Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday called on the academic community to come up with quality research work that would create a platform for good governance and set the country on the path of economic growth and development.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he received management team of University of Lagos (UNILAG) on courtesy visit led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Rahamon Bello, said the time had come for practical collaboration between the government and the academic community for the overall benefit of the country.
“The time has actually come for practical collaboration between government and the academia. I think we have missed out all the great opportunities that we have seen in most of the Ivy League schools that we have all gone to, to see the huge advantage that comes in the collaboration between the academic community and government and that is where I want us to actually focus on.
“We need to now see how the academic community can help in our vision for growth and development. There are so many things that should actually come from the academic community that allows government to create a platform for good governance and reduce the cost of governance and this will only come from the research work that comes out from the university,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor, who is a product of UNILAG, described the visit by the management of the institution as historic, and harped on the need to build on it to ensure purposeful synergy for growth and development.
He recalled a professorial research work in UNILAG funded by the State Government on tax matters, saying that more required to be done in finding solution to the myriad of challenges confronting the nation.
The Governor, while expressing excitement at a new office created by UNILAG on Innovation and Enterprise, also called for concerted efforts from key players to grow the informal sector, saying that the sector remained critical to the growth of the economy.
“The economy in Nigeria actually needs new entrepreneurs. We need them because they are the bulk of the system itself and then when you count the formal sector, it is just 10 per cent of the economy in Lagos. The bulk of the economy of Lagos is in the informal sector and we need to do a lot of research and collaboration to be able to bring the entrepreneurship in the informal sector into the framework of growing GDP of Lagos.
“We are excited about the fact that we are the fifth largest economy in Africa with $136billion GDP but the truth is our vision is to make Lagos the third largest economy in Africa in the next five years and we believe we can do it and the way to do it is for us to spend our way into that particular bracket,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, Professor Bello said the visit was to associate with Governor Ambode who is the first alumnus of UNILAG to govern the State, as well as to scale up partnership with the State Government for development.
He particularly congratulated the Governor for his sterling performance in office in the last two years in all the sectors and sections of the State, saying that the projects had positively impacted the people.
The VC specifically noted the numerous roads and flyover projects, traffic decongestion activities through lay-bys and bus stops, housing development, education and tourism projects, as well as huge investment on security apparatus, saying tax payers’ money spent on security was now making the people to sleep with their two eyes closed.
He, however, called for involvement of UNILAG on the move by the Governor to create technology hub in Yaba, and other parts of the State.