Tayo Aderinola engaged the Executive Secretary of Onigbongbo LCDA, Hon. Mustapha Moshood Abiola in a Stewardship interview. The rapporteur was incisive and resourceful. Please enjoy excerpts of the interview.
LPM: After one year as the ES, what are your challenges?
MMA: As we all know the global economic recession is real and has really affected access to adequate funds and thereby have effect on how we would have provided sustainable development in our communities. Nonetheless, we are doing our best to increase our internally generated revenue by blocking loopholes and making payment of taxes easy for the populace.
LPM: Enumerate your achievements vis-a-vis sustainable development in your LCDA thus far?
MMA: We assumed office on the 5th January, 2015, a little over a year now, and we have enjoyed the cooperation of staff and people of Onigbongbo LCDA and this have created the enabling environment to achieve so much in such a short while in health, education, infrastructural and human development. Visibly all other departments have also recorded immense advancements. To state a few of our activities; we have reconstructed 8 roads and few others are ongoing. For verification they are Esugbayi and Ayoola Coker streets in GRA, in oregun we have also reconstructed Muili Street, Ayinde Sanni and Ola Adesega Streets. While in Olusosun we have reconstructed Koto-Kwara and Moshalashi Streets and most recently is the reconstruction of Anisere Close.
Health: we have ensured that drugs and other basic amenities are supplied to all our 6 Primary Health Centers on a monthly bases. Education and Youth Empowerment: we have distributed several free SSCE forms to our youths. We have also sponsored over a 100 of them through our vocational training center on soap making, hairdressing etc. When we just resumed office we distributed Eko gas to our residents through the Community Development Association CDA) and the CDC to encourage them in using clean-gas so as to reduce the emission of carbon.
LPM: How do you source for funds to execute all these projects considering the global economic recession?
MMA: With the wealth of experience gained as a former Supervisory Councillor for Works in the LCDA, immediately we resumed office, we created 3 area offices at Olusosun, GRA & Opebi to bring our administration closer to the people, with this we were able to increase our internally generated revenue as payment of taxes has become easy and convenient for residents and business operators. Imagine coming all the way from Olusosun or GRA to pay tax here, so we have to create the 2 area offices so as to encourage tax payment and our staff in the area offices were able to reach out to them to distribute bills within the nooks and crannies of Onigbongbo LCDA. With this we were able to generate more funds without necessarily over taxing them as the State government have guided rates for all the local government.
LPM: 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 8 months of his administration?
MMA: Our amiable had working Governor His Excelleny Akinwunmi Ambode have been cordial and friendly with us at the third tier of government. Before and after the appointment of commissioners he ensured we hold meeting with him every month to fashion out policies for the State and local governments. He intiated the idea of constructing average of 2 major roads with drainage and streetlights in all the local government councils and LCDA’s to make a total of 114 standard roads across the state. We have commenced work at Etal Memunat Ayodeji, Olusosun and work is progressing on these roads.
LPM; What is your personal political projection for Lagos State and Nigeria under the APC led government by 2016?
MMA: As we all know APC is a credible party with sound manifesto and I believe our leaders are gradually implementing the manisfesto and ideology as a progressive party.
At the Federal level, it require total cleansing before a good foundation can be laid because the rot of 16 years will require serious reorganization. You’re aware that Lagos have always enjoyed the good dividend of democracy since 1999 when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu laid the solid foundation for Tunde Fashola and now Akinwunmi Ambode is moving Lagos progressively to the next level. He is also tasking us at the local government on the need for sustainable developmental projects. With these and logical implementation of the Party manifesto electorate will have no other option but to continue to vote APC but my only fear is that with our achievements Nigeria shouldn’t become a oneparty state.
LPM: On a personal and final note what is your political aspiration after your present position as Executive Secratary of Onigbongbo LCDA?
MMA: I would say let the will of GOD prevail, I totally submit to the will of GOD.
LPM: Thank you and nice talking to you.