Members Recount Rewarding Experiences As Lagos Exco Winds Up


As the Lagos State Executive Council winds up for the first term of the administration, members of the Council, Monday recounted their experiences while working under the team leadership of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) in the last four years describing them as rewarding. 

 Speaking to newsmen after a valedictory session chaired by the Governor at the Executive Council Chambers in Lagos House, Ikeja, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Legislative Matters, Hon. Abdullateef AbdulHakeem said being in the State Executive Council under Governor Fashola “has been like undertaking a postgraduate course with the Unique Selling Point (USP) being the ability to take opportunism beyond the level that people ordinarily use the term”.

AbdulHakeem said that those who served under Governor Fashola have learnt that “if you are given an opportunity to govern a state like this, you should ensure that opportunism does not take the place of pragmatism.

“Another Unique Selling Proposition of his is that he is a team player who talks about us, us, us and not me.  He has also developed the capacity of members of Exco and he is someone who believes in hard work and integrity.

“Serving under this man for six months is sufficient for a life time lesson. We give God the glory that we were part of that team that began well and is ending well.”.
Hon AbdulHakeem reiterated that the Governor in the next dispensation will need a House of Assembly that speaks the same language with him and one that gives the same attention that the Governor has given to governance.
“They are doing well but can improve by ensuring that with this kind of Governor, the best must be given in terms of proactive legislations to the people of Lagos State”, the Special Adviser said, adding that whoever is coming back on board should be ready to learn “because the Governor is someone who also learns from others. For him, coming back is not what matters because everyone can always contribute from whatever angle he is.”  
 The Commissioner for the Establishments, Pensions and Training, Mr Jide Sanwo-Olu described the Babatunde Fashola administration as a brand that everybody now wants to identify with.

“The Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions has become the reference point for other states when it comes to pensions administration and welfare for its workers and pensioners.”

According to the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr  Kadiri Hamzat, it has been a period of service to the people at different levels, adding that it has also been a difficult and challenging job.

“To serve a population of 18 million is exciting and challenging but one must thank God Almighty for that opportunity, enormous experience. The debate within the EXCO has been extremely rewarding, it has broadened one’s knowledge and understanding of the world, to enable one see the challenges that the state has,” Dr Hamzat added.

While giving an account of his experience, Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said it has been a period of hard work, shared vision and a period that this government showed the commitment it has for the people of Lagos in the health sector by facing the health challenges, raising the health indices of the state and improving the health status of the people.

“It has been wonderful, full of hard work and it has not been easy. Fulfilled?… I will say yes but I will also tell you there is still plenty of work to do. I did say the challenges are enormous, we have 18 million to provide health services for, we have challenges of resources to compete with and we are not there yet.

“If I do not come back into government next time, I will still be in the health sector. I am a doctor by profession. if given another opportunity to serve…as I told you there are a lot of things to do, many people to take care of health wise, as changing the health sector in any country is not an easy matter and not something you can do overnight, but we set a vision for ourselves that whosoever comes back just like the government itself, a path has been charted, what remains is for those coming back to follow the path,” Dr Idris explained.

The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru thanked God that things are coming to an end and a new beginning and continuity is happening to Lagos.

He said in the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development, the biggest thrust in the first four years of the brand new ministry is the challenge of creating the Eko Atlantic City Project by turning water into land and then turning the land into real estate.

“Only God knows who will come back and who would not remain, but whatever happens at the end of the day, the major challenge was the Eko Atlantic City Project but aside from that, I would have loved to continue to enhance the development of the water front of Lagos.

“What do I mean by that, Lagos is blessed by putting more infrastructurs along our water fronts in Lagos state,” Prince Oniru added.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye, waxed philosophical in his remarks, saying: “there is time for everything under the sun, there is time to be born and time to die, the time to be happy and time for sober reflection”. This is actually the time to look back in the last four years to see what we have done and achieved so far as a government.

“I will tell you simply that I have been able as the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to improve on what I met on the ground, we have been able to move round and see how the jobs were being done by the chairmen of various local governments and local council development areas to ensure that we have that standard of the State at the local level also to serve the people better than before.

“I thank God that I have worked with a leader that is, the Governor of Lagos who is very energetic, who listens to the yearnings of the people. We have been able to work together as a team and this is actually the time to thank God that none of us in the cabinet of Lagos is late (deceased) till date.

“Certainly if I am given another opportunity to serve, I would work harder to achieve more than before, definitely I would like to do that and improve on what I have done. And you should not forget that governance is a continuum, if not given the opportunity I would continue to serve the people wherever I found myself to the best of my capability,” he emphasised.

The Secretary to the State Government, (SSG), Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya also volunteered her remarks on the valedictory session saying she is grateful to Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for giving her higher responsibilities that entails challenges.

 She added that there are no regrets whatsoever because it has been a wonderful experience for her to serve, adding that serving one’s country is not necessarily by being in government. 

“I would continue to serve the people in any capacity I find myself as I have no other state than Lagos”.

The members later had a group photograph with the Governor and his Deputy, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan.

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