By Folasade Adeniran
Lagos (NAN) Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday reiterated a plan to ban the popular yellow commercial buses, Danfo, from Lagos roads this year.
Ambode spoke at the 14th Annual Lecture of the Centre for Value and Leadership with theme: “Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge of Africa’s Future Cities” held in Lagos.
Ambode said that connectivity was a critical element for a mega city to work, which required having mass transit system to move people from one point to another.
“I tell you what, I want to banish yellow buses from Lagos this year.
“My dream of ensuring that Lagos becomes a true megacity will not be actualised with the presence of these yellow buses on Lagos roads” Ambode said.
The governor said there was still a lot more to be achieved as regard making Lagos one of the vibrant cities of the world.
According to Ambode, cities are the most attractive destination for those who want to realise their dreams.
He said that to this end, there was the need for government to be proactive in providing and expanding infrastructure, connectivity, other services to accommodate them.
“It is estimated that 86 immigrants enter Lagos every hour – the highest in any city in the world – and they have no plans to leave.
“This is because Lagos has remained over time, and most especially in the last decade, the most attractive destination for those who want to realise and live their Nigerian dream.
“This ever increasing population of the state however means that we have to be on our toes to provide facilities for this more than 23 million population, “Ambode said.
He said that government was also embarking on massive reform in waste management system, expressing optimism that the plan would be fully actualised by July.
“We are also embarking on massive reform in the waste and sanitation management system.
“I don’t like the way this city is and the Private Sector Participants (PSP) collectors are not having enough capacity to do it, but again should I tax people to death? The answer is no.
“I don’t want to tax people and so, we need this partnership with the private sector so that they can invest in the sanitation management of the city and in no time, maybe by July, the city will change forever, “he said.
The governor said that the main objective of his administration remained the growth of the Lagos economy from fifth to third largest economy in Africa.
On power, Ambode said the major issue had always been with transmission and advocated an embedded power initiative that would allow clusters of Independent Power Projects (IPP) to run the cities.
He said that he had remained focused on some issues such as infrastructure, security, job creation, power, adoption of technology as an enabler and driving investment through ease of doing business.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CVL, Prof. Pat Utomi said that Lagos was thriving because of 18 years of good governance and ability to sustain the economy without and beyond oil.
Utomi said that with the theme, it was appropriate to expose the young people easrly to leadership skills as future leaders, describing leadership as a sacrificial giving of oneself to the advancement of common good.