Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has predicted that Lagos State would emerge Africa third largest economy by 2020.
This is even as he reaffirmed that Lagos State has potential to be a net exporter of goods and services in Africa, just as he expressed the need for the investing public to continue to have access to relevant information on the requirements needed for entrepreneurs to benefit from the opportunities available in the commerce and industrial sectors of the economy.
Speaking in Lagos at the silver jubilee anniversary of the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN), with the theme “25 years of Incisive Industry Reporting: The Gains, The Pains”, Ambode noted that the state economy is presently ranked among the top five in Africa due to the sustained commitment of successive administrations to the state development plan. “We believe that this is achievable given the vast investment opportunities in areas such as tourism, entertainment, agriculture, transportation among others”, he said.
Ambode, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Fola Adeyemi, said there is no doubt that Lagos State has the potential to be a net exporter of goods and services in Africa, just as he urged the association to step up their reporting of commercial and industrial activities in the Nigerian economy to avail any prospecting investors the knowledge and availability of their choice of products and services.
The governor commended the association for sustaining the vision and objectives which informed its establishment, pointing out that CICAN’s efforts have contributed to the enlightenment and education of stakeholders and the general public, particularly in making informed decisions with regards to taking advantage of business/investment opportunities.
“The growth and development of economies depend on the amount and quality of information available to investors and other stakeholders. The relevance of your efforts became more pronounced during the recent period of economic recession as Nigerians were better informed on opportunities available in the SME sector especially in the agriculture value plan.
“The impact of the awareness has contributed to the positive growth in the agricultural sector as shown in the second quarter report of the National Bureau of Statistics.”
He also emphasized that the state has taken steps to stimulate investment in various sectors such as provision of relevant and necessary infrastructure, implementation of business friendly policies, strengthening the capacity of security agencies to guarantee safety of lives and property, the establishment of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund through which young aspiring entrepreneurs are guaranteed access to funds at very liberal and friendly terms.
“As you celebrate your jubilee anniversary, I implore you to continue to partner with government by raising the bar of information dissemination to members of the public and aspiring entrepreneurs on the vast investment potentials available for them to generate wealth and create job opportunities for the growth and development of our economy”, Governor Ambode said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the National Chairman of the association, Mr Toba Agboola, said the glorious sacrifices of the founding fathers, geared towards building a progressive landmark for the great association was celebrated and witnessed in members’ lifetime during the occasion of the celebration.
He also added that CICAN can be referred to as information superhighways for the nation’s real sector as far as media exposure is concerned, while reaffirming the association’s commitment to its responsibilities as the watchdogs and as an association.