The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), has demonstrated the seriousness of his administration about the newly introduced traffic laws in the state, as he takes time to enlighten on the new laws at various fora, including religious ones. On the occasion of the 67th birthday anniversary lecture of the General Overseer of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Bishop Mike Okonkwo, during the week at the Muson Centre in Lagos, the governor took to the dais to campaign to the people, mostly church members, for strict adherence.
“It is very compelling for the government and the governed to cooperate by subscribing to the rule of law in their dayto- day use of the road,” he said, insisting that it was also expedient for everyone to recognise that the roads are shared asset which can only benefit the society when each person plays by the rule.
“If we build our roads, we can as well build ourselves out of traffic congestions,” said the governor, while passing remarks on Bishop Okonkwo at 67 and the topic for the lecture: “Dependence, Resource Curse and the Challenge of Building a Prosperous Economy in A Global World – Nigeria’s Options”.
He commended Bishop Okonkwo for investing his ‘privileges’ in the future of the country, especially through the children, by organising essay competitions for them and rewarding them accordingly. “Bishop Okonkwo is investing in what should ordinarily be the responsibility of the state government; which is the welfare of school children.
“The children are my responsibility. They are the future of this country and what they become depends on how well I do my job. So, if somebody is helping me to do my job, the best thing I can do for the person is to honour him with my presence.
“All of us too should know that we have a role to play in bringing up these children, whether we are public officers or not,” he said, praying that “the Bishop Okonkwo in every one of us will begin to unfold”.
Founding Director-General, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Prof. Anya O. Anya, who was guest lecturer at the event, also commended Bishop Okonkwo’s strong desire to influence the future by making positive impact on the lives of young people, generally agreed to be ‘the leaders of tomorrow’.
He called for a change in the way things are being done in Nigeria while exploring four major highways within which Nigeria’s realistic options could emerge in the first half of the 21st century. He, therefore, postulated that any programme for Nigeria’s development and economic progress must take account of the changes in the global environment and the new rules for economic progress arising from the paradigm shift in the factors that drive development.
Chairman of the occasion, Chief Asiodu, earlier took the audience down memory lane on the tremendous progress recorded by Nigeria through agriculture before and immediately after independence on October 1, 1960. “People under 50 may not know that in those years and up to the middle 1970s, this country was practically wholly dependent on agriculture,” he said.