History has time and again shown that for public leadership to be meaningful, it must be taken as a clarion call to service, and for Akinwunmi Ambode, the opportunity was placed in his hands and thrust upon his shoulders by Lagosians when as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate, he won the gubernatorial elections in 2015 and was sworn in a Governor of Lagos on 29th May, 2015.
Prior to Ambode becoming Governor, Future Lagos had started emerging at an outstanding pace through execution of the “10 Point Development Plan” visioner of new Lagos and master strategist, former governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, (1999-2007) and thereafter, “Lagos Development Plan” by Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, (2007-2015).
Over the past three and a half years, Lagos has undergone possibly the biggest transformation since its creation in 1967. Change is sweeping across Lagos state and the speed of change is unprecedented. It is a known saying that “Change is the only thing that is Constant”, but change under Ambode has not just been constant, it has been unprecedented and unmatchable.
Lagos has been undergoing a renaissance under Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode. Large scale development across the state is dramatically improving how areas around the city are perceived, making them more desirable places to live and work, and better able to attract new people and businesses.
A new Lagos is emerging, and the transformational change occurring across Lagos, either in terms of the scale of massive infrastructure projects, urban regeneration activity or a shift in perception is monumental and visible throughout the state.
No sector has been left untouched. Our children are receiving qualitative education; youth employment is at its best, youth are being upskilled and entrepreneurship is on the increase through the LSETF; Lagos is open for business and fast becoming the financial and economic hub of the African continent; health facilities have been upgraded; and housing schemes are working to assist Lagosians own affordable homes. Nothing is the same since coming into office. Arts, Culture and the creative sector have received a boost, modern transportation, buses, bus terminals, pedestrian bridges, lay-bys and the Akinwunmi Ambode led government shows no signs of slowing down. Lagos is being propelled light years ahead.
With upgrading of security apparatus and projects like Light up Lagos, the Lagos Night economy has been boosted, as Lagosians are now free to move around in a safe and secure city. Emergency services are impeccable with the introduction of LRU.
With the pace at which infrastructure development is taking place in Lagos, our city will not just experience 4 years of progress under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in his first term in office, it seems more like 50 years of progress.
Advances in socio-economic development means one thing: Lagos is Open For Business, and Lagos Means Business.
Governor Ambode has also through initiatives like the “Town Hall Meetings”, “Your Voice Lagos” and “Tell Governor Ambode”, given Lagosians a voice in their government, gauge public sentiments and bring State House Lagos closer to Lagosians.
There is absolutely no question about the ongoing revolution in Lagos which will catapult the state 50 years into the future. What Governor Ambode is doing now has etched his footprints on the sands of our times through visionary progressive leadership and hardwork to deliver FutureLagos not only to Lagosians, but to Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.
Of course there have been some challenges with his politics, and yes, he might have made some errors here and there in his personal relationships. Perhaps Land Use Charge passed by the 40 members of the Lagos State House of Assembly as well as the replacement of PSPs with VisionScape may have been grave mistakes which have come to haunt him, and challenge his chance of a 2nd term in office at the moment, we must remember the transformational change Lagos has witnessed under the Akinwunmi Ambode led government since May, 29, 2015 and we must at the least, acknowledge the many projects and transformation Ambode has brought. From Epe to Iyana Ipaja, Oshodi to Ikoyi, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has created the true legacy for Future Lagos.
Opinion Piece written by Akpobome Odion, a public Affairs Analyst, writes from Lagos.