Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has implored Nigerians not to lose hope in the country despite the challenges the nation has been confronted with in the last 61 years.
He urged Nigerians to unite with renewed determination and commitment to move the country forward against all odds.
Speaking during Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary celebration held at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the challenges confronting Nigeria in the last 61 years are daunting, but are certainly not insurmountable.
“As we celebrate today, we do so mindful of the various challenges confronting us as a nation and as a State. But we are equally mindful of the various vistas of progress that have opened up, and which continue to give us hope that we can achieve the Nigeria of our dreams.
“Even in the face of the many challenges confronting us as a people and as a nation, my message to every Nigerian at this time is that we have no reason to lose hope. There is enough evidence around us of the fact that while we are not yet where we would like to be as a country and as a people, we are also no longer where we used to be,” he said.
The Governor added that: “…more than ever before, it is time for all of us to close ranks, and view our differences not as a stumbling block but instead as an energising force, and unite with renewed determination and commitment to move this country forward against all odds.
“The challenges we have been confronted with at any time within the last 61 years have been and are no doubt daunting, but certainly not insurmountable. A new mindset is required to overcome them; a conviction that it is possible, and that our strength truly lies in our diversity.
“I am proud to affirm that Lagos State provides a perfect example within the Nigerian Nation, of the level of greatness a people of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds can attain if they resolve to live together in peace and harmony.”
Speaking on the recent security situation in Lagos State, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians that nothing is more important to his administration than ensuring the security of lives and property across the metropolis, noting that security of lives and property is a vital foundation and pre-condition for investment and economic development.
The Governor said no stone is being left unturned to ensure that culprits of criminal activities are brought to justice.
He said: “The Lagos Smart City initiative, which involves the deployment of internet-enabled security cameras across the metropolis, will significantly aid our law enforcement agents in the prevention and detection of criminal activity. Our goal is to use modern technology and tools to make Lagos inhospitable to robbers, kidnappers, cultists, bandits and all other criminals.
“The various elements of our security architecture in Lagos State are being reviewed and strengthened, and I have received concrete assurances from the leadership of the State Police Command and all other security agencies, that they are determined more than ever to stay on top of the situation, and restore full confidence to our people.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also assured Lagosians that his administration would not relent in its determination to create an ever increasing opportunity for economic growth and prosperity for all the people of Lagos State, including the youth.
He said the State Government is fully committed to the success of the young people. “The Lagos State Government will continue to enable your success, as young people. You are the greatest asset that God has blessed this great country of ours with.
“We are scaling up the various youth-targeted initiatives of the Lagos State Government: financing small, medium and large-scale businesses, supporting agriculture, investing in start-ups and technological innovation, building skills and capacity across various sectors, and creating the right environment for private enterprise to thrive,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that: “The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has so far made available more than 8 billion Naira to 12,000 businesses, many of which are led by young people; and trained more than 7,000 youths in entrepreneurship and business development.
Similarly, the Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) has made hundreds of millions of Naira available in grants to assist start-ups based in Lagos State.
“Lagos is also home to the largest education-technology program in Africa, the Eko Digital Initiative, which will impart coding skills to one million Lagosians, with an emphasis on primary and secondary school students. Furthermore, our city-wide fiber-optic rollout will soon become operational, unleashing high-speed internet for the use of the public and private sectors.
“I am delighted to note that we have seen and are seeing encouraging results across all the areas and sectors we are working in, and will not relent in our ambition to create ever-increasing opportunities for economic growth and prosperity, for all the people of Lagos State, including the youth.”
The Governor also called on all Lagosians to continue to support the incumbent administration. “I call on all Lagosians to continue to support our administration as we strive to actualize the greater Lagos of our dream, a 21st century economy in which all citizens have equal opportunity to realise their full potential,” he said.