Lagos needs N7tn to meet infrastructure challenges in 2024 – Sanwo-Olu
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says the state requires about a N7 trillion budget size to meet up with infrastructural and basic amenities in 2024.
Sanwo-Olu spoke at the eighth Lagos Corporate Assembly, a business forum, tagged ‘BOS Meets with Business Community’, at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja.
The governor, however, noted that despite the uncertainty in the global business world, his administration cannot give excuses ‘but must work to achieve its set out goals as promised during the campaign period’.
He also expressed his administration’s readiness to ensure ease of doing business despite current global challenges.
He said, “Reports gathered from Ministries, Departments and Agencies shows 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. this proves that our proposed N2 trillion budget for 2024 is far from it.
“That is one of the challenges we are having presently. We want to fix roads and do it rightly. We need to scale up with modern technology and put in place enduring policies. We didn’t anticipate the current inflationary rate, our focus is on how to meet the demands of our people amidst speculative market.
“We are where we are today and if we don’t get it right, it will have dire consequences on our country. But we can’t give excuses, we need to work together. We are running against time. I have a political timeline I am working with and we can’t afford to fail.
“We will need to work together and identify the way forward. We should be able to solve some of our challenges through your ideas and submissions. We must let the MSMEs breathe for a sustainable economy, through friendly policies.”
Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperative, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, explained that the corporate assembly has been a very important public–private sector engagement platform, through which the government and the business community interact and discuss issues that are crucial to the state’s industrial and commercial growth.
Ambrose-Medebem promised that all issues raised at the last edition had been addressed adequately by MDAs relevant to improving business in the state.
She added, “The T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Development Agenda was conceived as a comprehensive strategic document to guide the Sanwo-Olu administration in the areas of policy formulation, development, implementation and evaluation against set parameters, in order to aggressively transform the state to a modern economy and meet the yearning and aspirations of all stakeholders, including the business community.
“As a responsive and responsible government, we recognise that ensuring ease of doing business is 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).
“The outcome of the reforms includes, among others, improved time in the issuance of planning permit (down to 10 days for players in the built sector). This was achieved following 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 27km 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, 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.
“To consolidate on what has been done, the government will continue to use platforms such as this Corporate Assembly to sustain the engagement and fire up the conversation that would ensure the state remains focused in its determination to move up the ladder on the global Ease of Doing Business Index, and progresses steadily towards inclusive growth that would benefit the investors and the residents.”
The commissioner also reassured stakeholders that ‘more than ever before, Lagos State, in the face of pervasive global economic challenges, is poised to support both the industrial and commercial sectors to maximize potentials towards making greater contribution to the State’s Gross Domestic Product.