I welcome you all to this first Executive Retreat of this administration.
In the next Three days, we will set the tone and direction for what Lagosians will experience in the next Three and Half years. We are here to set and agree on the goals of this government and work out how every one of us, in our Ministries and Departments will play our parts to achieve these goals.
Our vision is very clear; to make Lagos Africa’s model mega-city. To make Lagos globally competitive; a global, economic and financial hub that is safe, clean, functional, productive and prosperous.
This is already set out in the Lagos State Development Plan. This government has said it will provide Continuity but Continuity with Improvement. The improvement will come with CHANGE. We will have to make some changes to improve on what was done before.
Over these Three days we will look at where Lagos is now – we will look at some data and discuss with key partners such as World Bank and DFID and those in the private sector. We will also look at where we need to be. We are in competition for investment with other cities in Africa and globally – we must think about how we win that competition.
The Lagos State Development Plan was designed to overcome challenges. We will remain focused on its four pillars. Each of those four pillars gives rise to key policy directions that I want to now outline.
The first pillar of the Plan is Economic development. This is fundamentally about wealth creation through employment for our people. We need more and better jobs, not only for today’s population but to match the growth that we know is coming.
As I said in my inauguration speech, in Lagos you can always succeed. This is the Nigerian dream where hard work, courage, perseverance and merit pays, regardless of someone’s background.
The second pillar is Infrastructure development. We know that our infrastructure will hold us back if we do not improve it. We will ensure that we make money available for long term investment in infrastructure – transportation, power, housing and water all being key issues. We will work with the private sector to achieve these and set out to complete the Blue Line light rail, improve our bus network, make better use of our water assets for transport purposes.