Like every other elected governors and his predecessors in Lagos , Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had envisaged two terms in office as governor of the state widely regarded as Nigeria’s commercial capital. Since he was sworn-in in 2015, the governor had embarked on massive infrastructural projects, many of which cannot be completed in his first term. He had hoped that he will maximise his second term in office to complete some of these projects which were designed to give Lagosians a better life.
However, as fate would have it, Ambode will not stay in office beyond May 29, 2019. A new governor has been elected in the person of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. Though the governor-elect and Ambode both belonged to the same party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), many concerned Lagosians have expressed the fears given what usually obtains when a change of governance occur, many of the projects being embarked upon by Ambode may be abandoned and Lagosians will be the ones to suffer for it.
Between the last quarter of 2017 and now, the Lagos government embarked on massive construction across major parts of the state. From the Agege Pen Cinema axis to Ikeja airport road and Oshodi including other parts of the state, the city is witnessing numerous construction works. Many of these projects are already at advanced stage and Lagosians are worried over what becomes the fate of the projects with Ambode’s impending exit.
Taking cognizance of this fact, Ambode recently allayed the fears of the residents of the state over the ongoing projects, saying that his administration was making concerted efforts to complete many of them before May 29 when its tenure would end.
The governor, who gave the assurance during an inspection tour of ongoing projects in parts of the state, said the good thing about continuity in governance which he had been preaching, is that Sanwo-Olu, his would-be successor had signed on to the projects.
“I know that the feedback we are getting is that Lagosians are worried whether some of our critical projects will be delivered before we leave office. We want to assure them that with what we have had from the contractors and the inspection we have done today, these projects will be completed.
“And some of them if they are not completed, Mr Jide Sanwo-Olu will complete them on assumption of office. That is the whole essence of governance of continuity that we are preaching.That is why we believe strongly that he will not only complete them but also escalate them to higher level and that is the whole idea about APC,” Ambode said.
In his four year-reign, Ambode successfully commissioned several people-friendly projects, including two modern flyover bridges in Abule Egba and Ajah areas that were once notorious for their asphyxiating traffic gridlock. His administration has also constructed several inner roads with multiple lay-bys to ease traffic, all within the first two years in office.
Ambode also strengthened the state’s security and emergency rescue operations by providing state-of-the-art facilities worth billions of naira soon after assumption of office. He also commissioned 21 road networks and two bridges totaling 27.4 kilometres in Alimosho Local Government.
Many of those roads, which connect Lagos with Ogun State from Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, were fitted with walkways, drainage system, laybys, service ducts, lane marking and streetlights. The governor said the delivery of the infrastructure was part of the continuous bid to transform the Alimosho Federal Constituency and build new economy around the axis.
It will also be recalled that the governor approved the extension of the project to Ladipo International Market axis along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. This was in addition to the construction of a pedestrian bridge at Toyota Bus Stop.
Also worthy of mention is the Oworonshoki Lagoon reclamation project, which is designed to transform the swampy terrain to a major tourism, transportation and entertainment hub. Contrary to false media reports the project was not a housing scheme, but part of the overall programme for Lagos to emerge as the entertainment hub for Africa.
Owing to the limited time he has to pilot the affairs of Lagos, sources said the governor has been working round the clock to ensure that majority of the projects being undertaken by his administration are completed before he hands over the reins of governance come May 29, 2019.
Speaking in a recent interview, Prof. Itse Sagay SAN, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) said Sanwo-Olu, the governor-elect of Lagos must ensure the completion of ongoing projects in Lagos State which Ambode may not complete because of time.
He also advised Sanwo-Olu not to embark on new projects until he has completed all the current projects being undertaken by the Ambode administration.
He said, “My advice to the governor-elect of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is that he should complete all on-going projects in Lagos state, just like what the federal government is doing now by completing the projects that were not finished by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
“You don’t leave uncompleted projects and go and start new ones. Sanwo-Olu should complete any project that Ambode, the outgoing governor has started because at the end of the day, government is a continuum. I will advise Sanwo-Olu to complete the ones that Ambode couldn’t complete. In fact, he shoul