(An extract of the Presidential Charge delivered by the Rt Revd Dr. James Olusola Odedeji, the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos State (Anglican Communion) at the 3rd Session of the 6th Diocesan Synod on Friday May 20, 2017 at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria).
The year 2017 is very remarkable in the history of our State, the Centre of Excellence and Aquatic Splendour, as it marks the golden jubilee of its existence as a state. The State was created out of the defunct Western Region in 1967. Though small in terms of land space, Lagos has continued to be a home to millions of people, where they earn their living without tribe or racial discrimination. It had served as both the political and commercial capital of Nigeria until when the political capital was moved to Abuja. However, Lagos remains the commercial capital of our country. The State has so far been blessed with focused leaders, and this has gone a long way to impact on its transformational strides. When we consider the road network, power supply, presence of industries, internal rail services, markets of international standard etc. all make Lagos a better place to live and work in. The State equally enjoys harmony as one’s religion is made personal without infringing on other people’s rights.
No doubt, the State is indeed a trail blazer in virtually all that makes for development. It was recorded that in 2016 alone, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the State was well over Four Hundred Billion Naira (N400b). And whereas both the internally generated revenue and the allocation from the Federation account for many States of the Federation cannot be said to be up to a quarter of Lagos State IGR. This is to confirm the extent of the grace of God upon the State. When a State is overpopulated like Lagos, insecurity in various forms such as robbery, kidnapping, rape cases, and other prevalent vices, would definitely be the order of the day. However, the successive leaderships had made security paramount in their cardinal assignments, and we make bold that our State is one of those States with minimal criminal cases, and the more reason why more than 20 million people prefer the state to any other destination in the country.
Under the current leadership, the State has collaborated with other States in the area where each enjoys a comparative advantage. For instance, during the last Christmas celebration, the State collaborated with Kebbi State to produce rice in abundance for sale to the people. The rice labeled “Lake Rice” was sold at a cheaper price compared with other brands in the market. As we speak, “Light up Lagos” has come to stay, more flyovers are being commissioned to commemorate the golden jubilee celebration, and more communities are being opened up through well connected road network. Low cost housing projects, industrial parks and the biggest oil refinery are among the on-going projects in the State. We appeal to our Senate and House of Representatives to consider making appropriate laws that will give the appropriate status to Lagos as obtainable in other climes of the world. We want to commend our amiable Governor, who continues to do his best to deliver the dividends of democracy to the all Lagosians. We pray for more wisdom, understanding, knowledge and strength to continue to take the State to the next level. We congratulate our Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for the golden jubilee celebrations. More glory in Jesus name.
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