…Says Africa Has Potentials To Be A
Great Continent 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi
Ambode on Thursday said the State is willing,
able and ready to partner with investors within and outside Africa, just as he
said that adequate measures have been put in place to enhance the ease of doing
business within the State.


Governor Ambode, who spoke at the second
edition of German-African Business Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya, said as Africa’s
model mega city, Lagos is strategically positioned to play a leading role in
propelling development on the continent, adding that as a result of the growing
investors’ confidence, the State is fast becoming a preferred destination for
investors in Africa.

Giving statistics about State, the Governor said
apart from being the 5th largest economy and fastest growing city in Africa
with a population of over 22 million people comprising overwhelming proportion
of middle class income earners, Lagos is also the contributor of 30 percent of
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the leading contributor to the
non-oil sector GDP.
“Lagos accounts for
over 60 percent of the country’s industrial and commercial activities; over 70
percent of national maritime cargo freight; over 80 percent of international
aviation traffic, and over 50 percent of Nigeria’s energy consumption.

“Also, Lagos is the
nexus of Nigeria’s section of Trans-African Highway which is being boosted by
our enormous investment on the expansion of the Lagos Badagry Expressway, the
primary ECOWAS highway, into 10-Lanes with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the
first light rail metro transit in West Africa.
“With these and the
State’s 180km Atlantic waterfront criss-crossed by maze of creeks and lagoons,
Lagos is an investment and tourist delight,” the Governor said.

While alluding to the measures put in place so far
by his administration, Governor Ambode said the policy objectives were based on
a tripod of security, infrastructural development and job creation, saying that
such was further driven by desire to build a sustainable economy that is
minimally dependent on federal allocation, but a private sector driven economy
through local and foreign direct investment.

Specifically, the Governor said in less than two
years, his administration pursued a governance structure that is primarily
focused on creating an enabling environment for economic growth, job/wealth
creation through friendly policies and incentives to bring about ease of doing

He said one of such policies was the establishment
of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment (Lagos Global), which is a
one-stop-shop that simplifies official processes and procedures leading to a
significant reduction in the time that it takes to conclude transactions with

The Governor, who said that Lagos is open for
business, said government has also demonstrated serious commitment to safety
and security of lives and property, a development which he said had earned the
security outfit of the State (Rapid Response Squad) recognition as the most
effective and efficient in Africa.

He said:”Our judicial process has also been
adjudged as the most progressive and modern in Nigeria.  This is a result
of the various reforms that were initiated to facilitate quick, just and fair
adjudicatory process rooted in the rule of law. Just over a week ago, Lagos
State hosted a summit on Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria. The
objective of this summit was to generate ideas that will align our laws with
the realities of technology-driven 21st century.

“As a result of the growing investors’ confidence,
Lagos State is fast becoming a preferred destination for investors in Africa.
As a matter of fact, the aggregate of Foreign Direct Investment that had been
attracted to Lagos State in the past 16 months is more that was achieved in the
last 10 years.”

Speaking on Africa as a continent, Governor said
it was time for African leaders to develop lasting solutions to the myriad of
challenges confronting the continent and work towards joining the mainstream of
global economy, saying that the continent has all it takes to become a force to
reckon with.

The Governor decried the assessment of Africa
based on her potentials rather than actual contribution to the global economy,
insisting that such ought not to be the case considering the abundance of
indices of greatness in the continent.

“With a population of over 1.2 billion people and
national endowments, Africa has all it takes to be a great continent. 
Ironically, despite her abundant human and material resources, the continent is
still being assessed based on her potentials rather than actual contribution to
the global economy.

“The 21st century
therefore presents another opportunity for us to develop lasting solutions to
our challenges and join the mainstream of the global economy by leveraging on
our competitive advantage,” Governor Ambode said.



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