Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday disclosed that his public sector reform programmes had reduced the cost of governance in the state by at least N3 billion per month.
The governor added that the reform programme, which centred on the realignment of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), had provided his administration more funds to finance the capital projects.
He gave these accounts at the first quarterly town hall meeting he addressed at the Abesan Mini Stadium, Ipaja, alongside his deputy, Dr. Oluranti Adebule and Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olatunji Bello, among others.
At the town hall meeting, Ambode acknowledged that his administration had set out “to implement long-term plans and programmes that will lead Lagos on the path to becoming a truly competitive city-state.”
The governor added that the results of his public sector reform programmes “will not become evident in the first quarter,” though he claimed that Lagos residents would feel the impact of the programme and buy into the vision.
He therefore said one of the first key tasks was “to stabilise the finances of the state. We embarked on a financial re-engineering and reviewed the revenue and expenditure framework of the state.
“These efforts coupled with the realignment of ministries, departments and agencies have saved the government almost N3 billion every month. This has provided us with more funds to inject into capital projects and the initial funds to establish the Employment Trust Fund which we promised our youths.”
He thus said a major landmark of administration was the reduction in the cost of governance, which he said, was achieved through the adoption and operation of a lean government with quality service delivery.
On this note, Ambode said the state government “is proud to declare that it has consistently met its obligations, especially prompt payment of workers’ salaries without seeking any bailout from the federal government.”
Even though his administration had been able to save N3 billion per month, the governor lamented the menace of trucks on the state roads, which he said, had cost untold hardships and loss of hours and revenue.
He added that his administration would stop at nothing “to find a lasting solution to this challenge and ensure our people can move from one part of the state to another with less traffic impediment.
“Apapa’s traffic gridlock is the most worrying. Today, this traffic is affecting other parts of the state and slowing down businesses. We have met with various stakeholders to find solutions to this problem.”
The governor therefore appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to mobilise the contractors awarded the construction of Apapa trailer park and road networks to immediately return “to site. We are looking at long term solutions to traffic challenges that our people face daily.
“We have identified some of the causes of the traffic among which are poor design of junctions, bad location of bus stops, movement of heavy vehicles, bad roads and bad driving behavior. We have started implementing solutions already.”
On security of lives and properties, the governor promised a safer Lagos, which he said, had informed the decision of his administration “to review the state’s security infrastructure and have put in motion plans to address the lapses.
“We are aware of pockets of violence and robberies that have occurred in different parts of the State. We are investigating these occurrences and our security agencies have swung into action to curb further incidents.
“We have established an integrated security and emergency control platform, all of which are aimed at strengthening the security apparatus in the state. The safety and security of every Lagos resident is non-negotiable. We will leave no stone unturned in our drive to ensure a crime-free state.”
Ambode also said his administration provided 20 mobile intensive care unit ambulances at the cost of N145.240 million deployed in all Ambulance Points in the state; bringing this to a total of 36 mobile intensive care unit ambulances.
He added that his administration provided an additional 26 transport ambulances at the cost of N257.4 million deployed across all general hospitals, which he said, “has created ambulance points across the States for easy access to our people. The service can be reached via the state’s toll-free line 112.”
He said his administration had installed 22 Power Generating sets ranging from 350 – 500 KVA as additional back-up sets across all general hospitals at the cost of N270 million to ensure 24-hour power supply and 26 mobile x-ray machines costing N519.656 million installed at all general hospitals across the state.