By Baaroyin Kayode Odunaro
On June 11, 2019, the 9th Senate was inaugurated with the emergence of Senator Ahmad Lawan as President of the Senate. On June 11 this year, the Senate clocked 3 years with only about a year before the session expires. As it is, the remaining year of the four-year mandate will be spent mostly on electoral campaigns by candidates for various legislative and executive positions. It is therefore meet for a review of performances of legislators in the last three years. One senator with an enviable scorecard to show case effective representation as a legislator par excellence is Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West)
In the three years that had elapsed in the 9th Senate, Senator Adeola sponsored and successfully introduced 14 Bills. Three of the bills have been successfully passed by the 9th Senate, one has passed Second Reading for public hearing while 10 have undergone first reading or in the process of listing for first reading in the crowded legislative time table of the Senate.
The passed bills are “A Bill to Provide for the Establishment of Federal University of Technology, Yaba and other matters, 2020” (SB.85), “A Bill to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Ilaro (Est, etc), 2019” (SB. 84) and “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of Nigeria French Language Village as an Inter University Centre for French Studies and other matters Connected therewith, 2020” (SB.483), These passed bills as well as those in the remaining in process of passage dwells on educational, constitutional and institutional development as well as human rights issues in Nigeria.
There is expectation that the three passed bills will be enacted into laws with concurrence of the House of Representatives and assent by the President before the end of the 9th Senate. Equally the NDCC Amendment bill by Senator Adeola that has passed Second reading will be passed to rightly include Lagos as an oil producing state. The senator as the chairman of Senate Committee on Finance fully contributed and was instrumental to the passage of three critical and unprecedented Executive Bills namely, the Finance Acts 2019, 2020 and 2021. These laws form a major aspect of funding the three Appropriation Acts of 2020, 2021 and now 2022. From all indications the laws are regarded as revolutionary as well as reformist in nature as they positively reform some of the nation’s financial legislations as well as bring such legislations to modern global standard.
In the area of oversight, the senator has successfully moved 8 motions that resulted in Senate Resolutions for which actions are being taken. The motions include that on Ijegun Pipeline Explosion; the motion on Abule-Ado, Amuwo-Odofin Explosion, the motion on Frequent Fire/Explosions in Lagos West Senatorial District, the motion to Reduce the Disparities between Lending and Deposit rates charged by commercial banks and other financial institutions and a commiseration motion for Senate to honour late Senator Munir Muse and another for late Senator Osinowo Adebayo. The two-term ranking senator also co-sponsored no less than 30 other passed motions that resulted in Senate Resolutions.
When COVID-19 pandemic broke out necessitating a prolonged lockdown, Senator Adeola reached out to indigent and vulnerable constituents for sustenance. At the peak of the lockdown of the COVID-19, he donated N50million which was shared among individuals, groups and communities during the extended period of lockdown. This was an unprecedented and unforeseen aspect of his representative function as nobody planned for a pandemic and its debilitating and destructive effects during campaign for offices.
In spite of the disruptive pandemic with negative global socio-economic effects, the senator, using his wealth of legislative experience delivered many dividends of democracy for his constituents in some critical areas that will serve not only many people but will be useful for many years ahead.
In the area of provision of portable water, he facilitated 6 major water works in form of solar powered boreholes and water treatment plants in six (6) LGAs namely; Ikeja, Ifako-Ijaiye, Agege, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin and Alimosho in 2020. These self- sustaining water projects are located in population centres in the LGAs like markets and densely populated residential areas. He also personally constructed at least a normal borehole in each of the 28 LCDAs and similar number of public toilets spread across the senatorial district. Under the 2021 Budget he facilitated the construction of another 60 solarized boreholes across LGAs and LCDAs of Lagos West Senatorial District making a total of 94 of such water outlets.
Developing human resources in his district got serious attention from the senator as he facilitated the training of over 1000 of constituents in rural riverine communities of Lagos West in different aspects of Fish Production, Business, Feed Making and boat operation over a period of months. Each trained and certificated participant in a programme of “teach a man to fish” were equipped and giving grants to commence business. In addition, he facilitated the training of at least 8000 constituents in vocations such phone repairs, hair dressing, make up artistry, soap/detergent making and sanitizer making skills and entrepreneurship development with participants receiving start up equipment and cash grants. Market men and women are also included in the grants in his programme tagged “Okowo Yayi” meant to assist in shop rent payments and purchase of more stock to boost their trades. Similarly, he facilitated ICT Training for about 1000 unemployed graduates that were certificated internationally at the end of their training in Azure (Cloud Computing), Power BI (Data Analysis), Basic and Advance Excel (Data Analysis), Digital Marketing and Graphic Designs. Each of the participant got a modern laptop for their practice. Hopefully the training and certification will exit them from the unemployment market as these skills are in high demand in the ICT sector locally and internationally.
Similarly, with the realization that many teachers were not online/ICT compliant Senator Adeola facilitated a one-week training for teachers in the state where the rudiment of online teaching were taught to over 147 teachers with due certification. To complement this, he donated two (2) HP Computer laptops to the school authorities of 36 selected schools for the purpose of assisting in online teaching. Equally, he empowered 60 selected best students from secondary schools in Lagos West Senatorial District with computer laptops to encourage excellence.
For constituents desirous of establishment in the booming business of logistic and delivery, he gave out 185 motorcycles to constituents in each ward in the district in 2020. In 2021 he also empowered selected constituents with Block Molding Machines, Refrigerators, Sewing Machines, Grinding Machines, Hair Dryers, Clipper Sterilizers and Generators, Deep Freezers, Tricycles (Keke Napeps) and Vulcanizing Machines, a feat that was repeated at his 2022 edition of the empowerment programme, with the donation of all the above items and more like mini buses(Korope), ambulances, security vehicles and welding machines.
To address deficiencies in power supply the senator facilitated the procurement and installation of 28 units of 500 KVA Transformers which were distributed to communities across the 10 LGAs and LCDAs of the senatorial district. Similarly, he facilitated the provision of 180 poles solar panel street lights which were distributed to 20 major streets in Ojo, Badagry, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin, Ikeja, Alimosho, Mushin, Ifako Ijaiye, Oshodi-Isolo and Agege LGAs in 2020. In 2021, the distributed transformers were installed while he equally facilitated at least additional 800 poles solar panel street light spread across Lagos West Senatorial District.
On provision of educational infrastructure, the senator facilitated the supply of 750 prefabricated chairs and desks for 13 public nursery and primary schools spread across Lagos West at Ojo, Badagry, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin and Alimosho. Furthermore, he facilitated the construction and installation of a multi-million-naira Information, Communication and Technology(ICT) centres in two public secondary schools in the district namely Ikotun Senior High School, Ikotun and Muslim College, Egbe. This brings the number of such centres that he facilitated to six as four of such were done by him in the 8th Senate. He also facilitated the construction of state of art Public Library at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos State.
Still on educational front, Senator Adeola facilitated the construction of 10 Block of Classroom spread across the three Educational Districts of Lagos West. He distributed educational materials in form of 15,000 textbooks in Mathematics and English Language for selected schools across the senatorial district for JSS1-JSS3 as well as exercise books, modern writing boards, school bags and other learning aids.
Again in 2021, in complementing the effort of State and Local Government authorities in the provision of health care for the citizens, he facilitated the supply of fully 10 Ambulances to be distributed to 10 General Hospitals as well as 10 Child Incubators. Furthermore, 17 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) were renovated while three new ones were constructed across the senatorial district. All the PHCs and General Hospitals also received medical equipment and drugs worth over N20 million needed for effective operations over time.
To assist the state government in the provision of security, Senator Adeola facilitated the supply of 8 Hilux SUVs for the Nigeria Police Force with the donation of one each to the 7 Police Area Commands in Lagos West senatorial district and one to the State Police Headquarters.
As part of my alleviating suffering and inconveniences of constituents and others visiting or transiting through our district, the senator facilitated the construction and rehabilitation of 15 inner and rural roads, drainages and culverts with asphaltic finishing. Among them are: 1. Apata Street, Alfa Nla, 2. Ireakari/Fagbile Street, Off Kayode Street, Onipanu, Mushin LGA, 3. Alakija – Navy Town Road, Amuwo Odofin LGA, 4. Oritshe Street, Ikeja LGA, 5. Dotun Adewale Street, Off Dayo Olowo Alimosho LGA, 6. Oko Afa- Ilogbo Road, Olorunda, Badagry LGA, 7. Temidire Road, Mosalasi Bus Stop, Alagbado, Alimosho LGA, 8. Olowologbon Street, Akowonjo, Alimosho LGA, 9. Vespa Market Road, Ijanikin, Ojo 10. Ifelodun / Tanimola Street, Ilasamaja, Oshodi- Isolo LGA, 11. Muyibi Street Ajegunle, Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA, and, 12. Shodipo Street, Olusosun, Off Kudirat Abiola Road Behind Phillips, Ikeja among others.
To boost market infrastructure and commercial activities in the Badagary Division of the senatorial district, Senator Adeola facilitated the construction of 80 Lock up/open roof market stalls in Apa Town, in Badagary. This facility is already in use by constituents. The senator also facilitated employment in Federal Agencies to no less than 30 constituents, ensured that over 100 constituents benefitted from CBN loans to cushion effects of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses from sums ranging from N250,000 to N5million as well as ensured that thousands of constituents benefited from the Special Works Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity with a special payment of N60,000 per participants late last year.
There is no doubt that Senator Adeola is at the forefront of highly performing senators of the 9th Senate. Indeed, he has been ranked among the top 10 in terms of bills sponsorship and passage. He fared relatively well in the projects he was able to deliver for his constituents in the largest senatorial district in terms of population in Nigeria and one is sure that if this area is ranked as was done for bills sponsorship, he will equally fall among the topmost senators in the 109-member Red Chamber. From the projects attracted and executed through him and through his facilitation, there is no doubt he squarely falls within the top 10 in this aspect also and indeed has something to showcase as a top-performing senator.
Chief Kayode Odunaro