Former Lagos State Governor and National leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Wednesday said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode should be lauded for performing in Lagos despite the huge debts he inherited when he took over mantle of leadership in the state.
Speaking at the commissioning of a bridge linking Aboru and Abesan and five adjoining roads Tinubu said he was afraid Ambode will not be able to deliver on electoral promises because of the state’ huge debt at the time he won the election, which he felt would slow him down.
Tinubu said, “This is a reflection of a very good governor who is a thinker and a doer and when you can combine the two, there is no way you would not have development and progress for the people and for yourself.
“Akinwunmi Ambode has reflected that clearly here today. I want to say thank you because experience is a great teacher and I am experienced. I am on the spot and I have watched things in Lagos since my tenure ended.
“I was worried hell when you took over, not about your credibility, character or capacity, but because however wise or smart a man is, if there is no resources to back the ideas, production would be zero, progress would be zero.”
Tinubu who did not disclose the state’s present debt profile and who incured it added, “When you(Ambode) took over, I know you inherited a burden of debt. The debt profile of Lagos was high, I was wondering how you will reengineer and face the challenges to make progress.
“Today I can see your report card, you have scored well, you have shown prudency especially in the use of resources of the State. You didn’t disappoint us. Ambode is silently achieving, religiously executing and brilliantly giving results for Lagos State.
“All over Lagos, we are seeing the results. At Oshodi, on our way down here, you can see what is happening there, that place is a construction site. It used to be a den of robbers but what is going on there now is developmental activities for the benefit of the entire country.
He told Ambode not to listen but ignore mischief makers criticising him of exacting energy in developing Epe to the detriment of other sections of the state.
He also commended the governor for re-engineering the financial structure of the state, thanking Ambode for marking his birthday with the commission of a number of projects.
On his part, Ambode said that the projects commissioned were parts of his administration’s drive of inclusiveness and not leaving anybody or location within the state out of development.
He further said that he is committed to making every part of the state feel a sense of belonging and value for the tax paid.
Ambode said exactly a year ago when he visited the community and saw the terrible state in which the road network was in, he felt touch to do something immediately, which was why he asked the state Public Works and contractors to move to site three weeks after his visit.
“This project is an indication that our government listens and responds to the needs of our people. We will continue to deliver first class infrastructure to improve the lives of our people, boost the economy and create jobs for our youths. On your part, I urge you to take ownership and protect the infrastructure provided. Use them appropriately so that they can serve you for a long time.
“Beyond this, we are very grateful to the contractor on this project, Engr. Olalekan Adebiyi, who has deemed it necessary to contribute to the healthcare of this community by donating a Primary Healthcare Centre to the Alimosho people. Thank you very much, Mr. Adebiyi.
“On our part, we have equipped the Health Centre and provided a brand new ambulance which will be stationed at this centre to respond to any emergency in the community. A certificate will be issued to the donor to enable him offset his tax obligations. We hope this will encourage other well-meaning Lagosians to take up Corporate Social Responsibility activities within their communities.”