Day Sanwo-Olu brought relief, succour to Badagry

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in fulfillment of his campaign promises, recently commissioned three major projects and flagged-off another road project in the Badagry Division. Tope Ogunbanke writes on the significance of the ceremony.

The ancient city of Badagry came alive on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Despite all the efforts put in place by organisers, thousands of residents came out in their numbers to experience another history in a city that many have tagged historic. It is arguably one of the few cities in the West coast of Africa that boast of rich historical connection between the black race and the western world. It is therefore a city that has built resilience for more than three centuries. Badagry can boast of many firsts in different spheres of life. Little wonder why the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration chose it as the first port of call in its projects’ commissioning in year 2021.

Badagry, one of the five traditional divisions of Lagos State, reaped bountiful harvest of the development programmes of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in the State last week Saturday.

Sanwo-Olu, who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to good governance and lifting up the down trodden and less privileged on many occasions, brought smiles on the faces of the people of Badagry with the commissioning of three major projects and flagging-off a road construction in the historic town.

The projects are 110-bed Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) and School of Anaesthesiology in Badagry General Hospital and 252 units of two-bedroom housing project in Idale, as well as a 5.5 kilometre-long Hospital Road being rehabilitated to create easy access to the Badagry General Hospital and the new housing estate in the town.

All the life-impacting projects were meant to bring succor, relief and joy to the people of the historic town and its environs, who were direct and indirect beneficiaries of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s government initiative.

Knowing the importance of the goodies brought to the Division, the residents welcomed the Governor with excitement and fanfare. It was a heroic moment as traditional rulers led by the Akran of Badagry, Oba De Aholu Menu-Toyi 1, public office holders, chieftains and members of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as residents of Badagry, came out in thousands to welcome and familiarise with the governor as he commissioned different projects.

Sanwo-Olu’s scheduled programme was to commission projects and flag-off a road construction but the governor and his team got more than what they expected as Badagry people came out in large numbers to express support and solidarity for the governor and his administration. The elderly, the youths and children in their hundreds lined up in different parts of the town waiving hands and shouting ‘Sanwo-Olu’ as the governor moved from one place to another. Different groups also entertained the Governor with traditional songs, drums and cultural dance. Security agencies were also not left out as they came out in large numbers to ensure a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the commissioning of the various projects.

As early as 9am, residents had converged at the General Hospital and other places in Badagry, waiting for the governor. The arrival of Sanwo-Olu was announced by loud ovation. Dressed in blue suit, white coloured T-shirt and a white branded Lagos face cap to match, Governor Sanwo-Olu, was accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Chief of Staff, Tayo Ayinde and other members of the State Executive Council.

Idale Housing projects

The first project commissioned by Governor Sanwo-Olu in Badagry was the Lagos State Eco-Friendly Affordable Public Housing Scheme, which has 252 units of two-bedroom bungalows in Idale, Badagry Local Government Area.

The housing project is a Joint Venture Agreement with Echostone Development on a 12.7 hectares of land in Idale. It was constructed under the supervision of the Lagos Ministry of Housing. The housing project was designed with eco-technology and EDGE Advanced protocol, which is a green building certification that makes buildings to be more resource-efficient. Each home has two trees and a garden. It also has a water treatment plant, central sewage plant, and power generating plant, good drainages and very good interlocking road network.

Speaking during the commissioning of the housing scheme, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government acknowledged the effect of affordable housing on the socio-economic wellbeing of the residents, which was why his administration went into a joint partnership with a private investor, Echostone Development Nigeria Ltd, to deliver the 252-unit two-bedroom terrace bungalows for low and middle-income families.

Sanwo-Olu said same technology would be employed to build the proposed Workers’ Village in Ipaja later in the year. This scheme, he said, will provide 600 affordable housing units to workers and their families.

“The 252 units of two-bedroom terrace bungalows being commissioned today have incontrovertibly proved our sincerity about closing the housing deficit and delivering our housing promises through relationship we have cultivated with the private sector for housing development. This Idale-Whedako Scheme is indeed a direct result of our faith in the capacity of the private sector to play a supportive role in housing development.

“This housing scheme has come with the lowest of prices, which makes it affordable to the targeted population. The payment plan will be spread over a longer period of time,” the governor said.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said the housing project was uniquely designed and came with the convenience of low cost maintenance in terms of water usage and energy efficiency.

He added that the project had security and comfort features, such as streetlights, water treatment plant, central sewage treatment plant, strong perimeter fence and good road network. “No doubt, the housing scheme has added great environmental and economic value to Badagry community,” he said.

Road projects

Traffic Management and Transportation is the first pillar in the six-pillars THEMES Agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration. And in line with his administration’s commitment to make life comfortable for the people of Badagry in term of traffic management and transportation, Governor Sanwo-Olu on Saturday flagged-off 5.5-kilometre Hospital Road. The Hospital Road is being rehabilitated to create easy access to the Badagry General Hospital and the new housing estate in the town.

Prior to the exercise, Sanwo-Olu took about 1.17-kilometre road walk with some residents before flagging off the reconstruction of the decrepit Hospital Road. The road connects the city centre to the Badagry General Hospital. The road-walk embarked upon by the governor enabled him to familirise himself with the people of Badagry, as they interacted directly with him. Some of them used the opportunity to inform the governor about their immediate needs, especially things bothering on personal welfare and community needs. And as a listening governor, who knows where the shoe pinches, Governor Sanwo-Olu immediately met some of the immediate requests of the people and assured them that his administration will meet other needs to bring relief to them.

Flagging-off the 5.5-kilometre Hospital Road, which links five communities- Idale, Akarakunmoh, Pivota, Topo and Ajido-to Lagos-Badagry Expressway via Joseph Dosu Road, Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that the project would be expanded to double carriageway and will be done in two phases, with the first phase spanning 3.2-kilometres.

He said the second phase is 2.3 kilometres and it will commence immediately after the completion of the first phase.

“This road construction flag off is a demonstration of our readiness to serve our citizens on this part and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. It doesn’t matter how far Badagry is from the State capital; we will never neglect this city in our development drive. We will continue to justify the confidence you reposed in us when you voted us in.

“The reconstruction of Hospital Road is just one of many more good things to come, here in Badagry, which is critically significant to our administration’s tourism agenda, with assets like the Agiya Tree Monument, the First Storey Building in Nigeria, the Heritage Museum, the Eko Theatre, and long stretches of pristine beach,” the governor said.

Health projects

As part of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s commitment to change the narrative of the disturbing maternal, new born and child mortality indices, Governor Sanwo-Olu on Saturday also commissioned a 110-bed Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) in Badagry General Hospital. He also commissioned the rehabilitated School of Anaesthesiology in the ancient town.

The governor said the projects were part of his administration’s efforts to bring development in Badagry at par with other areas of the State.

With the completion of the four-floor MCC, which is already being operated, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government had expanded healthcare infrastructure and improved access to quality health services in the town.

He said: “Today’s commissioning activities are in fulfillment of part of the promises we gave our citizens in Badagry and I am delighted to be inaugurating three key projects that will enhance standards of living and boost development of human capital, particularly the 110-bed MCC we have completed in this part of Lagos.

“This is just a testimony to our assurance to the people and our commitment to deliver quality projects that will turn around the lives of our citizens. Not only are we handing over the MCC for public use today as an emergency service, it also caters for obstetrics and gynecology. There are also laboratory, radiology, paediatrics and immunisation departments.”

Speaking on the rehabilitation and expansion of the School of Anaesthesiology in the Badagry General Hospital, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the steps taken by his administration were aimed at increasing the number of trained professionals in the field, adding that such pivotal projects were being replicated in other locations across Lagos.

“The people of Badagry and the adjoining communities now have increased access to quality and safe healthcare. This will bring about complete eradication of maternal and infant mortality, as well as general improvement in all maternal and child health indices in this local government. All these benefits will in turn have a positive ripple effect on the development and socio-economic indices of Badagry,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the Badagry MCC was immediately activated for operation after its completion last November, disclosing that the facility had already delivered healthcare services to over 3,000 outpatients and 600 children. The facility, the Commissioner said, has taken 49 successful caesarean deliveries.

The MCC, Prof. Abayomi noted, would complement the capacity of the 21 primary healthcare facilities across the three Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Badagry axis.

With the four laudable projects put in place by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration and more on the way, the story of Badagry will never be the same again. The commissioned projects at the Badagry General Hospital will improve health and medical delivery in the ancient town as well as various communities that surrounds Badagry. The road construction is going to bring relief to the people while the affordable housing scheme will address housing challenges of low and medium-income earners not only in Badagry, but other parts of Lagos State.

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