By Ebenezer Ishola
A rousing reception heralded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s working visit to Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State on Wednesday. Mammoth crowd of residents, clad in colourful attires, came to welcome the Governor into their community for assessment of the State Government projects in the council.
During the visit, Sanwo-Olu inaugurated the newly constructed Sangotedo market built by the LCDA.
Sanwo-Olu, in company of members of the State’s cabinet, arrived into a warm embrace by various indigenous groups that make up the community. Also, there was a large turnout of All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts and supporters in Eti Osa.
The Governor, who described Eti-Osa area as “an important economic corridor” of the State, said his visit was to personally take stock of the ongoing Government’s development projects and to get undiluted feedback from the residents on the interventions.
The Sanwo-Olu administration has completed and delivered more than 20 infrastructure projects in road, housing and transportation in the Eti-Osa corridor. Construction work is currently at different stages of completion on numerous other projects on the axis, including Regional Road and Lekki-Epe Expressway.
Sanwo-Olu said he was elated with development activities initiated by all the four local councils making up Eti-Osa, which, the Governor said, are supportive of the State’s interventions.
As the closest tier of Government to the people, the Governor observed that the councils had prudently managed their resources, which enabled them to drive development from the grassroots.
He said: “As elected officials, we embrace every opportunity to visit and engage with our people to give account of our stewardship of the resources entrusted to our care. We consider visits like this an opportunity to see first-hand how well the various local governments, the closest tier of government to the people, are implementing our collective governance agenda, using our Government’s development blueprint known as THEMES agenda.
“Our administration is driven by the simple desire to deliver the dividends of democracy in every sector and in every neighborhood to ensure that no one is left behind. And we certainly have made sure that Eti-Osa is not left behind, given the wave of infrastructural development we have initiated in this important economic corridor of our State. We have completed numerous road reconstruction projects and getting other infrastructure projects done to give our people a new lease of life.”
Sanwo-Olu welcomed the passing of the bill approving LGAs’ autonomy by the National Assembly, but said Lagos had set the pace on councils’ independence more than a decade ago. The State Government, the Governor said, does not maintain a joint account with the local councils, nor does the State share in allocation to the councils.
The Governor said major efforts of the State Government in Eti-Osa had been focused on delivery of road connectivity to cope with population growth in the area, noting that the infrastructure remained critical to facilitate smooth mobility and improve commercial activities.
Apart from raising the healthcare facilities in Eti-Osa with the delivery of 110-bed Maternal and Child Centre (MCC), Sanwo-Olu said his administration had also strengthened waterway transportation with the acquisition of new speedboats to boost ferry services from the axis. He said the State Government had identified an area to build a sport and recreational centre for residents on the axis.
The Governor promised to accelerate construction activities on the ongoing projects in the area, while appealing to residents to bear the pain of the road construction in the Eti-Osa corridor with patience.
He said: “Tangible benefits being delivered consistently and create new socio-economic opportunities for the people. This is what good governance is all about. We will not relent in this regard. Three years on, we have been able to make it abundantly clear that power is to be wielded in service of the people. I am pleased that our local councils are as committed as the State Government.”
While inaugurating the new Sangotedo market, Sanwo-Olu hailed Eti-Osa East LCDA chairman, Hon. John Ogundare, for redefining governance at the grassroots level.
The Governor inspected some of the ongoing projects of the State Government in the area.
The council boss recalled that the new Sangotedo market project was initiated, following incessant demand by the populace for a central market and healthcare facility.
He said the council prioritised the building of a modern primary health facility at the site of the old council secretariat, given the importance of the project to socio-economic wellbeing of the residents.
Ogundare said the Olufunmi family of Eti-Osa later donated land for the market project, necessitating the council to allocate funds for its construction along the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
The council chairman named the market after his late predecessor, Hon. Rafiu Olufunmi, who was the scion of the Olufunmi family that donated the land for the project.
Ogundare said: “On behalf of the people of Eti Osa East LCDA, I express our appreciation to Mr. Governor for numerous development projects within the Victoria Garden City that will link our council to Ajah. It is no gain saying that our council is endowed in human capital, but influx of vehicles via Lekki-Epe and other routes through Ijebu Ode Expressway necessitate that more attention is accorded the major highways in the council.
“We are grateful for the attention being accorded to Saliu Obodo Road. More roads are needed in the council to deal with the growing vehicular traffic. We are also using this opportunity to ask for a public sport facility in Eti-Osa East LCDA. We are willing to donate a shanty within the community, which has been a dark spot for crimes, for reclamation by the State Government and turn it to a recreational centre.”
An APC leader and chairman of Governor Advisory Council (GAC), Prince Tajudeen Olusi, said the rousing welcome accorded the Governor by the populace showed the people’s approval of the current administration in the State, urging the residents to remain loyal to APC for the delivery of more dividends of good governance.
Elejigbo of Langbasa in Eti-Osa, Oba Olakunle Badru, said the administrative style of the Governor had changed the fortunes of the State, noting that Lagos was lucky to have a forward-looking administrator in charge of Government in the present period.
The monarch charged traders who will be using the new market to maintain the edifice and keep their trading activities within the perimeter of the market.
The new Sangotedo market is made up of 192 lock-up shops, 106 open shops, 28 suites, 65 key clamps, 12 chicken stalls, eight toilet facilities and parking lot for 100 cars at a time.