By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said the State remains safe for business operations, allaying fears of insecurity.
The Governor, who said this while responding to fears by business stakeholders on Thursday at the 7th Edition of the Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged ‘BOS MEETS BUSINESS’, held at the State House, Ikeja, said the State Government is abreast of the security situation and is taking all actions to guide against any unfortunate happening.
“One of the primary responsibility of government is the security of lives and properties. I want to assure our businesses that this is one area that we are not shelving from.
“We are doing everything to make Lagos safe and secure and to make sure that businesses and properties are safe. Working with security agencies, we know what the issues are, and what the problems are,” he said.
The Governor, who briefed on the policy actions the government has taken on demands presented by stakeholders at the last edition of the Assembly, said the Government has made efforts to touch on virtually all the issues raised.
Some of the interventions he mentioned were the cutting of charges/rates by 75 per cent on water licensing/permit; giving five years waiver of arrears on water licensing and permit amongst others; attending to request for a robust relationship with Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency (LASIAMA); concerns on Vehicle Inspectoion Service (VIS) and traffic management, among others.
On empowerment of MSMEs, he said no less than 12,000 artisans were trained, 12,000 business empowerd through grants, support given to about 2,500 low capacity private schools, as well as partnership with three banks which has seen securing a N10billion fund to boost small business within the period under review.
In her remarks, the State’s Commissioner for Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr. Mrs. Lola Akande, said “the Assembly has become an advocacy platform where the State Government and the business community converge to discuss issues of shared concerns, with a view to promoting Commerce and Industry in Lagos State.”
According to her, the engagement has been able to reinvent and strengthen the relationship between the State Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS).
She mentioned that at the time, when the Covid-19 Pandemic is ravaging the world, discussions on the establishment of a new type of strategic partnership, more dialogue and exchanges between Government and the organised private sector has become important.
In her submission, the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Toki Mabogunje, said the private sector has a central role in the actualisation of the vision of a mega city and making Lagos a 21st century economy.
In his presentation, the Chief Executive Officer, Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, Dr. Tunde Shodade, said for the business orientation of the Lekki Free Trade Zone, infrastructure development strategies applied for the zone is one of Private Public Partnership (PPP), adding that the zone is being developed to be a modern city as “a city within a city”.
He mentioned that the State Government believes the existence of a free trade zone is critical to open up the economy for development through external access for export opportunities.