By Omolara Omosanya
The Lagos State Government says it will be relentless in pursuing initiatives that will not only seek to improve the ease of doing business; but also, those that manifestly make the business
environment more attractive for investors.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated this while declaring open, the 8th EU-Nigeria Business forum with the theme: Nigeria and the New Economy in Victoria Island Lagos.
Sharing components of the State’s proposed thirty year development plan with participants, Governor Sanwo-Olu
announced that it includes making Lagos the largest West Africa wholesale hub; Leveraging the Nigeria market demand as a base to become the export hub for FMCG manufacturing and export in West Africa as well as becoming West Africa’s main trade hub and regional gateway for transit and port services, while serving as a strategy ally in
facilitating the goals and objectives of
the EU-Nigeria Business forum.
“On our part in Lagos state, we continue to view ourselves as a
strategic national asset, carrying the responsibility for not just being
an epicenter in times of national crisis but also an economic springboard in leading Nigeria to a place of social and economic prosperity” Governor Sanwo-Olu promised
The Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba who shared the National economic plan and it’s numerous advantages with participants, announced that the Federal government is currently developing a perspective plan tagged “Nigeria Agenda 2050” to sustain the Nigeria Vision 2020 and solicited the support of investors.
“I therefore enjoin you as critical stakeholders, especially the private sector to continue to work closely with government to deliver on implementation of both plans, Nigeria has great investment potential with the large market size of its population and the willingness of the government to create the enabling environment that will attract both local and foreign investments” the Minister appealed
In an opening remark, the Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi stated that the EU remains Nigeria’s biggest trading partner, pegging the trade volume at
28.7 (twenty-eight point seven) billion euros with a significant trade balance of over 6 billion in favor of Nigeria as at 2021.
Ms Isopi revealed that the EU had been
listening carefully to the concerns expressed by its partners around the world over the negative impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, noting that the single most important measure to mitigate its adverse impacts is: end the war by Russia, while the way forward and the way out of crisis has to be the sustainable development of a vibrant diversified economy, based on a business environment that is attractive to investors.
The EU ECOWAS Ambassador said the theme of the forum, ‘Nigeria and the new Economy’ is about finding a path through difficult terrain, identifying opportunities and offering a business-friendly approach.
“Nigeria’s new economy is about finding a path through difficult terrain, identifying opportunities and offering a business-friendly approach. Nigeria has great potential in new fields of endeavour, but the new economy is also about putting forward innovative, modern solutions to established sectors; indeed, tomorrow, we are devoting the whole day to agriculture as a new growth engine” she said
The two-day forum will be looking at government policies to stimulate the private sector and encourage local production, the gas sector and the prospects for increased exports to Europe as well as climate smart agriculture in relation to food security and the creation for employment for the youth especially in rural areas.