Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has charged Professionals, especially those in the built environment, to stimulate fruitful discussion around the nascent Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, saying the initiative holds a lot of promise for tackling development challenges confronting the two states.

Sanwo-Olu made this pronouncement during the opening of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, held on Thursday at D’Podium International Event Centre, Aromire Avenue, Ikeja.

The Governor, who spoke through the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said that the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, borne out of the Memorandum of Understanding between the neighbouring States, expressed their desire to attain cost-effective socio-economic development and address security and boundary issues.

Praising the Institute of Town Planners for escalating the collaborative idea, Sanwo-Olu emphasised that the role of Town Planners in fostering livable, orderly, organised and sustainable communities and cities could not be overemphasised as they remained very critical to making Lagos a 21st-Century Economy as expounded in the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda of the State Government.

His words: “The theme of your 2022 AGM: Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission-Issues, Prospects and Trade-Offs, which represents the brilliant minds of people in your profession to raise relevant questions and propel action for societal development, is most welcome”.

He said that the employment of 81 Town Planners by his administration to push their total in the Lagos State Public Service to 531 spoke to the important roles that Town Planners were expected to play in articulating the development and building control initiatives of the State Government.

The Governor added that the essence of creating the bilateral development bloc was to harness the potentials of the neighbouring states for the well-being of their people and also provide good governance by tapping the capabilities inherent in the collaboration.

“I am happy that professionals in the built environment are showing concern for the successful outcome of the initiative, bearing in mind that it holds the key to the future development of Lagos and Ogun states as well as the South-West geo-political region and the entire country, especially in agriculture, housing and transportation among others”, he said.

Sanwo-Olu, therefore, enjoined all stakeholders to emulate the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners in stimulating useful and fruitful discussion around the initiative, adding that such efforts are critical in suggesting ways forward and fine-tuning the idea.

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