By Adedapo Adesanya
In its quest to drive strategic collaborative effort between key states in Nigeria, top business and digital technology consulting firm, Phillips Consulting (PCL), has called on state governments to tap into its strategic programme aimed at tackling unemployment and drive transformation.
This call was made at the monthly meeting of Nigerian-South African Chamber and Commerce (NSACC) held last weekend in Lagos. At the event, a strong alliance/partnership between Lagos and Ogun State governments was announced.
According to Managing Director of Phillips Consulting, Mr Rob Taiwo, the current challenges in the business community and the lack of fund accruing to states has created the need for collaboration between states and private sector.
“In Nigeria, there have not been many such strategic partnerships both in the private and public sector. As a result, we rather have several siloed businesses and short-lived enterprises,” Mr Taiwo said
He further added that this dearth was identified by the company and thus spurred the need for the partnership established between Lagos and Ogun states, noting that it was an effective model.
“Over the years, we have worked with and supported several private and public sector organisations including Lagos and Ogun State Governments,” he added.
In order to kick-start this, Mr Taiwo said, “In 2020, to support the federal and state government initiative of addressing unemployment and creating jobs, PLC will work in collaboration with its content partners to deliver free online training worth N75 million on specialised IT Certifications to 500 Nigerian youths across the country.”
To show their commitment to the partnership, Governors of both States: Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Mr Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, participated in a panel session moderated by Chairman of Phillips Consulting, Mr Foluso Phillips.
This Lagos/Ogun Partnership Alliance (LOPA) model, which would be the pilot effort in Nigeria, is targeted at addressing; decongestion of Lagos State, development of a land port, rail and water transportation between both states, Private Public Partnership (PPP) funding for infrastructural development, a grand master-plan for the integration of both states and extension of their vision by working closely with the development agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission; a ‘Lagos/Ogun Integration Summit’ organised in collaboration with DAWN will be a good start.
The two governors recognized the advantages that this model poses; which include signing of the already prepared agreement by both states to set up a Lagos/Ogun Commission that will handle all issues that are of common interest to the states.
The partnership would also see the execution of the Joint Resident Registration Scheme to tackle insecurity, completion of an ongoing rice mill in Lagos that will receive and process most of the rice input from Ogun State and expansion of trailer park in Ogun state to help ease the Apapa traffic congestion in Lagos.
To facilitate the LOPA, Governor Dapo Abiodun ensured the passage of the Ogun Investment Agency Bill that will facilitate investment into Ogun state and contribute to the “ease of doing business” in the State.
In conclusion of the agreement, the model recommends that the federal government take over the completion of several federal roads bordering the two states such as the Lagos–Sagamu Express Way which is 80 percent in need of completion.
There was, however, a lot of challenges that the LOPA Model could face. These include overbearing control of critical policy by the central government, border management issues, poor infrastructure in border towns, flooding, inadequate data on residents and migrants, and insecurity.
It was suggested that while these challenges are been tackled, it was pertinent to monitor the issues so there could be constant improvement.
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