Monday, January 18,
2020 / 10:36AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV
The T.H.E.M.E agenda of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration in Lagos state is already setting the pace for the second-level industrialization of Nigeria's economic capital. Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, made this point on the sidelines of the recent presentation of the Lagos state 2021 budget to media executives and editors.
Speaking on the state's T.H.E.M.E which are initials representing, Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy and Entertainment & Tourism, Omotosho said that despite the 2020 outbreak of COVID 19 and the #ENDSARS protest, the state has made focused on implementing the elements of the strategy.
This, according to the Commissioner, informed the increase in budget allocation to capital expenditure over the recurrent expenditure in the 2020 and 2021 budget cycles.
In 2020 he said the ratio was 55% Capital to 45% Recurrent in terms of allocation while the state achieved 80% performance in execution.
Through the T.H.E.M.E agenda, the Information Commissioner said Lagos state has aligned its budget framework with critical investment in infrastructure, that will support the industrialization drive.
He noted that key roads like the Abulegba-Oshodi-BRT corridor have been worked on and has reduced the traffic congestion from about 3hours to 30 minutes.
Speaking further, he said repairs and development of regional roads like the Lekki-Epe expressway have been flagged off that will boost the Industrial zone at the Ibeju-Lekki axis.
He also noted that with regards to broadband infrastructure, Lagos plans to layout 6,000km of fiber optic cables, with 3,000km earmarked for the year 2021 and the second phase in 2022.
The 6,000km fiber optic cable will support the Information and Communications Technology infrastructure in the state, boost broadband penetration and provide fast internet for citizens, hospitals, schools, public zones and also enable the proposed smart-city project.
Considering the position of Lagos as West Africa's economic hub and fifth largest economy in Africa, the issue of power which is a huge concern in Nigeria is also given top priority by the Lagos state government.
Omotosho said discussions were ongoing with global energy companies to explore public-private partnerships that could see additional independent power plants built across the state.
This, he said, would go a long way in supporting activities of Industrial Zones like Imota in the Ikorodu area where the state is building the biggest rice mill in the country.
Responding to a 2020 research analysis by Proshare on the need for Lagos to explore a "Night Economy" he acknowledged the fact that the nightlife and its attendant economy need to be strengthened and expanded.
He identified Entertainment, Tourism, and the Retail market as the industries to benefit from the concept proposed by Proshare.
The Commissioner further stated that the government will strengthen security, improve the lighting of Lagos, through the retrofitting of street lamps, and provision of the enabling infrastructure for activities like night clubs, leisure parks, event centers, neighbourhood markets, retail shops, media stations, and companies that operate a 24-hour call center service.
Looking at the setback of the COVID-19 pandemic and the escalation of violence from the #ENDSARS protest last year, Omotosho said it helped to reinforce the government's resolve in driving the T.H.E.M.E agenda.
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