How Edo plans to de-congest Lagos — Shaibu
Fatima|May. 14, 2019
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
C omrade Philip Shaibu is the deputy governor of Edo State. In this interview, he speaks on the infrastructural revolution going on in Edo State and the plan by the state government to de-congest Lagos and make Edo a commercial hub in the country.
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Y ou recently witnessed the commissioning of projects executed by the outgoing governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode by President Muhammadu Buhari. What is your take?
We have always worked with Lagos and always have things in common with Lagos especially in terms of development. From when Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole was governor till now we have shared everything in common. In terms of infrastructure, we always look forward doing same things that Lagos is doing and in terms of facility management, tax reform we have been working together and we are not ashamed to say that we want to be like Lagos State if not better than Lagos State in terms of infrastructural development and internally generated revenue.
We are challenged and we want to emulate things that are happening in Lagos and also we want to help de-congest Lagos that is why the administration of Godwin Obaseki has decided that the Gelegele Port must be a reality so that the Apapa Wharf will be de-congested and some of these commerce will be moved to Edo State. Edo state being in a very strategic area on the map will be a hub to also help to galvanize commerce in Nigeria when the Gelegele Seaport is ready.
What stage is the Seaport?
All the MoUs have been signed and the approval we seek from the Federal Government has been done. Feasibility study also has been done, it is commencement that is left.
What specifically is new in the health and transport agenda of Edo State?
We have ECTS and also we are rebuilding our bus terminal just like Lagos has done and we are already having areas where the bus terminals and designs are ready. Last year, we also launched the modern Edo City buses which are already on and we have placed order for another 75 of such buses to also help the intra-city transport system. Edo City transport is also being revamped.
In the health sector, what we are simply doing is to concentrate on Primary Healthcare and we are also dealing with all issues of immunization. We are already having about 20 prototype health centres that we are rebuilding and we are using 20 health centres as a study. What we gain from those 20 that we have rebuilt would in the other areas.
We have over 200 of them that we need to deal with. We believe that when we are able to deal with the issue of primary healthcare and get primary healthcare closer to the people we would have helped to de-congest our secondary healthcare and tertiary healthcare system. The basic thing is that everyone wants to go to the general hospital and we are taking this closer to the people. It is one of the pillars that we have decided to deal with in our government just like we are dealing with the primary school system, that is basic education.