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Determined to strengthen the State’s ability to manage stresses, shocks and other challenges in the best possible ways while maximising its potential for growth and development, the Lagos State Government has held a forum to evaluate its resilience strategy initiatives toward meeting the 21st-century governance demand. 

The Chief Resilience Officer, Lagos State Resilience Office, Dr. Folayinka Dania said the forum, the first of its kind, was aimed at reviewing the extent of implementation of the Lagos Resilience Strategy (LRS), since it was publicly released in February 2020, and identifying new opportunities to be integrated into the resilience agenda.

She explained that the forum was designed to provide the State Government with the opportunity to bring together people from the private and public sectors to jointly review the implementation of the resilience strategy initiatives in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that there is strict adherence to the basics of efficient implementation.

Dania noted that the inaugural resilience forum, which was held at the Radisson Hotel, Ikeja, would help stakeholders to co-create ideas and proffer solutions that would help to strengthen the capacity of the State to prepare for and mitigate the effect of possible acute shocks and become more responsive to everyday challenges.

According to her, the State Government, through the implementation of its resilience strategy is committed to building a state that is efficient, innovative and inclusive; a State that can survive, adapt and grow sustainably despite its multifaceted challenges.

While urging members of the forum to participate actively in the evaluation of the resilience strategy, the CRO noted that their participation and commitment would help to come up with a more robust and realistic assessment of the State’s efforts toward bringing an improvement to the implementation of resilience initiatives for good governance.

In her words: “We are here today to review how well we have performed over the last two years in line with our objectives and goals, to discuss the outcomes and impacts of the projects and programmes that have been implemented; outline challenges to the implementation of planned projects and programmes and to identify strategies to mitigate these challenges”.

“I, therefore, enjoin you to fully participate to ensure we come up with a robust and realistic assessment of the State’s efforts and how we can work together to improve Lagos’ resilience, at the end of which we will all work together to deliver Lagos’ biennial scorecard”, she added.

Commending Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his administration’s commitment to building a stronger resilience in Lagos through adequate funding, Dania explained that Lagos Resilience Strategy is the State’s and Nigeria’s first urban resilience strategy document that articulated an integrated approach to addressing shocks and stresses that Lagos has experienced or might experience in the future.

Speaking at the forum, a Consultant to the Lagos State Resilience Office and Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, Professor Taibat Lawanson said there was the need to regularly review the implementation of the LRS initiatives among MDAs to ensure that the State Government is on the same track with the development needs of the people.

She noted that since the people are the direct beneficiaries of any government initiatives, it is imperative to carry them along to make the strategy more effective.

Prof. Lawanson applauded the State Government for committing resources to implement sustainable projects that could help the State mitigate against future shocks and challenges, adding that the effort would help the State to deliver good governance.  

In his contribution, an Agriculturist and Co-Founder of Eweko Concept, Mr. Saheed Adams noted that some of the resilience initiatives would help mitigate against the adverse effect of climate change such as flooding and food production shortage among others.

He, however, advised the present administration to do more in its urban renewal, housing, transportation and sanitation policies to further help the State to meet the 21st-century requirements for good governance.

The highlight of the programme was the opportunity given to all participants to independently score the State Government in the implementation of the resilience strategy initiatives for better and improved performance.

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