The Rockefeller Foundation, in 2013 pioneered the 100 Resilient Cities programme to help more cities build resilience to physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.
Lagos State was selected to join the train of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) in May 2016.
Lagos State, most oftentimes seem to be in the forefront of things like a sprinter running the marathon. The state swung into action by setting up a Lagos State Resilience Office (LASRO).
The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was at some point quoted to have said “With the delivery of the Resilience Strategy, the task of implementation is now at hand and it is the responsibility of all. The implementation of the Lagos Resilience Strategy will enable us build a Greater Lagos: a Lagos that is safe, sustainable and inclusive; a Lagos which anticipates and plans for different shocks and stresses; a Lagos which survives, adapts and grows in spite of any challenges it might experience”.
The Head of Service, Lagos State, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, also corroborated this by stating that, “………..the time has therefore come for the public service to retool and reboot for the future. New technologies and the pace of emerging realities, including the change in public perceptions and taste, essentially demands new proactive initiatives and innovative approaches to problem solving, policy development, administration and governance.
”These voices (I stand to be corrected), exude proactive traits.
I want to believe these voices lent credibility to the Resilience Office being saddled with the responsibility of improving the resilience of the state, a task the office set out to accomplish in phases.The phases came, were done with and reports were turned in.
The strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the state were evaluated.A framework for protecting Lagos against the identified shocks and stresses both now and in the future was laid out.
The Top shocks identified include:
*Disease outbreak, *Economic downturn, *Flooding, *Building collapse, *Riots and Civil unrest amongst others.
The Top Stresses identified include:
*Inadequate Health system, *Inadequate Public transport, *Inadequate Physical and Social Infrastructure, *Over Population/Over Crowding, * Traffic congestion, *Erratic power supply, amongst others.
I was actually present at the well organized launch of the Lagos Resilience Strategy on 4th February, 2020 at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium Alausa, Ikeja.This was a step in the right direction, but where in the future would these steps take Lagos State in the bid to be more Resilient?
The Advent of Covid-19 has been a pointer to the fact that, we should not just be a people who write documents or formulate strategies for the Libraries or for table tops.
This has been the trend from government to government. Should this continue? The answer is a huge NO!
Covid-19 has been an eye opener, it has given us insights into our inadequate health care system, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, inadequate public transportation, our inability to cope with traffic congestion and all the other stresses.
In my view, the time is NOW, This should be the Commitment phase, The Action phase.
What would Lagos State be doing Post Covid19?
These strategies are fantastic on paper but would be ingenious if adequately implemented.
They would however, be worthless if left untended.