900 Days In Office: We’ve Overcome The Worst With The People’s Support, Says Fashola
Nov 14, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at the weekend continued the tradition of rendering an account of stewardship every 100 days by interacting with operators in the Informal Sector of the State’s economy.
With the theme, “Increasing The Efficiency of The Informal Sector for a Vibrant Economy”, Governor Fashola, during the occasion, enumerated several life-changing, poverty alleviating and job creating projects delivered in the last 100 days even as he unveiled measures aimed at promoting enterprise in the informal sector.
Also taking a retrospective look at the journey thus far while addressing the operators in the Informal Sector comprising artisans, market women and men and other private businessmen at the Blue Roof, LTV, Agidingbi Ikeja venue of the event, Governor Fashola said his administration has overcome a lot of difficulties in the last 900 days adding that this was possible because of the people.
“It pleases me to no end to be here today to give a report of another hundred days in which our State and her people have recorded enormous progress”, the obviously elated Governor said adding that in the last eleven months, the State has run a fantastic race in a year that started with a lot of uncertainties.
According to the Governor, in spite of the difficulties created by the uncertainties in global economy, the price of oil and the fate of millions of Nigerians and businessmen, Lagos State has held its head and shoulders high, not only among the states of the Federation, but also in the comity of cities of the African continent and beyond.
Highlighting the success recorded in the last 100 days, Governor Fashola said Government successfully undertook the review of the Third Quarter Review of the Year 2009 Budget which posted a performance of 70 percent, the highest in the country and probably the continent.
“It is important to emphasize that budgets in this State are not about numbers alone, indeed, they are about people and the importance of the success of our budget is measured and has been measured by its impact on our people and the opportunities it provides for them”, the Governor said adding that within the period, the Government also concluded plans on the Year 2010 Budget which, according to him, will soon be presented to the House of Assembly.
Governor Fashola said the last 100 days have witnessed the completion of life-changing, poverty alleviating and job creating projects such as presentation of Third Annual Report of the Security Trust Fund which showed a crime rate decline of 79.9 percent for January – September 2009, and launching of the website of the Security Trust Fund and the Citizens’ Contribution Scheme, and the deployment of 17, 000 Lagos Waste Disposal Bin Project.
Others are the commencement of operations at the State’s Joint Venture factory for the production of Transformers in the State, payment of N200 million outstanding pension to LAWMA Staff and addition of 44 compactor trucks and female drivers to the growing fleet of LAWMA compactor trucks for refuse management.
The Governor also said three Maternity and Child Hospitals of 100 beds each have been completed at Ikorodu, Ifako-Ijaiye and Isolo while the Accident and Trauma Centre at the Toll gate, the City Hall renovation, the new Campos Mini-Stadium have all been completed and are undergoing post construction cleanup before handover.
Governor Fashola also said all the market development projects at Kayero in Oshodi, Tejuosho, Oyingbo, Iponri and Oluwole are making progress as well as the road construction and expansion projects and other projects across the State.
“In all of these sites, enterprise is going on, jobs are created and sustained, people earn a living and take home money to put food on their tables while other economies across the world are laying off people”, the Governor said.
Describing members of the Informal Sector as “The drivers of our economy, the most critical sector of the productive force”, Governor Fashola declared, “The 900th Day account of stewardship is dedicated to you, the small and medium enterprise operators who operate outside of the formal economy”, adding that the sector controls a high quality asset which is not in the record of the formal economy.
The Governor however regretted that in spite of the huge assets that the informal sector controls, the members find it difficult to obtain loans from banks because they are told that they do not have collaterals describing the notion as untrue.
“The truth is that you are not poor. The truth is that you have collateral. Your shops or business premises and your flats are collaterals but I know that many of you do not have tittles to your shops or flats”, the Governor said, adding that the title documents on their shops and flats will qualify the properties as collateral.
The Governor announced that the State Government will, within a short time, issue title documents to all those who own flats, houses bought from LEDP, LSDPC, LBIC and the Ministry of Housing so that they could use them as collateral to obtain loans from the banks to develop their businesses.
The Governor said owners of shops in the State’s new markets will also be issued with title documents as well as mortgages that will enable them pay gradually and be owner-occupiers until they complete payment
He said in addition to the properties, the people also have access to the State’s Micro – Credit Scheme “which is not as rigorous as the banks and which has benefitted over 25, 000 market men and women and artisans with over N1, 400, 000, 000.00 committed since inception.
He said Government will soon announce additional measures to facilitate access to land just as it is also to develop industrial clusters with dedicated power supply in places such as Matori, Somolu and Epe to provide sustainable power for artisans.
Other plans on the pipeline for the development of the informal sector, Governor Fashola said, include the development of business ownership opportunities for Nigerians and Lagosians in many areas such as ferry services, toll road management, bus transit operations, among others, adding that through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Government has compiled Yellow Pages, a business directory for Small and Medium enterprises so that people can know where to locate them and what kind of business they do.
Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Sosan, members of the State House of Assembly, members of the State Executive Council, members of the informal and formal sectors of the economy Traditional rulers as well other top government functionaries.