Fellow Lagosians, the last few days have witnessed intense political activities that have gripped the attention of the nation and created palpable tension in the polity. I strongly believe that the time has now come for the State to move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years are not lost.
DearLagosians, APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved State must always supercede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC Primaries, Mr. BabajideSanwo-Olu and urge allLagosiansto immediately support our party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections and work for the success of our dear party.
As Governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and ultimately to the new Governor, come May 2019.
I thereforeappeal to all our party members that we remain one family andunite behind the candidate of the party, so that we can continue to move this state forward.
The progress of Lagos state is non-negotiable. It is a project that I have passionately worked for in the last three and half years as your Governor and one to which I will forever be devoted.
I wish to use this opportunity to thank our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the leadership of our great party at state and national levels, all party faithfuls and all Lagosians.
I thank all Lagosians for their faith and trust in me. I urge you not to relent in your support for our party as we prepare for the General Elections.
President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola and his counterpart in the Institute of Directors (IoD) of Nigeria, Alhaji Rufai Mohammed on Tuesday lauded Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for his sterling performance since assumption of office in 2015, saying his achievements across all sectors and sections speak volume and were visible to all.
Jaiyeola and Mohammed, who spoke separately when they led members of the Governing Council of their respective Institutes on a courtesy visit to the Governor at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said it was gratifying that the current administration had exemplified good governance in all facets of the State.
The ICAN boss specifically congratulated Governor Ambode for picking the nomination form to re-contest the Governorship election in 2019, saying the institute was proud of his outstanding performance in office, and would support him again to continue the good works in the State.
“We appreciate the good works of the Governor; you are doing excellently well. You are not only a touch bearer of our institute, but also a beaming light of our profession. We appreciate your good works and I note that they have been very very outstanding and so on behalf of the Governing Council, I want to appreciate the Governor.
“I want also to congratulate you on picking the nomination form to contest for the Governor of Lagos State. I want to assure you that as we have always done because you are a performer and it is glaring to even a blind person of feeling the impact of your administration. we would support you as we have always done,” Jaiyeola said.
On his part, Mohammed said it was instructive that new projects were always springing up in various parts of the State, saying the Governor had aptly exemplified that good governance was possible.
“Your Excellency, the Institute of Directors of Nigeria commends your administration for the great achievements you have made so far in the State in many facets and most especially in the areas of good governance and the development of human capital and infrastructure. Under your able leadership, Lagos State has been able to distinguish itself in this country in the areas of security of lives and property of the citizens, improved ease of doing business, attraction of direct investment, self-sustenance and good ethical conduct in the implementation of government works and services.
“We would like to especially observe that the sterling achievements of your administration have been made possible by your strict adherence to the principles of good corporate governance in the affairs of the State. The IoD Nigeria Governing Council therefore salutes you and your able team for the courage and commitment in building an enduring culture of good corporate governance and ethics in your administration and in the management of the affairs of Lagos State,” Mohammed said.
Responding, Governor Ambode said since assuming office, accuracy and integrity were the watchwords for his administration which, according to him, had facilitated the transformation in all parts of the State.
Addressing the requests by the institutes for collaboration with the State Government in key areas, the Governor said an international convention centre and a professional layout zone were already in the works, with the view to hosting international conferences and ensure seamless operation of professional bodies.
“More importantly, we want to once and for all have a professional layout in Lagos State and then have all other professions having their complex side by side in the State so that we can go on a particular layout and have maybe lawyers, engineers, COREN, ICAN and so on.
“Like you would have seen across the State, there is a huge level of infrastructure that is coming up and we believe strongly that part of what we should really do is to promote tourism and economic activities and in that regard, there is a planned convention centre that is in the making that we are putting up with others and in another few period, the layout will come out and it will also encourage economic activities and tourism, among others,” he said.
On entrepreneurship development raised by IOD Nigeria, Governor Ambode said though a lot had been done in scaling up small scale businesses especially with N25billion Employment Fund, among others, he was nonetheless opened for further partnership to secure the future of youths in the State.
“65 per cent of Nigeria’s population is below 35 and technically in Lagos and so we have a youthful population in Lagos. So, somebody somewhere must be able to sit down and ask questions about what would happen to the young ones in the next five to ten years and we know that we have to plan for them and that is why I welcome the collaboration,” Governor Ambode said.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on Thursday led other eminent Nigerians to celebrate the first African to qualify as a chartered accountant, Chief Akintola Williams who clocked 99, describing him as a true Nigerian who worked assiduously to lift up the country.
Speaking to reporters at a special birthday reception held in honour of Williams at his Lagos residence, Governor Ambode described the celebrant as the doyen of accountancy profession and elder statesman who deserved to be celebrated for his contribution to the growth and development of the country.
According to the Governor, “The main reason why we are here is to celebrate a true Nigerian and for somebody who has actually contributed to the development of Nigeria and he is still alive at 99, is worth celebrating and this is like a prelude to the centenary that we are waiting to celebrate next year, and that is why you can see that Ogun State Governor is here too.
“Apart from the fact that Chief Akintola Williams is the Doyen of the Accountancy Profession, we see him as a founding father of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); he is also the founding father of the Musical Society of Nigeria. So, he has too many parts and this is one Nigerian that we are proud of and we are willing to celebrate him every day,” Governor Ambode said.
He particularly commended Williams for his role in the development of Lagos, saying the State Government would continue to celebrate true Nigerians like him.
“That I am here today is more or less to say a big thank you to him for lifting up Lagos; for lifting up Nigeria and we also wish him well on behalf of all Lagosians. We will continue to celebrate true Nigerians and he (Chief Williams) is just one true Nigerian, an elder statesman that we should all be proud of,” Governor Ambode said.
Responding, Williams appreciated all those who found time to be with him on his special day, and wished them long life as well.
Aside Governors Ambode and Amosun, other eminent Nigerians at the event include former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd); first Military Governor of Lagos State, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (rtd); Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; foremost banker and founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba Subomi Balogun; legal luminary and philanthropist, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo; former ICAN Presidents, among other captains of industries and members of the diplomatic corps.
…To Explore Another 5,000-Capacity Terminal In Ijanikin
…Extends Egan-Agric Road Project To Ayobo, Orders Palliative Work On Ikotun-Ijegun, Others
…Inspects Ongoing Projects Across The State
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday flagged off the expansion of the ABAT Truck Terminal in Orile Iganmu, assuring that work would be accelerated on the 1000-capacity terminal to take trucks parked indiscriminately on the roads and bridges.
Governor Ambode, who led an extensive inspection of ongoing projects across the State that last for about six hours, said the expansion of the Terminal was one of the resolutions reached at the recent meeting with stakeholders, especially in the Maritime sector on finding lasting solutions to take containerized trucks permanently off the roads, a development that is majorly responsible for the gridlock in the Apapa area.
The Governor said: “One of the resolutions is that we should have authorised truck Terminal Park and so my visit to this place today is to flag off the reconstruction of this terminal so that we can accommodate 1000 trucks.
“We would do this in collaboration with the Nigeria Ports Authority so that the call-up system can work efficiently. The expansion we are adding to this particular terminal in which we have decided to acquire the adjoining land, we would use that primarily for non-petroleum trucks so that we can sectionalized these trucks and allow the call-up system to work.
“This is just part of the efforts that the State Government is making to make sure this Apapa gridlock and the truck menace becomes a thing of the past permanently.”
Governor Ambode also disclosed that the State Government has concluded plans to utilise an expanse of land in Ijanikin area with a capacity to accommodate at least 5,000 trucks.
“I have just been briefed that we have an additional land space in Ijanikin that can accommodate 5000 trucks. We will explore that possibility immediately; all that we are doing is just to make sure that there is a permanent solution to this whole idea of trucks destroying our bridges and roads,” he said.
While appealing to Lagosians for their understanding, the Governor said that within the next six to eight weeks, the Terminals would be up and running to get the trucks off the roads and bridges within the axis.
Governor Ambode said aside the expansion of the Terminal, the commitment by the Federal Government to commence the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway was on course with the approval of N72.9billion by the Federal Executive Council for the project.
“You would recall that about two weeks ago, we had a stakeholders’ meeting with the Vice President presiding in Apapa and at that meeting, we resolved that we would ensure that the reconstruction of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway would be awarded within two weeks which has been fulfilled by the Federal Government; they have awarded the contract and construction should commence within the next two weeks.
“We thank the President, Vice President, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, and that of Transport for reconstruction of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and the rail track from Apapa Ports to Ibadan which is strictly a cargo rail that would assist in moving heavy-duty goods away from the Apapa axis,” he said.
Besides, Governor Ambode said his administration was also looking at utilizing barges on the waterways to move heavy cargo as a way of complementing efforts on road and rail transportation system.
“I just think Lagosians will have the relief to see that we have actually done what is right and in their overall interest.
“I want to thank all the stakeholders for their interest and we must continue to join hands like I said and we would get the results that we so desire,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of stakeholders, Chairman of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi said the flag off of the expansion of ABAT Truck Terminal by the Governor was a new dawn towards addressing the Apapa gridlock.
According to him, “Today, I must say is a beginning of a good thing that will start happening in our sector as haulage operators in the State. Today is the beginning of a new era as far as Lagos State is concerned.
“We have been saying it that our Governor is an action Governor and his coming here today has shown that he is very dynamic and pragmatic. This is what we have been expecting and for the Governor to be here to see things for himself and flag off the rehabilitation and expansion of this terminal shows that he is not only talking but matching words with action,” Ogungbemi said.
He expressed optimism that the steps taken by the State Government would go a long way to end the menace of trucks parking on roads and bridges in the State.
Earlier, the Governor had inspected the progress of work on the modern bus terminals in Yaba and Oyingbo, as well as the failed section of Sari Iganmu Road which had been abandoned for over two years, assuring scores of residents, who trooped out to welcome him, that contractors would move in to fix it within the next two weeks, while their blocked canal would also be cleared.
The Governor and his team also inspected the ongoing palliative work embarked upon to fix the bad sections of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
While inspecting the progress of work on the Egan-Agric Road Project which is an access road to the ongoing Egan-Igando Housing Scheme, Governor Ambode said the project would be extended to Ayobo to serve as alternative route to decongest the Lasu-Iba Road to ease movement and further make life comfortable to the people.
He said the housing scheme, which had been on for about eight years, had largely been stalled due to the bad road in the axis, saying that the work would be accelerated, while interested residents would be allowed to benefit from the rent-to-own housing policy whereby the ownership of the scheme would be on monthly basis.
Besides, the Governor ordered immediate traffic signalization and palliative work on Ikotun-Ijegun Road, Abaranje, Isheri-Oshun, among other adjoining roads in the axis.
Addressing residents, Governor Ambode said: “We have received several complaints from this community about the deplorable state of the road from Ikotun to Ijegun, Abaranje and the other axis leading to Igando. I have come to see this place myself and beyond repairing the roads, we also need to do a lot of traffic management solutions here and so we are going to signalize Ikotun Junction and this particular junction immediately.
“Public Works Corporation should proceed to do palliative from the Ikotun Junction down to Ijegun, Abaranje and then we link it up to Igando. I know there are some complaints about Isheri-Oshun also. The part that we have finished there, we will look at that part and then from Isheri-Oshun down to link up this Ikotun-Ijegun Road and immediately carry out palliative now that the rain is subsiding,” the Governor said.
…Says Nigeria Stands To Benefit From Lagos Model Of Fighting Crime
…Delivers Lecture At Institute For Security Studies In Abuja
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said the fight against crime and all forms of criminality in Nigeria can only be better enhanced if concerted efforts are geared toward embracing community policing to complement the police and other law enforcement agencies.
The Governor also said in view of the critical national security issues confronting the country at the point in time, paramount importance must now be attached to strong intelligence gathering even over and above the provision of physical security apparatuses, to rescue Nigeria from the myriad of security challenges.
Governor Ambode, who said this while addressing participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course II of the Institute for Security Studies, Abuja, noted that the security issues the country was grappling with such as international terrorism and insecure borders, local terrorism including lone wolf terrorists, proliferation of small arms into big cities, cyber warfare, drug trafficking, human trafficking and the regular misdemeanors among and other petty crimes, all pointed to the need for strong intelligence gathering framework to be put in place to nip potential crime in the bud.
According to him, if policy makers such as the participants at the course who were drawn from 21 security and government agencies could not understand such security issues from the point of first-rate intelligence, then it would difficult for effective policies to be made and implemented to combat them.
“In the pursuit of the primus inter pares of all governance challenges, we have identified that the gathering and utilisation of intelligence is of paramount importance, even ahead of the provision of physical security apparatuses.
“As is well known, I am a huge proponent of community policing. Indeed, I strongly believe that the fight against crime and all forms of criminality would be better enhanced if efforts are geared towards embracing community policing to complement the police and other law enforcement agencies,” the Governor said, adding that it was for such reason that his administration established the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corp Agency (LNSC) to enhance intelligence gathering in the communities.
The Governor, who specifically spoke on the theme: “Cultural Values, National Security and Challenges of Contemporary Governance: Perspective from Lagos State Experience,” said being the melting pot of diverse cultures, as well as major economic hub as the fifth largest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $131billion, Lagos had been able to appropriate its cultural values, especially the multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan nature, to confront its security and governance challenges, adding that the country stand to gain from the model which the State had adopted in fighting crime and administering governance.
Recalling security challenges faced by his administration at the initial stage especially kidnapping, the Governor said in fighting the menace, the government garnered the support of the security agencies to set up military bases and security operations that resulted in the rescue of kidnap victims and arrest of kidnap kingpins, while further steps were taken on intelligence gathering, community partnership and huge investment in security, such that today, the State was now one of the safest cities in Africa.
Besides, the Governor listed core cultural values which are essential to ensure security and development to include truth, justice, hard work and character, which according to him, have been effectively deployed in Lagos State in the creation of agencies such as LNSC, the Security Trust Fund under the Public-private partnership model to enhance transparency, among others.
“In Lagos State, we are resolved to continue to review and revise our policies with the aim of maintaining, at every point in time, a sustainable security framework that will stand the test of time and enable every stakeholder in Lagos to participate. So far, we have been encouraged by the massive contributions of many corporate organizations to the Security Trust Fund and by the participation of our communities in the work of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps,” he said.
He said though a lot had been achieved, but that the State Government was nonetheless not oblivious of the fact that more needed to be done, assuring that his administration would continue to prioritise the security of the people.
Going forward with regards to preserving the culture of the people with focus on security, the Governor said from the home front, parents should now attach importance to their culture, saying the State Government had already led the way in placing paramount importance on the continuous learning of indigenous languages.
According to him, “Many parents are not training their kids to know and understand the realities of life and cultural values. Parents should go back to the teaching and promotion of our core cultural values. The abandonment of these cultural values has led many children to take to drugs and bad vices with the attendant challenges to national security.
“Beyond the efforts to sustain and, as the case may be, to resuscitate cultural values as a veritable means for ensuring cohesiveness in the society and promoting security, I also advocate a collective vigilance mentality whereby all stakeholders in security management have properly defined roles and relationships to stay ahead of all forms of violent crimes such as terrorism, cyber and transnational organised crimes while utilizing processed intelligence made possible as a result of our cultural values,” Governor Ambode said.
In his opening remarks, Director of the Institute, Matthew Seiyfa commended Governor Ambode for the various projects and initiatives implemented to make life better for the people, saying the projects have also contributed immensely to enhance security.
He also commended the initiative of the Security Trust Fund, saying the fact that many States have now copied it from Lagos attests to its vitality and effectiveness in security management.
“Since 2015 when Governor Ambode took hold on the reigns of office as the Executive Governor, he has not only continued but revitalized this visionary path. He (The Governor) has sought to consolidate and deepen the status of Lagos as a mega city and a hub for regional transportation, tourism, entertainment, finance, industry, among others.
“The Governor’s projects have not only been world class in standard and quality but also inclusive,” Seiyfa said.