Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday night said the quest to evolve a greater and more prosperous Nigeria lies in the prosperity of Lagos State, describing the State as the foremost migrant community in Nigeria aggregating talents from everywhere and the undisputable commercial capital accounting for over 70 per cent of business in the country.
Osinbajo spoke at the Lagos@50 Anniversary Gala Nite held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, which was well attended by top dignitaries including Governors of Ogun, Oyo, Gombe, Ekiti, Imo, Edo; first civilian Governor of Lagos, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Military Governors of Lagos State – Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (Rtd.); Brigadier General Olagunsoye Oyinlola(Rtd.); Brigadier General Buba Marwa (Rtd.); Rear-Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (Rtd.); CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; CEO of Forte Oil, Femi Otedola, Chief Olabode George, Jimi Agbaje, among others.
The Acting President alluded to a recent statistic released by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the effect that Lagos accounts for 912 out of 914 individual businessmen who pay self-assessed tax of over N10million, saying that the strategic contribution of the State to the country’s economy could not be overemphasised.
While recalling his time as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Osinbajo eulogized the leadership virtues of the then Governor of the State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who he said took cognizance of the diversity of the State while forming his cabinet in 1999.
He said, “I did not and I had never met Bola Tinubu before I was appointed Commissioner and that says a lot about the kind of individual that he is. This is the kind of thinking that makes nations great; that is the kind of thinking that would make Nigeria great.
A type of thinking that considers all of our diverse talents; a kind of thinking that does not allow parochialism; a kind of thinking that does not allow us to say anywhere belongs to only a set of people. That is when our country would be truly great.”
Osinbajo said although he was sympathetic to the course of those craving for a Lagos for only its indigene, but it was now evident that the momentum of history could no longer hold down the elemental force of the State.
“This Lagos is going to be a leader; it would be a leader in expressing the world’s view that the black man is capable of governing not just himself but in leading the world,” Osinbajo said.
Besides, the Acting President commended Governor Ambode for his giant strides in the State, saying that the new vistas being opened in the State by the Governor were capable of making Nigeria great.