Jimi Agbaje and Ayodele Akele, governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the National Conscience Party, NCP, on Thursday picked holes in some of the policies of the Lagos State Government, particularly education and skills development, housing, water provision and youth employment.
They both spoke at a debate organised by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Community) for candidates vying for the office of governor of Lagos State.
Agbaje accused the Lagos State Government of paying lip service to education. He said the government spends 82 per cent of its budget on recurrent expenditure and measly 3 per cent on primary education. To him, the government “spends next to nothing on primary education.”
The 2007 governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Alliance, DPA, noted that only 1.5 per cent of the state budget is committed to vocational and technical education. The consequence of such, Agbaje stated, is churning out skills for ‘subsistent living’. “There is no way we will get the kind of skills we are looking for”, he said. What will be gotten, he said, will be mere “welders and vulcanizers” rather than skills needed for industrial purposes. On housing, Agbaje said the government’s admission that it has only built 5,000 houses from 1998 till date can be likened to one that “produces a shoe per day” whereas it should be involved in mass production. He noted that the state has not provided enough opportunities for people to realise their “professional, commercial and entrepreneurial aspirations”, promising to offer “bold ideas and new opportunities”.
On his part, Ayodele Akele, a unionist, noted that majority of those residing in Agege area of the state are down with Typhoid due to unclean water. Akele said “Lagos is surrounded by water, but the citizens have none to drink.” He also accused the government of haunting market women under the guise of enforcing environmental laws. Akele stated that he would proscribe environmental sanitation in the state, if elected governor. He said illegal towing of vehicles will be stopped, while at least 50,000 buses will be provided for people to ride free. Akele also said the government has created joblessness for the youth.
Other candidates at the debate were Akinwunmi Ambode, All Progressives Congress, APC; Pastor Biodun Popoola, Labour Party; Pastor Kayode Jacobs, Mega Party, and Lawal Omoshola, Independent Democrats.