LAGOS – Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Friday re-stated his appealed to the Federal Government to give Lagos State a special status to help the city achieve its economic growth.
Fashola made the appeal at the opening ceremony of the 28th Lagos International Trade Fair, holding at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
The theme of the fair is: ”Promoting the Nigerian Economy as a Preferred Investment Destination”.
Fashola said that the challenges of infrastructure and security were militating against the nation as a preferred investment destination.
According to Fashola, the state generates about 20 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and as such the state has remained the economic centre of the nation.
The governor, who was represented by Mrs Olusola Oworu, the state’s Commissioner for Commerce, said that without infrastructure such as electricity, it would be difficult to attract local and foreign investors.
”Without tackling insecurity issues, we cannot make this place (Nigeria) an investment destination.
“We have identified areas such agriculture, transportation, housing and power that will take Lagos to its investment destination but the state needs to be given special status to achieve this,” Fashola said.
Mr Remi Bello, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that it was important to create an enabling environment to attract new investments and grow existing ones.
Bello said that time was ripe to build an economy that was diversified and sustainable because oil prices had remained low.
He said it was good that the new status of Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa and the 26th in the world had generated tremendous interest among investors globally.
Mr Ilesanmi Agoye, Vice President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, urged the private and public sectors to patronise locally made goods to create job opportunities for the youth.
Agoye said that patriotism was capable of increasing the country’s revenue and to enable it compete favourably with other nations of the world.
Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, commended the Federal Government for producing the proposed 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure framework before the National Assembly.
Abubakar urged the lawmakers to approve the framework without delay.
He advised the government to hasten the process of revisiting the concession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex and hand it over to the LCCI for trade promotion activities. (NAN)