Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday said his administration will go all out to transform the economy of Surulere and make it to be at par with those of Victoria Island and Ikoyi, starting with the resuscitation of the night life of the axis.
Speaking while unveiling a road project in Modele-Mathew Street and solar powered street lights in Modele-Mathew Street, Randle Avenue and Fred Anyiam Street in Surulere constructed by Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor Ambode said the hospitality and entertainment business which the area had always been known for, would be revived and scaled up to actualize the plan for the massive development of the axis.
He said: “I have discovered that unless I pursue and take over the National Stadium and the Arts Theatre, I cannot achieve my goal because with those two projects and places, the hospitality and entertainment business in which Surulere is really known for will be brought back to life because the real entertainment in Lagos State actually started from Surulere.
“I will do everything to ensure that the economy of Surulere is as competitive as that of Victoria Island and Ikoyi.”
He said though a lot of projects had been implemented by his administration in Surulere, more would be done to truly change the face of the area, and make the economy compete favourably with others.
Ambode said: “So, what is it that I want to make Surulere to look like? You remember we have already done Ishaga-Mabo Road, Itire-Lawanson Road, Ijesha Road, the palliative is ongoing. We have upgraded Agboyin Avenue and then Simisola Mogaji Close. But what is very important to me in Surulere is to bring back night life hundred per cent in this area.”
He commended Gbajabiamila for keying into the ongoing infrastructural renewal efforts of his administration, saying it was gratifying that individuals and corporate organisations were now joining government to fast-track socio-economic development and empowerment of the people.
Governor Ambode, who particularly lauded the commitment of the lawmaker to the welfare of the people of his constituency and all Lagosians, said it was on record that Gbajabiamila had used his seat in the House to attract numerous projects to his constituency and Lagos at large.
He recalled how Gbajabiamila in 2016 mobilized the Lagos Lawmakers in the House of Representatives to pull resources together to give Lagos a befitting Sports and Recreation Centre in Epe, as well as plans for federal engineers to rehabilitate Karimu Street in Surulere.
Showering praises on the federal lawmaker, the Governor said: “He (Gbajabiamila) has complemented the job of our Government very well at the national level and we appreciate him for his clever intervention especially his leadership role during the recent Constitution Amendment process. He defended the interest of Lagos in seeking for devolution of more powers to the States”.
He added: “Hon. Gbajabiamila is a most valued legislator who has supported our government in all we have been doing and his support has been unflinching. On behalf of the government of Lagos State, I want to commend him not only for doing us proud in the House of Representatives but also making his Federal Constituency, Surulere, a beacon of development in Nigeria.”
The Governor urged other public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to emulate Gbajabiamila by adopting public infrastructure for maintenance or rehabilitation, just as he called on residents to make effective use of all public infrastructure in their neighborhood and protect them from vandalism or destruction of any kind.
Besides, Governor Ambode congratulated Gbajabiamila’s mother, Alhaja Lateefat Gbajabiamila on her 88th birthday which coincided with the commissioning of the projects, saying it was a perfect way to celebrate her for being the first woman to be elected a Local Government Chairman in Lagos State.
Earlier, Gbajabiamila said the decision to construct the road, which was hitherto in very dilapidated state, was inspired by the massive efforts of Governor Ambode in transforming all parts of the State.
He said: “Today is not my day; today is the Governor’s day. I say this with a lot of deep thought because you can be a Governor, you can be a President, you can be a Chairman of Local Government, if you don’t have disciples, you are nothing.
“The Holy Prophet Muhammed had disciples; Jesus Christ had disciples. It is those disciples that go out there and do his work. Why I say today is the Governor’s day is because I am only complementing what the Governor has been doing all over Lagos State. He (Governor Ambode) is the one that has inspired me.”