Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says the state requires at least N7 trillion budget to meet up with infrastructural and basic amenities in the year 2024 fiscal year.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said this on Friday, during the eighth Lagos Corporate Assembly, a business forum, tagged: ”Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Meets Business with Community (BOS Meets with Business Community),” held at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
He said the government was committed to ensuring ease of doing business in the state, in spite of the current global business challenges.
”The demands from the report gathered from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) show that if we have the resources, at least N7 trillion will be needed for the year 2024 budget to meet the state’s infrastructural challenges and other basic amenities.
”Though we are proposing over N2 trillion budget size for the year 2024 to be presented to the state House of Assembly soon, and we are having a demand of N7 trillion. Our revenue is far from it.
”That’s one of the challenges we are having presently. We want to fix roads and do it correctly.
”We need to scale up with modern technology and put in place enduring policies. We didn’t anticipate the current inflation rate. Our focus is on how to meet the demands of our people amidst the speculative market.
”We are where we are today and if we don’t get it right here, it will have dire consequences on our country. We can have handshakes with the Federal Government. Mr President, in recent times, have embarked on trips abroad to canvass investors to open up Nigeria’s economy as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda.
”We can’t give excuses, we need to work together. We are running against time. I have a political timeline I am working with. We can’t afford to fail,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
He said the government and the business community would need to work together and identify the way forward, to be able to solve challenges through ideas and submissions.
”We must let the MSMEs breathe for sustainble economy, through friendly policies,” the governor said.
Earlier, commissioner for commerce, cooperative, trade and investment, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, said the corporate assembly had been a very important public–private sector engagement platform.
Mrs Ambrose-Medebem said through the corporate assembly, the state government and the business community interact and discuss issues that were crucial to the state’s industrial and commercial growth.
She assured that all issues raised at the last edition had been addressed adequately by various MDAs relevant to improving the business environment in the state.
The commissioner said as a responsive and responsible government, the state government recognised that ensuring ease of doing business was key to the state’s economic growth and development.
”This is why the administration, through implementation of various reforms, prioritised the provision of a friendly environment that would support existing businesses, while attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the state.
”The outcome of the reforms includes, among others; improvement in the time of Issuance of Planning Permit, which is down to 10 days for players in the built sector. This was achieved following a series of innovations introduced by this administration to make the process seamless, attractive and friendly.
”In the transportation sector, the administration recorded a milestone achievement with the inauguration of the much anticipated first phase of the 27 km Lagos Blue Light Rail.
”The 13-kilometer project from Mile 2 to Marina, stretching across five stations, has brought considerable relief to commuters, reduced stress and public health challenges associated with public transportation.
”It has saved productive man-hour loss in traffic and is fast-tracking movement of goods and labour particularly to the business districts of Lagos Island and Victoria Island,” she said.
Mrs Ambrose-Medebem said to consolidate on what had been done, the state government would continue to use platforms such as the Corporate Assembly, to sustain the engagement with the business community.
She said the government would fire up the conversation that would ensure that the state remained focused in its strong determination to move up the ladder on the global Ease of Doing Business index.
The commissioner said the government would ensure it progressed steadily towards inclusive growth that would benefit the investors and the residents.
”Indeed, whatever prominence Lagos State is laying claims to today would not have been possible without the contributions of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in the state.
”This is why the administration will continue to deepen collaboration with the OPS stakeholders, not only to sustain the existing level of growth but also to accelerate the momentum of the state’s development,” she said.
Mrs Ambrose-Medebem said more than ever before, Lagos State, in the face of pervasive global economic challenges, was poised to support both the industrial and commercial sectors, to maximise potential toward making greater contribution to the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
”Towards this end, the state government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment shall continue to institute policies aimed at further promoting a sustainable business environment for all stakeholders in the state.
”Again, in our bid to promote and sustain the growth of business enterprise, the ministry will regularly interface with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the state, other states of the federation and with the Federal Government, including relevant local and international support institutions and economic development partners.
”We shall also continue to collaborate with indigenous and foreign bilateral and multilateral Chambers of Commerce and industry, towards reinforcing their confidence in the fact that Lagos State is ready and open for business,” she said.