Lagos: Sanwo-Olu makes big promises ahead May 29 inauguration

Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Lagos governor-elect Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised not to abandon projects started by outgoing governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Sanwo-Olu made the promise while speaking with select journalists in Lagos on Thursday. He also revealed the kind of people he would appoint as ministers.

His words:

“There are so many intelligent people in Lagos. It’s just for us to identify them. Some could work full time, some part time, others could be technocrats or politicians but the bottom line is for us to identify square pegs into square holes and round pegs into round holes. That’s number one.

“Number two, those who would work with Dr Hamzat and I must share our vision. They have to be on the same page with us from day one. The moment a politician or technocrat is appointed, he or she should see himself as a commissioner or staff adviser of Lagos, not for a sect or an area or jurisdiction.

“We are out to empower the people of Lagos state. These are the basic things. We will not compromise. Femi and I have been on this journey for the past eight or nine months.

“So, immediately we come on board, we will organise a crash course for them (cabinet members) to see where we are going. The moment we all see a common vision it will be easier for us to drive a common agenda. But I can say Lagosians will be happy with us when we finally bring out those names.

“In the first 90 days or so, we are hoping that we would have a working government in all the cabinets, all of the major appointments that we need to have, we would have them running very quickly.

“We should begin to see huge solutions in our traffic management. I mean there will be some that we would have solved, there would be some that would still be working on because we are going into a rainy season and when it’s raining, for instance, you can’t pour concrete.

“So, some of those issues will come up. But in terms of the design, identifying those corridors that would need traffic improvement, we would have done all of that. In terms of places where we need to improve and increase waste management solution, we would have done all that.

“Like I have also said, the solution of Apapa gridlock. I am believing that we would have solved it as promised but the sustenance of it is another issue. So, sustaining what we solved is key. It’s going to cost us some money to ensure that people are on ground to ensure that the situation doesn’t get bad again but those are the things we need to do.

“In terms of infrastructure, before the end of the year, you will see our road plan in terms of which road, which bridges we would need to complete in the next two or three years.

“I really don’t know if a man in his 50s would change how he dresses but my style would be to be very humble, transparent, accessible and to be very engaging.

“Let people have a voice, let them have a say. You might not necessarily have your way, but you can have your say. Everybody has a role… it is only if you don’t have any business here and you creating a security challenge for us that you won’t be guided by the style. Other than that, the style would remain to be the governor of everybody.

“No matter how the situation is, money will never be enough but we cannot continue to give money as an excuse not to work.

“There are creative ways by which you can finance, manage all of the things you want to do, for as long as you are right and people can see the charge out, money will look for you. Money will move to people who need it the most.

“In terms of completion of projects of the outgoing government, oh yes, we will complete them because what doesn’t get completed, wasn’t done in the first place. So, we will ensure that we do that and there shouldn’t be any problem.

“Given my sense of understanding of government, it is a continuum, anyhow it is, we really cannot begin to give excuses. Just go out there go fix it, that is the way it is.

“Wherever it is that things are wrong, we can make it better, quicker, that is what we have promised.”

Sanwo-Olu will be sworn in on May 29.

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