…The Imota Asphalt Plant, Imota, Ikorodu built by the Lagos State Government during the commissioning by Governor, Babatunde Fashola SAN on Thursday, February 20, 2014. INSET: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle) with Ranodu of Imota, Oba Ajibade Mudashiru Agoro (right) cutting the ribbon to commission the project while the Executive Chairman, Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC), Mr. Gbenga Akintola (left) watches.
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday handed over the Imota Asphalt Plant in Agbowa, Epe Local Government Area, assuring that his administration would continue to find solutions to its developmental problems in the State instead of talking about them.
Governor Fashola, who undertook an extensive tour that also took him to the Vocational and Technical College, Ikorodu where he inspected the MTN Youth Skill Development Centre and commissioned the Nigerite Projects Building, urged Lagosians to partner with the Government so as to continue to sustain its development plans for the State.
Other projects visited in the course of the tour include the Resettlement Centre for Flood Victims in Agbowa, Housing site for CHOIS Estate and site for the relocation of Oke-Baba Sawmillers all in Agbowa.
In his address at the Imota Asphalt Plant, the Governor appealed to Lagosians to cooperate with his administration in its developmental efforts by giving up land where required in the interest of the generality of the people pointing out that government was making steady progress with its plan to develop all parts of the State.
He expressed dismay that in some areas where it had sought to carry out projects for the general good some people had taken Government to court thereby delaying such a project and the benefits that would have accrued to the people adding that such projects would also solve the problems of unemployment.
Citing the Imota Asphalt Plant as example, the Governor said while under construction, scores of unemployed youths got jobs directly while other indirect jobs such as selling of foods and other support jobs became available adding that after the construction may residents have got engaged in supply of raw materials for the production at the plant.
“The plant is already impacting on the community addressing youth unemployment in a positive and visible way”, the Governor said adding, “The most interesting thing about the Plant is that it is most modern and sophisticated as it reuses all asphalt scrapped from the roads”.
Noting that the community had a few years ago complained of non-government presence, the Governor declared, “Slowly, but surely the economy of this place is picking up. I will not be in the discussion of youth employment but I will engage in finding solution to it”.
Speaking earlier, Lagos State Public works Corporation’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Akintola, said the Plant’s civil engineering works such as preparing the foundations on which all the plant components are sitting, were solely carried out by in-house engineers and technicians of the Corporation adding that they also played significant roles in the installation of the plant upon its arrival from Italy.
Thanking the Governor for the confidence he reposed on the Corporation and the Executive Council and members of the House of Assembly for their support, the Chairman expressed joy that the Imota environment has already began to witness an upsurge of commercial activities in the form of trading and vending which, according to him, are improving by the day.
Earlier, at the Ikorodu Vocational and Technical College while commissioning various equipment donated by MTN, Governor Fashola expressed joy that his administration’s objective to lift the image and value of the Technical education in the State was being realized.
“But this is a journey for us. The real story is that with this kind of partnering with the private sector we will find answers to the problem of youth unemployment instead of talking about and discussing it. We are changing the story of non-Nigerians taking the technical jobs from Nigerians”, he said.
He said his administration has gone into collaboration with the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association to ensure that as the youths are trained, they are employed directly. “It is no longer how many youths are going to be employed after training, it is how many of the graduate youths are available for employment”.
Earlier, Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Pascal Edozie said in engaging in developmental projects in Lagos State and across the country the company was showing gratitude for accommodation given to it and creation of enabling environment in which it has thrived over the years.
He thanked Governor Fashola for coming to see what the company was doing in the college and prayed that God would give the students the blessing to be major contributors to the economy of the State and the country.
Also while welcoming him at the Nigerite Projects Building, the Executive Director of the company thanked the Governor for making out time to visit the project adding that the project was the beginning of a long-lasting relationship between the company and the State Government.
Other projects visited include the Resettlement Centre for Flood Victims at Agbowa where the Governor was received and conducted round by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Town Planner Toyin Ayinde, the Housing site (CHOIS Estate) where the President of Co-operative Home Ownership Incentive Scheme (CHOIS), General Patrick Reis Emmanuel (rtd), conducted him round the project and the Relocation area for Oko-Baba Sawmillers all in Agbowa.
Accompanying the Governor on the tours were Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, among other Executive Council and House of Assembly members as well as other top Government functionaries.