All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is confident that President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet will perform.
Nigerian is in safe hands, Tinubu said during the inauguration of the Mile 12-Ikorodu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route in Lagos.
“With the team put together by Buhari, he is set to move Nigeria forward. The government is focused. He is the driver of the bus and we are the followers, Tinubu said, adding: “We are in the front row now and we will ensure that Nigeria is turned around and that it succeeds beyond your imagination,” he said.
Tinubu urged Lagos residents to embrace peace, discipline, accountability and continuity.
He described the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, as a committed progressive and democrat, saying he had no doubt that Fashola will succeed.
“He will succeed, and all of them at the centre. This government is focussed and they will succeed,” Tinubu said.
He praised Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola for believing in the Lagos dream and pioneering the change being experienced.
“I am a proud father and grandfather. I believe that Nigeria is in good hands. This government will move Nigeria forward. With the President leading this team and we at the background telling them what we know about good governance, we have no doubt that we will succeed and Fashola will make us proud in his new assignment, just as he made us very proud in Lagos,” he said.
In his view, “those labelling President Muhammadu Buhari as ‘Baba go slow’ know nothing about the hard work and strategic thinking that goes into governance”. “When I was in government, I was also labelled Baba go slow. But we were determined to lead a fundamental transformation of our state and break uncommon grounds and today, we are seeing the result of the sound and solid foundation.”
Tinubu said President Buhari was preparing the ground for a very good take-off. “Buhari is taking his time to redesign governance and take us away from the ways of the plunderers,” the former Lagos State governor said.
“He is gathering financial intelligence needed to lead a transformational administration at the centre. Lagos has taken that same road before. I took over the reins of government when crude oil was $11 per barrel, and we needed to take another view at our profile and see how we could do things differently. Today, I am happy that some of the people who believed in such dream pioneered a different course in governance and many of them have today found themselves serving at the centre.”
“I was complaining then about paucity of funds just as it is now, it was people like Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and others who were part of the executive council then that were part of the dream to reclaim and develop Lagos State and set the tone for infrastructural renewal and today we are seeing evidence of it.
“We want to continue with the development of our country and make Lagos a model. We want peace, progress, stability, continuity in Lagos State”.
He advised Lagosians to be security conscious and report the presence of strange people in their community because as Boko Haram is being dismantled in the Northeast, they are escaping to other parts of the country. “So, we must be our brother’s keeper,” Tinubu said.
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode described the project as a milestone in public transportation system. He said the BRT system was initiated as part of the strategies to modernise the public transport system as in other major City-States around the world.
“It is intended to provide efficient service that will encourage patronage by the middle class, thereby reducing the number of private vehicles on our roads. Today, the BRT system has, to a large extent, lived up to that expectation. The first BRT system was launched in March 2008 along the Mile 12 – CMS corridor. This 22km BRT corridor has moved over 250 million passengers in the last seven years. The extension being commissioned today is an improvement on the shortcomings noticed on the Mile 12 to CMS corridor. This upgraded system, known as the BRT classic with the BRT lanes running in the median will provide better service in all ramifications.
“This government is committed to improving on the road transport network, the water transportation system, the public transport infrastructure and most importantly, attract the needed investment to fund our Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), which is already being implemented.
“The strategic transport master plan is a 30-year plan that will deliver to us a truly world class integrated public transport system, with six rail lines, one mono-rail, 14 BRT corridors, three cable car corridors and 26 developed Water Routes.
Transportation Commissioner Dayo Mobereola said 434 new air-conditioned buses would provide efficient, safe, reliable and cheap transportation option to residents.
He said with the new corridor, there will be a drastic reduction in travel time, cutting the current two and a half hours travel time between CMS and Ikorodu to about 45 minutes.
Aregbesola, who said he was part of the team, as commissioner for Works under Tinubu’s administration, to go round the world in search of an ideal transportation system for the state, said they settled for the Golgotha in Columbia model.
He said: “When we went round the world for an ideal model, the initial idea was for a light rail but because of fund we opted for a Bus Rapid Transit system with collaboration with World Bank and the French development partner to partly surmount the transportation problem in Lagos which will be integrated with rail and water transportation.”
Other dignitaries at the event include: House of Reps member for Ikorodu Constitutency Jimi Benson, Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Secretary to the State Government Tunji Bello, Ayangburen of Ikorodu Oba Kabiru Shotobi and some Lagos executive council members.