FACING FACTS with ‘Tayo Aderinola ::
INTERVIEW WITH THE SOLE ADMINISTRATOR, BARIGA LCDA
Prince Sanya Oshijo
Recently, yours sincerely ‘Tayo Aderinola engaged the Sole Administrator of Bariga LCDA and Chairman Conference of Sole Administrators in Lagos State Hon Sanya Oshijo in an incisive interactive interview on the justification for the creation of 37 LCDAs by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2003 and their performance appraisal 13 years after.
LPM: Good day sir, can we meet you and please give us an insight into your political incubation process and antecedent?
HON SANYA OSHIJO: Thank you for giving me the opportunity of being in my office for this interview, my name is Honourable Sanya Oshijo, I am the Sole Administrator of Bariga Local Council Development Area and also double as the Chairman of the Conference of Sole Administrators in Lagos State. My push into politics is an off-shoot of my deep concern for the welfare of our people and the zeal to contribute my quota to grassroots sustainable socio-economic development
Spotlighting the 37 LCDAs of Lagos State, appraising Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s logic for their creation through performance 13years after, that is 2003 to 2016, in respect to Bariga LCDA, enumerate achievements vis-à-vis sustainable development to justify the creation.
Like you rightly said let’s look back retrospectively 13 years ago at their creation by the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the purpose of bringing governance closer to our people at the grassroots. Anyone given the opportunity to serve at this level must not lose focus of the logic and vision of the founding father of the Local Council Development Areas (LCDA). If not governance would have been detached from the people of Lagos considering the fact that 20 Local Government Councils would have been grossly inadequate to serve the dense population of Lagos State. And you will agree with me that the creation of the LCDAs has expedited development at the grassroots. For example Bariga and Kosofe LCDAs were carved out of the Somolu Local Government and its creation has brought improved infrastructural provisions at the grassroots level like Primary Health Care Centres and schools to the nooks and crannies of Bariga, opening up of the riverine areas and in this direction we have the support of AFD the French version of the World Bank, we are aware of the Mega City vision of Lagos so we are partnering with AFD to make the riverine areas of Bariga at par with other riverine areas of the world like Venice so we are clearing all the creeks and slums of the area.
Such developmental strides at grassroots level across the state are the visions of Asiwaju Tinubu for the creation of the LCDAs. In the same manner Lagos-Island East was carved out of the Lagos Island, Badagry West from Badagry, Ojodu and Onigbongbo from Ikeja. The multiplier effects of developmental spread by these LDCAs is very impressive considering the fact that all nooks and crannies of the state can feel socio-economic buoyancy. I am sure you’re aware that many other states are now adopting the LCDA idea as a vision of our great progressive leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for bringing governance to the people and empowering them to hold government accountable. Please note that the template for governance in Lagos State was initiated by Asiwaju Tinubu and inherited by his successor Babatunde Raji Fashola and now reloaded by our amiable governor His Excellency Akinwunmi Ambode. In other words we are strategically focused and Lagos State is progressively moving forward.
After three months as the Sole Administrator of Bariga LCDA what are your challenges? And please suggest feasible solutions.
Challenges are multiple but the essence of governance is to surmount all facets of challenges either financial, infrastructural or social. But the overall goal is to make life better for the populace. A more profound challenge is the issue of leakages in our internally generated revenue and the dwindling allocation as a result of pipelines vandalism in the Niger-Delta, but thank GOD all the Local Governments Councils and Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State are undergoing reforms towards digitalized payment of rates and taxes through e-payment platform to curb leakages. That means no more cash payment for local government rates and levies but through POS terminal or banks across the entire 57 Local government councils and Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State.
Environmental issues are usually problematic to enforce because there are no punitive measures stipulated against violators, nonetheless I personally supervised the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in my LCDA. The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Community Affairs with contributions with all stakeholders are now working on the legislative framework for the enforcement of law.
Enumerate your achievements vis-a-vis sustainable development in your LCDA thus far with bias for youth development and people empowerment.
In this regard you should recall that I inherited crises flashpoints between cultists groups around Bariga/ Ilaje axis so we had to initiate a stakeholders forum which included opinion leaders, Baales and youth associations. This initiative has yielded result because peace has been assured amongst our youths generally. To empower them within my brief tenure I have inducted three sections vocational trainings to develop their skills acquisition. We have also plugged into the state government wealth creation programme by facilitating the applications of our vocational trainee-graduates for financial empowerment through the Lagos State Ministry for Wealth Creation and some of them are presently undergoing screening. Over 2500 jobless youths attended our vocational training programme and they have now acquired various skills that have made them meaningfully engaged. In the area of economic empowerment of our people we have improved our local area markets in a manner to increase their contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lagos State.
Reconstruction of the collapsed fence at Adaranijo market and the relocation of some mechanics to more conducive garage are some of our efforts to help boost socio-economy of Bariga LCDA and Lagos State.
How do you source funds to execute all these projects?
As the third tier of government to widen our revenue latitude we have instituted many measures to improve on our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and supplemented by monthly allocations through Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) which is usually chaired by the Honourable Commissioner for Finance and also supervised by the Honourable Commissioner for Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs with other relevant technocrats who also contributes their expertise to ensure we give the best to our people at the grassroots.
How would you describe the relationship between the State Government under His Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode with the third tier of government in Lagos State after 12 months of his administration?
Our relationship with the State government can be best described as excellently robust. We have a focused Governor and we the 57 Sole Administrators are pleased and honoured to serve as development partners with His Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to drive home the overall development agenda. The Community Development Associations and Community Development Committees have been an integral part of this administration.
Recently 114 roads were commissioned across Lagos State Local Government Councils and Local Council Development Areas, as the Chairman Conference 57 how do you hope to sustain the sustainable development of this magnitude?
It is unprecedented for us in Lagos to have the spate of development within one year we have completed two roads per local government, the roads are not alone the light-up Lagos is also a commendable initiative. And at the recent quarterly town hall meeting at Teslim Balogun Stadium the Governor promised that in the next two weeks another set of two roads per local government will be flagged-off. The beauty is that the governor didn’t choose the concerned roads for us but we are to liaise with our respective CDAs, CDCs, traditional and opinion leaders in our councils to choose the roads with optimum utility, it’s an all-inclusive government. And the CDAs are to monitor the roads in their neighborhood for feedback on maintenance. The works and environment departments of all the local government are to ensure adequate maintenance and cleanliness of the roads. This is noble and commendable, it’s first of it kind in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. Lagosians should expect more sustainable us and most especially from His Excellency Mr Akinwunmi Ambode a leader with passion for the wellbeing of the people.
What is your personal political projection after serving as the Sole Administrator of Bariga LCDA?
Well my desire is to be here to superintend over the upcoming local government elections and to handover to my successor. And as regarding my next political chapter I submit to the will of God for my life and political career progressing forward.
Thank you Sir and its nice talking to you.