Lagos unveils ‘ease of doing business’ strategy
To aid the ease of doing business and promote industrial growth as well as foreign direct investment, the Lagos State government has formally unveiled its Lagos global website to provide investment services to stakeholders.
The Governor, Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, explained that the Lagos Global is a one-stop shop for promoting and dealing with all domestic and foreign investments in Lagos, as well as for managing Lagos overseas affairs.
Ambode during the formal presentation ceremony of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment, said the State’s goal is to eliminate difficulties associated with multi-agency handling of investments.
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello said issues relating to immigration, documentation, land and property acquisition for business and related purposes, taxes, levies, custom and excise, to bilateral/multilateral consultations, intergovernmental and inter-organizational relations will be addressed by Lagos Global office and will afford all domestic and foreign investors who have dealings with Lagos State the best possible platform for engagement.
“Lagos Global will promote Lagos’ investment opportunities in developed and emerging economies worldwide,” he said.
He said Lagos State focal agenda is aimed at improving the economy through job creation, establishment of employment trust fund, social services, develop corporate Lagos, re-invent middle class, security, law and roads.
He added that sectors such as the health industry, housing, agriculture, tourism, transportation and power are begging for foreign and local investments, calling on new and existing investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in these sectors.
In the housing sector, he noted that the Lagos State government is planning to expand its Lagos Home Ownership Scheme and enforce housing control laws and regulations, while the on agricultural sec tor, he noted that farmers will be empowered through promotion of agricultural value-chain, commencement of agro-processing and expanding fish production.
He noted that focus will also be on the expansion of Independent Power Projects (IPPs) scheme by pursuing integrated transport management system and mono-rail, overhauling and expand the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme, adopting e-traffic technology and the likes.
He said the vantage position of Lagos State as the former Federal Capital of Nigeria and the commercial hub, with about 2000 industrial complexes, 10000 commercial ventures, the largest and busiest airport in the country as well as two sea ports, has always made it attractive to migrant from both within and outside the country.
According to him, the Lagos State government contributes more than 30 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), consumes more than 60 per cent of Nigeria’s energy, accounts fro 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign trade flow and generates over 50 per cent of Nigeria’s port revenues.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Office of the Overseas Affairs and Investment, Prof Ademola Abass, said Lagos is self-sufficient, pointing out that almost 75 per cent of its budget is driven by its Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) giving confidence to a lot of investors to invest in the State.
“If you bring in investment from overseas, the Lagos office will anchor that, previously if you wanted to invest in Lagos State, you would have to go through different Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs), but we realized that this can be very daunting to somebody who is not very familiar with the system. The one thing that Lagos Global does is to be able to coordinate all the MDAs on behalf of an investor so that at least they do not have to go through several MDAs. Dealing with the Lagos Global, you will be dealing with the entirety of the structure both at the State and Federal level,” he added.
He stated that the impact of the Lagos Office had already started to show, saying that investors have been able to reap quick turnaround in terms of time and processing their applications.
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