Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has expressed delight at the emergence of Lagos as the 5th largest economy in Africa, saying his administration was in the process of setting up an Economic Management Team comprised of distinguished individuals from the private sector and the public sector to manage and scale up the successes recorded in that direction.
This is just as Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who was the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), lauded the Lagos State government on the management of the economy of the state, especially in this period of recession. saying that any country that depended on a mono product commodity like Nigeria was bound to fail.
According to Sanusi, who spoke at a recent forum, Nigeria and other African countries has a lot to learn from how the economy of Lagos is being run, especially before the state gained oil producing state status, urging Lagos to emulate Norway, where all its oil proceeds were warehoused in a sovereign wealth fund and saved for the raining day.
Ambode said this on Tuesday at the Lagos House, Ikeja when he received a delegation from the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce on courtesy visit, pointing out that the emergence of Lagos was very instructive and that government would explore synergy with private sector with the view to catapult the state into a true global city-state in the true sense of the word.
“Very soon, we would be setting up what we would refer to as an Economic Management Team to drive the fifth largest economy, because that’s the way we need to envision ourselves and this Economic Management Team will involve nominees from the Chambers and other people in the private sector, so that we can collaborate because majorly, this economy is driven by the private sector.
“Our duty is to create an enabling environment and fuse all that together, I think that synergy can just catapult Lagos into that global city state that we want it to be,” Governor Ambode said.
The governor, while noting that there the economy of Lagos, no doubt, was in the hand of the private sector, however, assured of the willingness on the part of government to ensure an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
He said this was why his administration had been investing massively in security and other business incentives.
According to him, his decision to come up with the Office of Oversees Affairs and Investment, otherwise known as Lagos Global, among many other initiatives of the present administration was part of efforts at encouraging investment in Lagos both from within and outside.
“I think it is very instructive to clearly state that the economy of Lagos is in the hands of the private sector and beyond the fact that Lagos is now the fifth largest economy in Africa, the drive to take Nigeria out of recession actually resides in the private sector and willingness on the part of the public sector.
“Because our economy is in the hands of the private sector and we are willing to allow them drive it, that is why we have decided to formulate policies and decisions that will make the private sector to thrive in this state and that is why in the last 18 months, we have been running this administration on a tripod of security, job opportunities and infrastructure development,” Governor Ambode said.
The governor, while explaining the tripod, said his administration believed that when the people and investors were well secured, businesses would thrive and more people would be employed, while the resources generated through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) would be deployed to provide infrastructure for the people.
Besides, Governor Ambode commended investors who had remained committed in doing business in Lagos despite the down turn in the economy, assuring that his administration would continue to work hard and partner with the private sector.