Lagos State of Nigeria was created in the year 1967 via the promulgation of Decree No. 14 by the Military Junta under General Yakubu Gowon. State creation in Nigeria is an affirmative action for addressing marginalization. 15 people have piloted affairs as Military Administrators or Governors. Lagos maintains a towering standard as the center of excellence, and it is the most populous and smallest Nigerian State by landmass.
Under the leadership of incumbent Executive Governor, His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu, CNN Africa identified Eko Atlantic project, Dangote Refinery, Lekki Deep Seaport and Lagos-Kano Standard Guage railway project among the 15 mega infrastructural projects reshaping Africa in 2022.
In the last 30 years, a radical change has occurred in global markets driven by innovation, globalization and deregulation. Successful economies have been attributed with government ability to support innovation of domestic firms in diverse sectors, strengthening training and research facilities, and promoting factors that encourage innovations.
Nigerian Federalism is well renowned for limiting the capacity of States for self-determination. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu blazed the trail as Governor when he challenged President Obasanjo’s Administration for Lagos emancipation. It is therefore reassuring to note that Governor Sanwo-Olu has positioned Lagos further as the next African Global economic giant.
As activities for 2023 general election kicks off in earnest, there is an unrelenting quest for issues-based campaign. Africa Signal 2023 Sectoral Threat Assessments clearly disclosed a disproportionate information risk exposure and concentration risk for Lagos economy with significant impact on foreign direct investments, project location substitutions and delayed commercial activation.
According to informed sources, the biggest concern for Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Administration is how to generate five (5) million votes of over 10 million total registered voters at the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Lagos. In 2019, he polled 739,445 votes to become the Governor. This ambitious quantum leap speaks to the assessed risks and the need for an effective containment strategy.
Sanwo-Olu envisions making Lagos Africa’s model mega city and global economic and financial hub. This means local capacity must be enhanced and promoted for global market access. This requires innovations for strategic information and economic governance that is sensitive to natural, ecological, industrial, education, healthcare, transportation, financial and security risks among other considerations. These issues are being dwarfed by current campaign strategies.
It is clear enough that the Nigerian economy will be badly hit without a communication engagement plan that could properly bridge the gap between politics and business. Express provisions of electoral laws have put current practices in illegal and gray regions, and that imposes significant credibility and perception liabilities on leading Presidential and Gubernatorial candidates from Lagos.
A greater Lagos is rising, and it is the responsibility of all men of good will to facilitate the process through knowledge sharing, resourceful engagement, and a commitment to making Lagos better through informed action.
Governor Sanwo-Olu is a confident, energetic and visionary leader whose responsibility and demonstrated capacity shows preparedness for the Office he presently occupies. He is the indisputable Class Captain of Progressive Governors Forum. He is meticulous, intelligent and a passionate workaholic; a man of balanced cognate experience in both the private and public sectors and a thoroughbred technocrat.
The amiable Governor appreciates the need for involvement towards positioning Lagos as the next African global economy as per his vision. One can only hope he is strong and courageous enough to do the needful by using the campaigns to create awareness beyond slogans and mobilize necessary support in pursuit of the Greater Lagos that could well serve our common posterity.
Samuel Odebowale, mnipr nuj (Managing Editor)