Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, said the state has a critical role to play, in taking Nigeria out of the current economic doldrums, even as he harped on the need for partnership between government and the private sector, to address strategic challenges confronting the nation.
Governor Ambode said this on Tuesday, at the Lagos House, in Ikeja, when he received on courtesy visit members of the Governing Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), who came to notify the governor of the hosting right of the 22nd World Conference of Banking Institute, to be held in Lagos, in April 2017 and other activities of the Institute.
The governor said Lagos, as the economic hub of Nigeria and the West African region, contributes about 70 per cent of the financial services in the country, and as such the state was in a good stead to lead the nation out of recession.
He said the visit by the CIBN Council, led by its president, Professor Segun Ajibola, was apt as it came at a time that Nigeria was undergoing recession.
He, however, said the cheering news was that the country was abundantly blessed with a group of people that could actually help the country out of recession, to which many of them were members of the Institute.
The governor, therefore, harped on the need for partnership between the government and the private sector, saying: “This is like a clearing call; we need this partnership to take us out of the doldrums.”
“Irrespective of the fact that Lagos contributes about 70 per cent of the financial services in this country and if there is anything that can take us out of recession, it has to start from us and from Lagos,” he added.
Besides, Governor Ambode said the story of the growth and development of Lagos could not have been completed, without the huge contribution of the financial service industry, adding that the sector remained a veritable vehicle that had been able to drive professionals, to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.
According to Ambode, “The financial service industry stands out in terms of creating employment for our people, and in terms of contributing to the taxes, and as well creating capacity and as such, it will be unfair not to appreciate and commend everything that the CIBN has actually done to the growth and development of Lagos.”
Speaking on the hosting right of the World Conference, Ambode expressed excitement at the development, and assured that the state government would partner with CIBN, to use the platform to promote investment potentials in the state, as well as celebrate the 50 years anniversary of the creation of Lagos.
“Lagos is going to be 50 next year, and President of the Council has talked so much about the hosting right of the conference. As a government, we are also trying to brand Lagos as a world class city to live in, and so we will partner and support the conference and list it as part of the events to celebrate Lagos at 50 and use it as a platform to promote financial tourism for the state.
Earlier, Ajibola commended Governor Ambode, for the massive infrastructure development ongoing in the state, especially the improvement on security, the ‘Light Up Lagos’ Project, ingenious traffic management strategy, in strategic locations across the state, such as the Iyana Oworo Lay-by, Ketu-Alapere Slip Road, multifaceted Berger expansion projects, Ojota Pedestrian Bridge; road rehabilitation, Light Rail Project, among others.
“As at today, the banking community is more than happy with the state of security in Lagos State. Our banks are now safer; our ATM locations are safer; we see secured human and properties more than ever before within Lagos and its environs,” Ajibola said.