I’m Deeply Concerned About Recent Traffic Gridlock and Robberies  in Lagos

I’m Deeply Concerned About Recent Traffic Gridlock and Robberies in Lagos

…Declares Zero Tolerance On Potholes, Okada On Highway
…Releases Govt’s Key Plans
…As State Executive Council, Perm Secs Hold Retreat

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday released the policy direction of his administration for the next three and half years, just as he appealed for the support and cooperation of all Lagosians in moving the state forward.

The Governor who spoke at the inaugural retreat organised by the State Government for Commissioners, Special Advisers and body of Permanent Secretaries in the state, expressed deep concern over the persistent traffic gridlock in the metropolis, and the increase in spate of robberies.

He said in the interim, he has directed the fixing of all potholes to ease vehicular movement, just as security agencies have been mandated to enforce the ban on commercial motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders on highways noting that aside the risks of accidents, such can also be a security threat to the people.

Governor Ambode, who said the government is also working hard to restrict street hawking, urged the people to stop patronising them, so as to discourage street traders from the highways.

“We have already hit the ground running. I’m deeply concerned about the issues that Lagosians are sending back to me and the issues range from security issues, traffic gridlock and the environment itself. But again just as we are looking at the immediate solutions to them, there are medium term solutions that Lagosians will see in the next few weeks that we will roll out.”

“We have declared zero tolerance on potholes and we are deploying more men to ensure free flow of traffic. As we are now in the ‘Ember’ months, I just want to appeal to Lagosians to be more vigilant, and cooperate with us in all the measures we will be carrying out,” Governor Ambode said.

Highlighting key components of the Lagos Development Plan, Governor Ambode said the first pillar of the plan hinges on economic development, and that it would fundamentally be about wealth creation through employment for the people.

He also stated that the second pillar of the plan harps on infrastructure development, explaining that government would make money available for long term investment in transportation, power, housing and water.

“We will work with the private sector to achieve these and set out to complete the Blue Line light rail, improve our bus network and make better use of our water assets for transport purposes,” he said.

The third pillar, according to Governor Ambode is social development, promising that his administration would invest in the people by ensuring that their health, education and security are not compromised.

The fourth pillar, Governor Ambode said, is sustainable development.

He also assured that he would invest in new technology and related infrastructure, adding: “This government will prioritise access to broadband and utilise digital approaches – for example in the land administration where our processes can be transformed for the benefit of our people and business.”

In his presentation, keynote speaker at the retreat and former Minister of Economic Development in the Bahamas, Hon. Zhivargo Laing, said it is the responsibility of the Executive to promote peace, justice and make citizens know that they have a say in the government.

Laing, who spoke on the theme: “Leading For Change,” urged the participants to be accountable, responsible, make quality decisions and work in unity to make Lagos work for all.

He added, “If Lagos can achieve its dream, not just Africa will see it, the world will know. You must size up this moment and seize it because you cannot do anything later about this moment.”

“You must explain your decisions. Any leader who wants to be liked by everyone may soon be unliked by everyone. The best you can do is to make the best decision you can make,” Laing counseled.

Welcome Remarks By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor Of Lagos State At The Inaugural Executive Retreat For The State Cabinet, Body Of Permanent Secrataries And Heads Of Departments On Thursday, 29th October, 2015 At Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac, Lagos.

Welcome Remarks By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor Of Lagos State At The Inaugural Executive Retreat For The State Cabinet, Body Of Permanent Secrataries And Heads Of Departments On Thursday, 29th October, 2015 At Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac, Lagos.

I welcome you all to this first Executive Retreat of this administration.

In the next Three days, we will set the tone and direction for what Lagosians will experience in the next Three and Half years. We are here to set and agree on the goals of this government and work out how every one of us, in our Ministries and Departments will play our parts to achieve these goals.

Our vision is very clear; to make Lagos Africa’s model mega-city. To make Lagos globally competitive; a global, economic and financial hub that is safe, clean, functional, productive and prosperous.

This is already set out in the Lagos State Development Plan. This government has said it will provide Continuity but Continuity with Improvement. The improvement will come with CHANGE. We will have to make some changes to improve on what was done before.

Over these Three days we will look at where Lagos is now – we will look at some data and discuss with key partners such as World Bank and DFID and those in the private sector. We will also look at where we need to be.  We are in competition for investment with other cities in Africa and globally – we must think about how we win that competition.

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The Lagos State Development Plan was designed to overcome challenges. We will remain focused on its four pillars.  Each of those four pillars gives rise to key policy directions that I want to now outline.

The first pillar of the Plan is Economic development.  This is fundamentally about wealth creation through employment for our people.  We need more and better jobs, not only for today’s population but to match the growth that we know is coming.

As I said in my inauguration speech, in Lagos you can always succeed.  This is the Nigerian dream where hard work, courage, perseverance and merit pays, regardless of someone’s background.

The second pillar is Infrastructure development.  We know that our infrastructure will hold us back if we do not improve it. We will ensure that we make money available for long term investment in infrastructure – transportation, power, housing and water all being key issues. We will work with the private sector to achieve these and set out to complete the Blue Line light rail, improve our bus network, make better use of our water assets for transport purposes.

When talking of infrastructure we must not forget modern communications infrastructure.  We can reduce our traffic problems if we invest in better communications so the need to travel is reduced.  We can create more jobs if we have better ability to communicate to the rest of the world.  We can also make Lagos safer through technology and improve the efficiency of government.

It is therefore critical that we find ways of investing in new technology and related infrastructure.  This government will prioritize access to broadband and utilize digital approaches – for example in the land administration where our processes can be transformed for the benefit of our people and business.

These infrastructure investments cost money – and you heard last night from our Commissioners for Finance and Economic Planning & Budget that money is in short supply.

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The third pillar of Social development and protection also requires investment.  We must invest in our most important asset – our people.  We must invest in their health and education and we will not compromise on ensuring their security.  Like all good investments this will yield a high return.  A well-educated, healthy work force will be prepared for the new jobs that we create.

Finally the fourth pillar – Sustainable development.  We must always bear in mind the future, such that our children can live and prosper here despite the growth in population that we can expect in the future.  Our planning must take into account the generation of pollution that comes with economic growth and the vulnerability of a low-lying coastal region like Lagos to changes in climate and flooding.

There is always a need to balance the short term solutions to our problems with creating solutions that will stand the test of time.  So when you go tomorrow into smaller groups to think in more detail about the way ahead – please ensure you bear in mind that all our problems are moving targets.

We have come a long way already but have a long journey ahead. We will in these next Three and Half years take many great steps together towards the creation of that model mega city – a leader not just in this continent but one that competes with the best in the world.

This brings me to the key aspect of this retreat – Leadership. Everyone here is a leader in their field and we will explore what it means to lead our people and our citizens – how do we make more of making a difference even in these times of scarce resources? We will hear from external speakers on key aspects of leadership during the course of this retreat – please reflect on what they have to say.

I want us all to focus on how we lead and to understand what effective leadership looks like in our context.

I remind you all of the acronym we set for L.A.G.O.S – Leadership, Accountability, Good Governance, Opportunity and Service.

That is what we are about. We must demonstrate leadership and good governance.

I want you to leave this Retreat with a clear view about where we are going. Each of you must leave with a clear view also about how you can contribute. Indeed before you leave, you will be given the opportunity to present back to me the strategy and key targets for your ministries.  I look forward to hearing the product of your discussions.

Everything comes back to the quality of our leadership.  That is inevitably the determining factor of success when humans are faced with such significant challenges.

That is why we have entitled this retreat “Leading for Change”. Change is our goal and you are the leaders who will achieve it.

On this note, I have the honour and privilege to declare this retreat open.

Thank you.

Lagos Attorney General Advocates Prompt Dispensation Of Justice

Lagos Attorney General Advocates Prompt Dispensation Of Justice

…Visits Chief Judge, Police Boss, Pledges Cooperation

Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem has pledged the continuous cooperation and support of the Executive for the Judiciary in a bid to promote efficient and speedy administration of Justice and the Rule of Law.

Kazeem made the pledge when he led top management staff of his Ministry on a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade on Wednesday.

He said the meeting was aimed at setting the tone for a cordial relationship between the judiciary and the executive arms of government, adding that that the judiciary is an important arm of government and essential for the operation of the principle of Separation of Powers.

Recognizing the vital role of the judiciary both as an arm of the government and in dispensation of Justice, the Attorney General advocated the need to bridge the gap between both arms of government, just as he promised to address some of the challenges encountered by the judiciary in effective administration of justice and seek means of finding lasting solutions.

Responding, the Chief Judge said the Judiciary arm is looking forward to a good working relationship with the state government.

She however listed some concerns limiting the arm of government including the need for fiscal independence of the Judiciary, effective transportation of accused persons to court, physical state of the Courts with attention on rehabilitation and completion of some projects, appointment of facility managers for courts, social workers for Family Courts, and other issues relating to appointment of Court Administrator.

At the meeting, the need to open the channel of communication where challenges will be discussed was brought to fore.

Other areas the meeting touched include prosecution of criminal matters, prompt assignment and hearing of criminal cases, provision of court interpreters, and use of information technology in enhancing access to justice delivery.

In a similar development, the Attorney General also met with the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, where he canvassed the need to embrace technology in the prosecution of Criminal matters as well as foster cooperation and means of tackling some security challenges of the State.

Commending the efforts of the Nigerian Police, Lagos Command, Kazeem stressed the need to have a standing Committee between the State Government and the Lagos Police Command with a view to having regular meetings and open the channel of communication with the Police.

The meeting touched on several crucial areas including embracing technology in prosecution of Criminal matters, Statements taking Procedure, Remand proceedings, Police prosecution of Sexual Offences, Verification of bail particulars, Transfer of Investigating Police Officers, “IPOs” Training of IPOs, and Challenges with Forensic investigation, use and improvement of Information Technology and electronic database, and Collaboration with Ministry of Justice Investigatory Advisory Unit.

In response, the Commissioner of Police said that the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase has directed that the police embrace new trends in an effort to enhance its operations.

He listed some of the areas of interest to include community policing, knowledge based policing, Criminal Justice in Training, electronic recording.

Ambode Has Most Challenging Job In The World – Italian Ambassador

Ambode Has Most Challenging Job In The World – Italian Ambassador

….As Reckitt Benckiser Intensify Health Advocacy In Lagos

Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Fulvio Rustico has described the task of administering a cosmopolitan City-State like Lagos as the most challenging and most fascinating any public office holder can undertake in the world.

The Italian Envoy, who said this at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, acknowledged the enormous challenges of governing the state, which is not only the power house of Nigeria and the fourth economy in Africa, but has also been projected to be the second or third city in the world by 2050.

Rustico, who was accompanied on the visit by Consul General of Italy in Lagos, Dr. Andrea Pompermaier; and Deputy Head of Mission and First Counsellor, Luca Attanasio, said he envies the Governor going by the challenges of his office, and that his country was seriously interested in building on the existing relationship with Nigeria, and by extension, Lagos.

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“We look with great interest to the potentials of Lagos. You are one of the largest cities in the world and we were just talking about the projection that Nigeria is going to be number three in the world with 450 million inhabitants in 2050, then we have to think that Lagos is going to develop at least at the same rate in few years time, Lagos will be probably number two or third city in the world and so a strategic partner for whatever country in the world.

“I envy you Mr Governor because you have one of the most challenging and most fascinating tasks anywhere in the world. You have a fantastic city”, Rustico said.

He also announced that the Italian Mission in Nigeria has perfected plans to establish the Office of Trade Commissioner in Lagos within the next few weeks or months, and that the office would be very important and helpful to foster economic relations.

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Responding, Governor Ambode acknowledged the support of the Italian Government in bringing about peaceful transition from one democratic government to another in Nigeria, which brought about the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the moral leadership and integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari has engendered stronger bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the western countries, adding that because of the strategic economic importance, Lagos is the destination point for foreign investors.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Reckitt Benckiser Worldwide, Rakesh Kapoor also led a delegation of the company on a courtesy visit to Governor Ambode.

Kapoor, who reiterated the company’s commitment to advocacy on health and hygiene issues, thanked the Lagos State Government for its continued corporation and support over the years.

He traced the existence of the company in Nigeria to the past 50 years, and acknowledged Lagos to be the second largest market for the products of the company in the world.

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He, however, solicited the support of the Governor for the company’s quest for growth and development.

Responding, Governor Ambode commended the public health advocacy plan of the company which is expected to commence in Shomolu very soon, just as he promised the continued support of the state government to programmes that will benefit the people of the state.

He thanked the company for providing a platform to engage the youths with employment opportunities, and assured that the government would remain committed to programmes that will be of mutual benefits to both parties.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Congratulates New Ooni Of Ife, Ogunwusi

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Congratulates New Ooni Of Ife, Ogunwusi

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday congratulated Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on his appointment as the new Ooni of Ife.

Governor Ambode, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna admonished the new monarch to see his appointment as a call to service and to the upliftment of humanity.

While charging Ogunwusi to be courageous in his decisions, Governor Ambode urged him to see the unity of the Yoruba race as a priority.

While congratulating the family members of the new Ooni, the Governor said they would have to bear with the demands of the job and support him morally, physically and spiritually.

Ogunwusi’s appointment was announced by the Osun State Government in the early hours of Monday.

The new Ooni is into real estate and was involved in developing many high prime estates in Lagos State.

The stool became vacant following the death of Oba Okunade Sijuwade at a London hospital on July 28, 2015.