Update: Yemi Cardoso heads eight-man team to rebuild Lagos

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Governor Babajide-Sanwo-Olu of Lagos today named the Chairman of Citi Bank Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso to head an eight-man board of the Lagos Rebuilding Trust Fund (LRTF) which was created today via executive order.

Speaking at the brief ceremony at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, the governor stressed that Lagos took pride in the ability of several ethnic nationalities to peacefully cohabit while resiliently pursuing their personal goals and ambitions.

According to him, “It is in that cherished Spirit of Lagos that we have decided to put behind us our most recent challenges and face the daunting task of collectively rebuilding our state.

“We believe that our culture, heritage, values and future are worth much more than the looting, arson and destruction, which we witnessed in Lagos State about two weeks ago.

“We have decided to look to the future with hope as we work on healing the wounds of our recent past.

“Instead of wallowing in our pain, we have chosen to positively move forward. We will embrace new standards of governance; we will build stronger partnerships, stronger people, stronger institutions, and a stronger state.

“As I sign the Executive Order today, I am positive that we will attain new heights of development, we will build more resilient systems, we will become more united and accomplish our audacious goals and visions for Lagos state.

“Our strength lies in our uncanny ability to overcome the most complicated challenges because we have people who genuinely love Lagos State and will assiduously do all they can to preserve its peace and unity.

“In the last few weeks, we have been inundated with local and global offers of assistance to rebuild our state and recover all we lost to arson and violence in October.

“It is obvious that we can no longer wait to begin the onerous task of reconstructing Lagos State. In the next few days, our government will send a bill to the Lagos State House of Assembly for the Establishment of a Trust Fund to Rebuild Lagos.

“However, with the deluge of offers of immediate help and assistance that we have received locally and internationally, we can no longer wait until the bill is passed. It is expedient that our enumeration, recovery, and rebuilding efforts start as soon as possible.”

On the eight-man rebuild trust fund committee, Sanwo-Olu listed members to include: Mr Yemi Cardoso, chairman and Prof Kanyisola Ajayi, Mr Gbenga Agboola, a member of international donor agency, Mrs Bola Adesola, Mr Sam Egube, Engr. Jimi Hotonu and Mr Abubakar Suleiman.

He added that new committees will also include: Business Continuity, Assessment, Planning, Execution, Measurement and Evaluation, Security and enforcement, Communication and community engagement committees.

Sanwo-Olu assured that the committee would ensure utmost reconstruction and upgrade of the state, stressing that It was the needed crucial intervention at this time if Lagos must make a difference.

He said, “In these challenging but interesting times, we realize that we have the potent opportunity to reform our state, and upgrade our structures.

“Out of the despair and challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the destruction of our public assets comes a glimmer of hope – The Trust Fund Committee, will set the pace for the eventual transformation of our state.

“The Committee will have a profound effect on how quickly and efficiently we are able to rebuild our state and restart our socio-economic growth.

“When the Trust Fund Bill is passed by the House of Assembly and becomes law, the Lagos Rebuild Trust Fund Committee will be dissolved, and its functions will be immediately transferred to the newly established Trust Fund.

“At the centre of this decisive action to rebuild our state is the need to closely work with the people and organizations who call Lagos home: those who believe in the Lagos Dream, those who share our collective vision of a mega-city that thrives on peace and unity among all ethnic groups, those who know that the future of Lagos is tied to our ability to keep nurturing our state.”

The Trust Fund Committee will be responsible for getting the detailed cost of restructuring and rebuilding the destroyed properties, the identification of the state’s most critical needs and how they align with the state government’s THEMES agenda, how best to improve emergency response service, determination of the areas of critical need to get affected agencies back to work, and the construction of a website to gather ideas from the public on the way forward.

Sanwo-Olu continued: “We will continue to optimize all resources at our disposal to further the interests of Lagosians. We will prioritize reconciliation, peace building, and unity among the ethnic nationalities that reside in Lagos State.”

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