I Want to Stop the Gridlock in Apapa within Four Months- Owolabi

My name is Adele Elijah Owolabi was born in 1973. I had my primary education and ??? primary school under Apapa  Local Government, went to Cardoso Primary school for two years before I got transferred to Awaru Islam College, Agege. I have First Degree in Geography ????? and Planning, Lagos State University, Masters Degrees in Public Administration from Lagos. I am also a member of Chartered Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria, CIPAN. My political experienced has spanned more than twenty years, I was actively involved in MKO Abiola’s election in 1993, Hope 93, then, I was in the Youth Wing-The Kakanfo Youth Wing. So I was in progressive party, AD, AC ACN, the we metamorphosed into APC.So in the last administration of Local government, I was the secretary to the local government between January 2012  to October 2014 and with the help of the Almighty God and support of my boss, then, Honorable Ayodeji Joseph, who believed so much in me, I was able to touch lives and during the campaign journey, the road  has been rough and touch , but I thank God for His grace, God that seated in Heaven favoured me. So why I am contesting. It is because I have passion to serve and I have 11 cardinal developmental programme. I call it YES-////  The Y there represents youths empowerment, one of the areas I have discovered is that our youths having gone to school, after finishing secondary school, after finishing higher education, there is no job opportunity. So when I get into office, I have drawn out plan to pay courtesy visit all the companies in Apapa, we have tank farms, we have NIMASA, we have port, we have some other corporate organizations that operate within Apapa metropolis. Our belief, our idea is that, this is your host community, employ one of our youths. If we have one hundred companies in Apapa and each one employs one youth, that means one hundred youths have been taken out of the street. So the youth restlessness will be arrested. Also, our ideology is that those that could not  complete their education, we have a programme for them. Computer training is there, those that want to learn fashion designer, they will also be engaged, those that want to involve in beads making, cosmetology and so on. That is the area of the youths. And in the area of environment, of recent time, Apapa has turned into an eyesore. We discovered that people that work at nights even in day times, recklessly drop their refuse anyhow, so what we are going to do, immediately we get to office, we are going to remove all the refuse within Apapa metropolis and also provide a modern and convenient refuse bin, that our own refuse officers, would be going round from 3 a.m. to offload all these refuse from the modern refuse disposal that we have. On the issue of environment again, we are going to desilt our drainage. We have primary drainage, we have secondary drainage, so we have to de-silt them so that we can free flow of water. Also, our roundabout in Apapa, we need to green it. Operation green Apapa, make Apapa green. People should be breathing in good oxygen. On the issue education, education is the best legacy that you can give a child. The template that the former chairman has put in place, is a very laudable template. He was able to build three-storey buildings of twelve classrooms at Arakan primary school, Methodist Nursery and  Primary school,Ijora-Oluye Nursery and Primary school. We are going to build on this legacy. During that period when I was still the SSG, I was the one that supervised the projects, so I have the template in place and in all the primary schools in Apapa, we are going to have what we call mini clinic. In case any of the pupil got injured, we would have trained the teachers on how to use the First Aids on the pupil, instead of taking them to general hospital or primary health center. On the issue of education again, by the grace of God I am going to eradicate blackboard. We are going to go into the use of whiteboard, whereby we make use of marker and also, all work no play, makes jack a dull boy, at break time, some of these children will like to pay, we are going to place some playing equipment in the school compound so that they can also have fun, they can relax their brain. On the issue of education, I have the intention, it is going to be once in every year, train the trainer. We need to retrain our teachers. We need them core for values, they need to be encouraged. We should be taking t them to some of the resorts centers, supposing our election had been done, I have a master plan that during this long third-term holiday, if it is fifty teachers that we can take in batches, we just take them on three days training, we will take them out of this vicinity, let them also experience another locality. That is on the issue of education. On the issue of security, security of lives and property is very germane. In Apapa the issue of armed robber, the Okada riders, some of the Okada riders, we are going to liaise with corporate organizations in Apapa. We are going to sit down together, rub minds together, that Apapa is a premier city of the nation, that security issues have to be taken serious. How are we going to do this? With the Army, with the Navy, with the Police,. with the paramilitary. We will sit down together, draw out  roadmap. Twenty-four hours there has to be security patrol, so that the people can sleep with their two eyes closed and they can have rest of mind. They will be rest assured that their properties are safe and their lives are safe. On the issue of sports, like I said, all works no play, makes Jack a dull boy. We will ensure that once in a year, we will have what we called Apapa sports festival. I am looking at bringing like ten sports together. Football, table tennis, ludo, drafts and other sports. Many athletes, within a week, form Monday to Saturday, we are going to come together, play together, rub minds together on the area of sports.  A life that exercises, that life is bound to live longer that someone that doesn’t exercise. Apart from the normal Apapa sports festival, we are also going to inculcate it in the primary school. We are going to have school sports festivals- different sports-athletes, javelin, and so on, so that we can have fun. And on the area of education, we are going to have quiz competition that the best three students are going to be encouraged. They are going to be given gifts, and among the three students, I have it  in minds, may be to take them to Ghana, to go and experience another nation. We will start it from there. We will also go into women empowerment. The Bible says what, two good heads is always better than one.  The idea behind this is that gone are those days that it is only the husband that should work,  and support the home. The Bible says that the wife supposed to be the helpmate. If the husband is the only one working, working, and the salary will not be enough for the family, when the wife needs money and asks the husband, the husband will say mama Ifeanyi don’t disturb me at all, I have headache, and the husband does not have headache, but because the pocket is empty. By the time the woman is empowered may be she is selling provision, selling recharged card and the husband brings in money, the wife also will bring money, they will combine the money conveniently, settle the bills of the house. On the area of health, health is wealth. A healthy human being is an asset to the nation. We have two primary health centers-one is functioning very well, but the demand is higher than supply. Oluwole health post is going to be demolished and we are going to build it to three -storey building within my one year and a half in office. We will build it and we will operate 24-hours a day. We are going to employ doctors and qualified nurses who will always be available to attend to health issues of our people in Apapa. We also have health centers in Ijora Oloye. A primary health centre. That one is functioning effectively well, but it cannot cope with the demand. It is a bungalow. We will demolish it. We will now make it two-story building so that it can take in more people with improved service delivery. On the health issue, I also have this plan to be taking mobile clinic, mobile hospital to the people. We have aged people that cannot come to the hospital. We have like five wards in Apapa. We will take like three from each wards and our doctors and nurse will attend to the ageing. On the issue of infrastructural development, you can see when you were coming in, the road is a federal government road, it is in a deplorable state, we thank God, the federal government in conjunction with private organization like flour mill, Dangote Plc., Nigerian Ports, they are attending to it. But the local government roads, we have intention of putting in place Apapa Road Maintenance Agency. What is the role of this agency. Their duty is, any small spot of hole on the road, they will quickly resurface it before it turns to a large one, that will now reduce vehicular movement time frame. Another thing we are going to look into is the issue of welfare of the citizens. Like stomach infrastructure is germane. There is a saying in Yoruba, okun inu ni eniyan fin gbe ti ita. So we are going develop a time frame, when welfare will be taken care of so that they can think well.  We will also plan well for the future. In agriculture, we need to also look around that Apapa is a modern city. We have two plots of land at the riverine area. The master plan that we have is that we are going to involve in fishing, fish-farming and poultry farming. The idea is that in the fish farming, we will engage our youths. We will also employ them, we will employ the mechanism that from the fingerlings to the maturity stage of five months and we have pepper soup joints within Apapa. Once in a while, I go to pepper soup joint to relax my body to relax my brain. So that instead of going to outside local government to be looking for catfish, it is accessible to them here, on the issue of catfish. For the poultry, we intend that our fowls, once they grow into maturity, they will be able to produce eggs everyday and we are going to have cooperative centers within the local government, where the people will come and buy fresh eggs.  On the area of transportation, thank God that when you were coming you had traffic challenges. I cannot provide permanent solution, but I have the template of the temporary solution, what is this temporary solution, we are going to ensure that all the tankers, all the trucks coming in to Apapa be maintained in one lane policy. They can stretch from Ijora to Ijora Wharf, they can stretch from here to Abati Barracks in Surulere, but they must be in one lane. How are we going to achieve this. We are going to have a stakeholders meeting with the Army, Navy, the police and we are  going to come out with force shift system every six hours. Morning, afternoon, evening and night. We have identified twelve strategic points where we are going to have three security or transport personnel at each strategic point per shift and they are going to man the place, by the time you see a security officer holding let say koboko,even the driver, to a  large extent will adjust himself. Our strategy has shown that, presently, the challenges we have is that those security personnel who stand there since morning by 7p.m.,they are already exhausted. Once they leave the road, before the following morning, you know some of these drivers, they will just block the road. But this one is 24/7 they will not leave the road. And the era you work here on earth, your reward is in heaven, is gone by. At the stakeholder we are going to raise fund for the people. There is going to be motivational allowance. Motivational allowance of N1,500 per every traffic personnel per day. So that the issue of corruption, collecting bribe will be minimal if not eradicated. And anyone of the driver who think you cannot talk to them, you will the boss, please so-so officer, help us take this person out of the road. This is our idea and I believe that it is achievable with the help of God and the corporation of people in Apapa. How these will be achieved will be buttressed upon available revenue. We are going to double our strength on the issue of revenue drive. Those that don’t want to pay, when they see our service delivery, they will be encouraged and they will have that passion to pay the revenue.

On your plan to tackle the issue of traffic in Apapa,what if your efforts with the stakeholders proves abortive what will you do?

No, like even even the chairman of tanker drivers association, Mr. Kodoro will be among the stakeholders committee. We will disagree to agree that are you happy with the manpower that is being lost on the road. Journey of thirty minutes takes some people five, six hours, I believe a logical, reasonable mind will concur. Everybody-both senior mind, citizen, low cadre .I am talking about a stakeholder of one and different companies, government, the military, we will draw out a roadmap. By the time I present in the projector, everybody will bring in their own ideas and we will rub minds together. Two good heads is always better than one. Once the union members are there they will go back and enlighten their members. That at the stakeholders meeting of the transports committee meeting, this is the template. By the time they adopt that one-lane policy, it will even help them. Once the company??? between five minutes, they will just call, also our traffic personnel will confirm that they are ready for him, not that he will stay on the road. They are ready for him. Let’s say this compound is the tank farm, it can contain five trucks at a go, once they finish, once the last one is loading, call another four. So I am believing God within four month in office, this traffic situation will be a thing will be thing of the past.

Any measure in case some of them flout this law?

Definitely, even myself I am not above the law. So we are going to tell them that anyone who misbehaves should be arrested and face the wrath of the law. You just give them the chance, may be detain them not necessarily cell, let him or her sleep overnight there so that he can realize that he is not above the law, that he should not be lawless on the road. If it happens again, he will be taken to court.

I want to ask about agriculture, is there a place where you can ???????????

Like I said we have ??? village. It is across the water. I was there two days ago, it is across the water. Apapa local government has two plots of land there. That is why we just want to start with fish farming and poultry farming. That is where we want to limit. The last administration in which I am the secretary to the local government, that was when we bought the land.

Given the way economic of the country is right now, how do you intend to achieve all these lofty ideas?

I have said it. When the people see our service delivery, they will be encouraged pay their taxes. Like what is happening right now. Believe or not ,some companies are  leaving Apapa,those that are in Apapa are not making the profits they are supposed to make. I will let them understand, it is either your customers do not come into Apapa or you pay your tax and levies so that we can use it to address our problems. Like I said those that will be on the road, they are  going to collect allowance on the daily basis in order to minimize bribery. When the driver knows that this traffic officer is not someone I can play with , he would adjust. Also, we are going to double our efforts on our revenue drive, like some of the staff that will be going out for this revenue, apart from their salary let us also give them motivational allowance. They go there, appeal to the people, so we  need to motivate them, so that they will not  compromise the standard of revenue generation.

Is there any sanction for the company whose driver flout any the traffic law. May be like sanction, shutting down their firm, or suspension. Do you intend to go to that direction.

We have our own capacity as a local government. We don’t have any right to shut down companies.
But any truck that defaults, we can apprehend, we can tow it to our compound and deflate the tires until they pay necessary fine. Just imagine a truck or a tanker that is being delayed for one week. Within that one week, that tanker would have made like N300,000. By the time, the money they supposed to make they are  not making and they are paying fines again. I have always advocated that may be once or twice in a year to lecture the drivers on the safety of the roads. That it belongs to everybody, that I am  driving truck or tanker does not mean that I should not consider my fellow human beings.

How much did you say  will be paid those transport officers?

N1,500 per day

Your final word to the resident concerning tomorrow elections sir.

I just want to appeal to them that they should come out en mass and vote  All Progressive Congress. Egbe Onigbale.It is the party that will take the nation to the promised land regardless of the economic situation that we are passing through. It is not the cause of APC . It is what they met, when they got  into office. The purse of the nation had been empty. The president and the acting president right now are trying and with the help of God and the commitment on the part of the citizenry, I know that we will get to the promised land