Likely effect of Tinubu’s presidential victory on Lagos
The economic policy thrusts of BAT’s administration which have been amply embedded in the 2023 Renewed Hope Manifesto plans will enhance the status of Lagos as the economic nerve of the Country. It means with Federal backing; Lagos State will be more prosperous to the benefit of all.
Relating to the economic policy thrusts at the centre (federal), Asiwaju believes that fiscal discipline is crucial to attaining the success of all economic policy thrusts. The need to save up funds from the surplus avenues and free them up for productive sectors has been a magic wand at the State level, and in more than any other requirements, the Federal is bound to benefit from the thrusts; meaning that there will be a lot of economic collaboration between the State and Federal this time around.
For instance, in Lagos, BAT saw a massive opportunity in a seedy waterlogged landmass and from this was birthed Lekki. The entire city was created when Tinubu was governor, and today, Lekki is a swathe of a sprawling metropolis inhabited by upscale Nigerians with a net land value that is above the average upscale environment in Nigeria.
Today, Lekki has encroached on neighbouring suburbs around it like Ajah, Badore, etc and its land value continues to soar with each passing day. Lekki was a product of Asiwaju’s creative thinking, his will to excel and his insatiable desire for excellence. With the liberalisation of the economic policy at the Centre, States (Lagos and environs) with economic viability will thrive better and will be able to provide job opportunities for the teaming youths in their numbers.
Equally phenomenal as an example is the transformational power that Asiwaju was able to carve out of the Lekki Free Trade zone, which is today fondly referred to as the Nigerian Dubai. It remains an innovative concept Tinubu drew when he was governor and targeted the massive development of the Ibeju-Lekki virgin land into a world-class industrial, business and commercial hub in record time.
Today, the Lekki Free Trade Zone hosts the world’s largest refinery, Africa’s largest fertiliser company, and a deep sea port, among many other heavy industrial concerns that directly impact the lives of millions of Nigerians. The Lekki Free Trade Zone is still embryonic, so the economic potential accruable from the zone at a complete stage of development can never be quantified.
As to how Tinubu employed his transformative capacity to change lives, we cannot exhaust the narrative without looking at the huge transformation of the Lagos transport sector. When he came in 1999, Lagos was reeling under a messy, turbulent, chaotic and riotous transport system which impeded the growth and progress of the state. He had to set up Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) to cleanse the heavily stuffed face of the sector but most critically enforce discipline in road usage.
He then reeled out the codes for road usage and set a timetable for the phasing out of rickety buses that were the face of public transportation in Lagos. He then started the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme, which was operational in progressive cities and metropolises worldwide, and vowed that the face of Lagos transport would change in record time.
Today the BRT scheme is very successful and running effectively in Lagos. More routes are being added to the scheme, and more innovations are being made to attend to the increasing needs of Lagosians. What’s more, the ubiquitous rickety giant molue buses have been phased out of Lagos roads and the smaller yellow buses, though still there, are on their way out.
Lagos roads are today saner and more unrestricted and road usage is more disciplined and responsible. Today, Lagos is about to start intra-city rail transportation near the completion of the blue and red rail lines, thus making Lagos the first city in Africa to build and run its intra-city rail transport. Equally, Lagos today runs a very innovative ferry transportation service that transports hundreds of thousands of Lagosians across the vast Lagos water spaces daily.
Lagos is today running usable land, rail and water transportation systems; the only state in Nigeria to enjoy that privilege. All these add up to the Lagos transport transformation that has not only seen the transport sector migrate from its odious primordial past to a new and more friendly system that keeps expanding by the day and empowering millions of Lagosians.
It is yet another reasonable reason why Lagos residents should rally around Sanwo-Olu’s administration to sustain the tempo of development. Equally, tapping into Asiwaju’s deep insight into grassroots governance management, Gov Sanwo-Olu’ has sustained the renewed local government policy thrusts that devolved into the creation of additional local government (LGs) councils in Lagos State From just 20 LGs, BAT engineered legislative machinery to increase the number to 54 to bring governance to the grassroots. It was another way Asiwaju impacted the lives of millions of Lagosians. Being a consummate democrat, Tinubu believes in the exploitation of the tenets of democracy to effect positive changes in the lives of the people. That was why he was the first governor that took the gauntlet to create other local councils not only to take governance closer to the people but create viable life-changing employments and empowerment for Lagosians.
Undoubtedly, Asiwaju’s vision is within his great mind about understanding the future of work. Nigerians can use this and others as signals, a timeline to trust that Asiwaju will indeed deal with the issue of a poor power supply having been elected the president-in-waiting, thus solving a problem that has defied a solution over a long period.
During Asiwaju’s stay as Executive Governor, the health policy thrusts in Lagos have become a model that others States in the Federation are lashing on, bringing health care delivery to the commoners. Asiwaju laid the modernisation of the primary health care centres in all the 54 local councils of the State, and subsequent Team leaders have further regenerated the numbers in a way that the care delivery has today gone beyond one centre to almost about 5 per local council.
Another critical area of concern that the Presidency of Asiwaju will address is the educational sector. This is a problematic sector, particularly at the tertiary level with unpardonable and endless strikes by the stakeholders. The Asiwaju’s Presidency is expected to crack the lull and inject life into the perennial Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU). This becomes germane because of its multiple implications for the future of the youth. The Renewed Hope Manifesto expressly highlighted provisions of short-term loans for students while in school as well as unemployment benefits for those yet to be engaged.
Lagos with its predominantly high number of unemployed youths will surely benefit from the renewal hope policy. And this is yet another major reason why the youths should give their total support for the re-election of Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
Generally, what is being canvassed is that developmental indices of a State and the people can only be enhanced with the sustainability of consistent policies offer by ideological leadership over a while.
The president-elect has laid these foundations in Lagos, and successive Governors have lashed further at the master plans to bring out the Mega City status of Lagos. It’s only reasonable to sustain the tempo by re-electing the winning Team that has been organised to deliver on the mandate.
The Lagos State citizens, particularly the youths have the responsibility to maintain peace to bring about further dividends of democracy. Trusting that the State is a cosmopolitan of cream-de-la-cream of the intelligentsia, the appeal will resonate with common sense, and the need to deepen growth, progress and peace of the State will be yielded during the Governorship election on Saturday, March 11th, 2023.
In conclusion, it suffices to state that the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is prepared to begin working immediately after the May 29 formal inauguration. This is because his policy will have an effect on Lagos and the surrounding areas and focus on all important aspects of our nation’s growth and development.
Professor Ademola is a foremost political public affairs analyst and an international Cyber Security expert.