By Kalu Okoronkwo Jnr.
Someone asked, can Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State win second term as governor of the state should he decide to re-contest come 2019 and the answer was straight capital YES. This according to the respondent was based on Ambode’s determination to make Lagos State a super mega city and the most attractive state in the world. This the state has anchored on ambitious road and bridges infrastructural development beside environmental upgrade and beautification of the state among other efforts. The governor is living the words of Rahul Gandhi, “A rising tide doesn’t raise people who don’t have a boat. We have to build the boat for them. We have to give the basic infrastructure to rise with the tide’’. And just a side check among even blind residents, will tell you that in their hearts, they are also feeling the impact of the performing Governor of Lagos State.
Of a truth investment in infrastructure by government’s world over has far reaching implication as it impacts on its citizen’s quality of life. Huge investment in infrastructure especially roads is the moral fiber that stimulates socio-economic development known to be the focus of modern governments wherever they may be. Roads and bridges in particular often help change the face of landscapes; increased connectivity by bringing societies closer to the outside world and attracts in investment and wide.
Most governments in Nigeria at all levels, Federal, State and local governments most times make bogus promises when coming into government and sooner than they clinch the coveted seats, they coast away without blinking or flashing back at least to make their subjects feel impacts of the promises made them to gain their votes. However, Akinwunmi Abodes’ administration has proved critics wrong having recognised the connectivity between infrastructure development and socio-economic growth. To this end, the governor and his able team seems in a hurry to develop infrastructure across the state.
Since the administration came into power, road construction and maintenance project in both urban and rural centers in the State has been on the front burner with attendant reduction in hours spent on gridlocks and the ease of undue hardship of road users who spend endless hours in traffic.
When the governor presumptuously announced the plan of his administration to construct 114 roads in all the 57 local councils and Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) in the state simultaneously in six months, many applauded the vision behind the plan but expressed reservation over its successful implementation.
The reservation, to a large extent, could be justified based on the fact that the plan was not only unprecedented in the history of the country, but many such lofty policies usually end up as political jibes. However, Ambode proved pundits wrong by not only delivering on the roads and other infrastructures but doing so in record time. This development has, no doubt, brought succor to residents in terms of ease of human and vehicular movement within communities across the state.
Among benefits of the priority given to infrastructural development of the Gov. Ambode’s administration is stimulation employment and business development for contractors and artisans in all the 20 Local Governments/ 37 Local Council Development Areas. Access roads to major and connecting roads through the state equipped with drainage and street lights have virtually increased the value of property as well as enhancing economic activities.
Nathaniel Ajayi, a resident of Abesan, a sleepy community in northern part of Lagos, did not mince words in going down memory lane “I was born in 1993 here in Abesan, I had always dreamt that one day the kind of development I see in Victoria Island, Lekki and Ikeja will take place here. Today our governor has made my dream come true.”
The totality of Governor Ambode’s Infrastructural drive in Lagos is summed up in a sentence “Lagos is benefitting from its own dividends of democracy. There is also improvement of security as a result as the activities of hoodlums that used to be aided by bad roads and darkness at night was eventually terminated at the provision of independent powered street lights to improve security of the neighborhood.
Despite successes so far recorded in his all inclusive developmental agenda for the State, the truth is that the passion of the governor to ensure the progress of the state is not waning. From the 2017 budget estimate, the State Government has, once again, unequivocally communicated its commitment to road construction as a vehicle for accelerated socio-economic development. This year, the state has upped her game with promise of 181 roads reconstruction.
The Governor, while speaking at the first Quarterly Town Hall Meeting for 2017, the sixth in the series recently said the 181 roads, is an improvement on the 114 roads, two in each local government, which his administration promised to embark upon every year.
Ambode is silently achieving, meticulously planning, religiously executing and brilliantly giving results for Lagos State. No wonder his political leader and mentor, Senator Bola Tinubu sums it up thus “Akinwunmi Ambode has reflected that he is clearly a thinker and doer. I want to say thank you because experience is a great teacher and I am experienced. I am on the spot and I have watched things in Lagos since my tenure ended. I was worried hell when you (Ambode) took over, not about your credibility, character or capacity, but because however wise or smart a man is, if there is no resources to back the ideas, production would be zero, progress would be zero. When you (Ambode) took over, I know you inherited a burden of debt. The debt profile of Lagos was high, I was wondering how you will re-engineer and face the challenges to make progress. Today, I can see your report card, you have scored well, and you have shown prudency especially in the judicious use of resources of the state. You didn’t disappoint us.
Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria, the second fastest-growing city in Africa and the seventh in the world.The population of Lagos according to the Lagos State Government was 17.5 million, a number disputed by the Nigerian Government and judged unreliable by the National Population Commission of Nigeria. The latest reports estimate the population at 21 million, making Lagos the largest city in Africa.Lagos is a port which originated on islands separated by creeks, such as Lagos Island, fringing the southwest mouth of Lagos Lagoon while protected from the Atlantic Ocean by barrier islands and long sand spits such as Bar Beach, which stretch up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) east and west of the mouth. From the beginning, Lagos has expanded on the mainland west of the lagoon and the conurbation, including Ikeja (which is the capital of Lagos State) and Agege, now reaches more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) north-west of Lagos Island. Some suburbs include Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry, and more local councils have recently been created, bringing the total number of local governments in Lagos to 57 (This includes Local Community Development Areas or LCDAs).
Most of the population lives on the mainland, and most industries are located there too. Lagos is known for its music and night life, which used to be located in areas around Yaba and Surulere. In recent years more night clubs have sprung up on the island, making the island, particularly Victoria Island, the main nightlife attraction. Lagos Mainland districts include Ebute-Meta, Surulere, Yaba (location of the University of Lagos) and Ikeja, site of Murtala Muhammed International Airport and capital of Lagos State.
Islands of Lagos
Main article: Lagos Island
Lagos Island contains a central business district. This district is characterized by high-rise buildings. The island also contains many of the city’s largest wholesale marketplaces (such as the popular Idumota and Balogun markets). It also has the National Museum of Nigeria, the Central Mosque, the Glover Memorial Hall, Christ’s Church Cathedral (CMS), and the Oba Palace. Though formerly in a derelict condition, Lagos Island’s Tinubu Square is a site of historical importance; it was here that the Amalgamation Ceremony that unified the North and South protectorate to form Nigeria took place in 1914.
Ikoyi is situated on the eastern half of Lagos Island and joined to it by a landfill. Ikoyi is also connected to Victoria Island by Falomo bridge, which carries a main road over Five Cowrie creek. Ikoyi housed the headquarters of the federal government of Nigeria and other buildings owned by the government, including the old federal secretariat complex. The complex today is on reestablishment. In Ikoyi there are military and police barracks, a top-security prison and a federal high court of Nigeria. Ikoyi also has a number of hotels, night clubs, a recreational park and one of Africa’s largest golf courses. Originally a middle class neighborhood, in recent years, it has become a fashionable residential enclave for the upper middle class. There are also commercial activities in Ikoyi which is spotted in increasing number of offices, banks and shopping complexes. The commercial section is concentrated in the South-West.
Victoria Island with its annexe is situated to the south of Lagos Island. It has expensive real estate properties and for that reason, many new luxury condos and apartments are blooming up everywhere. Along with Ikoyi, Victoria Island occupies a major area in the suburbs of Lagos which boasts of several sizeable shopping districts. On its sea shore along the Atlantic front, there is environmentally reconstructed Bar Beach.
Eko Atlantic or Eko Atlantic City is a planned district of Lagos, Nigeria, being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.It is located on Lagos’ Bar Beach. Upon completion, the new island which is still under development is anticipating 400,000 residents and a daily flow of 250,000 commuters. The development will also have a positive environmental impact; its purpose is to stop the erosion of the Lagos coastline.The Eko Atlantic City project received global recognition in 2009, as the Lagos State government and its private sector partners on the Project, South Energyx, received the Clinton Global lnitiative Commitment Certificate.
Across the main channel of the lagoon from Lagos Island, there is a smaller settlement called Iddo. Iddo is also a railroad terminus and it is situated on the mainland. It is now connected to the mainland like a peninsula.Three major bridges join the island to the mainland. They are the Carter Bridge which start from Iddo, the Eko Bridge (formerly called the Second Mainland Bridge) and the Third Mainland Bridge, which passes through densely populated mainland suburbs to the Lagos Lagoon.
COMPLETION OF OJODU BERGER PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE, CONSTRUCTION OF LAY-BYS, SLIP ROAD AND SEGREGATED BUS PARK BUILT BY LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
Newly built Pedestrian Bridge with construction of Lay-bys, Slip road and segregated bus park at Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by the Lagos State Government commissioned on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.