2nd November, 2010
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Monday received the new Consul General of the United States of America Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Joseph Stafford, advocating the adoption of the emerging global thought of economic diplomacy through sub-national and nationals.
Governor Fashola who spoke in his office at Lagos House, Alausa added that: â€œIf we must address global developmental issues of poverty, diseases and job creation, it must be at the job centres. The job centres would not be at the capital city of the country like Washington and Abuja, but in the States like Oyo, Tennessee and Chicagoâ€.
He reiterated that the Lagos State Government and the United States of America stand at a vantage opportunity to adopt models that have been implemented using the States as the engine of growth to transform the city and the nation.
Governor Fashola who said the emerging thought is one after his heart, added that it represents one of the things that could be possible if the United States Government works with a government like the one in Lagos State.
The Governor who expressed readiness to study the compendium of development of Embassies and Consular offices round the world past and present presented to him by Mr Stafford said developing such structures now should be about building with a focus on people rather than nations.
The Governor said the staff of the Consular Office of the US Embassy have been very useful and supportive especially with regards to the last two representatives from the United States of America to Nigeria.
Said he: â€œThey were forward looking and particularly concerned. They were part of this process, creating businesses, security and creating opportunities for people to log on to â€˜African Growth and Opportunities Actâ€™ (AGOA) alwaysâ€.
The Governor expressed his readiness to help move the collaboration a little further, asking the new envoy to feel free to ask the State Government for whatever he feels should be done to make his tenure very successful in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, the new Consul General, Mr Joseph Stafford said he was in Lagos to see the Governor and introduce himself as a matter of urgency, having just arrived in Nigeria.
Mr Stafford said he is particularly encouraged by the account of his staff who have spoken at length about the wonderful relationship existing between the Lagos State Government and the Embassy of the United States of America.
Mr. Stafford presented a compendium on development of Embassies and Consular Offices round the world both past and present to Governor Fashola, saying he wants him to study it.
Also present at the event were members of the State Executive Council like the Commissioners for Science and Technology, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Information and Strategy, Mr Opeyemi Bamidele, Commerce and Industry, Prince Niyi Oyemade and the Environment, Dr Muiz Banire.