Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as I welcome you all to this 1st Anniversary of the tenure of our administration as the 8thLegislative Assembly of this Honourable House, I will like to start by re-calling the promise I made to Lagosians in my inaugural address on June 8, 2015 when I said:
“…we are here to serve the people. Our new members will find that we are often besieged by lobbyists. Their advocacy plays a valuable role here. But we must never forget whom we really serve – the people of Lagos State.”
For the past one year, my colleagues and I have been fully occupied with activities to show that the above promise become a reality. We have saddled one another day-in- day-out with assignmentsaimed at promoting interest of entire Lagosians.
I stand here very proudly and fulfilled to say today that we have done everything within our capacity to preserve and even improve on the quality of life ofLagosians through people-oriented bills, which have become laws.
Looking back at our achievements in the last one year, I cannot but give thanks to the Almighty Allah and entire Lagosians whose love and support have been resoundingly inspiring. The task has been very daunting, but my colleagues, management and staff of this Honourable House have shown forthright commitment towards retaining the pride of the House as the best in the country through positive and tireless disposition to plenary and committee activities.
I can vividly recall promising to do everything within my power to advance legislation and policies that would secure the lives and well-being of the people of Lagos State. I am fully aware of the enormous tasks our citizens in the 377 wards of the state put on our shoulders when we took oath of office a year ago. As a team, we promised to live up to expectations of the citizenry by enacting good laws that would aid security and socio-economic development of the State.
Ladies and gentlemen, today, I am proud to say that, this House, in the last one year, has passed into laws seven bills. Because of our avowed commitment to economic well-being of Lagosians, this House passed Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law, 2015. This law will, in no doubt, provide job opportunities for Lagosians and reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. The Local Government Administration (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was equally passed into law by this House to deepen democracy at the grassroots by increasing its tenure from three to four years.
I am further delighted to note that this House has introduced nine Private Member’s Bills, four of which were initiated by my humble self. One of these Bills has been signed into law by the Governor while the others are at various stages of passage.
In the same vein, this House has passed about eighty resolutions on issues that directly affect the well-being of Lagosians. The impacts of those resolutions have brought new lease of life to the good people of Lagos State.
I wish to reiterate that l am passionately committed to my 10-point agenda, as stated in my inaugural speech.
Within one year that I took over the mantle of leadership of this great House, we have had landmark achievements in prompt but thorough passage of the Year 2016 budget, timely commencement of plenary sittings, organizing constituency stakeholders’ meetings simultaneously for the first time in all the 40 constituencies of the state, holding the MDAs to account through intensive and effective oversight activities, and in responding earnestly to the petitions by Lagosians through appropriate Standing or ad hoc committee.
Apart from this, we have not relented in organising training programmes for lawmakers and staff, a factor that has improved their legislative and administrative performances. We will continue to improve on this.
Permit me also to mention our humble performance in the area of infrastructural development within the Assembly complex. When we came on board a year ago, the legislative building construction was ongoing. Today, we are all witnesses to the great improvement our administration has made on these facilities, especially the completion of the L-Shaped legislative ultramodern complex with state-of-the-art facilities, which the immediate past administration in the house started.
Today, I am delighted to inform you that this House now has a multidimensional and functional websitewith a mobile-friendly app, available for free download for Android and Apple phone users. For the first time in the history of this hallowed chamber since its 36 years of existence, Nigerians, and Lagosians in particular, can now communicate with the honourable members through the official email address of the House. All this Assembly’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are also functioning.
May I also add that very soon, Lagosians will be watching live streaming of the plenary sessions from the chamber, being the first to do so in Nigeria, if not Africa.
The performance of this 8th Assembly has earned us awards from the media and civil society organizations. In recognition of our contributions to the development of democracy within a period of One Year in office, I have received, on behalf of this great House, “Award of Best Speaker” by both the Global Excellence and City People Magazine. Our Assembly also received the Most Outstanding State Assembly Award.
The stakeholders’ forum organized by this Assembly on compulsory teaching of Yoruba in all schools in Lagos State is another milestone in the political development of Lagos State House of Assembly. The success of this programme has been acknowledged far and wide.
Good people of Lagos, we cannot exhaust the details of our achievements so far.
However, I must confess that these achievements could not have been so without the concerted efforts of my colleagues, all members of our party (All Progressives Congress) and the law-abiding people of this state.
Ladies and gentlemen, our amiable and efficient governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode should be commended for his sterling performances since his assumption of office. He has proven to be a silent achiever who has shown to us all that performances are measured by physical developments rather than mere media propaganda.
You will all agree with me that the responsiveness and readiness of this honourable House to pass pro-people and pro-development legislations have been the needed tonicswhich gave Mr. Governor the much required enabling environment to perform creditably well to the admiration of our people.
Purchase of security equipment worth N4.756 billion to the state Police Command, which was the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria, the Light up Lagos Project, constructions and rehabilitations of roads in all the LGs and LCDAs in the state, introduction of mega projects such as the Fourth Mainland Bridge, Marina-Ikoyi-Lekki Monorail, Oshodi Transport Interchange, Lagos Medical Park and 8-lane Ikorodu-Epe road among others are pointers to the success story of our governor, Mr Akinwumi Ambode.
This, of course, is a confirmation of my inauguralspeech where I said, “we will not usurp or encroach on either the territory of Judiciary or those of the Executive. As Speaker, I will make sure we work hand-in-hand with the Governor of the state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and other government parastatals to make Lagos a great place to live and work.”Of course,it shows our strong belief in mutual interest and interdependence of arms of government.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is not out of place to commend the good people of Nigeria as a whole for their support for the APC administration despite the economic challenges that bedevil us as a nation. They have been resolute and unmoved, still keeping their fate in us. May I use this medium to assure them that all the promises made by our party are going to be fulfilled,leaving no stone unturned. Whatever the upheaval we face now will be history in a matter of months to come when we shall be enjoying the dividends of democracy in full.
As such, I call on the leadership of our party, most especially Mr President to fulfil all promises made during electioneering as enshrined in our party manifesto, particularlythe restructuring of our federal system.
At the same time, I use this medium to remember the man MKOAbiola. The world all over agreed that the June 12 1993 Presidential election was a watershed in Nigeria’s political history. The struggle to actualise it served as the catalyst for the present political dispensation. Therefore, celebrating this great event and advancing the lessons derived from it becomes imperative because we are all beneficiaries of the June 12 agitation, the President inclusive.
It is on this note that I call on the Federal Government to hearken to the agitation of the pro-June 12 activists by declaring MKOAbiola a posthumous elected president of this country and also pronounce June 12 as a national public holiday as a sign of respect for this man whom we all ride on the aftermath of his struggle today as well as its victims.
Nevertheless, we must give special commendation to the national leader of our great party, the energetic, enigmatic, and intelligentAsiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a sterling example of statesmanship and steadfastness, whose uncommon leadership roles have made it possible for all the successes recorded so far by the Lagos State government, especially this House of Assembly.
Indeed, you all have been part of our success story and I enjoin you to make useful contributions towards the realization of our dreams for greater Lagos State.
We shall remain undeterred and purposeful in our resolve to take Lagos to a greater height.
I thank you all for coming.
ItesiwajuipinleEko, lo je walogun.
Rt. Hon. Mudashiru AjayiObasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly