Over time and across climes, there have been strategic partnerships, both in the private and public space, in the pursuit of set objectives. The imperative for collaboration and partnerships in the private and public sectors stems from challenges in environment and community. According to Professor Humphrey David of the Department of Political Science, Cyprus West University, North Cyprus, ”modern democratic governance requires much as such.”
This was the hall mark of discussions at the October 31 breakfast meeting organized by the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce. The meeting, sponsored by Phillips Consulting, PCL, Nigeria’s foremost business and management consulting firm, was the desired platform by the governors of Lagos and Ogun States respectively to explain and marshal the strategic alliance between the two neighbouring states for an all inclusive growth.
This Lagos/Ogun Partnership Alliance (LOPA) model is among the on going collaborations between States in Nigeria and public affairs analysts see the partnership as a great opportunities for both States to work together in view of shared and common interests in commercial, administration, security, agricultural etc. A joint committee has been formed.
“Ogun state, with a population of about 5 million people, is called the gateway state for a reason. This is because of its advantageous location, sharing boundary with Lagos, Oyo and Republic of Benin. This strategic location requires we get ready to accommodate the overflow from both Lagos and Benin Republic through infrastructural expansion” governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State emphasized.
Specifically, the governor explained the scope of the partnership initiative, saying the collaboration includes information sharing to checkmate rising insecurity, border dispute, traffic management and tax agreement. He stated that the state has enjoyed much co-operation with Lagos government in the implementation of all the noble objectives, a development that has statutorily ensured regular meetings between their respective deputy governors.
” We have therefore created enabling environment. We have provided security so that one can live in Ogun State and work in Lagos. Road infrastructure is key. We are upgrading schools and hospitals. We have created job portal and advised private sector to place vacancy on the portal for Ogun citizens and non citizens who has found home in our State to access and get jobs” he said.
Responding, Babajide Sanwolu, the executive governor of Lagos State submitted that the state has a share of being everything to everybody. “We are a city of choice to over 22 million people.” He said the State has a small landmass because of water. Therefore, it is natural its humans and commercial overflow into Ogun. He added that the good story is that Ogun and Lagos State governments are in agreement on free flow of human and commercial activities in the two States.
“The journey started around 2005 when the then federal government initiated collaboration between the two States. I was in government then. Regrettably, the progress was mitigated as a result of political interest of the then federal government” Sanwolu disclosed.
He however added that “now, we are in the same party. So we can do thing quickly. The Lagos-Ogun Commission reviews land management, border dispute, urban migration, tax management, revenue sharing, security net work etc. Our deputy governors are meeting regularly. We share data. If accident happens in Ojodu Berger, Lagos Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA can deal with it.,” a reference to how the partnership has come to stay.