I had yearned to toast to the rapid development in Lagos State but was held back by the growing concern over the sustenance of the infrastructural development projects. I confess to having witnessed rapid development in various facets of life in Lagos. However, the poor sustenance of some excellent products and services introduced, and some sub-standard services been rendered leave much to be desired.
Governor Babatunde Fashola is, no doubt, a great and talented man. He is a focused, persevering and result-oriented leader. He surrounds himself more with like-minds and, together, they have crafted and executed strategies geared towards meeting the goals and actualizing their clearly defined vision for the State. The positive programmes embarked upon by this administration have had positive impact on the lives of Lagosians and Nigerians. The State is a positive case- study for other States and nations facing similar challenges. The superlative performance has attracted international recognition and endorsement. This legacy of diligent achievement should be sustained.
Despite the challenging issues of harassment and molestation by street urchins; the bandits; inadequate security apparatus; poor environmental sanitation and its resulting consequences; indiscipline and lack of respect for other road users; failure to perform civic duties and responsibilities; the unassuming, ‘action’ governor and his insightful team, have tackled these problems effectively. The government and the people must now ensure that the ‘dividends of democracy’ are maintained and sustained.
This administration made frantic efforts to sensitize the people on government policies and implementation plans and its positive effect on their lives. The over-subscribed state government bond affirmed the people’s confidence. The shared experiences, both local and international, have given credence to the improvements in infrastructural development in the State. The BRT bus model remains a successful response to transportation challenges in the developing mega city – Lagos. The water supply and energy initiatives are indeed laudable dividends of credible governance. The landscape beautification projects are a beauty to behold at completion though some are in dire need of dedicated sustenance. All hands must be on deck to sustain these achievements.
The street light project that enjoyed mass acclamation initially is today a caricature of itself in some areas. On the mainland, we see a beautiful landscape of good-looking street light poles with over-head solar panels and bulbs beaming dim rays of light. Another cause for concern is the brick pavements that are caving in. Patched roads are back to their old state in some areas of the metropolis. The Lagos State monitoring teams must pay greater attention to project execution details to ensure implementation fidelity and sustenance.
Lack of a credible maintenance culture should not be allowed to become an impediment to continuous enjoyment of improved facilities in Lagos State. It would be befitting for the governor to go beyond “harnessing global partnerships and opportunities for rapid development and economic prosperity”, to building an enduring maintenance mechanism even as his administration is drawing to an end. A credible sustenance mechanism for the rapid development infrastructure provided by this government should be the basis for guaranteeing a brighter and rewarding future for Lagosians.
The governor has been judiciously carrying out the job he was elected to do. It will be worthwhile now to make sustenance a key part of this administration’s consolidation process. The products of your labour must not be allowed to rot in vain. Welldone, Babatunde Raji Fashola. Eko o ni baje o.