One of the cardinal objectives of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is to “create a clean, secure and prosperous environment, driven by a vibrant economy, supported by quality service, equity and justice”.
This statement was again, reiterated at a three-day retreat organized by the Lagos state government to chart a new course for the state when Governor Ambode said their vision is, “to make Lagos Africa’s model mega-city. To make Lagos globally competitive; a global, economic and financial hub that is safe, clean, functional, productive and prosperous”, as already set out in the state’s development plan.
Therefore, to achieve this objective, one of the ministries that are heavily saddled with a lot of responsibilities is the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Co-operatives and the man in charge is an erudite lawyer, Barrister Rotimi Ogunleye.
Rotimi Ogunleye’s job as the commissioner in charge of Commerce, Industry and Co-operatives is to promote investment through the facilitation of sustainable commercial and industrial activities in the state.
He is to initiate, formulate, execute, monitor and evaluate policies and programmes to enhance industrial and commercial activities in the State as well as promote economic growth and development generally in the State.
His jobs also include formulation of policies and programmes for the promotion and development of micro/cottage and small scale industries in the state in order to attain and sustain the level of viable and vibrant commercial and industrial activities in Lagos State.
Rotimi, a former and foremost business reporter and business editor is not only qualified for the job at hand but well-trained and well-prepared for the task ahead. Therefore, one can not but commend Governor Ambode for finding time to lure such a person into his government at this time when the nation’s economy is seriously in need of technocrats who could find solutions to many economic problems of this nation.
Barrister Rotimi Ogunleye, a prince from the popular Ogunleye family of Ikorodu and cousin to the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State and apex leader in APC, Ikorodu, Prince Abiodun Ounleye, was a Principal Counsel at Rotimi Ogunleye & Associates, and member of Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch. A product of University of Ife (1983) and Lagos State University (LASU) 1998, bagged Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Laws. He also studied journalism at Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Ikeja before joining Daily Times as business correspondent and later business editor, Daily Times and editor, Business Times.
One of the responsibilities of the erudite lawyer is to supervise and monitor the development of Lekki Free trade Zone (LFTZ) and associated projects including the airport and seaport as well as Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited.
In the next few weeks, he will be putting plans in place to bridge skill gaps in the formal and informal sectors through capacity building initiatives in collaboration with relevant stakeholders such as National Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI), National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BoI), World Bank, IMF and so on.
Apart from liaising with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, relevant government agencies, Industrial and other trade groups and Associations on Industrial development and trade promotion in Lagos State, he is expected to organize his team to promote investment generally, including but not limited to state government participation in trade fairs locally and in international exhibitions, organize annually the Eko Expo trade fair and publications of promotional materials.
He is also expected to organize consumer protection through the Lagos State Consumer Protection Committee, promote research and development towards the production of industrial projects profile, industrial and business directory in the State. As he isset to drive economic development in Lagos State, we can only wish him good luck in his new appointment and God’s guidance to see him through the administration.