We’ll improve business environment to make investment thrive in Lagos ― Sanwo-Olu

• As he receives Netherlands' Prime Minister

LAGOS State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday assured private investors of a conducive business environment, saying that his government was committed to ensuring the success of private investors in the state.

Sanwo-Olu promised to roll out incentives in business policies and also work to improve the index on ease of doing business in the states for the mutual benefit of the state and investors.

Sanwo-Olu gave this assurance while receiving the prime minister of Netherland, Mr Mark Rutte, who led a delegation of investors from his country to Nigeria.

Investors in the areas spanning water dredging, dairy production, manufacturing and health infrastructure were part of the delegation that met with the Governor Sanwo-Olu.

The governor, who received the visiting prime minister at the Presidential Wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja stated that encouraging the private investors was one of the ways of realizing the set objective to build a Greater Lagos as a 21st-century economy.

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“We are just six months old as a government but we are committed and we understand that for us to do well we must create an opportunity for the private sector to do well because it’s only when the private sector thrives that our economy will grow and businesses will flourish.

“We know from the indices that the public sector only controls 20 per cent of the GPD and the 80 per cent which controls the GDP needs to flourish and they need to have an enabling environment for them to continue to make greater resources to employ people and create value,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu highlighted some of the government’s interventions under his administration as a measure to ensure the conducive business environment, even as he responded to some of the challenges identified by the businessmen.

He said his administration was well informed about the issues raised, assuring that his government would address them as work had begun on some critical infrastructure to reduce the pain of the residents.

“Just this morning, I had a security meeting with all my security operatives to ensure that traffic flow in and around Apapa Port becomes one of our deliverables. We must have a full detachment of traffic officers at the port so that they can control traffic around there.

“We have also stated that trailers and tankers not needed around the Apapa axis should stay away so as not to block access to other commuters.

“In the health sector, we are doing massive investment in terms of physical infrastructure. The layout of the hospitals even before we bring in the equipment and the process of bringing them will be thrown up to everyone in that chain to compete,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu, while promising to roll out incentives in business policies and also work to improve the index on ease of doing business in the state, thanked the investors for believing in Lagos and the country.

“We thank you for believing in our state and in our country. We want you to continue to grow your businesses here. You should continue to make an additional investment and we will ensure we bring about a level playing field, making sure you are safe and secure and there won’t be any fear whatsoever in any of your business locations.

“We want Lagos to be a true destination of choice, we want Lagos to be a real place where there is ease of doing business, and not just a place with the population but where people can see that environment is business-friendly where there are challenges and how well we respond to those challenges,” the governor said.

In his remarks, the Netherlands prime minister, Rutte, appreciated the large volume of business concentration in the state, and vibrancy of the state’s economy.

He also applauded the sound understanding the governor showed on the issues around the state, and his readiness to bring solutions to challenges raised by investors.

Rutte, however, promised his government’s readiness to promote small business enterprises in Lagos to boost the promising economy.

He said: “I am impressed with the concentration of business in this part of the country. With 20 million living here you have people and business’s rolling over and making money.

“Mr Governor, with your approach to the questions here, it shows that you understand the issues and the people in a small landmass where business works like this.

“Yes, we share some features and face challenges dealing with nature and trying to reclaim land from water. We are hopeful we can allow smaller businesses to come into not only Nigeria but Lagos and this will help grow the economy.”

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