Stakeholders advocate blueprint to unlock Lagos Island economic opportunities
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and other stakeholders have emphasised the need for the Lagos State Government to develop a comprehensive blueprint to unlock the untapped economic potential needed for the development of Lagos State.
According to the president, LCCI, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, at a webinar tagged “Harnessing Lagos Island’s comparative advantage”, the development agenda must be implemented in a way that allows for periodic performance assessments and continuous improvements.
He expressed optimism that this year’s Lagos Economic Summit would help to bring into focus innovative ideas and policy alternatives that can be mainstreamed into the Lagos State Development Plan 2012-2025 for accelerated development of Lagos Island.
He pointed out that the 2022 edition of the Lagos Island Economic Summit is being organised to facilitate conversations on the development blueprint of Lagos Island, highlight investment opportunities, and bring into focus areas of comparative advantage in Lagos Island for sustainable economic development and shared prosperity.
“The relevance of Lagos Island in the chronicle of Nigeria’s existence as a national entity cannot be overemphasized. It is the heart of Lagos city, the center of trade, commerce, finance, and administration,” he said.
He noted that Lagos Island is pivotal to trade and commerce in Nigeria, stressing that a huge volume of commercial and financial business is carried out daily in the central business district situated on the Island.
“Also, many of the tier 1 banks, financial institutions, and major corporations in Nigeria are headquartered on the Island. The extensive and daily money-making activities have, over time, accelerating the transition of the Island from a mere trade point to a commercial nerve center. This underscores its immense potential along with the key structural components of the Nigerian economy, especially in distributive trade, real estate, transportation, logistics, tourism, and hospitality sectors,” he averred.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Investments, Mrs. Solape Hammond, said Lagos State has all the ingredients to become what it wants to be due to its very strong, rich history and its strategic central location.
She stated the need to have a strategic set of documents to bring about sustainable development of the State.
“The transportation rail lines will open up even more beautiful natural resources and human resources, strong financial capacity and an amazingly youthful, educated population”.
She however stated the need for the continuous upgrading of the security architecture of the State, saying that security is key to attracting both local and foreign direct investments.
The Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Main One, Mrs. Funke Opeke, said Lagos Island, despite being a premier business district, is still not tapping into the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector, adding that the ICT sector would help drive the profitability and productivity of businesses in the State.
She also called on the Lagos State government to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State.
On his part, the Founding Managing Director, Agusto & Co Limited, Mr. Olabode Agusto, said there is an urgent need to strengthen stakeholders’ engagement while also building strong partnerships with the State government to achieve sustainable development.