Lagos Holds The Seed Of Nigeria Of Our Dreams

Lagos Holds The Seed Of Nigeria Of Our Dreams

Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday night said the quest to evolve a greater and more prosperous Nigeria lies in the prosperity of Lagos State, describing the State as the foremost migrant community in Nigeria aggregating talents from everywhere and the undisputable commercial capital accounting for over 70 per cent of business in the country.

Osinbajo spoke at the Lagos@50 Anniversary Gala Nite held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, which was well attended by top dignitaries including Governors of Ogun, Oyo, Gombe, Ekiti, Imo, Edo; first civilian Governor of Lagos, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Military Governors of Lagos State – Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (Rtd.); Brigadier General Olagunsoye Oyinlola(Rtd.); Brigadier General Buba Marwa (Rtd.); Rear-Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (Rtd.); CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; CEO of Forte Oil, Femi Otedola, Chief Olabode George, Jimi Agbaje, among others.

The Acting President alluded to a recent statistic released by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the effect that Lagos accounts for 912 out of 914 individual businessmen who pay self-assessed tax of over N10million, saying that the strategic contribution of the State to the country’s economy could not be overemphasised.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (3rd right); Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I (2nd right); Imo, Ekiti, Edo and Gombe States Governors, Owelle Rochas Okorocha (right); Gov. Ayo Fayose (left); Gov. Godwin Obaseki (2nd left) and Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo (3rd left) during the unveiling of the books on the perspective of Lagos at the Lagos @ 50 Gala Night at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (3rd right); Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I (2nd right); Imo, Ekiti, Edo and Gombe States Governors, Owelle Rochas Okorocha (right); Gov. Ayo Fayose (left); Gov. Godwin Obaseki (2nd left) and Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo (3rd left) during the unveiling of the books on the perspective of Lagos at the Lagos @ 50 Gala Night at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

While recalling his time as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Osinbajo eulogized the leadership virtues of the then Governor of the State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who he said took cognizance of the diversity of the State while forming his cabinet in 1999.

He said: “I did not and I had never met Bola Tinubu before I was appointed Commissioner and that says a lot about the kind of individual that he is. This is the kind of thinking that makes nations great; that is the kind of thinking that would make Nigeria great.

“A type of thinking that considers all of our diverse talents; a kind of thinking that does not allow parochialism; a kind of thinking that does not allow us to say anywhere belongs to only a set of people. That is when our country would be truly great.”

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (2nd left); former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (left); wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right) and Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (right) during the Lagos @ 50 Gala Night at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (2nd left); former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (left); wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right) and Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (right) during the Lagos @ 50 Gala Night at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

Osinbajo said although he was sympathetic to the course of those craving for a Lagos for only its indigene, but it was now evident that the momentum of history could no longer hold down the elemental force of the State.

“This Lagos is going to be a leader; it would be a leader in expressing the world’s view that the black man is capable of governing not just himself but in leading the world,” Osinbajo said.

Besides, the Acting President commended Governor Ambode for his giant strides in the State, saying that the new vistas being opened in the State by the Governor were capable of making Nigeria great.

“And every day that we see the giant strides that Akinwunmi Ambode is making here in Lagos; everyday that we watch television and see the new vistas that he is opening up, it is evident of the fact that surely in this Lagos State lies the seed of the great Nigeria of our dreams,” Osinbajo said.

Earlier, Governor Ambode in his address, said his administration was fully committed to take on the huge responsibility to make the next 50 years even more productive and memorable, worthy of bigger celebrations by the next generation.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Lagosians, the vision for the future is clear. We foresee a smart city much more in line with the other great cities of the world, where clean and decent living, seamless and efficient transportation as well as sustainable environmental practices are the norm rather than the exception,” he said.

Describing the celebration as historic, Governor Ambode saluted the contributions of the founding fathers of the as well as the 13 former Governors of the State, saying that their selfless service has placed the State on a pedestal of greatness.

Governor Ambode alluded to a paragraph of the inaugural speech of the first governor of the State, Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson, on the undoubted talents and rich cultural heritage of the Lagos people, saying it was apparent of where the Lagos success story took flight.

“That entitlement and devotion to use our God-given talents and heritage to develop Lagos is the main reason for our success story. Fifty years after, we look back with gratitude to all our founding fathers and mothers; both living and past heroes and we all say a big thank you to all of you. God bless you always,” he said.

Governor Ambode while noting that he was humbled to be at the helm of affairs at a historic threshold for the State, thanked General Yakubu Gowon, the then Head of State, who signed the decree that established Lagos State as part of the Twelve States created from the regions and Lagos Colony.

“It is with the greatest pride that I stand here before you on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of our dear State. I was only 4 years old when the State was created and little did I know that I would be standing, fifty years later, as Governor of God’s greatest gift to Nigeria and Africa.

“Some years back, I wrote a newspaper article exalting the qualities of our State and its rich history on its 47th anniversary without knowing what laid ahead. It is therefore with the greatest sense of gratitude that I thank God for making it possible for me to partake significantly in this historic celebration of Lagos at 50,” he said.

Opening  Remarks Delivered At The Lagos @ 50 International Conference, ‘Towards A Smart City’, Held At Eko Hotels And Suites

Opening Remarks Delivered At The Lagos @ 50 International Conference, ‘Towards A Smart City’, Held At Eko Hotels And Suites

I sincerely welcome you all to this conference, that has been primarily put up to speak frankly about the direction and the future we intend to bequeath to generations coming after us within the context of the next fifty years.

We have had a year-long celebration of the establishment of our dear State, Lagos with the core theme:- ‘Our Success Story’. The activities are being rounded up this week with a deep reflection on what the next fifty years should be. This is the whole essence of this gathering. There is no better group of people in the State, than this distinguished audience that can chart the path for us. So, I want to thank you for honouring our invitations and urge you also to be frank in your deliberations.

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We are humbled by the support given to past administrations and the present one in the last fifty years. It appears that progressive governance has its roots in Lagos State and we are proud of it.

Obviously, this gathering is not about what we have done or what we ought to have done. I am quick to add, that, there is so much yet to be done. Yes, we are always in agreement that the interplay of THINK, PLAN AND ACT is a sure recipe to success; but the practice and process are not fully picked up in textbooks or lectures. Leadership must have passion and commitment for vision before it can be delivered as a product. The next fifty years must cut out a path for us to create a framework for leaders that are not only visionary but also inspirational with passion if Lagos must become a Smart City.

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Our State has made this commitment which has the potential to improve lives of our citizens, expand economic opportunities and access to critical public services. The Smart City initiative is Lagos Urban Development vision to integrate all sectors of governance into one box of growth and development – through efficient service delivery to each citizen.

The future prosperity of Lagos is dependent on how well we can equip our children and youth with technological and educational skills they can use to develop the solutions of the future.

In line with our vision of a more prosperous State, this conference will focus on four key areas – ICT, Transportation, Ease of Doing Business and Tourism.

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The ease of doing business in Lagos is very critical to the continued prosperity of our State and I am aware that a session has been dedicated to look into this. We know that in order to facilitate investment in infrastructure, it is imperative that we get our act together in our public service delivery especially the quality of our services by public servants in government in order for the private sector to have greater confidence in government. We have put in place the policy framework for a technology-driven land administration and mapping, tax administration and justice administration. All of these will come on stream in the coming months.

I look forward to hearing the thought-provoking discussions and conversations that our competent and remarkable speakers, discussants will no doubt throw up; confident that solutions to present and future challenges will be proffered as Lagos prepares for the next fifty years of progress and prosperity.

On this note, I hereby declare this conference open.
Thank you.

Itesiwaju ipinle Eko lojewa logun!

LASG Lauds Sponsors, Corporate Bodies For Supporting Lagos@50 Celebrations

LASG Lauds Sponsors, Corporate Bodies For Supporting Lagos@50 Celebrations

The Lagos State Government on Friday expressed profound gratitude to the Organized Private Sector and corporate sponsors operating in the State for their generous donation and unprecedented support in making the year-long celebration of the State’s golden jubilee anniversary a huge success.

Expressing the government’s appreciation in a statement, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, disclosed that more than a billion naira was raised in funding the various activities that were lined-up to commemorate the event in the state.

According to the Commissioner, Lagos State appreciates the sponsors’ gesture as a way of giving back to a state that has provided them with friendship and conducive environment for their businesses to thrive.

He said the support has afforded Lagos to become the first State in the country and also in the continent to have embarked on a hugely-successful year-long celebration of a milestone anniversary.

The corporate sponsors include, Eko Atlantic, Access Bank, First Bank, Glo, Nigerian Breweries PLC, Unilever and Laralek Nigeria Limited. Others are FCC Planet, CCECC; Julius Berger PLC; Craneburg, Eko Hotels & Suites; Visionscape; Avant Garde; Hitech Nigeria Limited, Metropolitan; Public Works and Onward Papers.

While commending the sponsors as “worthy partners of Lagos State” for their laudable roles and commitment to ensure a hitch-free celebration, the Government reiterated its determination to continue to collaborate with the organized private sector and corporate organization for the social and economic development of the state.

“Lagos State is grateful for the kind support that the Lagos@50 celebration has enjoyed since May 27, 2016. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is pleased and encouraged that corporate Lagos shares his vision of using the golden jubilee not only to celebrate the undeniable progress in the State but to also reflate the economy as various individuals, groups and companies in the State have benefitted from the sponsorship,” he said.

Ayorinde added that as the State begins both the short-term and long-term plans for the next 50 years, Governor Ambode assures Lagosians of delivery of excellent services to the good people of the state.

It would be recalled that the last 50 days of the one-year celebration started on April 8, 2017 with the symbolic appearance of the Three Wise Men in some parts of the state offering prayers and gifts to citizens. This was followed with a popular Musical Drama tagged ‘Wakaa! The Musical’.

Other programmes that have features so far included FELA! The Broadway Musical concert; JAZZ meets Fashion; Lagos Loves The Cinema held in the five division across the State with films such as The Wedding Party, A Trip to Jamaica, Head Gone, Faji Aagba, ’76’, 93 Days, Maami, ROTI; Lagos Laughs and Ibile Comedy competition and the celebration of Social Clubs on Friday, May 12.

In continuation of the celebration, Lagos Carnival/Parade of colours will hold this Saturday, in various centres across the state. It will be the turn of the State Judiciary as they hold a special session to celebrate the State on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Igbosere High Court Foyer, while the cultural heritage of the State will be on focus as the Eyo festival holds on Saturday, May 20 at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.

Other programmes include a special 50th anniversary Legislative Session at the Lagos State House of Assembly Complex. On May 23, focus will be on the talents and ingenuity of pupils and students as the state host the Science, Arts and Crafts Exhibition by Junior and Senior Secondary Schools across the State.

A special State Executive Council Session to commemorate the golden jubilee anniversary of the State will hold on Wednesday, May 24 and finals of the Literary and Debate competition for all public schools will hold on May 25. Anniversary Jumat will hold on Friday, May 26 will hold at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque.

The celebration will be rounded off with a special Children’s Day event on Saturday, May 27 in the morning, while the climax of the day would be a special anniversary Gala Night to be hosted by the State Government.

Lagos Pledges Support For First Annual Diaspora Festival In Badagry

Lagos Pledges Support For First Annual Diaspora Festival In Badagry

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday pledged his administration’s commitment to make the first Annual Diaspora Festival in Badagry a major success, adding that a master plan that would prescribe strategies and programmes to boost the potentials of the ancient town was also underway.

Governor Ambode, who spoke when he received a delegation of the first Annual Diaspora Festival led by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said the Government remains committed to partnerships that would explore the tourism potentials of the ancient town and its environs.

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Welcoming the idea of the Diaspora Festival billed to hold in Badagry on August 23, 2017, the Governor pledged his administration’s commitment to expand the scope of the Festival in order to ensure that it becomes a major event in the State’s tourism calendar every year.

“This is a rebirth for us. I have always been looking forward to see what it is that I can do more to the Badagry axis, so I am excited that this delegation has been put up.

“I have visited Badagry more than five times, I have slept there, I have tried also to create a master plan of how to recreate the tourism potentials of Badagry and for this Festival to be the first that would be done, we would ensure that it would celebrate what Lagos actually stands for and we would strongly support it, we would partner and make sure that it is very successful, August is a good time and it brings greater things into focus. What I want to encourage you is that the planning should not just be for this year alone, we should have a framework that allows it to be sustained,” he said.

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He said his administration would also leverage on the festival to mark the Golden Jubilee of the State, just as he expressed optimism that it would open the doors for other tourists’ potentials of the Badagry axis.

“I am also glad that this is happening when we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the State and like I said, the anniversary is not ending on the 27th of May, it’s the whole of 2017, so for this kind of proposal, for us to be able to bring the black race in diaspora and we in Nigeria to come together, I think it’s something that this government is ready to support,” Governor Ambode said.

While reiterating that fact that Lagos remains the capital of the black race, the Governor stressed the need to create a convergence between commerce, investment, tourism and total well being of the black race, noting that it would become a major economic opportunity on the long run.

“From the kind of vision that we stand for, everything that you have requested for is in tandem with our own aspirations and we would support the three items. We would make sure that our key ministries work swiftly with you Ministry of Tourism, Lagos Global to make sure that this becomes our own programme and then we also use it to embellish whatever it is that is your aspiration and also make sure that this convergence allows us to benefit from everything that is actually inculcated in this kind of project that you have embarked upon,” Governor Ambode said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), in a group photograph with the delegates of First Annual Diaspora Festival in Badagry and some members of the State Executive Council during the courtesy visit to the Governor by the delegates at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), in a group photograph with the delegates of First Annual Diaspora Festival in Badagry and some members of the State Executive Council during the courtesy visit to the Governor by the delegates at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

He also commended Hon. Dabiri-Erewa for her efforts in protecting the rights and interests of Nigerians in Diaspora, noting specifically the recovery of some Nigerian nationals in neighbouring countries.

Earlier, Hon Dabiri-Erewa commended Governor Ambode, saying that his achievements in the past two years were not only making Lagosians proud but Nigerians especially those in the diaspora.

 “I am here for three things, first to thank you for making us proud as Lagosians. Everywhere you go in the diaspora, the Governor has made our job easier because of the fantastic work he is doing.  I am sure Your Excellency, knows there are many Lagosians in the diaspora excelling in their various field of endeavour and it is better to tell our own story ourselves that Nigerians are the most vibrant technocrat anywhere in the world, hence the need to celebrate ourselves in our own land,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

She added that the visit by the delegation was to intimate the Governor on the Diaspora Festival in Badagry and seek ways of collaboration with the State Government to make the festival a success.

Lagos State Government Tasks Academic Community On Quality Research To Drive Growth

Lagos State Government Tasks Academic Community On Quality Research To Drive Growth

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday called on the academic community to come up with quality research work that would create a platform for good governance and set the country on the path of economic growth and development.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he received management team of University of Lagos (UNILAG) on courtesy visit led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Rahamon Bello, said the time had come for practical collaboration between the government and the academic community for the overall benefit of the country.

“The time has actually come for practical collaboration between government and the academia. I think we have missed out all the great opportunities that we have seen in most of the Ivy League schools that we have all gone to, to see the huge advantage that comes in the collaboration between the academic community and government and that is where I want us to actually focus on.

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (righte), presenting a State Plaque to the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Bello during the UNILAG Management courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), presenting a State Plaque to the Vice Chancellor, the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Bello during the UNILAG Management courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

“We need to now see how the academic community can help in our vision for growth and development. There are so many things that should actually come from the academic community that allows government to create a platform for good governance and reduce the cost of governance and this will only come from the research work that comes out from the university,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor, who is a product of UNILAG, described the visit by the management of the institution as historic, and harped on the need to build on it to ensure purposeful synergy for growth and development.

He recalled a professorial research work in UNILAG funded by the State Government on tax matters, saying that more required to be done in finding solution to the myriad of challenges confronting the nation.

The Governor, while expressing excitement at a new office created by UNILAG on Innovation and Enterprise, also called for concerted efforts from key players to grow the informal sector, saying that the sector remained critical to the growth of the economy.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Bello (2nd left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Management Science, UNILAG, Prof. Ben Ogbojafor (left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic & Research, UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe (2nd right); Librarian, Dr. Olukemi Fadehan (right) and others during the UNILAG Management courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Bello (2nd left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Management Science, UNILAG, Prof. Ben Ogbojafor (left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic & Research, UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe (2nd right); Librarian, Dr. Olukemi Fadehan (right) and others during the UNILAG Management courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

“The economy in Nigeria actually needs new entrepreneurs. We need them because they are the bulk of the system itself and then when you count the formal sector, it is just 10 per cent of the economy in Lagos. The bulk of the economy of Lagos is in the informal sector and we need to do a lot of research and collaboration to be able to bring the entrepreneurship in the informal sector into the framework of growing GDP of Lagos.

“We are excited about the fact that we are the fifth largest economy in Africa with $136billion GDP but the truth is our vision is to make Lagos the third largest economy in Africa in the next five years and we believe we can do it and the way to do it is for us to spend our way into that particular bracket,” Governor Ambode said.

Earlier, Professor Bello said the visit was to associate with Governor Ambode who is the first alumnus of UNILAG to govern the State, as well as to scale up partnership with the State Government for development.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Bello (2nd left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Management Science, UNILAG, Prof. Ben Ogbojafor (left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic & Research, UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe (2nd right); Librarian, Dr. Olukemi Fadehan (right) and others during the UNILAG Management courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Bello (2nd left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Management Science, UNILAG, Prof. Ben Ogbojafor (left); Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic & Research, UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe (2nd right); Librarian, Dr. Olukemi Fadehan (right) and others during the UNILAG Management courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

He particularly congratulated the Governor for his sterling performance in office in the last two years in all the sectors and sections of the State, saying that the projects had positively impacted the people.

The VC specifically noted the numerous roads and flyover projects, traffic decongestion activities through lay-bys and bus stops, housing development, education and tourism projects, as well as huge investment on security apparatus, saying tax payers’ money spent on security was now making the people to sleep with their two eyes closed.

He, however, called for involvement of UNILAG on the move by the Governor to create technology hub in Yaba, and other parts of the State.