Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday urged lawmakers to support the ongoing efforts of his administration to effect key reforms in transportation, environment and energy sectors aimed at putting the State on a sound footing for economic growth and development.
Speaking at the opening session of the 2nd annual Executive/Legislative Parley, 14th in the series, held at Golden Tulip Hotel in Festac, Governor Ambode said efforts were already ongoing to integrate rail, land and water transportation under the intermodal transportation system, saying that the move was geared towards ensuring efficient movement of people, goods and services within the State.
He said the parley, with the theme: “Lagos: The Rise of a Mega City State: The Collaboration That Works,” was held in continuation of the partnership existing between the Executive and Legislative arms of government in the State, and also to forge a convergence on key reforms currently being implemented.
He said: “This parley is just to underscore the importance of collaboration of the different arms of government so as to achieve the vision we have set for ourselves. But more importantly, there is nothing we can achieve as a government if the legal framework is not put rightly and the only set of people that actually set those legal frameworks are members of the House of Assembly and so, sometimes we come together to iron out some of those issues that can make us succeed.
“Right now, three major things are very critical in the State – transportation, environment and then energy. We want to integrate the transportation system basically rail, road and water. But again, we need the legal framework for us to do it and we have come here together to work out those reforms that can allow us to do it; work out those legal issues we need to put in place to be able to invite the private sector to believe in the reforms we want to do.
“The private sector will not invest their money in government if there is no good legal framework. That is part of one of the things we want to achieve here so that we will be able to make good laws and then we will be able to invite private sector to believe in the economy that we are running in Lagos and that is why we are doing the parley.”
He said aside need to partner on the reforms, the parley was also a major platform to examine whether the government was fulfilling its major constitutional mandate of ensuring security and welfare of the people, as well as delivering the electoral promises made to the people.
While expressing optimism about the prosperity of the State, Governor Ambode reiterated the call for the country to embrace devolution of powers and true federalism, saying doing such would be in the overall interest of the nation.
In his remarks, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa commended Governor Ambode for sustaining the parley, saying that it had no doubt been a success.
While recalling the last edition which focused on recovery from economic recession, the Speaker said deliberations at the parley and implementation of same by the State Government contributed immensely to the recovery from the economic downturn which plagued the country recently.
“It is a good thing that we have come together once again to deliberate on what would be nice and useful to all Lagosians and I am happy that all of us at the Lagos State House of Assembly, the National Assembly, the Executives, all the past speakers, leaders of our great party, are here to fashion way forward for our great state”, Obasa stressed
On his part, Senator representing Lagos West at the Senate, Solomon Adeola also commended Governor Ambode for his giant strides in office so far and for sustaining the parley which he said had contributed to enhancing good governance in the State.
Adeola, who spoke on behalf of the Lagos Caucus in the National Assembly, assured that they would continue to give their best to defend the interest of the State at both the upper and lower legislative chambers such as special status, state police, restructuring and devolution of powers.
Already, Adeola said the members were already working with their colleagues to represent the motion earlier moved by Senator representing Lagos Central, Oluremi Tinubu seeking one percent special allocation to Lagos from the federal revenue.