The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has welcomed with joy and enthusiasm the admission of Lagos State as the sixth member of the Odu’a Group, describing it as a major landmark in the effort of the South-Western States of Nigeria towards regional integration.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, Governor Ambode said he “believes the drive towards regionally integrating South West of Nigeria cannot be effectively pursued if all the States in the region do not combine their resources, work together and maximize their comparative advantages in order to build a strong regional infrastructural and social links amongst the States.”
“Governor Ambode said Lagos joining the Odu’a Group is a priority for his administration.
“He observes that with its huge population, its vibrant economic base and its being the centre of economic and business activities in Nigeria, Lagos is uniquely placed to contribute to the development and growth of the Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OIC), the investment arm of the group, as well as the integration of South West Nigeria in general.
“The governor expresses his gratitude to the group for the decision and looks forward to his government working with those of other States in the group towards the betterment and development of South West of Nigeria and its people,” Mr. Ayorinde said.
The statement added that “Governor Ambode wishes to seize this opportunity to thank the Odu’a Group for all that it has done and thank his colleagues in the five South-West States for extending the hand of fellowship to Lagos State.
The decision to admit Lagos State as the sixth member of the Odu’a Group was taken at the end of a meeting of the five governors of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti States in Ibadan on Tuesday, thereby ending four years of debate amongst the previous five owner states over whether Lagos State should be admitted into the group.