Ambode cancels Christmas decoration contracts, expands New Year countdown


Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has cancelled all street decoration contracts ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, has learned.

Multiple sources in Alausa told this newspaper that the governor has instead directed that relevant departments and agencies ensure the illumination of all major roads and adjourning boundaries in the state before the end of the year.

“The Lagos State Government has said is shall not be awarding any contract for the decoration of streets in Lagos for Christmas,” said a source close to one of the companies contracted for the project during the Babatunde Fashola administration.

“Besides, many of the decorations were done by corporate organisations and they have indicated interest to do the same this year at no cost to the government,” added.

An official in the Lagos State Public Works Corporation who spoke on condition of anonymity added: “The Light-up Lagos project will ensure Lagos streets are illuminated not just for Christmas but thereafter. Work has already started with Ikorodu to Lagos and Berger to Lagos.

“Government will illuminate all major roads in the states and adjourning boundaries in Ogun States, including federal and state roads.

“The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Public Works Corporation and Lagos State Electricity Board are working round the clock with reputable contractors to deliver a good job by the end of the year.”

Our correspondent also learned that the annual Lagos Countdown has been transferred from the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) to the Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture.

The one-day countdown, which, along with street decorations, reportedly cost the state about N1billion last year, has also been expanded from a single location – Bar Beach – to hold simultaneously in the five administrative divisions of the state.

Lagosians will thus gather in Ikeja, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and the Lagos Island for the annual countdown which will be broadcast live across the globe.

When contacted, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, confirmed that the government is giving priority to the electrification of the state while promising that “the programme for the New Year countdown will be announced soon.”

Asked if the state is spending more on the celebration than it did last year, he replied “no”.