At the inception of this administration, we made a promise to Lagosians to execute only programmes and projects that will be to the benefit of all our people. As a government, we based our policy thrust on a tripod of Security, Infrastructure and Job Creation.
We identified some areas for special attention in our bid to accelerate growth and development. One of the areas we have identified which holds a lot of potential and opportunities for high growth and employment is Tourism. It is an area in which a little investment in infrastructure will generate a lot of economic activity leading to job creation.
In pursuit of this, we have embarked on projects to regenerate, redesign and reactivate special cultural and tourist infrastructure in the State and convert them to centres of recreation, tourism and entertainment. One of such edifices is the J.K Randle Centre which was originally built in 1928.
The original J. K. Randle Centre was conceptualized and built by friends of late J. K. Randle who passed away at a relatively young age. The property was managed by the J. K. Randle Memorial Fund which was set up in his memory by the original trustees who have since passed on.
In recent times, the centre has become redundant serving uses other than those for which it was built before falling to great neglect and disrepair. As a result, the Lagos State Government decided to redevelop the Centre and we are here for the ground-breaking ceremony of the new J. K. Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History. In the past, the Centre provided recreational services to the Lagos populace but the new J. K. Randle Centre will do a lot more.
The new J. K. Randle Centre will consist of an Exhibition Centre, a Library, a Multi-Purpose Hall, Learning Spaces, Restaurant and Lounges. The Centre will retain its swimming pool and sports facilities and also have a pavilion for stage performances.
This Centre is part of a grand plan to turn the Onikan axis into a critical tourist hub, not just in the country but in the continent. In addition to the J.K Randle redevelopment, our government has embarked on the development of the Eko Park which will comprise of the Lagos Heritage Centre for Leadership at the former Presidential Lodge Marina, the Lagos Historical Center at the former State House Marinaand a Lagos Museum as well as the erection of a 55-feet Eyo Statue at the Lagos History Centre.
Other developments coming to the Onikan–Marina axis include the upgrading of the Onikan Stadium to a standard sports arena which is already on-going, regeneration of CMS Marina and Multi-Layer Car Parks around Onikan.
All these will serve as a catalyst for the rest of the regeneration of Lagos Island, restoring it to its former glory, while reinforcing the position of Lagos State as one of the world’s most vibrant, cosmopolitan and exciting places to experience.
The State Government has decided to retain the name J. K. Randle in recognition of this illustrious son of Lagos who held the title Lisa of Lagos given to him by Oba Adeniji Adele. He was a sports enthusiast, the vice president of the Nigerian Olympic and British Empire and Commonwealth Games Association and a founding member and later chairman of the Island Club.
The Lagos State Government is grateful to the present Board of Trustees comprising of Chief Femi Majekodunmi, Mr. Femi Adeniyi-Williams and Bashorun J. K. Randle for their support and cooperation towards this redevelopment initiative.
In the course of this project, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund will collaborate with Construction Kaiser to use this construction site as a Training ground for over 200 Artisans and construction Entrepreneurs’ under the Lagos State Employability Support Project. This is in continuation of our empowerment programme for young Lagosians to prepare them for employment and entrepreneurship.
Ladies and gentlemen, our government is committed to developing infrastructure that will support the well-being and prosperity of the people. We are steadily building the Lagos of our dreams where everybody has a voice and is fully represented; where everybody has an opportunity to achieve their goals and succeed. All we ask is that you play your part; perform your civic obligations and respect the Rule of Law and together, let us translate our vision into reality.
Thank you very much.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko Lo Je Wa L’ogun.
Governor of Lagos State
9TH January, 2018.