Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde in this encounter with Brandwise team dissects the essence and the uniqueness of the Lagos Brand. Excerpts:
Q: As a destination brand, what is unique about Lagos?
A : We try to define Lagos with 3 Ps and 3 Rs. The 3Ps stand for people, pulse and passion. Without a doubt, Lagos has the largest concentration of black people in a particular city or city state anywhere in the world. So if you are looking for a number one black city destination spot, that is Lagos State. And that human capital counts for something. That’s the pulse of the black world. And you would see that anybody that describes Lagos will note that with the energy, the pulse, the passion, Lagos is number one. Something that also works in tandem with that is what we call the 3 Rs. Resonance, Resilient and Relentless. Those 3 Rs describe the essence, the uniqueness and the USP of Lagos. And God so good only last year Lagos was formally admitted into that prestigious club of the 100 resilient cities of the world. And we accept that inclusion wholeheartedly because we do not use the word resilient loosely. And again resilient captures the essence of Lagos .That in spite of anything and everything that may be affecting the whole world or the country, the ‘can do’ never give up first of Lagosian is always there. When we say Eko for show or on the one hand’ We say Eko o gba gbere, we are speaking to the rare energy, the resonant and the relentlessness that define an average Lagosian. Somebody that is unputdownable in spirit by any challenge or obstacle. Therefore the whole idea of picking the 3ps and the 3rs to describe Lagos is to use those description in a positive way. It is like electricity you can use it in a positive way to iron your clothes, put on the AC or light up your home or you can use electricity in a negative way. If it is a naked wire and you touch it or hold it, you are dead or terminally wounded. That is the same power, the same pulse and the same resonant you feel with Lagos. When you aggregate all these qualities together you won’t go far to see why only Lagos is excelling, or why Lagos is the centre of excellence, why Lagos is number one in everything. That even though Lagos is the smallest in terms of land mass, it is the most blessed state in the country. Those qualities work positively on one hand in terms of governance and polity of the state. This is the land of continuity. This is the land that determines the fate of the country in terms of political direction. No one becomes the president without bringing Lagos along. Continuity has found a fertile home in Lagos. Also in terms of economy, the I G R of Lagos is bigger than those of 32 other states in Nigeria combined. The GDP of Lagos is bigger than that of Kenya and Ghana combined. So much so that if Lagos were to be a country it would have been the 5th biggest economy in Africa. So it is unique in every aspect. In terms of culture, it is the home of Nollywood. This is where Nollywood started. So, when you say Nollywood is the third biggest movie making industry in the world you are making reference to something that has its roots, flesh and bones in Lagos. A new research has shown that the largest number of standup comedians in the black world lives and make a living in Lagos. Joking and comedy have become serious business. It is booming and thriv- ing in Lagos. Joking has become serious business, thanks to Lagos. When people say ‘Waffi guys’. Guess what they are referring to comedians of Warri extraction who are making a living in Lagos. We see a city state that encapsulates the multiculturalism and unity in diversity. That is cosmopolitan Lagos for you. Of course, Lagos does not and will never forget its south-west, Yoruba roots. And thank God Lagos has joined the league of the Odua Group of companies comprising all the South West Yoruba states. But undeniably also is the fact that Lagos has grown to become the ideal cosmopolitan state that is giving example in governance, business opportunities and brotherliness to other states, Africa and the world. So it is unique in every ramification. These days, people speak glowingly about Lagos as a good example of a state growing politically and economically. And thank God we have a governor that understands what it takes to manage a megacity that is aspiring to become a smart city.
Q. How will you summarize the journey so far for the state?
A. So far so good. The state has demonstrated its leadership position as the centre of excellence in Nigeria. More importantly, the state has made good use of the opportunity of always been blessed with capable and visionary leaders
Q. What is the future?
A. It is a very bright future for the state and we are grateful that we have a cerebral accountant who understands how to manage men and resources as the governor at these trying times. He has been committed to the Lagos State Development Plan, paying great attention to all the four pillars of development as they affect the economy, security and the environment. Yes, Lagos is now blessed as an oil-producing state, but we are not distracted by it. The aim of the