Fashola inspects Ilupeju, Amuwo Odofin, Kirikiri industrial estates, reads riot act to perpetrators of illegalities
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (right) inspecting the road infrastructural work at the Ilupeju Industrial Estate during his inspection tour of Ilupeju/Amuwo Odofin/Kirikiri Estate in Lagos on Thursday, April 26, 2012. With him are: Commissioner for Commerce and industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu (2nd right), Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa (2nd left) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce industry, Mr. Seye Oladejo (left).
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Thursday read the riot act to perpetrators of illegalities at the State’s industrial estates, saying his administration would enforce the law to put the estates back on the path of production to achieve their set purpose.
Governor Fashola, who spoke to Government House Correspondents after an inspection of Ilupeju, Amuwo Odofin and Kirikiri Industrial Estates, listed such illegalities as conversion of any part of the estates into a residential estate, packing trucks on any of the highways leading to the estates and taking over the setbacks in any of the estates or roads leading to them.
The Governor warned, “If there is anybody who is carrying out any illegal act in any of our estates, whether by conversion to residential estate, time is up, they must move. If you are parking trucks on the highway, you have to move. If you have taken over the set back in any of our estates, time is out, you have to move; we will enforce the law”.
Noting that the people often complain of lack of jobs and slowdown in the economy, Governor Fashola pointed out that the same people often overlook such aforementioned impediments to job creation adding that if the roads to the estates were working and all other factors kept in good working order, people would get jobs.
“All too often we complain that there are no jobs, we complain that the economy is slow; we grandstand that we want to make things happen, but we miss very little things which aggregate to become the cause of discomfort to us. If we get the road network in those industrial estates alone functional, clearly, people will get jobs”, the Governor said.
He expressed dismay at the way the ports in the State are being managed with trucks taking over the roads which, according to him, “should transport goods to the industrial estates”, adding that these are the cases that reveal the inefficiencies of agencies of the Federal Government.
According to the Governor, “Tankers coming to carry fuel take over the roads and are, sometimes, parked on the roads. You will see whole setbacks of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway taken over by vehicles, whether they are junks or scraps that should never have entered this country in the first place”.
“Now, the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway services five industrial estates, Apapa, Kirikiri, Amuwo Odofin, Ilupeju and Matori. If we revive those industrial estates, imagine what will happen to job creation. So, the essential thing is to go back to the basics – Law and Order”, he said.
Warning those perpetrating any form of illegality in the State to either change or quit the State, Governor Fashola declared, “This Government will enforce the law. We can no longer have people selling vehicles by the roadsides or by the loops. You can see what has happened to Wilmer and all those places. Look at the investments that we have in Kirikiri, are they optimizing their purpose? How do we get the local investors back if we don’t act?”
Regretting the way the country’s federal system is currently run, Governor Fashola reiterated his call for “a more fiscal Federal arrangement” pointing out that a situation where all the taxes of the companies operating in a state go to the Federal Government while the host states bear the burden of development and maintenance of the infrastructure that help those industries to grow, does not encourage industrialization by the states.
“What is the incentive for any state to really industrialize if it cannot keep the benefit of what it contributed in generating”, the Governor asked, adding that the way out is for all the parties “to sit down to decide how the Federal System will operate much more optimally for everybody’s benefit”.
Governor Fashola said the lack of incentive lay behind the fact that Agriculture and Agro-allied industries do not thrive in the country adding, “So we can grandstand and make all of the right noises, but it is not enough to make all of the right noises and continue to do the wrong things”.
“There must be an incentive, a reward for effort. No state will industrialize if the benefits of its efforts go to the Centre; at the very best to be shared by those who did not believe in that endeavour”, the Governor said, adding, “This is the time to stop talking alone and start doing very positive things by way of policy that says look, if you labour, you must keep the reward of what you laboured for”.
Governor Fashola, however, said his administration would continue to demonstrate its concern by doing its best in maintaining the roads and other infrastructure in the State but stressed that things would surely get better if policies and actions from the National Government compliments and encourages states to industrialize.
“Because those are the small places where the jobs are and really, if we cannot fix the ones that have existed, how do we demonstrate to those who are coming that their investments will receive protection? They won’t take us seriously”, the Governor said.
The Governor, who was conducted round the estates by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Oworu, was also accompanied on the tour by the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Special Adviser on Commerce and Industry, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, and other top government functionaries.