It was all excitement yesterday at Alausa, the seat of power of the Lagos State government, when the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, held a consultative meeting with workers.
A tumultuous crowd of workers from all local government areas of the state converged on the Adeyemi Bero Hall in Alausa to listen to the promises and programmes of the APC candidate.
Workers’ welfare, Sanwo-Olu pledged, would be a priority of his administration, if elected, promising that he would run a listening government to which every worker would have access.
The governorship candidate, who was accompanied by his running mate, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, described the meeting as “a homecoming,” saying they were moved to tears, seeing the crowd of civil servants who welcomed them. Both Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat once served as commissioners in the state.
Sanwo-Olu used the occasion to explain the programmes in his manifesto, codenamed THEME, saying the programmes were formulated to elevate Lagos to be the pride of the black race.
He said: “We have developed our programmes to address the current challenges facing Lagos and also to set the template for the realisation of a Greater Lagos that will be the pride of the black race. This is the message we have been telling 25 million Lagosians on the campaign trail. To achieve these goals, we believe there is need for a knowledgeable public service that will drive these policies and programmes.
“Our programmes will not be effectively implemented and our objectives achieved without the readiness of the public servants to work with us as the drivers of these policies and promises made to Lagosians. Most of our programmes will be technology-driven and we feel there is need to meet with you and prepare you ahead.”
All the government offices, Sanwo-Olu said, will be equipped with free Wi-Fi to promote seamless communications among government workers. He promised that his government would bring back international capacity building and training opportunities for workers, but said the condition for selecting beneficiaries would be strictly be based on merit.
Speaking on his plans to reposition the state’s economy, the APC candidate said his government would be investing in power to create a 24-hour economy in the state, also pledging improved security across the state to drive investment.
For his government, Sanwo-Olu said implementation of the recently introduced minimum wage is non-negotiable, promising the workers’ salaries would not be delayed beyond the 27th day of every month.
He said: “I am using this opportunity to assure our hardworking civil servants that my government will fully implement the minimum wage. You can trust me on this, because I introduced the current minimum wage in the state when I was the commissioner. I will run a listening government and every worker will have access to us.”
The governorship candidate also promised not to abandon the projects started by the outgoing government, re-assuring the workers that his administration would improve on the achievements recorded by the current government.
Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, who led the workers to the event, described Sanwo-Olu’s programmes as “brilliant ideas,” pleading for workers’ cooperation to achieve the goals.
Also at the event were the chairman of the party in Lagos, Hon. Tunde Balogun, and the director-general of the Sanwo-Olu Campaign Group, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, among others.