Lagos Accounts for 90% of Nigeria’s Trade Flow—Abass
By Dipo Olowookere
Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment (Lagos Global), Professor Ademola Abass, has disclosed that Lagos State is responsible for over 90 percent of Nigeria’s trade flow.
Prof Abass made this known on Thursday at the ongoing 2017 Ministerial Press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, as part of activities to mark the second year in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.
The Special Adviser emphasised that Lagos State has a prominent role to play in the overall economy of the nation as 65 percent of the manufacturing activities take place in Lagos as well as contributes 30 percent to the national GDP.
He stressed that the state government was determined to ensure more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) were attracted to the state by putting measures in place to engender an enabling business environment.
According to him, the state government was still forging ahead in its efforts to enhance the ease of doing business so as to attract more investors, stressing that the creation of the Lagos Global office as a one-stop shop for coordinating all matters relating to investments in the State is a significant step in that direction.
The Governor’s aide said the idea of the Lagos Global Office was to enhance the ease of doing business, attract foreign investment, as well as encourage and expand existing investments in the State.
He said prior to the establishment of Lagos Global, all business and licensing processes for establishing or expanding investment in the state was a multi-agency activity, adding that “Businesses had to pass through every agency involved in business registration, tax payment, land administration and construction permits. The process was arduous, uneconomical and unproductive, and was not appropriate for a mega city like Lagos.”
“Numerous efforts being made by the government are all geared towards enhancing the ease of doing business in the state. Some of the reforms include but not limited to tax reforms, ease of permits application processes, improved land registration system, quicker proposal processing and so many others.
“These are areas where investors had challenges in the past which brought about discouragement that led to low level of investments in Lagos,” he declared.
Professor Abass averred that the Office has encouraged investors’ confidence in Lagos as a place to do business and reside, through the provision of allied services that potential investors seek for investment.
He stated further that some of the achievements of the Office include the inauguration of investment champions across all ministries, departments and agencies; Ease of doing business reform validation workshop; Lagos Global on TV- an advocacy programme; bilateral and multilateral meetings alongside other statutory functions.