Lagos governor-elect targets asphalt plants, waste management to boost economic activities

BARRING any unforeseen development, two major sectors that would jumpstart employment opportunities for thousands of youth in Lagos are road construction and waste management. These two key areas are where the Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu and his running mate, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, are exploring to make the dream of massive employment opportunities a reality.

A few weeks ago, at a media parley, Hamzat, while enunciating his party’s plan of action, said for the purpose of road repairs, maintenance and employment generation, the APC government would refurbish the three existing asphalt plants in the state.

The plants are located in Ikorodu, Imota and Badagry.

According to him, when fully restored,  the three plants would employ not less than 118,000 people in a year. The plants apart from serving the infrastructure needs across the state would provide ancillary job opportunities such as truck drivers, motor boys, food vendors and a host of others.

“This is one of the avenues for massive employment opportunities, business enhancements whereby the locals where these plants are sited would engage in various economic activities such as food vendors, transport businesses, among others”, he said.

Apart from the above, the Deputy Governor-elect, explained that going by the nasty experience of Lagos residents over the re-emergence of heaps of refuse in the metropolis, a new innovation will be in place that would allow, not only effective waste management, but also, provides economic opportunities more than the pre-2016, when Private Sector Participation (PSP) held sway.

“No company would be allowed to superintend over Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) again.

The issue of waste management is so important than to allow that level of deterioration we are witnessing now, just as a result of a costly mistake committed when a new company was brought to oversee LAWMA without ascertaining its technical and financial capabilities.

“We made a mistake because we brought a company that now superintends over LAWMA. Probably, it has the capacity to do certain things, we must review that, so whatever capacity the company can take, of course, we will resolve it,” he said, adding that anybody that wants to work in the environment sector must come under LAWMA. So if you have the capacity to take two local governments, take it and you are measured by LAWMA.

“We will not throw away the water and the baby, but LAWMA must be a regulatory agency,” he added.

He recalled that LAWMA had done a great job before, which must be continued.

“We cannot make such a great mistake again. LAWMA has cleaned the state before and has moved to other countries to train them. Five to six years ago, the agency was trying to clean the waterways because it had mastered the skills with the help of PSPs. So we need to go back to that,” Hamzat said.

On Ease of Doing Business, Hamzat said the government would ensure automation of land registry in the state to enhance speedy processing of Governor’s consent and Certificate of Occupancy for real estate transactions.

On traffic management, he hinted that Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s team had identified 60 gridlock points in the state, which will be reduced to 20 to ease traffic jam, adding that some of these would be solved within a space of two years and six months.

Besides, he said their administration would explore the intermodal system of transportation, which involves road, rail and water modes in the state to reduce vehicular movement on the roads.

Hazmat promised that the government would complete the blue rail line and also commence the red-tailed line from Agbado to Lagos Island.

“The red line will be one of the profitable rail lines in the world,” he said, adding that the state government has just got the approval of the federal government to commence the project. President Buhari has just approved it,” he said.

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