The lawmaker representing Somolu Constituency 1in the Lagos State House Of Assembly, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, has assured his constituents of bringing governance closer to them to enable participatory governance.
He said that their contributions to the policy process would enhance public policy formulation and execution.
Olowo made this known at the annual constituency stakeholders meeting titled ‘ Post Covid-19 Pandemic : The Challenges and Prospects’ held in Somolu local government secretariat on Thursday.
Constituency stakeholders meeting is an annual policy collation programme put in place by the Lagos State House Of Assembly and held simultaneously across the 40 constituencies.
In his keynote address, Olowo told the participants to make valuable contributions on the various spheres of the state’s economy which they want government to do more, saying that ” Whatever information, suggestions and contributions by the people from the exercise would help government in policy decision making”.
Olowo added ” The 9th Assembly will continue to do everything within its reach to bring governance closer to the people to enable participatory governance, I urge you to continue to support the government by performing your civic roles.
” It is on this note that I urge you all to contribute actively and positively to the discussions for the progress of our community, local government and state as a whole. We assure you that we will always represent you adequately.
While speaking on the roles played by the House during the fight against COVID 19, Olowo stated ” In its collaborative efforts to stem the tide if the pandemic and bring a new lease of life to Lagosians, the House being the embodiment of the representatives of the people invited the Commissioner For Health, alongside the Chairmen and other officials of the Local Government/Local Council Development Areas to brief the Assembly on the efforts made so far to combat the pandemic in the state.
“The House further approved the sum of N20Billion COVID 19 Intervention Fund aimed at containing and managing the spread of the virus in the state as well as mitigate its effect on Lagosians. This legislative support coupled with individual palliatives efforts of Honourable members in their various constituencies has had a great impact on the successes recorded so far in the fight to effectively contain the ravaging disease.
“The economic headwind generated by the COVID 19 pandemic also necessitated the approval of the House for the re-ordering of the Y2020 Budget to provide the necessary support for business owners , the vulnerable members of the society and improvement in healthcare facilities.
Speaking on the #EndSARS protest that nearly consume the country, the lawmaker explained the conflict resolution roles played by the House and its leadership, saying that both COVID 19 and the EndSARS had serious effect on the economy of the state.
He added ” There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria and Lagos state, in particular, is currently facing three shocks of the pandemic: dwindling oil and tax revenue, contradiction in global trade and economic recession. These realities coupled with the recent youth unrest are negatively impacting on the economy of the state, hence the need to rethink our revenue generation model as a top priority in order to keep the economy of the state afloat.
“Thus, in tackling the socio-economic challenges posed by the pandemic, individuals are encouraged to look into the effective management of the various post-pandemic opportunities such as business creation by exploring e-commerce, adapting to the new ICT potentials, acquiring relevant skills or education, while government must also invest more in e-governance to facilitate a more efficient and robust governance”
Olowo disclosed that a Printing Hub would be established in Somolu, saying that this would enhance the capacity and capability of printers in the constituency.
He advised the youths to prepare themselves in tapping from the opportunities the printing hub would provide.
Olowo also stated that the government wants to build a world-class General Hospital in the area but that there is no land to erect it, saying that there would be special stakeholders meeting among the leaders of the community on where to relocate Somolu LG secretariat since the present Secretariat had been noted as the best place to build the new General Hospital.
On youth empowerment, the lawmaker identified underemployment and lack of employable skills as bane of youth employment, advising them to learn vocational skills that are useful in the contemporary society.
“Our youths need to learn skills like tiling, automobile mechanics, electrical engineering and other skills we look out for foreigners to do for us. Not all youths will get white-collar jobs, we need youths with vocational skills to fill in the unemployment gap”, said Olowo.
Olowo used the opportunity to give 108 people the sum of N25,000 each as a financial stimulus package.
Meanwhile, residents of the constituency had called on the state government to build new General Hospital, Markets, more good roads, Fire Station and create jobs for the youths.
The residents who filed out in their numbers to make these demands, explained that infrastructural facilities would help in growing the economy of the constituency and as well alleviate poverty.
The Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC ) in Somolu, Chief Odugunwa, stated that there was need for the government to rehabilitate deteriorating roads, stressing the significance of good roads to economic development.
Odugunwa added ” If the government rehabilitates the ‘link roads’ in the constituency, it will ease traffic and make the residents to get quickly to wherever they are going.
“We will also want the state government to clear the canals so that there will be easy flow of erosion and this will save our properties from being destroyed by erosion.
“In our areas, we need streetlights. If we have streetlights, the hoodlums and arm robbers will have no opportunity to engage in robbery. It will save us from robbery by hoodlums”, said Odugunwa.
He added ” The previous government promised us that it would rehabilitate Fadeyi bridge but it is yet to be done. The students of Unilag, Yabatech and market women and men are affected by the poor state of the bridge, we will want the state government to help us in the rehabilitation of this bridge.
“We suffer from electricity supply as the Ikeja Electric Distribution Company (IKEDC) has failed to provide us pre-paid meter. We will want the government to mount pressure on the company to provide us pre-paid in our homes.
“We as well need new General Hospital in Somolu which will serve us because the existing one is overstressed, people from other areas outside Somolu come to the General Hospital and this makes the hospital overstressed”, said Odugunwa.
In his comments, the Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN, Somolu Chapter), Fasasi Musa, lamented on the inability of the youths to have access to jobs from the federal government, saying that the constituency had high number of tertiary education graduates seeking for employment.
Musa said that there was a need for government to include more knowledgeable youths in governance, stressing that it would prepare them for greater leadership positions.
He also canvassed for an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in the constituency, saying that it would create more opportunities for youths who are ICT inclined.
A representative of the National Road Transport Workers ( NURTW), Kazeem Olayori, canvassed for the establishment of motor vehicle garage in Somolu area, saying that there was no designated garage where motorists can load commuters.
Some of the participants who spoke are; Iyaloja of Somolu, Chairperson of Artisans in Somolu, Funmi Davies, representatives of South-South and South-East indigenes and the Baale of Bajulaiye, Chief Raheem Yinusa.