100 Days Of The ‘Selfless Servant’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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100 Days Of The ‘Selfless Servant’

Posted: Sep 16, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

“Achievers do not give excuses for failure but find the reasons to succeed, even against all odds.”

-Anonymous

The idea to critically assess the performance of political office holders beginning with their first 100 days in office as a benchmark has the advantage of putting them on their toes, towards the fulfillment of their electoral promises. And it provides the public the platform to know precisely the policy direction of the new administration in power. The notion given is that if within that rather short span of time there are no tangible evidence of performance, those concerned would be considered tumbling down the slope to political failure. Such assessment therefore, deepens the democratic process.

Interestingly, one man who millions of Nigerians have been keenly watching in the saddle is none other than Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State. The public perception is that his predecessor, Babatunde Raji Fashola performed creditably well. And since Ambode had promised during his inauguration to build on the worthy legacies left by both Asiwaju Tinubu and Fashola all eyes have been focused on how well he would walk the talk.

So far, he has practically demonstrated to be a man of his words; to keep faith with his solemn pledge. What more, empirical evidence attests to his performance as spanning the wide socio-political and economic spectrum of the state; from infrastructural development, education, through health care delivery, security, transportation to social welfare.

For instance, he kick started these by instituting a master plan for the economic development of the state which the permanent secretaries are fine tuning. To enthrone transparency and accountability in government affairs he introduced the fiscal policy of operating a single bank account for the state. In addition, the merging of some ministries, departments and agencies, would streamline and drastically reduce the otherwise huge costs of running government. The new Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment is tailored towards solving the challenge of unemployment in the state.

On infrastructural development, he has awarded the contract for the construction of the long-neglected Ikotun road and pedestrian bridges at places noted for heavy traffic- congestion such as Mile 12, Ipaja/ Estate Bus-Stop Road, Alimosho and Apapa bus stops. Others include Dopemu junction, Abule-Egbe, Mile 2, Oworonshoki and Berger bus stop. The construction of a 1000-truck capacity park in Orile-Iganmu is similarly meant to facilitate smooth flow of traffic.

Construction activities that are already in progress at Creek road, Harold Wilson road,  Borikiri area of Apapa by Julius Berger Plc  Brown Street, Oshodi, Ayetoro road, Ipaja – Ayobo road, Pedro road, Ladi-Lak road Bariga are to be speeded up. Also, rail lines from Orile to Lagos Island (CMS) by Julius Berger PLC would become a reality within a year. There is hope that Epe will be similarly developed into a more befitting part of the mega-city.

On the critical issue of tackling insecurity, he has handed over 10 brand new Hilux Vehicles in addition to 15 motorbikes to the police, who have been galvanized into action to ward of criminal elements.
Towards enhancing quality education delivery he has approved the recruitment of 1300 teachers into all public primary schools across the State to bolster the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme. Funds have been released for the fifth and sixth payments of bursary to 2010/2011 bursary beneficiaries in universities across the country and N188.5 million for the payment of 2014 / 2015 local scholarships involving 886 students.

Besides, the seemingly intractable crises that has bedeviled the State University, LASU, Ojo, which led to the dismissal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa in March, 2015 has been amicably resolved.

In the area of food security, the governor is determined to boost fishery by increasing access to credit facilities for the farmers as well as frequent training in line with modern agricultural practices. This falls in sync with the state that has 180km coastal line and has 22 per cent covered by water.

For the health sector, the governor has commissioned 20 Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICU) and 26 Transport Ambulances one for each of the 26 General hospitals. He has also approved the recruitment of more paramedic staff and special medical coordinators to guarantee 24 hours service. Besides, he has upgraded the General Hospitals and constructed a Medical Park fully equipped with  quality drugs and new mobile X-Ray machines.

One fascinating aspect of his style of governance that has appealed to people is demystifying leadership as being for the political class rather than the people. His compassionate nature has since come to the fore. For instance, he exhibited a rapid  response to the cries from victims of fuel tanker explosions in Iyana- Ipaja and Ikotun days after he was sworn in as governor.

To actualize the state’s bold bid to attract foreign investment he has set up the office of Overseas Affairs and Investment (Lagos Global). With a combination of a peaceful atmosphere, a hospitable and economically vibrant people and a structurally enabling environment international business is poised to thrive.

So far the features that distinguish Governor Ambode from his peers include the deployment of his creative ingenuity in handling economic matters and uncommon compassion for the vulnerable members of the society. The third is acting in tune with the realities on ground. He has hit the ground running and there is ample indices of performance for Lagosians to cheer. We can only urge him not to rest on his oars to truly qualify him as ‘the people’s governor.’