivery of the first phase of the 114 local government roads last month, the process of bid invitation for the construction of additional 114 roads across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas would commence within the next three weeks.

He stressed that a new set of iconic projects would be rolled-out onn Lagos Island.

“We have commenced a multi-faceted development that will change the face of Lagos Island, we have installed new bus shelters at Tafawa Balewa Square and before the end of December, various projects will commence within the National Museum axis, Onikan to Tafawa Balewa Square and from Lagos House Marina and Freedom Park, by the time we complete these projects, Lagos will become a major tourist destination in West Africa,” the Governor added.