The year has basically come to an end. I am happy to name My Person of the Year – 2017. The Governor of Lagos State (Nigeria), Akinwunmi Ambode, is that person. Lagos state is one of the largest economies in Africa and a very strategic state within the Nigerian nation. With a population in excess of 24 million people, and gross state product of at least US $91 billion, it is the epicenter of the Nigerian economy.
In short, before Nigeria, there was Lagos, and over generations, the state has been blessed with some of the finest (pragmatic) leaders in the nation. These leaders continue to make Lagos the best state for business and an unparalleled place to be a Nigerian where your tribe will not necessarily hold you back. The excellence, the resilience and the entrepreneurial liberty of Lagos separate it from Nigeria. The center of excellence has seen the best political leadership in the nation for years.
Mr. Ambode continues on that tradition, and has managed Lagos fairly well. Lagos is a benchmark for other Nigerian states. He has brought a visioning system that looks into the future and continues to explore how to build an economic system that would be decoupled from the cyclical boom and bust of the Nigerian economy. Lagos is making progress across many metrics including primary health, primary education, road construction, and across industrial sectors. His efforts to deepen resources in the Yaba Valley will pay dividends in coming years.
He may not be perfect: some of the new roads are not top-grade. But no one can fault him for thinking big, acting bold and moving fast with fierce urgency of now. He is working hard to build and sustain institutions through balanced top-grade leadership system. He is My Person of the Year – 2017.
I had also noted my top four ministers in the Buhari Administration.