Nosiru Musa is a grassroots politician and current sole administrator of Lagos Island Local Government Area. In this interview with Omobolanle Kougbe, Musa highlights his relationship with Oba Riliwan Akiolu and his efforts at moving the council forward.
NB: What have you done in office since your appointment?
MUSA: The local council under my leadership has been peaceful and so much progress made. We have also initiated various projects, including catering to the elderly and aged. The first phase of the program for the aged was launched in August and has seen us catering to about 400 elderly ones by giving free medical care, food, clothing and stipends to them.
The second phase will be launched in December.
Also, we have plans to launch another program, themed “My Complete Student” soon. The program was begun by the former
chairman of Lagos Island Local Government, Wasiu Eshinlokun, now, deputy speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly.
This program, to be launched in October, is conceived to cater to primary and secondary school students by giving them school uniforms and educational materials such as bags, socks, uniforms, etc.
We also ensure that we keep up with the regular environment sanitation exercise.
Moreover, another program is the Widows Economic Empowerment Scheme, (WEES), held recently. It was a program initiated by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
NB: What are the measures you have so far taken to keep the environments clean?
MUSA: In this local government, we take monthly sanitation very seriously. We send out over 100 sanitation corps to various communities in Lagos Island to monitor the process during sanitation. We are also planning to launch a mass fumigation exercise on October 8. We are going to fumigate the markets and all houses so that we can prevent outbreak of communicable diseases and other type of diseases.
NB: What has your office done to help enforce the ban on street trading?
MUSA: Our environmental sanitation unit is working very hard on this. There is no area you won’t meet our sanitation officers and they are there to caution street traders not to trade or hawk on the streets and walkways. It is a directive from the Lagos State Government and we are duty bound to enforce it. Lagos Island being a large community, we have to work tirelessly to ensure these traders, most especially the market women, don’t leave their stalls to trade on the streets. There are over 100 sanitation officers who go round to enforce this law and so far it’s been effective because once they are out, the street traders run away.
NB: What are you doing to curb the menace of miscreants and street urchins Lagos Island is notorious for?
MUSA: Unlike previously, Lagos Island is peaceful and there aren’t much disturbances. The street urchins have also learnt to keep their problems to themselves without causing any noticeable disturbance to residents. As part of government’s efforts, we have provided parking spaces for public transporters and we have seen them keeping such places, including their bus stops clean. In addition, we hold talks and sensitize them on the need of keeping the peace of the community.
NB: Understandably, democracy is about mobilization and participation of people in their own affairs, what are you doing to give residents sense of belonging?
MUSA: Upon my appointment, I realised there were various associations and we have been working closely with them. An example is the market men and women associations, and others like the Community Development Association, CDA, and the Community Development Centres, CDC. We work with all these associations to ensure peace and progress across the ten wards that make up the council area.
NB: Aside fostering good relationship with the people, what are you doing to create the same harmony with the traditional institution, especially the paramount ruler of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu?
MUSA: He is my traditional ruler, he calls me from time to time, and I go there to seek advice from him. There is no programme that is held by council that he doesn’t participate in. He was present during the commissioning of the 114 roads and in any situation he is unable to attend, he sends a representative.