Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State has said that due to the State’s rising population and limited geography, the infrastructure needs of Nigeria’s commercial capital exceed $15 Billion annually which is five times more than the annual state budget. Sanwo-Olu said this at the Lagos State Investment Roundtable (LSIR) themed attracting investment for economic recovery hosted on Thursday by the Lagos State Sustainable Development Goals and Investment Bureau.
The Governor acknowledged that the state as a fast-growing Megacity is vulnerable to various challenges as it is sprawling, densely populated, and climate-challenged, “all of which must be addressed to drive the growth and development that is envisioned.”
“We must find solutions to all of these problems urgently but all of these solutions must be paid for, investors are the partners and vehicles who will deploy the capital and the financial mechanisms that will underwrite the solutions to all of the challenges and problems that we face, as sub-national and national entities, and as a planet,” he said.
He note that Lagos is set to tread the path of growth and opportunities as it transitions into a new era characterized by the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), the renewed push for the actualization of the SDGs, recovery from the pandemic and the recent progress on the global climate ambitions.
He further stated that the government in turn will create the enabling policies and overall environment for investors to thrive in Lagos, while critical hard and soft infrastructure is developed for investments to be safe and for innovation to thrive. “We will equally continue to improve on public transparency, fiscal discipline, and debt sustainability as we know that these metrics are important and send an important signal to investors,” he added.
The governor also launched the Lagos state investment deal book which is a compendium of investment opportunities across the state as well as information about the incentives for making the investments and the processes for doing so. Emeka Offor, Acting Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) said that the National Development Plan (NDP) for 2021 to 2025 estimated that Nigeria needs investment worth about N348 trillion out of which the private sector is expected to provide 80 percent of the investment with about N75 trillion yearly.
“Currently the country attracts about two million dollars in terms of FDI but with the size of the economy and the potentials inherent in Nigeria, investment gaps can be bridged, with all hands on deck to ensure that the needed social, economic, and political infrastructure is in place to support investment inflow,” he said.
Offor added that the LSIR presents a platform to facilitate investment opportunities and partnerships in Lagos, especially as intense efforts are ongoing to accelerate recovery post-pandemic. He said that the NIPC aims to build the country’s investment capacity and will continue to partner with the SDGs&I bureau to ensure that the economic aspirations of Lagos state and Nigeria are realized.
In her welcome address, Solape Hammond, Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Investments to the Governor of Lagos State, said, Lagos derived its age-long excellence partly from the worthy contribution of private investment to its socio-economic development, hence, the commitment towards creating conducive atmosphere for private businesses to strive. “The ability to attract investment remains the hallmark of healthy economies all over the world, this administration will continue to demonstrate commitment to reinforce this position by strengthening all regulatory frameworks, improving internal security structure, and reducing administrative bottlenecks that hinder business operations,” she said.