LAGOS State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu met President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the presidential villa, Abuja to seek his support for the various development projects he is planning to undertake for the people.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, he said he had briefed the president on the various initiatives and the areas needing collaboration.
Asked what he discussed with the president, the Lagos Governor said: “From time to time one must also see one’s boss and it is also an honour to have an audience with Mr President. Today’s visit is essentially just to brief him on the few initiatives that we are planning to do in Lagos and to get his buy-in and his concurrent.
“I cannot be able to speak specifically on the things we discussed but I can assure you that it bothers on areas around development for Lagos, areas around collaboration with the federal government that requires His Excellency’s approval and support.
“That is what I have come to brief him and it’s essential to improve the quality of life and business development in Lagos.”
On what Lagosians should expect from his administration, the Governor said he would prioritise security as the state is the gateway of the country.
He added: “It’s a whole lot of work in progress and we have talked yesterday about issues of security and the governors’ forum too has met today with Mr President and they are very serious about it, to ensure that our primary role as chief security officers of our states, in Lagos, in particular, is, to ensure that we keep our whole states safe, secured and it’s also the gateway of the economic development of the country.
“Also, we must continue to encourage international investors and the private sector that Lagos remains the hub of business and it’s safe.
“So, issues around cultism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery are little things that we hear about and we have to nip them in the bud before they become challenges that we cannot deal with.
“I have said to my team in the security committee to come up with a robust plan where we can continue to make our environment safe and secure for our citizens and for investors.”
Sanwo-Olu also spoke on the Lagos-Badagry expressway which has been considered a death in some quarters, saying that having already inspected the road, his government was committed to reconstructing it.
He further said: “I was on that road two days after I was sworn-in precisely and we’ve gone around. I’ve been there twice now in about two weeks. So, the commitment we got was that the contractors would move into the site before the end of this month and I am still relaying that in the month of June. We should be closing out the discussions with the contractor over the weekend early next week.
“We are hoping that barring any unforeseen circumstances, they should be moving-in in another two to three weeks time. Meaning that the cleanup and the construction of the Badagary expressway is back in earnest.”
Also on the Apapa gridlock, he hoped that the new “call-up” system for truckers would work, noting that under the system, unless the truck is called up, it would have no reason to be in the area.
According to him, “What I understand by the call up is that it’s a system that needs to be a bit more electronically driven. I think it’s currently run manually now but if we can get a software that can enhance it and enforce it, the call-up system can become something that can hold the tanker drivers accountable.
“If you’re not called on to come unto the port you are not meant to come.”
He observed that some media houses had begun a countdown for him based on his campaign promise to clear the gridlock in 60 days, explaining that the period was meant to review the situation.
He said: “Interestingly some media houses are actually counting down on me.
“They said that I mentioned during the campaign trail that I was going to clear it in 60 days. I have mentioned it before, what I said was that in 60 days we would review what was done but that does not take the fact that even if people give you dateline, it’s because they want you to do well and they want you to be able to be accountable for those datelines.”
Also speaking to State House correspondents after meeting President Buhari, Kano State Governor Umar Ganduje, said the case of the N6.8million allegedly swallowed by Gorilla at the Kano zoo may be related to armed robbery.
He said a preliminary investigation revealed that there was a case of an armed robbery at the zoo where it had been reported that a gorilla swallowed the money.
He blamed what he called “junk journalism” for the gorilla report.
Asked about the progress on the case, Ganduje said: “You know l already directed the anti-corruption agency in Kano to wade into the issue and they are still investigating.
“But all l can say now is that preliminary reports indicate that there was armed robbery at the zoo and not the issue of Gorilla. The issue of Gorilla is junk Journalism. This is because there is even no Gorilla in that zoo.
“We are told that there was an armed robbery incidence in which the entire safe at the zoo was carted away.”