Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday said his administration would remain focused on all its development plans and programmes in the state in spite of the coming elections.
Ambode made the declaration while declaring open a three-day retreat for members of the state Executive Council and Body of Permanent Secretaries with the theme “Effective Strategic Planning for an Emerging Smart City” in Epe.
The governor, who is spending his first term in office, is still eligible to seek another term in 2019, and primary elections of political parties for the coming elections are to hold this year.
He said though people believed governance would slow down this year because of the next elections, his administration would remain focused and ensure steady progress is achieved in the state.
The governor said both local and international development indices reflect that steady progress had been recorded in the task of making the state one of the foremost commercial and social hubs in Africa.
He, however, acknowledged that the government reforms had not been without challenges.
Ambode said: “Some of our reforms remain challenging because of institutional difficulties and corruption. We presently experience this in some of our on-going reforms.”
He reiterated his commitment to the people-oriented style of governance in spite of the challenges being faced.
Ambode said the theme of the retreat was apt, but that the constraint was how to effectively and strategically plan to actualise the vision, considering the state’s peculiar challenges.
The governor commended the participants for the successes so far recorded, but said a lot still needed to be done.
He urged them to put forward ideas and suggestions that could further enhance the status of Lagos.
According to him, the state, with their cooperation, will become as a globally competitive Smart City.
He charged them to continue with “Strategic planning Template’’ which was working for the state, and to let their institutions, Ministries or Agencies speak for them.
Ambode said: “To plan effectively and strategically requires us to think, not just outside the box, but to think globally and act locally. We must look beyond our borders for ideas but consider all our local situation.
“We must do things differently, be ready to be called names and to encounter resistance.
“However, we must remain steadfast and let posterity judge our actions and intentions; someday, the resistance will become support and endorsement.’’