We’ve Created Over 156,000 Jobs In Last Six Months - Fashola
Jul 10, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Friday disclosed that the State Government has so far created about 156,779 jobs in the last six months.
According to Governor Fashola, who spoke at the end of the midyear budget review session which took place at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium at Alausa, a total of 6,114 people made up of health and education workers at the lower levels have been employed into the public service directly.
Governor Fashola also informed that the state has created another 52,685 jobs in terms of direct employment of people who are not in the public service, from so many activities ranging from field training, micro credit finance and business support.
He added that such people are in turn also employing so many other graduates especially those in the grassroots who have just come out of school and are looking for employment.
He said: “In terms of indirect jobs, as at June this year, we have over 98,000 people working at the various construction sites as sub contractors, employees to people who have taken main contracts from us in building schools, hospitals, roads, drainages, bridges, cleaning up the city and participating in our PSP programmes”.
“So, I think not only on the macro level has the budget done well, it has also done well in the micro level by creating jobs and putting food on people’s tables”.
The Governor also assessed the half year performance of the state’s 2009 budget declaring that it posted an impressive performance of 68 percent and very encouraging result in job creation.
He added: “We posted a performance half year of 68 percent which is a slight increase against our first quarter performance. In terms of performance between this period last year and this year, there has been an increase of four percent”.
The Governor added that: “When you look at this performance against a difficult economic terrain. I think our government has done very well. We have also taken a look at the impact, especially against the backdrop of the thrust of the budget which is on poverty alleviation and economic growth through our infrastructural renewal programme”.
On the issue of flooding, the Governor reiterated that Lagos is by location a coastal state, which no one made home by choice but by the fact of the environment inhabited by forebears.
He added that while some chose to live near the desert, some chose the rocks, adding: “therefore each part of the world where you choose to live has its own responses and hazards of nature, nobody can stop the rains. It will fall”.
He explained that drains built here or anywhere in the world were not built to hold water but help direct water to the ultimate destination for evacuation, which are the creeks, lagoons and oceans.
He added that over the years, the whole world has been alerted on the challenges of climate change and global warming and rising water level due to the large bodies of ice melting across the world.
He emphasized that those large bodies of ice that are melting find their way to lowland areas like Lagos, which is below the sea level and so many other parts of the world, which lie below the sea level.
The Governor added that what one discovers is that the places where the drainages should evacuate water to are now higher than the drains because the water level is high.
He said a drive round the city of Lagos today will show that water levels of the lagoons and the Atlantic have risen and until it recedes as a natural act of nature, the temporary flooding will still occur.
“We are not having flooding because we have not done what we are supposed to do but because nature has taken its course and nobody can quarrel with that , but let us say it is a season of mixed blessings”, the Governor added.
“We want cheaper food, rain helps the farmer. Right now, I don’t think any fisherman on the water will listen to you because if you look on the third Mainland Bridge now, this is their period of harvest”, he said.
Still on the challenges posed by nature, Governor Fashola said the cities of United States that are prone to Hurricane have started preparing for it, adding that it is going to come and there is nothing they can do about it.
He said the Hurricane issue represents a problem arising from where the people have chosen to live, saying some who live in the desert also have to contend with the problem of sand storm and all of that.
He urged the people to regard the period of May to October every year as a period of sacrifice and a period of mixed blessings adding that the natural fallouts of Lagos being a coastal State should not diminish from the fact that the administration has done a lot to combat flooding.
Continuing, he said when the dry season comes, there is going to be increased heat, increased static and heavy fire incidents, saying nobody is talking about fire now because it is raining.
Governor Fashola emphasized: “It is a cycle that we must face. A challenge of humanity. We are doing our level best but it is a problem that we did not create”.
Giving a further breakdown of the mid year performance, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze said the priority would be to complete ongoing projects as the last four months of the year would herald the dry season.
He said Government would also examine the revenues as efforts still needs to be kept up to make sure that all Lagosians pay their fair share of the taxes and this might entail breaking new grounds.
He added that in terms of capital expenditure, roads and transportation took more than 50percent of Capital expenditure for the first half of the year.
Mr. Akabueze also informed that education also received a lot because the Government provided new blocks of Classrooms in schools apart from massive rehabilitation of others, furniture, books and other initiatives, adding that health also received a lot of attention, followed by the Environment.
He said for the first time those living in Dolphin Estate are now enjoying a flood free environment which was not possible in the past, adding that it is important to distinguish between the more common flash flooding as opposed to destructive flooding.
The Commissioner informed that: “Actual expenditure in the first quarter was over 67 Billion which translated to 67percent because the full year budget was N405billion which also translated to 101.25billion per quarter, and cumulatively means we have done 84percent of our revenue target”.
The budget review was attended by the Deputy Governor, members of the State Executive Council and heads of agencies involved.