Lagos State government and Netherlands have opened discussions on partnership to develop infrastructure on the Lagos waterways.
Other key sectors also being considered include healthcare delivery, education, tourism and hi-tech. This came to the fore when Sigrid Kaag, Netherlands minister for foreign trade, development and cooperation led a business delegation to the Lagos House on Wednesday.
Kaag was received by Governor Babajide-Sanwo-Olu, who assured of a business-friendly environment and readiness of his administration to partner the team or any foreign investors to further grow the economy of Lagos.
Lagos is Nigeria’s biggest economy state with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $136 billion as at 2017 which makes it one of biggest economies in Africa in addition to being the commercial hub of West Africa.
Sanwo-Olu told the visiting business delegation that there were ample investment opportunities across sectors of the economy which both local and foreign investors can take advantage of.
On water transportation, he said the state was working on dredging to further enhance safety of operators and passengers on the waterways.
“We are doing a lot of reclamation to safeguard water. These are some of the things we are dealing with to upscale our transport system.
What I am trying to present is total transportation but for available resources. Water transportation is for us and of course, we need to complete our rail projects too so that we can have easy movement of our people from one part of the city to the other,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu also ignited the interest of the team in the Eko Atlantic city. “That is a city that is rising on top of water. It is actually an engineering that we are really proud of.
“With technology, you need to sand fill a lot of the place there, it went 12 metres down and has a height of about 9 metres up and that is twice the size of Victoria Island,” he said.
The governor acknowledged the efforts of Netherlands on skill acquisition and poverty reduction programmes, which had made Lagos State foster economic relation with the country.
On education, he said “Netherlands is good in development of skills which reduce poverty hence our aim of partnering with you is to ensure that poverty is reduced by 2030,” the governor said.
On her part, Kaag leader of the delegation expressed the willingness of the Netherlands to collaborate with Lagos to achieve the desired result in areas including maritime, health, education and technology adding that Lagos and indeed Nigeria have the potential to lead Africa.