Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is seeking support to boost infrastructure development to make Lagos a working megacity.
Sanwo-Olu said this at the High-level Mayoral Event on “Leveraging Cities and Municipalities for National Development” , at the ongoing 2023 AIF Market Place in Marrakesh, Morocco on Thursday.
According to him, the state already has a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and requires investment to create a destination for Africans.
“We have cleaned up our regulatory environment and opened our doors to ensure all red tapes have been removed.
“We have a one-stop shop in which investors can come in and tick all the boxes on how to settle into the system.
“So, you don’t have to runaround and begin to beat your head on navigating the space.
“Once the regulatory and judicial environment is clear, what it means is for the investment to come.
“We need investments in transport infrastructure and rail; we are building a rail system that can carry millions of people daily.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the rail corridor is meant to move between 5, 000 to 6, 000 passengers .
“The numbers are real and will speak to your return on investment.”
“We need investments on our waterways, building new water ferry terminals that will move people to different parts of the city; we need investment to build another airport.
“We need to build a regional airport that will serve not only the region in the country but the West African region, so the numbers are clear, and we have done all the feasibility to make it work,” he said.
The governor said there were also opportunities in the creative industry, as the state was working on building the biggest film city worth about 400 to 500 million dollars.
He said the state was building institutions for Africa’s creative industry, museums and theatre to keep African art and monuments, encourage Africans and make Africa a destination.
“And we can do this. Let us see Lagos as a small Africa where all of us can come, work, and play.
“You know we already have the biggest refinery and port, so we want all of it to work together
According to Sanwo-Olu, the state is looking for investments domiciled in local currency to de-risk foreign exchange.
“It will deepen our local currency and also help us de-risk foreign currency interest rates and all of it. So, indeed, it is a lot of money,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Farouk Saleh, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metro Capital Advisory Group, reiterated the need to localise infrastructure ingredients on the continent.
Saleh, while speaking on ways of unlocking the potential of global manufacturing, called for the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on the continent.
According to him, his group is building a city to create jobs for our teaming youths, thus dissuading the “Japa” syndrome.
On challenges being faced by .. manufacturers in Nigeria, he said they were not insurmountable, especially with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
He, however, urged the Nigerian government and other governments on the continent to look into the issues of regulations, power, and forex for African manufacturers.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria