“The responsibility of leadership is one that is humbling. I’m humbled by the chance to share in the vision, hopes and prayers for a better Lagos but I’m even more confident – confident that my ideas can create the enabling environment for the visions of our people to be realized. In the end, that’s what really counts.” — Jimi Agbaje
The reason I’m in this race is simple: We can do better as a people. I’m confident that we can do much more than the current status quo might suggest – not because it is expedient to do so, but, on the contrary, because it is imperative – if we are to secure the future of Lagos and give the next generation a fighting chance in a highly competitive global economy. The question remains: how do we accomplish this when our current policies confine the resources of the state to the hands of a few while benefiting their interests over interest of the greater good? If we are to move Lagos higher and make it work for everyone, it will have to be done through a concerted effort that is fostered by good leadership based primarily on inclusiveness. This will only happen when Lagosians demand a change in the way government works for the people. A change that would focus not just physical infrastructure but human capital; a change that would foster not just the inflow of large enterprise investment but will also stimulate small business opportunities; a change where merit trumps access and the dreams of our people and their families can be realized – whether rich or poor; indigene or non-indigene; male or female; young or old.
Friends and fellow compatriots, the issues that are at stake in this election will go on to shape our lives and those of our children for the foreseeable future. The challenges that we face have only intensified. Take housing for example: Today we have an affordable-housing crisis in Lagos. At the current rate of population growth in Lagos, we’ll need nothing less than an astonishing 170,000 housing units built annually to cater to the needs of low-middle income households. Our universities and polytechnics – institutions that we rely on to train and develop the brightest minds who we depend on to keep us globally competitive – are grossly underfunded. If we are to move higher, we’ll need a healthcare system that not only works but offers doctors, nurses and other health practitioners the support and dignity that they deserve in order to support our young and teeming population.
Our challenges have intensified and the only way solve them is to fundamentally move in a new direction by taking big bets that are in the interest of the people. We must begin to think in more inclusive, more diverse and more innovative ways. This is no time to succumb to the greed of a few at the expense of the greater good. This is the time for transformative action, transparency and inclusiveness. While my opponents will argue that Lagos is working, the fact remains that it is not working for everyone. We still have a lot of work to do – not just for the people of Ikoyi, Lekki, Ikeja and Yaba but for all Lagosians whether they reside Badagry, Akute, Iju, Ojo, Epe or Ifako. To succeed, we need a clear vision, a powerful message and ground-breaking policies.
This is my vision for Lagos and my contract with Lagosians:
To lead Lagos in a fundamentally new direction where the growth and future of this state is not just dependent on government intervention but driven by policies that encourage rapid growth of the private sector. My vision of a truly world-class Mega-City is hinged on a renewed focus on infrastructure, social services, transparency in government, human and enterprise development, security and inclusiveness. And by this:
- We aim for a Lagos that embraces its position as a global mega-city state populated by well-educated, skilled, healthy people living in a secure prosperous environment.
- We strive for a Lagos that enables ‘Lagosians’ to achieve the personal, entrepreneurial and professional aspirations, regardless of origin, socio-economic background and gender.
- We will work towards a Lagos that confirms its place as a regional hub for financial and professional services and commercial enterprise through genuinely business-friendly reforms and initiatives.
- Our government will be inclusive and will foster partnerships with the private sector, other tiers of government, non-governmental interest and community groups to improve access and delivery of economic goods and services.
My policy philosophy is based on aspiration and prosperity with clear roles and responsibilities for residents and the government.
- Every resident of Lagos has aspirations regardless of socio-economic background, educational-level, profession or status and it is important that residents are enabled to achieve their aspirations as the state government helps them to:
- IDENTIFY opportunities
- ACCESS the identified opportunities
- BENEFIT from or take advantage of opportunities
- Residents, who have expectations of the government, must also embrace their responsibilities to the government and fellow residents.
- The government will partner with diverse, appropriate stakeholders to deliver economic goods, service and infrastructure.
- Partners will include:
- Local government and wards
- Non-governmental organisations and professional interest groups
- Community and neighbourhood groups
- The Private sector
- International agencies and non-government organisations
- The government will:
- Ensure efficient and cost-effective provision/delivery of facilities and services.
- Regulate, monitor and evaluate the quality of services and facilities provided