Features Write-Ups

EPE AND THE GREATER LAGOS TRAIN – Rasak Musbau

This is an exciting time for the indigenes and residents of Epe. The ancient town is having its share of inclusive development in the state, courtesy of a well thought-out developmental agenda.

The Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is not only taking steps towards the development of the Epe axis, but it is as well creating an enabling environment to foster a symbiotic relationship with the private sector players, especially the Dangote Group.

The approach of Governor Sanwo-Olu has been to rise above all the odds and give reality to the state’s Greater Lagos aspiration. As a government that seeks to make Lagos a 21st century economy, the administration is getting it right by expanding broadband access to every part of the state. It is making deliberate efforts to create more metropolitan centres to redistribute the state population and increase hub of economic activities.

Infrastructure service is one of the instruments being deployed to improve the citizenry’s welfare and address social equity. There is, to be sure, evidence of the government’s presence across all the Local Governments in the state.

Despite daunting challenges since the inception of the administration, the Sanwo-Olu led government is engaging in the massive provision of public infrastructure in roads, health, education, tourism, environment and security among others. 

Recently, the Greater Lagos train berthed in Lagos Island, heralding the commencement of the Lagos Island Area North Action Plan aimed at regenerating that axis of the state.

 It is laudable that the residents of Epe division are having their turn to jubilate. In particular, two strategic projects aimed at saving lives and securing property recently launched have reinforced Governor Sanwo-Olu’s philosophy of inclusive governance, which is anchored on bringing development to every part of the state.

The commissioning of the fully equipped 110-bed Maternal and Child Centre (MCC) and the inauguration of the Emergency and Security Regional Dispatch Centre for a swift response to emergencies and the effective management of disasters is the news making wave in Epe at the moment. The four-storey Epe MCC makes it the fourth to be delivered in two years by the Sanwo-Olu administration. Others are located in Eti-Osa, Alimosho and Badagry.

Opening the maternity hospital, Sanwo-Olu said the overarching goal of his administration’s investment in the provision of healthcare infrastructure was to eradicate infant and child mortality in Lagos by creating quality care for pregnant women.

The Governor said the Epe MCC would not be the last, stressing that his Government had an objective to build more maternal child centres across the state, thereby improving access to quality care for expectant mothers in pre- and post-natal management.

Health is a major pillar of the administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, which focuses on improving quality and access. The Epe MCC, which is a secondary public health facility, will provide services related to reproductive issues, including obstetrics, gynecology, Paediatrics, family planning, immunisation, laboratory services and radiology.

The Chairman of Epe LGA, Hon. Adedoyin Adesanya, who hailed Sanwo-Olu for the projects, properly captured one of the benefits of the project when he said, pregnant women seeking comprehensive care would no longer go to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the Lagos Island General Hospital.

Also inaugurated is the Emergency and Security Regional Dispatch Centre for a swift response to emergencies and the effective management of disasters. The emergency infrastructure will raise the capability of the government in responding to emergencies in the eastern part of the state.

The emergencies hub will serve as a one-stop facility for agencies such as the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services Agency (LSFS), Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC), Lagos State Ambulance Services, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (TASKFORCE) Unit and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS).

The facility also houses two Magistrate Courts built by the Ministry of Justice to strengthen the administration of justice in the division. The commissioning of the Regional Emergency and Security Dispatch Centre reinforces the commitment of Governor Sanwo-Olu to the provision of effortless and efficient safety, security and emergency management approach in Lagos.

While enunciating the birth of the facility, Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that, “as a proactive Government, we will continue to invest in human and capital resources that guarantee the safety and security of all residents”.

He urged all officers and staff deployed to the centre to work in harmony, stressing that they are bound by the same goals and mission.

The Emergency and Security Regional Dispatch Centre at Oke-Osho in Epe was strategically positioned in Epe to properly prepare for future emergencies/disasters that may occur in the near or distant future when the many mega businesses in the region become fully operational. 

It is, however, important to stress that the people of Epe and its environs have a role to play in ensuring that the facility functions optimally. It is essential for them to support the first responders in the facility by providing prompt information on emergency situations for effective and timely response. The emergency numbers 112 and 767 are always available (24/7) for the public to report emergencies.

Currently, the first phase of the 18.75km Lekki-Epe Expressway project is progressing impressively, stretching from Eleko Junction all the way to Epe T-junction. The high priority road, which was first opened up by the Lateef Jakande administration, is a 6-lane rigid-pavement road that will connect the second phase, which is 26.7km. It begins from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout and ends at the Eleko Junction.  

Judging from the ongoing, completed and inaugurated projects in Epe, another satellite town is already here. Also to benefit from all these initiatives are tourism sites  such as the Old Alara’s Palace founded in the 14th Century, the Igunnuko Shrine in Epe, the Canon Guns used by the colonial masters and the Elegushi Beach among others.

At the end of the day, the bottom line is what the residents would do to make democratic dividends stick, while the government is recreating the town with all the appurtenances of urbanization and development.

Musbau is of the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.

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