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Promises on social media purportedly from me is fake — Sanwo-Olu

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The Governor-elect of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, yesterday met with a group of journalists in Lagos to debunk, as fake news, a long list of promises which has been circulating on the social media.

There has been a long list of promises on the social media believed to have been made by you on solving, within six months, the many problems confronting Lagos. How do you respond to that list?

I saw the list, too. In Lagos, everybody is now a Sanwo-Olu. But the reality is that it’s just a wish list. it’s fake news. It’s not a bad thing in itself when people push you to achieve, but the truth is that you need to crawl before you walk. In our first quarter in office, we are hoping to have a working government running very quickly. We should be beginning to see huge solutions to traffic management, for instance.

Also, in terms of areas where we need to improve on waste management solutions, we would be working on that. The Apapa traffic gridlock, I believe we have solved it but the sustainability is some of the things we need to do. We’ll also have to work around the civil service because all these things we are talking about, we need professionals who are in the civil service to work with. So in terms of capacity building and skills gap, we need to identify where the right professionals are in our civil service so we can utilise the right competences, the square pegs in square holes to work on all these solutions we are talking about.

On power, within 90 days, I imagine we should have had a clear-cut policy working with the power distribution companies, the generating companies and all other key stakeholders on how we must ensure that Lagos is powered up very, very quickly.

How would you rate the progress of Lagos State in the 20 years of return to democracy?

I will say it’s been worth it, for us as progressives in Lagos and for residents of the state. If we want to be fair, today’s Lagos is not the Lagos we had 20 years ago. Lagos was not the fifth or sixth largest economy in Africa 20 years ago; neither did it have 23 million people. Lagos didn’t have a lot of what it has now, in health, in education, in infrastructure. Of course, we can say Lagos didn’t have a lot of traffic it has today and didn’t have lots of refuse. So, Lagos has grown to be one of the megacities in the world within that 20-year space.

Of course, that huge development has come with a lot of opportunities, as well as lots of challenges. But the progressive leaders have held their turf; they have done very well within the period. They’ve created wealth for a lot of Lagosians.

They have built structures- bridges and extensive infrastructure, and have done a lot of work on education and health building schools and hospitals. There has been quality representation.

When they started in 1999, the state was generating just a little over N600 million but now the state is generating billions of naira every month.

What are your plans for the SMEs in the state?

On my campaign trail, I met quite a number of very intelligent, young Nigerians, about six, seven thousands of them at various fora. One of the things we discussed we’d be looking at is the incubator centres we need to create for them; there will be clusters of incubator centres we can develop. The tech-up side, we’d begin to work on that. On the ones that require financing and support, we’ll get the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to quickly identify more beneficiaries to support them with grants or little loans so we can increase the numbers very quickly.

There will be light industrial estates we need to revive. We will also need to work with the Central Bank because some of these things we discuss are beyond our control. The grants, the loans the Central Bank has been talking about, how well can they be accessible? The commercial banks will mention they want to be supporting SMEs, but how truly well are they going to be supporting them? These conversations must come from that angle.

If you have just a small corner tailoring outfit, it’d be difficult for me to say I’d be solving your immediate problem because your situation could just be power supply in your small shop. But we can pool that together to have a tailoring section in Obalende, for example. That’s the kind of innovation we’d do. We’d look for a place where they can share resources, maybe have about 300 tailors clustered there and we can develop a power solution for them as against developing for each person.

On their own part, they must identify players in the same industry. Once they come together, it becomes easier for government to intervene for them collectively.

How do you intend to address infrastructure deficit?

Infrastructure is big- it’s roads, it’s power, it’s housing. On roads, there is so much of so little you can do during the rainy season. But you can do a lot of planning. You can also, when it rains, clear the drainages, remove what could block the manholes and fix potholes.

During the rainy season, you need to be smart so you don’t waste materials. On infrastructure, before the end of the year, the people will see our growth plan, in terms of which roads, which bridges we’d be completing within the next two, three years.

We’ll be working a lot with the private sector on public-private participation so we can be using private equity, private funds to develop some of those competences in infrastructure.

How would you be transparent on budgeting and procurement?

The state government still publicises its budget year-on-year; we intend to continue with that. Beyond that, we intend to be doing what we call quarterly review of our budget performance so the people can ask us questions on the budget in the last three months: ‘You said you would this and that, why have you not done them? Is it because there is not enough money?’

In terms of transparency on procurement, we have a Procurement Law, we have a procurement agency. It’s for them to assess a bit more. Whatever needs to be published in terms of who gets what procurement, we’ll do it, if it’s not currently being done.

Business owners in Lagos complain a lot about multiple taxes. How would you give them succour?

There are no multiple taxes. It’s your perception. It’s a paradigm we need to change. It’s not true. There’s no tax that doesn’t have a law component to it.

Taxation is a function of the law, so if the law is faulty let’s go back to it. Maybe you can talk about the people and how they collect taxes, which we need to work on. But then, that’s people, that’s culture. We need to correct the narrative.

Would you be giving priority to uncompleted projects the outgoing government began?

We’ve had several interactions with the government; we have a transition committee. We’ve seen documents. In terms of completion, yes, we will ensure we complete them and we will do that very well. There shouldn’t be any problem.

Every administrator has his style. What would be yours?

My style would be to be humble, transparent and accessible as much as possible. My administration would be engaging. I’d allow people to have their say. They may not necessarily have their way, but it’s an opinion, an idea, a suggestion you are putting on the table. If it’s not something in my view that Lagosians will benefit from, I’d give you reasons why it can’t be done.

I am a Yoruba man, we respect our elders. We’ll keep the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos going. It’s only if you don’t have any business in Lagos and you are constituting a security challenge here that you will not be my friend. My style will be to remain a governor for everybody.

Could you give us a peep into figures on the kind of treasury you would be inheriting?

I don’t have the numbers yet. As a finance person myself, we just have to be creative. Money will never be enough, but we can’t be giving money as an excuse not to perform.

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Lagos Matters

Lagos lawmakers reject Sanwo-Olu’s 3 cabinet nominees •Full list of commissioners

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The full inauguration of commissioners and Special Advisers of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet suffered set back, Monday, when the State Assembly confirmed 35 out of the 38 nominees and rejected three others sent to it by the governor for confirmation.

The fate of three others namely: Obafemi George, Prince Olarewanju Sanusi and Adekemi Bembe were still hanging in the balance as the Assembly, presided over by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, which failed to give any reason for the rejection advised Governor Sanwo-Olu to re-nominate the persons if he is so wished.

Obasa, later announced this during the plenary, after the 38 nominees had earlier appeared at an exhaustive session for final ratification which lasted for several hours.

The list of nominees, include; Past Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Tunji Bello, Editor, Nation’s Newspaper, Gbenga Omotoso, Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, Prof. Akin Abayomi,  Dr. Idris Salako,  immediate  Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Mrs. Bolaji Dada, Mr. Lere Odusote,  Dr. Frederic Oladeinde,  Mr. Gbolahan Lawal,  Ms. Adekemi Ajayi,  Mr. Femi George,  Dr. Wale Ahmed,  Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN),  Mr. Hakeem Fahm,  Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle,  Engr. Aramide Adeyoye,  Mr. Segun Dawodu,  Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf,  Sam Egube,  Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya,  Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Mr. Tunbosun Alake, and Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo.

Other are: Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress, APC, Joe Igbokwe, Oladele Ajayi, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, former Chairman, Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, Olarenwaju Sanusi, Bonu Solomon Saanu, Arc. Kabiru Ahmed, Mrs. Lola Akande, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, Daughter of late Governor of Ondo State, Segun Agagu, Mrs. Solape Hammond, former Chairman, Mosan-Okunola Local Council Development Area,  Morufu Akinderu Fatai, MAF, Mrs. Shulamite Olufunke Adebolu and Tokunbo Wahab.

It was, however, gathered that the nominees might have been dropped probably due to unsatisfactory credentials presented or lack of knowledge of originating constituency.

Lawmaker comments

When contacted to comment on the development, a former member of the House of Representatives, Epe, Constituency, also a onetime Chief Press Secretary to Speaker of the state House of Assembly, under Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Lanre Odubote said, “The house has the constitutional rights to approve or reject any nominee presented to it by the Governor. They have acted within their powers to do so. However, the rejection might not necessary mean the legislative arm is up in arm with the executive. I think it’s an internal issue which will be dealt with dispassionately.

“Am sure the House of Assembly will communicate effectively with the Governor on the issue and work out modality to resolve the matter. And good enough, the Governor can represent or re-nominate them for approval.

“We are in democracy and this is democracy in action.”

Recall that a 16 man Ad-hoc Screening Committee, headed by the Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru, had earlier submitted a clean report on the screened nominees to the House for final confirmation.

The final approval of the nominees is subject to decision of the 40 members of the House and not the Ad-hoc committee.

The report of the adhoc committee only serve as a guide to the  final ratification by the whole members of the house.

Abiru, after the conclusion of the screening exercise last Friday, told newsmen that the committee was satisfied with the competence of the nominees, saying that the state would be better with their wealth of experience.

Abiru stressed: “This has been a very tough exercise; we have now taken the entire 38 nominees of the governor (25 in the first batch and 13 in the second batch).

“From what we have seen, we have knowledgeable and intelligent people that actually understand how government will work to succeed. It is a mix of technocrats, politicians and people who believe that it does not matter the divide they belong to, that what is mostly important is the urge and zeal to deliver service.”

“They have seen this as a call to service and have actually pledged before us that they will put all that God has endowed them with to ensure that good governance is witnessed with the present administration and that the people of Lagos will enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, inaugurated nine newly appointed Permanent Secretaries into key ministries and departments, with a charge the to ensure residents get the best of their services.

Speaking at the swearing-in event held at the State House, Alausa, Sanwo-Olu said the appointees were selected for the position for their “exceptional pedigrees”, which, he said, indicated that the state was in for an enhanced service delivery in its public service.

The Governor said the choice of the new appointees was based purely on merit, pointing out that he had no personal relationship with none of the appointees which could have influenced their appointments.

This, he said, was a departure from established practice in making appointments of such nature, reiterating his administration’s belief in elevating merit and distinction above personal consideration.

He said: “I charge our new Permanent Secretaries to see your elevation as a call for more service and to give your best to the citizens of Lagos. I have no doubt that you all will give in your best at all times. I am convinced that Lagosians are in for a renewed and enhanced public service that will take good governance to the doorsteps of ordinary people.

“These appointments are a demonstration of what is to come in the coming days. With the full cabinet coming tomorrow (Tuesday), the people of Lagos will be better off with this choice and all our promises condensed in Project T.H.E.M.E.S will begin to work fully and make life easy for Lagosians. At the end of our tenure, we want to be seen to have truly improved the quality of life for greater number of residents.”

Sanwo-Olu said the appointees demonstrated capability, capacity and competence, hailing the state’s civil service for producing quality personnel with unrivalled knowledge and capability in service delivery.

The Governor advised directors and workers in lower cadres in the civil service to be diligent in the discharge of their duty, noting that they did not need to know highly placed individuals to be rewarded with promotions.

Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, while presenting the appointees to the Governor, said the new PSs possessed “unblemished records” in their years of service to the state.

“I encourage all public servants to continue to work hard and be more innovative in the discharge of your duties and responsibilities. Delivery of excellent results would only speak for the diligent ones when the time comes,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the appointees after taking the oath, PS in the Ministry of Transportation, Wale Musa, thanked the governor for finding them worthy of the opportunity, promising not to betray the trust reposed in them.

Other Permanent Secretaries sworn in are Mrs. Kikelomo Sanyaolu, Civil Service Commission; Mr. Nurudeen Shodeinde, Office of Drainage Services; Mrs. Khadijat Shitta-Bay, Ministry of Justice; Mrs. Olorunkemi Durosinmi-Etti, Cabinet Office; Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation; Mr. Moruf Agoro, Ministry of Waterfront and Rural Development; Mrs. Belinda Odeneye, Ministry of Environment, and Mr. Babatunde Olaide-Mesewaku, Ministry of Tourism. (Vanguard)

Source News Express

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Lagos Matters

Development In Focus As Sanwo-Olu Inaugurates Cabinet By Gboyega Akosile

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In fulfilling his electioneering promise that his cabinet would be constituted within 100 days of his government, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently released the first batch of 25 nominees to occupy cabinet-ranked positions in the state. The list shows an administration that is ready to serve, given the pedigrees of nominees, most of whom are tested individuals with proven records of accomplishment of performance in their various fields of endeavour.

Three weeks after, a new list consisting 13 names of another set of tested and trusted individuals was released making the cabinet positions 38 in all. Expectedly, the two lists generated a lot of interest in the political circle as well as the public domain. Every Lagosian at home and in the diaspora is interested in who occupies what position. You cannot query their interest. First, the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s government came into power, with an emphasis during electioneering that inclusive governance would be the core of its administration. In addition, Lagosians see the enormous challenges that have confronted the State in the recent years and they know that only a focused, dedicated and forward-looking cabinet can help to deliver Governor Sanwo-Olu’s campaign promises.

Lagos has grown in leaps and bounds, with its population hitting almost 23 million people and still counting. This naturally comes with its challenges; increase in tons of waste generated, rise in the number of patients at various government hospitals and primary health centres, more pressure on the existing infrastructure-roads, schools and housing among numerous social amenities being provided by government. Lagos, therefore, cannot be administered in 2019 using a 1979 template.

The state has undoubtedly benefitted from its population growth-more revenue generation; physical development is recorded in different sectors making it a state on the move. At the last count, Lagos is said to have hit close to N30 billion mark every month in internally generated revenue (IGR), making it the most economically viable state in Nigeria and fifth largest economy in Africa. However, the State government has argued that this feat is still a far cry from what is required to run a megacity such as Lagos. For example, the budgetary allocation of the police department in New York City is $5.6 billion, when compared to the budget of the entire Lagos state, which stands at $2.4 billion; one can safely conclude that there is more to be done by government to get the state running.

Being the nation’s economic nerve-centre, Lagos is a city on the move but with enormous challenges. Apart from poor state of arterial roads that complicate free flow of traffic, commuters spend productive hours in chaotic gridlocks that are caused by failed sections on roads and disorganised traffic management. Many observers have opined that planning the best campaign strategies to win the governorship election was not much of a challenge before Governor Sanwo-Olu, as his party, APC commanded large following and significant popularity in Lagos to ensure his victory. What they say will be the most testing hurdle waiting to be surmounted by him was the strategy to deploy in solving the long-standing and emerging challenges facing the state.

When Sanwo-Olu emerged as APC candidate, Lagos had literally become a dumpsite as heaps of municipal waste littered the streets. The state agency set up for waste disposal had been disengaged in a curious and controversial circumstance, leaving residents to resort to indiscriminate dumping of refuse, which became a daily eyesore, even to the government of the day. The aesthetics of the environment was affected. All of these brought down the pride of Lagos, despite its growing profile as a hub for commerce, technology and innovation.

Sanwo-Olu’s campaign was premised on the need to address these challenges, with the aim of proffering short and long-term solutions to them. Project T.H.E.M.E.S that became the thrust of his campaign slogan was formulated as an operational framework to solve these identified challenges and sustain the profile of Lagos as centre of excellence.

Upon assumption of office as the 15th Governor of Lagos on May 29, 2019, Sanwo-Olu channelled his energy towards a process of scouting for visionary individuals from various areas of human endeavour that will help him midwife his vision and deliver on his campaign promises. He said, during the electioneering that ‘‘as Lagosians, we can’t be like people who cannot solve their problems. Therefore, we must find solutions to our problems because they are created by us’’.
As one who believes in harnessing the capabilities of homegrown professionals, Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians that his Commissioners and cabinet-ranked Special Advisers would be drawn from local pool of resources and will cut across acceptable demographics. Besides, he promised his cabinet would be constituted within 100 days to set the ball of governance rolling.

In keeping the promise made to Lagosians, Sanwo-Olu announced the names of members of his cabinet exactly 47 days after his swearing-in. This is a rare feat for a governor serving his first term. The Governor said he understood the challenges confronting the state, noting that the selection process was a painstaking and laborious exercise, which aimed at introducing fresh ideas to governance. He said the team of professionals and politicians would be serving Lagosians in line with his administration’s vision of delivering a smart city-state that will rank among the top most liveable cities in the world.

His words: “We took our time to pick the best hands for the tough job Lagosians have elected us to do. The nominees for the twenty five (now thirty eight) Commissioner and Special Adviser positions include women and men who have made their mark and at the zenith of their professional callings.” Tough job? Yes, the tasks ahead are expected to be rigorous as Gov. Sanwo-Olu posited, given the challenges the state is confronted with and the expectations of the people based on the confidence reposed in the administration.

Infusion of technocracy and political know-how
Being the centre of innovation, Lagos has raised the bar of excellence with injection of fresh ideas and energy in governance. This tradition has been sustained in the last 20 years, and the young administration of Sanwo-Olu appears to be toeing the path, if the profiles of his nominees are anything to go by.

Of the 38 cabinet members cleared for inauguration by the State House of Assembly are active politicians who are equally professionals in various fields. The infusion of politics and professionalism is perhaps the unique selling point of the Sanwo-Olu Cabinet.
A careful analysis of the nominees showed there is clear departure from the tradition of putting forward only politicians or only technocrats to fill up the state’s Executive Council. A private sector professional himself and having traversed the nook and cranny of the political space in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu understood the arduous task before his government, which possibly prompted him to go for politicians, professionals in politics and technocrats to drive the key areas of the public sector for greater impact.

Having worked closely with the Governor, one can safely say that he is inclined to work with technocrats, because he is a man that’s given to details-someone you can describe as ‘‘prim and proper’’ but one equally knows that he values the roles of experienced politicians, who are fully integrated in the new cabinet arrangement for political balancing.
The Governor is a politician himself and he quite understands the roles of politicians in governance and development process. Despite his inclination to work with professionals, he will not be leaving out politicians, especially those who have garnered ample experience in previous administrations, to join the team of key private sector players he has nominated to his cabinet.

It therefore came as no surprise that the name of Mr. Tunji Bello, the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, who had served three previous administrations, featured in Sanwo-Olu’s list of cabinet members. Aside being an influential figure in Lagos politics, Bello, a trained lawyer cum journalist, possesses vast skill on environmental issues and policies to help the administration have clear direction in this area.

Lagos is confronting fierce challenges of climate change, flooding and municipal waste disposal among other environmental problems. With him in the cabinet, Bello’s wealth of experience in climate issues and the environment would come as a great benefit to the Sanwo-Olu administration.

Gbolahan Lawal is another experienced administrator and politician that will be in the Executive Council. A seasoned development expert and social entrepreneur from the security background, Lawal has deep understanding of political economy for integrated development especially in low and medium-income economies. He has proven his mettle in previous administrations as Commissioner for Housing and in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Same can be said of Wale Ahmed, a medical doctor turned politician. Ahmed is well grounded in the politics of Lagos State having traversed the different political tendencies in the state. He is no doubt a good pick by Mr. Sanwo-Olu to help create the political balancing that is required in today’s democratic governance. There are few other experienced politicians in the list of the new cabinet members.

Fair representation of women
Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, Lagos has been setting the pace for gender balance and women involvement in political process. The state became the first that elevated the status of women in the realms of leadership and politics, producing the first woman Deputy Governor.
The state had sustained the tradition of reserving one of the two topmost leadership positions for women. However, the political horse-trading that trailed the emergence of Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as Sanwo-Olu’s running mate in the build up to the general elections raised concern among womenfolk, giving rise to insinuation that Sanwo-Olu may be nursing an agenda to upset the progress made in the State in the area of women representation in governance.

In his response, Sanwo-Olu allayed the fear of relegation of women, explaining that the choice of his running mate was to display the dynamism of Lagos politics and present a formidable team for the tough job of governing a State with big economy as Lagos. He promised to complement the work of his administration with an improved involvement of women in decision-making positions. True to his words, the Governor, after being sworn in, surprised the womenfolk with his first appointment, picking Mrs. Folashade Jaji, as the Secretary to the State Government.

This was followed by nominations of thirteen women in the cabinet list, signifying the Governor’s conviction of getting women involved in leadership and decision-making. The number showed women make up 32 per cent of cabinet members in the State. This is 3% less of the 35% affirmative action for women in politics and governance. Again, Lagos remains the first and till date the only State that has moved closer to the number advocated.

Sanwo-Olu did not just pick any woman out of gender consideration, the Governor gunned for greater service delivery with the selection of seasoned and highly resourceful women, among who are engineers, lawyers, experienced politicians and development-driven individuals such as first-rate engineering project manager, Mrs Aramide Monsurat Adeyoye.

Mrs. Adeyoye, a University of Lagos (UNILAG)-trained Civil Engineer, cut her professional teeth at Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in 1988 and rose through the ranks to become the multinational engineering firm’s Project Coordinator in Nigeria’s West region.

The list also parades Mrs Adetoke Benson-Awoyinka, a public-spirited legal practitioner with 30 years post call experience in Nigeria and United States. Benson-Adeyinka was among the highly skilled team of the Governor’s transition committee.

Ms Ajibola Ponnle, another nominee, is an accomplished consultant, accountant and entrepreneur, with experience in transformational and result-oriented leadership in start-ups, volunteer/member-led organisations and multinational firms. Mrs. Lola Akande and Mrs Yetunde Arobieke are seasoned politicians who will bring their individual wealth of experience to the new drive to deliver a greater Lagos.

Other women in the list, with enviable track records in public and private sector, include Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Ms. Adekemi Ajayi, Mrs. Bolaji Dada and Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, Mrs Shulamite Olufunke Adebolu and Mrs. Sholape Hammond.

Key roles for the millennial
Having joined public service as Special Adviser on Economic and Investment at his youthful age, Sanwo-Olu seemed inclined towards engaging the youth with the aim of harnessing their energy to deliver his programmes and vision.

This may have influenced the decision of the Governor to nominate four young people under the age of 37 years for cabinet-ranked positions in his government. By the time the cabinet is constituted, these four millennials will be among those that would be driving the Governor’s policies in key public sector, creating a generational shift in governance.

Olatunbosun Alake, a 35-year-old Product Development and Data Management Executive and three other young administrators will be in the cabinet to infuse youthful vigour into governance by bringing to bear his cognate experience in local and international telecommunications and innovative solutions.

Ethnic diversity
Lagos continues to blaze the trail in ethno-religious diversity. The State in 1999 under former Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu appointed non-Yoruba professionals into the Executive Council. This great feat has been sustained and almost becoming a norm. Govenor Sanwo-Olu, during the electioneering, unequivocally promised to reflect ethnic representation in his cabinet. In keeping to his word, erstwhile spokesperson for the APC in Lagos State, Mr. Joe Igbokwe and a strong grassroots politician Architect Kabiru Ahmed made it into the cabinet of Lagos State.

Following their legislative ratification by the Lagos State House of Assembly, the 38 cabinet members will be sworn in on Tuesday. With this, residents of the state will begin to witness dynamic governance being driven by fresh, energetic and passionate team of professionals drafted to the Executive Council by equally adroit game changers – Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat.

Gboyega Akosile is Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos Matters

We’ll Continue To Build On Your Legacies, Sanwo-Olu Tells Retired Heads Of Service

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said his administration would build on the culture of excellence instituted in the State’s civil service. This, he said, is best way to build on the legacies of retired civil servants that invested their energies to build the State.

Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke when members of Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS) paid a courtesy visit on him on Friday in Alausa.

He described the body of retired civil servants as “valuable assets” to the State, noting that their actions while in service contributed to the “enviable height” Lagos attained among states in the nation.

He said: “All of you have spent good part of your active life to build out state at the civil service level. I am sure you will always feel fulfilled when you look back to see all the thoughts, ideas and energies you contributed to build the most vibrant civil service in Nigeria. It is the culture you have left behind is what we are building on to make Lagos remain the centre of excellence.

“You have set the foundation we are enjoying today. I want to assure you that we will not keep it at where you have stopped. We are going to keep the flame burning and build on all you have passed on to us in making the most dynamic civil service earn its pride of place.”

The Governor said the future generation would be indebted to the retired Heads of Service for their efforts in building a society the black race would be proud of. Sanwo-Olu said the state would continue to draw from the experience of the retired civil servants, adding that the establishment of ALARHOSPS as advisory body to the government was an indication of the passion the group had towards the development of the state.

He said: “The future generation would remain indebted to you for all your actions and contribution to build our state. Today, Lagos is the centerpiece, which every Nigerian and the entire black race are looking at today as a source of pride. Your sleepless nights, labour and contributions led to this success story.”

ALARHOSPS president, Alhaji Mohammed Ajibola-Olagbaye, who spoke on behalf of the retirees, hailed the Governor for appointing a member of the group, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, as Secretary to the State Government.

Ajibola-Olagbaye noted that the association was created in 2013 as a think tank to help government strengthen the capacity of the civil service and other workforce in the employment of the state for sustained prosperity.

He used the occasion to articulate some of the challenges facing members of the association, including disparity in monthly pension scheme, which affected some ALARHOSPS’ members that retired before May 29, 1999 when the fourth republic took off.

Ajibola-Olagbaye also sought the Governor’s support in building a permanent secretariat for the association’s activities, and also for the forthcoming conference to be hosted by the association.

Responding, Gov. Sanwo-Olu promised to assist the association in surmounting some of its challenges, promising that his administration would consult the group for advice on service delivery.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Mrs. Jaji, Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, and the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Gboyega Soyannwo.

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