Following my write up last week on why Governor Ambode deserves a second term, I received a number of messages confirming the veracity of claims the column last week sought to make. One actually asked why it was a serial, I simply told him that with the allotted space given to me, compressing all such achievements in the various sectors would be impossible. For me, Ambode’s achievements in words only, wouldn’t fit into a full page column, not even a centre spread would suffice. Last week, I heartily focused on Ambode’s achievements in terms of improving the quality of life, infrastructure and security, this week, I will focus on his various strides in education, healthcare, enhancement of investment opportunities offered by the state, and other aspects of his positive rule. With the primary pupil population rapidly increasing, the challenge of effectively teaching the pupils was quite glaring, as it stretched the capacity of teachers to meet the needs of the pupils.
The Ambode administration added 1,300 well trained primary school teachers into the system to help tackle the aforementioned problem and increase the teaching capacity within the state’s primary school system. Governor Ambode, also understanding the dynamics of the world we live in today, introduced or launched Code Lagos, an initiative aimed at teaching 1 million Lagosians to code by 2020. So far, Code Lagos has trained over 31,000 Lagosians and still counting via the 364 coding centres set up in various designated areas of the state. Within the healthcare sector, the Ambode administration is living up to its name.This can be seen in the upgrading of 14 flagship Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) to more like general hospitals; the approval of three new Maternal and Child Health Care Centres as well as the provision of 20 mobile care unit ambulances and 26 transport ambulances across the state to largely expand the scope of healthcare delivery within the state. Again, it does not end here, as the administration is set to open a medical park in Ikoyi, the first of its kind in West Africa region. The park, when eventually completed, will help boost medical tourism in Nigeria and provide healthcare services of global standards at the doorsteps of Lagosians and Nigerians as well. We might as well say goodbye to India and other spots where millions of Nigerians trudge to in search of healthcare. Lagos, as the commercial hub of Nigeria, is a state with diverse investment opportunities.
The Ambode administration has definitely left no stone unturned to harness these opportunities, whether it be in oil and gas, transportation, infrastructure, tourism, among others for the benefit of Lagosians. To this effect, it launched the Lagos To The World (#L2W) global campaign, to produce better market and communicate investment opportunities in the state. This goes alongside with the establishing of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment to promote and coordinate investments in Lagos State. In addition to these achievements is the establishment of the Small Claims Court to fasttrack justice delivery in commercial disputes involving claims not exceeding N5 million. The entire period of proceedings from filing to judgment not exceeding 60 days. Assessing Ambode’s investment drive reveals a resounding success so far with Lagos State receiving a whooping amount of 43 billion dollars in investment proposals alone since the inception of this administration with some of these deals coming into fruition. Now, a growing investment and cosmopolitan hub like Lagos ought to possess a sort of mechanism for the delivery of safety and emergency management to the people. Governor Ambode, recognising such a mechanism as sacrosanct in his desire to ensure that Lagos is as safe as other cosmopolitan cities all over the world, strives to maintain an effective safety and emergency system in Lagos that is indeed unique. First of all, is the construction of the Safety Arena, in Oshodi, where all departments and agencies responsible for safety and emergency management are under one roof to help synergise and properly ensure that all of its operations are well coordinated. This has seen the state’s response to emergencies in quick time, reducing drastically, the rate of deaths or destruction of property by these agencies. Aside that, the Lagos State Emergency Agency now boasts of superior equipment in tandem with the requirements of provisioning emergency services. One needs to mention the establishment of three new Fire Stations at Bolade-Oshodi, Ejigbo and Abesan. In terms of sports, tourism and entertainment, Lagos State, under Ambode, leads the pack. The state is home to the hosting of a number of sporting events such as the Lagos City Marathon, the International Table Tennis Federation Nigeria Open, the Lagos International Sports Classics in Squash Racquet, these events have helped put Lagos on the global sporting map and speaks further of the state’s capacity to host more premium sporting events. Also having received a presidential approval for the handover of National Stadium to Lagos State, the Ambode administration is presently redeveloping it into a world-class facility, likewise the rehabilitation of the Agege Township Stadium to meet Confederation of African Football (CAF) standards and other sports facilities receiving an uplift too.
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