BY ADEGOROYE TEMITOPE ISAIAH
The Executive Chairmen of the two local councils on Lagos Island played host to the Chair of Atlanta-Lagos Sister Cities Committee and his members during different visits on Tuesday, 1 March, 2022.
The Chairman of Lagos Island Local Government, Hon. Tijani Olusi, the Executive Chairman of Lagos Island LG and his counterpart in Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Alade Folawiyo, are the two Mayors of Lagos Island in Lagos State southwest Nigeria.
Independent News Express reports that the Atlanta-Lagos Sister Cities Committee’s Chair, Prof. Augustine Esogbue, who is based in Atlanta Georgia in the United States, has been in Lagos in the last few days to interface with Committee members in Lagos and paid visits to the two local governments on Lagos Island under the purview of Atlanta-Lagos Sister Cities Committee operations.
Prof. Esogbue, a Professor Emeritus in the world-famous H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, was so enthusiastic seeing the works done by both Hon. Olusi in Lagos Island LG and Hon. Folawiyo in Lagos Island East LCDA to bring smiles to the faces of their people.
Esogbue, who is the Vice-Chairman of Atlanta Sister Cities Commission, during separate visits to the two Mayors in the company of some members of the Committee, said Atlanta-Lagos Sister Cities Committee is out to add value to the people of the two Lagos councils, adding that the Committee will partner the two Mayors in the areas of quality healthcare delivery to the people, in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), cultural exchange, economics and environment.
He said the Committee adopted four schools on Lagos Island a few years ago (Boys Junior Academy, Eko Akete Grammar School, St. Mathias Primary School and Anwar Islam Girls Primary School), while some community development programmes were also executed to alleviate the suffering of the people.
“I want to assure you that I am committed to Lagos despite the fact that I hail from Delta State. This is because Lagos, especially Lagos Island, is part of my life and I would love to do everything within my power to leave a lasting legacy,” Prof. Esogbue, who is a member of Leadership Atlanta Development Corporation, and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc told the Mayors.
He enjoined the Mayors to work with the members of the Atlanta-Lagos Sisters Cities Committee in Nigeria to harness the inherent opportunities that abound in the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission.
The Atlanta-Lagos Sister Cities Committee is one of the oldest members of the 17 cities relationships worldwide that make up the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission, is part of the Sister Cities International whose primary mission is the promotion of better international relations and understanding between the United States of America Cities and other Cities of the world through people to people programs that revolve around the axis of social, educational, economic, trade, cultural and technological exchanges.
“I have mandated my people in the Committee to work with the Mayors of the two local governments to bring back to life the relationship between the City of Lagos and City of Atlanta. This will be a win-win mutual benefit for the people here in Lagos. I want us to tap into the exchange programmes and more importantly to take the relationship beyond the superficial arrangement,” said Prof. Esogbue, who was recently given the Distinguished National Advisor Emeritus award by the National Society of Black Engineers for mentorship and production of generations of engineering and technology leaders who have made impacts in industry, government and academia globally.
Hon Olusi of Lagos Island LG recalled how the October 2020 EndSARS protest wreck havoc on many government facilities within the council area, many of which are facilities on health and others.
“We were severely hit by this protest. Unfortunately, we back to square one trying to rebuild everything that was destroyed by the protesters. My local government would be happy with the support from the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission to help rejuvenate facility decay in the health sector and greater support for our educational development programme as government cannot do it alone,” Hon Olusi told the visiting Atlanta-Lagos Sisters Cities Committee.
The Chairman of Lagos Island East LCDA, Hon Folawiyo told the Committee how his people has been enjoying the presence of many projects within the local council, adding that since he assumed office, he has always marked 100 Days in Office to celebrate lots of projects with his people as parts of dividends of democracy he promised.
“We have a lot of projects but we are constrained with limited funds, that is why we will need support from the Atlanta-Lagos Sister Cities Committee to do more for our people,” Folawiyo said.
Members of the Atlanta-Lagos Sister Cities who accompanied Prof. Esogbue in the visits to the two Mayors included Mr Tunji Folami, Ms Florence Adewale Esq. and Mr. Taiwo Adelu.