Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday said that his administration has succeeded in laying a strong foundation that would propel the State to emerge as a globally competitive City-State.
The Governor, who spoke at the public presentation of a publication “Cascade of Change: A Decade Of Liberal Thoughts” authored by Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said that the next plan of action is to build on the foundation to move the State to the next level.
“In the last one year we have laid the foundation to make Lagos a globally competitive City-State. In the coming years, we will build on this foundation to move Lagos to the next level, a level of first class infrastructure, services, economic growth and opportunities for all,” he said.
He said the State has the privilege of housing the largest collection of media houses in Nigeria, saying it was an indicator to the fact that every journalist, editor, columnist and blogger has a role to play in the development of the State.
“This calls for transparency and constructive engagement with the media to spread our message. Our government will always do its part and we call on the media to be our partner as we build a Lagos State where everybody has a voice, a chance and opportunities,” he said.
Governor Ambode while commending the author of the book said it would no doubt go a long way to enhance knowledge as well as shed more light on issues of public discourse and enrich policy design and implementation process.
He said Mr. Ayorinde’s contributions and participation as the arrowhead of the media and strategy team in his gubernatorial campaign was instructive to what the State Government could achieve if members of the team are on the same page.
“Steve Ayorinde is an unassuming personality whose professional work has impacted on our national life in many ways as a social commentator, moderator of social commentary and now as the Chief Information Manager of Lagos State Government. I am sure the fire that runs through his veins have been compressed to flow through his latest publication “Cascades of Change”: A Decade of Liberal Thoughts”.
“He represents a generation of conscious journalists who have committed to working towards a better society. We are proud to have him in the Lagos State Executive and he has been involved in various stages in the implementation of our Change Agenda. He has deployed his professional skills, competence and experience in promoting our socio-political reforms through a liberal and focused policy implementation strategy,” the Governor said.
He urged Nigerians to enrich their personal libraries with the book, just as he called on spirited individuals and corporate organisations to purchase copies and endow the libraries of tertiary institutions in the State for the benefit of the students who are the future of our society.
In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion and former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba said in the last one year, Governor Ambode has silently embarked on massive transformation of the State.
Osoba, who alluded to the clearing of Falomo Roundabout in Ikoyi, the ongoing dualization of Epe-Ijebu Road and many other infrastructural projects in Lagos, said he was indeed happy that the Ambode administration has continued in the tradition of excellence that the State had always been known for.
He also commended the swiftness in which the Governor attends to issue of infrastructural renewal, saying many testimonies abound that Governor Ambode is a silent achiever, adding that such was what governance should be all about.
On his part, a public commentator and development expert, Professor Pat Utomi recalled the early days of Governor Ambode in office when he was criticized by many as lacking the capacity to lead the state, adding that his response then was “you got to think, plan and act,” adding that he was happy that the Governor has proved him right.
Utomi, who said the Governor, is endowed with the ability of audacious imagination, alluded to the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of 4th Mainland Bridge that was long conceived, the Eko Atlantic City Project, the Smart City Lagos initiative, the Light Up Lagos Project and the ongoing neighbourhood renewal.
In her goodwill message, former Managing Director of Concord Newspapers, Dr. Doyin Abiola said she was proud that Lagos has always been a centre of excellence producing people of excellence.
She said: “I have never met the Governor and I have never had any discussion with him but from what he has been doing so far, it was clear that he was prepared for the job and he has been moving from step to step.
“I have always wondered how Lagos survived when the Local Government allocation of the state was withheld by the Federal Government. I could not understand it and it was said that Governor Ambode successfully managed the account of the state at that time and so I want to commend them for the good works they are doing and urge them to continue.”