Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, on Sunday presented the scorecard of his administration’s efforts towards showcasing the business-friendly environment and investment opportunities available in the state.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Mrs Folasade Jaji, Secretary to the State Government, made this known at the closing ceremony of the 36th edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) in Lagos.
The governor said that his tenure had done a lot to improve the business environment through the implementation of business-friendly policies.
This, he explained, was to improve the ease of doing business, increase incentives and the state government’s unrelenting commitment to infrastructural development and renewal.
Sanwo-Olu said construction works were ongoing in all parts of the state with the goal of creating a conducive environment for business, living and leisure.
Some of these, he said, were already facilitating the intra-city and inter-state exchange of goods and services.
As part of his scorecard, the governor revealed that the Lekki Deep Sea Port had been completed and commissioned to commence operation in 2023.
He said that Lagos has consciously provided land space for investors at Lekki Free Zone with 16,500 hectares; with the same at Ikorodu, Badagry, Ibeju Lekki and other places for development.
Sanwo-Olu added that the institutionalisation of the Public-Private Engagement Mechanism (PPEM) tagged ‘Lagos Corporate Assembly’ had become a veritable platform for receiving inputs and feedback from members of the Organised Private Sector.
According to him, many of such inputs are been incorporated into the state’s policies for an improved business environment.
He said that his administration was working with various stakeholders to position the state’s products and services for increased export through the creation of the Lagos State Export Promotion Committee.
“I am happy to note that our efforts are yielding the desired result as Lagos has become a compelling brand that no investor or business can ignore,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu appreciated the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the organisers of the annual trade fair, for giving the state the privilege to showcase Lagos to the world.
He also commended the exceptional willpower of participants especially the Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs, whose level of participation at the annual exhibition remained very strong in spite of the prevailing business environment.
“I strongly believe that business owners and investors have taken due notice of the essence of the theme of this year’s fair “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”.
“It is a wake-up call for every entrepreneur because it is a potent strategy to grow a business and overcome the challenges prevailing in every business environment globally.
“The Lagos International Trade Fair is the premier Trade Fair in Nigeria and the flagship of excellent trade and business exposition in the West African sub-region.
“I am aware that this event has been exceptional and remarkably successful, especially with the huge participation by many exhibitors and patronage by high-profile consumers, tourists and visitors who thronged the fairground daily, over the past 10 days.
“Without any doubt, the challenge of benchmarking the state against global best practices, making it a model for others to follow and growing it to become a befitting smart city that is comparable to any of its kind is a very herculean task, yet, it is achievable,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu restated that the state would continue to work hard and implement innovative and creative ideas driven by technology to meet the expectations and aspirations of Lagosians for a Greater Lagos.
Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, President, LCCI, described the exciting events and business interactions of the past 10 days at the 2022 LITF as successful.
Olawale-Cole acknowledged the remarkable cooperation and support received from all concerned as well as the peace that prevailed since the beginning of the event.
“It is heart-warming to note that participants had rewarding business interactions during the fair and I commend and appreciate their resilience and optimism,” he said.
Olawale-Cole charged governments at all levels to continue to address the issues of enabling the environment in the country, especially as regards infrastructure, insecurity, and the right policies to fix the key drivers of high inflation.
“We need to do these in order to fully harness the huge enterprising resource of domestic and foreign investors for the diversification of our economy and the welfare of our people,” he said.