From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta, and Lukman Olabiyi
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun, yesterday, signed a memoranda of understanding (MoU) and inaugurated a commission to fast track development in borderline of the two states.
The signing of the MoU which took place at the Marquee of the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, was witnessed by top government functionaries from the two states, traditional rulers, federal and state lawmakers, and captains of industry.
The commission is saddled with responsibility to see to the development of infrastructure such as roads, security, water, among others in border towns between the two states.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the mega city status of Lagos State necessitated the need for synergy between Lagos and neighbouring Ogun in the area of development.
The governor described the MoU as a game changer that will transform the urban agglomeration that Lagos State has become.
“We are driven by the desire to stimulate socio-economic growth, bridge development gaps and ensure that Lagos State’s mega city status is complemented by pervasive infrastructure development even in boundary towns.
“The MoU precedes the joint development commission that will be established to mutually tackle some of the issues prevalent in key economic sectors like: transportation, the environment, housing, health and infrastructure.”
As a way of realising the objectives of the commission, Sanwo-Olu said: “The two states will combine resources to develop border towns as well as ensure security of the two states.”
Speaking at the event, Governor Abiodun said the official launch of the Joint Development Commission will further initiate and accelerate more projects necessary to aid ease of movement of people, goods and services, as well as increase industrialisation along all the border communities and ensure a wholesome development of the two states.
While saying the MoU is a culmination of various efforts by state and non-state actors who have seen beyond the geographical delineation of Lagos and Ogun, the governor added that the synergy would focus more on social-economic development areas such as infrastructure development: revenue and taxation; trade and investment; resolution of boundary disputes; agriculture and food security.
“Ogun and Lagos states are like two rivers flowing into each other. It is very difficult to identify which of the rivers is actually flowing into the other. That is, at our various border communities, there is no actual way of separating the peoples living in the two states of Lagos and Ogun.
“Whichever way we look at it, Ogun State has a larger percentage of the population over-spill into Lagos State as witnessed in many of our border communities in Ota/Ilete; Akute Alagboole; Lambe; Ojodu; Agbado; Mowe; Warewa; Isheri and, indeed, all the eight local government areas that share boundaries with Lagos State.”