By our Correspondent.
Mr Jimi Agbaje, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State on Wednesday said that his administration would focus on education, transport and healthcare if elected.
He said in an online conversation with some Lagosians that those three areas were very vital in every mega city.
Agbaje said that he would make the healthcare sector more vibrant with the introduction of a reliable and efficient health insurance scheme.
According to him, the state government will ensure that funds set aside for the health sector is spent differently.
“It is time to look at a health system that is sustainable, which makes the people have universal access to good quality healthcare. We want to use the health insurance module. We use that in our various offices and it works for us.
“The government writes the cheque and becomes the regulator. We intend to start that and take it seriously.
“To start at the primary healthcare level, where it will take care of everyday malaria, coughs and cold, high blood pressure, diabetes and others,” he said.
On funding thr education, the PDP candidate said he would increase funding for education.
“We will encourage parents to see the benefits of their children going to school. We will show them the opportunities for their children. When you have done that, it becomes an irresponsible parent to deprive the children the opportunity of going to school.
“We will rejig the budget in a way that it will take care of vocational skills, international certification for the skills.
According to him, the budget of the state, at the moment, sets aside a very little amount for education and training of teachers.
“The state government today is spending about 82 per cent of its budget on recurrent expenditure and leaving 18 per cent for capital expenditure which is part of its education budget.
“What that means is that it provides very little to develop education. We are saying we have to change that model.”
He said that the government would open a job portal to prepare graduates to be able to work.
“The objective of the portal is to help put the graduates in proper shape,” he said.
On the need to expoundnthe transport system, Agbaje said his administration would enlarged by ensuring that the rail system becomes active and accessible to many Lagosians.
According to him, workers in the state spend many hours in traffic on a daily basis.
”This has reduced the amount of time they have for other activities that could further grow the economy.
”You can’t have a mega city that does not have a rail system. We will look at our water transportation system.
”We have a vision to get five of those rail lines working.
”If you have a line that moves from Ikorodu to Lagos you can stay in Ikorodu and you can get to work early.
”We must make Lagos that kind of a global mega city. We must provide housing for the young ones, the first time home owners,” Mr Agbaje promised.
The current government had provided a bus system, the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT), to reduce the amount of time workers spend on the road, but the traffic situation in the state had not reduced.
Mr Agbaje commended the concept of the BRT, but stressed that the implementation had not been the best.
”It is not working at the moment for so many reason but we have to make it work,” he said.
On what his administration would do to encourage small business owners, the PDP governorship candidate said, though the government would not provide funds, it would liaise with those that would provide capital to give a back-up to the small business owners.
”The government will provide out of its budget a certain amount to cater for entrepreneurs.
”Five per cent of the procurement budget must be set aside for young graduates. It will gives them employment, experience and improve their skills of entrepreneurship,” Agbaje said.
He said that his administration would ensure that Lagosians are well educated, healthy and skilled people living in a safe environment.
”We are asking for change because we believe that Lagos must change in leadership quality that was expected. We believe in human capital development.
”Lagos cannot continue to move at the pace it is going. Lagos has received about N4.1 trillion in the last 16 years and we must give better value for the kind of money that comes into Lagos,” he stressed.