Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has sworn in 23 commissioners and 14 special advisers to constitute his cabinet, with a charge on them to be accountable and be loyal to the people .
The swearing in ceremony was held on Monday at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. The event was attended by well wishers of the cabinet members and government officials.
Speaking at the event, Ambode said the event represented a milestone as it afforded him the opportunity to choose his 37-member cabinet that would help in moving Lagos to greater heights
He said Lagos State is the fourth largest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $131bn, equaling that of 42 other countries in Africa.
“Lagos has a rapidly growing middle class of presently over 4 million people with youths constituting Sixty Per Cent (60%) of its population. Not only is Lagos the nerve centre of Nigeria’s economy, it bears more than Ninety Per Cent (90%) of all the Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria in the last few months.
“The challenges that come with the boisterious profile of the state as one of the world’s fastest growing cosmopolitan City-States are as many as the opportunities that abound in it. Lagos is a magnet for many Nigerians who want to pursue the Nigerian dream. The dream that wherever you are from, regardless of tribe or creed, you can achieve what you wish. This is the Lagos dream,” he stated.
The governor explained that developing befitting infrastructure to cope with the exponential growth in Lagos population and its rapid urbanization required hard thinking and ingenious solutions.
He said despite that one-fifth of Lagos is covered in water, Lagosians today relied almost entirely on land transportation system as the addition of thousands of new people and automobiles to Lagos demography on daily basis, inevitably puts unbearable pressure on road networks and traffic situation.
Ambode stated that relying on traditional modes and methods for protecting the people in an age in which men of the underworld use sophisticated weapons and transport to commit crimes and escape from crime scenes left the people vulnerable, saying that leaving the potential of the teeming youths unutilized would severely undermine the economic well-being of the state and its people in the long-run.
The governor, therefore, said as Commissioners and Special Advisers, Lagos charged them to develop ingenious means of transporting its people across the land as well as implement decisions that would combat crimes and secure the people.
“Lagosians call on you to create job opportunities for our youths. As with most nations with a mono-economy, Nigeria is going through an interesting time. The continuous fall in crude oil prices means vastly dwindling revenues for Nigeria. In turn, states will have less and less money to fund capital projects and face enormous challenges in catering for their people.
“The future of any modern state to provide infrastructure and effectively cater for its people lies critically in its ability to generate stable revenues and resources to drive growth. In the last four months, our government has worked hard to lay a solid foundation to drive effective governance.
“Our decisions have stabilized the financial economy of the state despite inherited heavy financial liabilities. We have vastly reduced the cost of governance without bail-outs from the Federal Government and our reforms will be continuous,” he said.
Ambode added that his administration would demand absolute loyalty from the cabinet members as their primary allegiance was to the people of Lagos, irrespective of creed or colour.
“You must dedicate yourselves to the service of Lagos State. Your work must reflect what Lagos stands for: leadership, accountability, good governance, opportunities and service.
“Lagos is on the brink of greatness and you have all been given this platform to write your names in gold. You must work to leave a legacy that will be spoken of in glowing terms in years to come. Lagos is the most promising emerging City-State in Africa today. We have all the ingredients to compete globally in all sectors; and we must.
“We owe it to the people of Lagos and to ourselves. You are today, being handed the reins to the government of Lagos State and together, we must fulfil the massive potentials of our state. I look forward to working with you to deliver, a cleaner, safer and more prosperous Lagos State,” he charged them.
The Commissioners appointed and their portfolios include: Gbolahan Lawal, Commissioner for Housing; Dr. Jide Idris, Commissioner for Health; Folarin Coker, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture; Seye Oladejo, Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations; Engr. Ganiyu Johnson, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure; Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, Commissioner for Agriculture; Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives; Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget; Dr. Babatunde Adejare, Commissioner for Environment; Mr. Olawale Oluwo, Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources; Dr. Benson Akintola, Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions; Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi, Commissioner for Finance; Dr. Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef, Commissioner for Home Affairs and Mr. Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
Others are Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, Commissioner for Justice; Alhaji Muslim Folami, Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs; Townplanner Wasiu Anifowoshe, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development; Mr. Olufemi Odubiyi, Commissioner for Science and Technology; Dr. Ekundayo Mobereola, Commissioner for Transportation; Engineer Adebowale Akinsanya, Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development; Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment; Lola Akande, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development.
The Special Advisers and their portfolios include: Mr. Ayodeji Tinubu, Special Adviser Sports and Chairman Lagos State Sports Council; Mr. Ganiu Okanlomo Sanni, Special Adviser, Food Security; Mrs. Yetunde Onabule, Special Adviser, Urban Development; Mr. Kehinde Joseph, Special Adviser, Civic Engagement; Adebimpe Akinsola, Special Adviser, Arts and Culture and Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, Special Adviser, Primary Healthcare.
Others are Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, Special Adviser, Education; Adeyemi Olabinjo, Special Adviser, Commerce; Prince Anofi Elegushi, Special Adviser, Transport; Mr. Babatunde Hunpe, Special Adviser, Environment; Professor Ademola Abass, Special Adviser, Overseas Affairs and Investment; Mrs. Aramide Giwanson, Special Adviser, Housing; Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, Special Adviser, Community and Communications and Mr. Agboola Dabiri, Special Adviser, Central Business District.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule was also assigned to oversee the Ministry of Education.
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