AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MR AKINWUNMI AMBODE, GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE AT THE INAUGURATION OF NEWLY ELECTED CHAIMEN OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND LOCAL COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT AREAS ON TUESDAY 25TH JULY 2017.
Our government has, once again, demonstrated our total commitment to deepening democratic values and good governance at the grassroots. We have successfully completed the process of putting in placea democratically elected government at the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State.
We recognise the importance of government at the Local Government level because a vibrant and effective local government system will ensure a government of inclusion where everybody has a voice. Today, we have completed the chain of government linking the Wards, Councils and LGAs to the State Government.
I congratulate all the newly sworn in Chairmen on your successful election. I also congratulate and specially commend the Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, Retired Justice Ayotunde Phillips, LASIEC Commissioners and the entire staff of the Commission for delivering a free, fair and credible election.
My greatest commendation goes to all Lagosians especially those who defied the rains on Saturday to perform their civic responsibility. The hallmark of democracy is the participation of the people through the free exercise of their franchise to elect the people they want to represent them. This is the true source of legitimate mandate to lead a people.
To the newly-elected Chairmen, the conclusion of the electoral process marks the beginning of real governance which has been activated by your swearing in today. It is now time for hard work and the fulfilment of all the promises made to the people. The people have, by their votes, discharged their responsibility. It is now your turn to discharge your part of the social contract you made with the people of your communities, wards and local councils.
Let me remind you all that you are assuming the mantle of leadership at a time when our people expect so much. Today, our performance as a State is being benchmarked against those of developed economies.
At the State level, so much is being done to harness the potentials of our State and make it a preferred destination for local/foreign investors and tourists. We are implementing policies and programmes that will promote socio-economic activities and maximise the economic potentials of the three Senatorial zones of the State. This is in line with our commitment to ensure inclusive growth and create opportunities for wealth and job creation.
As you settle down to the business of governance, you must bear in mind that the participation of the people in governance does not end with elections. The people must be carried along and given the opportunity to have a say in policy making process and implementation.
It is from you that we get the feedback of the people. You must be accountable and transparent in the management of the resources put in your care for the benefit of the people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to put it on record today that the elections have come and gone; there must be no discrimination of any form. The dividends of good governance must be fairly distributed to all people without prejudice to political affiliation, gender, religious beliefs or ethnic background. We must cherish and nurture the cosmopolitan nature of our State because it is a key factor in our strength and prosperity.
I am delighted to inform you that the State Government has recorded a major success in its quest to control its resources and enshrine the true spirit of Fiscal Federalism. Last week on 18th July 2017, the Court of Appeal Lagos Division allowed the Appeal of the Lagos State Government and set aside the Federal High Court Judgement which gave the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority to regulate transportation and sand dredging.
The era of uncontrolled dredging is over and this serves as a clear warning that the Lagos State Government will now take firm control over its inland waterways and the adjoining lands including all sand dredging activities. This will further aid our efforts in abating flood in the State.
Finally, I congratulate the State Chairman of our Party, Chief Henry Ajomale, the Party executives, leaders and all loyal members of our party at the local government and ward levels for the great job that has given us total victory in this election.
Once again, I congratulate all the newly sworn in Local Government Chairmen and wish you all a successful tenure.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko lojewalogun
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor of Lagos State
July 25, 2017