Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday stated that the State has become the preferred choice destination for foreign investors with a number of new investments in hospitality, health, shopping malls and others.
The Governor, who disclosed this today at the opening ceremony of the EU-Nigeria Business Forum 2016 held at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island noted that the State’s Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment also known as 'Lagos Global' is providing the desired support services to both existing and potential investors in this regard.
Speaking through the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, Ambode reiterated that investment opportunities abound in Lagos and that investors are guaranteed adequate government’s support.
“Investment opportunities still abound and willing investors are guaranteed government support to remove obstacles and hindrances that may impede the ease of doing business”, he added.
The Governor restated the commitment of the present administration to provide critical infrastructure for investors in order to make business transactions in Lagos State a pleasurable and profitable experience.
He stated that significant progress has been made by the government toward achieving food security with the signing of MoU with Kebbi State Government on rice, wheat, groundnut wheat, onions and beef value chain in line with the commitment made at the 4th edition of the forum last year.
He explained that the present administration also recognizes the importance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which have huge potentials for job creation, adding that it has therefore become imperative to critically address issues militating against their growth and optimal performance.
The Governor said the State Government conceived the idea of N25 Billion Employment Trust Fund out of which it has already contributed the first tranche of N6.25 Billion to support young and upcoming entrepreneurs in establishing small businesses with little capital requirements.
He added that the State Government recently established a 500 million naira Trust Fund to support people living with disabilities as one of the several initiatives meant to address the challenge of access to capital which has been the bane of SME in Nigeria.
Mr. Ambode maintained that the State Government also initiated the annual fair and exhibition for SME to showcase locally produced goods thereby stimulating local demands for “Made in Nigeria Products”.
“An improved cooperation and partnership of EU and the Nigeria’s SME is a welcome development that will reinforce existing policy objectives and strengthen its capacity to drive the economy on a sustainable growth path”, he said.
Earlier, Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Micheal Arrion said Nigeria plays a vital role in business transactions and as such EU- Global partnering with Nigeria will lead to a more stable economy.
Also speaking, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande said Nigeria and EU have had a long history of cordial relationship which should be sustained.
She urged members of the EU Business Community to put less emphasis on risks in the Nigerian environment and pay more attention to the huge potentials in the Nigerian economy.