Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo- Olu, has pleaded with President Muhammmadu Buhari to intervene in the rebuilding of the state following the destruction it witnessed during the #EndSARS protests in the state last year.
The governor, who spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, also lamented the high rate of COVID-19 infection in Lagos. On what he discussed with the president, Sanwo- Olu said: “We have had some infrastructural issues.
We have not been able to bring up all of our police stations that were unfortunately destroyed in October last year, so, it is one of the things that I brought up. “We are trying to see how we can very quickly make available all of the requirements of the Lagos State Police Command so that they can be a lot more responsible to their responsibilities.” The governor described the task of rebuilding Lagos as work in progress, stressing that it takes one day to destroy but several years to rebuild.
“It’s a journey, not a destination. And so, it’s going to take a while. We are carefully taking a proper study to know what we need to do, taking our time to get it right, but we’ve started something,” he added. According to him, businesses looted and destroyed by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protests have begun to directly receive support from the state’s Employment Trust Fund.
“They have started intervening and supporting some of these small businesses, giving them grants, giving them soft loans and making sure that they can come back together very quickly,” he added. He said other infrastructure like transportation destroyed would require longer period to rebuild, saying government would rely on both private and public sector’s assistance. Asked how bad the second wave of the pandemic is ravaging Lagos, he said: “It’s actually a very serious case.
We are in the second wave and incidentally, the second wave seems to be a bit more infectious than the first one. I mean the rate of infection and the number of people that we have seen. We still remain the epicentre, so, what we’ve done is we never stopped building capacity.”
Sanwo-Olu said his government was concentrating on communicating with the grassroots for them to know how lethal the disease could be and the need to take responsibility. The governor lamented the fatality rate across the country, just as he disclosed that his government has started building what he called oxygen tent, oxygen facilities.
“We are building about 10 of such facilities. We’ve commissioned about four or five of them and we are also building proper oxygen plants, additional to oxygen plants in the state so that we can meet the respiratory requirements. “We are also doing a lot more testing in Lagos than we were doing five to six months ago: we are doing almost 3,000/2,500 tests everyday. So, we are watching the rate of positivity that we have, which is also high. It has moved from the usual 10 to 12 per cent and we are now seeing positivity rate of about 25 and sometimes 30 per cent. That is actually very disturbing.”