It’s the third day of the Lagos State Economic Summit – EHINGBETI 2021, which has finally come to a close on a good note.
The event which had in attendance keynote speakers from all works of life addressed key challenges in the State.
During the course of the three-day event, attendees at the event came up with different resolutions as highlighted in the latter part of this article.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai’s closing remark
Invited to give a closing remark, H.E., Governor El-Rufai acknowledged the Lagos State Governor as well as other distinguished attendees.
According to His Excellency, Lagos State is very important to Nigeria, especially considering that it solely contributes about one-quarter of the nation’s output.
He added that if Lagos was a country on its own, it would have excelled even more than a lot of countries within the African region.
With this notable economic strength, Kaduna State sees Lagos State as a model or framework that can be imitated.
“We look at Lagos competitive advantage in many areas and try to implement some of them in such that it shares close similarities with the model State.”
Governor El-Rufai also acknowledged the important role of good governance in achieving the many successes that the State has recorded over the years.
According to him, a lot of states lack good governance, and that’s often the course of the setbacks experienced in some of these states.
Mr. Governor further pledged his support to the Lagos State Government, especially as it has to deal with the aftermath effect of the recent #EndSARS protest that ended on an awful note.
In conclusion, Governor el-Rufai appraised all attendees and resource persons, while seeking their presence in the Kaduna State forthcoming 6th Summit as well.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu closing remark
In his closing remark, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the attendance of all participants and speakers both online and on-site.
He further acknowledged the organisers and support staff who have made sure by all means possible that the event was a success.
Sanwo-Olu couldn’t hold back his excitement toward what he tagged a successful summit, stating that “the past two days have had all stakeholders engage in conversations about the future of the megacity – Lagos, as well as the exciting prospect that lies ahead.”
According to Mr. Governor, the conversations cut across all sectors from Agriculture to Healthcare, Infrastructure, Education, Technology and Security, among other sectors.
Mr. Governor further acknowledged the special support of the summit committee members, public and private sponsors, among others who played active roles in ensuring the success of the event.
More specifically, Mr. Governor extended his appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Similarly, Mr. Governor also extended special thanks to other notable attendees including H.E., Madam Catriona, the British High commissioner in Nigeria; H.E., Tony Zahid, UAE Minister of Trade for Foreign Trade; and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State.
The Lagos State Governor also buttressed how the world is rapidly changing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Sanwo-Olu, one of the highlights of the new changes brought by the pandemic is the ability to hold a large meeting such as the EHINGBETI 2021 from anywhere and everywhere around the world.
As for how to achieve the purpose of the summit, Mr. Governor claimed that the six pillars represented with the abbreviation T.H.E.M.E.S will guide the state government in achieving its set goals.
T.H.E.M.E.S stands for Transportation; Health and Environment, Education and Technology; Entertainment and Tourism; and Security respectively.
Sanwo-Olu maintained that the state government wants the youths to succeed with the support of the government and not in spite of the government.
According to him, initiatives such as The Lagos Employment Trust Fund, The Eko Agro Investment Project, Lagos State Rent-to-Own Scheme, and the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council among others are pointers to the fact that the state government is not just there for “lip service.”.
He, however, acknowledged the position of the youth in the state and stated that Lagos will continually support them with a lot of beneficial opportunities that will better their tomorrow.
In conclusion, Mr. Governor said that the EHINGBETI baton will sooner than later be passed on to the great youth of Lagos and by extension Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.
As such, it will become the sole responsibility of the youth to establish the Lagos they are truly proud of.
Highlight/New resolutions to implement by the State Government
Plenary Theme: Security
- Use technology and digitization to enhance security
- Use technology to acquire better data and enhance planning
- Several sustainable and SDG funding, sources available
- Build capacity in planning, execution, population, and security management
- Much goodwill is required from DFI’s and the International investment community
- Funding and investment community recognizes that Lagos is the engine room for industry, SMEs and is the Technology hub for Nigeria.
- Learn from other EM cities/States such as Bangalore, Singapore, e.t.c.
- Utilize new paradigms
- Prioritize growth-catalyzing projects
Plenary Theme: Rational Tax Administration
- Improve accountability and transparency of the system
- Publish results on how money has been used
- Introduce compensation for tax compliance
- Invest in technology in tax processes including filing and paying
- Use technology in tax processes
- Use technology such as unique identifiers (BVN/NIN)
- Give high-paying customers premium treatment so they are incentivized to do more
- Review tax laws, Penalties, and timeline for reconciliation
- Ensure extensive stakeholder consultation and communication
- Review current tax platform to be less cumbersome and more customer-friendly
Plenary Theme: Developing 21st century infrastructure
- Position Lagos as an attractive investment destination by demonstrating a track record
- Security of lives and sanctity of contract is key
- Address key issues confronting Lagosians in the aspect of mass movement
- Make use of all transport modes in the Lagos/LAMATA master plan
- Use adequate data to enhance physical planning and urban development
- Execute and complete Waste to Energy project
- Position the Red and Blue rail lines for concessions, while adhering to reputable advisers
- Holistic approach to population growth
Plenary Theme: Sustainability finance and impact investing
- What can Lagos learn from India’s successful launch of the developmental impact bond?
- Identify projects, start the project and find the funders
- Create mini-impact bonds (e.g. $1m) focused on specific outcomes rather than large bonds focused on multiple outcomes e.g. $100m
- Adopting sustainable financing – as a tool or element of mainstream financing
- Outcome-based financing – pay for success and result-based financing
- Government support and policies should incorporate regulation and measurable objectives
- Leaving no one behind, while ensuring the use of holistic approach
- Openness and transparency are crucial for moving the needle forward e.g. through public-private forums
- Narrowing the gap between investors and businesses as well as aligning on the meaning of impact, improving frameworks for defining impact and incentives for impact business
- Guidelines for Impact investing should be created
- Develop policy recommendation for an inclusive framework
- Build an ecosystem and bring in the actors into the State
- Build the early infrastructure for the market; de-risk investment
Plenary Theme: Unlocking agricultural potential to ensure food security and sustainability
- Agriculture in Lagos is mostly limited to the secondary and tertiary streams (i.e food processing, supply chain, and storage) because of natural causes like limited land and type of soil
- Poultry and fish production can be enhanced and explored because of the presence of natural habitats like water bodies
- Sensitization of farmers on healthy and improved methods of food processing and attraction initiative like food tourism
- Youth and women are major players in the agriculture sector, hence they should be empowered and encouraged
- Government should invest in storage and warehouse facilities in order to meet up the demand for food in the state
- Data is a very important tool to ensuring food security as it will help unveil the current food demand, supply, and gap to be covered
- Incorporating technology into food processing and storage through initiatives like that of greenhouse estate
- Government can partner with SMEs by purchasing all that can be produced in order to encourage bulk production, while meeting up with market demand
- Providing infrastructure to ensure effective and prompt logistics for agricultural produce
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