I sincerely welcome you all to this conference, that has been primarily put up to speak frankly about the direction and the future we intend to bequeath to generations coming after us within the context of the next fifty years.
We have had a year-long celebration of the establishment of our dear State, Lagos with the core theme:- ‘Our Success Story’. The activities are being rounded up this week with a deep reflection on what the next fifty years should be. This is the whole essence of this gathering. There is no better group of people in the State, than this distinguished audience that can chart the path for us. So, I want to thank you for honouring our invitations and urge you also to be frank in your deliberations.
We are humbled by the support given to past administrations and the present one in the last fifty years. It appears that progressive governance has its roots in Lagos State and we are proud of it.
Obviously, this gathering is not about what we have done or what we ought to have done. I am quick to add, that, there is so much yet to be done. Yes, we are always in agreement that the interplay of THINK, PLAN AND ACT is a sure recipe to success; but the practice and process are not fully picked up in textbooks or lectures. Leadership must have passion and commitment for vision before it can be delivered as a product. The next fifty years must cut out a path for us to create a framework for leaders that are not only visionary but also inspirational with passion if Lagos must become a Smart City.
Our State has made this commitment which has the potential to improve lives of our citizens, expand economic opportunities and access to critical public services. The Smart City initiative is Lagos Urban Development vision to integrate all sectors of governance into one box of growth and development – through efficient service delivery to each citizen.
The future prosperity of Lagos is dependent on how well we can equip our children and youth with technological and educational skills they can use to develop the solutions of the future.
In line with our vision of a more prosperous State, this conference will focus on four key areas – ICT, Transportation, Ease of Doing Business and Tourism.
The ease of doing business in Lagos is very critical to the continued prosperity of our State and I am aware that a session has been dedicated to look into this. We know that in order to facilitate investment in infrastructure, it is imperative that we get our act together in our public service delivery especially the quality of our services by public servants in government in order for the private sector to have greater confidence in government. We have put in place the policy framework for a technology-driven land administration and mapping, tax administration and justice administration. All of these will come on stream in the coming months.
I look forward to hearing the thought-provoking discussions and conversations that our competent and remarkable speakers, discussants will no doubt throw up; confident that solutions to present and future challenges will be proffered as Lagos prepares for the next fifty years of progress and prosperity.
On this note, I hereby declare this conference open.
Itesiwaju ipinle Eko lojewa logun!