By Olatunde Abatan
Only last week, the six states of the south west comprising Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo otherwise known as the front- line states of development in Nigeria, formerly completed the process of readmitting Lagos into the Odua investment conglomerate with 115 million shares.
With this novel approach, the SW states have kick-started the real economic integration of the region and undo the havoc done by the separation of Lagos from the then western region in 1967.
By that action then, the Tafawa Balewa government wanted to complete the separation of Lagos from Western region as done by the British by creating a separate Lagos colony.
Thus, this inglorious process shut the door of real economic integration as Lagos was ran as a separate entity from the Yoruba territory which it was part of.
Hence, with the decision of the six governors last week they have demonstrated enough courage and determination to achieve real economic integration as save the region from the myopic economic planning at the federal level which has diminished the great strides in the South west part of Nigeria.
Besides,the decision of the governors to embark on integrated Rice project is a practical demonstration of Restructuring which has so far remain a slogan.
Research since 2015,have shown that with the estimated N1billion worth of food consumed in Lagos daily, the SW states have shown determination to pursue a sustained agriculture policy to boost food supply chain in the territory and tap the optimum economic advantage from its huge urban population to provide jobs especially in agro -allied industry for its teeming youths and boost its Internal Generated revenue and overall GDP.
This is why one must see the commissioning yesterday of 21 boubdary roads by Governor Ambode of Lagos as a practical demonstration of Lagos State commitment to take the lead in SW economic integration which remains the best alternative to arresting mass unemployment,food security and enhanced infrastructural development worthy of emulation by the remaining states to return SW to the golden era of leadership in socio economic development in Nigeria.
It can only be Ambode who else among the 36 governors have delivered so much in so short a period.
Its a question of preparation and Focus with the people at the Centre of policy formulation and timely delivery. Ambode remains the Man to beat in Lagos.
Abatan is the Associate Editor,Media Career Centre and CPS to former Deputy Governor of Lagos State.