I congratulate our newly appointed Permanent Secretaries who have just taken the oath of office. This is no doubt, a happy and fulfilling moment for all of you, your families, friends and colleagues who have contributed in various ways to your successful career in the Lagos State Public Service.
You have been appointed among several of your colleagues who are also eminently qualified to fill the vacancies created by the exit of some Permanent Secretaries. Your appointments were strictly based on merit as evidenced by your outstanding performance, commitment and dedication to duty over the years.
With this appointment, you have all effectively become the Accounting Officer of your MDAs. You have been entrusted with a bigger and more sensitive responsibility which will put to test your leadership and managerial skills.
Let me remind you of the very high expectations that will be placed on you, not only from the government but more importantly, from the over 22 million Lagosians who desire efficient and service delivery. Your ability to meet these expectations will depend on the amount of creativity and innovation you can bring to bear in the discharge of your responsibilities.
Nobody expects you to reinvent the wheel. What is expected of you is to bring to bear your knowledge and experience so that the machinery of governance can roll faster and deliver more quality results to the teeming population of our State.
Given your very impressive track records, I am very optimistic that you will rise up to the challenge and justify your new appointments.
I congratulate you all and wish you success in your new assignment.
…Calls For Redistribution Of Tank Farms To Outer Borders
…Approves Employment of 1000 Teachers
…Holds 12th Town Hall Meeting In Ibeju Lekki
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday tasked the Federal Government to do everything within its powers to revive existing Ports in other States of the federation so as to bring about permanent solution to the perennial traffic congestion in Apapa axis of the State.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Third Quarter Town Hall Meeting, the 12th in the Series, held at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo in Ibeju Lekki Local Government, said the recent chaos witnessed in the area was beyond traffic issues, saying that concerted efforts must be made to revamp moribund ports.
According to him, beyond getting other ports up and running, the issue of tankers queuing up to lift petroleum products from Tank Farms in Apapa was also a major issue causing gridlock and damaging road infrastructure in the area, which according to him was inimical to the economic growth of not just the State, but Nigeria in general.
“It would be very unfair to Lagosians if I don’t talk about issues relating to traffic management and integrated transport management most especially what we have witnessed in the last one week in Apapa, but again I would like to tell Lagosians that every stakeholder that is relevant to resolving the Apapa crisis, we have gone to work and you can see that there is a major improvement.
“But again, this issue has become perennial and in the last six years, it’s always been there, it comes and goes, but the challenge is to be able to find a permanent solution and in that reason Mr. President had directed the Vice President to come and see what the situation is and to actually give us a permanent solution. We are grateful Mr. President, we believe strongly that every layer of government should collaborate to be able to resolve this Apapa crisis.
“But we all must know that Apapa crisis is more than traffic issues. That is where all States depend on for revenue through Customs because the revenue is shared at FAAC. If anything goes wrong in the Port, whatever they get from Federal Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) could reduce,” Governor Ambode said.
Stressing that the Apapa congestion was a national issue that required urgent attention, the Governor also noted that oil pipelines should be revived to discourage the trend of thousands of trucks coming from other parts of the country to lift petroleum products from Apapa.
“It is bad that we still use truck to lift petroleum products from Apapa to other parts of the country. As it is now, other ports in Nigeria must begin to work immediately to decongest gridlock in Lagos. Whatever has led to continual use of trucks to lift fuel, which is, vandalism of pipeline should be addressed immediately.
“We believe that this will allow the roads to become free. We don’t need to continuously use tax payers’ money to build road that were destroyed by tankers. We call on the Minister of Petroleum and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to work towards reviving the pipelines,” he said.
The Governor also expressed concern about the approval for the development of tank farms in Ijegun area of Lagos, saying that as much as the State supports redistribution of tank farms, such should be located in areas that are not populated.
“We don’t need tank farms within Lagos metropolis anymore. There are 68 tank farms in Apapa alone. That is a serious danger waiting to happen. Beyond Apapa, they have approved tank farms in Ijegun axis and that is where we have huge population.
“We need to redistribute tank farm establishment to outer borders and other parts. This is what we believe should be done at this moment to free Lagos roads,” he said.
Speaking on the efforts of his administration to develop the economy of the State, Governor Ambode said his administration has continued to keep faith with its mandate to ensure that the future of Lagos remains on a sound pedestal.
He said the Town Hall meeting, which had moved round the three senatorial districts in the State from its first edition held in October 6, 2015 has continued to provide the Government with first hand information on the needs of the people and how best to solve them.
“Our promise from the very beginning was that we are going to give you a government of inclusion and it’s very clear that we are on track. When we look at our scorecard, which is to keep Lagos on a trajectory of growth and development, we are on that track.
“We are happy to be here. We are everywhere meeting the needs of our people, asking them what the issues are and wanting to respond positively to those issues. Yes, we are not perfect, we would try our best but our people know that we are doing things that would create prosperity for their future,” Governor Ambode said.
Besides, the Governor said that his administration was not oblivious of the fact that the Eastern and Western axis of the State were pivotal to the future prosperity of Lagos.
Giving an insight on the next plan of action for the Ibeju Lekki axis, Governor Ambode also said the construction of the Epe Airport and reconstruction of the Coastal Road were very much on course, adding that the dualization of the Eleko Junction to the T-Junction would commence in January 2019, while the 27 network of roads in Ojokoro, Ayinke House, among others would be completed before the next quarter.
The Governor, while thanking traditional rulers, community heads and residents of Ibeju Lekki for their unflinching support towards the advancement of the multibillion dollar projects ongoing in the Lekki Free Trade Zone assured that all issues relating to compensation would be resolved before the end of the week.
Governor Ambode also announced the commencement of recruitment of 1,000 teachers in the State, adding that more would be recruited as the need arises.
Taking questions from residents, Governor Ambode said his administration would go back to the drawing board and respond accordingly to issues raised, appealing to residents to be patient as the Government would continue to deliver more life changing projects to make life more comfortable for the people.
A physically challenged resident and graduate of Computer Studies, Micheal Ogunyemi who said he had been jobless for five years could not hold back his joy as the Governor directed the Civil Service Commission to grant him immediate employment from August 1, while relevant agencies were directed to address various issues raised by residents.
We have just witnessed the swearing in 6 (six) newly appointed Permanent Secretaries in the Lagos State Public Service.
I congratulate you all for being considered worthy of this appointment. The decision to single you out for this recognition and elevation was therefore not only informed by the vacancies created, but more importantly, the fact that you possess qualities which stand you out among your peers.
We believe strongly that our State Public Service deserves nothing but the best. Our vision to build a Modern Smart City-State can only be driven and actualized by matching ability with responsibility. This is a key philosophy which has guided all our actions since we assumed office.
I have no doubt in your capability to add value to governance and contribute to the realization of this administration’s short, medium and long term plans.
You are well acquainted with the driving overall policy objectives of this administration which include selfless service, inclusive governance, fair and just distribution of resources among our people as well as deployment of best global practices in service delivery.
I urge you to ensure that all your actions, as much as possible, are in conformity with these policy objectives.
I look forward to seeing your positive impact in the State Public Service especially in the area of improved efficiency and effectiveness with which government business is handled, keeping in mind that we can only be adjudged to have done the right thing when our people are happy and satisfied.
Once again, I congratulate you all and wish you resounding success in your new positions.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening urged civil servants in the State to continue to give their best to raise the bar of excellence which the State Public Service is known for, saying such was important to keep the State working efficiently.
Speaking at a special dinner to honour outstanding public servants in the State held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Ambode said Lagos was working because of dedicated and diligent public servants who, according to him, are daily working to make life comfortable for residents and investors.
“The Lagos State Public Service has set a standard which others are trying to emulate. We have put in place a reward system that will encourage healthy competition/rivalry among public servants. We believe strongly that this is one of the ways employees can be motivated to put in their best at all times.
“As we celebrate our public servants, there is still a lot of work to be done. We have set a standard for others. We must not only maintain that standard but raise it another notch,” he said.
He commended the commitment of the workforce across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and also the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), assuring them that his administration would continue to provide a conducive environment for them to perform their duties optimally.
“We have gathered here this evening to, in a small way, thank and recognize our public servants, the unsung heroes in our State’s growth and development. I am privileged to have been on both sides of the divide and so I understand the life of a public servant.
“When we say Lagos is working, it is because of the dedicated and diligent public servants in our State. It is because of that Medical Doctor in the General Hospital in Agege; it is because of the LASTMA official on the road in Igando and it is because of the Admin officer here in a Ministry in Alausa.
“Our State is working because the Police Force, the Army, the Navy and the Airforce are working together to ensure our security and give investors confidence to do business in our State,” Governor Ambode said.
He said though the life of a public servant was that of selfless service, self-sacrifice, diligence, hard work and thankless work, but that however thankless the job is, it must be done and done very well, just as he specifically charged public servants to keep Lagos working.
While congratulating the 90 recipients of the outstanding officers’ award who emerged both from senior and junior categories, the Governor admonished them to see the development as a challenge to maintain and improve on the high standard which qualified them for the recognition.
“This recognition is a challenge for you to maintain and improve on the high standard for which you are being recognized. The State is in need of more high flyers like you to accelerate the delivery of quality service in all sectors for the benefit of all residents of our State.
“As government, we will always work to ensure a conducive work environment, provide state of the art facilities and exposure of our people to best practices through training and retraining,” Governor Ambode said.
In addition to the plaques and certificates given to the outstanding officers, the Governor directed the Head of Service, Mrs Folasade Adesoye to come up with recommendation on financial reward for the officers, while a framework would be put in place to institutionalize it based on ratification by the State Executive Council.
Besides, Governor Ambode said as part of the reward system for civil servants, arrangements were being firmed up to transform the former Car Park in Alausa to Public Service Plaza to be managed by the Civil Service Club, adding that facilities to be enjoyed at the plaza would include Swimming Pool, Lawn Tennis Court, Five-aside Football Field, Gym, Daycare Centre, Library, Corporative Club to sell things cheaply for civil servants and Cafeteria, among others.
In her opening remarks, Adesoye said the award dinner was a befitting grand finale to the week-long 2018 Public Service Day Celebration, an annual event being celebrated since 1994 following a resolution by the Conference of African Ministers of the Civil Service, to appreciate the contributions of public servants to governance, public service delivery and humanity.
She lauded Governor Ambode for the various initiatives to support and appreciate civil servants in the State, expressing optimism that the recognition of outstanding officers would spur others to continue to put in their best knowing that their contributions would not go unrewarded.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday swore-in three new Judges of the State High Court, with a charge on them to be fearless in the discharge of their duties and to always allow professional ethics to govern their acts and utterances within and outside the court.
The new judges are Justice Sururat Soladoye; Justice Olukayode Ogunjobi and Justice Yetunde Pinheiro.
Speaking at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House in Ikeja while performing the ceremony, Governor Ambode said their appointment was a testament of the consistently high standards and professionalism having scaled all the hurdles set by the appointing bodies and declared as fit to be on the revered higher bench of the Lagos State Judiciary.
He said their appointment had followed due process including a rigorous selection and screening exercise consequent upon the advice of the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission and recommendation by the National Judicial Council, urging them, therefore, to justify the confidence reposed in them by offering nothing short of justice without fear or favour.
“I would like to admonish our newly sworn-in judges to be fearless in the discharge of their duties and to always allow professional ethics to govern their acts and utterances within and outside the court.
“This will be the expectation of not only your colleagues, but of every Lagosian whose expectations are that you must determine and dispatch justice with independence and impartiality. The citizenry will also expect you to dispense justice without fear, favour, affection or ill will, as your oath guides you to do.
“The oath you have just taken is neither an empty ritual nor a matter of mere formal procedure. It is an open demonstration of commitment in the form of the making of a solemn and formal promise, the dereliction of which the oath taker will be held accountable; not only to the judiciary, and to our beloved State and country Nigeria but also to your creator,” Governor Ambode said.
Alluding to the fact that the Judiciary remains the last hope of the common man, Governor Ambode said his administration fully recognises the critical role the High Court plays in achieving its objectives, hence the recent innovations to enhance quick and effective dispensation of justice through the courts.
The Governor said that a bill had also been sent to the State House of Assembly, seeking to amend the High Court Law to fix the number of Judges in the State High Courts to 120 from the present number of 59, saying that it would go a long way to address the challenges of the ever growing population and the attendant increase in commercial transaction and disputes.
“In order to address the challenges of a growing population and the attendant increase in commercial transaction and disputes, we have sent a bill to the State House of Assembly seeking to amend the High Court Law to fix the number of Judges in the State High Courts at 120 from the present 59. We expect this to be favourably considered and passed soon.
“These are some of the new innovations that are further aimed to position the State Judiciary to meet the challenges of dispensing justice quickly and speedily as justice delayed is justice denied.
“Our State Judiciary has made advances in its progression to a modern and effective arm of government. In order to facilitate speedy dispensation of justice, we have been consistent in creating innovative ways of responding to the challenges of our days. We recently created the first-ever Special and Sexual Offences courts and the first-ever Small Claims Courts in Nigeria,” he said.
Governor Ambode also commended the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Opeyemi Oke for her inspirational leadership and commitment to fighting indolence in the judiciary since the period she assumed office, assuring that his administration would continue to support the Judiciary to deliver quality service to Lagosians.
In her remarks, Justice Oke while congratulating the new Judges on attaining the pinnacle of their career, noted that their appointment had come at a time where there was a lot of work to be done, urging them to brace up to face the task head on.
She said the new judges were screened and selected by external bodies in accordance with the constitutional provisions and recommendation by the National Judicial Council without any undue interference from any quarters.
“As a matter of fact some of my colleagues were asking if the Governor didn’t have a candidate, I said no, that he didn’t even call me for a second over this. We are proud of you sir,” she said.
She also thanked the Governor for his unflinching support and passion to see the smooth operation of the Judiciary, noting that under his administration the Judiciary has thrived and has continued to remain at the top across the country.
On his part, the Attorney General of the State, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem while introducing the new Judges, expressed confidence that their appointment would contribute to the speedy access to justice which, according to him, is one of the cardinal points of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration.
“They have been appointed based on merit and personal competence. They also possess the personality and qualities required of judges. I am certain that this will further enhance the commitment of this administration to the socio economic well-being of Lagosians,” Kazeem said.
Responding on behalf of her colleagues, Justice Sururat Soladoye pledged loyalty to service to the State, assuring that they would remain incorruptible and sustain the excellence the Lagos State Judiciary is known for.
Earlier, Governor Ambode also swore-in Mrs. Folasade Fasehun as the new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Waterfront Development, charging her to see her appointment as a call to serve in a higher capacity and eschew partisanship and focus on the promotion of the virtues of integrity, probity and professionalism in the Public Service.