In exactly 40days, Lagos State will be celebrating 50 years of its creation. Over the past 5 decades, our State has evolved to become the most prosperous State in Nigeria with a GDP more than that of several African countries put together.
There is no way this evolution, steady growth and success of Lagos State can be documented without mentioning the immense contribution of the state’s public service. I maintain that the civil service is the engine room of the government and while most civil servants are shielded from the public eye, they work tirelessly to formulate and implement policies which drive the government. l know this because I am one of you – a retired Permanent Secretary.
Indeed, the Lagos State Public Service that emerged in 1967 under the leadership of Mr. H.E. Howson-Wright, the first Lagos State Head of Service, laid the foundation for a vibrant and purposeful bureaucracy which assisted the first Military Government led by Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson to put the State on a right and solid footing.
Today, the Lagos State Public Service has the reputation as the most progressive Public Service in Nigeria. This could not have been made possible without the solid foundation built by successive Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries, represented by the distinguished personalities seated here today.
The vision of Excellence given birth to then has remained the same and continued to be the guiding light for generations. This shared vision, which is articulated in well thought-out policies and implemented with passion, patriotic zeal and sense of commitment is the Lagos we are celebrating today.
Lagos at 50, is a celebration of past achievements and present successes. It is also about building the Lagos of the future on the foundation laid by our hardworking and selfless-serving public servants.
I commend the President and members of the Association of Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries for dedicating this edition of the summit to celebrating the golden jubilee of our dear State.
The theme that you have chosen, “LAGOS AT FIFTY, 5 DECADES OF EXCELLENCE” is indicative of your acknowledgement of the success our State has recorded so far, your active participation in this success and your desire to help shape the vision of Lagos of the future.
I am convinced that your wealth of experience which cuts across all areas of human endeavours will be invaluable and useful in the process of charting a new course that will lead us to the next 50 years.
My expectation and conviction in your capacity to continue to add value to governance, even in retirement, is informed by the quality of the recommendations that have originated from your past Summits after the inauguration of your Association in 2015. These ideas and suggestions have been found to be very useful in our policy articulation, design and implementation. You have been part and parcel of our success story.
Let me therefore use this opportunity to express my appreciation to each and every one of you for your resolve to continue to contribute to the development of our State. As you commence this Summit, I have no doubt that I can look forward with confidence to a robust and inspiring communique that will be beneficial to the future development of our dear State.
On this note, I hereby declare the 3rd Summit of the Association of Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS) open.
I thank you all.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!