Light Rail Ready Next Year –Ambode

Lagos State government has promised to complete and deliver the light rail mass transit system from Okokomaiko to Marina by December next year.

Governor Akinwumi Ambode, who disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the 2015 Lagos International Trade Fair yesterday, said the rail project was not merely to improve transportation in the state but also to facilitate business by free movement of people and goods across the state.

He explained that various security agencies had been well-equipped to enhance their capacities to protect all residents and businesses in the state, just as he said the state government would constantly engage the Organised Private Sector, OPS, through the Lagos State Corporate Assembly under which the issues being faced by the business community would be solved in the best interest of the stakeholders.

Ambode, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, noted that while the Nigerian economy was identified as one of the emerging markets in Africa, Lagos State holds the key to the country’s emergence as a major trade and investment destination.

The governor said the state, with a population of 21 million people, accounts for over 65 per cent of the nation’s non-oil Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and over 60 per cent of the country’s value added manufacturing.

Ambode, who also restated the government’s commitment to create more enabling environment for businesses in the state, said the state has demonstrated the will and commitment to address the concerns in a bid to enhance the global competitiveness of the nation’s economy.

According to him, a major step already taken in that direction by the state is the establishment of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment.

He said the office has been mandated to provide all supports required by investors in an efficient and timely manner, while it would also champion policies to ease business and serve as link between the government, investors and entrepreneurs.

He therefore, appealed to investors to take advantage of the rapid improving business climate in the state, particularly in the sectors of power, agriculture, transportation, health and tourism, adding that investment opportunities abound in the development of private estates, shopping malls, Central Business District, industrial parks, and enterprise zones.

On the success of Lekki Free Trade Zone project, the governor said: “I am pleased to inform you that the number of investors that have commenced business operations in the zone is increasing on monthly basis.

‘‘Notable among investors at the zone is Dangote Group that is establishing world-class refinery and fertiliser plant therein. I therefore, enjoin you all to take full advantage of the array of incentives on offer at Lekki Free Zone before it is too late.”

He specifically appreciated the effort of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, for putting up an international standard trade fair, which gathered investors from countries across the world.

He said the theme of this year’s trade fair “Enhancing Value Addition in the non-Oil Sector” would sensitise the entire country to look inward to develop its non-oil sector.

However, President of LCCI, Remi Bello, urged the governor to interact with Federal Government for the release of Lagos International Trade Fair Complex at Badagry Expressway to the chamber.

Bello said the present mode of organising the fair with makeshift structures was highly inefficient and expensive.

He said the chamber had to provide all facilities from generator to mobile toilets.

“We need a befitting international exhibition and convention centre, possibly to be promoted by Lagos State government in partnership with the private sector.’’



Source: National Mirror Nigeria


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