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Determined to surpass his predecessor, the new Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday said he would vacate his official residence to reside at Alausa, in Ikeja in order to serve the state better and attend to the state’s matters as early as possible. Ambode also promised to return some agencies to their original supervising ministries to ensure the control which used to be in place in those agencies.
The governor said that unlike his predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, he would not live in his official residence in Marina, so that he could get to the office as early as 8am daily to attend to some files and other state functions. Ambode said he expect every worker in the state public service to also be at their desk by 8am so that if he had cause to get in touch with anyone, they would be readily available.
Speaking at his inaugural meeting with the Body of Permanent Secretaries in the State Public Service, he said that the state civil service would drive the change and continuity which he intended to put in place in the next four years. At the meeting were the Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello; Chief of Staff, Mr. Olukunle Ojo and all the Permanent Secretaries and Tutors General in the State Public service.
He reaffirmed his commitment to strengthen the civil service and continue with the reforms through which he would carry out his policies, urging the permanent secretaries, who are the administrative heads of the ministries, to see themselves as front runners of the present administration.
Noting that he would take advantage of the experience he had gathered as a retired public servant to improve on the service delivery, he reiterated that new offices would be created just as some present ones would be streamlined in order to ensure that cost of governance was reduced while ensuring greater efficiency.
He said: “Part of my speech at my inauguration ceremony yesterday dwelt on the creation of a Ministry of Wealth Creation which would ensure that not only do we create wealth but ensure that when investments from foreign sources drop, a pro-active situation is in place to take care of them.
According to him, since the APC has already formed a government at the centre, investments are also bound to drop from the centre and that when such investments come, the state should have a front desk office that will attend to such people bringing in the investments or people with interest to bring them in. Governor Ambode stressed that he would saddle the Body of Permanent Secretary with the task of taking a look at the draft which the administration of Fashola could not conclude work on and which he had gone through but streamlined according to his vision.
The governor, who also spoke on a revisitation of ministerial responsibilities of all ministries, departments, and agencies, said that the ministerial responsibilities were last reviewed in 2001. He explained that he would ensure that Permanent Secretaries exercise the authority that comes with their positions efficiently and ensure that each officer works for the position he has attained.