•LAGOS PDP Candidate, JIMI AGBAJE
December 1st marked the official commencement of electoral campaign for elective offices at State-level. I am the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the office of Governor of Lagos State. I am putting myself forward to ensure life is worth living in a Lagos State where the economy thrives for ALLLagosians; a state thinking about the future of our youth – if you elect me as Governor of Lagos State.
I put myself forward to change our story, to bring true freedom and democracy to the people: freedom from godfatherism, freedom from despondency of unachieved lives by our youth, freedom from dilapidated schools where our children do not get useable education, freedom from hopelessness by the masses, the artisans, market women, traders, laborers, public servants and honest hardworking people of this State, freedom from want and poverty, We must also free our state from the terrible traffic that ensures you sleep only four hours a day because you spend anything up to six hours going to and returning from work, freedom from traffic that disables you from attending that interview
and keeps you jobless, traffic that causes death because your loved one could not get to
LAGOS, 20YEARS IN THE 4TH REPUBLIC
Over the past 2 decades, the government of Lagos, managed by the same core of people, has collected nearly N5.0trillion or US$26billion in revenues and spent approximately N6.2trillion or US$35billion. An important question to ask is whether the outcomes generated by this level of expenditure has sustainably improved our State.
Home to the 5th largest economy on the African continent, an economy that is bigger than those of Kenya and Ghana combined, can we truly say that Lagos is working? As a megacity, Lagos must rightly be compared with other megacities and important metropolitan areas around the world. Perhaps the
Four years later, it had started operation. In contrast, the Light Rail in Lagos is not expected to commence operation for another 4years. After 2 decades. Perhaps the most disturbing of the features of Lagos lies in the failings of our public education system.
In a global environment where knowledge and technology are defining the paths to personal and national redemption, our public education system daily displays its glaring inadequacies thereby denying our children at least the same opportunity for advancement that those who have governed our State over the past 20 years were afforded as they grew.
THE CHALLENGES WE MUST OVERCOME
Estimates suggest that Lagos receives approximately 1 million additional migrants annually. The challenge of ensuring they are adequately integrated into the community cannot be overemphasized. We must harness the entrepreneurial capacity of Lagosians to ensure that the economy of our State grows rapidly and competitively to ensure sustainable businesses are built to create and support employment. Without this, the further descent of Lagos into one huge urban slum will continue. We must rebuild the industrial capacity that in recent years has been lost to our neighbouring states. Improving the quality of life of our citizens will remain unattained if their access, irrespective of their socio-economic status, to adequate healthcare continues to be unmet. Universal Basic Health coverage through a well-structured and financed health insurance scheme is a key priority for a PDP Administration, under my leadership, in Lagos.
In keeping with my determination to afford our young every opportunity to forge a sustainable future, re-organising the system of public education provision at all levels is an imperative. For us, education is not about lucrative building and procurement contracts. It is about ensuring that the needs of parents, children, educators and all stakeholders are cost-effectivelymet. Lagosmust attain a position of pre-eminence. It is a matter of great shame that after twenty years of governance, the ruling party and its various re-incarnations are still unable to provide and implement a framework that ensures the continuous cleanliness of our State. The failure of the State, despite huge expense, to discharge a responsibility as basic as waste management belittles us at the same time as it endangers our collective health. That we are obliged to discuss how to organize waste management is testament to the retrogression of our State over the past 2 decades. Little wonder that fellow Lagosians wonder as to the outcomes achieved by N6trn spent in this period.
A NEW PATH TOWARDS A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE
For those of you who like me, are demeaned by the current position and the dark prospects for our State, the question is not whether the narrative around our State can change? Ours is to chart the path to a different future for Lagos. Significantly different from its lethargic and unfulfilled past. My campaign is driven by the firm belief in focusing on improving lives across every strata of society in Lagos. This Statemust work for all her citizens – as a place where we can live, thrive and have a future. This campaign is about a new future for Lagos built by the entire community of Lagosians I am clear about the key imperatives towards a brighter future for Lagos and the role of government therein. The governmentmust serve to: (i) Ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors alike as they pursue their legitimate ambitions; (ii) Enable Lagosians and their guests identify opportunities and take advantage thereof.
We must thus build a livable State where all aspects of her infrastructure work in sync to enable residents enjoy a much better quality of life; which offers all her residents, young and old, the opportunities of functional world class education thereby enabling them attain to their aspirations; a secure and environmentally friendly place where residents and visitors alike collaborate in communities to pursue their personal ambitions.
OUR CAMPAIGN AND ITS VALUES
As I solicit your support throughout this campaign, an Administration in Lagos State under my leadership will be guided by the words of Thomas Jefferson said “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Indeed, this campaign will be about The People’s Lagos not One man’s Lagos. I will be campaigning for The People’s Lagos.
We envision a Lagos State that: •Embraces its position as a global mega-city populated by well-educated, skilled, healthy people living in a secure and prosperous environment;
•Enables ‘Lagosians’ to achieve their personal, entrepreneurial and professional aspirations, regardless of origin, socio-economic background, physical limitations and gender;
•Builds its industrial capacity whilst confirming its place as a regional hub for financial and professional services and commercial enterprise through genuinely business-friendly reforms and initiatives;
•Works for all, based on inclusive partnership with the private sector, other tiers of government, nongovernmental interest and community groups to improve access and delivery of economic goods and services.
•To achieve our vision for Lagos State, government policies and actions will have the interests and aspirations of Lagosians at heart, and firmly at its centre.