Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am greatly delighted to welcome you all to this Executive/Legislative parley designed to fashion out a collective consensus agenda for rebuilding our dear Lagos State.
This assemblage, no doubt, is targeted at deliberating on matters of paramount interest to this state and by extension, Nigeria as a whole. Hinged on this, I bring you all goodwill message from the entire Lagos State House of Assembly.
You will all agree with me that the necessity and significance of this parley is explicit enough. More than ever before, the elected and appointed public office holders of Lagos State at all levels must bond together and work in the best interest of the state with a common vision, a common mission and, of course, a common passion. This has become imperative if we are to effectively meet the immense responsibilities that lie on our shoulders as leaders of a global Mega City like ours.
The theme of this retreat, as we are all aware is: A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos, and, as you will all agree with me, this discussion is very apt considering the current situation of our dear state vis-à-vis the mayhem unleashed on it last year.
Ladies and gentlemen, the events that overtook our state and by extension Nigeria towards the end of last year regarding the END SARS protests and its aftermath are such that dealt a big blow on us, which brought about wanton destruction of both private and government property, enterprises, and its attendant arson and looting. Every aspect of life and livelihood in Lagos was affected – government buildings, offices, public infrastructure, public monuments and historical archives and very sadly too, private property and investments.
I remember visiting some parts of Lagos then such as the Lagos High Court, BRT Oyingbo Terminal, Fagba, Isokoko and Pen Cinema Police Stations, Oba Akiolu Palace, City Hall and Public Works Corporation, in company of members of the Lagos House of Assembly. The level of ruins in all these places mentioned was beyond imagination.
As we are all aware of the fact that Lagos State is the economic powerhouse of the country, there is the need to do everything possible in rebuilding it after the unprecedent carnage.
I know that efforts have been in top gear to address the issue of rebuilding Lagos State since last year. But this is the very first time both the legislative and executive arms of government in the state will be coming together to address this issue.
In the light of this, harmonious working relationship among the three arms of government in a state like Lagos is the only factor that will create the enabling environment and momentum needed for this APC-controlled state to live up to its promise of moving Lagos State to the next level of growth and development.
Distinguished guests, rebuilding Lagos requires a holistic collaboration among all the arms of government in the state, as each arm must carry out the functions assigned to it by the Constitution effectively and within the limits of its power and confines of the Constitution.
We need to remind ourselves that the period of brooding over the devastation suffered by our state in the violence that trailed the hijack of #ENDSARS protests is now in the past. All hands must be on deck to fully recover our dear state and take it back to its place in terms of infrastructure, and repair the fortress of commerce battered by the destruction.
As such, it is gratifying to note that the focus of our discussion for the 16th Legislative-Executive parley is on the right track towards a greater Lagos. We cannot agree less on this because it is on the record that one of the most positive signals from Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration is that he has not allowed the wheels of governance grind to a halt. And this has kept the state stable and peaceful and kept people wondering what the magic has been since his assumption of office.
Overall, ladies and gentlemen, the call for rebuilding Lagos is a continuous one as this act will definitely take a longer time to achieve. It is indeed a journey. But we will not relent in our efforts to have back a better, greater and resilient Lagos State.
This, I believe, will be thoroughly deliberated upon in the course of this 3-day event.
I wish us all a fruitful deliberation. Thanks for listening.
Rt Hon (Dr) Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly
Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook