I’ve been following the events of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led government of Lagos State, since it was inaugurated in May, 2015. It has been a mixed bag of confusion, excitement and at times, ill advised execution of projects.
No doubt that the decision to light up Lagos State is quite commendable, especially as it will help to reduce the ever disturbing crime rate in the commercial city of Nigeria. Some of the rod construction projects are also very commendable.
However, I have observed that most of these projects have no bearing with human development or indeed impact directly on capacity building for the people. They all reflect a zeal to spend and spend money, at times for the sake of it, as with somebody who just stumbled on wealth and is desperate to show off, with all due respect.
From the purchase of helicopters and cars for security agencies, to the initiation of needless flyovers and bridges, it has been more of a government of spend thrift.
Just today, it was reported in most news media that the Lagos State government contracted Julius Berger Plc, to complete the expansion of the Ojodu Berger lay by and overhead bridge. This is a clear example of avoidable wastage of hard resources. To the knowledge of the Lagos State Government, the federal government had since 2014 or thereabout contracted the same Julius Berger, for the expansion and construction of the same road, from the Shagamu interchange, to the old toll gate point in Ikeja axis, covering the same expanse of road network that the Lagos State government claims to be expanding, through the same contractor. Something is surely fishy in all of these.
Now the worrisome aspect of this ugly development is that it is the immediate past governor of Lagos State, Raji Fashola, SAN, now triple Minister of Works, Power and Housing, that is in charge of the federal government project. How on earth do we then justify the action of the Lagos State, except that it has some pool of free funds, which it has craftily extorted from hapless Lagosians, through force, by removing plate numbers of cars, through multiple taxes, through illegal arraignment and levy of innocent motorists in mobile courts, through exorbitant land use charges, etc.
I do commend His Excellency the governor for his zeal to deliver upon his campaign promises but prudence and judicious use of funds cannot be sacrificed upon the altar of personal ambition.
Let there be review of many of these projects to avoid wastage. Given the poverty, suffering and hunger in the land presently, all government must be on course to rescue their people, over and above capital projects that are tailored to boost electoral chances.
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa Esq