The new face of Lagos and legislative watch

Lagos is working especially in the present democratic dispensation where the current leadership of the state assembly have complemented the executive arm to deliver dividends of democracy. TEMITOPE MUSOWO reports.

The popular saying of an average Lagos state lawmaker who believes he lacks executive power or budgetary allocation is that his job is simply to make laws, represent the constituents and do oversight functions; therefore cannot be blamed for infrastructural deficit anywhere.

However tenable this position may sound, it does not resonate with speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa to justify ineptitude or non-performance.

Obasa, who arguably may not be the most eloquent or most intellectually of the 40 lawmakers, has hitherto proved his critics wrong especially those who had reservations about his ability to handle the exalted office.

For Obasa, his experience as the longest-serving lawmaker and a second term speaker has not only shown in his legislative dexterity, but also in infrastructural development that has been brought to bear under his watch.

The giant strides in infrastructural development

Anyone familiar with the state of things in Lagos Assembly before the assumption of the current executives in office and Obasa as speaker may be right to conclude that there was nothing else to do as everything seemed in order. This is more so after the immediate past leadership of the House led by Rt Hon Adeyemi Ikuforji constructed the new assembly complex.
Until Obasa came, it could be recalled that the Sergeant at Arms used to be two or three in number; the speaker recruited more people and turned that arm to a security outfit with different beautiful attires, creating more jobs, at the same time, bringing decorum to the assembly complex.

The seats in the hallowed chamber were though not in bad shape, but Obasa with a touch of excellence gave them a facelift. Also, the assembly which used to be totally dark at night is now a beauty to behold. This is aside the old buildings currently undergoing reconstruction including the historic Alhaji Lateef Jakande Hall whose reconstruction and renovation are near completion.

To him, the security men are as important as other staff members, hence, the reconstruction of a befitting security post at the gate. Even the drivers are not left out as their own befitting office is near completion also.
In a nutshell, Obasa aside from different digital innovations has turned the Lagos assembly into a construction site.


However, his critics have alleged that he has no choice but to do what he is doing currently because he is being monitored.
According to one of the critics who wants to be anonymous, “What choice does he has? He is being closely monitored. Every kobo that is being spent in this assembly is now being monitored, that is why if they give you ten kobo at the accounting department, you would give a proof of payment.

“He also wants to give us the impression that apart from lawmaking, he can do the job of project implementation which is mostly the job of the executive arm.”

Akande carpets Obasa’s critics

Reacting to Obasa’s critics, one of the lawmakers, Hon Victor Olusegun Akande who represent Ojo Constituency I said, “Whoever is saying that does not know what he is saying. All that you are seeing are products of effective planning. We sit down together at our parliamentary meetings and plan what we want to do. Then, we cost it and put it in the next budget. What you are witnessing is the implementation.

“When we travelled to Westminster in a joint meetings with parliamentarians in other countries, we saw how beautiful their parliamentary buildings and environment are; so we brought home those innovations.
“All these beautiful things you are seeing around, the relaxation centre, the small football pitch, the old buildings under construction and the rest, are initiatives of our intelligent speaker, supported by other members who brought home innovations we see elsewhere.

“Look at the Alhaji Lateef Jakande Legislative Building, for instance, this is a historical building that cannot be pulled down, that is why we are transforming it into a gallery where we would keep legislative artifacts so that when students and others come around, we can take them around for learning,” Akande said.

Obasa is also doing well in his primary assignments Interestingly, as constructions are going on within the assembly environment, massive infrastructure development also going on in his Agege constituency. Although the Agege overhead bridge and some other projects were constructed by the state government, they were all influenced by the speaker.

So many bills have been passed to Obasa’s credit, some of which include Local Government Administration (Amendment) Law 2016 which has changed local government admiration in Lagos to the envy of other states, Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law, 2016, Kidnapping Prohibition Law, 2017, Lagos State Cancer Research Institute Law, 2017, Yoruba Language Promotion and Preservation Law, 2017, Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Law 2018, Lagos State Amotekun Bill, 2020, Lagos State House of Assembly Legislative Service Commission (Amendment) law 2021 and Lagos State legislative Research Institute Bill, 2020.