Perusal of Ministeries under two years of Sanwo-Olu in Office (Part 1)

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By Moses Adeniyi

For those who are conscious of holding their government accountable, it would be observable that only 26 days are on count for the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led Administration to mark two years of taking over the steering course of Lagos affairs. This in essence, translates to the fact that the Administration has well spent half of a four year term as constitutionally provided for a regime. Although, an administration has a second term regime extension of another four years as provided by the Nigerian Constitution, discussion on that subject however may  not be ripe yet for analytical discourse.

Since, the Administration came on board in May 29, 2019, it is well expected that governance under normal circumstances should have taken course. Thus, issues of the analytical assessment of the performance of the Administration within the space of the two years period which mark about 731 days halving the four-year term, becomes imperative. Ready for accountability, the Ministerial briefing of each of the Ministry of the State Government has commenced last week. A number of the Ministeries had last week had their principals put forth to the public, the stewardship account of their respective achievements over the period under review. Thus, a cursory overview of the accounts from which analytical inferences could be drawn for future discourse are presented here.  So far, four Ministeries had given reports of their achievements within the period under review. A cursory look into these achievements lies below:

Works And Infrastructure 

Within the period under review, it was gathered that the numbers of iconic projects delivered by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration between the period of inception of the Administration in May 2019 till present have been identified to be 51 on records. This is just as several road projects across the States which are near completion will be set for commissioning in few weeks.

On the list of the road projects include the Pen-Cinema fly over, ramp and road words, Lagos Ogun Boundary roads Phase II, Lekki Oniru Traffic Circulation Projects, network of 31 roads in Ojokoro, Aradagun-Epeme-Iworo-Ajido and Somolu network of roads, among others.

In a press briefing to account for the efforts of the Administration on Works and Infrastructures to commemorate the Annual Ministerial Press Briefing in marking the 2nd year anniversary of the Administration, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. (Mrs) Aramide Adeyoye, had explained that the need to unlock Traffic gridlocks in major economic, commercial and residential areas as well as improve travel time necessitated the construction of the roads.

According to her, the efforts will make commuting stress free, life more meaningful for the people and ensure connectivity within the various communities in the State. She had mentioned that the identified projects were in line with the THEMES Agenda, most especially the First Pillar T which stands for Traffic Management and Transportation.  “They also underscore the commitment of the administration to execute projects that directly impact on the quality of lives of the populace,” she had said.

In addition to the completed projects, she had also explained that several projects were already flagged-off and are under construction/upgrading to further ensure linkage of different parts of the State together. Some of the roads include Oba Sekunmade road, Agric Isawo road, St Finbarrs and Iwaya roads, Lekki-Epe Expressway from Eleko Junction to Epe T junction and also Lekki Regional road Project.

The Special Adviser, who listed some recently awarded projects such as Hospital Road in Badagry, Construction of Muwo Jetty in Ojo, Abaranje Road Network in Alimosho, Reverend Braithwaith in Epe added that the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Olusola Sanwo-Olu will formally flag off the Construction of a new Ultramodern Massey Street Children’s Hospital and  the Reconstruction/Rehabilitation of Adeniji  Adele Road under the Lagos Island Area North Action Plan on Wednesday 28th, April 2021.

Some other newly awarded projects are Reconstruction of Moshalashi Street, Shomolu Rehabilitation/Upgrading of Ademoye/Alake Lakonko Street In Alimosho, Reconstruction Of Onilegbale In Eti Osa, among others.

Transportation

Statistical accounts of the Administration’s efforts in  Transportation and Traffic Management which forms one of the standing pillars of the Administration’s THEMES Agenda,  revealed that from the take off of the Administration two years ago (May 2019–May 2021), areas of intervention to boost the profile of transportation and traffic management in the State have been channeled largely towards the reduction of traffic congestion by resolving key gridlock points; maintenance of all road infrastructure, furniture and signalisation all year round; decongestion of traffic by connecting more communities with new link roads and bridges.

Others are: Provision of intelligent transport systems to optimize the transport network; Completion of  ongoing strategic transport projects (Rail, Water, Road); Acceleration and implementation of the Multi Modal Transport System which integrates Rail, Water and Road modes as specified in the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan.

Roundabout/Junction Improvement Works

For traffic management,  it would be recalled that the State’s Ministry of Transportation had made disclosure in September, 2019 on the strategies to embark on Traffic Management Intervention Plan (TMIP) for 60 identified Junctions/Corridors with a view to enforce the proper use of road carriageway, pedestrian/motorist conflicts, and improve safety of lives and properties on the roads. Presently, of the 60 gridlock points, in line with the Roundabout/Junction Improvement Works, 28 junctions have been completed; 22 junctions are  undergoing the remodeling;  while 10 junctions are at concept stage for improvement.

The completed gridlock points include Junction Rehabilitation, Channelisation and  Signalisation in Maryland; Allen Avenue/Awolowo Road, Ikotun, Lekki Roundabout 1; Lekki Roundabout 2; and Abraham Adesanya Junction. Other completed reconfiguration projects include: seven Agege Pen Cinema Bridge; eight Apongbon/Eko Bridge (Signalization); nine Sandfill Junction, Oniru (Concrete pavement/Channelization and Signalization); 10 Abila Abiodun, Oniru Junction (Concrete pavement/Channelization  and Signalization) among others.

Among the ongoing projects include 29 Ijaiye Road/Wempco Road; Oba Ogunji Rd;  Agege Traffic Light Signalization; 30 College Road/Thomas Salako, Ogba Traffic Light Signalization; 31 Mobolaji Johnson Road/Billings Way; Ikeja Traffic Light Signalization; Hakeem Balogun/Jobi Fele Way/Cipm  Road, Ikeja Traffic Light Signalization.

Others include Ireshe Road/Alh. Rafiu Salami; Ikorodu Traffic Light Signalization; 34 Ireshe Road/ Awolowo Road, Ikorodu Traffic Light Signalization; Isolo Way/Asa Afariogun Street, Ajao; Estate Traffic Light Signalization; 36 Asa Afariogun Street/Lateef Salami, Ajao  Estate Traffic Light Signalization; 37 Ojuelegba Enforcement, among others.

Traffic Signal Lights (TSLs) Management

On Traffic Signal Lights (TSLs) Management, efforts of the State within the period under review include: Reinstatement/Repairs of all vandalised TSLs across the Lagos State following the aftermath of the ENDSARS civil unrest by hoodlums. The reinstatement/repairs were effected within six months period  — June to November, 2020.

Other efforts towards TSLs Management include Supply and Installation of Standardised Intelligent Traffic Signal Light at 12 Location across Lagos metropolis; General Maintenance/Repairs of existing TSLs and Installation across the State (Procurement of Spare Parts) February 2021; Deployment of Intelligent TSLs at eight locations and Upgrading/Rehabilitation of two existing TSLs.

The State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, had last week said the Administration’s focus has been tailored towards developing an integrated multimodal transport system that gives options to citizens.

Apapa Gridlock

On the eyesore over the Apapa gridlock, the Commissioner had said that “a renewed effort geared towards solving the perennial traffic gridlock around Apapa with regards to the Governor’s directives, LASTMA in conjunction with NPA, other Agencies and Unions have been able to reduce the queue of trailers and petroleum tankers around Apapa drastically through enforcement of the electronic call-up system.”

According to him, “Hundreds of articulated vehicles have been impounded to serve as deterrence for other recalcitrant drivers. For the first time in several years, it became possible for vehicular flow of traffic from Ikorodu Road to Apapa and return trips by motorists.  We will continue to build on this success,” he had said.

It would be recalled that sequel to the taking over of Apapa Traffic Management and Control from the Presidential Task Force, the State Government had set up the Apapa Special Traffic Management and  Compliance Enforcement Team headed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation with the aim of restoring sanity and socio-economic prosperity to Apapa and its environs.

Road Safety Management

On road safety measures within the period under review, it was gathered that in carrying out the statutory responsibility especially as it concerns the installation of truck barriers in order to restrict the movement of articulated trucks on selected flyovers across the State; seven truck barriers have been installed across the State, including three  locations within Otedola Bridge with CCTV and one location in Surulere.

To further ensure sanity, standard, safety and security of lives & properties, records showed that there was introduction of Plate Detect app for verification of documents and blacklisted vehicles;  Installation of additional three (3) Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras added to the existing 10 makes up 13 and 17 others awaiting installation across the metropolis. Other efforts in this regard, include the introduction of Articulated and Allied Vehicle Number Plate (AVNP), for robust database on all articulated and similar vehicles to assist in providing and sharing valuable information with other law enforcement Agencies of Government. Statistics of efforts to train drivers in the State, showed that the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) trained 97,866  drivers since the inception of the Administration, between 2019 to March, 2021.

Rail Project

For development on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Project – Blue Line Phase 4, the Construction of the Rail works from National Theatre-Marina which commenced in November, 2013 with a completion date of 2022 work done has reach 93%. Achievements on the Blue Line include   securing the funding for the completion of the civil and O&M infrastructure; Completion of the installation of Palisade Fencing along the Blue Line; Completion of the continuous beams; Sheet piles for the Shoreline protection have been delivered to sites; approval of the specification for third rail and rolling stock.

Lagos Bus Reform Initiative

The Lagos Bus Reform is designed to achieve: providing comfortable and reliable bus service for commuters; formalization of operation; improve PT connections in Lagos; improve social (enhance city life); Environmental Pollution reduction; improve safety and security of the commuting public; Consolidation of duplicated garages into one.

Bus Service

It would be recalled that the Lagos Bus Service Limited (LBSL) in May 2019 commenced operation with 50 high-capacity buses, to meet the needs of the ever growing population of Lagos State. By December 2019, LBSL fleet tripled in size from 50 buses to 150 high-capacity buses and in February 2020, additional 65 high-capacity buses were approved by the current administration to supplement the LBSL fleet to further improve the public transportation in Lagos.  As of March 2021, LBSL current fleet size is 252 buses, (212 High-Capacity Buses & 40 Medium Capacity Buses).

By March 2020, on Tuesday, 17th March 2020, LBSL celebrated the 10 million Passenger Ridership as an unprecedented landmark achievement. By March 2021, the total number of passengers transported was 20,024,985.It was gathered according to statistics that the increase in ridership had attracted increase in job creation for over 700 Lagosians through LBSL, with about 87% of the staff being bus captains, operations staff and technical staff.  By February, 2020 the serviced routes of LBSL had increased to 32.

Water Transportation

On investment on water transportation, it was gathered within the first Six months into commercial operations, the Lagos State Ferry Services Company (LAGFERRY) recorded ferrying 60,000 passengers by the 30th June, 2020. The biggest single day milestone with 12 boats commuting 1,175 passengers, traversing 1,442 kilometers was also achieved.

By 124 days of operation, LAGFERRY had ferried 100,000 passengers by the 7th of September, 2020. Between February 2020 to March 2021, the Agency has ferried over 500,000 passengers through the waterways. The Agency extended its operations to two (2) new routes; Bayeku – Okeiranla – Badore and Ilaje Bariga – Victoria Island – Falomo – CMS/Marina – Ebute Ero, bringing the total of new routes to eight cutting across all senatorial districts in the State.

LAGFERRY has also improved enabling commerce environment by providing logistics solution to notable industries like Dangote Industry, BUA Industries, Crown Flour Mills through the movement of their goods by barges from Mile 2 to Apapa on the waterways.

Between January and December 2020, LAGFERRY had moved 41,040 trucks from Mile 2 terminal, with 2,308 cleared goods containers received from the ports which created over 284 employments directly and indirectly through Cargo barging agents for logistics staff, drivers and conductors.

Waterways Management    

Among achievements on the management of waterways include: Ilaje – Bariga Jetty Expansion; Unveiling of LASWA fuel dump;  purchase of additional 5000 life Jackets for use by the commercial Ferry Operators and waterways passengers in the state,  and removal of wreckage on the waterways, among others.

Environment

While briefing journalists last week, the State’s Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, had said that the current administration has resuscitated the State from environmental degradation to improved sanitation. He had said that before the inception of the present administration, the profile of environment in the State was relegated to the background within four years. He had mentioned that the systemic neglect within the four years period before the coming of the present administration, led to such Agencies as Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), and the Office of the Drainage Services,  among  other agencies under the Environment Ministry, been relegated to the background.

He had emphasised that Lagos has moved from the notoriety of a flood ravaged coastal city to one with cleaned, dredged and free flowing drainage channels all year round. According to him, the first point of  attention of Governor Sanwo-Olu in  office was to clear the mess which was left behind within four years prior to his assumption of office.

The activities of the Ministry within the period under review revolved around   the management of the environment through reduction of noise pollution to refuse disposal through PSP operators; engaging in a circular economy for plastic waste; promoting waste conversion; giving the landfill sites a facelift to enable waste disposal without hassles. Others are mitigating the effects of climate change through tree planting and beautification and landscaping of parks and gardens; managing the status of Lagos as a coastal city to eliminate floods.

The Commissioner had mentioned that efforts of the present Administration to revamp the operations of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) during the period under review was due to the magnanimity of Governor Sanwo-Olu which has provided employment to over 30,000 residents. He disclosed that presently, LAWMA has successfully increased the number of trips completed daily at landfill from 357 to 850 on the average. “We have witnessed  growth of PSPs from 350 to 437 (87 new PSP companies).  The period has also seen the acquisition of 210 new Compactors by the PSPs who have also employed over 8,200 people,” he had said.

He had further hinted that there is also a potential of 6000 new jobs in recycling but currently averaging 4000 for both formal and informal, adding that 950 employees have been hired under the Waste Monitoring and Policing and another 350 are engaged as Street Captains. Other categories of people offered job opportunities are 300 Marine Waste  employees, 14,010 Street Sweepers and another 3500 under the HighWay Managers.

Part of the achievements of LASEPA noted within the period under review include the installation and commissioning of air quality control monitoring stations in six locations across the state; commissioning of a mini effluent treatment plant used to treat waste water and left-over samples of industrial wastewater from the Agency’s laboratory; the commissioning of a world class E-library and Resources Center to help in the submission of Technical Reports, responding to Public complaints and enquires which had hitertho been done physically.

On the fight against noise pollution from social clubs and religious organisations, the Commissioner mentioned that LASEPA  attended to no less than 912 public complaints emanating from religious organisations, clubs, industries and other sources of noise pollution in the last 6 months. Among other the achievements was the construction of a Recycling Bank  constructed in 2020 within the Ministry of Environment complex  in collaboration with private investors to increase awareness of recycling in the state.

On efforts in the fight against Climate Change, it was gathered that LASPARK embarked on several parks and gardens creation, Landscaping and Beautification of various sites in the state and also forged ahead in its Tree Planting Campaign. It was disclosed that at the last count, the total stock of trees planted rose to over 7 million out of the 10 million targeted for the end of Y2020. LASPARK also propagated thousands of flowering house plants, foliage and tree seedlings for sale and community tree planting.

The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency within the period under review was noted to have conducted Clean up of posters, banners with tin plates on 265 streets in 20 local government areas as well as  maintenance inspection  nd observed 49 with defects and 36 structures with structural inadequacies. Report showed  that 1663 contravening structures were identified in some Local Government monitored for contravention of drainage alignments and setbacks while removal has commenced with about 84% completion.

The Commissioner had disclosed that KAI with its resuscitation has arrested a total of 2,858 people comprising illegal Traders, Hawkers, Highway crossing defaulters, environmental polluters and cart pushers of which 294 persons were prosecuted according to the Lagos State Environmental Law.

He added the Agency has been successful in the removal of all major infractions at Toll gate/7up areas, CMD Road, Magodo and those aiding criminal activities in Magodo/Shangisha, and handing over of the recovered locations to the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) while sanity is regularly sustained by men of the Agency  in other locations such as Onikan Under bridge, Obalende, Ijeh and P&T Areas and  other areas of the state. The Commissioner had said that as part of COVID-19 containment measures, the Ministry intensified the disinfecting of schools, public institutions and highways regularly.

It was gathered that contracts were awarded for construction of new drainage channels in 47 strategic locations in the State, with work at 12 locations 100% completed, 17 at above 80% and 18 at above 50% completion. Under the maintenance and dredging of Primary Channels Programme, a total of 42 Primary Channels cleaning and dredging contracts were awarded across the state, while another 192 Secondary Collectors drains spread across the 20 Local Government Areas of the State have been cleaned up.

On water management, efforts made by the Ministry include, 85% completion at the ongoing Construction of  70MGD (Million Gallons per Day) Adiyan II Water plant; repairs on leakages, burst pipes; completion of the construction of 694 meters of Sewer Network and Manholes for 12 Resident Block at Iponri Low Cost Housing Estate; signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with WaterAid International on Partnership, capacity building and expansion of access to water in the State.

Waterfront Infrastructure Development

The revenue performance of the Lagos State Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development was gathered to have attracted a significant boost from 15.42% performance in 2017 and 8.9% performance in 2018 to 270.66%, Nigerian NewsDirect has gathered.

According to statistics obtained from the State’s Commissioner for  Waterfront Infrastructure Development Arc. Ahmed Kabiru Abdullahi, it was gathered that since the inception of the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2019, the Ministry “made an unprecedented increase in its revenue generation from 15.42% performance in 2017 and 8.9% performance in 2018 to 270.66%. According to the statistics, the feat is significantly above the benchmark of 75%, just as the breakdown revealed that the estimated revenue for 2020 saw an increase of 130.7%.

To be continued