By Emmanuel Nduka
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the state will require up $15billion over the next five years to develop infrastructure.
The Governor made the revelation while speaking at the third Lagos Investors’ Roundtable and Launch of a Deal Book organised by the Office of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Investment.
Sanwo-Olu called on investors to optimise the advantages of the opportunities in Lagos State toward the goal of developing a 21st century economy as projected by his administration.
He also declared that the combined effects of climate and the security and economic challenges in northern Nigeria were putting pressure on the population of the state.
He further solicited for partnership with investors and private sector, saying the implementation of the development strategies of his administration demands partnership and contributions of private investors.
“We strongly believe that the continued growth and success of Lagos is premised on the strength and diversity of our partnerships. It is such strategic partnerships that account for Lagos being by far the leading recipient of local and foreign direct investments in Nigeria. It is estimated that, in the last few years, about 80 percent of the investments into Nigeria, has come into Lagos.
“These investments remain vital to our economic growth and wellbeing, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and livelihoods across the city. This is the reason why a forum like this is so important – as a platform for harmonising our respective visions and targets and agreeing on key actions that will not only strengthen existing investment partnerships but also initiate new ones,” the Governor said.
He added that: “As a government, we understand the value of these relationships in fostering economic resilience, particularly during times of uncertainty, like this one we are in, marked by the combined effects of a global pandemic, climate change, global inflation, the burden of poverty and social and economic inequality, among others.
“As a low-lying aquatic city with over 22 million citizens, confined to the smallest landmass in Nigeria, Lagos is especially vulnerable to all the challenges of a sprawling, densely populated, climate challenged, fast-growing Megacity.
“We believe that given the rising population and limited geography space that we have, Lagos will indeed require about $15 billion over the next five years on infrastructure alone. $15 billion is about five times the budget that we currently have. Lagos budget is about $3 billion today.”
While assuring investors that Lagos was open and ready for investments, innovation and collaboration, Sanwo-Olu promised that the state government would create enabling policies and environment for them to thrive in Lagos and for their investments to be safe and secure, as well as ensuring that innovation thrives.
“Indeed we have a huge responsibility to develop critical hard and soft infrastructure that can act as a catalyst for what you do as investors. All of these we have been doing and will continue to do,” the governor added.