Hon. Abiodun Tobun represents Epe Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly. Tobun is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Infrastructure. Tobun is confident that most of the on-going projects in Lagos State would be completed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2020. In this interview with select journalists, the third term lawmaker said there is need for local governments in the state to do more in reducing poverty rate at grassroot level. OKUNADE ADEKUNLE was there.
Do you think when it comes to infrastructural development, the local governments are complementing the state government because at the grassroots level it seems they are incapacitated by funds?
The people in the local governments are expected to do more for the people because they are the closest to the people. That is why we tell them to do more for the people. There are some good ones amongst them that are doing very well. Among 12 there must be a Judas, but majority of them are doing well. For those who are not doing well we ask them questions, which was why we asked one of them who has not done well to go and sit down and allow his deputy to take over until he clears himself. They cannot afford not to do well because Lagosians expect a lot from us and our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is ready to do more for the people and make life more meaningful for them. We want to continue to win Lagos and be a party that would be recognised all over the world.
What can you say about the massive road rehabilitation and construction in Lagos State?
As I told you the other time, the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu is only taking his time to plan because he who fails to plan plans to fail. He has planned and he has articulated his objectives, which is why he is rolling our programmes and you can see the construction and the rehabilitation projects going on in the state.
Prior to his coming on board, there were problems here and there, he has studied the problems and proffered solutions to them, which is why traffic hold ups are easing off in the state as most of the roads are now in good shape.
Now, we could see how he is renovating all the schools and recruiting more teachers in the state. We can see what he is doing in the area of security by providing vehicles, motor bikes and helicopters for the security agencies in the state. He has also decided to pay the minimum wage to the civil servants, which he has started. He took his time and like we have told you that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would take his time to do projects that would endear him to the minds of our people and surpass those who have come before him.
He is doing this with the support of his Deputy, who is a politician and technocrat, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat. I think the duo are going to work together for the progress of the state. Don’t forget, the parliament, led by Speaker Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa would work with them so that we would not jettison our duty for the people of the state and perform our oversight functions on them.
In the area of infrastructure and construction of roads, what should we expect in the 2020 Budget?
Next year, I believe that most of the ongoing projects would be completed based on the budget. He would work on the link roads and he would work on urban regeneration. If you look at the quality of the roads, they are not the kind of roads that would wash away soon. There would be massive construction of roads and there would be “operations banish all potholes” in the state. Lagosians should expect the best from this government.
Would the flyover in Agege be completed next year?
I am not the contractor, but the job has commenced, work has started on Agric Road, Ishawo, Agege Pen Cinema Flyover, the Airport Road, another road in Epe, even the ongoing project in Okokomaiko, and the light rail project are being constructed. The government is working on several roads across the state. We will be passing the budget just like the Speaker said that it would be a New Year gift to the people of the state. We will pass the budget this year or early next year. By the grace of God the budget would perform very well and the people of the state would smile.
People believe that oversight functions are not being done the way they should be done, what do you say to this?
We have been doing our best, we are not working for the executive, we are working for the members of the public. There would be a review of the performance of the executive to see if they have done well. We will not monitor their operations on a daily or weekly basis. It is either we do it quarterly, biannually or yearly. It is a periodic monitoring. We cannot be going to site on a daily basis to monitor the granite on site or what they do. They give us reports may be quarterly, then we will go and check what they have done. We can carry out integrity test on what they have done. Our power is to appropriate and monitor their jobs, once, we detect anything, we will call them to explain. We cannot investigate a project that has not been implemented. For those who are saying some of these things, do not understand the work of the parliament. We don’t go to site with them. We will ask them to explain what they have done. We will ask them if they have done what they ought to do. Our duty is to appropriate and monitor the projects that they have done, not the ones they have not done. Help us to educate the people about the workings of the parliament. We monitor them before and after the project has been done not during and we ask them questions.