When Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was sworn into office on May 29, 2019, one of his promises was to bridge the gap between the government and the governed and completes a bridge that gives a way through the true essence of democracy. Two years after, Sanwo-Olu is still standing on this promise. Although, many more areas still need to be covered, but his achievements so far are giving meaning to the dividends of democracy, knowing full well that there are more to come, more achievements to work on.
First in health sector, Sanwo-Olu came in and had hardly settled down when Covid-19 reared its ugly head and started ravaging the world. In March 2019, the first index case was announced in Nigeria. It was the beginning of a harrowing experience and a call to duty.
And when the first case was announced in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu told the people to brace up for the daunting task ahead, admonishing them to take their health more seriously.
To create the needed awareness, a lot of health adverts and jingles were out, because Lagos later became the epicentre of COVID-19 in Nigeria. The toll of the pandemic was high. The state, just like others was shut down. Revenues were lost. People died. But just like the Ebola outbreak during the administration of Babatunde Fashola, the state government took up the gauntlet to contain the rampaging virus.
After the pandemic surge started declining and fewer Lagos residents tested positive to COVID -19, Governor Sanwo-Olu swung into action again as hospitals, such as Maternal and Child Healthcare Centre, Eti-Osa was built, in the first few months of the administration. In the next few months, the governor is expected to open more hospitals in several local government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs in the state.
In this category is the new Massey Children Hospital on Lagos Island, which after completion will be one of the biggest and modern hospitals in Nigeria.
Indeed, one can safely say that Governor Sanwo-Olu has built more hospitals than what anyone can imagine or think off in the last two years despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the area of transportation, one of the major achievements of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration is the completion of the Agege Pen-Cinema Flyover Bridge, which has eased the traffic gridlock associated with that corridor. There are other road constructions, especially the regional road which construction has started in Lekki to ease traffic gridlock on that axis. Upon completion of the 8.7km road, it will connect Lekki Expressway at Victoria Garden City (VGC) to Freedom Way in Eti-Osa.
Another milestone which is about to be recorded in transportation by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration is the Lagos red rail project which the governor is passionate about. The red line project is a 37km rail mass transit which will take passengers from Marina through to Oshodi and Ikeja and end at Agbado. The project which is due be delivered by the last quarter of 2022, is meant to open up the transportation system in the state, taking Lagosians away from the normal norm of road transportation. It is also noteworthy that the administration has concentrated energy on the provision of more jetties to boost water transportation in the state. This is in line with the avowed commitment of the government for an integrated mass transport system comprising the road, rail and water.
Over the last two years, the government has constructed and renovated many school buildings with the aim of providing conducive atmosphere for learning in the state.
However, one of the greatest innovations of this administration has been rewarding teachers through the annual Teachers’ Merit Award. This year, 13 outstanding teachers were rewarded for their contribution to the development of education in the state. During the last ministerial press briefing to give the scorecard of the administration, Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, said one great innovation this present administration plans to do in the area of education is to have a radio station solely to talk about issues regarding education in the state. Mrs Adefisayo said the process is ongoing and believe would be achieved soon.
In the housing sector, Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), is the baby project of Governor Sanwo-Olu to bring succor to the challenges faced not just by tenants and landlords but also in the relationship between estate developers and the state government on how best to provide good housing units to Lagosians.
A bill, which is currently before the state House of Assembly, when passed, will make LASERA carry out its activities backed with the relevant provisions of the law.
In the area of food security,one project Governor Sanwo-Olu is determined to complete is the Imota Rice Meal, which will put affordable and good rice on the table of many Lagosians. On completion the rice mill will produce 2.5 million bags of rice annually. This is expected to reduce the burden of Lagosians eating rice smuggled into the country illegally.
The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration though had a set back during the EndSars protest saga where the relationship between the government and the people deteriorate because of lack of trust and government’s commitment to the people, many Lagosians are of the believe that the next two years of the administration should bring better development to the state that will make Lagosians truly enjoy the dividend of democracy to the fullest.