• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Why private sector critical to Lagos economy, says Sanwo-Olu

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Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the Organised Private Sector (OPS) must thrive in Lagos because they contribute 80 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.

This, the governor said has made the sector critical to the economy of Lagos, meaning that that everything must be done to encourage their continued growth as well as attract more private sector investments.

Sanwo-Olu spoke while receiving Mark Rutte, the prime minister of Netherland at the Presidential Wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja. Rutte arrived in Lagos on Wednesday with a team of investors from his country to Nigeria. Among the team are investors with interests in various sectors of the economy, including water dredging, dairy production, manufacturing, health and infrastructure development.

According to the Lagos State governor, encouraging the private investors is one of the ways to realise the state government’s objective of building a greater Lagos as a 21st century economy.

“We are just six months old as a government but we are committed and we understand that for us to do well we must create opportunity for the private sector to do well, because it’s only when the private sector thrives that our economy will grow and businesses will flourish. We know from the indices that the public sector only controls 20 percent of the GPD. The private sector which controls 80 percent of the GDP needs to flourish. They need to have an enabling environment for them to continue to make greater resources to employ people and create value,” he said, adding that his administration is committed to providing that right environment.

The governor said his administration was well informed about some of the challenges faced by businesses and was investing in critical infrastructure to in order reduce the pain investors and residents alike.

He said: “Just this morning, I had a security meeting with all my security operatives to ensure that traffic flow in and around Apapa Port becomes one of our deliverables. We must have a full detachment of traffic officers at the port so that they can control traffic around there. We have also stated that trailers and tankers not needed around the Apapa axis should stay away so as not to block access to other commuters. In the health sector, we are doing massive investment in terms of physical infrastructure. The layout of the hospitals even before we bring in the equipment and the process of bringing them will be thrown up to everyone in that chain to compete.

Sanwo-Olu also promised to roll out incentives in business policies and also work to improve the index on ease of doing business in the State for the mutual benefit of the State and investors.

Addressing the delegation directly, he said: “We thank you for believing in our state and country. We want you to continue to grow your businesses here. You should continue to make additional investment and we will ensure we bring about a level playing field, making sure you are safe and secure and there won’t be any fear whatsoever in any of your business locations. We want Lagos become a true destination of choice. We want Lagos to be where there is ease of doing business, and not just a place with the population but where people can see that environment is business-friendly, where there are challenges and how well we respond to those challenges.”

Rutte, the Netherlands prime minister on his part appreciated the vibrancy of the Lagos economy. He applauded the understanding the governor showed on the issues around the state and praised his readiness to bring solutions to challenges raised by investors.

He, however, promised his government’s readiness to promote small business enterprises in Lagos further boost the state’s economy. He said,” I am impressed with the concentration of business in this part of the country. With 20 million living here you have people and businesses rolling over and making money.

“Yes we share some features and face challenges dealing with nature and trying to reclaim land from water. We are hopeful we can allow smaller businesses come into not only Nigeria but Lagos and this will help grow the economy,” said Rutte.

 

JOSHUA BASSEY