Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Lagos Ogun Joint Development Commission.
The signing of the MoU which took place at the Marquee of the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, was witnessed by top government functionaries from the two states, traditional rulers, federal and state lawmakers, and captains of industry.
Speaking at the event, Governor Abiodun said that the official launch of the Joint Development Commission will further initiate and accelerate more projects necessary to aid ease of doing business, movement of people, goods and services, as well as increase industrialization along all the border communities and ensure a wholesome development of the two states.
He noted that the signing of an “historic Memorandum of Understanding” took cognizance of what had been envisioned, leading to the establishment of the Prof. Akin Mabogunje’s Committee on Redeployment of Lagos Megacity Region Plan between 2005 and 2006.
According to Abiodun, the Joint Development Commission would forge a common alliance between the two states, to jointly tackle issues bordering on security, sanitation, traffic and transportation, waste management, water supply, land use planning, infrastructure development and maintenance, urban renewal and slum upgrading, for the mutual benefit of the people and the generality of Nigerians.
While saying that the MoU is a culmination of various efforts by state and non-state actors who have seen beyond the geographical delineation of Lagos and Ogun, the governor added that the synergy would focus more on social-economic development areas such as infrastructure development: revenue and taxation; trade and investment; resolution of boundary disputes; agriculture and food security among others.
“This MoU, is therefore a manifestation of the common dream that the nation’s largest economy and the nation’s industrial capital are forging because both are deliberate, focused and methodical to governance.
“Again, I must thank my brother governor, His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his own cooperation, enthusiasm and support for this initiative.
“Before now, together, we had jointly written, formally to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and the Ikorodu-Sagamu Roads for us to jointly reconstruct. Another manifestation of our working together is the Adiyan Water Works that, though, is in Ogun State, supplying water to the people of Lagos State. And will also be supplying water to Ogun State.
“If we jointly do this, there will be development which will continue to increase employment generation, poverty alleviation and food security”, he stated.
Abiodun, however, called on the private sector to support and collaborate with the governments in the success story of the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, “so that the enduring development we all crave for in Lagos and Ogun States can be more guaranteed.”
Earlier in his remark, Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that the emergence of Lagos as a megacity with a population of over 22 million people has made it expedient for greater synergy with other States, especially Ogun for sustainable socioeconomic development.
He described the Memorandum of Understanding as a “game changer” that will transform the urban
agglomeration that Lagos State has become.
“In light of current global practices in managing megacities, it has become obvious that the best way to accelerate socioeconomic development in Lagos and Ogun States is by embracing a more collaborative approach for growth, development, and urban sustainability.
“The Joint Memorandum of Understanding is a sustainable development agenda under which Lagos and Ogun States will
combine resources to meet our present socio-economic needs and prepare for the future.
“Our commitment to ensuring that Lagos becomes a 21st
century economy makes it imperative for us to strategically
collaborate with our closest neighbour, Ogun State, for the joint
development of our states, the continued growth of our cities
and the co-creation of value that encompasses good
governance and urban regeneration”. Sanwo-Olu stated.
The Lagos State governor further assured that the stipulations of the Joint Memorandum of Understanding will be meticulously
implemented, submitting “the next step is to establish a Joint Committee that will implement the terms of the Joint Memorandum of Understanding until we are able to formally establish a Joint
Development Commission with the approval of the Lagos and
Ogun States Houses of Assembly”.