Sanwo-Olu and the Pursuit of a Social Market Economy (1)

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By abiodun KOMOLAFE


My discussion about the performance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu must be put in the context that I met him at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Okepopo, Lagos; and that was in 2003, under the vicarship of the then Reverend Canon ‘Segun Ajayi. Meeting him, I remember Sanwo-Olu as a man with a good dose of human empathy. By the time I became a member of the Christian Progressive Association (CPA) of the Church later that year, he had already completed his tenure as its President. But I can confess that this man of many parts has a human touch, one who has a heart to give.



Sanwo-Olu is one purposeful, very accommodating and goals-delivered progressive thinker who, with ceaseless elegance and captivating conscience, understands that it’d only take a few minutes for bad leadership to destroy what a good leader has built with his sweat and blood. So, one is not surprised that this young energy has been a member of a progressive party, for he has been on ground. Since perfection doesn’t hide itself, that the once-little bird is now the eagle soaring so high does not come as a surprise.


Babajide Sanwo-Olu has done well as Governor of Lagos State. He has done a commendable job in bringing Lagos State to where it is at the moment. But, since he can’t do another term, he should look in the direction of building legacy trust. Now that the election is effectively over, one expects him to sit down, work and reciprocate the gesture of Lagosians as reflected in his re-election on March 18, 2023. Thankfully, the governor still has time on his side. He also has justice on his side; only that he needs more political will. Yes, it’s just three years and a few months to go. But then, this period is more than enough to carry out certain impactful revolutions in the state.


Talking specifics, successive governments in the state have concentrated too much on economic capital. As a progressive and social democrat, now is the time for Sanwo-Olu to focus on the more enduring social capital. After all, the All Progressives Congress (APC) promised in its manifesto to build a social market economy like Germany and the Scandinavian countries, which is good! Although there are competing demands, given the revenue base of Lagos State, Sanwo-Olu should focus more on the social status of inner cities while also upgrading the standard of public schools, Housing, Education and the Health Sectors.


In times like this, Nigerians remember how the Lagos Executive Development Board (LEDB) played a pivotal role in the creation of a new Lagos. Though it terminated with the consolidation of Lagos, its spirit of the development of both economic and social capital and the creation of a middle class should be sustained. In doing this, it’s important to state that great city states such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai have used the LEDB/Social Market Policy of Inclusiveness as the pathway to inclusiveness and sustainable development.


During the tenure of former Governor Babatunde Fasola in Lagos, there was a law criminalizing land-grabbing and allied disturbances by hoodlums, frighteningly known as ‘Omo Onile’. Not long after its passage, Ogun State Government followed suit by promulgating a similar law. This led to the menace of thuggery and land-grabbing almost disappearing from the scene. It is sad to note that they’re back, this time, with fetid tenacity. So, Sanwo-Olu must revisit this issue by vitalizing, even re-engineering extant laws so as to leave a better legacy in the state.


With the elections effectively behind us, is Lagos still a ‘no man’s land’?


….to be continued.


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