…Inaugurates 12-member economic advisory committee
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos, on Monday inaugurated a 12-member Economic Advisory Committee comprising experts from the private sector at the Lagos House, Ikeja, to help the administration source funds at a time of dwindling revenue
Inaugurating the think-tank with renowned economist and Founder of Agusto & Co, Mr. Olabode Agusto as the Chairman, the governor said Lagos needs about $30 billion to adequately deliver 30 most impactful infrastructural projects over the next five years.
The projected figure, he said, represents about $6billion per annum, compared to the N500 billion about $1.6 billion provided for capital projects in the 2017 budget, a pointer to the fact that government alone cannot address the infrastructure deficit, hence the committee as a step in the right direction.
“If Lagos was a country and we are the fifth largest economy in Africa, then we have to start thinking about the number five. In that regard, you must not think taxes of Lagos state citizens or IGR (Internally Generated Revenue), you must create some kind of platform that would allow some other people who are outside to tell us how to run a country in a State.
“It is evident that government cannot address this from current resources. A key task of this Committee is therefore to provide specific advice on the overall finance strategy to bridge the massive infrastructure gap. I am therefore glad and privileged that nine competent and well respected Lagosians have accepted our request to serve in the Committee,” he said.
Highlighting some of the key functions expected of the Economic Advisory Team, Governor Ambode said they would bring an independent perspective on economic and business issues with a primary role of offering advice to his administration under the four strategic 2012-2025 Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) pillars of Economic Development; Infrastructural Development; Social Development and Security as well as Sustainable Development.
Governor Ambode said that whilst the Committee is independent and largely constituted by members from the private sector, the need for integration and collaboration to ensure that the views are taken on board necessitated in having three members of the State Executive Council, led by the Commissioner for Finance in the team.
He expressed optimism that the economic team would further expand his administration’s all inclusive governance mantra and achieve the key objective of getting independent views on economic and business issues in delivering the mandate to the people.
Representatives of the state government in the committee committee are: Commissioners for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Energy And Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo and Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye.
Members include: Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, former Managing Director, Skye Bank; Kenneth Igbokwe, former Country Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC); Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe, Founder/CEO Bestman Games Ltd; and Mrs. Adenike Ogunlana, Managing Partner, Dalmeida, Ogunlana & Co. Others are: Dr. Laolu Mudashiru, Managing Director, Vetiva Capital; Mrs. Omobola Johnson, former Minister of Science & Technology; Moruf Oseni, Deputy Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc; and Mrs Yetunde Akinloye who doubles as Secretary of the Committee.
Responding on behalf members, Agusto assured that the committee would work diligently and focus on the priorities of the State Government aimed at making life more comfortable for Lagosians.
He noted that one of the major reasons why Lagos is making steady progress was the fact that businesses are thriving, adding that the Committee would take into cognizance the important role the private sector plays in that regard.