By Oziegbe Okoeki
The governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday flagged off the construction of 377 projects across all the wards in the state to address specific challenges at the grassroots level.
The projects will lead to the construction of over 250 roads and installation of 23 power projects across the state.
The flag-off ceremony took place at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja.
Sanwo-Olu said his government initiated the intervention in response to series of requests from the various communities across the state to address specific challenges.
He said the execution of the projects would change the narrative as to what grassroots development and government’s responsibilities are all about.
He said: “The state-wide 377 ward projects being launched today are state intervention projects in grassroots development.
“The projects are conceived in response to requests by the various communities across the state to address specific challenges.
“These projects are not universal; they are diverse, reflecting the needs of each ward across the state.
“The implementation of the projects will commence immediately after this official flag-off, as contractors have been fully mobilised to move to site.
“I urge residents, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these projects, to take ownership by monitoring the implementation process and ensuring that the job conforms to quality and standard specified in the project design.”
Sanwo-Olu said the process of identifying the needs and the design of the projects was in line with the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and participatory governance in which the people were considered as key stakeholders.
The governor described the grassroots as “the bedrock of development”, stressing that the projects were strategic in promoting the well-being of the people across communities.
He said his government would continue to give residents a voice on issues that affect them.
He said: “This administration’s development agenda is driven by the spirit to build a greater Lagos that is livable and conducive for the growth and development of enterprise.
“The dream of a greater Lagos is not exclusive; it is predicated on the principle of inclusiveness by which development is not considered as satisfactory until it has addressed the yearnings of the greatest number of the people who contribute to the commonwealth.”
He charged all elected and appointed officials in public offices to be responsible in dealing with people, noting that governance would be meaningless without the input of the people on whose mandate public officers derived their powers.
The Chairman of the Projects’ Implementation Committee and Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said all contractors would mobilise to sites next Monday, noting that the intervention was in demonstration of the governor’s campaign promise to run an inclusive government.
He said the projects’ selection followed a meeting between the governor and all the 377 councillors across the state, during which Sanwo-Olu asked them to name specific projects that should be executed in their wards.
Giving a breakdown of the projects, Hamzat said the state government would be constructing 257 community roads and drainages across the state.
He added that 86 public buildings would be rehabilitated while two jetties, nine water projects and 23 power projects would be installed across the wards.
Hamzat said: “The projects will be implemented by contractors in collaboration with government’s ministries, departments and agencies, including the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Directorate of Technical Service, Lagos State Electricity Board and Public Works Corporation.
“Supervision and monitoring of the projects will be done in collaboration with the ward councillors and party executives.”
Hon. Nurudeen Alimi, who spoke on behalf of the 377 councillors, said the governor, by the gesture, had taken dividends of democracy to the grassroots in a way never seen before in the state
Among the dignitaries at the event were members of the state cabinet, All Progressives Congress council chairmen, councillors and scores of party stalwarts led by the state’s Chairman of APC, Hon. Tunde Balogun.