Sanwo-Olu, Ag­baje dis­agree on in­fra­struc­ture, health

Business a.m. - - NEWS - Busi­ness a.m.

LAGOS STATE ALL PRO­GRES SIVES CON GRESS (APC) gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date, Baba­jide San­woOlu, and his Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) coun­ter­part, Jimi Ag­baje, on Fri­day dif­fered on in­fra­struc­ture, health and other is­sues that would spur the de­vel­op­ment of the state.

The can­di­dates spoke dur­ing the Lagos Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (LCCI) Pri­vate Sec­tor In­ter­ac­tive Fo­rum with gov­er­nor­ship can­di­dates in Lagos.

Ad­dress­ing is­sues of traf­fic and trans­port man­age­ment, Sanwo-Olu said that gov­ern­ment was con­tin­uum and vowed to con­tinue all projects started by his pre­de­ces­sor for the ben­e­fit of cit­i­zens.

He said that his plan for traf­fic was holis­tic, from road re­pairs and con­struc­tion to open­ing up more means of trans­porta­tion through wa­ter­ways and rail, to train­ing and em­pow­er­ment of traf­fic of­fi­cials.

“For years dur­ing the PDP rule, we asked the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment for ac­cess to the ex­ist­ing rail­way cor­ri­dor, but it was de­nied. This led us to cre­ate the Blue line rail­way from Okoko­maiko to CMS.

“We need to com­plete the track be­cause Lagos needs a trans­porta­tion sys­tem out­side roads that can move thou­sands of peo­ple daily,” he said.

Re­spond­ing, Ag­baje said that for 20 years of APC gover­nance in the state, res­i­dents were still grap­pling with traf­fic con­ges­tion; es­pe­cially is­sues with trail­ers parked on bridges along Costain to Apapa.

“Lagos is one of the two mega-cities of the world that does not have a multi-modal trans­porta­tion sys­tem. It is time we start think­ing of multi tiered roads; the world is mov­ing, we can­not af­ford to be dif­fer­ent.

“The rail project has been on for too long. We need to have big ideas to ad­dress prob­lems that are pe­cu­liar to Lagos.

“The way things are presently is not sus­tain­able and it has failed to de­liver the sort of im­pact in the lives of or­di­nary cit­i­zens that should be ex­pected from an econ­omy of Lagos’ mag­ni­tude,” he said.

Ag­baje said that the sort of de­vel­op­ment that Lagos re­quires should be an­chored on im­prov­ing live­abil­ity, ex­pand­ing the econ­omy and re­tool­ing it for the 21st cen­tury.

On the is­sue of power, Sanwo-olu pledged to take Lagos out of the na­tional grid within six months and pro­vide ad­di­tional 1000 megawatts to its cur­rent level.

He said that he would part­ner with dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies to en­sure they up­scale their power sup­ply to the state, not­ing that pre­paid me­ters would be pro­vided to res­i­dents to en­sure ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency.

How­ever, Ag­baje said he would im­prove power by 1000 megawatts within his first 18 months, and en­cour­age in­vest­ment in em­bed­ded power projects to­ward en­hanc­ing power sup­ply.

Speak­ing on health, Sanwo-olu noted that the Lagos Health In­sur­ance Scheme would en­sure ac­cess to af­ford­able health­care and help build a health care struc­ture to be proud of.

How­ever, Ag­baje crit­i­cised the present Health In­sur­ance Scheme, say­ing mak­ing it manda­tory was an­other form of tax­a­tion that has been mak­ing life dif­fi­cult for the masses.

He said his ad­min­is­tra­tion would have sig­nif­i­cant devel­op­ments in health, waste man­age­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, trans­porta­tion man­age­ment and in mak­ing use of tech­nol­ogy to solve prob­lems.

Ag­baje promised to de­velop “an ocean econ­omy” and a knowl­edge driven econ­omy” to en­hance the eco­nomic well-be­ing of the state and its cit­i­zens.

Be­sides, Sanwo-olu said that his ad­min­is­tra­tion would be in­no­va­tive about In­ter­nally Gen­er­ated Rev­enue (IGR) in a way that would not ex­ert pres­sure on the cit­i­zens.

He noted that the pri­vate sec­tor re­mains the en­gine of eco­nomic growth and would con­tinue to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for the pri­vate sec­tor to thrive in the state.

“As a for­mer Com­mis­sioner for Com­merce & In­dus­try in Lagos, I know that proper col­lab­o­ra­tion with the pri­vate sec­tor leads to more job cre­ation, im­proved in­dus­trial har­mony and boosts in­vest­ment,” Sanwo-olu said.

Ba­batunde Ruwase, Pres­i­dent of LCCI, said that en­gag­ing the can­di­dates would give ex­po­si­tion that would guide the pri­vate sec­tor’s elec­toral choice.

He said that the qual­ity of po­lit­i­cal gover­nance has pro­found im­pli­ca­tions for in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment.

Ruwase said with­out a con­ducive busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, there can­not be mean­ing­ful eco­nomic progress.



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