2020:We ‘ll Invest Heavily In Waterways, Rail Transport, Says Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Government will be pursuing audacious development programmes in 2020, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed in a New Year broadcast. The Governor unveiled his administration’s direction in policies and programmes in the year, disclosing that the Government would be prioritising investment in critical infrastructure with a new vigour.
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government was prepared to shift the burden of transportation away from roads alone, disclosing that there would be renewed focus on waterways and rail transportation in the current year.
The objective, the Governor said, is to disperse traffic on the roads and give residents a new choice in mass movement across the State.
With the signing of the State’s N1.168 trillion 2020 Budget into law last Tuesday, the Governor said his administration had been statutorily emboldened to fully tap into the potential of its waterways and rail corridors by pursuing fresh investment and partnerships that would help his Government deliver an inter-modal transportation model.
Traffic management and transportation is a key pillar of the Sanwo-Olu administration’s development agenda, known as Project T.H.E.M.E.S, seeking to assuage the pains of Lagos residents occasioned by road gridlocks by reducing travel time and scaling up productivity.
The Governor said: “We are prioritising investment in infrastructure this year to shift the burden of transportation away from the roads unto the waterways as a means of moving our people around safely and efficiently. Lagos is endowed with a large body of water that has been under-exploited over the years. This is why we have set up a challenged ourselves to investment in this underutilised channel.
“Work will begin to happen on our waterways and Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has been saddled with this responsibility. In terms of the pace of work that is going on our Blue Line Rail project, which stretches from Okokomaiko to Marina, we expect the work to pick up and get Phase 1 of it completed for operations. Also, construction work to commence on the Red Line that will stretch from Agege to Ebute Metta, this year.”
Sanwo-Olu observed that Lagos State Public Works (LSPW) had been complementing his administration’s infrastructural renewal programme with persistent rehabilitation works on existing roads to ease flow of traffic on feeder roads. The repair work, he said, will continue across the State.
The Governor said the State had doubled its budgetary allocation to healthcare purposely to boost human capital and productivity, disclosing that the Government would be building more tertiary healthcare facilities in underserved areas across the State. This, he said, will make quality healthcare accessible and affordable for residents irrespective of income level.
He added that massive upgrading programme of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) will commence in the first quarter of the year, revealing that a chunk of funds had been integrated in the healthcare budget for comprehensive investment in universal health insurance coverage scheme for all residents.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration’s education programme remained on course, noting that the Government had commenced training of new teachers and retraining of those already in the system. This, he said, is being complemented with massive rehabilitation of public schools across the State, pointing out that 300 schools were already being renovated in the Phase 1 of the scheme.
As the year progresses, the Governor promised that more development programmes would be unveiled across the pillars of his administration’s agenda that will directly touch the lives of residents, pleading for support and cooperation of the people. He said his Government would not retreat from taking actions that will solve challenges facing the State.
He said: “There is so much to look forward to in this New Year. I solicit for full cooperation and support as we take the first step into 2020. Together, we can achieve the ‘Greater Lagos’ of our dreams. Let us join hands and usher in the New Year with hope and confidence, with the knowledge that brighter days are ahead of us.
“In spite of whatever challenges that the New Year might bring, we will not retreat from the challenges; instead, we will convert the challenges to stepping stone to success and true greatness. I wish all Lagosians a happy and prosperous 2020.”