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BOG Engages Community Media Practitioners, Assures Lagosians Of Better Living Standards

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BOG ENGAGES COMMUNITY MEDIA PRACTITIONERS, ASSURES LAGOSIANS OF BETTER LIVING STANDARDS

BOG addressing the group of community media practitioner in Lagos State

…Promises to pay ₦100,000 minimum wage

…Build 40,000 housing units across the state

…Lagos will get ‘Eko Airline

 

Known for his eloquence and stimulating engagement with prospective electorates in recent times, the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party, ADP, Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi popularly known as BOG has taken his governorship campaign mantra to the door step of community media practitioners, promising greater heights for Lagos State.

 

The media parley which took place yesterday Friday February 9th 2019 at the Ilupeju Recreation Hall in Ilupeju area of Lagos State, presented the gubernatorial aspirant the opportunity to engage members of the fourth estate of the realm in a stimulating and robust discussion on his plans for Lagos state if elected as the next Alausa boss.

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Without mincing words, BOG took to the stage letting the journalists in on his plan for running for office which was borne out of the sole intention to salvage the state as a reasonable number of its potential populace which are youths are becoming restive and angry sticking to drugs due to the negligence by government over the years.

 

As part of his major act in office if elected, Gbadamosi promised an immediate review of the civil service, putting their condition of service into consideration with the upward review of their salaries to a minimum wage worth a Hundred Thousand Naira (₦100, 000). This according to him will keep civil servants in tune with modern economic reality and the first step in curbing corruption.

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“Reviewing public sector salary is the wise thing to do and very important at that because today, government is the largest employer of labour, it is a reality we have to deal with. We need to restructure their salaries. We need to make the ordinary road sweeper to be enabled financially to fend for her family by so doing we eradicate making toll gates out of the table of an average civil servant.

 

“We know having an upward review of the public sector salaries will take its toll as many are talking of inflation, but it is a risk worth taking as we will properly manage its adverse effects. Increasing the workers take home is very important. By so doing, you have consciously increased the rate of economic activities within the state which will in turn increase funds internally generated in the state,” he explained.

BOG highlighting his plans one after the other

As a second point of call, the governorship aspirant expressed the urgent need to also reduce the cost of living in Lagos state by taking away factors that make Lagosians expend the bulk of their earnings without adequate savings. In this category, he mentioned transportation while expressing disgust for the current condition of roads in the state that has continue to allow commuters spend more resources  on commuting and maintenance of their various vehicles.

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As part of the quick fix to achieving improved road infrastructure, BOG commended some of the strides by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation but decried the level of equipment available to the corporation, describing it as grossly inadequate to serve a population of over 24 million while he promised to expand the corporation’s infrastructure and widen its reach to have a depot at every Local Government Area in the state.

BOG answering questions from members of the fourth estate of the realm

 

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Gbadamosi expressed thus,

“At the same time in reviewing public sector salaries, we have to reduce things that make people spend money. Living in Lagos is very expensive; some of the areas we will be addressing that will reduce this cost of living are first transportation because the roads are bad. People spend more time with the mechanics than on the road and before you know it,  the vehicle is gone and no longer serviceable.”

 

“We will fix the roads. The activities of the Lagos State Public Corporations have demonstrated that if there is a will, it can be done. The current equipment in the corporation is grossly inadequate for a population of 24 million, it is disgraceful. We need to expand the infrastructure of the Corporation, widen their scope of operations so that every local government gets a depot, each depot will have a bitumen plaza and modern equipment like bulldozer and excavator among others to expand our road network.”

 

 “The Lagos-Badagry express way has to be fixed, we will fix the Badagry expressway few months into our administration.”

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On the rest of his plans as regards transportation, he revealed that rail transportation will received a renewed effort and prices of contracts awarded by previous administrations will be reviewed.

 

He has the following  to say,

“Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe Axis Rail will be improved unlike the current one which is way overpriced beyond what is normal which has gone up to a tune of about 365 million naira.”

 

“We will follow the pattern of Ethiopia that built a rail line from Djibouti all the way to Addis Ababa at the cost of $5.2 million dollars, ours is overpriced.”

 

“Heavy rail is the way to go, this will start from Badagry. We will have links to all the major roads in the state. The rail line will pass through Ibafo, Tin Can Port and boundary point in Abule Egba and other places.

 

“We can achieve this in less than five years following the Ethiopian experience.”

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On other key areas where he intends to touch that will have  multiplier economic effect on residents for the growth of the state, the Real Estate mogul and CEO of Redbrick Homes International Limited and Amen Estate in Eleko Beach, Ibeju- Lekki LGA highlighted the need to improve electricity and power generation within the state by making each local government boost of a power distribution grid devoid of embedded distribution.

 

When asked on his plans to ensure food security in the state  during the question and answer session, Gbadamosi allayed any fear of artificial food scarcity during his tenure while he assured that his administration if elected will adopt massive greenhouse farming with hydroponics equipment and training provided to the farmer where the government will also set them up in commercial scale after training with one year tax holiday.

 

“Food security will be guaranteed. The way to go about this is hydroponics, greenhouse farming. The world has moved in that direction long time ago and we are still doing subsistence farming here.”

 

“We will build urban farms. Already we have this hydroponic farm in a place like Lekki, so what we are going to do is to redirect our agriculture budget to engaging with equipment vendor in hydroponic farming. Due to the economic scale up, we will be able to engage a lot of young ones.”

 

“We will offer training to these farmers and after the training we will give them everything that they need and they will start paying after a one year holiday. Hydroponic farming is that great in profit making like the Lekki experience where the farm generates 3 Million naira every week.

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When asked on how he intend to improve the revenue generating capacity of Lagos, the urban development expert, expressed that the Local Government Areas in the state will be positioned to be self-sufficient which will ensure the creation of jobs and in turn bring about massive employment thereby remitting more tax to the government.

 

BOG’s major focus BlackBox Nigeria gathered at the event will be on the following sectors; Economy, Tourism, Agriculture, Industry and Entertainment. According to him, this is responsible for why his team have selected 8 local governments for the Integrated Revenue Regeneration Plan which will include Badagry, Eti-Osa, Ipeju Lekki among others. Efficient access to tourist site in the state was also hammered on by the governorship hopeful.

 

On other infrastructural drive and plans to continue with on-going projects within the state, the ADP flag bearer said,

”We will bring experts  to reclaim the entire coast line right up to where the Eko Atlantic ends to make it a complete line.”

 

“We will impact and invest on the following; road, water, central sewage, road redesign to include pedestrian access in our selected LGAs. We will dedicate more of the derivation from Federal Government to places like Badagry for building public infrastructure.”

 

“On the continuation of Lagos State Government on-going projects, there will be a thorough review of the pricing. I am not going to agree to overpriced roads. We will continue and finish the roads we don’t have problem with as regards the cost even the ones we have problem with, we will continue but certain people will start answering questions.”

 

Still on the measures for increasing the internally generated revenue of the State, BOG came out bold when he promised to build an airline for Lagos calling it ‘Eko Airline’ to follow the pattern of Dubai and Singapore.

 

“If Dubai with about 200,000 indigenes, and a population of 2 million, Singapore with a population of 5.3 million people with no Crude oil  can afford to sustain Singapore Airline, the best airline in the world for years now, then a Lagos bettered engineered, better educated, better taken care of will be able to afford Eko airline because Lagosians have flair for travelling. We need to present something better for tourists.” He revealed.

 

When asked by our correspondence on his modus operandi for infrastructure and clarification of the expansion capacity earlier promised, BOG highlighted that infrastructural designs will be taken care of as roads will be built to mitigate against flooding and that a 40,000 affordable housing units will spring up in four years following the pattern of Jakande.

 

He further assured that the issue of multiple taxation currently on in Lagos will be over with his team piloting the affairs of the state while assuring that government under his watch will buy demolished properties owned by residents during construction at owing commercial rates.

 

In his parting words, He urged the group of journalist to go back and inform their localities of the need to get actively involved in the electoral process as the grassroots represent the key ingredient to real development.

 

Gbadamosi while commending the pivotal role played by community media outfits in community building by disseminating appropriate information to locals, assured the gathering that community media will thrive in his administration as he is aware that the state of the economy determines the survival of these firms.

 

According to him the state’s publicity budget in his tenure will be shared across board, which will comprise but national and community media outfits. Press freedom was also promised the journalists.

 

In his vote of thanks, Mr Abidara, a community media proprietor lauded the BOG’s plans for Lagos and assured that the gathering will return to their locations and disseminate appropriately his plans for Lagos and Lagosians.

 

The medial parley played host to over 50 community media practitioners drawn from the five division of that state and doubled as an interactive section with the ADP’s governorship aspirant.

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