By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said his government would continue to scale up the ease of doing business by continuous review of the State’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy.
The objective, he said, is to create profitable business environment for private investments established in Lagos.
Speaking at the Turkey-Nigeria Business Roundtable held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, the Governor said his administration would remain open and willing to partner with investors in any sector of interest.
He said: “Lagos will remain open for business and we will always be willing to partner with prospective investors. I am using this opportunity to assure prospective investors that there will be continuous improvements in the business environment to encourage constant flow of capital and returns on investments. One of the moves is continuous review of our PPP policy.
“This decision will give investors the confidence on our readiness and allow them to see opportunities to apply their capital. We have the Free Trade Zone, which is about the biggest commercial avenue in the country; it hosts the Dangote refinery, which will be about the biggest refinery in Africa.”
Beyond the two main seaports owned by the Federal Government in the State, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos had embarked on building additional ports in Lekki and Badagry to fast-track movement of goods to the international market.
The Governor hinted that Lagos had maintained a booming market, given its population size. This, he said, should form the basis of investors’ decision in applying their capital towards investments in all sectors of the economy.
He added that the capacity of government institutions and agencies statutorily empowered to ensure smooth business operations were being strengthened and improved upon, while reviewing related commercial policies to address bottlenecks.
“In making effort to ease establishment of businesses, we discovered time is a key factor that can encourage businessmen to invest their capital in the State. We realised we needed a formidable legislation to address administrative bottleneck, thereby reducing the time of business registration and contract. This is part of our responsibility to make business environment competitive and profitable.
“As a State, we are also improving on titles around assets we give out, such as land. The faster the time a title is issued on an asset, the quicker the returns on the investment. We are also making resources available to strengthen the judiciary and legislature in order to support our drive at promoting transparency in business,” the Governor said.
He advised private organisations interested in construction and transportation to key into the State’s PPP policy for “robust partnership” in these areas.
He said: “We have a lot to do in construction and there are opportunities for private individual and organisations to tap into in this area through our PPP policy. We have a lot in our transportation master plan, which will see us expanding the capacity of waterways and rail project. These are areas that can be looked into.”
Head of the Turkey-Nigeria Business Council’s delegation, Haken Ozel, said the meeting was aimed at expanding business opportunities and deepening the relationship between Turkey and Lagos State.
Parts of the areas of partnership with Lagos, Ozel said, included food security and agriculture, energy, tourism, rail and water transportation.
Members of the State Executive Council in charge of Economic Planning and Budget, Works, Energy, Transport, Commerce, Tourism and Housing were part of the meeting, as well as managers of the state-owned waste and waterways firms.