By Gbolahan Bakare
Lagos today remains the most important state in Nigeria and can only be led by the most courageous and innovative leaders. Its cosmopolitan nature and complexities make it a tough place for anyone to control, hence politics in the Big City is fierce and unforgiving. Only the bold can survive it.
When Akinwunmi Ambode took over control of the state as Governor from his brilliant predecessor, Babatunde Fashola, on May 29th 2015, he knew exactly what he would need to do to keep the 21 million Lagosians safe and prosperous. He knew he was slipping into very huge shoes. Being a former Auditor General of the state, he knew where to look to block leakages and save valuable funds.
By financial re-engineering and reviewing the revenue framework of the state, he has been able to save the 3 billion naira monthly. This means there will be more funds to inject into capital projects and to finance the 25 billion naira employment Trust Fund he promised during his campaign. His good managerial skill has helped manage Lagos state workers without seeking for the Federal Government bailout. Within a short time in office, he also approved the release of 11 billion naira for the payment of arrears of pensions owed since 2010.
Understanding a busy state like Lagos needs a good security to enables its citizens walk freely without fear of being attacked, he established an integrated security and emergency control platform, which is aimed at strengthening the security apparatus in the state, Equipment and vehicles of various needs donated to all he security agencies to enable a good discharge and delivery of their job.
The general hospitals are not left out as the governor has worked tremendously in the health sector. Governor Ambode provided 26 Transport Ambulances distributed deployed across the hospitals. He added 20 new mobile intensive care ambulances to the 16 his predecessor provided making a total of 36 mobile intensive unit ambulances in the state.
Many roads are under construction or repairs, as the governor has instructed the heads of all local government and local council development areas to fix 2 roads in their various local governments to make the state motorable. Governor Ambode has taken a tour of some major roads to ascertain their state and device a better way to put them to order without affecting the Lagosians. Such roads include Ejigbo- Ikotun Road, Okota-Cele Road, MetalBox Road and Acme Road Ikeja re currently being rehabilitated, Brown street, Oshodi, Ladipo street as well as Mushin road are not left out. He has committed N1.386Billion to road construction and rehabilitation.
All these and many more the Governor has done in less only his first quarter in office. Akinwumi Ambode is a performer not a noise maker. There is no doubt he will deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. He has started well and will definitely end well.