10 achievements, failures of Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2016

Governor Ambode [Photo: www.bellanaija.com]
Governor Ambode [Photo: www.bellanaija.com]

As governor of Nigeria’s commercial and industrial capital, Akinwunmi Ambode is faced with the challenge of satisfying the yearnings of the over 15 million residents of Lagos.

PREMIUM TIMES reviews the top achievements and failures of the governor in the outgoing year.helipad

  1. Roads/Light Up Lagos Project – One of the major achievements of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2016 was the massive road (re)construction his government embarked upon in the year. His ‘114 Roads’ project where each of the 57 local councils in the state got two good roads was completed by May.

Also, Mr. Ambode’s philosophy that a well lit Lagos will reduce crime also saw him light up at least 365 streets across the state.

  1. Security – A few months after he came into office, Mr. Ambode acquired 10 armoured tanks, three helicopters for aerial surveillance and policing, two gun boats, 15 armoured personnel carriers, and dozens of Isuzu trucks. Despite challenges in the area of security, the safety of lives and properties of Lagosians have received – to a large extent – a boost.
  2. ETF – After several postponements, Mr. Ambode in December finally began the disbursement of the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund, one of the promises he made during his campaign in 2015. The initiative, aimed at artisans and entrepreneurs in the state, will see the disbursement of N6.25 billion annually over the next four years. A huge chunk of that figure is expected to go to carpenters, tailors, hairdressers, vulcanisers, and other players in the informal sector in the state.lake-rice-2
  3. LAKE RICE – One of the high points of the Yuletide period for Lagosians was the launch of the Lagos-Kebbi (LAKE Rice). Thousands of residents trooped out to various centres across the three senatorial districts in the state to buy the commodity which sold for N12,000 (50kg bag); N6,000 (25kg); and N2,500 (10kg). It was a much needed respite for a population that had been reeling under the impact of economic recession.
  4. IGR – The recession notwithstanding, 2016 was a year Lagos generated a figure ranked among its highest ever internal revenue. As at December 16, the state had raked in N287 billion in IGR, a whopping N19 billion more than was generated the year before. Except in 2013 when the state generated N384 billion, this year was the highest the state had made since its creation. A revamp of the state’s revenue generation agency played a major role in this feat, but Mr. Ambode also gave credit to tax-paying citizens in the state.

“The tax payers are the ones giving us the little energy that we have and even though when they say Nigeria is in recession, somehow Lagos has been able to do it and it is because people are paying their taxes,” said the governor.lagos-street-light

FAILURES

  1. Kidnap – In spite of the progress made in the area of security in Lagos State, 2016 was a year of kidnappings. From abducting hapless residents in an obscure estate to kidnapping a traditional ruler, the criminals had a field day across the state. Although over a dozen suspects were arrested and arraigned in different courts, residents are continually on the lookout for the next kidnap victim.
  2. Forced eviction – If there was one area Mr. Ambode’s predecessor, Babatunde Fashola, performed excellently in his eight year term, it was the forceful evictions of residents from their homes. The current governor is gradually steering himself towards that tradition.

Despite a court order that the state government suspend its planned demolition of shanties along creeks and waterways in the state, as well as the House of Assembly appealing to the governor to reconsider its intention; the residents of Otodo Gbame, a waterfront community in the Lekki area of the state, were forcefully evicted from their homes. At least half a dozen residents drowned during the process.

Although the state government claimed it was not involved in the eviction, its agents played an active part in the destruction of the homes in Otodo Gbame.

  1. Water – In the past, Lagos had manifested the paradox of ‘Water, water everywhere but none to drink.’ The year 2016 was no exception. Despite billions sunk into the state-owned water corporation over the years, piping potable water to homes continues to be a herculean task.
  2. LG election – 2016 ended without Governor Ambode conducting election into the 57 local councils in the state, despite repeated promises and assurances to do so. The last local government election in the state was held in 2011. For the past two years, Executive Secretaries appointed by the governor had continued to be at the helm of local government affairs in the state.
  3. Traffic congestion – In 2012, Washington-based The Atlantic newspaper described Lagos traffic as one of the worst in the world. Four years later, the only change seems to be more vehicles being registered and fewer roads being constructed in a city of over 21 million people. More than seven million vehicles ply Nigerian roads and one-quarter of them are in Lagos, according to the Federal Road Safety Commission. There is still no functional metro line, and water transportation is still an unpopular mode of transportation for most residents.

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  • Repost by Popular Demand

    Premium Times Editor,

    If Akin Ambode will not be a one-term governor……

    Akin Ambode risks falling into irrelevance for lacking in intellectual depth.
    His cabinet was almost wholly dictated to him by Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
    His commissioners so far prove wholly useless, despite his sacking three of
    them for stealing few months ago. Akin Ambode needs sound intellectuals
    for his administration’s solid image. His predecessor, RAJI FASHOLA, was so
    clueless in public administration that the false applause he bought with gifts
    and bribes suddenly dis-appeared on the very day he handed over power.

    That is enough lesson for Akin Ambode whose own administration is utterly void;
    and without shape or form. Those Akin Ambode appointed to run parastatals are
    drunken misfits who see government office as a mine to be explored for personal
    gains and profits. None of those appointees can withstand rigorous interrogation
    in a press interview. A wholesale dissolution of the Akin Ambode government for
    reconstitution with thinking heads is the only way to save Akin Ambode himself
    from ending up in total irrelevance as a one-term governor.

    • Dgreatest

      Please state one governor in the history of Nigeria that has outperformed Fashola as a governor.

    • Powerlessconscious

      This is a political analysis. It does not concern Nigerians.

    • aisha ani

      Everything you said about the misfits running Parastatals in Lagos state applies to Ambode also, please leave Fashola out of it. #Fashola2019

  • Gidi

    He is still best performing governor in the entire Nigeria. If The fact is that if Buhari had performed 50% of what Ambode did in 2016, Nigeria won’t be in recession.

    Lagos is in a different league…the rest are just playing catch up.

    • Kudo

      Of course Lagos is in a difference league and the rest are just catching up. Lagos was initially developed with oil money and it was once capital of Nigeria. Because of that, a lot of companies invested in Nigeria. So corporate tax payment will be massive. Not to talk of federal money allocation.

  • Maria

    Lagos is home to over 25 million people. Premiums times. Just beat my imagination how premiumtimes would post this misinformation….Is it to confirm your fraud that Kano is more populous than Lagos? How can that be? incredible!

  • Comfortkay

    Oh how much l loved Premiumtimes but it is not correct with Lagos State of today is 15 Million resident. Please go to the Entrance of Lagos and see every hour how people are coming to Lagos.It is time we count the numbers of people that lives here and works here.
    On the question of traffic we need to change by law when those that sell in various shops should open their shops, when people that are in manufacturing should starts work and when those that work in offices, if we have this in place it will reduced the traffic we will not have to start work and close at the same time.

  • Jack

    This is altogether a disgraceful piece of journalism by PT. The population of Lagos is 15 million and 21 million in one breath. Collection of taxes is praised in one state but condemned in another…etc.

  • Opeseitan Joseph Tunde

    Thanks Premium Times but I like to point out some of the achievements of Gov Ambode that you failed to mention. First, the population figure of 15million was totally incorrect. You failed to mention the innovative solution to traffic congestion through construction of Lay-Bys and Slip Roads in major parts of the State such as Oworonshoki, Berger, Ketu among others. You failed to mention the on going construction of Abule Egba and Ajah flyovers. You failed to mention the introduction of Rent-To-Own housing scheme and the reduction of prices of housing units to cushion the effect of recession. You failed to mention the Emergence of Lagos as the 5th largest economy in Africa; Emergence of Lagos as the most security and safety conscious state in Africa; development of Badagry and Epe Marina to boost tourism; Massive road construction across the length and breaths of the State. You failed failes to mention the provision of #500million Disability Fund. You failed to mention the inauguration of Neighbourhood Safety Board to boost community policing and enhance security. You failed to mention the innovative Computer programming for youths. In sports, you failed to mention Lagos Marathon and the fact that Lagos played host to major sporting tournaments. I could go on and on but I thank you for the achievements you mentioned. There is room for improvement no doubt and the Governor himself has severally acknowledged that but give it to him, Governor Ambode performed commendably well in 2016.

  • Mohd Sageer

    I always got surprised when I see lagosians exaggerating their population. According to National Bureau of Statistics Lagos population stood at 12.5 million people second to Kano which have 13 million. One thing I learned about people in Lagos is that crowd always deceive them. We saw a crowd along CMS and the people around me claimed that such crowd had atleast 1 million people only for us to discover their actual number was less than 2000. I laughed and begin to think how ordinary Lagosian see crowd in his own eye.

  • Joe igbokwe

    LET ME TRY TO ENCOURAGE Premium Times FOR THIS REPORT BUT THEY WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER THAN THIS. FOR EXAMPLE THIS WRITER DID NOT SEE THE MONUMENTAL ATTEMPT TO FREE LAGOS OF TRAFFIC VIA Abule Egba, Leki-Aja axis, Berger , the coming Lagos light rail project,Pen Cinema, Oworonshoki etc interventions. THE WRITER DID NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE FACT THAT CRIMINALS WILL ATTEMPT TO KIDNAP IN LAGOS BUT THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CUT. THIS SHOULD BE THE FOCUS OF Premium Times. CRIMINALITY HAS BECOME A PROFESSION FOR SOME PEOPLE. AGAIN IF LAGOS IS TO FULLY BECOME A MEGA CITY WE NEED TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO CLEAN UP CERTAIN AREAS IN LAGOS. IT IS A PRICE WE HAVE TO PAY . READ ABOUT SINGAPORE TRANSFORMATION AND THE PRICE PAID. WE WANT OUR LAGOS TO BE LIKE GREAT CITIES IN THE WORLD BUT WE ARE NOT READY TO PAY THE PRICE. LET ME STOP HERE FOR NOW.

  • Joe igbokwe

    No Governor in NIGERIA has beat the records set by Asiwaju BAT, Fashola and now Ambode. No wonder LAGOS is now the 5th largest economy in Africa . Case rested.