Ambode advocates constructive criticism to boost development

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Lagos State Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode says his administration welcomes constructive criticisms and suggestions from the people so as to accelerate rapid development of the state.

Governor Ambode stated this at the flag-off of a platform for Civic Engagement in the state, noting that his administration had established the avenue to constantly engage the residents of the state.

Represented by his deputy Dr Oluranti Adebule, the governor said the administration made a commitment to always involve the people by seeking their opinions and ideas in policy formulation and implementation.

“As a listening government that does not claim to have monopoly of ideas, we urge you to support us with ideas , suggestions and constructive criticisms. The office of Civic Engagement is open to all and will on behalf of the government, listen to you and ensure your concerns are adequately addressed.

“In fulfillment of this promise, the office of Civic Engagement was established to serve as an interface between the government and the civil society. This office has the mandate to ensure that every stakeholder in Lagos project including women, youth, religious bodies, community associations, civil society groups are carried along in the process of governance.

“As the custodians of the peoples mandate freely given through the process of election, we must ensure that the people are at the centre of all our actions. We believe that the connection between political leaders and the people must not end with the election process,” he stressed.
Ambode affirmed that the essence of democracy or representative government will be served when the government continuously engages the people to know what their expectations are and how best to meet them.

In his presentation, the guest speaker who is also a business consultant, Mr Abiola Salami said every citizen has a responsibility to ensure good governance by being advocates, evaluators, and collaborators with government with a view to benefiting from the dividends of democracy.

“It is important for everyone of us as ‘Lagosians’ understanding our roles in participatory governance, so it is important for us as citizens to plug-in into that office such that we can maximize the bridge which government has provided for us,” Salami highlighted.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Mr Kehinde Joseph explained that the Office of Civic Engagement was created by Governor Ambode to serve as intermediary between government and the people to facilitate a viable communication channel and speedy response to their complaints and demands.