Edward meets former President Obasanjo, seeks stronger partnership with Lagos StateApr 14, 2017
UNDP Resident Representative Edward Kallon continued with his programme of strengthening partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders in the country.
During his first visit to the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Edward met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 to 2007) at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State. During the meeting, the two discussed a wide range of national development issues and exchanged ideas on options for effective delivery of development support to the Government and people of Nigeria. Edward used the occasion to share with the former leader his vision during his tenure in the country noting that he needed support from all Nigerians if he was to succeed in implementing it.
As part of his on-going engagements with the State Authorities in the country and his initiative aimed reaching out to more stakeholders, especially the private sector, to ensure broader participation in interventions aimed at addressing the crisis in the North-East and national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Edward also visited and met with several stakeholders in Lagos Sate. Lagos State, despite occupying one of the smallest landmasses in the country, is among the top largest economy in Africa.
“I have no trace of doubt in mind that Lagos State’s Vision of being Africa’s Model Megacity and Global Economic and Financial Hub by 2025 is achievable.” Edward stated when he met with Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of the State. Edward pointed out some of the critical areas that the State Government needed to focus on for the vision to be realized – so that the benefits growth could accrue equitably to all segments of society and all geographic areas of the State. “There is need to ensure that the fruits of prosperity in the State are enjoyed by all. There is need to pay attention to improving access to basic services and addressing poverty in all its dimensions without leaving anyone behind.” Edward emphasized. Governor Ambode praised UNDP’s continued support to the State attributing the State’s growth to the partnership and support of UNDP and other UN agencies in the country.
During his meeting with Dangote Group President, Aliko Dangote, Edward asked for support in addressing the crisis in North-East. “There is a strong business case to make for greater private sector involvement in addressing the humanitarian crisis in the North east. A stable North-East and economically vibrant North-East will provide ready market for the products and services provided by the private sector.” He emphasized, noting that a Nigerian Humanitarian Fund (NHF) had been established the to which the private sector can make contributions to help in scaling up the humanitarian response and stabilization of the region; and initiate long-term development. “Private sector involvement will also provide the necessary jobs and opportunities for the people and grow the economy of that region,” he added.
Accompanied by members of the UN Country Team and his Advisors, Edward visited the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) laboratories. He commended the institution’s leadership for improvements and achievements made in safeguarding lives of millions in Nigeria.
Edward also used the mission to engage with Management and Staff at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) in Oshodi, met with UN Staff in Lagos, and a number of media houses in the city.