Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday described the State Public Service as the most progressive in Nigeria, just as he urged retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries to continue to add value to governance and contribute to uphold the excellence which the State is known for.
Speaking at the opening session of the summit of Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS) held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Governor Ambode said over the years, members of the association had contributed immensely to the growth of the State, and that it was important for them to continue to offer their wealth of knowledge for the benefit of the State.
The Governor, who recalled the quality of recommendations that have originated from past summits of the association after their inauguration in 2015, said the ideas and suggestions have been found to be very useful in his administration’s policy articulation, design and implementation.
Governor Ambode said being a product of the public service as a retired Permanent Secretary in the State, he was looking forward with confidence to a robust and inspiring communique at the end of the summit that would be beneficial to the future development of the State.
The summit, which is the third in the series, was organised as part of activities marking the Lagos at 50 celebration, and it is with the theme: “Lagos At Fifty, Five Decades Of Excellence.”
The Governor recalled that since inception, the State has evolved to become the most prosperous State in Nigeria with a GDP more than that of several African countries put together, saying that there was no way the growth and success story of the State could be documented without mentioning the immense contribution of the state’s public service.
Governor Ambode, who described the civil service as the engine room of government, said while most civil servants are shielded from the public eye, they work tirelessly to formulate and implement policies which drive the government.
“l know this because I am one of you - a retired Permanent Secretary. Indeed, the Lagos State Public Service that emerged in 1967 under the leadership of Mr. H.E. Howson-Wright, the first Lagos State Head of Service, laid the foundation for a vibrant and purposeful bureaucracy which assisted the first Military Government led by Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson to put the State on a right and solid footing.
“Today, the Lagos State Public Service has the reputation as the most progressive Public Service in Nigeria. This could not have been made possible without the solid foundation built by successive Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries, represented by the distinguished personalities seated here today.
“The vision of Excellence given birth to then has remained the same and continued to be the guiding light for generations. This shared vision, which is articulated in well thought-out policies and implemented with passion, patriotic zeal and sense of commitment is the Lagos we are celebrating today,” the Governor said.
Speaking on the theme, Governor Ambode said the celebration of Lagos at 50 was about showcasing the past achievements and present successes, as well as building the Lagos of the future on the foundation laid by the hardworking and selfless-serving public servants, and thus commended ALARHOSPS members for dedicating the summit to celebrate the golden jubilee of Lagos.
Earlier in his welcome address, ALARHOSPS President, Alhaji Kayode Anjorin said the programme marking Lagos at 50 was about celebrating the creativity, challenges and achievements of the founding fathers, players and the men and women (dead and alive), whose invaluable contributions have made Lagos the centre of excellence.