The relationship between Ogun and Lagos State got a great boost as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ogun State counterpart, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Monday made history with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission.
The event, which took place at the Presidential Lodge, Ibara, Abeokuta, Ogun State, was witnessed by top government functionaries from the two states and was said to see to the development of infrastructure such as roads, security, among others, in border towns between the two states.
In his address, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the megacity status of Lagos State necessitated the need for synergy between Lagos and the nearby State of Ogun in the area of development.
Sanwo-Olu also stated that he was very excited about the synergy that was officially taking place and appreciated the Ogun State helmsman, Prince Dapo Abiodun for his insistence and zeal towards the greater development of Ogun State and Nigeria at large.
Sanwo-Olu further said that the two State had been joined together for decades and have a twin destiny to achieve greater successes together.
He revealed that the synergy had been established during the tenure of Hon Tinubu and Hon Osoba, but was not deeply featured.
He however added that himself and the Ogun State Governor were now formally reinforcing and enacting the game changing collaboration that would transform the infrastructures, business relationships, security, livelihood, transportation channels, and bridge development gaps between the States.
The Lagos State Governor further disclosed that Monday, 24th of May marked 726 days he and Prince Dapo Abiodun were sworn in, adding that they had spent 46.9percent of their four year tenure and assured that they would continue to measure their time and achievements so as to task themselves to do better always.
Sanwo-Olu also stressed the need for the cooperation of the two neighbouring States, stating that the Centre of Excellence, which is Lagos, cannot indeed very excellent without the Gateway State, Ogun.
He added that the two forward-thinking Governors had studied the collaborative and developmental relationship of New York and New Jersey, and had decided to replicate such great synergy in Ogun and Lagos States.
He also said that Lagos State’s commitment was to create Mega Cities that are sustainable and liveable as well as to collaborate with neighbouring States to achieve greater prosperity, by tackling salient issues of border security and transportation, infrastructural development, sources of livelihood and businesses among the States.
In his address, the Ogun State Governor, Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, commended Gov Sanwo-Olu for his exemplary leadership most especially how he handled the Covid19 pandemic and security issues at the hardest times.
Gov Abiodun also said that the MoU was to foster the existing collaboration of the two SouthWestern States.
He described the States as two different rivers that flow into one another, whereby it is difficult to identify which is flowing into the other.
He added that Ogun State had a large percentage of people working in Lagos while living in the State, as well as people living in Lagos working in Ogun State.
The Ogun State helmsman stressed the need to create better enabling environment for the citizens and increase individual prosperity.
He further said that he had been discussing the issue of collaboration with the Lagos State Governor even before they were both sworn in.
Speaking on behalf of all Traditional Rulers present, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, CFR, Okukenu Iv, commended the two Governors for the brilliant move towards achieving greater togetherness and development.
Oba Gbadebo also said that the synergy, other than enhancing greater prosperity and better livelihood, would stem interstate crimes including smuggling, kidnapping, and armed robbery.
Alake also said the synergy postdated the new Nigerian Government as the Lagos Colony was drinking Adiyan waters and was paying token to the Egba United Government of 1898 to 1914.
He further lauded Governor Abiodun who had already set up luxurious buses for easier and cheaper commuting between the two States.
The Iyalode of Egbaland, Chief Mrs Alaba Lawson, in her goodwill message, said that the relationships between the two States had been there for a long time, adding that they were just being formalised.
She also advised the Commission to look and take firm decisions on Security to make the gains of the Commission more enduring.
Other government officials present included the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Engr Noimot Salako, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Ogun Speaker, Rt Hon Olakunle Oluomo, Ogun Chief of Staff, Alh Schuaib Salisu, Secretary to Ogun State Governor, Tokunbo Talabi, Lagos State Attorney General, and many others.
Traditional Rulers present at the occasion included Olu-Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle
Oniperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke, and others.