…woos international investors
…boasts state economy bigger than many African countries
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, on Friday in London highlighted four sectors in which the state is aiming to collaborate with interested foreign investors as a way to deepen the economy of the state.
While wooing investors through a Friday live interview anchored on Sky News, a frontline British news channel, Sanwo-Olu boasted that, despite being a sub-national government, the economy of Lagos supersedes those of some sovereign African nations.
On the invitation of the city of London, the governor has led a contingent showcasing Lagos state in the 808th edition of the prestigious Lord Mayor’s Show.
The governor who has also been taking part in bilateral meetings with various groups and interests, listed Technology, Financial Services, the Creative industry, and Consumer Products sector as major areas his State Government aims to prioritise and explore.
Acknowledging the importance of the tech industry, Sanwo-Olu noted that, “In the last four years, Lagos has become the capital of tech start-ups”.
He also added that “the sheer number of entrants into the tech space shows that there is still a lot of depth we need to bring into the technology sector.
“Building capability in the technology space will help us drive and improve the financial service sector, where we have a whole lot of financial products that need to be deepened.
“We want to see a lot more international financial organisations coming to the sector, ” he said.
We want to have a creative industry to also be a key player in Lagos’ economy.
“Then, of course, General Consumer products. Because of the size of our population, we believe any investor can have a share of the market.
“Lagos does not have the luxury of land for extensive farming, but we are very well in other business areas because of the size of population and nature of services people need.” He explained.
Sanwo-Olu spoke about the readiness of Lagos to welcome more foreign investment in key sectors of the economy.
The Governor told his audience that Lagos remained a key player in the African economic order, with a GDP bigger than the economies of Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal.
According to the governor, due to the nature of the topography of the state characterised by limited landmass for large-scale agriculture, the state had been a major player in service-focused investment, given its growing population and the size of its market.
Maintaining that the “Lagos story” had not been adequately told in terms of its natural and human endowments, the governor stressed that he led the State’s investment drive to London to avail foreign investors of requisite information and clear doubts that may be surrounding the State’s business climate.
During the interview, Sanwo-Olu informed the whole world that he recently constituted the Lagos International Financial Council (LIFC), as an advisory board to interface with investors by offering information about red tape, and regulatory and legal frameworks guiding business in the State.
While urging the investing world to avail themselves of the opportunity being offered by Lagos, the governor said: “As part of our drive to promote more foreign direct investment into Lagos, we have recently constituted the International Financial Council.
“The whole idea is for us to be able to let the world know what is happening in Lagos, starting with the Lord Mayor’s Show held in London. This is because Lagos shares a lot of history with London.
“The International Financial Council will be setting up strategies where we can handhold British companies and investors willing to come to Lagos to invest their capital.
“The Council will avail them of the red tape, regulatory, and legal framework. Investors will know what kind of permits and approvals they need to have. The Council will set up structures where communication and collaboration will be facilitated.”