The governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Lagos State, Babatunde Gbadamosi, has said that the state can achieve a lot more with its annual Internally Generated Revenue IGR) than is currently the case.
Lagos, he added, is beset by several infrastructure deficits, which the APC government hasn’t been able to solve in its 20-year hold on the reigns of the state.
“We have a broad idea of what we want to do in Lagos,” Gbadamosi says on the Bumper Breakfast programme on MiTV, monitored on Monday 28 January.
One of the first things he plans to do if voted to be the next governor is reform the civil service. “If we want service to improve in the public sector, we have to increase the workers’ salaries, he says. “We want 21st century service but we are paying 16th century wages. We have to upgrade.”
He also categorically states that though there is corruption in the civil service, “not all civil servants are corrupt.”
On his plans for infrastructure development, Gbadamosi says his administration will focus initially on instant palliatives in the first 100 days,
But the bigger picture will include building a waste processing centre in every local government and ensuring that the LGAs are autonomous; building a high-speed rail line on the Badagry Expressway to facilitate the hassle-free movement of freight to and from the ports; upgrading eight local government areas to model cities; introducing modern water transportation systems in places like Epe and Ikorodu, to reduce traffic on the roads; and opening up different parts of Lagos (in Eti-Osa for example) which were until now closed up due to inaccessible road network.
To do the latter, he says, will require building a 10-lane expressway to Ode Omi and runs all the way to link up with the East-West Road in Warri (Delta State).
“I have a checkable experience that can take Lagos to the next level,” the real estate executive says. “I want Lagosians to vote in credible candidates they believe can deliver, not just vote on the basis of political parties. We have to be a lot more discerning and return to our native intelligence. We were not born stupid — we have always been smart.”
Gbadamosi also says he is happy to work with youths and women across party divides, including at the level of the legislature. “If we had a mixed-bad assembly, then every councillor will fight harder to bring development for their constituencies,” he says.
Born in Ikorodu, Gbadamosi came into public reckoning earlier in January when he participated at the governorship debates organised by the Covenant Christian Centre’s The Platform; at the debate, he surprised many watchers with his grasp of the issues and the eloquence with which he delivered his party’s proposed solutions.
But it is widely believed that he lacks the political structure to win. To that he has one standard response to his admirers and critics. “You be the structure. If you believe in our vision, our manifesto, and if you have a better structure, be our representative in your area. Also volunteer for BOG.”