Sanwo-Olu to replace okada with LASTMA buses as Olumakaiye urges churches to take leadership positions

From Cyriacus Nnaji, Lagos

Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed the intention of his administration to embark on phased replacement of Okada transport with introduction of LASTMA buses in the state.

Sanwo-Olu was speaking at the 3rd Session of the 34th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) which was held at Our Saviour’s Church, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) Lagos on Monday.

The theme of the event was ‘Value of Life, Faith and Ministry: Charting a New Course.’

Sanwo-Olu said in as much as the government recognized the challenges arising from the okada transport, there is need to sieve out the sector so as not to throw the baby with the bath water since many of the riders genuinely rely on Okada business for livelihood, adding that there is need to add human face to whatever the government is going to do to fashion out an alternative.

“Okada is something that a lot of you are saying, what is Sanwo-Olu doing? Sanwo-Olu, why are you not taking the bull by the horn? I know and it is a tough one, but we will deal with it in a systematic manner. And for us we will add a human face to it. We need to provide what is called a credible alternative; we cannot throw away the baby and the bath water. Some of them really need it to make a living, but a whole lot indeed are questionable. 

“Our job is to ensure that we sieve them out and indeed begin to escalate how we can monitor and manage them. So it is that alternative that I am promising you before the end of the month of May, that alternative will be properly fashioned out, we will be bringing out LASTMA buses, these are 10, 8 seater buses, the first 500 of it, I have them, and I will be launching them before the end of this month, Sanwo-Olu stated.

Sanwo-Olu also spoke on issue of security saying that the government is doing all that is required to ensure that Lagosians sleep with their two eyes closed. “I know that some of you still sleep with not your two eyes closed, some still drive with a lot of apprehension, we know how critical Lagos is to the nation, this is the melting point of our nation, this is where anybody can come in with a lot of aspirations and do well. I assure you that we will stop at nothing to make sure that Lagos remains safe, remain secure and this month of May you will see extensive pronouncements in that regard, you will see extensive policies far reaching supports that will be given out to all of our security operatives so that it is not just a talk show, it is not just film show, it is something we are committed to, a place where all of you will be proud of.”

Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos rail project will soon be ready, adding that it is the first sub-national rail infrastructure anywhere in the world. “Other places it is the national that have the infrastructure and wherewithal, the resources to embark on rail infrastructure because, it takes a lot of money, but Lagosians deserve it and that you will get.”

He also revealed that in this month of May his government will be handing over to Lagosians, a Radiology and Orthopedic hospital, “It is 95% completed,” adding  “In Lagos Island we are building the biggest Children Hospital in the Sub Sahara Africa.”

He said there is no Local Government in Lagos State where his administration is not doing one road infrastructure or the other, saying that Lagosians need to feel the essence of government.

He called on owners of abandoned buildings in Lagos to attend to them or risk losing them to the government. He said this has become necessary because those buildings are posing security risks to the people. He said a pronouncement on dateline is coming in near future and after the deadline government will take over the buildings.

Speaking providing a forum for leadership and developmental initiative, His Lordship, the Rt. Rev. (Dr) Humphrey Olumakaiye, the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Missioner said the church should take the initiative to create a forum for regular dialogue with the government and members of the society. “There is no doubt that the church is a pacesetter in societal development. The church all over the world takes leadership position in the development of the advanced nations.”

He recalled “The missionaries liberated our land and brought us the tools for development, education, health and medical facilities. The church must not take the back seat in the affair of this country. I implore all Christian politicians from different political parties and denominations to meet and communicate on a regular basis to share ideas, information, and experiences on various issues and challenges facing our common life.”

Sanwo-Olu was honoured as the Diocesan Adviser on Mission by His Lordship, The RT. Rev. Dr Humphrey Bamisebi Olumakaiye, the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Missioner.

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