Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has enumerated reasons why investing in Lagos will yield great returns.
The Governor spoke as a keynote speaker at the virtual investment forum hosted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) for the United Kingdom business community in Nigeria.
According to the organisers, Sanwo-Olu is the first elected black leader to address the United Kingdom Institute of Directors (IOD-UK) in it’s over 100 years of existence.
The virtual summit which was sponsored by Nigerian tech entrepreneur and creator of the ‘Rate Your Leader’ app, Joel Popoola, also had in attendance business leaders, policymakers and some public sector leaders on investment opportunities in Nigeria, including Helena Drake, IOD branch manager for Yorkshire and North East.
Sanwo-Olu stated that his administration’s agenda with the acronym T.H.E.M.E provides immense opportunities for private sector capital from global investors interested in strong returns.
He assured the investors that Lagos state was committed to creating an enabling environment for businesses, reinforced by the recent automation of business registration, permits, and approvals.
He said, “Lagos is Africa’s model megacity, a global economic and financial hub that is safe and secure, functional and productive.”
He noted that there are a variety of investment opportunities in Lagos state worth over US$2bn in the areas of Education, Shoreline Protection of Lagos Lagoon Coastline, Rebuild Lagos initiative (Sequel to the #EndSARS protests), Health, Environment, and Transportation infrastructure.
He further explained that COVID-19 and #EndSARS affected governance in Lagos such as challenging livelihood, and also loss of infrastructures, employability and employment risk, slowing the pace of digital governance.
In education, Governor Sanwo-Olu said over $50m of opportunities exist in supporting the construction and rehabilitation of school buildings, leveraging technology to improve secondary school learning, and the Eko Excel project for primary schools. Considering the coastal location of Lagos, he informed investors that the state has a shoreline protection strategy that would require over $80m for partnership and investments.
Joel Popoola, creator of the ‘Rate Your Leader’ app, in his address said, “Lagos is an economic powerhouse – if it was a country in its own right, it would have had a population similar to a country size of Portugal, Sweden or Belgium and the fifth or sixth-largest economy in all of Africa.”
Popoola stated that the country’s democracy must become digital just like the way the country’s population is growing at a digital rate.
He stressed that his brainchild “Rate Your Leader” app – a free app that allows politicians and the people they serve to connect person-to-person, understanding each other’s needs – is ready to partner with his administration.
“With modern and ambitious leadership, we can make Nigeria Africa’s first truly digital democracy – and British businesses can be vital partners in that process,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu stated that at the federal level, the Government is also committed to making Nigeria a friendly locale for international partnerships highlighting that Nigeria is now 131 on the ease of doing business report by the World Bank.
He specifically stressed that Lagos is an embodiment of Nigerian opportunity as the state ranks as the 7th largest economy in Africa with a GDP of $136bn.