Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, swore in 37 Commissioners and Special Advisers, charging them to engage collaboratively and work together to build on the successes of the incumbent administration’s first four years in office.
The state executive council, which is a mixture of politicians and technocrats with 29 male and eight female, is made up of 18 returning members of the immediate past cabinet members and 19 new names.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the State Executive Council held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Sanwo-Olu charged the Commissioners and Special Advisers to do their best to surpass the expectations of Lagos residents.
He said the new Commissioners and Special Advisers have been carefully and painstakingly chosen, adding that “They are, by any measure, some of our best brains, not just in Lagos State, but right around the country. These are men and women who can and will hold their own anywhere in the world. They are emblems of what Lagos State is all about – a Centre of Excellence. Lagosians should therefore rejoice in their selection and be expectant of quality service and performance in the months and years ahead.”
The Governor said: “The task of this new cabinet is clear. It is to build on the successes of our administration’s first four years in office. It is to take our people closer to our dream of a Greater Lagos. The expectations of our people have never been higher than they are right now. Doing your best to meet them is therefore not an option. It is the least you will be expected to do. Lagos is the Centre of Excellence; your work must be excellent in every ramification.
“Working together, carrying the people along, keeping your feet on the ground, and ensuring that every decision you take has the best interest of our people at the heart of it, are the surest ways to succeed. May God guide you in the effective discharge of your onerous responsibilities.”
Sanwo-Olu while speaking on the controversy that trailed the screening and confirmation of the nominees by the Lagos State House of Assembly, said there is no bickering between the executive and legislature.
He said: “I am not unaware of the feelings in some quarters that the initial rejection of some nominees by the Lagos State House of Assembly, necessitating the submission of a revised list of nominees, signified a call to arms between the Executive and the Legislature. I reject such feelings in totality. Were the Executive designed to be omnipotent and omniscient, the very important oversight function of the Legislature would be needless.
“Thankfully, our Constitution recognises that our people will be best served with a system of Checks and Balances that is led by independent bodies in each Arm of Government. This system demands collaboration, and a willingness to give and take without rancour. That is what the Executive and Legislature of Lagos State, in the past few weeks, have fully demonstrated in arriving at this event today. I thank the Right Honourable Speaker and all members of the Lagos State House of Assembly for their diligence, cooperation and contribution.
“To the new members of the Executive Council, this spirit of cooperation and collaboration with the Lagos State House of Assembly is one that you must continue to build on. The people of Lagos State demand and expect the best. Achieving this requires every one of you to reach out, to engage and to collaborate. It requires you to have the humility to listen and to learn; the humility to consult widely and to consider well-meaning advice; and the humility to recognise that we all win or lose together. I demand and expect no less from you all.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration had achieved a lot in its first tenure through the THEMES developmental agenda. He promised that the second term will be focused on building and completing enduring legacy projects in Transportation, Health and Agriculture that will open up more economic and developmental opportunities for the citizens of our great State.
He therefore urged residents to maintain and take ownership of the structures and public assets put in place by the administration in the state. He thanked all stakeholders, party leaders and legislative arms for their support and collaboration.
Speaking earlier, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Barr. (Mrs.) Abimbola Salu-Hundeyin, urged the newly appointed cabinet members to work assiduously with the Governor using the THEMES+ developmental agenda in bringing the dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
She said their responsibilities were to support, formulate and implement the government’s policies for the good of the people as they were appointed to serve.
In a vote of assurance on behalf of the cabinet members, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, appreciated Governor Sanwo-Olu for finding them worthy of the honour to serve the Lagos State Government and the people of Lagos.
Omotoso promised that the newly appointed Commissioners and Special Advisers would not disappoint by working with Governor Sanwo-Olu on the journey to Greater Lagos.
The 37 cabinet members comprised 23 commissioners and 14 Special Advisers.
The Commissioners are; Lawal Pedro, SAN (Justice and Attorney-General), Bolaji Dada (Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation), Akin Abayomi (Health) Tokunbo Wahab (Environment), Moruf Akinderu Fatai (Housing), Gbenga Omotoso (Information and Strategy), Ibrahim Layode (Home Affairs), Mobolaji Ogunlende (Youths and Social Development), Dayo Alebiosu-Bush (Waterfront Infrastructure), Abisola Olusanya (Agriculture), Gbenga Oyerinde (Special Duties), Toke Benson-Awoyinka (Tourism), Osiyemi Oluwaseun (Transportation).
Others are Tunbosun Alake (Innovation, Science and Technology), Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo (Establishment, Training and Pension), Kayode Bolaji Roberts (Local Government Affairs), Mosopefoluwa George (Economic Planning and Budget), Olumide Oluyinka (Physical Planning and Urban Development), Abayomi Samson Oluyomi (Finance), Folashade Ambrose-Medem (Industry, Trade and Investment), Jamiu Alli-Balogun (Basic Education), Akinyeri Bankole Ajigbotafe (Wealth Creations) and Tolani Sule Akibu (Tertiary Education).
The Special Advisers are; Sola Giwa (Transportation), Rotimi Fashola (Agriculture), Abiola Olowu (Commerce, Industry and Investment), Olajide Babatunde (eGIS), Idris Aregbe (Tourism), Oreoluwa Finnih-Awokoya (Health), Adekunle Olayinka (Works and Infrastructures), AbdulKabir Opeyemi Ogungbo (Taxation and Pension), Bola Olumegbon (Central Business District, CBD), Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu (Environment), Afolabi Abiodun Tajudeen (Political Education and Civic Engagement), Barakat Odunuga-Bakare (Housing), Yekini Nurudeen Agbaje (Rural Development and Chieftaincy Affairs) and Iyabode Oyeyemi Ayoola (Central Internal Audit).
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by the First Lady, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat and his wife, Oluremi; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr Dele Alake; Senators Oluranti Adebule and Wasiu Eshinloku-Sanni; Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola; Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde; members of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) led by its chairman, Prince Tajudeen Olusi; Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Pastor Cornelious Ojelabi; members of National and State Assemblies, Permanent Secretaries, traditional, religious and party leaders, among others.