A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, and an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, on January 23, took part in a debate organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
During the debates, the candidates did their best answering questions about economy, housing, security and corruption in Lagos state.
To sustain treasury of the Lagos economy:
The PDP candidate offers: - to look at new areas. Agbaje wants to tap the potential of the ocean economy, as Lagos is surrounded by water. He wants Ikorodu to become a national fish processing hob. He hopes to develop boat industry and start a logistic base there.
- to bring private investors in infrastructure development, housing and transportation;
- to reduce the cost of doing business;
- to find new sources of collecting revenue;
- to expand the tax net.
The APC candidate offers: - to double the GDP of Lagos by improving the economy of pharmaceutical sector. By GDP he means the combination of goods and services. According to Ambode, the GDP of Lagos was 1,9 billion dollars in 2013, and only 10% of it is in pharmaceutical.
- to create more lower level jobs for people who further will be able to pay taxes to the government;
- to integrate tourism, hospitality and sports for excellence.
To improve security issue:
The PDP candidate suggests: - to continue working with Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) as it is moving in the right direction;
- to make sure security agencies are doing their work properly.
The APC candidate suggests: - to use technologies to fight crime and terrorists;
- to provide additional SSTVs;
- to return governance back to the communities for monitoring situation.
To improve accessibility of doing business in Apapa, a major port city of Lagos:
The PDP candidate offers: - to put the real system back as there is a national reform going on. According to him, to make Apapa more conductive, all must be done to work with the Federal Government.
- to extent the real system to Tin Can port as most of the goods came there.
The APC candidate offers: - to reconstruct roads in Apapa and nearby areas as roads there are in very poor condition and it’s difficult to reach this area.
- to construct additional seaports in Badagry and Lekki to ease challenge of this problem;
- to create additional infrastructure as an alternative to allow business to expand in that area itself.
Plans regarding the Eko Atlantic City project, a large real estate development project:
The PDP candidate suggests creating more Eko Atlantic City projects in Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe to ease pressure on that part of Lagos. According to Agbaje, Lagos metropolis should be decongested by expanding its frontiers.
The APC candidate disagreed with Agbaje, saying that relocation of the Atlantic City project to another area won’t do any good for Lagos. He said “there is nothing criminal or disturbing of building new cities as Nigeria has 9,000 hectors that have been reclaimed.
To solve transport situation in Lagos:
The PDP candidate suggests: - to be more serious about the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) as “it was a very good idea but the implementation was faulty”.
- to control PPP (Public Private Partnership) system in a light rail as it appears to be not so open and transparent that leads to delays.
The APC candidate suggests to create greater management transport system – the combination of roads, rail, walkways and even tram system. Ambode said Nigeria is the “only country in which a light rail system is being financed by the government” instead of private sector.
To broadband power infrastructure:
The PDP candidate suggests: - to create free WiFi hot spots where young people could go and access Internet, especially outside Lagos metropolitan;
- allow private sector to provide electricity as the government has enough to do on its own, for example, to provide electricity for its own agencies.
The APC candidate suggests to create independent power project which will be able to light up every public utility, street and everything else.
To solve housing problem:
The PDP candidate suggests: - to reduce the cost of land;
- to reduce bureaucracy;
- to show the way of bringing up housing in a better way. According to Ambode, the housing situation will be much improved if industrial skill housing is encouraged by the government.
The APC candidate suggests: - to provide land as equity;
- to partner with private sector developers to provide houses in cheaper format;
- to expand years of mortgage repayment
- to find a technology that will help to reduce the cost of construction.
Some Twitter users responded to this governorship debate: