The Christmas Eve Dance of Nigeria’s premier social club, our Club, the Yoruba Tennis Club, has become an event that I and many other Lagosians look forward to every year.
This annual tradition gets better every year and I commend our President, management and all brothers for always continuously improving our club and maintaining the position as the flagship club in our nation.
From 2015, when I first attended this event after my inauguration as Governor of Lagos State, it has always been a wonderful experience for two major reasons.
First, this Christmas Eve Dance sets me, and I believeevery other guests, in the right mood for the Christmas celebration. Secondly, it has always provided for me a platform to share with distinguished members and invited guests,our modest achievements and plans for moving our State forward.
On this special occasion, I would like to thank the President and members of this Club for your support and goodwill. I would like to place it on record that thisadministration has benefitted immensely from your fellowship and ideas, which are deeply rooted in our Club’s history of positively affecting the social and political growth of our State.
Tonight, I stand before you with a fulfilled heart not because the Lagos of our dream has been fully realised but because the future we all crave is no longer a mere concept; rather it is something majority of Lagosians, irrespective of their location within the State,can now feel and connect with.
Three and a half years down the line, our State hasprogressed in all sectors of the economy. We have charted a clear path to the destination we have all dreamt about and desired. Today, our Lagos has become more globally competitive and strategically positioned among the major City-States of the world. Our State has become a top destination for business and tourism and it can only get better.
One of the key promises I made at my inauguration on May 29th, 2015 was to make our State work for all; to spread development from the already congested City centre to other parts of the State massive infrastructural development. The thinking has been to make every part of the State economically liveable.
We have undertaken projects in all sectors of the economy with the sole intention of making life better for our people. All of these and similar initiatives were made possible by the personal taxes of high net worth residents of our State represented at this gathering which account for a significant percentage of our IGR.
I want to use this opportunity to thank you so much for providing the resources which have empowered us to make a positive difference in the lives of all citizens of our State.
I believe very strongly that our State has benefitted immensely from the atmosphere of stability engendered by continuity in governance. A case in point was the recently launched Lagos Health Insurance Scheme which will guarantee access to quality healthcare delivery for all Lagosians. The Bill for that Scheme was signed into law by His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola in May,2015. The process for the implementation of the law was kick started by this administration.This is the beauty in continuity.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Lagos State cannot afford the risk of a break in the trajectory of progressive governance at this crucial stage of development in Lagos State. The future is bright and assured.We must maintain continuity of progress in the State.
According to IMF, the Nigeria GDP will grow from 1.9% in 2018 to 2.8% in 2019.Lagos on a stand-alone basis will achieve over 4% growth in GDP and this could be more if the congestion at the port and the negative effect this has on the economy is addressed. We expect that the high rate of unemployment will reduce with various social intervention programmes of the State and Federal governments geared towards financial inclusion and liquidity support to micro, small and medium enterprises.
The economic outlook for 2019 is quite positive. A lot of provision has been made for capital projects in the 2019 Federal Budget, some of which will directly impact the economy of our State and will support our growth plans. On our part, we will concentrate on completing existing infrastructural projects, creating more jobs, supporting our businesses to thrive and strengthening our security infrastructure.
The Yoruba Tennis Club will always remain a very important part of this State and you have an important role to play in the continueddevelopment of the State. Together, let us take Lagos into a brighter and more prosperous future.
Once again, I thank you all and wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
ItesiwajuIpinleEko, lo Je walogun!
Governor of Lagos State,
The Secretariat, Alausa.
24th December, 2018