Address Delivered At the Flag-Off of Formal Commissioning of 114 Local Government Roads Project Across the 20 LGAS and 37 LCDAS in Lagos State Held on Saturday 17th September, 2016

Address Delivered At the Flag-Off of Formal Commissioning of 114 Local Government Roads Project Across the 20 LGAS and 37 LCDAS in Lagos State Held on Saturday 17th September, 2016

Today, we celebrate a new dawn in the life of the good people of Lagos State; the glorious dawn of community development accelerated through our vision of inclusive governance.

All of us can recall the conversation we had when I came to you as the candidate of our great party, the All Progressives Congress. Our contract to create a greater Lagos State in which no one shall be left behind, a state in which all communities shall feel the impact of our vision, where ever they may be.

On May 29, 2015, I re-echoed this contract of hope in my inaugural address as the governor you have given the responsibility to change your lives for the better, to create the conditions for prosperity in every home and to make our communities vibrant and exciting to live

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In January, this year, I announced the flag-off of the 114 road projects in 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas.

I give thanks to God that your prayers and your co-operation have made it possible to translate our collective dream to reality. It is a testimony to the saying that nothing can stop a people who have resolved to move forward.

It is therefore my pleasure to inform you that your Government is delivering 114 Local Government access and link roads in all the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the State.

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This means that the road network in our State of Excellence has increased by 56.1 Kilometers. It means that we have added 112 kilometres of walkways and covered drains. And it means additional 56 kilometres of our roads are being lit by independent powered street lights to improve the security of our neighborhoods’, the visibility of pedestrians, commuters and motorists as well as creation of a night economy.

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At a time the national economy is facing financial challenges, our administration is able to inject over N19 billion into the economy of our state, stimulating employment and engaging the business sector. No fewer than 89 local companies executed the road project with thorough supervision by the communities and the Government. About 5, 700 direct jobs were created for professionals, artisans and laborers in the construction industry. A larger number of people, approximately 10,000 suppliers and dependants felt the positive impact of this stimulus package in their lives.

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The idea of 114 roads with streetlights simultaneously executed across 57 local governments at the rate of two roads per local government is a historic leap of faith for our administration and the citizens of Lagos. It is a test of our capacity to create a goal, set targets, mobilise the resources and manage the funds with extra-ordinary prudence and commitment. It is also a learning process that has given us greater confidence and trust in the human and material resources of our dear state.

In line with our principle of civic empowerment, we encouraged the community development associations to suggest the roads requiring construction according to their needs and worked with them to participate in the monitoring of the projects towards taking ownership on completion.

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As we hand over the roads to the communities, our Administration continues to display its confidence in the people by allocating to them the task of maintaining the street lights and monitoring the maintenance of the roads. We shall support communities with stipends to perform this task.

Let me also reiterate our offer to landlords with public spirit: power the streetlights on your streets with your generators and get a discount on your land use charge fees and a certificate of recognition signed by the Governor.

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Our dignitaries, leaders and the good people of our state, the 114 road projects as a collaborative intervention of the state and local governments to make Lagos a true megacity shall be an annual rite of development. As I speak, the process for the second round of 114 road projects is beginning. I urge all the communities to be part of it.

The road being commissioned today- Jimoh street in Ikorodu North LCDA- is one of the community driven development projects identified by you to improve our State and make it the preferred investment destination worldwide. We have chosen to flag off the commissioning here to appreciate the diligence and seriousness of the contractor, DC Engineering, for being the first to complete the project within the stipulated six months. I congratulate the contractor for this exemplary feat while I urge others to emulate the good example or face sanction.

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Let me therefore appeal to our elders, the youths and indeed the entire residents to guard jealously the infrastructure provided by the Government so that more projects can come to your communities again.

In the spirit of our inclusive governance, the remaining 113 roads will be commissioned by other dignitaries including Obas, CDA Chairmen, political personalities and other Government officials.

Fellow Lagosians, let us work together to build a clean, secure and prosperous State where everyone counts.

Thank you and God bless.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun.

His Excellency

Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor, Lagos State.

September 17, 2016

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Celebrates Democracy Day With Physically Challenged Persons

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Celebrates Democracy Day With Physically Challenged Persons

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday celebrated Democracy Day with persons living with disabilities, saying that the decision to host them was not only in line with the commitment to run an all-inclusive government but to emphasise his pledge to give every individual a voice in his administration.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at an event held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, tagged ‘Ability in Disability’, said he had specially requested to mark his first year anniversary with persons living with disabilities to showcase their talents just as he enjoined Nigerians to encourage and show love rather than pity them.

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Governor Ambode, who called out four persons living with disabilities to join him on stage which included Dr Waheed Oki, a medical doctor who runs one of the largest clinics in Badagry; Shade Sulaiman, a programmer with Lagos Television; Akin Akinloye, leader of Sugar Band and a successful lawyer, Leila Atake.

He said: “These are people who are successful in their own right. Dr Oki for instance is from Lagos Island and I have known him now for over 42 years. We were in the same class in form one.

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“So I have lived all my life growing up with people with disabilities and that is why I doing this for them. I just want to honor all of you for your chosen careers and for living it up and allowing your abilities to actually triumph over your disabilities.

“I am committed to doing this and I know that with the position that I have, I am your partner and all the ones that are out there also, Lagos State will partner with all of you and you will all live your lives to the fullest.”

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He said the erroneous impression most people have about persons living with disabilities often result in discrimination and exclusion on a daily basis, saying it was high time Nigerians began to embrace them as part of the society.

“They are faced with barriers to education and training which limit their job opportunities, leading in turn to poverty, social exclusion and restricted access the basic human rights which we all take for granted. This is unacceptable. People living with disabilities have a right to live a decent life and enjoy the benefits of good governance and as much as anyone else.

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“Physical disability is not inability and should not be seen as an inhibition from achieving something positive in life. The theme of this event tells the story – “Ability in Disability”. People living with disability have special skills and talents which if properly harnessed will make a huge difference not only in their lives, but to the society,” he said.

He assured that his administration would remain committed to the welfare of all people without discrimination, saying that his government owes a duty to protect and provide for every individual and group in the State; especially the vulnerable ones.

Governor Ambode also seized the occasion to launch a N500million support fund for persons living with disabilities saying it was in line with provisions of Section 12 of the Special People’s Law, just as he called on individuals, corporate organisations, Non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to support the fund to maximise the disabilities of challenged persons.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to appeal to all Lagosians to embrace people living with disabilities. Do not discriminate against them. All they require is care, support and opportunity to live a fulfilled and productive life just like any of us,” he said.

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Governor Ambode also commended the tireless effort of the General Manager and all Officers in the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA) for their persistence and commitment towards effective implementation of the Lagos State Special Peoples Law of 2011, saying the registration of all persons living with disabilities in the State would ensure effective planning for the needs of Special People in the State.

Earlier, General Manager of LASODA, Dr. Babatunde Awelenge commended Governor Ambode’s magnanimous gesture and support for persons living with disabilities, saying he has truly given them a course to smile with policies that ensures their wellbeing is protected.

Highlights of the event include special performances by several groups from Pacelli School of the Blind, Kelly Blind, Sugar Band led by Akin Akinloye, veteran saxophonists, Kunle Ajayi and Yemi Sax, among others.

Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor Of Lagos State At The ‘Ability In Disability’ Event At Lagos House, Ikeja On Sunday 29th May, 2016

Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor Of Lagos State At The ‘Ability In Disability’ Event At Lagos House, Ikeja On Sunday 29th May, 2016

On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I welcome you all to this reception.

We decided to hold this event in honour of our brothers and sisters Living with Disabilities not only in line with the commitment of this administration to run an all-inclusive government but to restate our commitment to giving every individual a voice in this government.

Persons with disabilities often encounter discrimination and exclusion on a daily basis. They are faced with barriers to education and training which limit their job opportunities, leading in turn to poverty, social exclusion and restricted access the basic human rights which we all take for granted. This is unacceptable. People living with disabilities have a right to live a decent life and enjoy the benefits of good governance and as much as anyone else.

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Physical disability is not inability and should not be seen as an inhibition from achieving something positive in life. The theme of this event tells the story – “Ability in Disability”. People living with disability have special skills and talents which if properly harnessed will make a huge difference not only in their lives, but to the society.

As a government, we are committed to the welfare of all people without discrimination. We owe it a duty to protect and provide for every individual and group in the State; especially the vulnerable ones.

In keeping with this, the Lagos State Special People’s Law of 2011 was passed to establish the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA) with a mandate to safeguard people living with disability from discrimination and equalize their opportunities in the society.

I commend the General Manager and all Officers in the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs for their persistence and commitment towards effective implementation of this law. The registration of all persons living with disabilities in the State is a very good initiative and the data base created from this exercise will ensure effective planning for the needs of Special People in Lagos State.

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I urge all those who have not yet registered to do so without further delay as the certificates and badges issued will entitle you to special rights and privileges including free rides on BRT buses, exclusive right to designated parking lots and special consideration for access to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund facility.

As an employer of labour, the State Government will ensure full compliance with the provisions of the Special People Law on reservation of 1% of job vacancies exclusively for qualified PLWDs. The process has already commenced with advert placements by some MDAs.

In line with provisions of Section 12, of the Special People’s Law, we are today launching the Lagos State Persons Living with Disability Fund with N500million. This fund will be for the advancement of the cause of persons living with disability. I call on Individuals, Corporate Organisations, Non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to support this fund so that we can maximize the abilities in the disabilities of our fellow compatriots.

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Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to appeal to all Lagosians to embrace people living with disabilities. Do not discriminate against them. All they require is care, support and opportunity to live a fulfilled and productive life just like any of us.

Once again, I thank the leadership and officers of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development for their dedication and commitment to their mandate. I assure you of the continuous support of this administration to strengthen your capacity to do more.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo jewa l’ogun!!!

Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State,

Alausa.

 

29th May, 2016.

Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State at The Nation 1st National Forum on The Economy at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja on Thursday 7th April, 2016

Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State at The Nation 1st National Forum on The Economy at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja on Thursday 7th April, 2016

I sincerely appreciate this initiative of the Management of The Nation Newspapers in organizing the maiden edition of National Forum on the Economy – with the theme: “National Economy, The Way Forward”.

Despite boasting the biggest economy in Africa, Nigeria’s economy remains largely undiversified with crude oil sales accounting for over 90% of total revenue. As a result, our economy is always vulnerable to volatilities in the international oil market coupled with the impact of many years of corruption and wastages. This is the reason for our present economic nightmare.

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It is very unfortunate that we wasted the golden opportunity to deploy the trillions of dollars earned from our oil exports to develop the critical sectors of the economy including power, agriculture, industries, solid minerals, transportation infrastructure among others.  No doubt, if we had done the right thing as some other oil producing countries did, keeping in mind that crude oil is a finite resource, we would not be experiencing the devastating effect of oil price crash on the scale we are experiencing it now.

We are now being forced to do, with pains, what we should have done with ease years ago. The task of charting a new direction for the economy is not going to be a tea party.  Various policy options must be identified and assessed on the basis of our current situation and needs.  Moving our economy forward requires thinking outside the box and doing things differently. We need creativity, innovation and the courage to take difficult and tough decisions.

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The leadership of the country at national and state levels must have the courage to take tough decisions and make sacrifices in the near term which will, in the long run, make our economy stronger and sustainable and, consequently result in prosperity across all regions of Nigeria.

One way to revive our economy will be to explore and expand inter-State relations, strengthen regional competitiveness by maximising economies of scale, regional optimisation of assets and endowments and mitigation of afflictions and natural disasters. Other potential areas for inter-State collaboration include transport infrastructure to facilitate market linkages, education, market development, human capacity building, security and intelligence sharing, among others.

I must stress, however, that this idea is not an entirely uncharted territory for Nigeria. Prior to the oil boom era, Agriculture was the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy and contributed about 65% to the country’s GDP and represented close to 70% of total exports. Through farming, Nigeria was able to feed its population while major cash crops were exported to earn foreign exchange. From the cocoa and rubber plantations in the West, the groundnut pyramids and cotton in the north, to palm oil in the east; each region was identified by its economic areas of comparative advantage which were collectively harnessed towards ensuring food security and inclusive growth across the country.

Given our current economic challenge, I believe it is time we take a cue from our old ‘playbook’ for a viable ‘game plan’ to revive our national economy. States and regions must once again begin to leverage on their respective areas of comparative advantage by establishing partnerships towards establishing inter-State or inter-regional commodity value chain. We must re-start inter-state/regional cooperation.

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It was in realization of this that Lagos and Kebbi States signed a Memorandum of Understanding a few weeks ago. Kebbi State is one of the largest producer of rice in Nigeria while Lagos state, the most populous state in Africa, consumes rice, mostly imported rice, worth N135b annually. With this partnership, which covers food production, processing and distribution, Lagos State and Kebbi State have taken steps to explore our areas of comparative advantages to achieve food security for Nigeria and save our foreign exchange. In specific terms, this collaboration will produce 70% of Nigeria’s rice demand.  The multiplier effect of this collaboration will be felt in the areas of job creation, the development of ancillary industries, the strengthening of our local currency against the Dollar and other major international currencies.

I believe more of this inter-state collaboration should be encouraged as a major driving force for the diversification of the economy.  There are many more areas of collaboration to be explored in the nation. The political leadership must develop the will to make this initiative work, to achieve food security and promote backward integration for industrial growth.

I wish to state at this point that Lagos State has always embraced inter-state cooperation as a strategy to fast-track economic growth and development. Prior to the agreement with Kebbi State in the Northwestern Nigeria, Lagos State has collaborated with States from within the western region in the areas of comparative advantage for the partner States.

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Lagos State currently has 84 hectares of land in Osogbo, Osun State, out of which 20 hectares is used for palm produce, while others are used for rice farming, cassava and maize. Lagos State also acquired additional 1,000 hectares of land in Osun, 500 hectares in Ogun and Oyo each and 50 hectares in Abuja to support farming. In addition, all granite used in construction in Lagos State are being sourced from quarries located in Ogun State. These relationships have proved especially beneficial for Lagos State given its low land mass and the rapid urbanisation and industrialisation in the State.

It must however be noted that for regional or inter-state cooperation to yield the desired result in terms of enhanced inclusive growth, we must put in place a functional modern rail and water transportation system. The movement of goods, materials and people by road is not only inefficient but fraught with risks, safety hazards and detrimental to our roads.

The Lagos/Kebbi initiative for example will involve movement of thousands of tons of paddy rice to Lagos for processing in the mills. This can only be achieved more efficiently through a modern rail system which at present remains largely undeveloped.

Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we must brace ourselves, take the tough but right decisions, individually and collectively, so that we can have a better tomorrow. Together, we can make Nigeria greater.

Thank you.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa l’ogun!!!

Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State,

Alausa.

 

7th April, 2016

 

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Mourns Passage Of Foremost Nationalist, Legal Icon, Braithwaite

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Mourns Passage Of Foremost Nationalist, Legal Icon, Braithwaite

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday expressed shock and sadness over the demise of foremost nationalist and prominent lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite.

Braithwaite died in a Lagos hospital on Monday at the age of 82.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, Governor Ambode said Braithwaite’s demise was a great loss to both the state and the nation.

Describing the late nationalist as a detribalized individual whose example is worthy of emulation, Governor Ambode said Braithwaite was a man of the people, a typical Nigerian who was consistent in saying things the way they are, not caring whose ox is gored.

The Governor recalled that during the military era, especially that of the late General Sanni Abacha administration, when politicians were afraid to come out and contest, Braithwaite dared the odds and came out to contest against the late General at the risk of his life.

“He was very consistent in fighting for what he believed was right and fair to every human regardless of their ethnic leaning or creed, he was not one to shy away from taking a position that he strongly believed in.

“He was always consistent in creating independent platforms to fight for the interest of the common man,” the Governor said.

He said as a lawyer, Braithwaite stood tall among his equals, which earned him respect not only in Nigeria, but across the globe.

“He was one of the very best of lawyers this country has ever produced; he was consistent in the struggle to see the rebirth of a new Nigeria.

“At over 80 years, he came out to protest on the streets with the likes of Professor Ben Nwabueze and other activists against the economic policies of the then Federal Government,” he said.

Governor Ambode while commiserating with the family of the late legal luminary urged them to uphold the ideals he stood and fought for, saying that the nation will continue to draw inspiration from his life and times.

“His demise, just like that of our heroes past, must never be in vain. There can be no better time to unite together to achieve a better and more prosperous Nigeria,” he said.

He said Braithwaite was a prominent Lagos citizen who had paid his dues and has left his footprints on the sands of time.

“On behalf of the government and good people of Lagos State, I want to express our heartfelt condolence to the family of Dr. Tunji Braithwaite on this great and irreparable loss. He was a pride to all Lagosians and we will surely miss him,” Governor Ambode said.