Sanwo-Olu’s scorecard, two years on
For many state governors in their first tenure, it is two years of serving the state and trying to deliver on their electoral promises. So, it is not surprising that Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who was sworn-in May 29, 2019 at the Tafawa Balewa Square for weeks now set the mood for the second anniversary. He, in a video message, announced his administration’s second anniversary commemorative activities.
This was followed by the rendering of accounts by a good number of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which the commissioners with the head of the agencies providing details of what they have done to help achieve the state’s THEMES Agenda.
In rendering account of her ministry, the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, said the state government as part of ways to ensure better welfare for pensioners, paid N29,088,291,668.35 as accrued pension rights to 7,308 retirees in the last two years.
She disclosed that the money was paid between May, 2019 and April, 2021, adding that government implemented the upward review of pension contribution into Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) from 7.5 per cent of employee’s contributions and 7.5 per cent employer’s contributions to eight per cent employee’s contributions and 10 per cent employer’s contributions, effected the electronic archiving of records of payments and vital pensioners’ documents for preservation and ease of reference.
Ponnle added that her ministry launched a web portal for prospective retirees and retired officers to interact seamlessly with the commission on the management of their entitlements. She revealed that this, has earned the state different awards as the most compliant state in the dispensation of pension fund.
She also explained how the entire public service witnessed impressive capacity development despite the restrictions on physical gathering, following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The commissioner revealed that over 73,448 public servants were trained in 2020, as against the yearly average of 3,000 trained employees.
She disclosed that the ministry leveraged on several online virtual platforms to embark on training programmes in a successive manner for the state’s employees.
Giving a breakdown on the various training programmes, Ponnle said 73 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government directly benefitted from the training initiatives, which was over 30 generics and 17 job specific.
She said: “A total of 3,101 officers were trained in 2020 across 98 Ministries, Department, Agencies and Parastatals under the virtual training initiative comprising 52 Grade Level 17 officers, 274 GL 16, 1023 GL 15, 901 GL 14, 9 and 851 GL 13.”
The commissioner also said that the ministry has begun the review of the Public Service Rules (PSR) to ensure that conditions of service are at par with global standards, adding that the state government has already noted some areas in the PSR in dire need of review. She also revealed that work is also ongoing on the creation of Lagos State Schemes of Service to attract and retain talents that suit the peculiarities of the state as well as accommodate the changing curriculum of tertiary institutions.
As a way of encouraging personal growth and development among government employees, Ponnle stated that 186 officers were granted admission for various courses at the Federal Training Centre (FTC) within the period under review.
She noted that Key Performance Indicator (KPI) was introduced to the civil service under the present administration, disclosing that 215 officers across 20 MDAs have so far been successfully trained on the use of the KPI Framework from when the first phase of the KPI framework workshop began in February with six MDAs up till the second phase, which commenced on April 12 with 14 MDAs.
Speaking on the relationship between the state government and the various unions in the state, the commissioner said the ministry few days ago, organised a training workshop for labour leaders on ‘Strengthening Trade, Union Leadership, mitigating the movement’s succession challenges and fostering sustainable industrial harmony for a more prosperous Lagos State”
Ponnle further disclosed that the government paid N4,203,784,514.49 to pensioners in the state under the Defined Benefits Scheme otherwise known as ‘Pay As You Go’ from May 2019 to March 2021.
Ponnle stated that as part of commitment to the welfare of pensioners, Sanwo-Olu approved payment of 33 per cent increment for all state pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme and also paid the balance of the 25 per cent rent allowance for officers on Grade Level 07 and above who retired between May 2000 and August 2004.
After the commissioners and head of agencies, the governor on Thursday gave a detailed report on his administration in the last 729 days. According to Sanwo-Olu, the account is a glimpse of the Greater Lagos that he promised.
He said: “We are exceedingly happy with the progress we have made in the last two years. Our accomplishments have placed us at a vantage position from where we can now catch a Glimpse of the Greater Lagos we envisioned together.
“Daily, we experience some discomfort here and there because of the multiple construction jobs going on concurrently across the state. This is the sacrifice we need to collectively make towards the actualisation of our vision for a Greater Lagos.
“The discomfort will cease, but not very soon, because the tempo of work in infrastructural development and physical construction has just increased. Many major projects have just got to the execution stage. Our state will be like a massive construction site for an additional year or more. I appeal to you to bear with us.”
Sanwo-Olu maintained that his government has consistently matched word with action, aside working tirelessly to transform into reality the shared aspiration of making Lagos one of the most functional and habitable cities in the world.
“We can do it; we will do it. We have laid a very solid foundation for the transformation of our state through strategic interventions and meaningful executions beyond this period,” he said.
According to Sanwo-Olu, it is actually impossible to provide a detailed account of daily occurring construction and groundbreaking initiatives across the state for 729 days in just three weeks.
“However, the smoothness of the newly constructed and rehabilitated 301 inner roads in our 20 Local Councils and 37 LCDAs, and other major roads across the state, will serve as veritable testaments to some of our achievements in traffic management and transportation,” he noted.
The governor mentioned a number of roads that have been executed across the state and different section of the city, stating that they are all going to bring relief to residents and motorists when they are finally completed.
In the health sector, he said: “Our proactive and efficient management of the COVID-19 pandemic has been adjudged as the most significant achievement of the Health and Environment pillar of our THEMES development agenda. Against the backdrop of the fact that Lagos has been the national epicentre of the pandemic, our robust response as an administration, in partnership with the Federal Government and private sector, has played a game-changing role in the commendable outcomes seen in Nigeria.
In the area of environment, he said his administration has invested significantly in waste collection, expecting delivery of 100 compact trucks and 100 Dano Bins for placement across the state.
“Over this period, we completed the channelisation of several ferry routes, notably the 6km Ijede-Badore, the 7km Bayeiku-Ajah, the 16km Ebute Ojo-Marina and 16km Ijede-Marina routes. Besides, we are working on 15 jetties; VIP Chalet Jetty, (Badagry), Apaa (Badagry), Ilado (Amuwo Odofin), Ito-Omu (Epe), Ijegun Egba (Ojo), Ebute-Ero (Lagos Island), Liverpool (Apapa), Mile 2 (Mile 2), Isalu, Ajido Waterfront (Badagry), Ijede Waterfront, (Ikorodu), Ofin (Ikorodu), Takwa-bay (Eti-Osa), Ilashe (Ojo), Oke-Ira Nla (Eti-Osa) and Marina Waterfront. Six of these jetties will be commissioned before the end of this year and additional four will be awarded.”
On education, the governor said his administration has completed more than 1097 school projects in just two years, built six secondary schools, provided over 100,000 tables and chairs, built 450 classrooms and provided 2000 hostel beds in our model schools.
“So far, we have brought back 2,844 pupils to learning, and equipped them with the modern-day educational gadgets in-use under EKO EXCEL, which is about 60,000 handheld devices. The global ranking of Lagos State University is a reflection of the level and quality of support provided to tertiary institutions in Lagos State by our administration.
“Today, LASU has become the preferred choice of global universities seeking collaboration with a Nigerian university. Owing to its standing, LASU, ahead of all the first-generation universities in Nigeria, is in partnership with Cornell University, a statutory Ivy League research university in New York, running an Executive Collaborative Programme.”
“Our government is supporting the institution to expand the scope of the partnership and building a Business School for LASU on Victoria Island. In addition to this, we are building the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), a best-in-class Faculty of Education, and delivering the 8,728-bed hostel executed through a Public-Private-Partnership arrangement in the next eight months to address the students’ accommodation challenge in LASU.”
Speaking on technology developments in the state, Sanwo-Olu said the world is looking in our direction because of the enormous human and material resources we possess, but the most viable means of value exchange at this time is technology.
“This vision has started to crystallise. We commenced under our PPP model the laying of 3,000km fibre across the state. Out of this, we have covered 1,800km, which has provided connection to 100 schools and 12 of our hospitals.
He also talked on efforts in the housing, energy, transportation, food and security, entertainment and tourism, stating that though the projects executed in the different sectors are laudable, there are now in the past, because of the enthralling brightness of the years ahead.
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