Following the Endsars riots that devastated the state last year, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa have called for the rebuilding of Lagos.
The trio and others spoke at the 16th edition of the Executive/ Legislative Parley at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, with the theme: A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the entire world and subsequent EndSARS protest, which left in it trails unimaginable destruction of public and private properties in the State, the parley is aimed at ensuring consensus of all stakeholders on issues that are germane to the development of the State.
According to Sanwo-Olu, “Lagos is rebuilding stronger; to rebuild Lagos is to rebuild ourselves; to rebuild Lagos is to rebuild our infrastructures.
He explained that the parley provided opportunity to set agenda for the future of the State, adding “it is to sustain our Lagos and put it on a pedestal of growth in the next 10-30 years to come.
“As the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria, Lagos was not left out of the lockdowns. This as you all know has adversely affected the socio-economic life of our people and slowed down our efforts at infrastructural development and poverty alleviation.
“As if that was not bad enough, the #EndSARS protest reared its head, culminating in a grounding of social and economic activities, as well as unimaginable destruction of both public infrastructure and private properties.
“We thank God that we were able to bring the situation under control with the help of God and a resilient citizenry. We have no alternative than rebuild Lagos, with a sense of urgency. To do this, all stakeholders in the development and growth of Lagos State must come together to share experiences and proffer solutions.
“Let me be quick to say that beyond the immediacy of these disruptive events of 2020, it is important for us all to think and plan for the long-term future of Lagos. Just last week, we were at the 18th Lagos Economic Summit, tagged ‘Ehingbeti 2021’, to chart a path towards accelerating the sustainable growth of Lagos State over the next decade. In addition to making this long-term planning and envisioning part and parcel of public administration in Nigeria, we must also ensure that we follow through in terms of implementation.
“The Executive and Legislature must work together to ensure that the Rebuilding of Lagos is done urgently and efficiently. The vast majority of our people want Government to work for them. They don’t make any distinctions between the Executive and the Legislature, as far as they are concerned we are all public officials elected to deliver on the mandate of efficient governance. There is no room for making excuses to them, or blaming another arm of government for the inability to deliver. It is up to us to ensure that, even though we are separate and independent arms of government, we are always on the same page and constantly resolving whatever issues and differences we have.”
On the much expected 4th Mainland Bridge, Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that even though the bridge was not part of his campaign promises, he promised to ensure the project was implemented.
According to him, “We did not promise 4th Mainland Bridge as part of campaign promises but we will build 4th Mainland Bridge. We shall lay the foundation before the end of the year.”
Gbajabiamila said, “We need unity across arms of government. This unity does not mean one arm subservient to the other,” adding nation building is a joint task.
He added further that every stakeholder must strive to ensure that the electoral promises are delivered to the people.
While reiterating on the theme, Gbajabiamila explained that rebuilding has a broader meaning, noting “Rebuilding is remodeling the way we do things; remodeling our values; remodeling is a continuous process.”
He argued that beyond the infrastructure decay, remodeling also includes health, moral values and education to get Lagos to the next level.
On his part, Obasa urged the organisers to sustain the annual programme, saying there was need to engage policy makers and interact.
He advised that the engagement should not be limited to public officers, adding the civil societies and the youths have critical role to play.
He stated that the youth required reorientation in order to ensure that they were tailored in line with the desired values in the State.
In her welcome address, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale said, “To fast track the rebuilding of the State, we shall in the next 48 hours discuss extensively around the theme of the retreat – ‘ A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos’ delving deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: catalyst for growth and Role of Social Media in Nation Building.
“Also, there shall be presentations by a number of Ministries and Agencies such as Ministry of Agriculture, Office of Civic Engagement among others. These MDAs shall be shedding light on their operations as relating to the attainment of sustainable socio-economic growth of Lagos State.”