Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday described his predecessor and Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), as a synergy between Lagos and Federal Government that will accelerate and actualize his administration’s plans for infrastructural development in the state.
Ambode, who said this while delivering a keynote address at the Lagos Business School Alumni Conference, noted that the state is privileged to have Fashola in charge of key federal ministries at this critical moment in the history of the State.
“We are privileged to have my predecessor in office at the center in charge of Works, Power and Housing. This effectively means we have a synergy between Lagos and the Federal Government to accelerate and actualize our current plans for infrastructural development,” Ambode said.
He added that though building infrastructure to improve the quality of life is a top priority in Lagos, traffic and security remain the two key priority focus areas that need urgent attention.
He said: “Dealing with the terrible traffic problems that afflict so many Lagosians on a day to day basis is my key area of focus in relation to infrastructure. Our problems with traffic have to be improved. It is harmful to the quality of life of too many people in our city.”
“Lagos will continue to grow and as we are more successful, the population will of course grow more quickly, generating more demand for traffic. We are looking at the potential of rail and water-based systems, repair the roads and work with the private sector to deliver the projects.
We are putting in place the finances we need to enable us make our plans a reality,” Governor Ambode said.
He also informed the gathering that there would be a traffic summit in Lagos next week to address the issues by combining the perspectives of international best practice and local knowledge and experience.
The governor also described the summit as a step on the way to a new strategy that will improve the lives of Lagosians.
Speaking at another function, Ambode said he has nothing else to give to humanity than to uphold the tenets of good governance.
He said this while speaking as guest lecturer at the Annual Lecture and Award ceremony of The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association in Nigeria.
The governor, who spoke on the theme: “Deepening The Democratic Culture In Nigeria”, said as part of efforts to deepen democracy and make Lagos work for all, he has since set up the office of Civic Engagement and Ministry of Wealth Creation.
He added that as part of efforts to carry people along in his programmes and policies and to run an all-inclusive government, he has since embarked on a quarterly town hall meeting, where he can hear from the people directly.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship is a programme for mid-career professionals sponsored by the United States Department of State in honour of Humphrey, a former U.S Senator and Vice President who dedicated himself to public service and upliftment of humanity.
It is a ten-month programme in selected U.S Universities, where fellows are tutored on good governance and service to humanity.
Ambode, who is an alumnus of the fellowship, had saluted the courage and dedication of Humphrey, who he said stood for excellence and commitment in leadership.
He, however, urged the fellows of the programme to do more in terms of commitment to public service and be builders of social bridges.
Describing Lagos as the fastest growing city in the world, Ambode said in the midst of several challenges, Lagos State since 1999 has managed to sustain the momentum of growth, and that he is ready not only to sustain it, but also improve on it and truly make Lagos works for all.
Earlier, the President of the Hubert H. Humphrey Alumni Association in Nigeria, Mr. Jude Ememe, described Governor Ambode’s commitment to public service as unparalleled and unprecedented, and expressed confidence in the sterling leadership qualities of the governor.