Olusegun Onilude is the chairman of Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this interview, Onilude laments the deplorable state of the Badagry Expressway saying it is negatively affecting the economy and development of the area. Excerpts:
When you talk about the infrastructural deficit, for the past three years, what have you done to address some of the deficit?
When we came in, we looked at the area of promoting the economy of our people who are mostly petty traders, so we decided to create a conducive environment for them to do their buying and selling. We partnered with developers who went to the markets and transformed them. When you have a good market, it attracts customers, we have done our bit at Agbalata market in Badagry.
Also, we demolished and built the Ikoga market which was an ancient market. A new market at Ajara is also undergoing a face-lift. When the market becomes better, it brings in a lot of people both indigenes and non-indigenes and when their economy improves, it will automatically rub off on the society and the government.
The Badagry roundabout, which used to be a hideout for hoodlums, has been transformed. In the primary health centres, we also ensured those that weren’t functioning because of their structures, start to function. We renovated some of them. We did Ajara flagship, we went to Topoijale, the structure there was bad so we pulled it down completely and built a new one.
On education, we identified some schools that had acute dilapidated buildings, like in Kikawest LA Primary School, we built a block of six classrooms. We did a similar thing at LA Primary School at Iyaafin. Education is not only about structure alone, we made it a priority, we identified indigent students who come to school tattered and made uniforms for them.
We organised debates for them, we encouraged them in the spelling bee program and we give them exercise books. We replaced the old black chalkboard with flannel boards in all primary schools in Badagry.
How has the state of the Badagry Expressway affected the development of the local government?