Lagos State has mulled over the idea of establishing an airline for passenger operations just as the state prepares to begin construction of its own airport in Lekki.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu unveiled the plan on Thursday at the Lagos West Senatorial District People’s Town Council meeting, where he took the helm and presented a catalog of achievements recorded by his administration in the district.
A statement by the state government on Thursday noted that a former permanent secretary and retired auditor general of the local government in Lagos, Muhammed Hassan, noted that the state was ripe for owning an airline.
In his response, Sanwo-Olu noted that the plan had been in the pipeline for months and that the State was already finalizing the financing model for the project. What is being considered, the governor said, is the approval of the federal government and the operational contingency for the airline.
This drew praise from citizens, who attended the town hall meeting held at the Balmoral Convention Center on Sheraton Link Road, Ikeja.
At the meeting, Sanwo-Olu and the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, took to the stage to receive comments from citizens, who asked questions on the governance of the state.
The governor said public input was needed to guide his government’s decision on planned programs and interventions before their implementation.
Listing the projects and interventions undertaken in Lagos West, Mr. Sanwo-Olu noted that his administration had completed and opened 42 new road projects and two flyovers in the district, with a combined length of infrastructure spanning over 72 kilometres.
He said that in the last four and a half years Lagos had taken a leap forward in its socio-economic and development trajectory. He said he was determined to double down on his efforts to keep the state on a path of sustainable growth as his second term progresses.
He said: “For the past five months, the Deputy Governor and I have been working to draw up a concise plan for the establishment of an airline, but we did not make it public due to the need to obtain adequate knowledge about the operating conditions. Airline procedures. The business plan is viable and there are no financing problems. The conversation has reached an advanced stage, but we need to obtain adequate information on operations before moving forward with implementing the plan.
“In Lagos West Senatorial District, infrastructure development has been our priority since we arrived. In the last four years, we have completed more than 70 kilometers of new roads and more than two kilometers of bridges. These include Pen-Cinema Bridge, Ikeja Flyover and over 42 roads we have completed in Alimosho, Ifako, Agege, Ikeja, Mushin, Amuwo Odofin and Badagry. “We also have over 30 ongoing highway projects that are in various stages of completion within this district.”
Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians that his administration would accelerate the pace of its development progress, and pledged to double efforts to achieve double the number of projects and programs achieved in his first term.
The governor said the senatorial district was also the main beneficiary of his administration’s intra-city rail development projects, with Lagos West hosting major passenger hubs for the Blue Line and Red Line trains.
He said the new general hospital being built by his administration in Ojo is at an advanced stage of development and its completion will further improve access to healthcare in the district.
To further enhance security in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu revealed that his administration would release additional patrol vehicles and duty devices to increase surveillance and the capacity of security agencies to respond to emerging threats.
He urged citizens to respect the law and support the measures introduced by the government to maintain law and order. The governor said it would not be enough to enforce obedience to the laws, adding that the government would ensure that the laws are fair and equitable for all.
He said: “Today we are in talks with you, the citizens, because we believe that the government does not know everything. The feedback and input we get from here will help us better meet your needs and well-being. For our part, we will do our best to make it easier for you to comply with the law. It is not enough to say that laws must be obeyed; We must also ensure that they are clear, fair and equitable.
“When people break the law and don’t do the right thing, it makes it very difficult for us to govern. We must fulfill our civic responsibility and fulfill our obligations as citizens. When we do this, it reduces the cost of governance and saves resources that will allow us to do much more. While we appreciate your suggestions, we also encourage you to ensure that all citizens do the right thing at all times.”