• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Lagos State eyes better infrastructure to support entrepreneurs 


Lagos State government has pledged to boost infrastructure in Nigeria’s economic capital to support entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the EY Entrepreneur Award held recently, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State governor, said his administration was committed to supporting the ambitions and aspirations of entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by Femi Hamzat, deputy governor, said entrepreneurs were key drivers of the economy of the state and the nation.

“We will continue to invest heavily in infrastructure, especially in the transport sector, as we are receiving support from the Federal government in major areas of transport, power and agriculture,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“Lagos would not have attained the enviable status of being the economic hub of Nigeria and the biggest sub-national economy of Africa if not for the entrepreneurs who translated their dreams into reality,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“Anyone who has started a business knows that it is not an easy thing to do. It also does not get easier and every stage of the growth of a business comes with its own unique challenges and issues,” he further said.

He pointed out that though the environment could be challenging for various reasons, many entrepreneurs had continued to put in hard work and sacrifice to build, grow, expand and innovate.

He said there could never be safety of lives and property without security, stressing that security remained a priority in his government.

“We have identified the private sector as a vital partner providing support through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund,” he noted.

The governor commended the six shortlisted finalists at the EY West Africa Entrepreneurs Award 2020, pledging to create the environment to enable entrepreneurs overcome some of the operating challenges faced by business owners in the state.

At the event, Michael Olasubomi Balogun was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award as the doyen of banking in Nigeria and Africa while Cosmos Maduka, founder/chief executive officer, Coscharis Group, emerged winner in the Masters’ category of the EY West Africa Entrepreneur Award 2020. He will represent West Africa in the EY World  Entrepreneur Award of the Year in Monte Carlo. Obi Ezeude, managing director/CEO, Beloxxi Industries Limited, won EY West Africa Entrepreneur of the Year in the Emerging Category.

Henry Egbiki, EY country leader and regional managing partner for West Africa, said the award was the 6th edition in West Africa.

“The EY Entrepreneur of the Year award was instituted to recognise and celebrate unique sets of men and women in West Africa who use their entrepreneurial energy and passion to reshape our world with their innovation thus create economic and social values in the business world through creating job opportunities,” he said.

“The EY Entrepreneur Award started in the United States in 1986 and had since become a global programme covering more than 70 countries. The West African edition of the award commenced in 2011. Cosmas Maduka will join 65 other winners from across the world to vie for the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year,” he noted.

Maduka will fly the West African flag in Monaco in June where he will battle with other Master Category Winners drawn from over 70 countries worldwide. Ezeude is the CEO of Beloxxi, which manufactures cracker biscuits.