South West Governors Set Up Joint Task Force On Security

South West Governors Set Up Joint Task Force On Security

…Declare Zero Tolerance For Crime In Region

…Establish Western Nigeria Export Development Initiative

South West Governors on Monday met in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State where they expressed their resolve to forge ahead with the regional integration plan, especially in key sectors such as agriculture, security, economy, among others, in the overall benefit of the Yoruba nation.

All the Governors of the States in the region – Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Mr. Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) were present at the meeting conveyed at the instance of Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission. 

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In a communique issued at the end of the meeting with the theme: “Economic Self-Determination For Western Nigeria: The Export Alternative,” and read by the host Governor, the Governors approved the setting up of a Joint Task Force and action to contain all forms of security threat in the region to guarantee safety of lives, property and prosperity of the people.

The Governors also declared zero tolerance for crime and criminality in the region henceforth.

While declaring that the artificial boundaries, religion and political affiliation would no longer constitute barrier to the region’s development, the Governors also directed DAWN Commission to develop a 25-year Western Nigeria Development Master Plan, while all the States in the regions were encouraged to significantly improve bi-lateral and multi-lateral cooperation to foster regional development.

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The Governors also resolved to harness the “competitive advantage of all the States in the region for sustainable regional development,” while DAWN is to develop a revenue optimization strategy for States in the region. 

 

In order to improve the food security of the region, the Governors directed DAWN to convene a regional Agric Summit to be held in Ibadan, while approval as given for the establishment of Western Nigeria Export Development Initiative to drive the export potentials of the region.

 

The Governors also directed that there should be synergy between DAWN Commission, Oodua Group and other critical stakeholders for a framework to drive the commercial and industrialization competitiveness of the region, while a Committee is to be set up to advance values and ethos as instrument of Yoruba uniqueness to strengthen the region’s identity and unity of purpose.

 

Speaking earlier, Governor Ambode said the attendance of all the Governors of the region in the meeting was a clear manifestation of commitment to the economic and political integration of the region.

 

He particularly noted that the success of the integration initiative would not only be of immense benefit to the region, but would go a long way to actualize the growth and development of the country.

 

“On behalf of the people of Lagos State, I bring you good felicitation in Ogun State, my closest neighbor among the south-western States. I also believe strongly that what we are doing today is a manifestation of the desire of the six Governors to actualize the integration we have been talking about.

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“I believe strongly that it is also imperative that the economic integration and political integration of our region is significant to the growth and development of Nigeria and we are happy to be in Ogun State,” Governor Ambode said.

 

Besides, Governor Ambode commended his counterpart in Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun for his laudable works in the State.

 

Governor Ambode had last week visited Oyo and Osun States as part of the plan to actualize the economic integration of the South West. 

 

 

3000MW Power Generation Plan On Course

3000MW Power Generation Plan On Course

…Lagos, A Shining Example Of Sustainable Development – ICAN President

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said his administration has already embarked on reform aimed at generating 3000MW of power within the next few years, adding that the initiative, which is on course, would go a long way in scaling up the State’s economy and make life more comfortable for the people.

Speaking in Ikeja while declaring open the 7th Annual Public Lecture of the Lagos State Public Service Chapter (LSPSC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) with the theme “Lagos@50: Unlocking Its Economic Potentials For Sustainable Development,” Governor Ambode said that adequate power supply was a key factor needed to unlock the economic potentials of the State, saying that the sector remained strategic in reducing the cost of doing business and improving the living condition of Lagosians.

He described the theme of the lecture as apt and in sync with the resolve of his administration to identify, explore and exploit the untapped potentials of the Lagos economy, which according to him, was why the State Government was adopting the approach of strategic, innovative and long term thinking and planning.

The Governor added that with high population growth of 3.2 per cent annually, high immigration rate estimated to be one of the highest in the world and rapid urbanization, the State Government was not oblivious of the fact that the most effective and efficient way to unlock the economic potentials of Lagos is to open up the economy for private enterprise to thrive, which was why his administration had been delivering first class infrastructure and putting in place right policies to ensure business-friendly environment.

Besides, Governor Ambode attributed the massive projects ongoing at the eastern and western axis of the State as well as Lagos Marina and Onikan to the resolve of his administration to unlock the tourism, entertainment and arts potentials of the State which he said were also critical.

According to the Governor, “Our smart city initiative will help to ensure that the State is cleaner, safer, productive and then more resilient thereby making the State more attractive for Foreign Direct Investment.

“Upon assumption of office in 2015, our administration created the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment and subsequently launched the N25bilion Employment Trust Fund and as at today, over 3000 entrepreneurs have benefited from the fund through access to low cost credit for their business.

“Lagos State is also actively involved in the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), a body comprising all the South-Western States. Though DAWN and other platforms, we are working on a collaborative development plan, a regional economic integration which will help to minimize some of our current challenges such as high immigration, infrastructure deficit and traffic congestion,” he said.

Aside the regional collaboration, Governor Ambode said his administration has also entered into several partnerships locally and internationally, while the Lake Rice project which had been very successful is being taken to a new level with establishment of value chain for agricultural commodities like rice, groundnut, pepper, among others.

“Our government is committed to diversifying the Lagos economy and open it up to the world. Through the office of Transformation and Innovation, we are continually improving on the ease of doing business in the State. Consequently, we are continually open to welcoming and partnering with international investors and development partners towards achieving sustainable economic and social development,” he said.

While stating that government alone could not implement all the reforms, Governor Ambode urged accountants in the State public service to see themselves as key stakeholders in bringing about the desired outcome.

He particularly charged them to be the best in their endeavors and help to strengthen the financial base of the State to facilitate execution of infrastructural projects vital to economic growth and development.

Earlier, ICAN President, Mallam Isma’ila Zakari described Lagos State as a typical example of sustainable development in Nigeria, adding that it was important for other States in the country to learn from the experience of the State and apply same to address their challenges.

Zakari, who was represented by Dr Innocent Okwuosa, said: “Lagos is a shining example in Nigeria. If every other State in Nigeria follows what Lagos is doing, perhaps all the issues confronting us as a nation would have been resolved. Lagos has gotten human capital and good leadership exemplified by the accountant at the helm of affairs in the State.

“Sustainable development is inclusive development and that is what Lagos is doing,” Zakari said while assuring that the deliberations at the lecture would be properly documented and put into consideration by the Council.

In his welcome address, LSPSC Chairman, Mr Hakeem Alade Tairu said the lecture was significant coming at a time when the State is witnessing tremendous development in all sections and sectors of its economy under the leadership of a former distinguished member of the chapter in person of Governor Ambode, who he described as a man with a Midas touch, a seasoned technocrat, exceptional leader and a seasoned accountant with a positive difference.

Remarks Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The 7th Annual Public Lecture Of The Lagos State Public Service Chapter Of The Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Nigeria

Remarks Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The 7th Annual Public Lecture Of The Lagos State Public Service Chapter Of The Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Nigeria

It is always a pleasure to be among my professional colleagues. I thank the Lagos State Public Service Chapter of ICAN for dedicating this 7th Annual Public Lecture to the Lagos @ 50 anniversary celebrations. The theme of this year’s lecture is particularly very significant as it is premised accurately on the fact that our State has economic potentials yet to be optimally harnessed.

The need to identify, explore and exploit the untapped potentials of the Lagos economy has become imperative especially when you consider the enormous challenges we face as a government. The State has to surmount a host of issues top of which are a high population growth rate of 3.2% annually, high migration rate estimated to be one of the highest in the world today and rapid urbanisation.

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For us, what is certain is that we must be more strategic, innovative and long term in our thinking and planning. We must deliberately and actively fully harness our comparative advantages as well as develop and implement viable reforms that will ensure that the future of our dear State will be even more prosperous than it is today.

As a government, we understand that the most effective and efficient way to unlock these economic potentials is to open up the economy for private enterprise to thrive. And the only way to achieve this is to facilitate the delivery of first class infrastructure and put in place the right policies within a secure and business-friendly environment.

One sector where our State has massive potential is in tourism, entertainment and arts. We have the potential to become a major entertainment and tourism destination in Africa. Epe and Badagry have tremendous tourism potentials. The Lekki axis is already an entertainment hub. Our government is currently executing projects which will transform the landscape in the East and Western axis as well as the Lagos Marina and Onikan axis to generate tourism revenues. We are also creating infrastructure to support the entertainment industry.

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One key to unlocking the economic potentials of our State is power. We have embarked on a power reform aimed at generating up to 3,000 MW of captive power within the next few years for the benefit of Lagosians. This will go a long way in reducing the cost of doing business as well as improve the living conditions of the people in Lagos State.

Our ‘Smart City’ initiative will help to ensure that the State is cleaner, safer, productive, and more resilient, thereby also making it more attractive for foreign direct investments.

Upon assumption of office in 2015, our administration created the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment. Subsequently, we launched the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund in 2016. As of today, over 3,000 entrepreneurs have benefited from the Fund through access to low-cost credits for their businesses.

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Lagos State is also actively involved in the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission (“DAWN”), a body comprising all the south-western States. Through DAWN and other platforms we are working on collaborative development plans for regional economic integration which will help minimise some of our current challenges such as high migration, infrastructure deficit and traffic congestion.

Asides from the regional collaboration, we have entered into several partnerships locally and internationally. Our LAKE rice project has been very successful and we are taking the project to a new level by establishing value chain for agricultural commodities like rice, wheat, groundnut, onions, maize/sorghum and beef. We have partnerships with the international community which will kick-in later this year.

Our government is committed to diversifying the Lagos economy and opening it up to the world. Through the Office of Transformation and Innovation, we are continually improving the ease of doing business in the State. Consequently, we are continually open to welcoming and partnering with international investors and development partners towards achieving sustainable economic and social development in the State.

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However, despite all these initiatives and many more, it is clear that government alone cannot implement these reforms. As accountants in the State public service, you all seated here have a role to play. You must see yourselves as key stakeholders in bringing about the desired outcome. Part of your responsibility within the context of achieving sustainable development is to ensure that the financial base of the State is strengthened in order to execute infrastructural projects that are vital to economic growth and development successfully.

I am proud to be in your midst today, once a former member of this exclusive chapter of ICAN, now a patron. So, my charge to you all is to be your best in any endeavour you find yourself. The sky is the limit.

In conclusion, what I have done in these few minutes is to give a rough sketch of what our government is thinking and our approach. It is my strong belief that the Lead Speaker for this lecture will deliver an insightful and thought-provoking lecture which will not only give new perspectives on this topic but further enhance our knowledge about economic potentials and sustainability of Lagos State as financial and commercial hub of West Africa.

On this note, I declare this event open and wish you all a successful deliberation.

Thank you.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko lojewalogun

 

South West Holds Future Of Food Security In Nigeria

South West Holds Future Of Food Security In Nigeria

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday described the south west region as the next frontier of food security in Nigeria, revealing that an Agric Master Plan that would facilitate the effective use of the massive arable and fertile land in the region would soon be developed.

Speaking in Ibadan during a courtesy visit to his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Governor Ambode said it was gratifying that all the Governors in the region were in sync about economic integration, and that concerted efforts would be made to fully scale up the agric potentials of the region in the overall benefit of the people.

“We have in the pipeline an Agric Summit that we are planning in conjunction with all the south west States and the idea is for us to create a master plan that allows other States in the region to partner with us.

“Yes, we have done something with Kebbi State but it is never enough. Lagos State is the major consumer of agric products and the idea is that there are so much of fertile land in the South west and we must quickly start to integrate all the south west States from Ogun to Oyo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo so that they will be able to provide to us those things that we consume in Lagos. It is a win-win partnership and it is also in the overall interest of the economic integration that we are talking about in the South West,” Governor Ambode said.

While emphasizing that the south west holds the future of food security in Nigeria, Governor Ambode said the available massive arable and fertile land had placed the region on a sound footing to use agriculture not only to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the region but also to ensure food availability for the country.

“I want to extend my hand of fellowship because I believe strongly that the future of food security in Nigeria actually lies in the south west and we believe strongly that no matter how much of investment we are doing in terms of agriculture, in terms of commerce, Oyo State holds that key also for us to actually integrate backwards and have a bigger GDP for the south west States as we envisioned.

“I am happy that in the next few days, we will be holding another South West Governors’ Meeting in Abeokuta and we will also like to use that as an opportunity for us to continue to speak to the future of the Yoruba nation so that we ensure that the future of the region is guaranteed,” Governor Ambode said.

Besides, Governor Ambode commended Ajimobi for his infrastructural renewal efforts in Oyo State, especially the capital projects and public private partnership initiatives that have been undertaken in recent time, saying that the steps aimed at modernizing Ibadan were in the right direction.

Responding, Senator Ajimobi said Lagos, as the economic capital and most viable State in Nigeria, has a pivotal role to play in the economic development and sustainability of the south west, and that he was happy that the State is being governed by Governor Ambode, who he said has the temperament to play such role.

He said Lagos is in a position to help the South West in terms of economic integration and development and by extension the rest of Nigeria, just as Oyo State is also the political capital of the region.

He recalled how former Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu laid the foundation for a greater Lagos and Babatunde Raji Fashola built on it, while Governor Ambode is presently giving Lagos a balloon push to intellectual and modern age.

“Governor Ambode is undoubtedly Mr. Consolidation, undoubtedly Mr. Transformation, undoubtedly Mr. Repositioning. Beyond any doubt, he has repositioned Lagos State into what I call the IT level, the sophisticated level and each time I visited Lagos, the Governor is also Mr. Beautification. Virtually everywhere he is expanding the roads and making them better; he is building overhead bridges and beautifying the State, and all sorts and I envy you,” Governor Ajimobi said.

Lagos Is Crucial To Nigeria’s Economic Stability, Growth – World Bank

Lagos Is Crucial To Nigeria’s Economic Stability, Growth – World Bank

The World Bank on Thursday said that the role of Lagos to Nigeria’s stability and growth could not be overemphasized, as the State remains the economic gateway to the country and for the rest of the world.

Country Director of World Bank, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud who spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said the giant strides being recorded by the present administration in the State had received global attention, adding that the World Bank was proud to be part of the transformation.

“Nigeria needs Lagos, Lagos is a huge part of the growth for the country and the growth is about job creation and stability of the country. We are really honored to have been your partner and we would be honoured to continue the partnership.

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), making his remarks during a courtesy visit by the Country Director, World Bank, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

“We really acknowledge the national, regional and local importance of Lagos being the gateway to Nigeria and for the rest of the world. There is a success story that is being told not only in Nigeria but globally and that success story is really thanks to the leadership that you (Ambode) brings in with a clarity of vision and also the speed by which you take decisions and implement programmes and projects,” Benmessaoud said.

He attested to the fact that the engagements the World Bank have had with Lagos have been unique in Nigeria, noting that as the existing partnerships were coming to a close, they were looking at other opportunities to build on the positive momentum and partner the State on its urban regeneration drive.

“We are closing our ongoing portfolio which is very small right now, we would very much like to support you and go for the next generation of programmes that are responsive for your vision. We are very pleased to partner with you as you set an agenda for a transformative State,”

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Lead Urban Specialist, South Africa, Dr. Sateh El-Arnaout; Senior Operations Specialist, World Bank, Mrs. Ngozi Udolisa; Country Director, World Bank, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud and Senior Transport Specialist, World Bank, Engr. Tunji Ahmed during the courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday, July 13, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Lead Urban Specialist, South Africa, Dr. Sateh El-Arnaout; Senior Operations Specialist, World Bank, Mrs. Ngozi Udolisa; Country Director, World Bank, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud and Senior Transport Specialist, World Bank, Engr. Tunji Ahmed during the courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

He said the visit to the Governor, therefore, was to explore ways to build on the existing partnerships in the areas of transportation, energy and the environment towards meeting the growing demands of residents as well as attract more investors into the State.

“The objective of the visit is to maintain and capitalize on the positive momentum that we have created through our partnership over many years and also to see how we can leverage that partnership in helping you, supporting you achieving your vision for the urban transformation in Lagos State that will enable you to create a livable city, bringing more jobs that will not only retain and expand the existing businesses but also attract new businesses and generate more revenue for the State and attracting the private sector,” he said.

Responding, Governor Ambode thanked the World Bank for their partnership over the years, noting that they have contributed immensely to the success story of Lagos State, especially in the transportation sector.

Alluding to the fact that Lagos was the first State in Nigeria to receive budget support from the World Bank, the Governor commended the successful execution of the three Development Policy Operations (DPOs), saying that the State has been able to show evidence that the partnership had been very successful.

“It’s been very fruitful and we’ve become totally responsive to ensure that whatever it is that we are getting in terms of support from multilateral institutions, we show credibility also to show that we plan well for such support and we are willing to also continue to abide by international standard to ensure that whatever it is we are getting as support, it is used for the common good of every citizen in Lagos which is the whole essence of service,” the Governor said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Country Director, World Bank, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud (3rd left); Senior Operations Specialist, World Bank, Mrs. Ngozi Udolisa (2nd left); Lead Urban Specialist, South Africa, Dr. Sateh El-Arnaout (left); Commissioner for Water Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right); Head of Service, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola (2nd right); Senior Transport Specialist, World Bank, Engr. Tunji Ahmed (3rd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Audit & Finance, Mr. Adeniyi Popoola (right behind) during the courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday, July 13, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Country Director, World Bank, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud (3rd left); Senior Operations Specialist, World Bank, Mrs. Ngozi Udolisa (2nd left); Lead Urban Specialist, South Africa, Dr. Sateh El-Arnaout (left); Commissioner for Water Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right); Head of Service, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola (2nd right); Senior Transport Specialist, World Bank, Engr. Tunji Ahmed (3rd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Audit & Finance, Mr. Adeniyi Popoola (right behind) during the courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

Governor Ambode also said that his administration has fashioned out a work plan to integrate water, rail and road transport system to evolve a viable means through Lagosians can commute within the State with ease.

“I think the new sets of proposal are the kind of strategy we should put for Lagos State and that’s what this visit speaks to. I will like to see a strong support in the transport sector, so that we have support for water, rail and other infrastructure that goes with it. Like I said, we already have a work plan that integrates the three together which we would share with the World Bank and also improve on our discussions in terms of advisory management, financing and also different kind of support that ultimately help us to deliver the dividends of democracy that we actually promised our people.

“We are very serious that we want to improve on transportation, improve on environment and also power because we believe that’s the whole essence of making the State investor friendly.


We have improved a lot on security and we just think that moving 23 million people on a daily basis in a comfortable way would mean that we will have to integrate our transport management system in such a way that you can move actually on water, using the rail also and then the road,” he said.