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Babatunde Gbadamosi: Four major solutions the Governorship aspirant has for Lagos’ problems

We are still yet to get over the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) Babatunde Gbadamosi’s profound speech at Saturday’s Lagos gubernatorial debate.

The debate was organized by The Platform, a civic discussion initiative of the Covenant Christian Centre and was moderated by British-Nigerian Christian broadcaster, Victor Oladokun.

In attendance: Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi who defected to ADP from PDP, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje, and the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Owolabi Salis.

Here are four major things he said:

1. He lamented that civil servants in the state are poorly paid and promised to review their salaries if elected.
“The first thing I am going to be looking at very quickly is public sector pay. What we pay as civil servants and what we demand from them – there is a massive gulf between the two.

“Our civil servants are very disgracefully paid, and we want them to deliver the 21st Century service to us in Lagos State. That is not going to happen at the sort of pay levels we are offering them right now. So, we are going to upgrade civil service pay very quickly.”

2. Second on Gbadamosi’s agenda is the traffic situation which has been a source of concern for Lagosians over the years.

“We are going to be looking at traffic – simultaneously, at the same time (with public sector pay). We are going to be looking at the traffic situation because we are spending too many man hours in traffic,” he said.

In his estimation, every Lagosian spends an average of six hours every day going to work and back.

“That has got to stop,” he said, adding, “We are going to introduce high volume, high-speed passenger ferries across Lagos.”
When asked about the inability of successive governments to solve the gridlock, especially in the Apapa axis of the state.
He said, “There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. The most obvious one is rail. Secondly, barges to lift containers from the actual wharfs and take them to lighter terminals all around Lagos, and, thirdly, devolution of powers. It’s time we started this discussion about devolution of power.”
According to Gbadamosi, the ports, being in Lagos and the level of revenue being lost as a result of the gridlock is unconscionable.
“I’m not having it,” he said. “So, the first thing we are going to do is to copy the Ethiopians and build a heavy rail line, the length of Lagos State – all the way from Badagry to Ode Omi with branches going up to every exit point by road of Lagos.
“The point with this is that all of these exit points must have container terminals where the trains will pass through Apapa and Ibafo will deposit their goods so that people coming from out of state, which is quite common, will not clog up the roads with their trailers.”
Beyond this, Gbadamosi said Apapa, which is worst hit by traffic in the state is one of eight local governments that are captured under his Lagos Integrated Regeneration Plan.
“We are going to be pouring the money that AlphaBeta is currently taking to make sure that we regenerate that,” he said.
The ADP candidate had earlier identified traffic as a priority for him should he get into office and he intends to immediately tackle it simultaneously with the pay of public servants – his top priority.
“We are going to be looking at traffic – simultaneously, at the same time (with public sector pay). We are going to be looking at the traffic situation because we are spending too many man hours in traffic,” he said.
In his estimation, every Lagosian spends an average of six hours every day going to work and back.
Part of his plans to tackle the issue is water transport.
“We are going to introduce high volume, high-speed passenger ferries across Lagos,” he said.
3. Beyond the two issues, Gbadamosi explained that power was critical to everything.

“Thirdly, we’ll be looking at power because without power, we can do nothing. When God wanted to create the earth, he started with light. He said, ‘Let there be light’ and light was and then everything else came after,” the ADP candidate said.

To fix the problem, he promised that if elected, his administration would “put light in a minimum eight local governments within 18 months as part of our Lagos Integrated Regeneration Plan, an emergency plan that we will put together”.
4. On housing plans, he said “As of today in major cities across the country especially Abuja and Lagos , cost of housing and rents remains very high which has left most families feeding from hand to mouth after paying very high amounts for rent.
“We had massive housing projects in the past. The late President Shehu Shagari estates, former Lagos State governor Lateef Jakande estates have remained referral points in Nigeria in terms of housing.
“These feats are not unachievable if governments make housing a priority and target the downtrodden in Nigeria. “Building estates that are not affordable for average workers in Nigeria only puts the rich in control of housing and making provision of shelter which is one of the major functions of a government, to be inaccessible to majority of Nigerians,” the ADP candidate said.
He said that rather than political sentiments, Nigerians should begin to align with candidates that could provide their basic needs which included housing. “Twenty five years ago, Alhaji Lateef Jakande built 20,000 affordable housing units in four years and three months in this same Lagos State. There has been massive improvement in construction technology over the years. “Taking advantage of this, no government can justify its inability to provide massive housing projects for its people.
“Only when the people use their initiative to decide on what they truly need and focus on enforcing them will Nigeria and its states begin to grow in line with the people’s desires. He said that the ADP has housing as one its cardinal policies and that if elected in Lagos State, his administration would provide 10, 000 housing units annually and at least 40, 000 houses for residents within four years

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