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BUSINESS NEWS: Lagos rail lines to be ready soon – Sanwo-Olu

BUSINESS NEWS: Lagos rail lines to be ready soon – Sanwo-Olu

Publish date: 2022-07-10 23:05:44 | Author: Edidiong Ikpoto | Source: punchng.com

GOVERNOR of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the two rail line projects currently being constructed by his administration will be ready by 2023.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed this while speaking during an interactive session with business leaders and private sector CEOs in Lagos recently. The meeting was organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

According to him, Lagos State will be on another 30-year journey in pursuit of physical development, social growth, and economic prosperity.

The Lagos State Development Plan 2052, Sanwo-Olu said, would be officially rolled out at the forthcoming 9th Economic Summit of the state (known as Ehingbeti). The 30-year plan, the Governor said, was developed with clear objectives from four strategic dimensions aimed at positioning the state to achieve its vision.

Sanwo-Olu hinted that each of the four dimensions in the development plan would be achieved through over 400 policy initiatives to be implemented throughout the period.

He said, “The Lagos State Development Plan 2052 has been developed with a set of clear objectives across four strategic dimensions, which are to position Lagos on the track to achieving its vision. The dimensions to this plan are to keep a thriving economy that will make Lagos a robust, healthy and growing economy with adequate jobs and strategic investments to sustain growth. We are building a human-centric city in which every Lagosian will have access to affordable and world-class education, healthcare, and social services.

“There will be a deliberate effort to keep modernising our infrastructure, by providing reliable and sufficient infrastructure that meets the needs of a 21st-century city. The plan will also bring about the sustenance of effective governance. Lagos will have a supportive and enabling environment that creates opportunities for all Lagosians. This is a huge task that must be achieved between now and the nearest possible future.”

Sanwo-Olu believed the plan would not be realised when the private sector – the drivers of the state’s economy – was not carried along in the implementation of the identified policy phases.

The governor thanked the business community for supporting the state government in dealing with emerging issues in the challenging period of COVID-19 pushback, noting that the social burden could have worsened had the private sector not considered the government’s entreaty that prevented the mass retrenchment of workers.

Sanwo-Olu used the occasion to reel out interventions initiated by the state government in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, education, healthcare, security, environment and technology to improve the ease of doing business in Lagos.

He said, “In road construction, I make bold to say that our impacts are being felt across the state, because we have taken up the total rehabilitation of major roads and creating new highways. In the Central Business District of Victoria Island and Ikoyi, we have delivered key infrastructure projects that are improving mobility and giving businessmen new experiences. Reconstruction of Idowu Taylor, Adeyemo Alakija, Adeola Hopewell is a major facelift we have signed off in this corridor.

“For the first time, we are seeing a sub-national government building rail lines to improve mobility. Lagos is expecting two brand-new light rail projects in a few months and we took this audacious decision about three years ago to deliver this important transport infrastructure. Our intervention in education has yielded a highly encouraging outcome, given the results of our students in national examinations. All of these have confirmed that we are on the right track.”

In the last one year, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos had recorded a massive influx of Foreign Direct Investment up to the tune of $750m in the technology sector, attracting global tech brands such as Equinox, Google, and Microsoft, among others. This, he said, was complementing the rollout of metropolitan fibres by the state government to promote e-commerce, traffic management and improve security.

The governor expressed the hope that the meeting would lead to creation of new pathways that would facilitate a more robust relationship with the private sector.

LCCI President, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, said the meeting with Sanwo-Olu indicated the chamber’s continued faith in the Governor’s administration for a better business environment.

Noting that Lagos had continued to be the investment haven for FDIs coming into the country, Olawale-Cole said the state alone accounted for 71 per cent of the $1.573bn foreign investment recorded in the first quarter of 2022.

He said, “Policy direction is critical for a thriving and supportive business environment in any economy. The quality of the policy is a key consideration for local and foreign investment decisions. With an improved business environment, Lagos can attract more capital inflows from Nigerians in Diaspora as a more sustainable funding for the provision of required infrastructure. The enormity of needs in Lagos requires the cooperation of both the public and private sector.”

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