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‘We were scared when we assumed office’ – Hamzat

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The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, on Tuesday revealed how Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and himself were scared of the huge challenges and high expectations from the residents on assumption of office.

Hamzat made the remark during an online interactive session marking the one-year anniversary of Gov. Sanwo-Olu-led administration.

The session, tagged ‘Covinspiration’, was moderated by Mr Dayo Israel, the Special Representative to the United Nations, and British Council Global Change-maker.

Hamzat explained that upon the inauguration of the administration, the governor and his team were intimidated by the challenges of people’s expectations from them.

“Truthfully, I was scared.

“So, the emotion was not necessarily that of happiness, but I was scared as the expectations were high regarding what we needed to do to make sure that we do not disappoint.

“I knew that we had been tutored very well; we have been in government and understand the geography and policies of the government.

“We knew who to call within the civil service to various challenges, but also knew that we are living in a difficult time when leadership is faced with trust deficit. What do we need to do to reduce the trust deficit?

“We knew the extent of the work, but how quickly can we solve some of these problems for our people?

“So, it is a serious job, but we were praying, working and planning every day to make sure that we resolve some of these issues so that the people could see themselves that this is a government that actually has a plan,” he said.

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Hamzat said that the state’s challenges were giving Gov. Sanwo-Olu and himself “sleepless nights every time,” adding that the challenges “could be daunting”.

He revealed that the administration often called for advice, where necessary, from ex-governors like Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, amongst others.

“We don’t shy away from that. We call for advice; ask people even the private sector, on what to do on various challenges and how to prioritise.

“We don’t act like people who think they have a monopoly of wisdom, but we call on people to make sure that we have better understanding before we come out with any policy,” he said.

On the achievements of the government in one year, the deputy governor said that the government had left a footprint in transport, education, health, housing, energy sectors, among others.

According to him, the government has provided employment for a good number of youths and working hard to enhance the capacity of the private sector to provide employment through Small and Medium Enterprises.

On education, Hamzat said that the government had employed technology and trainings to improve teaching and learning process, aside the employment of more teachers into schools. (NAN)

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