Fashola legacies : The former Governor of Lagos State ” Fashola ” during his tenure did some amazing transformation that changed life, notable amongst these are Transportation, Security, Health and others. Read below for full details.
Fashola Legacies : Notable things he did while he was on power.
That Babatunde Fashola, the immediate past governor of Lagos, made great strides and left behind him enduring legacies is not in doubt. Sworn in as governor, on May 2007, Fashola came in with on-the-job experience having served in the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the “political compass” of Lagos, as the chief of staff for four years.
One of the many firsts of Fashola which was a product of foresight and vision had been the tree planting initiative aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change and global warming; a major threat to humanity and the environment. This initiative was to later catch the fancy of governors of the southwest states who borrowed the Lagos template and replicated it in their respective states.
Today, the campaign against climate change and its associated danger to nature, which Fashola followed up with a global event, “Climate Change Summit” hosted in Lagos annually, with experts from across the world always in attendance, has raised consciousness in Nigerians. With the Lagos environments wearing greener look, more states across the country have keyed into this vision.
The completion and commissioning of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme started by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Fashola’s predecessor, which provides commuters some escape from the gridlock on Mile 12-CMS route is worth mentioning. By May 2015 when Fashola left office, more BRT routes had been opened to link other parts of the metropolis including Ikorodu town, Yaba, Oyingbo etc.
In what demonstrated the desire to decongest the Lagos roads, Fashola set out to reignite the interest of Lagosians in water transportation. His government completed the dredging and signalisation of the 32km water route from Badore to Ijede. The Badore, Osborne and Ikorodu ferry jetties had virtually been completed when the former governor stepped down.
In addition to creating more routes on the waterways, those abandoned over the years were revitalised including Ikorodu-Marina, CMS-Mile 2, ikorodu-Addax/Falomo; Ikorodu-Ebute Ero; Marina-Ijegun; Egba-Ebute-Ojo; Marina-Oworonshoki; Ebute Ojo-Ijegun among several others.
Lagos State Driver’s Institute (LASDRI)
Efforts at ensuring sanity prevail on the roads and curtail the excesses of unlicensed drivers led to the establishment of LASDRI by Fashola, to train and re-train professional drivers in the state. The aim was to reduce carnage and improve driving culture among motorists. Apart from providing courses of instruction, LASDRI sets standards for driving schools in Lagos, and has trained over 26,000 private and commercial drivers in the state.
To address the constant by way of providing timely information to motorists to enable plan their movement, Fashola established the Lagos Traffic Radio dedicated basically to interact with motorists and give information on traffic situation around the state.
An outstanding legacy of the former governor was the introduction of the Lagos State Security Trust (LSSTF), a public-private sector financing model backed by law, which before 2007, was never instituted in that form in Nigeria.
Borne out of the need to effectively fund the fight against crimes that were increasing at the time, Fashola came up with the idea of the LSSTF, incorporating the corporate word and public spirited individuals who made donations in cash and kind in millions of naira including patrol vans, to breathe life into the dying state’s anti-crime outfit, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), and reposition it to curb incidences of bank robbery and other criminal activities that were beginning to gain ground in Lagos at that time.
It is on record that over 800 patrol vehicles, 20 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 1,793 bullet-proof vests and bullet-proof helmets, several high powered motorbikes equipped with communication gadgets, 1,000 AK-47 assault rifles, two million rounds of ammunition including regular fuel supply for the patrol vehicles and other logistical support including monthly allowances were paid to policemen attached to the RRS. The result was encouraging, crime reduction and zero incidences of bank robbery in Lagos.
The developing world and sub-saharan African nations are said to have the highest rate of Maternal Mortality Ratio with 500 maternal deaths per 100,000 births. The reasons for the high deaths are not far-fetched.
Firstly, Nigeria for example is faced with acute shortage of health workers to handle the overwhelming demand for maternal healthcare while the ones available are either poorly trained or do not have the right kind of equipment to work. The challenge is worsened by the fact that most states in the country do not have the facilities to offer specialised maternal healthcare services.
It was here that Fashola sought to make the difference with the idea of building Maternal and Childcare Centres (MCCs) as well as the flagship health centres in different parts of the state with the aim that no pregnant woman should travel a long distance to access a public health facility for her delivery.
The imposing state-of-the-art MCCs in Isolo, Gbaja, Surulere, Amuwo-Odofin, Ajegunle, Epe among others commissioned by the former governor before his exit speak to the legacies of Fashola in governance.
Asides, the dedication of the former governor to contending the Ebola scourge, with the creation of the Mainland Concentration Centre, deployment of health workers, care for the victims some of whom walked away from the Centre healthy, cannot be forgotten in a hurry.
Ojota, Oshodi, Obalende, Ijora areas are a few of the landmarks that have defined the status of Lagos at various stages of its development, both in the past and at present.
Ojota, for instance, has been notorious for the Olusosun dumpsite that defaced the landscape with wastes emitting fumes, which experts say are carcinogenic. Its stench alone made the vicinity a no-go area.
Within the these aforementioned areas were trends of urban population, where open spaces earmarked for relaxation were either converted into bus parks or hijacked by hoodlums with human waste dotting almost every corner of the roadside.
More examples abounded in Falomo, Ikoyi, Bonny Camp in Victoria Island, and other places where bridges, walkways and areas under the bridges accommodated filths over time.
Oshodi in particular was notorious for accumulating tons of waste by the minute. Activities of hooligans and perpetual traffic congestion were common occurrences. Ijora, on the other hand, was a slum with repulsive landscape and offensive stench. The Lagos economy was reduced to day-time economy with gangsters having free reign at night in near absence of street light and security.
It took Fashola to demystify and reclaim Oshodi and other notorious spots which served as hideouts for suspected criminals. With a determination beyond ordinary, the heaps of garbage that defined Oshodi were cleared, streets lit up, making it possible to drive more than an hour savouring the beauty of the environs. Today, the street lights still shine at Oshodi, with additional beauty beaming from the Oshodi Heritage Garden.
The transformation of the Marina Waterfront from what it was into a citadel of beauty deserves a mention as the legacy of the Fashola’s determination to turn the environment of Lagos around. The Muri Okunola Park in Victoria Island, the Ndubuisi Kanu Park at Alausa, Ikeja, and the breathtaking lawns on the Nurudeen Olowopopo Way, also in Ikeja, all attest to the quality of the kind of environment Fashola dreamed for Lagos.
A major area that the immediate past governor showed enormous strength was in infrastructural development. A few of the landmarks in this area include the Lekki-Ikoyi link Bridge, the Cele-Okota link Bridge, the ongoing expansion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway from four lanes to 10, the reconstruction of Lagos-Ikorodu Road incorporating the BRT scheme, the construction of the ramp linking the Falomo Bridge from Ozumba Mbadiwe, in Victoria Island.
The ongoing construction of the Blue line rail system, when completed by the current which has inherited it, will relieve millions of Lagosians on the Orile-Mile2-Okoko route of the pain and frustration they go through on that axis.