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Fashola Throws N19.5Billion Lifeline To Councils

Posted by By Kazeem Ugbodaga on 2009/01/09 | Views: 300 |

Fashola Throws N19.5Billion Lifeline To Councils


Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, has earmarked N19.5 billion for urgent upgrading of infrastructure in the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, has earmarked N19.5 billion for urgent upgrading of infrastructure in the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The N19.5 billion is termed local government intervention fund and will be spent in reviving decaying infrastructure at the grassroots this year. The governor had, last year, spent N20 billion on upgrading infrastructure at the grassroots to give councils in the state a facelift.

The N19.5 billion intervention fund for this year, to address decaying infrastructure at the LGs and LCDAs, is embedded in this year’s budget, recently signed into law by the governor.

Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Public Affairs, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, told P.M.News that part of the N19.5 billion intervention fund would be used in rehabilitating roads in the various LGs and LCDAs of the state this year.

“Most of the roads in the local governments are bad. Government is particular about roads. All existing roads are to be rehabilitated,” he stated. According to Ajanaku, part of the intervention fund would be spent on drainage clearance and upgrading at the LGs and LCDAs.

He added that the fund would address problems of education at the grassroots, such as providing free school uniforms to pupils in primary schools.

Ajanaku stated that part of the fund would be used to equip the various primary healthcare centres (PHCs) at the grassroots, including the procurement of drugs for them.

“Part of the fund will be used to beef-up security in the local governments, as well as provide water for them. “All those things that will bring succour to people at the grassroots will be done with the money. “We don’t want only Ikoyi, Victoria Island and others to be clean, but also the grassroots,” he stated.

Meanwhile, governor Fashola (SAN), yesterday, appealed to the Federal Government to adopt clear-cut rules of engagement about access of states to the ecological funds.

Governor Fashola spoke at the seventh Chief S.L. Edu memorial lecture, with the theme: “Threats to the Nigerian Environment-A call for Practical Action,” held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, alongside his Ondo state counterpart, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, who was the guest lecturer.

Both agreed that all states face one form of ecological problem or the other. In governor Agagu’s view, more funds need to be allocated to the Ministry of the Environment for tackling environmental challenges.

Governor Fashola said: “Permit me to emphasize that the threat to the environment and our planet is real and we ignore it at our peril and at great danger to the safety of the generations coming after us. This is the inconvenient truth.”

He reiterated that the threat to the environment and our planet is real, adding that the time to pay more attention to the environment is now as the issue of the environment is an issue for everybody.

The governor said the Bar Beach restoration and sea defence wall cost the Lagos state government billions of naira, but interestingly provided jobs and has brought about an economic boom on the beach and property valuation and re-development.

He said Lagos is today experiencing harmony due to the more friendly and less frenzied environment that is prevalent in the state. “The secure leisure parks, pedestrian walkways, which separate and protect pedestrians from motorists whilst maintaining order between them as they equally share the roads, have contributed to the calmness and harmony that is becoming the daily norm in many parts of Lagos, today,” he added.

The governor explained that while poverty threatens 4.5 billion of the earth’s population of about 6 billion people, issues of the environment threaten the whole of our planet and our species as human beings.

In his words: “No discussion of the environment should ever be taken lightly because it is a discussion about humanity itself. Very soon, I predict that all of us will spend more time in search of news about the weather than we will about soccer, stocks, politics or entertainment.”

Governor Fashola added that apart from evolving environment-friendly habits that will protect and preserve nature and the ecosystem such as tree-planting, protection of trees from being felled, other methods being adopted are development of more sanitary habits and appropriate disposal of solid waste, observance of building codes and regulation and protection of natural waterways and canals, to prevent flooding.

He told the gathering that Lagos state is developing Environmental Studies as part of her school curricula and has established Climate Change Clubs in all the public schools to provide interactive fora to broaden environmental issues among the children.

He identified the source of deforestation as lack of education, saying Indonesia exports labour to the whole of the construction world from China to Dubai to Argentina in the same way they export trees, because they lack education.

Governor Fashola advised that the search for solar energy, just like the logging in Indonesia, must not disturb nature’s natural order in the way the choice of petrol, instead of ethanol, made 100 years ago as the choice fuel for automobiles, is exacting a huge cost on the environment today and threatening our planet.

Governor Agagu called for a retention of the two per cent Special Fund on Environment as an open and transparent conditional grant which states can access through a matching grant from their budget.

He added that the idea of making it an equitable conditional grant to be matched by states will challenge and encourage the states to participate, thereby bringing more resources to the sector.

He also called for urgent reviewing, updating, re-enacting and vigorous enforcement of enabling laws on environmental compliance. In his remarks, the president of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Chief Philip Asiodu, called for the fashioning of a national environmental agenda for the nation, saying governors could use their numerical strength to tackle issues of the environment.

The event was witnessed by important dignitaries like a former governor of Lagos, General Mobolaji Johnson (retd.); former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Alhaji Hamzat Ahmadu and family members of the Edu dynasty.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.