By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, Sept. 21, 2020 The Lagos State Government has assured residents of its commitment to fulfilling all its promises, in spite of disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges not envisaged.
The governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, gave the assurance on Monday during the opening ceremony of the First Lagos State Two-Day Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in Ikeja.
Sanwo-Olu said that fulfilling the promises was in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’.
He said that in spite of reduction in the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government would fulfil its promises, as no excuse would be tenable to the residents of the state.
According to him, the state government is determined to step up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies.
”I want to assure you that despite disruption occasioned by COVID-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we are still committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people, knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.
”We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu implored members of the state executive council and other public office holders to be committed to the incumbent administration’s effort to meeting the yearnings and aspirations of Lagosians.
”Let me emphasise that our yardstick for performance assessment will not be based majorly on the amount of money expended or budget but the outcome of our various interventions that we have had; what measures the impact that touched the lives of citizens that we swore to serve.
”One of the promises we made at the inception of our administration and in line with the principle of continuity was to ensure the completion of projects that were inherited from the last administration.
”A significant part of our efforts and resources was devoted towards fulfilling this promise and taking government to another level,” he said.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, in his remarks, urged members of the state executive council and other public office holders to create the right perception for Lagosians to judge accurately.
”We should understand that our focus should be Lagosians, Lagosians and Lagosians because ultimately, they will define what we do and they will grade us.
”So, we are like in an examination now and examiners don’t have deep knowledge into the operations of how we actually do things but they only measure it by perception and of course, by what they see.
”And as such, our job is to make sure that we set that perception right and then we give quality things in dimension.
”At the end of the day, our integrity will be intact and then they can say the party has done very well and this government has done very well,” Hamzat said.
Also speaking, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji, commended the State Incident Commander – Gov. Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi.
The SSG also commended the entire health sector family for the outstanding management of COVID-19 pandemic, which was acknowledged statewide, nationally and internationally.
”The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the health sector, but also the economic sector and how we work.
”Therefore, our trajectory for implementation of the THEMES agenda to achieve ‘A Greater Lagos’ is going to change as we operate within the new-normal to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State.
”I believe in the capability of the Executive Council members, to prolifically deliver as political heads in our various MDAs and of course with the support of all others present for this retreat.
”I also believe that when objective feedback is given and taken in good faith, it can only lead to improved performance,” Jaji said.
The Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola called for harmonious and effective working relationship between Permanent Secretaries who are Accounting Officers of Ministries and the Political Heads who are members of the State Executive Council.
Muri-Okunola said that the core objective of the two-day retreat was to conduct a forensic review of the present administration’s scorecard along the five Pillars of the strategic development plans in the last one year.
”We are here to provide a honest and unemotional review of how we have fared sector by sector.
“Have we achieved our set targets in different sectors If yes, what are the enabling factors that have been instrumental in the successes recorded?
”If we have failed to achieve set targets, what have been the factors that militated against attainment of set targets?”
The Head of Service said that the main thrust of the present administration was to make Lagos a 21st-century economy.
”In this regard, the state government has invested heavily in infrastructure renewal and roads rehabilitation across the five divisions of Lagos, not forgetting invitation for expression of interest in the 4th Mainland Bridge,” he said.