An Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State at the Closing Ceremony of The 29th Lagos International Trade Fair Held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos on Sunday, 15th November, 2015

An Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State at the Closing Ceremony of The 29th Lagos International Trade Fair Held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos on Sunday, 15th November, 2015

Protocol,

Today marks the end of 10 days of showcasing the potentials of the various sectors of our economy. This Fair has brought together the business community and the rest of the population to network, interact and exchange business ideas.

The Lagos Trade Fair has become an important business exhibition in Sub Saharan Africa because Lagos is the land of opportunities; a place that is home to all tribes, races and creeds.

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The theme of this year’s Fair “Enhancing Value Addition in the Non-Oil Economy” is quite instructive as it underscores the need to pay more attention to the non-oil sector in response to the challengess of dwindling revenue from oil.

It is also a wakeup call for us as a nation to look inward for alternative and sustainable sources of revenue to finance people oriented programmes and projects.

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Lagos State has been in the forefront of generating non-oil revenues, accounting for over Sixty-Five Per Cent (65%) of the nation’s non-oil Gross Domestic Product and over Sixty Per Cent (60%) of the country’s value added manufacturing.

I have no doubt that this year’s fair has been rewarding and also achieved its set objectives.  Let us consolidate on the gains recorded by following up on the relationships established for mutually beneficial business and investments.

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I am hopeful that by the time we converge again next year, we will have better gains to share. The gains of current efforts at all levels would have begun to unfold in improved infrastructure, more efficient business support services, improved public transport system and a more secured and business friendly environment.

Although the challenges are daunting, the future is bright. We must remain hopeful and support the efforts of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari which has, so far, demonstrated genuine commitment towards transforming current challenges to opportunities for sustainable economic growth.

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I congratulate the Board and Management of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry for successfully organizing this 29th Lagos International Trade Fair, most especially the President, Alhaji Remi Bello. The decision to host this year’s Fair in three different locations simultaneously is commendable as it has given more organizations the opportunity to participate and contribute to the overall success.

I also commend all exhibitors, sponsors and visitors that have come from far and near to this year’s Trade Fair. The growing interest in this Fair, especially from foreign countries, attests to the status of our State as a land of opportunities and choice destination for investments.

Let me end this address by stating that Lagos is open for business. Our newly-established office of Overseas Affairs and Investment remains a one-stop shop that all interested investors can connect to. In conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries; the government is more than ever prepared to meet all your business needs.

It is on this note that I declare the 29th Lagos International Trade Fair closed.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ilu Eko, lo je wa l’ogun!!!

Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State,

Alausa.

15th November, 2015

Ambode Sends N25b Employment Trust Fund Bill To Assembly

Ambode Sends N25b Employment Trust Fund Bill To Assembly

…Proposes Five-Year Single Tenure For LASU VC

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has sent the Employment Trust Fund Bill 2015 to the State House of Assembly for consideration and ratification.

The bill aims to radically transform employment creation in the state with N25bn proposed to be spent over four years as a support scheme for young entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The Governor also sent the Lagos State University (Amendment) Bill 2015 for ratification by the House of Assembly.

The bill among other things, proposes a single term of five years for the Vice-Chancellor of the institution.  

The two bills were sent to the House as Executive Bills.

According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde on Saturday, the draft of the bills had earlier been approved by the State Executive Council during its meeting on Wednesday.

Ayorinde said the LASU (Amendment) Bill 2015 is meant to serve as an improvement over the two previous amendments in 1990 and 1992 with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the challenges that have plagued the state-owned institution in recent years.

According to him, the bill “is proposing to amend certain sections of the Law to meet current realities in line with best practices. It seeks to review the exercise of general supervision over discipline in the university imposed on the Vice-Chancellor and to propose a single term of five years for the institution’s Vice-Chancellor.”

He added that the LASU Bill also seeks an amendment that will make the appointment of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council the prerogative of the Visitor in line with standard practice.

“Yet, it seeks an amendment to Section 36(1) and (2) of the Law which deals with admission policy to place the responsibility of determining the minimum admission requirement on the Senate of the university”, he said.

The Employment Trust Fund Bill, according to Ayorinde, is in fulfillment of one of the campaign promises of Governor Ambode, which aims to inject N25bn into job creation and employment opportunities over a period of four years. The fund will be administered as soft loans to bona fide residents of the state that desire facilities ranging from N100, 000 to N1,000, 000, or more, as the case may be.

Ayorinde said the bill seeks the establishment of the ETF to be modeled after the state’s Security Trust Fund, which means it will be funded through joint contributions from the Lagos State government and the private sector and will be administered through an independent Trust backed by an efficient structure that will disburse the funds.

The ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, which was created in June by Governor Ambode, will oversee the affairs of the scheme, while the funds will be channeled through the state’s microfinance institution.

Beneficiaries, he said, would be selected across the five divisions in the state: Lagos Island, Ikeja, Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu in order to allow citizens in every part of the state enjoy the novel scheme.

“Just about 1% interest rate will be charged on the loan to take care of administrative expenses. The state government’s desire is to allow enterprising Lagos residents who do not have access to loans or other forms of finance with stringent conditions enjoy repayable soft loans to establish a business venture or rescue a struggling small concern,” he said.

Ayorinde said the state government was keen about start-up businesses because every beneficiary will be able to employ a few other persons, thereby taking several thousands of people off the streets.

“The aim of this scheme is to give employments to thousands of people through the jobs that will be created by the beneficiaries,” he said.

He added that the state government would also set up Business Support Centres to assist and monitor progress in the beneficiaries’ various businesses.

He said about N6.3bn would be required for the scheme every year and that half of what is needed for its implementation for the first year has already been set aside, thanks to the competent financial management that the state governor has deployed since he assumed office five months ago.

Bolanle Ambode Urges Physically Challenged To See Beyond Setback

Bolanle Ambode Urges Physically Challenged To See Beyond Setback

Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has urged children without limbs and other physically challenged persons not to allow their situation to deter them for aiming high in life.

She gave the charge at the presentation of cheques of N1.5million each, to five pupils of different nursery, primary and secondary schools, as part of the Stanbic IBTC’s “Out for a Limb” corporate social project, to fix the limbs of some children amputees and those with congenital limb defects.

Mrs. Ambode who said that the population of limbless persons in Nigeria was increasing because of the insurgency ravaging North Eastern Nigeria, stressed that children and others in that condition could still excel in life with determination and the right attitude to life.

According to her, “The situation that these young ones have found themselves, largely for no fault of their own, is both pathetic and heart-breaking. While their situation may be considered pitiable and a set-back, it is certainly not the end of the world.

“Examples abound in countries around the world where persons with challenges like this and others, came out as world number one materials, where people with limbs could not excel.”

She commended the Stanbic IBTC group and lrede foundation for their diligence in the execution of corporate social responsibility projects. Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mrs. Shola David-Borha, noted that the group’s corporate social investment considerations has always revolved around health, education and economic empowerment, but had decided to narrow it to a new sensitive area, relatively untouched by such social investments.

She disclosed that the group was touched by the plight of limbless children and the attendant academic draw- backs, hence the partnership with lrede Foundation, for the maiden event to fix their limbs, and support the continuity of their education. 

African Leadership University to Take Off in Lagos 2016

African Leadership University to Take Off in Lagos 2016

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, discussing with Founder, Graca Machel Trust & Inaugural Chancellor, African Leadership University, Mrs. Graca Machel Mandela (left) and Managing Partner, Aluko & Oyebode, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode (middle), during a courtesy visit to the Governor by Graca Machel Trust, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Friday, November 13, 2015.

…Foundation Pledges To Support Out-of-School Children

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday restated the commitment of his administration to enhancing the educational sector, just as he assured that he would do everything possible to ensure the commencement of operation of the African Leadership University in Lagos in 2016.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja while receiving a delegation of the African Leadership Foundation led by Mrs. Graça Machel, wife of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, vowed that he would support the foundation to ensure commencement of full operation of the university in Lagos next year.

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The Governor said he was delighted to welcome Machel, who is the inaugural chancellor of the university to Lagos, adding that he would immediately engage with the leadership of the foundation to take the partnership to greater heights.

Stating that the key agenda of the foundation which is to offer help and share experiences in education, financial inclusion and enterprise development for women, was in tandem with the cardinal objectives of his administration, Governor Ambode disclosed that he had already set up an Employment Trust Fund, which will basically address such issues.

“This is more about financial inclusion, especially for women who have been left behind and have never had that voice that we have always wanted them to have.”

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“We also believe strongly that what the out-of school-children initiative is talking about is something that is very important to us and that is why I have also created an Employment Trust Fund here that will actually fit into everything you have offered.”

“I’m committed to creating that enabling environment to allow this partnership blossom and to let you know that this is for real, we would engage immediately with your foundation to take this up to the next level immediately from next year and I give you that commitment also that we will create that enabling environment for the African Leadership University to commence operation in Lagos next year,” Governor Ambode said.

Earlier, Machel, who is also the founder of Graça Machel Foundation, explained that the main purpose of the visit was to offer experiences, which the foundation had acquired over the years in education, financial inclusion and enterprise development for women, and to identify and mobilise Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in helping with the initiative to massively reduce the number of children that are out of school.

She said the foundation specifically chose to partner with Lagos because the State had proven to be the driver of change.

Machel was accompanied on the visit by former Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law, Gbenga Oyebode; Founder of African Leadership Group, Fred Swaniker; Chief Executive Officer of Graça Machel Foundation, Nomsa Daniels; and Chief Executive Officer of Murtala Mohammed Foundation, Aisha Oyebode.

An Address by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State at the Grand Finale of Year 2015 Community Day at the Police College Grounds, Ikeja on Thursday November 12, 2015

An Address by His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State at the Grand Finale of Year 2015 Community Day at the Police College Grounds, Ikeja on Thursday November 12, 2015

Protocols

Community Day is celebrated all over the world because all growth and development starts at the Community level. Today, our administration uses this platform to show our gratitude to leaders of our communities and officials of the over 3,241 Community Development Associations in Lagos State.

These wonderful and committed citizens, out of deep passion for service to humanity, have chosen to mobilize landlords and tenants, workers and the self-employed, the rich and poor in their communities to build the greatest commonwealth that the world has ever known-Lagos.

I thank you for the various self-help projects that have been initiated and implemented to complement government efforts in your local communities. You have by these actions demonstrated your belief in the fact that development is a collective effort and should not be left to government alone.

This administration is committed to Community Development. This is the reason why we are focused on strengthening our communities by initiating a bottom to top approach to governance. We have made the communities an integral part of our decision-making process. It is our communities that must decide what they want from the government and bring it forward.

Our LG/LCDAs recently advertised seeking for bids to build 114 Roads. Two roads will be constructed in each Local Government and Local Council. These roads were selected by the communities in these areas and the contracts will be awarded by the Local Governments.

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We promised to intensify community security. In keeping with this, we have donated to the Neighbourhood Watchers, 48 Patrol Vans, 385 Walkie Talkies, 11 Base and Repeater stations, 1,150 uniforms, 570 Handcuffs, 1,150 Belts, Berets and boots to help them keep our communities safe. At a higher level, we are working with the Nigerian Police and other agencies to ensure our State is safe and secure. We are totally committed to community policing.

We recently acquired 26 Transport Ambulances and 20 Mobile Intensive Care Units. These are distributed all over the State for easy access to our communities. We have purchased 22 generators for our General Hospitals to ensure they are ready to treat our citizens round the clock. We are in the process of recruiting 1,300 teachers in our Public Primary Schools and 100 Fire Fighters.

We have rehabilitated, repaired and maintained over 268 inner roads. The Blue Line which shall be delivered in December 2016 will convey over 500,000 passengers between Marina and Okokomaiko. It will be followed by the Red Line from Agbado to Lagos Island. These Rail Projects will run as we expand junctions, build flyovers, rehabilitate thousands of roads and open more waterways to move millions of our people to work and home.

 

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Forty-Nine (49) communities that were in total darkness have received transformers from the State Government and are now fully lit. Sixty-Three(63) communities in Ibeju Lekki starting from Eleko to Ode-Omi who have not had electricity in the last Five (5) years, will have power by December 2015.

All these projects have been undertaken with our communities in mind. We want all our communities to be economically livable. That is the future we want to build. Each one of us has a part to play in this future and must contribute to the community. The communities exist to support its members. The community is our connection, identity and can only develop with our cooperation.

I charge you today; go and find out who your Councilor is. Engage him. Visit your Ward Chairman, Local Council and Government Executive Secretary. Engage them. They are representing your interests. They need your feedback.

While you engage your representatives, remember your duties to be law abiding and responsible citizens. Join the crusade for zero tolerance for street trading. If we do not buy, they would not sell in traffic. If they do not sell, criminals would not be able to mingle with them and make commuting a dangerous risk.

I urge you all to pay your taxes, keep our environment clean and obey the laws against smoking in public places, urinating in public and polluting our neighbourhoods with needless noise.

Fellow Lagosians, let us work together to build strong, prosperous and committed communities that will be the bedrock of the development of Lagos State.

Thank you.

Itesiwaju Eko, lo je wa logun!