Thursday, February 18,2021 / 1:29PM / By LASG / Header Image Credit: Twitter; @followlasg
Being Welcome Address by HisExcellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Ehingbeti 2021 Economic Summit
YourExcellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander-in-Chief of the FederalRepublic of Nigeria, Representatives of Presidents and Heads of States AsiwajuBola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader, All Progressive Congress, Oba of Lagos, ObaRilwan Akiolu, Member of the Diplomatic Community Chief Executives and Captainsof Industry, Distinguished Speakers, Guests, Youths, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is agreat pleasure to welcome you all to the 8th edition of Lagos Economic Summit(Ehingbeti). Our focus this year is "Setting the tone for the next decade - fora greater Lagos".
Ehingbetiis a forum for all stakeholders in and outside of Lagos - citizens, businesses,governments, regulators, civil society, technocrats, academics, funders, donorcommunity, and international partners - to exchange ideas, address potentialdevelopmental roadblocks and chart a path forward towards accelerating sustainableeconomic growth in Lagos State.
It isnoteworthy that the Summit previously planned for November 2020, wasrescheduled to this period as we wanted to have conversations and constructiveengagement with stakeholders in the Lagos project, including our youth whosevoices must be heard. We wanted to take lessons from the unfortunate incidentof 20 October 2020 - #ENDSARS - and together build back better. As agovernment, we are taking great care to address the concerns of all ourcitizens. The Lagos we are building today, and for the next decade, is for theyouths of today, who are the leaders of tomorrow.
I wouldlike to highlight a few unique features of Lagos that have so far been ofeconomic advantage:
- Lagosis Nigeria's largest city and the 7th fastest growing city in the world.
- Itcontributes approximately 25% of Nigeria's total GDP
- It is aservice-driven State, majority of its revenue is generated from taxes andprivate sector commercial activities.
- Itaccounts for 90% of Nigeria's foreign trade and 70% of all industrialinvestments.
- Lagosis the main economic, financial, and industrial hub in Nigeria with over 2,000manufacturing industries and over 200 financial institutions
- It israted the best city for start-up in Africa and ranked 2nd out of 37 states in 'starting a business' for Doing Business Ranking 2018. These position Lagos asan important socio-economic hub in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, andconsequently an investment destination of choice.
Over theyears, and with changes to the state government's administration, the EhingbetiSummit has been an avenue for executing developmental projects and initiatives,in furtherance of Lagos State as a megacity. Some of the notable achievementsas a byproduct of the past summits include:
- Establishment of the Lagos agricultural youth empowerment scheme
- Increased large mechanised rice cultivation, from 20 hectares to over 500-hectareacreage
- Establishment of the Lagos rice mill situated in Imota
- Increase in transportation infrastructure through the construction of theLekki/Ikoyi link bridge and over 10,000Km road networks.
- Over5,000 units of houses have been constructed and delivered under the homeownership scheme
- Construction of three (3) operational independent power plants in Akute, IslandI & II and Alausa. Two more in Lekki Peninsula and Lagos Mainland are inthe offing.
- Theestablishment of the Ibile oil and gas projects, creating alternative powergeneration and distribution infrastructure, and making Lagos a major gasproduction and exporting hub.
- Thegovernment has provided numerous initiatives and policies aimed at providingincentives for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and encourages ease of doingbusiness.
- Lagosstate has been a driving force for this administration's response to theCOVID-19 pandemic. Being the epicenter of the pandemic in Nigeria, we aretaking proactive steps and ensuring consistent and transparent communication.
To makeLagos great and actualize our vision, we devised the Lagos T.H.E.M.E.S, anacronym that represents the six strategic pillars of development namely TrafficManagement and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education andTechnology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism aswell as Security and Governance. These have been designed to focus on the keypillars of a competitive megacity in this new decade.
Ehingbetiis one of the anchors for the crystallization of the T.H.E.M.E.S programme ofthis administration. The plenaries and high-level discussion forums at this3-day event all resonate with T.H.E.M.E.S. Over the next three days ofEhingbeti 2021, we will listen to visionaries, thought leaders, futurists,disruptors, innovators, venture capitalists, economists Gen X, Y, Z all focusedon problem-solving for Lagos State. They will share insights and offerperspectives, including global leading practices on the various topics and mostimportantly the solutions that can be readily implemented in Lagos.
In orderto set the tone for the prosperous future of Lagos state, some initiatives arebeing considered, while leveraging on the large young and skilled population,and available digital technology: Boosting shared prosperity and economicgrowth through private sector investments in Lagos are top priorities. Thegovernment has been addressing key determinants for achieving prosperityincluding with examples:
- Diversification of the state economy, through agriculture, tourism, and powergeneration.
- Thelaunch of the strategic agricultural 5-year master plan, with initiatives andplans.
- Theestablishment of the Lagos State Aquatic Centre of Excellence (LACE) under aPublic Private Partnership framework.
- Thecompletion of the Imota Rice Mill funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria N8bnconcessionary loan
- Acceleration of Infrastructure development - facilitation of the first phase ofthe 6,000 unified fibre duct infrastructure deployment under a PPP initiativeto bring broadband internet access to homes, offices, schools, and hospitals
- Installation of 2,000 intelligent cameras around critical points to mitigatecrime and enhance traffic management and improve data collection.
- Commencement of some strategic transportation projects, example the Red LineRailway Project, the Regional Road at Victoria Garden City and Ikota and theIbeju-Lekki Epe express way
- Enhancing good governance - In line with ourcitizens engagement strategy the level of proactive communication andcollaboration with citizens was increased to ensure transparency
- Improving access to opportunities in the private sector
- N103bn invested in infrastructure to boost employments and encourageentrepreneurs
Inaddition to these proposed initiatives and projects, we are ramping up onattracting local and foreign direct investments, for:
- Economic growth - currently the largest internally generating state andcontrolling the largest GDP contribution (approx. 10% of national GDP) to theNigerian economy
- Accessto free trade areas - Lagos has the highest number of free trade areas, 9active industrial zones
- Taxrates - As part of the efforts to encourage investment, the government hasprovided several trade treaties, reliefs and agreements to encourage foreigndirect investment into the economy
- Transport and infrastructure - With proximity to the Atlantic sea and with 2ports, goods can be moved freely in and out of the state thereby giving Lagosstate a significant competitive advantage
- Wagerates and labor skills - Average wages in Lagos are cheaper, thereby providingan incentive for investors to invest due to the lower costs of productionespecially for labor-intensive production. Also, Lagos has the highest numberof young skilled and highly educated workforce
- Size ofeconomy - The ever-growing population (7th fastest growing city in the world)and the scope for economic growth is an important factor for attractinginvestment.
The year2021 is one of rekindled hope, taking into consideration the roll-out ofvaccines to combat the global Covid-19 pandemic and introduction of agile andinnovative means of digitization and technology across all aspects of humanendeavor.
I amenthusiastic about the outcomes from this Summit and how these initiatives canbe implemented to make Lagos State transform from a Mega-city to a Smart cityin the new decade.
Following,we will have the goodwill messages, keynote speeches and thereafter begin theconversations that will assist drive the development agenda of thisadministration - T.H.E.M.E.S.
Onceagain, thank you and welcome to the Ehingbeti Summit 2021. Let's together Buildthe Lagos of our Dreams.
Download PDF Here - Ehingbeti 2021
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