Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Central Business Districts (CBD), Hon. Agboola Dabiri on Monday expressed optimism that the Blue Line Rail Project expected to run from Okokomaiko to CMS on completion would go a long way to transform the Lagos Island CBD economically and otherwise.
Dabiri, who gave the assurance while highlighting the achievements of his Office at the ongoing Ministerial Press Briefing to herald the first year in office of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration, said the project will in no small measure add to the glamour and transformation going on in the Lagos Island CBD.
He said that the vision statement of the agency is to transform the CBDs into a 21st Century Business precinct comparable to other major cities in the developed countries of the world, adding that the agency in the last one year focused on reinforcing and improving on the delivery of its ministerial responsibilities and functions towards an impact driven achievements that are enormously beneficial to the people of Lagos.
Dabiri said the efforts being put in place by his office had started yielding positive results as the agency has been recognized and registered as a member of the International Downtown Association, based in Arizona United State of America, which promotes vital and habitable urban centers by providing support to business improvement districts and communities.
He said that the Government would continue to enforce compliance by traders, stakeholders who visit the CBDs to carry out transactions on a daily basis.
Besides, Dabiri said his office was making concerted efforts to restructure the CBD to attract corporate organizations which had relocated from the area due to security, traffic and environmental challenges, especially considering the fact that it is cheaper for them to rent, acquire and maintain office accommodations within the CBD compared to Victoria Island and Ikoyi.
He said over two million visitors’ troop into the Lagos Island CBD on a daily basis, adding that records from the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) showed that over 1000 tonnes of waste are generated from more than 93 markets in Lagos Island alone.
He however said that his Office, as a means of preventing the situation from affecting the environment negatively, entered into partnership with LAWMA to ensure constant clearing and evacuation of waste noticed within the CBD.
“Let me reaffirm to you that the work at CBD is very enormous, but due to the mandate and determination of the our Governor to provide a stress free and conducive business environment for the benefit of shoppers, traders and business owners through efficient and effective management of infrastructure and the environment, we have to adapt and deliver. More importantly, I salute the courage and dedication of my officers”.
Highlighting some of the strides of his agency in the past eleven months, Dabiri said they successfully coordinated effective and efficient traffic management and reduction of vehicular traffic on the CBD through the establishment of CBD Traffic Management Corps and also enhanced the aesthetics beauty of CBD roads and its surroundings through beautification of the business environment.
“Periodically, special operations are conducted in major blighted spots and flashpoints like Apongbon, CMS, Marina, Idumota, Carter Bridge and Broad Street to enforce traffic rules against illegal parking, driving against traffic and other sundry traffic violation,” he said.
He also said the agency has promoted behavioural change towards achieving sense of ownership and responsibility in all stakeholders as well as engaging in extensive public education towards restoration of orderliness and compliance to the rules guiding the establishment of the agency.