Address Delivered At The Special Parliamentary Session To Celebrate Lagos @ 50 & 2nd Anniversary Of The 8th Assembly Of Lagos State House Of Assembly At The Assembly Complex, Alausa

Address Delivered At The Special Parliamentary Session To Celebrate Lagos @ 50 & 2nd Anniversary Of The 8th Assembly Of Lagos State House Of Assembly At The Assembly Complex, Alausa

Today is another very important day in celebrating 50 years of excellence, since the creation of Lagos State. In a democracy, particularly a federal system of government which we operate, modern government is placed on a tripod comprising of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. Each arm has its distinct role as prescribed by the Constitution. These roles are complementary and also serve as checks and balances to ensure that no single arm of government is vested with overriding powers over the others.

Lagos State, since creation, has been a shining example and critical hub of socioeconomic and political development. The harmonious relationship between the three arms of government in Nigeria which is reflective in the governance model of Lagos State promotes the interest and welfare of the people.

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Today, we are celebrating the contributions of the Lagos State House of Assembly, particularly the 8th Assembly in the last two years, to the true principles of democratic governance through passage of Bills that advance the principle of governance and promotion of social welfare of the people within the ambits of the Law.

It is on record that military incursion into governance has always made the legislature its first victim by suspending the Constitution with all powers against the wishes of our people. Therefore, the Legislature can be said to be the most exposed in governance model in the current democratic dispensation, if we have to give its true meaning and relevance in a representative government.

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Inspite of this chequered history, the 1st to 8th Assemblies of the Lagos State House of Assembly have been the benchmark for assessing legislative business in governance of the Nigerian State. The 8th Assembly, in particular has been highly responsive and innovative in fulfilling its constitutional obligations and meeting the aspirations of our people for the dividends of democracy.

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The superlative performance of the 8th Assembly, including previous Assemblies, can be attributed to the quality of leadership that has been produced through a matured and democratic process with the purpose of providing a democratic process that would benefit our people.

Over the years, the Legislative arm of government in Lagos State has been a shining beacon of democratic independence and responsiveness. It has never shirked its assigned role or responsibility even in the face of provocation. It has continuously engaged the electorate in the process of making laws through interactive engagements and contributions to the making of Laws.

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The synergy between the three arms of government, particularly the Executive and Legislature has become the benchmark of the democratic process in Nigeria. As we celebrate the last fifty years of the creation of Lagos State, we have laid the building blocks for the next fifty years and I have no doubt that the 8th Assembly of the Lagos State House of Assembly will continue to be relevant by raising the standard of legislative performance in a knowledge driven era.

I congratulate the Honourable Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Principal Officers and Honourable Members of the 8th Assembly and by extension past leadership and membership of the Lagos State House of Assembly on the auspicious occasion of golden anniversary of Lagos State and the 2nd anniversary of the 8th Assembly.

I thank you and God bless you all.

Itesiwaju  Ipinle Eko Lo Je Wa L’Ogun!!!

Recession Not A Crime, A Wakeup Call To Rearrange Expenditure

Recession Not A Crime, A Wakeup Call To Rearrange Expenditure

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday said that contrary to the view held by most people, recession was not a crime but a period that calls for government at all level to rearrange its expenditure and give more priority to capital expenditure.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) held in Ikeja, Lagos with the theme, “A Nation in Recession: Whither the Nigerian Media?” sighted example of the steps the former U.S President, Barak Obama took few years ago to save the ailing American economy, saying that Nigeria must be ready to toll such line.

The Governor said, “Recession is not a crime, it’s just a notice to say that you rearrange the way you do your public expenditure. That’s what President Obama did. Yes, there was a burst in 2008 and 2009 but he was very bold enough to put public money into General Motors and even the airlines and that is what is missing in this country.

“You need to increase the capital expenditure to help companies, to help other people and even help the government to get the system out of recession. That’s the only template that works.”
Governor Ambode said the State stood in the gap for Nigeria during the period of the economic recession, assuring that his administration would continue to show leadership, demonstrate capacity and be relentless in its pursuit of excellence despite the daunting challenges.

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He said the current recessionary climate not only taught some hard lessons but presented a new challenge as well as an opportunity to think outside the box to change Nigeria’s story from “business as usual” to “business unusual”.

He said with the recession, the rate of unemployment soared as a result of the economic outlook, lay-offs and shut-down of businesses stating that the national unemployment rate rose to 13.9 percent in 2016 from 10.4 percent in 2015; while the unemployment rate in Lagos State increased from 18 percent in 2015 to 27 percent in 2016.

But the Governor said that his administration took definite steps to arrest the trend, recalling that on assumption of office, he created new ministries while some while realigned in a bid to fashion out ways of creating job opportunities for residents.

Besides, Governor Ambode said what his administration did in the last two years was to commit huge resources to capital projects, premised on the fact that the nation had no choice but to spend its way out of recession and create platforms that will stimulate job creation and decidedly reflate the economy.

“Today, with our GDP at US$136billion, Lagos is Africa’s fifth largest economy just because we have been prudent and resilient as well as taking on board the useful opinions and analysis that the vibrant media have ceaselessly provided.,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode also said that despite the shortfall of federal transfers occasioned by the dip in oil prices, his administration made conscious decisions to partner with the private sector through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to bridge the funding gap to deliver key/strategic infrastructure projects especially the Fourth Mainland Bridge; Oshodi Transport Interchange; Badagry Deep Sea Port; Lekki free trade zone, and Lagos Smart City projects, among others.

While commending the Guild of Editors for its outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the growth and development of the media and free speech in Nigeria, Governor Ambode tasked the media to live up to its major responsibility of advancing the cause of good governance.

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“Your role in this pursuit of resilience, therefore, is to lend the needed support in bringing our noble efforts to public consciousness. With your vital partnership, we are hopeful that other governments can borrow a leaf from the Lagos Model and translate same in their respective domains to promote good governance to the greater benefit of humanity,” he said.

He assured that the State Government would not rest on its oars, but would continue to initiate and execute programmes that will make Lagos the investment haven of Africa and the tourism destination of the Continent.

Earlier, President of the NGE, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, said the Convention afforded members to rub minds and fashion out strategies that would help to stabilise the nation’s economy, but also the media industry in business.

The event which attracted the who’s who in the Nigeria Media Industry also saw the Guild conduct elections into various offices.

Address Delivered At The Opening Ceremony Of The Biennial Convention Of The Nigerian Guild Of Editors (NGE) Held On April 29th 2017 At Airport Hotel, Lagos

Address Delivered At The Opening Ceremony Of The Biennial Convention Of The Nigerian Guild Of Editors (NGE) Held On April 29th 2017 At Airport Hotel, Lagos

I am delighted at your kind invitation to be the Special Guest of Honour at this edition of the Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. Lagos has always been home to Nigerian editors and indeed to the media and it is good to have you around once again.

I wish to commend the Executive and the entire members of the Guild for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the growth and development of the media and free speech in Nigeria.

I must also appreciate in particular your choice of Lagos for the hosting of this year’s convention because it coincides with the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the State.

Your choice is also significant as Lagos serves as home to the Nation’s media, as well as accommodating the largest concentration of media houses in Nigeria. Every journalist of note in Nigeria has a story of Lagos to tell in his or her career and I am sure not a few among you would conveniently attribute Lagos to their success stories.

The theme for this year’s conference ‘A Nation in Recession: Whither the Nigerian Media? is very apt and in line with your traditional role as the conscience of the nation. The theme is not only topical and timely but also relevant to our collective efforts at addressing the current economic challenges.

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The current recessionary climate has taught us some hard lessons, evident by slowed economic activities and rising unemployment which together with demography issues and the perennial problem of our huge infrastructure deficit in Lagos State and across Nigeria, present a daunting challenge and also an opportunity for us to think outside the box to change Nigeria’s story from “business as usual” to “business unusual”.

One major impact of the current recessionary climate that we are seriously addressing is the high rate of unemployment. As a result of the lull in the economy and subsequent lay-offs and shut-down of businesses, the national unemployment rate rose to 13.9% in 2016 from 10.4% in 2015; while the unemployment rate in Lagos State increased from 18% in 2015 to 27% in 2016.

In order to sufficiently demonstrate our desire to confront unemployment, one of my earliest tasks as Governor was the creation of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Office of Overseas Affairs and Investments, Office of Civic Engagement as well as the realignment of Arts and Culture with the Ministry of Tourism. The objective of this measure is to creatively use these new establishments to fashion out ways of creating job opportunities for Lagos residents.

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With the conviction that when the going gets tough, the remedy to economic recession is to spend your way out of it, create platforms that will stimulate job creation and decidedly reflate the economy, we established the N25 billion Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. Beneficiaries are already in their thousands as cheques are being issued to creative entrepreneurs with a charge that they should create more jobs, thereby contributing to the growth of the Lagos economy in particular and the nation at large.

We are irrevocably committed to promoting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector in the State. We have domesticated the Federal Government’s policy on MSMEs and have also inaugurated the State’s Council on MSMEs for proper coordination of the scheme in the State. We have also held the maiden edition of MSME fair to promote locally made products, create employment and generate wealth. All these I believe are gaining traction because you the media gatekeepers have been a partner in the concerted effort to reboot the national economy.

We are also seriously working on improving the ease of doing business by reviewing our regulations and processes covering registrations, approvals and issuance of permits/licenses, mode of payments, etc. with a view to attracting and retaining additional local and foreign investment into the State.

As we all know, the low level of crude oil prices currently at US$49.91 compared to the over US$100 price level prior to the oil and gas sector burst period, has shrunk the State’s federal transfers and put increasing pressure on the State’s limited resources.

Given this situation, we have made a conscious decision to partner with the private sector through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to bridge the funding gap to deliver key/strategic infrastructure projects to our people, notably, the Fourth Mainland Bridge; Oshodi Transport Interchange; Badagry Deep Sea Port; Lekki free trade zone, and Lagos Smart City projects, among others.IMG_5048

Distinguished guests, Gentlemen of the Press, we in Lagos State are determined to show leadership, demonstrate capacity and be relentless in our pursuit for excellence in spite of the challenges that appear daunting. Today, with our GDP at US$136 billion, Lagos is Africa’s fifth largest economy just because we have been prudent and resilient as well as taking on board the useful opinions and analysis that the vibrant media have ceaselessly provided.

My request and message to you today is to embrace partnership as an option for the growth and development of the country. We may serve in different arms of the society but we all share a common goal which is to make our country better.

One of the major responsibilities of the Media is to advance the cause of good governance. Whilst free media is at the heart of true democracy, our focus should be how the Media can more effectively support this agenda.

Your role in this pursuit of resilience, therefore, is to lend the needed support in bringing our noble efforts to public consciousness. With your vital partnership, we are hopeful that other governments can borrow a leaf from the Lagos Model and translate same in their respective domains to promote good governance to the greater benefit of humanity.

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I wish to reiterate that we are always conscious of the fact that we have a duty to guarantee every Lagosian maximum benefit of the dividends of democracy. That is the only way we can justify the confidence the good people of the State reposed in us. This requires innovativeness, selflessness, diligence and prudent management of available human and material resources which we have deployed in order to improve the well-being of our people.

Yet, we are aware that so much still needs to be done. We are not resting on our oars as we will continue to initiate and execute programmes that will make Lagos the investment haven of Africa and the tourism destination of the Continent.

Finally, I would like to commend the Nigerian Guild of Editors for its consistency in stimulating awareness and addressing issues that are relevant to the growth and development of your profession and to the development of our dear nation. I urge you to keep it up. And I wish you a rewarding convention and hitch-free elections.

It is now my pleasure to declare the Biennal Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors officially open.

Thank you and God bless you.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun.

Lagos State Government is  Making Life Worth Living For Lagosians – Former President  Obasanjo

Lagos State Government is Making Life Worth Living For Lagosians – Former President Obasanjo

Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday evening showered encomium on the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for his administration’s programmes and policies at improving the lives of the people of the State.

 

Speaking at the 2017 Annual Dinner and Awards of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Lagos, the former president said he had taken notice of the developmental strides of Governor Ambode, which according to him, are geared towards making life more comfortable for the people.

 

“I can see the little things you are doing here and there to make life worth living for the people of Lagos. Keep it up,” Obasanjo said to the Governor.

While urging the Governor to sustain the good work he was doing, he stressed the need for the country to do more on ensuring an enabling environment that would boost investors’ confidence to do business in Nigeria.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Deacon Titus Soetan (left); Chief Idowu Akanle (middle); former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (2nd right) and Registrar/Chief Executive, ICAN, Mr. Rotimi Omotosho (right) during the ICAN 2017 Annual Dinner and Awards at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, on Friday, April 29, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Deacon Titus Soetan (left); Chief Idowu Akanle (middle); former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (2nd right) and Registrar/Chief Executive, ICAN, Mr. Rotimi Omotosho (right) during the ICAN 2017 Annual Dinner and Awards at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, on Friday, April 29, 2017.

 

According to the former president who was also an award recipient, “There are great opportunities out there, as government we need to create ways for investments and conducive conditions for investments to thrive”.

 

On his part, State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who also received an award described it as a crowning moment for his career, adding that reaching the pinnacle of his career 30 years after becoming a chartered accountant- a feat he noted as a dream come true.

Governor Ambode, who took time to recall his early days and his quest to become an

Accountant, said he was determined to work hard to become one.

L-R: Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; her husband, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Deacon Titus Soetan; former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo during the ICAN 2017 Annual Dinner and Awards at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, on Friday, April 29, 2017.
L-R: Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; her husband, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Deacon Titus Soetan; former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo during the ICAN 2017 Annual Dinner and Awards at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, on Friday, April 29, 2017.

 

“If there is any award that has meaning to me, today’s award is a crowning moment for me, my story and my career.

 

“When I was about 12 years old, I had an encounter with one of my Dad’s friends who was an Accountant. He asked me what I wanted to become. I told him I wanted to be an Accountant and he said “You? You can’t be an Accountant.” He must have said this because I used to be very playful.

 

“That night, as I went to bed, I told myself that I will be the best of all Accountants. I determined to work hard to achieve this. At the age of 21, I graduated with a B.sc in Accounting from UNILAG.

L-R: Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; Country Senior Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Nigeria, Mr. Uyi Akpata; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Deacon Titus Soetan and his wife, Toun during the ICAN 2017 Annual Dinner and Awards at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, on Friday, April 29, 2017.
L-R: Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; Country Senior Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Nigeria, Mr. Uyi Akpata; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Deacon Titus Soetan and his wife, Toun during the ICAN 2017 Annual Dinner and Awards at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, on Friday, April 29, 2017.

 

“Exactly, 30 years ago, at the age of 24, I became a Chartered Accountant and completed my Masters Programme in Accounting. I have practiced Accounting as a Chartered Accountant for 30 years. 30 years after my qualification, this great Institute has recognised me with the highest merit award, the highest achievement of my career,” Governor Ambode said.

 

While alluding to the fact that his career success was as a result of his resilience to become an Accountant and achieve his life goal, the Governor said he had made up his mind to give back to humanity for the rest of his life.

 

“I want to use this platform to encourage others to be resilient. Never give up on your ambition. Stay on your conviction. You will never go wrong. We can all learn from the motto of the Institute – Accuracy and Integrity,” Governor Ambode said.

Address Presented At The 2nd Quarterly Town Hall Meeting In Year 2017, (The 7th In The Series) Held On Friday April 21st, 2017

Address Presented At The 2nd Quarterly Town Hall Meeting In Year 2017, (The 7th In The Series) Held On Friday April 21st, 2017

The train of our Quarterly Town Hall meeting has arrived in Ojo, the home of our dependable and reliable Deputy Governor – Dr. Mrs. Idiat Oluranti Adebule. I salute the good people of Ojo and the Lagos West Senatorial Zone. We are very happy to be here with you today.

This edition of the Town Hall meeting coincides with the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the creation of our State so I will begin by congratulating every Lagosian on this Golden Jubilee anniversary. Our special appreciation and gratitude go to our founding founders and predecessors who have worked assiduously in the last five decades for the growth and progress of Lagos State.

We appreciate the vision, tenacity of purpose and hard work which helped to shape our past and laid the foundation on which to build the prosperous future of our dear State.

Today’s Town Hall Meeting is not to discuss what we have done but to listen to the people of Ojo axis and to lay out our plans for this. But for the benefit of many, let me run through some of the highlights of the last quarter.

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SAFETY AND SECURITY

  • The Neighburhood Watch was rebranded and launched as the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps and provided with equipment to combat illegal activities within the populace. The Neighbourhood Corps will complement the efforts of the police in curbing crime and criminality in the state.

SPORTS

  • The State successfully hosted the second edition of the Lagos Marathon and attracted international attention through larger participation of foreign athletes.

JOB CREATION

  • The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund continues to fulfil its mandate of providing subsidized loans to our entrepreneurs. The Fund has now approved loans of N1.7 billion to 1,400 businesses, and out of this, N1.2 billion has already been disbursed to 800 people. By the end of this month, loans to another 1,000 businesses will be approved, taking the total loans approved above 2,000. To further serve Lagos residents, the Fund will soon open the application process for skills development and training to help our unemployed youths take up existing jobs within the Lagos economy. I urge you to visit the Fund’s website or their liaison offices in the Local Governments to apply for their various programs.

ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE

The following road projects were completed:

·         Bridge linking Aboru to Abesan, in Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council of Alimosho Local Government Area and adjoining inner roads.

·         Construction of Aradagun- Iworo – Ajido Phase 1, Bridge

·         Rehabilitation of Bankole Oki Street, Ikoyi in Eti-Osa L.G.A.

·         Rehabilitation of Alli Dada Road in Oshodi-Isolo L.G.A.

·         Completion of the construction of the 2nd Pedestrian Bridge at   Ojota, Kosofe local Government.

·         Rehabilitation of Admiralty Way in Lekki Peninsular Scheme 1

·         Rehabilitation of Omotayo Banwo/Kola Iyaomolere Street in Kosofe

 

ECONOMY

  • We inaugurated an Economic Advisory Team comprising 12 (twelve) renowned, tested and versatile individuals to render advice that will accelerate the Lagos State Development Plan.

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HOUSING

  • The first set of beneficiaries of the newly designed Lagos Rent-To-Own Initiative have moved into the allocated housing units and become home owners under the scheme.
  • More housing units are already being built in Sangotedo in Eti-Osa, Ajara in Badagry, Igbogbo in Ikorodu and Egan-Igando in Alimosho.

 

AGRICULTURE

  • We have commenced the upgrade of the 167-hectare Songhai Model Farm in Avia-Igborosun, Badagry to encourage organic agriculture and train citizens interested in agro-business for local consumption or export.
  • We trained 540 fishermen across the State on the use of fishing equipment to improve their skills as well as optimize their understanding of the trade and boost income.

EDUCATION

  • 18 public Secondary schools were equipped with state-of-the-art libraries across Education Districts.
  • The Lagos Digital Library, an online repository of education, is also being deployed to improve the learning experience of the students and equip them with information technology skills and access.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

  • We launched the first-of-its-kind in Lagos, internet-based mobile app – Citizens Gate – for instant interaction between government. The major objective of this project is to bring government closer to the people.

 

OUTLOOK FOR THIS QUARTER

In this quarter, we intend to kick start the implementation of the Cleaner Lagos Initiatives, implement the construction of 181 roads across the 57 LGs/LCDAs, complete the Abule-Egba and Ajah flyover bridges, further signalization of Lekki – Ajah express road and continuation of Road network upgrade in all the 3 Senatorial Zones.

Furthermore, initiatives for Tourism will be intensified by commencing Development of Heritage Centre for Leadership (Presidential Lodge), Lagos History Centre, J.K Randle Centre, Transformation of the Onikan Museum, Development of tourism hubs in Lagos-West, Lagos-East, Construction of 6 Cultural Theatres in Alimosho,Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, Ikeja and Lagos Mainland, and continuation of Epe and Badagry Waterfront development as well as other tourist potentials in the area.

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CONCLUSION

At 50, we have every reason to celebrate our dear State and our collective achievements. I enjoin everyone to be part of the activities lined for the celebration of Lagos Golden Jubilee because you have all been part of the success story of Eko Akete – the Centre of Excellence.

I thank our party – the All Progressives Congress – for the opportunity and support in ensuring that this administration is a part of its success story. To all our party leaders and members, let us join hands and ensure continued success for this administration.

Our administration remains committed to advancing the Lagos Mega City Project through judicious use of your continued regular payment of taxes.

Let me also use this opportunity to remind everyone of the need to ensure a clean environment and cooperate with health personnel to prevent outbreak of diseases in our communities. Always remain safety conscious and promptly report any suspicious individuals, groups or activities to the security agencies.

On my part I remain committed to the pledge I made to make Lagos work for everyone. I wish you all a happy anniversary celebration!

God bless Lagos State.

God bless Nigeria.

God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun.

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State

21st April, 2017