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Lagos makes history as it hosts the first urban dialogue

Lagos State, on Monday, joined the League of cities that have hosted the Urban Breakfast and Dialogue of the UN-Habitat as it marked the event in Ikeja for the first time ever.

The Urban Dialogue is an annual event organised to herald the World Habitat Day Celebration, which comes up every first Monday in October.

In his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako expressed delight that this singular act had put Lagos State on the map of cities that hosted the Urban breakfast and dialogue of UN-Habitat.

Salako said that the theme of the dialogue, “Implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): An Essential for Lagos 21st Century Economy” was in consonance with the State Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, particularly making Lagos a 21st century economy, which is the rallying point of the six pillars and the ultimate goal to be achieved.

The Commissioner emphasised that the coincidence of global thought with that of the State Government and its commitment to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were indications that Lagos was moving in the right direction.

According to him, “The vision of Lagos State is an encapsulation of the New Urban Agenda which is an action-oriented document that provides the global principles, policies, and standards required to achieve Sustainable Urban Development for the transformation of our State”.

He added that “the priority areas under the Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy Pillar include a Conducive Business Environment, Inclusive Governance, Youth Economic Empowerment, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Promotion and Support for key Economic Sectors such as Agriculture, Housing, Energy and Security amongst others”.

He noted that as the State of Excellence, Africa’s model megacity as well as a global economic and financial hub, Lagos State had implemented and sustained projects in line with the 17 SDGs and was determined to mobilise other stakeholders for greater achievement.

The Human Settlement Officer, Regional Office for Africa, UN-Habitat, Dr. Omoayena Odunbaku said the conference offered an excellent platform for constructive engagement and suggestions that would chart the path to achieving the desired 21st Century Lagos economy.

“I assure you that UN-Habitat will consider seriously the recommendations emerging from this workshop and will provide the necessary feedback, with the ultimate objective of achieving a sustainable partnership. It is important to note that the transformation of Lagos’ economy cannot be achieved without effectively functioning cities and towns which would adopt innovative infrastructural development, finance models and social principles”, she stated.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Solape Hammond, speaking through the Director, Administration and Human Resources in the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Abosede George, said the need to leverage on technology in the areas of health, housing, education and good roads was instructive for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Also speaking at the event, Professor Leke Oduwaye, a town planner and architect, observed that urban centres would always be attractive to humanity as the population in cities could bring tremendous gains, technological innovation and reduction of resource consumption, advocating for a system that would drive innovation, economic resilient policies and entrepreneurship.

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