I want to welcome everyone present here this morning to this one-day summit with the belief that we would leave here with an action plan to redress a major challenge facing Lagos State.
Like any other major cosmopolitan and populous state, I do not need to gather consultants or participants to intimate me with the challenges facing us on our roads. Being at the saddle of leadership in the last six months has brought me closer to the menace than just being a commuter.
Integrated traffic management through planning, execution, monitoring and control have long existed in one form or the other. From traffic lights, bus stops identification, laybys and traffic wardens at various points on our streets to the days of odd and even number plates.
With the realities on ground, we need practical and innovative solutions that can address our current challenges and deliver immediate dividends and future aspirations.
Lagos in many ways is a victim of it’s own success, as many people leave other states and travel to Lagos seeking better opportunities. More Nigerians want to reside in Lagos; this obviously comes with some challenges.
As one of the leading commercial centres in Africa and an emerging mega City-State, we need to go back to the drawing board and agree on how our transportation sector can be effectively and efficiently operated, to support the kind of trade and investment we want to continually attract.
We need to collectively examine how the transportation sector can improve public service delivery through better institutional framework; quality transport infrastructure and road network efficiency; then tackle wasteful and socially harmful transport patterns.
You will agree with me that the ease of travelling, mobility and communication are critical fuels for our State’s economic engine. Therefore, at this summit today, reflecting on our circumstances of high population increase, as well as pressing need for economic growth, we must evaluate and articulate smarter and effective strategies that would reduce congestion across our roads.
Furthermore. It is important that we work together on how to ensure a more commuter friendly and productive Lagos that promotes a shared sense of vision and leadership opportunity for us all as city leaders (from public, voluntary and private sectors).
We must also consider how to make other means of transportation more viable and attractive to reduce the pressure on our roads.
Gathered here today are key stakeholders in all areas of traffic and transportation in this State. You have the power, capability and intellectual knowledge to bring practical, innovative and creative ways of approaching the challenges facing us.
I urge you all to participate keenly and ensure we come up with the actions that will guarantee higher productivity in the State.
As a government that is keen on promoting business and creating wealth opportunities for our residents, we are committed to seeking and finding sustainable and comprehensive solutions to our traffic challenges.
We have the political will and are ready to take whatever tough decisions you come out with to resolve these challenges. We owe it to the people of Lagos to ensure Lagos works for us all.
Tackling traffic is a good place to start; a good place to begin the significant change our people expect.
Our mission remains the same. Let us make Lagos work for all.
Itesiwaju Eko; Loje wa logun!
Governor of Lagos State.
26th November, 2015