There is a popular acclamation that the Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fashola and his administration marked a historic turning point in the life of Lagos as the largest African city. We have picked 5 of the most significant achievements by the governor and would like to share them with you.
1. The fight against Ebola
Babatunde Raji Fashola’s largest achievement in administration took place just a couple of weeks ago, and was done without an earthmover in sight. That was when Nigeria was officially declared Ebola-free, which first spread to the country over three months ago, when Patrick Sawyer, the infected US-Liberian citizen and the ECOWAS official, imported the virus through Lagos airport.
Fashola turned a forthcoming disaster into a public health and PR success. He took personal control of the process to track down and isolate about 1,000 people feared to have been infected since Patrick Sawyer’s coming. The Lagos Governor broke off from a pilgrimage to Mecca, flew home and then set up an Ebola Emergency Operations Centre, which led the huge task of monitoring all those possibly infected. A team of 2,000 officials were skilled for the task, which ended up knocking on 26,000 doors. At one point the governor was being briefed up to ten times a day by disease control experts. He made a point of visiting the country’s Ebola treatment centre, a way of communicating to the Nigerian public that they should not panic needlessly. Of course, he didn’t do it alone.
Given the generally acclaimed status of education in the improvement of the society, the Fashola government has given education the attention it earns. Later, the reintegration and creation of well-furnished new blocks of classrooms, distribution of free text books, provision of well-equipped workrooms and libraries, provision of buses for teachers and students to comfort transportation problems, re-launch of uniformed voluntary administrations in the state’s public schools, implementation of Teachers’ Salary Scale (TSS) for teachers in the state public schools, evolvement of the ‘Adopt a School Initiative’, among others.
Some of the rehabilitated schools include:
Ikotun Senior High School, Alimosho
Girls High School, Agege
Okemagba Junior High School, Mojoda
Amuwo Senior Grammar School
Tomia Community Secondary School, Alagbado
3. Infrastructural renewal of Lagos
On assumption of administration, Fashola boarded on a huge infrastructure renewal of Lagos metropolis. The main focus formed the key city highways. There was great reconstruction work going on at the same time almost all over Lagos. The result was that within the first four years of his term, Lagos metropolis wore a new look. Most of the main highways were transformed and painted. New roads were opened up with flyover bridges. State-of-the-art pedestrian bridges were constructed to substitute the rundown old ones.
4. Rural transformation
The Fashola administration has also seen a great progress in the rural area, as over 110 rural development projects were finished under the rural water and sanitation structure. At the end of the year 2009, 104 communities were measured for delivery of modified Type A-water scheme from the intervention fund. Some other achievements are in the rural sphere are:
Formation of modern abattoirs at Ologe, Oko-Oba, and Lairage.
Construction of access roads to link up villages in places like Imude road, Shibiri-Etegbin road, Ajangbandi-Illogbo road, Agboroko-Igbo road, Elerin road and Ariyo-Muyo-Tedi Oshun road and so on.
The state government has completed 165 rural electrification projects under its rural interference scheme.
5. Public safety and security
Towards achieving security as one of the most important pre-conditions for human existence, the Fashola government, not only turned most hide-outs and joints that previously serve as bases for impostors and armed robbers into beautiful environment. It also established the Lagos State Security Trust Fund to effectively fund the security needs of the state on a sustainable basis.
The governor of Lagos did a lot. But his vision to put Lagos in the same rank of such important cities like Dubai in the UAE, Jakarta in Indonesia, Rio in Brazil, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, among others, should not be allowed to die.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN is the thirteenth governor of Lagos State, Nigeria. He succeeded Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on 14 April 2007 and was re-elected on 26 April 2011.