By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday signed an executive order for the rebuilding of the state as a result of the massive destruction inflicted on the state by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest.
Sanwo-Olu also constituted an eight-member board for the new Lagos State Rebuilding Trust Fund Committee (LRTFC), to not only oversee the rebuilding of every aspect of the state but also to look at the future of the state and healing of wounds.
Membership of the Board cuts across, the private and public sectors as well as international bodies who have offered to assist in rebuilding the state.
The eight-member board will be chaired by Mr. Yemi Cardoso, while other members are: Prof Kanyisola Ajayi, Mr. Gbenga Agboola, Mrs. Bola Adesola, Mr. Sam Egube, Engr. Jimi Hotonu, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman and a member of international donor agency.
The governor also set up six other committees to assist in quick recovery from the present situation, they include: Business Continuity Committee, Assessment Committee, Planning Committee, Execution, Measurement and Evaluation Committee, Security and Enforcement Committee and Communication and Community Engagement Committee.
The Governor, who addressed the press at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, where he signed the executive order, said it was time to let go of the pains of the loss and focus on rebuilding the state.
He stated that the state government had been inundated with offers of assistance to rebuild, both locally and internationally.
Sanwo-Olu said though a bill on LRTFC will be presented to the House of Assembly in few days time for passage, he had to issue an executive order and set up the committee on rebuilding because of the deluge of offer of assistance both locally and internationally.
The governor assured that the state was going to come out of the ashes with upgraded structures and a modern Lagos as it embarks on reconciliation, rebuilding, unity, social reforms for the state to attain new height of development and “obtain greater heights for a greater Lagos”.
The governor said Lagos takes pride in the ability of several ethnic nationalities to peacefully cohabit while resiliently pursuing their personal goals and ambitions.
“It is in that cherished Spirit of Lagos that we have decided to put behind us our most recent challenges and face the daunting task of collectively rebuilding our state. We believe that our culture, heritage, values and future are worth much more than the looting, arson and destruction, which we witnessed in Lagos State about two weeks ago.
“We have decided to look to the future with hope as we work on healing the wounds of our recent past. Instead of wallowing in our pain, we have chosen to positively move forward. We will embrace new standards of governance; we will build stronger partnerships, stronger people, stronger institutions, and a stronger state. Our strength lies in our uncanny ability to overcome the most complicated challenges because we have people who genuinely love Lagos State and will assiduously do all they can to preserve its peace and unity.
“In the last few weeks, we have been inundated with local and global offers of assistance to rebuild our state and recover all we lost to arson and violence in October. It is obvious that we can no longer wait to begin the onerous task of reconstructing Lagos State. In the next few days, our government will send a bill to the Lagos State House of Assembly for the Establishment of a Trust Fund to Rebuild Lagos.
“When the Trust Fund Bill is passed by the House of Assembly and becomes law, the Lagos Rebuild Trust Fund Committee will be dissolved, and its functions will be immediately transferred to the newly established Trust Fund.
“However, with the deluge of offers of immediate help and assistance that we have received locally and internationally, we can no longer wait until the bill is passed. It is expedient that our enumeration, recovery, and rebuilding efforts start as soon as possible.”
The governor further assured of the trust fund committee’s utmost commitment to the reconstruction and upgrade of our the state, adding that “In these challenging but interesting times, we realize that we have the potent opportunity to reform our state, and upgrade our structures.
“Out of the despair and challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the destruction of our public assets comes a glimmer of hope – The Trust Fund Committee, which will set the pace for the eventual transformation of our state.
The Committee will have a profound effect on how quickly and efficiently we are able to rebuild our state and restart our socio-economic growth. It is the needed crucial intervention at this time if we must make a difference.
Among the duties of theTrust Fund Committee is getting the detailed cost of restructuring and rebuilding the destroyed properties, the identification of the state’s most critical needs and how they align with the THEMES agenda, how best to improve emergency response service (Fire, LASEMA and Health), determination of the areas of critical need to get affected agencies back to work, and the construction of a website to gather ideas from the public on the way forward.
“I believe this is the starting point of a new socio-economic process. I am also hopeful that this initiative will help us to seamlessly make the transition to a rebuilt Lagos with upgraded public structures, facilities and amenities. I know that the ashes that presently dot our landscape will birth modern and globally acceptable infrastructure.
“As I sign the Executive Order today, I am positive that we will attain new heights of development, we will build more resilient systems, we will become more united and accomplish our audacious goals and visions for Lagos State,” Sanwo-Olu said.