ALL PROTOCOLS DULY OBSERVED.
I welcome you all to the year 2010 Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Economic Summit. This is the second edition of its kind since its conceptualization last year. I want to specially thank you for coming despite of your busy schedule, to discuss how to modestly shape the present and future of our economic destiny in Amuwo-Odofin.
By your inputs, Amuwo Odofin is gradually becoming a community of your lofty dreams. These dreams , I believe, we shall jointly achieve and as a result place our dear community--- Amuwo Odofin, not only in the forefront of Lagos State Government agenda, but on the world map, globally speaking.
Retrospectively, on February 10 and 11, 2009, the 1st Economic Summit was held by this Local Government. It was a great Summit of men of Timber and Calibre – Stakeholders from different walks of life within and outside the Local Government to tackle some challenges facing the economy of this local government.
The Summit was organized because on assumption of office of this administration on October 30, 2008, we were confronted with so many challenges which had been left unattended to vis-à-vis environmental degradation and non-maintenance of roads and infrastructures within the local government. Highly disheartening was the Local Government's Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was abysmally low before we took up the saddle.
To capture all of these in departmental categories, for example ,in the area of health, our Primary Healthcare Centres were near dilapidation, there was shortage of medical staff as only one doctor was servicing the four primary healthcare centres, facilities in the primary healthcare centres were almost unusable and the lack of drugs for patients made treatment ineffective.
Our infrastructures also had some deficiencies; the Legislative and Executive chambers were unbefitting, our roads were almost impassable, and our educational environment (schools inclusive) were no longer conducive for learning.
The value on Human Capital Development had been eroded, the historical festivity of FESTAC town , looking back at the its establishment in 1977, had been forgotten as a result of our lost value system and absence of culture of maintenance among our people; the youths were not empowered, and no positive sensitization programme was organized to cushion the mindset of the people towards participatory governance.
It was the identification of the aforementioned deficiencies that gave birth to the first Amuwo Odofin LG Economic Summit held in 2009. The meeting of the Stakeholders and different interest groups within and outside Amuwo-Odofin LG at a roundtable brain-storming proffered possible solutions on the aforementioned challenges. Also this administration, placing much value on positive views, set in motion, the implementation of these suggestions that were proffered. These suggestions which formed the communique issued at the end of the Summit became a working tool in the management of the economy of the local government and we are satisfied that we have made appreciable progress in our journey so far.
At this point, it is pertinent to x-ray the achievements made so far after the end of 2009 Summit till date.
In our 2009 Summit, we projected that free Basic-Primary Health Services will be provided for all, while special attention would be given to the aged and children. Health Centers will be cited in strategic locations of the Local Government while existing ones will be upgraded to modern standard. Addressing the projection, we have attained a certain standard by embarking on the rehabilitation of all the Primary Healthcare Centres. Presently, all the Four (4) PHCs at Festac, Mile 2, Igbologun, and Sagbokoji have been upgraded to an acceptable standard, furnished and fitted with modern equipment. Windows at the Festac PHC was replaced with aluminum sliding windows, the asbestos ceiling was changed to suspended ceiling and the roofing was completely replaced. This was done with the support of IBTC Bank Plc on Corporate Social Responsibility basis. Mile 2 PHC was completely renovated and upgraded with interlocking stones, suspended ceiling, and complete roofing. Igbologun and Sabokoji PHCs followed suit. Presently, both PHCs at Festac and Mile 2 offer 24 hours services to patients.
The Local Government has also partnered with Profice Nigeria Limited, a pharmaceutical firm that now operates a pharmacy within the council secretariat at a discounted rate of 10% for every drug sold, while children from 0 – 16yrs and senior citizens of 60yrs and above are given drugs free. Non-pensionable staff of the local government are also given free drugs and treatment.
We are also partnering with El- Lab Laboratories Ltd and Sums Laboratory Ltd to offer laboratory services to residents at 10% discount.
We have also engaged the services of 10 ‘corper’ doctors and 3 doctors to complement the effort of the only doctor that had been serving the four PHC in the Local Government. In recognition of all these, Lagos State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, the Executive Governor of Lagos State honoured our Local Government as the best local government on health delivery service in 2009.
Similarly in 2009 Summit projection, we promised to give attention to all existing structures and infrastructures that were in state of disrepair i.e roads would be given attention. We equally promised to open blocked drainages to avoid flooding which if not prevented may have adverse effects on our roads. Today, we have been able to open all blocked drainages in Festac. I also stand to state that we have performed up to expectation.
We have rehabilitated 2nd, 5th, 7th avenues and 6th avenue link road while 31, 32, 51, 52, 71, 11, 41 roads and 3rd gate were completely resurfaced, parts of 4th Avenue and 23 road have been rehabilitated, while the rehabilitation of 21 road is still on-going. To protect these roads from wearing out, our administration as a matter of policy, have banned heavy duty trucks and containers from plying our roads. At the initial stage, however, it was difficult for the heavy duty trucks owners to comply but now, our aim is completely achieved. Still on road construction, we have completed the construction of the circular road phase 1, 2 and 3 at the Amuwo Odofin Low Cost Housing Estate, Mile 2. The road shall be commissioned alongside the newly constructed 1-storey Administrative block and staff canteen. The administrative block has 22 office spaces and equipped with conveniences, Close Circuit Television (CCTV) and wireless internet access.
As projected in 2009, our administration had the arrangements of rehabilitation of schools which we promised would start with the Igbologun primary school at the riverine area and Festac Universal Primary School 1, 3rd Avenue, Festac Town. On this note, we have constructed UPE School and 6 others, 3rd Avenue; New Town Primary School, 3rd Avenue; 512 Road Primary School; 7th Avenue (D-Close) Primary School; Progress Primary School, 7th Avenue R-Close; AUD Primary School, Ado-Soba; Central Primary School, 5th Avenue and 6-classroom block have been built at Igbologun, a riverine area.
We have distributed 220,000 Exercise Books and 13,380 Uniforms for Public Primary Schools in the Local Government; while 44 Cleaners and 20 Lawn Managers have been employed to maintain the schools environment.
In 2009, the Local government freely distributed 500 JAMB forms and 600 GCE forms alongside free tutorial classes for indigent students. This year, we have also given out 500 JAMB forms and 600 GCE forms with free tutorial classes. Just recently, we organized a first-of-its-kind Education Summit in the history of Lagos State. As part of the Summit, selected recommended literature texts - Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and the Lord of the Flies - for senior secondary schools in Lagos State, were shown to students to prepare them for the 2009 Nov / Dec GCE Examinations. We also built 15 ultra-modern toilets with boreholes and treatment plant; sporting competition, children’s day celebration, etc.
INFORMATION DISSEMINATION / ICT:
As discussed in 2009 Summit, the local government has created a Website - www.amuwo-odofin.gov.ng - to keep everyone abreast with up-to-date information and activities of the LG and the management of the website has been entrusted to a firm of IT consultants – NEXUS ASPIRE.
For the benefit of those who do not have easy access to the internet, the Local Government’s quarterly newsletter – Amuwo Herald has also continued to complement the efforts of the website in keeping people abreast of happenings in the Local Government.
In order not to be left out in the world rapidly becoming a global village, the local government purchased15 brand new laptops for the various Heads of Departments/Units, purchased 10 desktop computers for the departments to increase their efficiency in the area of information management / processing; provided office electronics for Legislative Chamber; engaged the service of an I.T. Consultant towards achieving Computer Literacy among staff through continuous training. We have also provided the Information Unit with a Nissan X-terra Jeep for optimal performance and organized regular Press releases to keep our friends from the 4th estate abreast of the Local Government's events.
The LG organized a – week seminar on e – learning training workshop for the top functionaries form the local government in preparatory to e- governance programme being put in place by the local government.
We projected in the last Summit that our administration would see to the management, beautification and development of our environment. Presently, we have engaged the services of 3 supervisors, 21 drain dockers, 6 grass cutters, 3 dumper drivers, 1 tipper driver, 8 dumper loaders and 3 tipper loaders who continued to maintain a regular clearing of refuse and drainages to de-flood the areas; we have planted 2,500 trees to cut down carbon emission and flowers for beautification of our environments; fumigated markets; engaged the services of 2 motorized Street Sweeping Machines, to keep our environment clean; Provided a Hillux Vehicle to improve Environmental Unit performance; provided 30 tanks of 500 litres of water to support the watering of our plants; Provided 22 Dust-Bins distributed all over the Local Government; purchased a Hiace Bus for Environmental Department for enforcement of environmental laws; Purchased 5 Lawnmowers for cutting of our flowers; purchased a swamp buggy to open blocked drainages and two dumpers to cart away refuse.
We as well projected in 2009 Summit that our administration shall put in place security network that would promote peace and tranquility within the local government by working in conjunction with the Nigeria Police, community leaders and other security agencies , to complement the efforts of the Lagos State Government to maintain peace and order and protect lives and properties of our people Recently , we donated two (2) patrol Hillux Ford cars to the Nigeria Police, Festac, to support their surveillance work ; purchased 10 motorbikes for Security Operatives in our Local Government; provided100 VPN VISA Phones to Security Operatives, Political Office Holders and community leaders for combating crimes and protecting lives and properties; purchased 50 Raincoats and Boots for Security Operatives, Regular monthly meetings with Security Operatives with a view to achieving a peaceful environment for residents.
In 2009, we said 205 people were employed. Presently, this administration has employed over 480 non-pensionable staff into various units / departments in the local government vis-à-vis clerical, office of the chairman, office of the vice chairman, information, vocational training centre, cleaners / gardeners, drain docks (in-charge of cleaning the drains and gutters), Green Club (for tree planting and nurturing trees), Street Sweepers (cleaning the streets and mopping up sand).; Mar ‘O’ War (for enforcement of environmental laws), health (Nurses, Community Health Extension Workers; Environmental Health Officers, 1 Health consultant, 1 Engineering consultant), et al.
The Internally Generated Revenue( IGR) has been improved by 435% since our administration got into office. On this improvement, a Toyota Hiace bus was acquired for the Revenue Unit for increased optimal performance.
In 2009, we projected that Branded Mass Transit Buses, Okada, Tricycles (Keke NAPEP) and I- Taxis would be provided in conjunction with private owners to facilitate shuttle services within the Local Government as a whole at a reduced cost. Presently, through Public Private Partnership (PPP), we have gotten some shuttle buses for easy transportation within Festac and Mile 2 areas of the local government. We have acquired 2 T23 Half Roofed Personnel Carrier Boats; Yamaha 75hp out-Board Engine; and Safety equipment (including life jackets) for the carrier boat.
Because of our belief in human capital development, there have been series of training and retraining exercises for the council staff so as to increase work efficiency.
There has been cordial relationship between the management and other members of staff of the council. This administration has also fulfilled its pledge of setting aside 10% of our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the staff welfare.
After due appraisal of what the last economic summit was able to achieve, we thought it wise to organize this 2010 - 2nd Economic Summit. This is intended to tackle other issues that are yet to be attended to and to build a sustainable structure that will serve as modus operandi for this and successive governments in piloting the affairs of Amuwo Odofin.
This structure is intended to build a viable economic system that will become a force capable of driving itself; a system that will become a handbook for every government and resident of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government.
I like to use this medium to appreciate the positive contributions of our economic consultant, Baba Omojola, who is part of the economic development we are seeing in Amuwo Odofin today, and Nexus Aspire, Xnet, Fortress Valley and Western Concrete, Golden Tulip, Sunfit, Capital Oil and Gas, Skye Bank, Zenith Bank, Oceanic Bank, El Lab et al.
These are critical partners who have helped in the development of the Local Government administration, not forgetting the Residents Associations, Community Leaders, Staff of the local government and other stakeholders.
I want to implore you good people of Amuwo Odofin to join hands with us, as you have constantly done, to shape the economic destiny of our Local Government. This is our government, this is our economy, and this is our future. Let’s not relent in the pursuit of our general goal of a better tomorrow for generations coming after us
Once again, I welcome you to the 2010 Economic Summit, and I sincerely hope our deliberations will be geared towards achieving its purpose.
Amuwo Odofin o ni baje o
Eko o ni baje o.
Comrade Ayodele Adewale
Amuwo-Odofin Local Government