Lagos – Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday pledged support to the manufacturing sector as it held the key to a sustainable economic growth and development of the state.
Ambode pledged the support at the opening of the 3rd Quarterly Council Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in Lagos.
He said the support to the manufacturing sector and investment in the state would drive self-sufficiency and sustain the status of Lagos State as the economic hub of the country.
“We are aware of the challenges of the business community in terms of poor power supply, inadequate infrastructure, high interest and foreign exchange rates among others.
“The resultant effect of this problems are manifesting in high operation cost, high rate of unemployment and poverty. But I am positive that these challenges are surmountable.
“We, therefore, need to be proactive and look towards becoming self sufficient by collaborating with the manufacturing sector which obviously, holds the key to sustainable economic growth and development.
“This is why Lagos State has established the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment to make the state a first choice exhibition for both local and foreign investors.
“This administration will continue to provide the enabling environment for the business community to thrive to create employment and grow our GDP,’’ he said.
Ambode urged NACCIMA to collaborate with the state government in its efforts to make Lagos the number one business friendly state.
Also speaking, Mr Bassey Edem, National President of NACCIMA, urged the Federal Government to hasten its roadmap for the diversification of the economy to tackle the dwindling income from crude oil.
Edem also urged the government to tackle corruption as it would translate into economic advancement, good governance and good living standard of Nigerians.
He decried the poor utilisation and management of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex and urged Ambode to call for a review of the concession of the complex.
“The complex is primarily designed for trade promotion in Nigeria, but it has become a shadow of itself.
“We therefore, request that the management of the complex be transferred back to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry as was done for Kaduna International Trade Fair Complex.
“As an umbrella body of all chambers of commerce and industry, we will continue to lend our voice and support government at all levels to fulfil their roles,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Remi Bello, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, cited poor power supply, unstable policies, multiple taxation, poor access to credit and deficient infrastructure as problems affecting the business community.
Bello said that the meeting was aimed at reviewing these challenges for a better business environment and make an impact on the new administration.
He urged the government to continue to provide the enabling environment for business to thrive to boost the economy. (NAN)