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Ambode Laments Over Robberies, Traffic Gridlock In Lagos


By Ayo Balogun

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday says he is worried over rampaging armed robbery cases and gridlock in the city of Lagos since he took over as Governor of the state.

The Governor also released the policy direction of his administration for the next three and half years, just as he appealed for the support and cooperation of all Lagosians in moving the state forward.

Ambode, who spoke at the inaugural retreat organized by the State Government for Commissioners, Special Advisers and body of Permanent Secretaries in the state, expressed deep concern over the persistent traffic gridlock in the metropolis and the increase in spate of robberies.

He said in the interim, he has directed the fixing of all potholes to ease vehicular movement, just as security agencies have been mandated to enforce the ban on commercial motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders on highways noting that aside the risks of accidents, their operation could also be a security threat to the people.

Ambode, who said the government was also working hard to restrict street hawking, urged the people to stop patronizing the hawkers, so as to discourage street trading on the highways.

“We have already hit the ground running. I’m deeply concerned about the issues that Lagosians are sending back to me and the issues range from security issues, traffic gridlock and the environment itself. But again just as we are looking at the immediate solutions to them, there are medium term solutions that Lagosians will see in the next few weeks that we will roll out.”

“We have declared zero tolerance on potholes and we are deploying more men to ensure free flow of traffic. As we are now in the ‘Ember’ months, I just want to appeal to Lagosians to be more vigilant and cooperate with us in all the measures we will be carrying out,” Governor Ambode said.

Highlighting key components of the Lagos Development Plan, Governor Ambode said the first pillar of the plan hinged on economic development, and it would fundamentally be about wealth creation through employment for the people.

He also stated that the second pillar of the plan harps on infrastructure development, explaining that government would make money available for long term investment in transportation, power, housing and water.

“We will work with the private sector to achieve these and set out to complete the Blue Line light rail, improve our bus network and make better use of our water assets for transport purposes,” he pledged.

The third pillar, according to Governor Ambode is social development, promising that his administration would invest in the people by ensuring that their health, education and security are not compromised.

The fourth pillar, Governor Ambode said, is sustainable development.

He also assured that he would invest in new technology and related infrastructure, adding: “This government will prioritize access to broadband and utilize digital approaches – for example in the land administration where our processes can be transformed for the benefit of our people and business.”

In his presentation, keynote Speaker at the retreat and former Minister of Economic Development in the Bahamas, Hon. Zhivargo Laing, said it was the responsibility of the Executive to promote peace, justice and make citizens know that they have a say in the government.

Laing, who spoke on the theme: “Leading For Change,” urged the participants to be accountable, responsible, make quality decisions and work in unity to make Lagos work for all.

He added, “If Lagos can achieve its dream, not just Africa will see it, the world will know. You must size up this moment and seize it because you cannot do anything later about this moment.”

“You must explain your decisions. Any leader who wants to be liked by everyone may soon be unlike by everyone. The best you can do is to make the best decision you can make,” Laing counseled.

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