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Economy, Government

The Co-Chair of Ehingeti 2021, the Lagos Economic Summit, holding from February 16 to 18, 2021, Mr. Yemi Cardoso has said the summit will bring about a good policy environment and attract investment to the State.

He noted that excellent coordination of private-public relationship can signal stability to investors.

Speaking yesterday during an interactive session with journalists held via a virtual platform to discuss the significance and contributions of the private sector-led participatory forum, Cardoso said Ehingbeti is an ingenuous socio-economic apparatus that has contributed significantly to the development of Lagos State in the last 20 years.

“Ehingbeti is not a talk-shop where people gather to say nice things to themselves and depart. It is a platform for discussion of very serious issues about the socio-economic and infrastructural development of Lagos State. In fact, call it the planning board for gradual evolution of Lagos State into the desired shape and standard because deliberations at Ehingbeti feed into the Lagos Master Plan and implementations are monitored by multiple stakeholders”, he explained.

“As a participatory forum, Ehingbeti brings multiple stakeholders together to dialogue and listen to another. The dialogue results in understanding and consensus building. This an agreement to work together because of the shared vision established through the dialogue at Ehingbeti. At the end of these dialogues, communiqués would be issued and the parties begin to execute agreed programmes and monitor progress”, he added.

“With the monitored implementation, the public sector acquires a new sense of operations and while the private sector feels secure with the accountability signaled by the process”, when mentioned that about 17 communiques, jointly agreed by both the private and public sectors were issued in the first or second edition of Ehingbeti.

Acknowledged as the first institutionalized economic forum by any state in Nigeria, Ehingbeti is a public-private sector roundtable that started as a collaborative effort between Lagos State Government and Business Club Ikeja.  Since the inaugural summit in 2000, the summit has gained useful insights from innumerable business and political leaders, renowned economists, notable development experts and outstanding scholars, who have participated from different parts of the world.

Ehingbeti is an ingenuous socio-economic apparatus that has contributed significantly to the evolution of Lagos State into a major economy in sub-Saharan Africa and an admirable megacity, with expanding potentials. The summit, hosted by successive governments in Lagos State since the beginning of the 4th republic, has consistently redefined the dynamics of public-private sector collaborations for development across social and economic indices in Lagos State.

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Government

“We must resist any attempt to destroy the unity of this country. Our people have lived and worked together for decades, even centuries. While we must attend to the cries of communities, and the cries of our people for justice, equity and fairness, we can do so within this same union. Ultimately we are stronger together than apart.”

These were the words of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, while addressing our nation’s challenges of insecurity and criminality in Ikenne, Ogun State, where he participated in the ongoing APC Membership and Revalidation exercise.

According to him, despite the security challenges, the values of justice, equity and fairness across communities nationwide can be addressed within the Nigerian union.

Prof. Osinbajo, who was received by party leaders and members led by Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, urged Nigerians to “resist any attempts to destroy the unity of this country, adding that, “Our people have lived and worked together for decades.”

Speaking on the efforts of the Buhari administration to tackle the country’s security challenges, Prof. Osinbajo noted that greater emphasis is being placed on technology for surveillance, intelligence gathering and attack.

He explained that with the appointment of new Service Chiefs, the nation’s security approach has “fresh set of eyes, intellect and skills and a fresh look at strategies against the insurgency in the North East, as well as banditry and kidnapping elsewhere.”

The VP stated that the establishment of a State Police structure and stronger collaboration between the security agencies and Justice ministries will help to improve security nationwide.

He said, “we must speed up and strengthen the community policing structures, States must continually train, educate and formalize their local security structures so that they complement the Federal law enforcement agencies. Policing must be a collective effort, from the Local Government to the State Government, and all the way up to the Federal Government.

“We must ensure the prosecution of all those who have been arrested for kidnapping, banditry. There must be evidence that justice is being done. This is achievable by stronger collaboration between the police, States Ministries of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Justice.

“We are in government at one of the most challenging times in history. The pandemic has not helped matters, and we also have had security challenges that have stretched our law enforcement capacities all over the country. But we remain the best party to solve these problems.”

Expressing his delight to participate in the APC’s membership & revalidation exercise, the VP commended the smoothness of the process in the State. He said the exercise was important for the party to have a credible roll call of members and to reach more Nigerians, especially at the grassroots.

“Permit me to welcome you all to Ikenne, my home town, and more importantly, the home town of Papa Obafemi Awolowo, the father and progenitor of the great movement that we call “the progressives movement” today. It is on the broad shoulders of the social democratic philosophies of the maximum happiness and well-being of all the people that we, in our great party, the All Progressives Congress, stand firmly and confidently today,” he noted.

Prof. Osinbajo added that the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) and Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) were proof of the Buhari administration’s focus on the welfare of Nigerians.

He said, “Because of our grassroots orientation, we have and continue to put in place the best programmes for the welfare of our people. Our focus on jobs for our young people is a resolute commitment of our party. Aside from the various microcredit schemes, Payroll support scheme (under the MSME Survival Fund), we have the N-Power (under the SIPs), and now the 774,000 jobs programme and N75B Youth Fund. We also have a mass housing scheme, mass agriculture scheme, and solar home systems for 5 million homes (under the ESP). All of these things are programmes and policies of a progressive party.”

“The people are the party and the party is the people. Ours is a grassroots party; a party of the people. Our focus is on the welfare, prosperity and well-being of all our people. Party members must understand their importance in the scheme of things. They must fully understand party’s philosophy and programmes; they must be actively mobilized to participate in, propagate and support government policies and programmes.”

Besides the Ogun State Governor, the event was also attended by the Niger State Governor, Sani Beĺlo, Senator Lawan Shuaibu and the former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba. The Chairman of the APC Ikenne Ward One, Prince Segun Awomuti, who hosted the event, endorsed the Vice President’s membership registration.

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