Saturday, April 29, 2017

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Father of New Lagos

Lagos is Africa's largest megacity with the highest GDP.

The name of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is written in gold as the "Father of New Lagos" , because of all the 14 state governors  since the creation of Lagos State in May, 1967, he is the one who accelerated the growth of Lagos state in the nation building of a New Nigeria in the leadership of Africa in the world.

How did Tinubu achieve this phenomenal transformation of Lagos state?
The following report by an international scholar explained it.

What Makes Lagos a Model City
The New York Times, Tuesday, January 7, 2014.
The turnaround in Lagos can be traced to 1999, when Nigeria returned to democracy and the city began holding regular elections. For the first time since independence, Lagos was able to re-elect its own leaders, or turn them out of office. And while national elections became a mud fight between elites to control the state’s enormous oil wealth, local contests forced candidates to show pragmatism and competence.
Citizens in densely populated cities find it easier to organize themselves. And in an ethnically and religiously diverse metropolis like Lagos, politicians could not afford to pit ethnic and religious groups against one another, a problem that has long bedeviled Nigeria. Simple geography also helped the city administration. The powerful and wealthy classes are more likely to insist on better governance when their own neighborhoods are affected.
And unlike national politicians, local leaders know that the better they perform, the more money their city nets. The better its roads, schools and business environment, the more likely companies will pay taxes, and individuals will buy goods and services, which also contribute to the tax base. At the national level, by contrast, the great majority of the central government’s income has little to do with government’s performance, since about 75 percent of the national budget comes from the $50 billion a year that Nigeria collects in oil revenue.
Can Lagos really save Nigeria? Alone, it’s unlikely — one factor is that the country’s population is expected to continue mushrooming to 400 million by mid-century — but Lagos can now be the model for transferring more authority to other cities, such as Ibadan, Kano and Benin City. And they, in turn, could help to shift the polarized national politics that produce the same cadre of unaccountable elites year after year.
Almost half of the developing world’s population now lives in cities, and rapid urbanization is expected to increase this proportion to two-thirds within a few decades, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The city is now the main driver of growth and stability across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. And the example of Lagos shows that countries can begin to work better when their cities are well governed and thriving.
In other words, cities can help save countries.
~ Seth D. Kaplan, a professorial lecturer in the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, is the author of “Betrayed: Politics, Power and Prosperity.”

May 27 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Lagos State by the Federal Government of Nigeria on May 27, 1967 by the Creation and Transitional Provisions Decree No. 14 of 1967.

The state which is the smallest state in Nigeria by land mass has become the most populous and the most prosperous.
Lagos was the federal capital of Nigeria before losing the status to Abuja in 1991, but has become one of the fastest growing cities in the world as the commercial capital of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and the continent's largest economy boosted by the rapid development of Lagos state with a population of more than 21 million people attracting both local and global investors to become the richest state in Nigeria and fifth biggest economy in Africa as the largest megacity with the highest GDP.
Lagos is also the heartbeat of the continent for entertainment with the phenomenal Nollywood, the largest home entertainment industry in Africa and second largest home videos industry in the world after Bollywood of India and ahead of Hollywood in production of home videos.

The  GDP of Lagos alone exceeds that of Kenya, East Africa’s biggest  economy.
Lagos has more international five star hotels and multinational corporations than other countries in West Africa.

The Phenomenal Growth of Lagos Among Resilient Cities in West Africa:
Lagos, which sits in the southwestern corner of Nigeria, sprawled over a collection of islands and swampy coastlands, occupies the leading edge of this phenomenon. Today, its extraordinary growth is driving sweeping changes in a five-country region that stretches 500 miles westward along a band of palm-shaded seaboard all the way to Abidjan, capital of Cote d'Voire, a mushrooming city of perhaps six million people that has long been this region's other major economic and cultural pole.
In between them, in one of the busiest staging areas of the historic Atlantic slave trade; West Africa is laying the foundations of one of the world's biggest megalopolises, and in Lagos itself, the start of a potentially powerful new city-state.
The biggest challenge posed by the growth of Lagos and the consolidation of an enormous, sub-regional economic zone around it, however, is not to the city's minuscule neighbors. Rather, it is to Nigeria's continued existence as a unitary nation.
If present trends continue, in another decade or two, Lagos's economy will surpass the size of the rest of Nigeria.
What has held the country together in the past, however tenuously, is the redistribution of money earned from the country's oil exports. But this is changing fast, as Lagos booms and its dependence on this ever more thinly sliced revenue -- what Nigerian politicians call the "national cake" -- dwindles.
The immediate former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji ­Fashola, SAN, once dropped the following bombshell so calmly it would have been easy to miss: he believes the city’s optimum population is 40 million.
~ Fashola, The Man Who Transformed Lagos - Matthew Green Of Financial Times - Politics - Nigeria 

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the current Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi said:
As it stands today, Lagos’ role on the economic future of Nigeria is critical than what people think of the Niger Delta region.
He said the Federal Government can learn from Lagos policies formulation that boost business and attract investors; adding that the Lagos example can bail the country out of its economic woes. 

Lagos State is developing new cities with the Eko Atlantic City already in progress and Lagos Smart City project on the drawing board.
Dangote Group is building the largest refinery in Africa in Lagos.
A new international airport and new seaport are in progress in Lagos.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was the 12th Governor of Lagos State from May 29, 1999 – May 29, 2007.
On his assumption of office as Governor of Lagos State in 1999, Asiwaju Tinubu inherited a state that was practically bankrupt. The country’s commercial nerve centre was one of the worst victims of the previous one and a half decades of military dictatorship and neglect.

Public infrastructure had disintegrated abysmally. Delivery of social services had collapsed in virtually all sectors. The environment was in chaos as Lagos was routinely described as one of the dirtiest cities in the world. The state was largely dependent on insufficient financial allocations from the centre as she lacked the capacity to generate adequate revenue internally to meet her numerous challenges.

The public sector was demoralized and ill-equipped, psychologically and logistically, to effectively perform its functions and achieve set objectives. While the citizenry was alienated from the state and thus demotivated from paying taxes or the ones they paid being stolen making the state technically bankrupt, the organized private sector had little or no incentive to partner with the government in meeting the immense developmental challenges of the Mega City.
Assembling a team of accomplished technocrats, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Administration drew up a Ten-Point Agenda, which it began to systematically implement for the re-vitalization and re-invention of the state. The total budget size of Lagos State at the inception of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration in 1999 was a little over N14 billion,  while the state’s Internally Generated Revenue was approximately N600 million monthly. Yet, the monthly public sector wage bill was N800 million. The implication was that Lagos state was entirely dependent on allocation from the Federal Government, which was grossly insufficient to meet the huge challenges of re-building a state that had been neglected and allowed to decay for over two decades since the federal capital was moved to Abuja in 1991.

Eight years later under Asiwaju’s astute guidance, Lagos had become financially viable and autonomous of the federal government; lives and property had become more secure; public infrastructure was being aggressively modernized and expanded; there had been a dramatic improvement in the quality and efficiency of public health care, education, the environment, water supply and public transportation; Lagos was attracting new investment in diverse sectors on a daily basis despite the depressing national economic climate.

 The new Tinubu Square.

Lekki - Ikoyi Link Bridge.

The Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration from inception drew up a clear and focussed Action Plan for the state in conjunction with critical stake holders including the Organized Private Sector, civil society groups and the public service. The result was the evolution of the Ten-Point Agenda focussing on Education, Health care, Job creation/poverty alleviation, Power and water supply, Public transportation/Traffic management, Physical Planning/Environmental renewal, Infrastructure renewal, Justice/Law and order, Food security and public sector reforms.

Tinubu’s visionary adminisration re-structured the machinery of government creating new ministries such as Housing, Physical Planning Sports and Youth Development as well as Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for more effective policy implementation. Asiwaju Tinubu brought seasoned and accomplished technocrats into government as Commissioners and Special Advisers in their areas of expertise. Through meticulous planning and disciplined implementation, the Asiwaju Tinubu Administration grew the budget size of Lagos State from N14.200 billion in 1999 to N240.866 billion in 2007. It is significant that at no time under Tinubu’s stewardship did budget implementation performance fall below 60%. In a similar vein, the Tinubu Administration consistently maintained an annual budgetary ratio of at least 60-40% in favour of Capital over Recurrent expenditure to ensure rapid infrastructure development.

The futuristic Eko Atlantic City under construction on Victoria Island.

A first class financial strategist, Asiwaju Tinubu, through creative and innovative financial engineering, took Lagos from a yearly Internally Generated Revenue of N14.64 billion in 1999 to N60.31 billion in 2006. By March 2007, the state had achieved a monthly Internally Generated Revenue of N8.2 billion.

This impressive revenue performance achieved by the Tinubu Administration in Lagos State did not happen by chance or luck. It was due to carefully thought out and effectively implemented policies such as the introduction of the Electronic Banking System/Revenue Collecting Monitoring Project, computerization of the revenue collection process, introduction of Electronic Tax Receipts, re-organization and professionalization of the former Board of Internal Revenue now the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, tax administration reforms and the creation of robust data base of tax payers.

Lagos State under Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu became a pace setter in sound and innovative public sector financial management. In September, 2002, for instance, Lagos State was the first government in Nigeria to raise funds from the Capital Market for infrastructure development. This was in recognition of the fact that long-term funds were necessary for long-term projects. The state raised a N15 billion Floating Rate Redeemable to prosecute such development projects as roads construction, millennium housing, water works, construction and rehabilitation of courts, waste management projects and millennium class rooms among others. The bond has since been fully redeemed and other states and even the federal government have copied the Lagos State model. Again, in 2003, the Tinubu Administration invested N3.84 billion in Celtel (now Airtel) and by the time the state divested from the company in 2006, a surplus of N19 billion had been reaped, which was invested in the provision of infrastructure. As a result of its financial ingenuity, prudence and discipline as well as extensive public sector reforms for improved service delivery, the lasting legacy of the Tinubu Administration in Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 are still there for all to see.

They include:
Massive roads construction, dualization and modernization across Lagos State such as Kudirat Abiola road, Oregun; Awolowo road, Ikoyi; Akin Adesola road, Victoria Island, Adeola Odeku road, Victoria Island; Agege Motor road; Ikotun-Igando road; Yaba-Itire-Lawanson-Ojuelegba road; LASU-Iba road, Ojo; Ajah- Badore road, Eti-Osa; Oba Sekumade road, Ikorodu; Adetokunbo Ademola road, Victoria Island and the ongoing expansion and modernization of the Lagos-Epe Expressway as the largest concessioneering project of its size and compexity in Africa among several others.

Reconstruction and upgrading of the Lagos Island Central Business District including the modernization of 16 roads in the area and the historic Tinubu square.

Upgrading of the buildings and facilities at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to world class grade; expansion and rehabilitation of old General Hospitals in Lagos, Gbagada, Epe, Isolo, Ikorodu, Badagry, Agege and the Island Maternity; building of new General Hospitals at Mushin, Shomolu, Ibeju-Lekki and Isheri-Iba as well as upgrading of existing health centres to full fledged hospitals at Ijede, Ketu, Agbowa and Agege among others.

Provision of free health services for children under 12, the aged above 60 and free ante-natal care for women; Free eye screening, eye treatment, eye surgery and provision of free eye glasses popularly known as ‘jigi Bola’, free treatment for maleria, tuberculosis and leprosy, free Limb Deformity Corrective Surgery, free Cleft-Lip Corrective Surgery and the introduction of the Quarterly Eko Health Missions that provides free medical services including free heart surgeries to local communities.

Elimination of mountains of refuse that used to deface and disgrace Lagos through the introduction of community-based Private Sector Participation (PSP) in refuse collection and disposal, expansion and modernization of land –fill sites, construction of Transfer Loading Stations, establishment of waste-to-wealth facilities in Ikorodu as well as re-organization, modernization and re-equipping of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

Massive construction of new drainage channels as well as the creation of Drain Ducks as well as the Emergency Flood Abatement (EFAG) to clear existing drains and respond to flooding.

Rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools in all Divisions of the state through the Schools Rehabilitation Programme, massive construction of school furniture and equipping of laboratories; provision of free education in all public primary and secondary schools including payment of WAEC/NECO fees as well as all internal examination fees to ensure that indigent children do not drop out of school.
Construction of 6,000 housing units such as Abraham Adesanya Estate, Ajah, Ibeshe low income housing scheme, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan Estate, Lekki, Ayangburen Phase II, Ikorodu, Gbagada Medium Housing Scheme, Amuwo-Odofin Housing Scheme, Abraham Adesanya Estate, Phase II, Ojokoro Millennium Housing Scheme, Alaagba low income housing scheme as well as the Oke Eletu and Oko Oba low income housing schemes among others.

Massive construction of rural roads as well as rural electrification and water supply schemes; construction of micro water works at Onikan, Ikeja, Iwaya, Igando, Oworonsoki, Atan, Bariga, Isolo, Shomolu and Iponri among others to improve water supply in Lagos state.

Construction and equipping of new High Courts, computerization of court registries, enhanced welfare for judicial officers to stregthen the rule of law, establishment of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) to provide free legal services to indigent persons and the establishment of the Citizen Mediation Centre as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

Establishment of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) for enhanced traffic management; establishment of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) to plan and manage an integrated transportation master plan for Lagos; initiation of the revolutionary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme that has transformed the face of public transportation in Lagos State; construction of 55 bus stop shelters; construction of 25.9km of median barriers to enforce lane discipline and improve travel time on major high ways; fabrication and installation of 50,000 units various types of traffic signs to improve road safety; installation of at least 63 functional traffic lights at major road intersections among others in the transportation sector.
Initiation (despite stiff opposition by the federal government) of the first successful Independent Power Project (IPP) by any state government generating 260MW of electricity from Ikorodu to the National Grid.

Completion of such abandoned projects as Teslim Balogun Stadium and the new Government House at Alausa as well as finding a permanent solution to the erosion and perennial flooding of the Bar Beach by constructing an enduring shoreline defensive barrier.

Creation of 37 new Local Development Council Areas bringing the total number of Local Government Areas in the state to 57 in order to accelerate grassroots development. He successfully sustained and nurtured them to maturity despite the fierce opposition of the Federal Government that illegally withheld N24 billion of the state’s Local Government Statutory Allocation for two years despite a Supreme Court directive to the contrary.

In 2007, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu successfully handed over the mantle of the state’s leadership to Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) who has continued to build on the firm foundation laid by his predecessor. In the just concluded general elections, Asiwaju Tinubu’s influence was a critical factor not only in his party’s retention of power in Lagos State but also its success in recovering the states it had earlier lost in the South West in the 2003 and 2007 elections.

For his excellent performance as the Executive Governor of Lagos State of Nigeria (1999 – 2007), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu received several awards.
These include:
Best Governor in Nigeria for Y2000 by the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce;

Y2002 Best Practices Prize in improving the living environment, awarded by the Federal Ministry of Works and the UN Habitat Group;
Y2000 Best Computerized Government in Nigeria Award by the Computer Association of Nigeria.

Citation by the New York based World Trade Association on June 12, 2002, as the symbol of progress in Nigria. The only other recipient in Africa was President Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

Y2003 Green Crystal Award for enhancing the value of the environment by Clean Up Nigeria.

Winner of the Health Care Award for Y2002 as the producer of the best health service in Nigeria.

Presidential Merit Award for technological development by the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

Y2001 National Literacy Award for outstanding contribution to mass literacy in Nigeria.

Y2005 and Y2006 World City Awards for exemplary performances in health care delivery, environmental renewal and youth development.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has won several awards for exemplary leadership qualities and commitment to humanity. Among these are:

One of the ten winners of Y2002 Outstanding Alumnus Award of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); He was the first African outside North America to be accorded this honour.

2001 distinguished Alumnai Award by his Alma Mata, Chicago State University.

Distinguished Service Award for exemplary leadership by the Lagos State Economic Summit Group (LASEC).

Recognition for distinguished service to Nigerian women by the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS).

Lagos State University MBA Y2001 Merit Award for contribution to academic excellence in Lagos State.

Certificate of commendation by the National Conference of Black Mayors.

Award of Excellence by the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

Silver Jubilee special award by the University of Jos for his commitment to the growth of the university.

Exempary award for thoughtful leadership and outstanding public service by the Lagosians Club of Chicago.

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by the Abia State University in recognition of his immense contribution to democracy, good governance and development of Nigeria.

LAGOS in MOTION: A Photo Album of Africa's Largest Megacity (Volume 1)
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