Sanwo-Olu in China on trade, business drive

• To meet top Chinese investors

LAGOS State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has embarked on a fresh trip to Asia, specifically on a working visit to China, the world’s second-largest economy, aimed at scaling up Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and bilateral relations.

The trip is coming barely three months after his earlier trip to Japan, in the company of President Muhammadu Buhari.

A statement made available by his office on Monday said the governor is on a working visit to China to sign partnerships and agreements that would support Lagos State’s efforts at transforming its economy to be 21st Century compliant.

Sanwo-Olu, according to the release, will be meeting the top management teams of China Railway Construction Company (CRCC) and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) for a joint appraisal of ongoing projects being handled in Lagos by the Chinese construction giants.

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“In the course of the visit, Sanwo-Olu will be making a keynote speech at the China-Africa Business Council, which aims at putting Lagos before the Chinese investment community and declare the State’s openness to foreign investments.

“The governor’s economic ambassadorial role will be taking him to Zhuhai Changiong Ocean Park, Huawei, GAC Motor Factory and Gree Air Conditioning for talks on partnerships in the industry, tourism and facility development,” the statement said.

It would be recalled that the present administration led by Sanwo-Olu, since its inception, has stepped up efforts for investments in infrastructure, renewable energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and transportation.

The administration has been unequivocal about his quest for both local and foreign finance to transform the state’s economy through sustained investments in infrastructure.

“While presenting the N1.1trillion 2020 Budget penultimate week, Sanwo-Olu noted that Lagos had revised its approval procedures and extant laws to promote Public-Private Partnership.

“These efforts have yielded fruits, given the recent release by the World Bank, which praised Lagos as a ‘significant contributor’ to Nigeria’s impressive performance in the Ease of Doing Business Index as the country moved 15 places higher in the ranking.

“Lagos and China have strengthened their bilateral relations since the inception of Sanwo-Olu’s administration,” the statement added.

“Recently, the Governor witnessed the signing of four agreements with China Development Bank (CDB), including the $629 million financing facility to accelerate completion of the Lekki Deep Seaport project, which started in 2011 and will be completed in 30 months.

“The loan was secured from the Chinese bank after China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which owns majority shares in the project, signed a 45-year concessionary agreement with Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLTZ) to complete the first phase of Nigeria’s first deep seaport in Lekki – a coastal community in the nation’s commercial nerve centre – Lagos State.

“The deep seaport will have two container berths of 680-metre long and 16.5-metre water depth. It will also have the capacity to berth fifth generation container ships, which has a capacity of 18,000 TEU cargoes,” the statement added further.

Speaking on the development, Governor Sanwo-Olu described it as “another milestone” for the state in infrastructural development and commerce, saying the signing of the agreements ended the uncertainty that had trailed the delivery of the projects in Lagos.

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