• Continued from yesterday
We promise Lagosians that, effective from October, within six months, they will see the difference. All they need to do to help us achieve this goal is to cooperate with the government and pay the annual public utility levy in accordance with the law. This is what will fund the project. Our bins will be cleared systematically on a daily basis. The same way the refuse on Adeola Odeku is cleared is the same way refuse in Badagry, Ayobo, Agege and other parts of Lagos will be cleared.
In the transport sector, we have decided to integrate our rail, road and water transportation systems. It will take time but I believe in the philosophy of Think It, Plan It and then Act It.
Sometimes, people can be impatient and say we are not responsive, but the issue is that when you run a government, you cannot run a reactionary government. We are running a responsive government, which is one of the tenets of good governance. We must and are expected to think through all our policies properly and to the end before planning and executing. The difference between the thinking time, planning time, the execution time and the action time demanded by the populace is what makes people cry out.
There are a lot of things coming up under the bus reforms initiative. We are introducing new bus terminals; there are already new terminals at Tafawa Balewa Square and in Ikeja. We are constructing more; Yaba, Oyingbo, Mile 2, Ojodu Berger, Ogba and Agege. All these things will be in place before our new buses come in February 2018.
We are doing a lot on water transportation also. We want to make sure that everyone is able to move from one place to another.
Like the transport sector, we are doing new things in the health sector. We do not have enough general and specialist hospitals. From Lekki to Epe, there is no general hospital along that axis and we need to do something about it. More specialist hospitals are coming up but the government cannot do it alone.
My take is that the private sector needs to come on board. The private sector is at the front burner of what we are doing and we have a management team made up of experts from the private sector. We welcome ideas and projects that can bring value to the majority of Lagosians. We believe strongly that value is driven by the impact on humanity and that is what our story is all about.
We love the criticism that Lagos is the second least livable city. It is a challenge to us and we are working on it, but people forget that the major considerations for this classification are terrorism and crime, which I believe we do not have in Lagos. I am passionate about Lagos. I do not compare myself (Lagos) with Melbourne. What is important is that we are making some giant strides, positively affecting the lives of our people and even receiving accolades for the little things we have done. There is still a lot more to come and, in another one year, I believe that people will see that Lagos has taken proper shape. I am a good listener and I appreciate objective criticism. I read and listen even though I often do not respond.
Lagos is the most thriving cosmopolitan city right now in sub-Saharan Africa. Our goal is to expand capital expenditure such that, in another two to three years, Lagos State will become the third largest economy in Africa.
These are just some of my random thoughts…
•Ambode is governor of Lagos State