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.

 

Welcome Speech Delivered At The Lagos History Lecture With The Theme “Lagos Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow” At The Eko Hotels And Suites, Victoria Island

Welcome Speech Delivered At The Lagos History Lecture With The Theme “Lagos Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow” At The Eko Hotels And Suites, Victoria Island

I am elated to welcome this August gathering to this auspicious event. I dare say that with the array of distinguished speakers and discussants here, we are in for a refreshing moment. Firstly, let me once again congratulate everybody here present on the golden jubilee anniversary of our dear State and its invaluable contributions to modern Nigeria.

Going down memory lane, Lagos has since effectively transited from an administrative entity to become the melting point of cultures and the socio-political and economic jurisdiction of global significance, rated today, as the fifth largest economy in Africa.

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The gathering of today goes beyond the periphery; this is because today offers us all, an opportunity to have introspection into the past, engage in an objective appraisal of the present and, a realistic prognosis of the future of another fifty years. This is why the assemblage of today, replete with our knowledgeable Royal fathers, elder statesmen, jurists of distinction and Lagos indigenes of repute who are in their own class repositories of the great history of our dear State.

It is important for us at this epochal gathering to refresh our memory about the beginning; the journey of how the AWORI played an important role in the evolution of what we call Lagos today: The same applies to the evolution of the EKO Royalty with the coming of the Bini from present day Edo State and even the momentous role played by the TAPPA in the making of our dear State.

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Our greatness is in our ability to be the melting point for all cultures and as at today, there is no tribe in Nigeria that is not represented in Lagos. From the Hausa/Fulani to the Igbo to the Kanuri to the Ibibio, the Nupe, the Berom, the Igala and so on and so forth all have spaces to live and live well in our dear State. Lagos is not just national in outlook. It is international. The Americans are here; the British are here; South Africans are in their thousands; the Chinese are not in short supply; and the Indians even have a community in Lagos.

With all sense of modesty, there is no other State like Lagos in Nigeria. Some may say we owe this to the fact that Lagos used to be a Federal Capital Territory. But I really do not think so. While that may have contributed to our greatness, we are also a unique people ready to make fellow human-beings from other lands feel home away from home. I leave it to our discussants to properly situate the debate about what makes Lagos tick.

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I have no doubt that this assemblage will at the end of its sitting put an end to the erroneous impression by some in the public space that Lagos is no man’s land. The need for this becomes imperative so that today’s young folks will know the truth and be able to stand on the right historical platform.

There is no doubt that our dear State has witnessed tremendous progress politically, socially and economically. The progenitors of our dear state will be happy in their graves with the tremendous progress in all spheres of governance that have elatedly become the lots of our state today.

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I challenge this assemblage to engage in rigorous thinking of what we have done right or wrong and to move ahead and set the path for the glorious state of our dream.

We owe our forebears, ourselves and indeed the future generations to come, this duty so that history, the ultimate judge of human actions or inactions can judge us right at the appropriate time.

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Ladies and gentlemen, let me not take more of your time. My job is done. It is time we listen to gripping facts about our State’s past, its present and what is to come. What we are doing here today is another history and as such I urge all to take it serious so that history will be kind to us all.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for listening and wish you all a fruitful deliberation.

Itesiwaju ipinle Eko lojewa logun!

Address Delivered At The Boat Regatta Event In Celebration Of The 50th Anniversary Of The Creation Of Lagos State On Saturday 15th April 2017.

Address Delivered At The Boat Regatta Event In Celebration Of The 50th Anniversary Of The Creation Of Lagos State On Saturday 15th April 2017.

We are all here today to witness one of the most colourful events in our State – the Lagos Boat Regatta. This Regatta, which is happening simultaneously in 4 different locations of the State – Lagos Island, Epe, Ikorodu and Badagry, has been organised in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of our State.

The celebration of Lagos at 50 will not be complete without showcasing our culture and tradition which is derived from our adaptation to our natural environment – the lagoons and creeks of Lagos. We are committed to the preservation and advancement of our water based cultural heritage.

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Our State is blessed with great aquatic environment. 22% of the total geographical area of Lagos is made up of Lagoons and Creeks. These water bodies have become part of our culture and heritage and have influenced our culture, our trade and our lifestyle.

As we enjoy the colourful displays and creative expressions of our culture on water, let me use this opportunity to highlight the massive economic potential within these waters. We are barely scratching the surface. Beyond transportation, there are potentials for water sports, tourism and entertainment.

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As a government, we are determined to develop this great potential for economic growth and are committed to creating a platform for the private sector to harness the opportunities which abound in our waters.

Our administration has invested massively in provision of facilities and infrastructures on our waterways. The issue of security especially on our waters is very important to us and resources have been deployed to ensure safety and security of the waterways as well as the channelization of the waterways.

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I thank our Traditional Fathers and leaders for your commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage. We still need to do more especially in the area of the preservation of the Yoruba language. The Lagos State House of Assembly has fixed a date for celebration of the Yoruba language. I implore all our children, parents, school principals and teachers to embrace the implementation of this initiative in the interest of the unborn generation of Yoruba children.

Finally, I commend the Coordinators of this boat regatta and all the participants for putting up a very colourful event and showcasing Lagos to the world. Lagos is proud of you.

I thank you all of for your attention.

God bless Lagos State.

God bless you.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko lo je wa logun

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State,

Alausa – Ikeja.

15th April, 2017.

Bilateral Trade: Lagos State Government Seeks Partnership With Israel On Agric, Technology

Bilateral Trade: Lagos State Government Seeks Partnership With Israel On Agric, Technology

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday expressed the readiness of the State Government to tap into the agricultural expertise and technological advancement of Israel for the greater benefit of the State.

Governor Ambode, who stated this when he received the Ambassador of State of Israel to Nigeria, Mr Guy Feldman at Lagos House, Ikeja on courtesy visit, said it was time for Nigeria and Israel to take full advantage of their long-standing cordial relationship especially by laying greater emphasis on opportunities that would benefit both countries.

The Governor noted with excitement the fact that members of the delegation of the Israeli envoy included the business community, saying that as the economic capital of Nigeria, Lagos was open to partnership that would impact the people positively.

“Lagos remains the heartbeat of Nigeria. We pride ourselves as the most populated and the commercial capital of Nigeria, as well as the fifth largest economy in Africa.

“We know that Israel is one of the huge tech-savvy countries that you have across the world and obviously for a city that is growing and still counting, we believe strongly that this visit is more instructive for us and we would like to take advantage of the technological advancement that we see across the world being done by mostly Israelis and also things that have to do with agricultural expertise.

“On that note, I welcome this visitation and I also think we should follow it up and make sure that the two countries as we represent Nigeria also here, that we should have greater inroads into the successes that have been recorded by Israel and also to ensure that we put that to our advantage in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos,” Governor Ambode said.

Besides, the Governor assured of the commitment of his administration to continue to protect foreigners including Israelis and all Lagosians, saying that in the last 22 months, concerted efforts have been geared towards security and judicial sector reforms, as government remained very high in keeping the city safe.

Earlier, Feldman said he was at Lagos House to further advance relationship with Lagos State, being the heartbeat of Nigeria.

“Nigeria is not only the giant of Africa and whatever people might think, Africa is on the verge of huge success globally and looking at Nigeria, I am sitting at the centre of its beating heart (Lagos) and you can feel that actually.

“This is my first visit out of Abuja and looking at the tone of our reception by the Governor, I am certain we are in for a cordial relationship with the State,” Feldman said.