Senator Adeola’s Projects Strides In 2020 For Lagos West
Many Nigerians and indeed many citizens of the world will predictably look back over the year 2020 as a year of reversal of fortunes, where not much progress was made and indeed many lost their lives or became seriously ill as a result of the still ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19. The effects of COVID-19 on the world economy and ways of living generally are still reverberating across the globe. In the case of Nigeria, just as the nation was coming out of debilitating months of total and partial lockdowns, the nation was yet again convulsed by citizen’s protests against Police extra-judicial killings and brutality which snowballed into massive and unprecedented destruction of public and private properties in the region of about trillion of Naira.
Given the above, some are seeing the year 2020 as a negative year as far as progress and development is concerned. However, for some the challenges of the year presented avenues to confirm the saying that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going by way of overcoming daunting challenges as presented by the year 2020 and still have positive achievements to point to. One of such tough person is the Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, unarguably the largest senatorial district in Nigeria in terms of population, Senator Solomon Adeola a.k.a Yayi.
As Chairman of Senate Committee on Finance, Adeola was instrumental to the nitty gritty of passage of the 2020 Appropriation Act with the desirable aspect of returning the budget cycle of Nigeria to the normal January-December cycle after over a decade of running what could best be described as a topsy turvy of budgets signed into law in the middle of the year by the Federal Government and running to only God knows when. And when unannounced the nation was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in March and an unprecedented drop in the price of crude oil upon which the 2020 budget was based, the senator was again called upon to redo the fundamentals of the budget as contained in the 2020-2022 MTEF and FSP to accommodate new realities resulting in 2020 Appropriation (Amendment) Act. With the 2021-2023 MTEF and FSP equally passed this year by his Committee, the senator have the record of passage of this important document thrice in less than a year for a document that is passed once in a year to tally with Appropriation Acts.
While playing critical roles in the crucial law making function of appropriation of fund for development even under COVID-19, the senator had to reach out to indigent and vulnerable constituents for sustenance in lockdown. In view of the strict precautionary protocols of the COVID-19 at the early stages, the senator donated a whopping N50million to be share among individuals, groups and communities with the least individual beneficiaries getting a minimum of N2,500 while groups and others got sums ranging from N5,000 to N250,000 in the densely populated senatorial district. He subsequently partnered with Lagos State Government to distribute food items as palliative to constituents that are needy during the extended period of lockdown. And to ease psychological stress of the lockdown, Adeola expended hundreds of thousands give away airtime of GSM providers to lucky constituents in a social media “fastest fingers” to reach out and make connections in lockdown.
With the ease of lockdown and the long recess of the National Assembly, Adeola used the break period to ensure that all the projects that he attracted to his expansive senatorial district were executed as much as funds are made available. Giving the dark cloud of 2020, the quantum of projects executed in Lagos West courtesy of the Senator is best described as a silver lining in the sky for the people of Lagos West in terms of impact.
During the 2019 campaign for re-election, an international NGO WaterAid visited the Senator’s Senatorial Office and elicited from him a commitment to support policies and projects of the Federal Government for the provision of water. Partly in fulfillment of this pledge and to address huge gaps, the senator facilitated the construction of 6 major water works in form of solar powered boreholes and mini water treatment plants in six (6) LGAs namely: Ikeja, Ifako-Ijaiye, Agege, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin and Alimosho. Each borehole is equipped with 6m High Elevated Tank, 10m3 capacity Steel Stanchion, 5m3/hr mini-treatment plant and a Solar Control System to regulate water supply. These self- sustaining water projects were located in population centres in the LGAs like markets and residential areas. On his own resources the senator constructed 28 normal boreholes in public schools and similar number of public toilets spread across the senatorial district.
Again under the skill acquisition and empowerment of constituents, the senator facilitated the training of hundreds of constituents in rural riverine communities of Lagos West in different aspects of Fish Production, Business, Feed Making and Boat Operation over a period of months at Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos. Each trained and certificated participants in a programme of “teach a man to fish” were equipped with manual covering all aspects of fish production and fish business, 500 litre VAT for housing and growing fishes, fries/fingerlings, seed working capital for overhead/running cost and bags of feeds to grow fishes to market sizes. No doubt majority of these trained and empowered constituents will be self- sustaining in the years ahead and earn incomes in the informal sector.
To address the issue of irregular supply of power and other inefficiencies in the provision of light as it affects his senatorial district, the Senator facilitated the procurement of 28 Nos of 500 KVA Transformers which are being distributed to communities across the 10 LGAs of the senatorial district. Similarly, in a programme aptly tagged “Light Up Lagos West” Adeola facilitated the provision of 130 poles solar panel street lights which was distributed to 20 major streets always in the dark at night in Ojo, Badagry, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin, Ikeja, Alimosho, Mushin, Ifako Ijaiye, Oshodi-Isolo and Agege LGAs.
The educational sector equally got its fair share of attention from Adeola under the 2020 Appropriation Act. With the advent of COVID-19 the mode of teaching and learning was drastically affected in Nigeria with online tutorials and learning filling in the gaps necessitated by the lockdown educational institutions. Realizing that many teachers were not online/ICT compliant, the Senator facilitated a one-week training for teachers in the state where the rudiment of online teaching were taught to over 147 teachers with due certification. The senator further donated two (2) HP laptop Computers to each of selected 36 schools for the purpose of assisting in online teaching. Equally 60 selected best students from secondary schools in Lagos West Senatorial District were empowered with laptops computers to encourage excellence and ICT expertise. On provision of educational infrastructure, Adeola facilitatedthe supply of 750 prefabricated chairs and desks for 13 public nursery and primary schools spread across Lagos West at Ojo, Badagry, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin and Alimosho. The school furniture has since been supplied and in use.
It must also be mentioned that in course of this year Senator Adeola facilitated employment in Federal Agencies to no less than 20 constituents, ensured that over 100 constituents benefitted from CBN loans to cushion effects of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses with sums ranging from N250,000 to N5million. And related to the post COVID-19 way of life, logistic and delivery business using motorcycles is booming. To assist some constituents to benefit from this boom, Adeola facilitated and donated 185 motorcycles to 185 constituents on the basis of one per all the wards of Lagos West Senatorial District. And following the fire incident at Amu Plank Market, Mushin, the Senator donated N2.5million to the market union for its rebuilding effort.
No doubt, the year 2020 was a daunting one for people all over the world with many economic dislocations, Senator Adeola as a representative however, put in a good day’s work in the year 2020 for his senatorial district and over 12 million constituents to an extent some of his colleagues can only aspire to in good years.
- Kayode Odunaro
Media Adviser to Senator Adeola.