One of the cardinal areas the newly unveiled development plan 2012-2025 would focus on is infrastructure, as the Lagos State Government has said it is putting in place proactive measures on ground to ensure that its infrastructures are maintained, while working to provide more to the enjoyment of the residents in Lagos.
Besides, the plan would also intend to address uncontrolled influx of people into the mega city state while the effects of the overpopulation would be addressed.
Only last week, the state government unveiled the Lagos State Development Plan 2012-2025, which essentially would form the bedrock of the Development in the state in the coming years. Pan are already in progress
11-year development plan touched on housing provision, water supply, transportation, road construction, redevelopment of certain settlements, classified as blighted areas, waste management and others.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Babatunde Fashola explained that the investment pillars upon which the development plan is being implemented is the people for whom it is also all about
According to him, the development plan document is about the vision for the future and how it would affect the Lagos Mega City, bearing in mind the reality that Lagos has a very large population that could be a burden or an asset.
“Different people from all over the world have a place here so long as they have content and quality to provide. Our developmental partners feel at home, our international community friends feel at home in Lagos because they bring value to our table”.
Noting that the Mega City status came with clear challenges, he said that the identified challenges were those areas in which the administration set clear targets and worked assiduously to address
The Governor noted that now that Lagos has become a mega city, the question begging for an answer is the kind of mega city that people can cope with, noting that it is practically impossible to survive without infrastructure, without water supply, without power supply.
“The question to be asked is what kind of life would those people live with the degraded kind of environment and what kind of mega city would we have been talking about if the criminals should rob the banks everyday without response from the law enforcement agencies”, he queried.
He explained that what the administration did was to set very modest targets that would ensure that Lagos led Africa first by being Africa’s model city, adding that today by many measures in terms of crime management and security, Lagos has already achieved that comparably in Africa.
Fashola was of the view that if compared to cities like Cairo, Nairobi, Johannesburg and others, the security numbers for Lagos are high up despite the fact that there is still work to be done, saying nightlife and economy has been restored.
However, he noted that despite the seeming achievement, the state dared to think of what Lagos would be like by 2025.
“Lagos is a work in progress because continuously there has been progress which can be envisioned far ahead. For example, if one takes a trip through a place like the EKO Bridge, there are pillars of the intermodal transportation that the government talked about which is heading to Marina.
Fashola said in terms of Waste Water, work has started at the Odo Iya Alaro Waste Water Treatment plant located at the Ojota Motor Park, which has been designed as a Waste Water Treatment and effluent Management system that would make Lagos that model city when completed.
He explained that In terms of water supply, the State now has full power at Adiyan Water Works which is the only waterworks that generates its own power supply adding that Adiyan phase two with capacity for 70million gallons is being added with construction ongoing.
“Adiyan Phase 2 does not end the work because as I said many of us are busy in other departments, so more people are going to come. So there is Odomola, there is Ishashi and then we are already thinking long term desalination because our raw water sources are limited so we have to begin to think how we can get water from the sea and remove the salt content”, he explained.
Fashola maintained that with on-going work and Development Plan in place, the challenge is about sustained implementation noting, however, that the decision lies with the people. He reminded them that as they go out to vote next year they should remember that Lagos is too important to be left in the hands of those who want to experiment with it but should be kept in very safe hands.
The World Bank Country Director, Marie Francoise who was represented by Jariya Hoffman congratulated Lagos State for achieving what she described as “an important milestone” which is the launching of the Lagos State Medium-Term Development Plan 2012-25.
She said the launch is a symbolic step marking the transition from the development phase to the implementation phase and signals to all stakeholders that the government is ready to carry through with its development plan.
She stressed that the World Bank stands ready to support the government to ensure the successful implementation of the development plan, adding that partnership has come a long way and has reached the highpoint.
Similarly, the representative of the French Development Agency, AFD, Constance Brehaut expressed satisfaction that the Lagos State Government and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget for allowing AFD to partner with her in the Development Plan, adding that AFD looks forward to pushing forward the partnership in Waste Management and Urban Renewal. Also speaking, the State Programme director of DFID –State Partnership for Accountability Responsiveness and Capability (DFID-SPARC), Mr. Ifeanyi Peters Ugwuoke said the Development Plan presents an opportunity for Lagos State to be strategic, forward looking and responsive in meeting the desires and aspirations of Lagos residents.
In another message of goodwill the representative of DFID, Mr Sina Fagbnro-Byron congratulated the State Government for the project said emphasis should laid on engaging communication to ensure that development projects are presented in terms of what the government is doing with the people rather than what it is doing for them.
The State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze who made a power point presentation of the Lagos State Medium Development Plan 2012-2025 said the Development Plan should not be seen as a just a government plan but a framework for the people of Lagos State.
He added that with the development plan, Lagos would provide a conducive environment for business and external support that encourages the private sector to play its envisaged role.
He said the Development Plan is one that the average resident of Lagos must take ownership of because it provides a framework by which all sectors of the economy –public, private and civil society can direct their energies and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life.