Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says until the Nigerian environment is made investment-friendly through deliberate investment in key infrastructure, it will be difficult to attract diasporan Nigerians and foreigners to invest in the local economy.
This, according to Sanwo-Olu, is the reason the Lagos State government is embarking on its ongoing infrastructure development programme.
This is also as the state executive council has passed a resolution approving the development of 3,000-kilometre metropolitan fibre project The project when done will enable the state build several capabilities using technology. It will also facilitate state’s quest to become a smart city of the future driven by technology, and enhance Ease of Doing Business, which foreign investors can tap into.
Meanwhile, the state government, on Tuesday, opened bilateral talks with the Canadian government, and would be seeking cooperation from the Canadian authorities in the areas of cyber security, food security and technology among others.
According to Sanwo-Olu, investment towards bridging the infrastructure gap in Lagos, is a deliberate decision by the state government, because it would amount to a wasted effort to continue to request Nigerians abroad to return home to invest if the local environment is not made business-friendly.
Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, according to its immediate past governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, is in infrastructure deficit that would require about $50 billion over five years to bridge.
Sanwo-Olu, while receiving Patrick Brown, the mayor of Brampton City in Ontario, Canada, who led a delegation to the State House at Alausa, said the Canadian city shared similar history with Lagos, stressing that both cities had grown over the decades to become the hubs of commerce and information and communication technology (ICT).
The governor acknowledged the efforts made by the mayor to accelerate development in Brampton, which hosts a large population of Nigerians. He said Lagos would be seeking bilateral cooperation with the political leadership of the Canadian city to address cyber crime and increased food production.
“It feels great to know how much effort you, as a mayor of Brampton, you’re investing in driving development in your city and this is similar to what we have been doing in Lagos. We have embarked on intensive infrastructure to make Lagos more attractive to people in the diaspora to invest in.
“All these efforts will sustain the position of Lagos as the first destination for business and keep our economy growing at a steady pace. Lagos is the tech hub in the sub-Saharan Africa and there are many collaborations we can seal with Brampton.
Brown described Nigerians living in Brampton as “resilient people”, saying their influence on the city’s economy and culture contributed to its economic prosperity and social development.
The mayor welcomed Lagos governor’s invitation for collaborations in various areas, including education, ICT, agriculture and cyber security.