Omiyale Kayode Adejare, chairman Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), in this interview, tells SEYE OLUMIDE how his administration has fared in the last four years and likely areas of improvement.
How are you coping with influx of commercial motorcycle operators, and how do you identify them?
By the time Lagos State government came up with the policy to ban commercial motorcycles operators, we went all out to enforce the policy to the last order because Yaba LCDA is one of the areas where the use of keke NAPEP and commercial motorcycle were totally banned and we followed it. Although the #EndSARS crisis made the government to relax the policy a bit but notwithstanding as at today, we don’t allow commercial motorcycle operators along our major routes except on inner roads. I know that the state is seriously working on another policy that will reduce the activities of Keke NAPEP and commercial motorcycles.
Your colleagues from Lagos East recently complained of lack of funds. How are you coping with low revenue?
We will continue to manage the resources at our disposal. As a government we believe that it is when we put necessary infrastructure and security in place that businesses will be able to thrive and people will generate revenue.
Yes the monthly allocation is poor but we still have to make sure we impact positively on the lives of our people. I want to say yes resources are lean but in Lagos State our position is better than what is happening in other states because we operate a joint account with the state government. We all know what comes from the federal and how it is distributed. Yes, the size of the allocation is not the doing of the state but the federal.
But people think Lagos councils are not performing compared to their monthly IGR and allocation?
Probably that may be from your perspective but at present the state House of Assembly is going round all the council to ascertain performance of the councils. In Yaba LCDA, we have about five ongoing projects and two among them cost not less than 25 million each. We also renovated a school that cost us about N57 million. Despite the challenges, majority of the councils are working, except that the allocation is small. We need to get the record straight. Many of the councils have small allocations.
Security has become a major issue. How are you keeping the peace at Yaba?
We used to have our security meetings every first Tuesday of the month and the committee comprises representatives of various groups to review the security situation. With the help of God, our council is one of the most peaceful during my tenure. During the #EndSARS crisis we were able to curtail those hoodlums, who went round to burn down public property, we achieved this due to the security networks we put in place.
Are you saying no public property was destroyed during the #EndSARS chaos in Yaba?
Not a single one was destroyed in my council. Cultism crisis is virtually all over the state, if not in the entire nation but I am telling you that in our council we have less of such. I used to interact with the youths once a while and through this I know we have black spots like Evans Square in Ebute Meta where we have some miscreants. At the side of Third Mainland Bridge, there is a place they called a dumping ground. There are some hoodlums there but we know how we manage these boys such that their activities never go out of hand. Many times I do invite and discuss with them and whenever they have any grievances we used to intervene. Although, once in a while they go out of hand but in no time we contain them.
How far did you improve your LCDA within the last four years?
We reconstructed almost eight roads and among them there is one that is about 1.6 kilometers using interlocking blocks at Makoko. We have covered Tokunbo/Ishola Mcquine Street, that one is about 1.2 kilometers. We have done Onike Road by Igbore, Perdro by Arowolo in Iwaya. We were able to fixed at least one road in the nine wards. We constructed a state of arts Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Aiyetoro and we want to affiliate it with one of State’s hospitals because the hospital is well equipped with necessary health personnel. We have Ali Daodu PHC at Abule Ijesha and Oba Salami PHC at Jibowu. They are all well equipped with necessary personnel. We are running 24 hours services in about three of the PHCs.
In the education sector, we built a school right from the foundation; it is a two storey building with 16 classrooms, 10 toilets, head teacher’s office, ICT room, Sickbay Room and modern library with a modern playground. We named the school after one of our political leaders, Senator Oluremi Tinubu. We named the school Senator Oluremi Tinubu Model Nursery and Primary School, which is at Onike. We also renovated Military Primary School at Abule Ijesha, it’s a two block of classrooms with 16 classrooms, 12 toilets, library and Head Teachers office. Work is ongoing at Saint Agnes Primary School, a two-storey block with 21 classrooms and Head Teachers’ room. The work there is about 70 per cent complete. Still on education, every year since we resumed, we have been giving 100 GCE and JAMB forms to all indigent students of the council. We don’t just give out the GCE forms, we also monitor their results and by the time we want to give out the JAMB forms, we will first consider those that used our GCE forms. At least we can count about 15 or more among these students that are either in 200 levels or above in various higher institutions. Many of them should have passed out if not for the epileptic academic situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
In the area of farming, this council can boast 20 hectares of land at Ajara along Badagry and we are into maize and cassava plantations. In fact it will interest you to know that the cassava we harvested in 2021 we are using to produce garri, branding and distributing it free to people in this council.