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COVID-19 not excuse for government to fail citizens – Sanwo-Olu

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the ravaging Covid-19 though impacting the economy is not an excuse to fail on the promises made to the citizens at the outset of his administration.

The Lagos governor spoke on Monday at the flag off of a two-day ministerial performance review retreat organised for top state government functionaries, saying his administration was stepping up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies.

Sanwo-Olu said fulfilling the promises in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’ would be delivered despite reduction in the budget as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I want to assure that despite disruption occasioned by Covid-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we remain committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.

“We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us.”

Sanwo-Olu implored members of the state executive council and other public office holders to be committed to his administration’s effort to meeting the yearnings and aspirations of Lagosians, especially the electorate.

He added: “Let me emphasise that our yardstick for performance assessment will not be based majorly on the amount of money expended or budget but the outcome of our various interventions that we have had; what measures the impact that touched the lives of citizens that we swore to serve.

“One of the promises we made at the inception of our administration and in line with the principle of continuity was to ensure the completion of projects that were inherited from the last administration. A significant part of our efforts and resources was devoted towards fulfilling this promise and taking government to another level.”

His deputy, Obafemi Hamzat also speaking at the retreat which held in Ikeja, said the administration in the last one year and four months has kept faith with its T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.

The T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda are; traffic management and transportation, health and environment, education and technology, making Lagos a 21st century economic, entertainment and tourism, and security and governance.

The state head of service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola in his address, emphasised the importance of a harmonious working relationship between permanent secretaries who are the accounting officers of ministries and the political heads who are members of the state executive council.

He said: “While the permanent secretary has overall responsibility for the day to day administration of the ministry as accounting officer and in addition to advising the commissioner on public service processes and procedures, it is critically important that the responsibility of the political head for the implementation of government policies is duly recognised and the right balance and conducive atmosphere for a cordial and productive working relationship is established.”

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