“Historic and new journey” were the exact words of governor Babajide Sanw-Olu, the executive governor of Lagos on the occasion of the signing of a N100.33 billion bond which the State raised from capital market.
The signing ceremony was the needed moment to allay the fears that the implementation curve of the 2020 budget would be accurately met and, like most budgets, the Lagos 2020 budget would not end up as mere annual ritual. To Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Strategy, there is nothing to fear in the implementation of the State budget.
In an exclusive interview with OpenLife at his Alausa office on January 29, Omotoso explained that “there is nothing to fear about the implementation of the budget. As a government, we are committed to 100 percent implementation. It will be tough but that is our commitment. Lagosians should be assured of goodies in this Sanwo-Olu’s government. The funding you talked about will also not be a problem. By 3pm today-January 29- there will be a signing of documents for the N100.33 billion bond, which the State raised from capital market to fund infrastructure and pressing capital projects. The bond was oversubscribed. Therefore, funding will not be a problem. Governor Sanwo-Olu is expanding the State’s revenue base through different strategies and initiatives” he stated emphatically.
Omotoso explained further that the 62 percent earmark for capital in the N1.168 trillion annual budget will focus on the completion of old projects even as new projects would be initiated. Specifically, he stated that the on-going Pen Cinema flyover will be completed and commissioned for use by June adding that other roads under construction across the State are receiving adequate funding for early completion. Similar efforts, he said, are being extended to other sectors like security, health and education etc including water ways and transportation.
In all of this however, Omotoso stated that governor Sanwo-Olu has every reason to thank Lagosians who voted him into office. He explained that Sanwo-Olu will not disappoint as he is working tirelessly to ensure residents in the State enjoy premium dividends of democracy.
He therefore enjoined the citizens to support the governor through positive disposition to government initiatives to achieve timely implementation of its noble objectives. “We thank Lagosians for voting Sanwo-Olu into office. We also appreciate their patience. We urge them for more supports. They should own government projects. They should see government as their own because they voted for it,” he admonished.
Omotoso sees Sanwo-Olu as a gift from God to Lagosians because, according to him, the governor means well. He is energetic and patriotic. He is doing everything to ensure Lagos becomes a home to all without discrimination. “My personal experience so far with him shows who he is. He practically makes my job exciting despite the fact that I have not been a core politician. The governor encourages me just the way he encourages others. He supports my ideas and programmes,” he said.