Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The Inauguration Of The Governing Boards For The Lagos State Sports Commission And The Lagos State Sports Trust Fund

Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Akinwunmi Ambode At The Inauguration Of The Governing Boards For The Lagos State Sports Commission And The Lagos State Sports Trust Fund

We have just witnessed the inauguration of the Governing Boards of the Lagos State Sports Commission and the Lagos State Sports Trust Fund in accordance with the enabling Laws.

These two Agencies, whose activities are complimentary to one another, are saddled with the responsibility of positioning our State as one of the top sports destinations in the continent.

Our vision is to make our State a hub for sports, tourism and entertainment and leveraging on the interconnectivity within the three sectors.

We believe strongly that Sports can put the State on the Global Map. The recently concluded Lagos Marathon has already received international recognition and will soon be regarded as a major event in the world athletic calendar.

With more sports events like the Lagos Marathon, we will engage more youths, produce more star athletes and create a synergy with sports, tourism, entertainment and hospitality; growing our economy and serving as a tool for youth empowerment and development.

As a result, these two Governing Councils which have just been inaugurated have a huge responsibility on their shoulders.

The State Sports Commission is charged with the responsibility of upgrading and maintaining our various sports facilities, developing strategic plans for sports development in the State, identifying and creating new locations for development of community sports facilities, overseeing the activities of all the sports associations in the State, grassroot sports development as well as capacity building for sports administrators, sports officers, coaches and athletes.

I want to reiterate our commitment to the Sports sector and the need for collaboration between the government and all sports stakeholders in the State.

In achieving our vision in Sports, it is our belief that the funding of sports should not be the responsibility of Government alone. This informed the establishment of the Sports Trust Fund whose mandate is primarily to interface with the private and public sectors to raise funds for sports development.


Funds raised through the Sports Trust Fund would be utilized for various aspects of sports development on the recommendation and advice of the Sports Commission.

With the sensitive and strategic nature of the responsibilities of these agencies, in constituting the Governing Boards of both Agencies, we have carefully selected men and women of proven integrity, professionalism, commitment and passion for sports and I have no doubt that they will deliver on their respective agency mandates.

The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Lagos State Sports Trust Fund is a former Deputy Governor of our State, His Excellency, Otunba Olufemi Pedro, while Dr Kweku Adedayo Tandoh is the Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission.

I am very confident in your abilities to deliver our objectives in the Sports sector. I urge you all to focus on the even development of Sporting Infrastructures across the State, hosting of national and international Sporting events and participation in National and International Sporting Events in order to expose our Athletes and Coaches to international standards and best practices.

I thank all our members and Chairmen for agreeing to serve our State and as we look forward to a new dawn in Sports administration in the State, I assure you of the support of our government always.

Thank you.

Itesiwaju Ipile Eko lo je wa logun


Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State,


Lagos Marathon: East Africans Retain Star Prizes As Governor Ambode Promises Bigger 2019 Edition

Lagos Marathon: East Africans Retain Star Prizes As Governor Ambode Promises Bigger 2019 Edition

…We’ll Employ Top Class Coaches To Train Nigerian Runners

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday unveiled plans to invest in training of Nigerian athletes to compete with elite athletes all over the world for the grand prize of the annual Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

Speaking at this year’s edition of the tournament held at Eko Atlantic City (EAC), Victoria Island, Governor Ambode said he was tired of handing over the star prizes of the marathon to athletes from East Africa, assuring that concerted efforts would be made to reverse the trend and prepare Nigerians to compete favourably for the prizes.

“My promise to Nigeria is this; I’m tired of giving this award to the East Africans and so Lagos State is going to commit professional coaches and then we will go to Jos and then come back in two years’ time to give them (East Africans) fight for their money,” the Governor said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); his wife, Bolanle (right); Ex-Super Eagles International and Austin Jay-Jay Okocha (2nd left) during the 2018 Lagos City Marathon at the Eko Atlantic City, on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

He commended all the athletes and organizers who contributed to the successful hosting of the third edition of the tournament, assuring that efforts would be made to make the fourth edition which will take place on February 9, 2019 bigger and better.

“I just want to say a big thank you to all the participants and also the organizers. We have done Lagos proud again and we have done Nigeria proud again. This is the third edition and we are getting bigger, we are getting finer and this is what this is all about. We have had over a hundred thousand participants and we have broken all the records of last year and we are very excited about this.

“Yes, this is the bronze level; the intention is to take it to the gold level in the next two years and I know we can do it. This is more about the energy of Lagos. Beyond the fact that we are able to show the aesthetics and the improvement we have done in the last two and a half years, Lagos is getting better and then Lagos is getting more enjoyable.

“I know we are going to do this again next year and so come Saturday 9th February, 2019, we are going to have a bigger marathon and bigger prizes,” Governor Ambode said.

Besides, the Governor expressed excitement at the introduction of a 10km race dedicated solely for Nigerians, assuring that prizes in the category would be made to be at par with the main marathon in subsequent editions.


Also speaking, Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung commended the State Government, organisers and sponsors of the Marathon, assuring that the Federal Government would partner with the State to prepare Nigerian athletes to compete at the top level with their foreign counterparts.

He also announced additional cash reward for Nigerian athletes who finished top in the male and female categories as well as young athletes.

Kenyan born French athlete, Kiprotich Abraham breast the tape in two hours, 13 minutes, four seconds to emerge winner of the third edition of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon on Saturday, carting away the grand prize of $50,000.


Abraham’s time set a new Lagos Marathon record, three minutes better than the record set by his fellow compatriot, Abraham Kiptum in the second edition of the 42km annual tourney held last year.

Kenyan duo of Ronny Kipkoech Kiboss and Benjamin Bitok came second and third finishing in two hours, 13 minutes and 26 seconds and two hours, 13 minutes and 29 seconds, winning $40,000 and $30,000 USD respectively.

In the female category, it was a clean sweep by Ethiopia as the trio of Alemenesh Herpha Guta, Tigst Girma Getayechew and Ayelu Abebe Hordofa came first, second and third to win $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000 USD respectively.


Iliya Pam was the first Nigerian to finish the 42km race in two hours, 40 minutes, 16 seconds to win N3million, while Sharubutu Philbus came second in two hours, 54 minutes and 16 seconds to win N2million and Kefas Williams also got on the medals table finishing third in a time of two hours, 58 minutes, 16 seconds to win the third prize of N1million.

There were also prizes for Nigerians in the newly introduced 10km race, which saw Sajo Ismaila (male) and Ona Salay (female) drive home a brand new saloon car each and other mouth watering prizes.


The 42km race started at the National Stadium, Surulere by 6:30am and ended at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, while the 10km race also began from Osborne and terminated also at the Eko Atlantic City with over 100,000 athletes battling for the various prize monies.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung (2nd right); 3rd Prize winner, Bemjamin Bitok from Kenya (right); winner of the 2018 Lagos City Marathon, Kenyan born French athlete, Abraham Kiprotich (4th right); Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe (4th left); 2nd Prize winner, Ronny Kipkoech Kiboss (3rd left); President, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede (2nd left) and President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Hon. Ibrahim Gusau (left) during the 2018 Lagos City Marathon at the Eko Atlantic City, on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Dignitaries who graced the marathon include Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung;, his counterpart in Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; representative of Chief of Army Staff, Major General David Amadu; General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Major General, Enobong Okon Udoh; President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick; ex-Super Eagles International, Austin Jay Jay Okocha; British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright among others.

Governor Ambode Targets IAAF Gold Label Award For Lagos City Marathon

Governor Ambode Targets IAAF Gold Label Award For Lagos City Marathon

…Buratai, Dalung, Pinnick, A-List Artistes, Celebrities, Others To Participate

Ahead of Saturday’s Lagos City Marathon, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday said the State Government has set a target to get the event listed in the annual calendar of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) that would make the Marathon earn a Gold Label award within the next two years.

Governor Ambode, who spoke during an interview with Kwese TV, said it was gratifying that the Lagos City Marathon had, within three years, earned a Bronze Label rating, saying that the past two editions have put Lagos on the international map as the hub for sports development in Africa and that efforts are in top gear to make this year’s edition bigger and better.

“For Lagos, this is an exciting moment for us. We believe strongly that we are the capital of sports in Nigeria and we need to showcase all the infrastructure and facilities that we have in Lagos and that’s why we have supported the Access Lagos City Marathon in the last three years and it is getting bigger and we are happy to be the host of this marathon.

“For us, three years and we are able to get this bronze medal rating, that’s a remarkable achievement. The main goal is to have the Marathon in the main calendar for the gold award and in the next two years, I believe strongly that with the support of Lagos State and all the sponsors, we’ll get to where we ought to be. This year, we have over 100 elite athletes coming and we have almost over 20,000 people running. So in the next two to three years, I believe with that support, we would get to where we want to be,” the Governor said.

The Governor said his administration in the last two years has continued to invest heavily in sports, entertainment and hospitality, adding that this year’s edition of the Marathon was unique as it was the first 10km race that would put Nigerian athletes on the forefront and afford them to showcase their talents.

“We are tired of foreigners, most especially Kenyans coming to win this Marathon. So, we need to develop our own part of this sport and allow Nigerians win it and it’s a veritable platform for Nigerians to showcase their talents and that’s why everybody is getting more interested in the Marathon.

“In the last two and half years, Lagos has actually progressed in terms of landscape and the aesthetics in the city we believe strongly that sports is part of that social facility that we can bring to bear to let people see what it is that is going on in Lagos. I’ve always said that I was going to do sports, entertainment and hospitality to create excellence in Lagos and also allow the youths to be able to see that there is a future for them and through this marathon we believe that we are achieving our vision to making sports that instrument for development in Nigeria and Nigerians have come to love what is happening in the City Marathon,” the Governor said.

Dignitaries expected to grace the Lagos Access City Marathon include the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Minister of Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung; President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick; top diplomats, a-list artistes and celebrities, among others.

Besides, Governor Ambode lauded the Nigeria’s bobsled team comprising the trio of Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga and Simidele Adeagbo who would be making history to become the nation’s first women’s bobsled team at the 2018 Winter Olympics, saying it was a proud moment for all Nigerians.

He also commended the performance of the home based Eagles in the recently concluded football tournament in Morocco, saying that they braced all odds to play in the finals.

Goodwill Message Delivered At The 30th Anniversary Celebration Of Pastor Kunle Ajayi On Stage

Goodwill Message Delivered At The 30th Anniversary Celebration Of Pastor Kunle Ajayi On Stage


We are here this evening to celebrate one of our own, someone who uplifts our spirits with music and draws us closer to God in worship, Pastor Kunle Ajayi.

I am excited to be here because many times, we celebrate foreign artistes and neglect our own home-grown stars. Pastor Kunle Ajayi is one of our own, a proud product of the Lagos State College of Education, now the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education.

Whether we like it or not, Pastor Kunle Ajayi is a star. God has made him a Star. 30 years on stage is an outstanding achievement and worthy of celebration. That is why we are gathered here to celebrate you, Pastor.

Kunle Ajayi is a role model to all Nigerian youths and aspiring musicians. He should be a source of hope and inspiration to us not just through his music but by his life testimony.

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Many of us do not know that as a young child he had health challenges with his lungs. He had problems breathing and struggled with any physical exertion but God healed him miraculously and he has dedicated his life to blowing the Saxophone for God.


As he inspires us to praise and worship God with music, Kunle has also dedicated himself to raise a new generation of musicians with his PKA Music Academy. This academy will take more of our youths off the streets and help them discover their God-given talents.

These are the kinds of initiatives that we must all embrace and support. Our administration will continue to support music, arts and culture because it is a veritable instrument to address youth unemployment and grow the economy of the State.

On my part and on behalf of the government, we will support the PKA Music Academy. We look forward to this Academy raising greater talents and contributing positively to the growth of our music and entertainment industry.

As we celebrate Pastor Kunle Ajayi today, I wish him many more melodious years singing for the Lord and his people.

Thank you and God bless you.

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State,


21st January, 2018.

Lagos Economy Benefits As December Records Huge Spending

Lagos Economy Benefits As December Records Huge Spending

…Cash Transaction Increased By N50bn In Four Weeks

The Lagos State economy has received a major boost as spendings in the creative sector records an estimated N50bn cash transactions in the first three weeks of December, according to reports monitored by the Lagos State Government.

The peak in entertainment activities and the huge influx of people from neighboring states and the Diaspora on holiday visits have impacted positively on the economy of the state at a time that corporate sponsorship of the creative sector has also recorded an appreciable growth.

In a press statement released on Thursday by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, various reports, statistics and analyses monitored over the last few days captured an estimated additional spending of about N50bn in the creative entertainment sector alone within the State in the last 25days, thereby reinforcing the profile of the state as the hub of entertainment and tourism and the economic capital of West Africa.

Ayorinde said reports monitoring the current trends show multi-billion naira spendings in hotel accommodations across the State; alcohol and beverage consumption as well as culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; fees for musicians, their handlers and technical staffs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, specialized taxis and private security guards that all contribute into the tourism and entertainment sectors.

“What this cash-enabled December has shown is a massive growth in the creative economy sector in Lagos State. The entire state is agog, hotels are fully booked from Victoria Island to Ikeja, Epe and Badagry. There is a renewed sense of fun among the citizens and visitors. The volume of entertainment content being created for the pleasure of the citizens and media is unprecedented right from the beginning of the month.

“COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament at Eko Atlantic was a combination of football and musical performances. The Lagos Street Carnival was a demonstrable evidence of the government’s assurance that security and traffic management can now be taken for granted in the state when big shows happen. New cinemas are being launched and all are recording huge box office takings. Four of Africa’s biggest musicians – Olamide, Falz, Wizkid and Davido – have had the biggest concert productions in Africa in the past one week. All in Lagos.

“And we have now entered Day 5 of the 8-day, 5-centre One Lagos Fiesta that is featuring more than 700 artistes, if you add dancers, instrumentalists and participants at the Lagos Grows Talent component of the fiesta. This is an extra-ordinary entertainment value chain that is impacting on the pockets and wellbeing of the people. This is an economic reality that you can only get in Lagos State.”

The Commissioner said not only is this remarkable development in tandem with the vision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to make Lagos the creative nerve-centre in Africa, but also to assure corporate sponsors and tourists that the state security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing creative economy landscape.

He said: “This Government has found a nexus between art and prosperity. Part of what we have done with care in the past two and half year is to develop and nurture the entertainment value chain that feeds the creative economy of the state. We are aware and happy that industries in the creative economy supported more than 500,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the past 30 months, cutting across music promotion, live entertainment, motion picture, digital media, live theatre and cinemas as well as fashion and culinary businesses.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state is feeling the impact of government in terms of participation in the arts, infrastructural development, security and social amenities.”

Ayorinde said this season had become a “December to remember” and expresses the State Government’s gratitude to the Organised Private Sector that is supporting the OLF and the other entertainment events that have drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to Lagos from other states and abroad, knowing that the state is safe and there are limitless entertainment options to choose from”.

The statement urged citizens who are trooping out daily to places of interest to follow the advice of the Police to be vigilant, exercise caution and moderation and be law-abiding, assuring them that the crime-free situation will be sustained throughout the year in order for the state to maintain its preeminent position as the preferred destination of choice in West Africa.