Ahead of the World Economic Forum holding from January 22 to 25, 2019 in Davos, Switzerland, the All Progressives Congress Governorship Candidate in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has highlighted the enormous investment opportunities in Lagos State at an exclusive session with selected Swiss Investors in Geneva on Tuesday.
At the event held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the business interaction triggered commitments of $5 billion investment in infrastructure and capital projects in the state and also provided an avenue for Sanwo-Olu to further reinforce the investment opportunities in the state.
While the array of investors comprising commodity traders, equity managers, investment bankers, Fintech & I.T experts, infrastructure builders, international donors, energy and power companies unanimously agreed that Lagos is fertile ground for investments, they cited political risk as a more disturbing consideration over economic risk.
In reassuring them, Sanwo-Olu told the investors that Nigeria is safe for investment and Lagos State as the economic nerve centre of the country presents the best environment for global investments.
Sanwo-Olu said: “There is progressive leadership and stability in the governance of Lagos State since 1999. The state has been under the administration of a party, my party, which is the All Progressives Congress, for more than 16 years. The state has remained a reference point for infrastructural development and economic prosperity in Nigeria and West Africa.
“On investors’ protection, I think that should be the least of your worries. Lagos has a comprehensive regulation that protects and shields investors. The scope of the regulation covers disputes resolution and commitment to ease of doing business.”
Earlier in his speech, Sanwo-Olu informed the investors about his determination to transform Lagos into a 21st century economy.
He said: “Lagos economy is adjudged to be the 5th largest in Africa and is not yet a 24-hour economy, where you can do every transaction round-the-clock, do you think we have really maximized the potentials of that economy?
“We are saying it is a large and growing economy, and you are not playing in it yet. This THEME agenda beyond being the focus areas of our government, it is also indicative of areas of possible collaboration between you and our government.
“Like I said, Transportation & Traffic Management, Health & Environment, Education & Technology, Making Lagos a 21st century economy and Entertainment & Tourism are the topline agenda our government will pursue upon election in 2019.”
While assuring Sanwo-Olu of investors’ and multilateral institutions’ commitment to Lagos and Nigeria, Country Portfolio Manager, High Impact Africa 1 Grant Management Division of Global Fund, Ibrahim Faria, pledged the commitment to support health system in Lagos State if Sanwo-Olu wins the election.
Faria said: “I am happy to know your THEME priority areas that cover education, health, infrastructure and strengthening private sector investments in your state. We will work with you if you win your election. We have particular interest to support health system in Lagos. Global Fund is an important partner of the Nigerian government where we are funding support for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.”
Some of the multilateral institutions and private organisations that attended the session were Global Fund, Ford Foundation, HSBC, GENII Capital, International Trade Centre, Actis/CDC among others.