Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday handed over a total of 16 completed inner city roads in Mushin to the residents in a bid to add value to their living standards.
Addressing a large crowd of residents, including traditional rulers, clerics, opinion leaders and community development associations as well as Government officials, Governor Fashola said it was not enough to build and handover roads to the communities, pointing out that the most important thing was to ensure that the roads were put to proper use for the good of the residents.
He, expressed regrets that over time, with habits like dumping refuse on the roads, trading by the side of the streets, washing cars in the middle of the streets and turning the roads into warehouses; life has become a little more difficult than it should be because the roads no longer serve their purpose.
“This pedestrian walk is not a trading place. Let us understand that not everybody has cars, that those who have cars, those who have okada (motorcycle) and those who do not have cars all pay taxes. For those who do not have cars, this is their own road, they should be able to walk without motorists disturbing them”, the Governor said.
The Governor also advised those wishing to lay internet cables to approach the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to tell them where the ducts meant for such cables are, under the roads. He said: “We need the internet and we also need the road. And we cannot have internet and then lose a road that we have built. So, it must be a win-win situation for us all the time to add onto what we have by putting on more”.
In his earlier welcome address, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said that by building the roads in Mushin, the State Government has demonstrated its recognition of the need to move the Local Government forward.
“As a Government, we believe that we must transform our city roads and Mushin happens to be one of them”.
The newly handed over roads include Badejo Kalesanmi Street, Kelani Street, Akinyemi Street, Paul Okuntola Street, Apesin Street, Folarin Street, Ajana Street, Akendo Street, Eniola Street, Ishaga Road, Ronke Street, Akinlawon Street, Olanibi Ojekunle Street, Oyewuwo Street, Kekereowo Babalola Street and Sadiku Street.
In a separate ceremony Governor Babatunde Fashola also launched the Lagos State Law Enforcement Training Institute and presided over the graduation of its first 3,311 graduates.
He also announced the creation of a Law Enforcement Cadre in the State Public Service to ensure career progression for all the officers of the two agencies who have been absorbed as permanent staff.
Speaking at the ceremony which took place at the Sir Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, the Governor stated that the new public servants will be entitled to all the benefits every public servant had including pension rights under the contributory scheme.
“We have created a new cadre of employment in the Lagos State public service. We have created the law enforcement cadre for you alone. As I said, it has been two years of brutal work but I think we have arrived at a safe destination from which to take off and so people will come in with a right of election into the public service to say they want to be in the law enforcement cadre and as such after the training, the choice of posting will determine whether you go to LASTMA or KAI”.
Continuing, the Governor explained that the cadre had been designed to take cognizance of the various levels of academic qualifications that applicants may present. “There will be threshold entry levels so that school certificate holders do not lead graduates and we would encourage in service training so that you can rise from rank to rank until you reach the pinnacle of your career”, he reiterated.
Governor Fashola however, underscored the need for the officers to rise up to expectations noting that as the State Government offers the incentives it also expects the officers to do the job with passion, pride, dignity and fear of God for the citizens who employed them.
“As you go out remember this day and this people so that you resist whatever temptation you come across. Not to let yourself and them down. Please be reminded that in the public space there is no hiding place. It is not only these cameramen and photographers that engage in this profession. Everybody now has a camera phone”.
In a speech, the Commencement Speaker and Editor of the Law Section of the ThisDay Newspaper, Mrs Funke Aboyade said that she was very impressed by the training that the officers had undergone since September 24, 2012, when the programme began.
She noted that as the graduates would begin work with and within communities as advocates of enlightenment they would begin to change the attitude of fellow Lagosians and would also begin to see that the public treatment and perception of them would change for the better.