Governing Lagos is not an easy task, I’ve lost weight since taking over from Ambode – Sanwo-Olu speaks about his 1-week experience


Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, says governing the state is not an easy task, as he has lost weight in just one week of assuming office.


Sanwo-Olu spoke with State House correspondents after a private meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, shortly after the expanded security council meeting on Friday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, governing Lagos is not a tea party, as the experience and challenges are real.

“It is not a tea party; you don’t sleep and wake up and the traffic has gone down; you don’t sleep and wake up and there is no rain or say that you have resolved Apapa gridlock; it’s real.

“So, it is something that one has psychologically prepared for; the best thing you can do, is to make sure that you are not about looking for what the other person did.

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“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.” – Kofi Annan To get to that point in Lagos, where we can confidently acknowledge our achievements, we would not only need to be diligent, upright and efficient. Putting together and building the right team is key. We would need people who buy into our ideas and align with our plans. Though a painstaking task, but the reward at the end is one that will benefit the people whom we have chosen to serve. Earlier today, we had a swearing in ceremony for the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Sherifat Folashade Jaji, Chief of Staff, Mr Tayo Ayinde, and Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Gboyega Soyannwo. New Permanent Secretaries were also sworn in. In attendance at this historic event was the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola. #foragreaterlagos

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“It is for Lagosians to see you do what you promised to do for them.

“And if you don’t do it from your office; you have to do it on the road; you have to do it where the issues are, so that people will truly know that you mean business.

“In one week, I will say I have lost weight; I will probably still lose a bit more, but I think it is worth the job.

“ It is also important to ensure that you have the right team; people that will also support you; so, when as a leader you can show that leadership support, then the message itself trickles down and trickles very well,” he said.

He said that clearing of the Apapa gridlock was work in progress, as efforts were being made to solve the problem.

Sanwo-Olu said that the concern of his government was to ensure that, what was done concerning the gridlock was sustained as sustainability was critical.

He further said that his administration was engaging all the stakeholders in the conversation around port utility –Shippers’ Council, shipping lines and Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) and others, in order to achieve a sustained resolution.

On security in Lagos State, the governor said it was something he attached much importance.

He said that security was everybody’s business but as a governor, he had a major responsibility of protecting lives and property of Lagosians.

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The Olusosun dumpsite in Ojota is the largest landfill in Africa, sitting on about 100 acres of land. With this humongous size, one would think waste disposal will not be an issue in our state as we have ample space for it. Unfortunately, waste has been a menace in Lagos, with no sustainable solution in sight. This is unacceptable. We would not sit in the comfort of our offices and make decisions based on hearsays. Hence our visit to the Olusosun landfill today to see for ourselves and make onsite decisions on how best we can cripple the monster called waste. We would also brainstorm on how we can manage the landfill such that pollution around that area that is threatening lives and properties will be reduced to the barest minimum. Stringent laws will soon be put in place to discourage indiscriminate dumping of refuse. #foragreaterlagos @drobafemihamzat

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“So, it is a work in progress and for me in particular, it is something that I take so seriously.

“We are not just mouthing it; we will ensure that we put resources and strategies that can help in place,

“We have been talking about domesticating; the security trust fund that we have done is part of the initiative

“We will continue to engage and identify what are the sources; what are the underlying issues that bring about insecurity.

“Are they economic or more than that? So, we can also attack the root cause.

“For us, as a government that is looking for investors. We certainly must continue to be in a position where we can give confidence to all our investors that Lagos State is a safe haven to come,’’ he said.

He said that the security council meeting was paramount and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for convening it.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, June 6, swore in Folasade Jaji, as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Tayo Ayinde as the chief of staff.

Added to this, Governor Sanwo-Olu swore in Gboyega Soyannwo as deputy chief of staff and six new permanent secretaries, including Ademuyiwa Eniayewun, as the medical director of the Lagos Island maternity and Olumide Erinle as the principal of Apapa Senior High School, Education District IV.

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