In a proactive move to foster stronger ties between Lagos State and the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on DAWN, Hon. Lanre Sunmi Odesanya, embarked on a working visit to the commission’s headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria on Friday, 8 September, 2023.
The visit of the immediate past scribe of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress signifies a promising step towards regional cooperation and collaboration.
A lawyer and politician, Odesanya pledged to work seamlessly with the DAWN Commission, emphasizing his commitment to ensuring that the commission’s requests are brought to the attention of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for swift action.
The DAWN Commission, a regional development agency focused on the Southwestern states of Nigeria, made three significant requests during the meeting. Firstly, they sought an office space within the Lagos State Liaison Office in Abuja. This move aims to establish a more accessible presence in the nation’s capital, further strengthening the region’s unity and representation on the national stage.
Secondly, the DAWN Commission expressed its desire to host the 2024 DAWN Sports Festival in Lagos. This ambitious endeavor would not only promote sports development within the region but also showcase Lagos as a hub for cultural and sporting events and an operational vehicle.
The former member of the Lagos State of Assembly assured the DAWN Commission of his unwavering dedication to advancing their objectives and interests in Lagos State. He emphasized that the Lagos State government, under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s leadership, values the partnership and cooperation of all Southwestern states through the DAWN Commission.
He emphasized the pressing necessity for the revitalization of two key rice ventures, Erimo and Igbimo rice, along with a significant call for the modernization of the Southwestern railway system.
Odesanya highlighted the critical importance of breathing new life into the Erimo and Igbimo rice ventures. These agricultural initiatives hold substantial potential to bolster the region’s food security and contribute to the nation’s self-sufficiency in rice production.
He urged immediate attention to the Southwestern railway system. The call for its revamping comes as part of a broader strategy to enhance regional connectivity, facilitate efficient transportation of goods and people, and stimulate economic growth across the Southwest.
The Lagos State government’s willingness to engage with the DAWN Commission’s requests highlights its dedication to promoting unity, development, and prosperity within the region. With Hon. Sunmi Odesanya at the helm of DAWN affairs, the future holds great promise for Southwestern Nigeria.
The Director-General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr. Seye Oyeleye earlier in his speech stressed the pivotal role that Lagos plays not only in the Southwest but in the entire nation of Nigeria.
He highlighted the imperative of harnessing Lagos’ potential for the benefit of the entire country.
Describing Lagos as a “true Nigerian icon,” Oyeleye emphasized its unique position as a potential “growth pole” for Nigeria. He attributed Lagos’ significance to its abundant resources, the welcoming nature of its residents, a history of visionary leadership, and a consistent commitment to long-term planning and execution.
“As a State in Southwest Nigeria, we at DAWN Commission are particularly interested in the sustainability of Lagos,” Oyeleye declared.
He acknowledged the critical role Lagos has played in the region’s recovery and its ongoing importance in achieving the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria’s goals. He noted that virtually all Southwest states have adopted “Lagos Strategies” that encompass the emulation of best practices, the sharing of models and methodologies, and the recognition of Lagos as a leading market in West Africa.
Highlighting the role of DAWN Commission as a regional development institution, Oyeleye explained how their unique vantage point provides a “balcony view” of development actions and activities across the Southwest. They serve as both a regional perspective and a primary resource for states, including Lagos, on various issues.
Oyeleye emphasized the need for a holistic approach to transformation, combining social re-engineering, economic development, and cultural renaissance to elevate not only Lagos but the entire Yoruba nation.
He emphasized that Lagos continues to serve as an incubator for leaders and innovative ideas that spread across Nigeria. He noted that Lagos has transcended the stage of benchmarking itself against other states within Nigeria and is now benchmarking its performance on a global scale.
He highlighted Lagos’ strategic geographical location, which, if optimally harnessed, could foster growth, aspirations, and competitiveness that extend beyond the state’s borders.