The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state Akinwunmi Ambode has described the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje, as an intern who lacks the cognate experience and competence to lead the great state of Lagos into further excellence.
This he said today as he took part in a private sector interactive forum with governorship candidates of Lagos state that was organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) at the LCCI building in Ikeja.
In his words, Ambode said, “Any first class business entity can understand what it means to entrust an investment in the hands of an employee with long-standing experience as opposed to one that lacks the cognate experience and requirement; there is none of us that will leave as a investment or business in the hands of an intern”.
He added, “This is the same way Lagos cannot afford to substitute experience for experiment in her choice of a leader in the forthcoming elections. It is not going to happen! I am that employee that has the 27-year experience which traverses both the public and private sector, and who strongly believes in the excellence that Lagos deserves”.
He urged the audience to support continuity and never allow inexperience to sabotage the sustained growth that Lagos has enjoyed.
“There is no city like Lagos! Lagos is coming to take over the world. We already have the capacity and political will; what is key is to continue to recreate this great state by entrusting her in experienced and competent hands. I say that Lagos is up for a prosperous outlook come 2015”, said Ambode.
The APC candidate had opened the floor by stating his resolve to serve. He described a successful career that traverses both the public and private sector, while he stressed the experience and deep understanding he had garnered in the span of his productive career.
“I come with a deep understanding of how government works in the public sector and also with cognate experience in the private sector. This gives me the cutting edge skills to excel in the noble task of serving the Lagos State Government.”, Ambode said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of the LCCI, Alhaji Remi Bello stated that the organization is proud to keep up with the “noble tradition” of creating a platform for Lagos gubernatorial candidates to state their plan and programmes for the state, especially about the ones directly for the private sector, which he described as “the engine of growth” for any meaningful government.
Ambode responded to this charge by stating his novel ideas for Lagos as he fielded questions from the panellists, the audience and even the PDP candidate.
As regards the economy of Lagos, Mr. Ambode assured Lagos not to worry much about the true effects of the dwindling oil prices, promising to add to what the state had always done, which is, a brilliant diversification of the state’s economy.
He said, “Our state’s Internally Generated Revenue already contributes two-thirds towards the thriving of our economy. We will even do much more. I will boost the economy of Lagos by creating programmes that will explore the wealth in the informal sector to complement the economy of the formal sector”.
“We will create more jobs by establishing a Lagos Employment Trust Fund that will empower entrepreneurs and make them employers of both skilled and unskilled labour”, Ambode added.
He also stated his intention to keep on with the transformation in the transport sector. “Our intention is to ensure that our people move from one place to the other with ease. Our Light rail project, the ongoing expansion of major roads, rapid construction of inner roads, and the plan to build on the success already achieved in the transport on our waterways, will help mitigate the challenges in our transport system”.
After he had berated his opponents political party for their failure in power generation, Ambode said, “Our government will supplement the 9, 880 megawatts demand to power Lagos by creating more Independent Power Providers (IPPs) and by supporting the existing ones.”
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Ambode stated, “I represent a tradition of excellence; I represent the best of the public service, I represent the best from a pool of good governance.
“Our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a party that is known for excellence. My integrity as a public servant is also tested and trusted, therefore, I stand before you to categorically say that I will implement all I promise to do, by the grace of God”.
“Therefore, I urge all the organized private sector and the business men and women seated here, I see this gathering as an annual general meeting, and I want you all to ratify me as the next Governor of Lagos state to ensure safety, cleanliness and prosperity for us all as well-meaning Lagosians”.