By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, weekend officially unveiled the Lagos chapter of Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S Network) – a private-driven initiative working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide sustainable finance for public sector development programmes.
At an event held on Victoria Island, the Governor said the initiative was birthed in response to growing demand for private capital in the quest to deliver sustainable projects in environment, housing and infrastructure in line with objectives of UNEP.
Sanwo-Olu reiterated his government’s readiness to partner corporate and development organisations to address contemporary challenges around waste management and climate change in the State through his administration’s six pillars of development, known as Project T.H.E.M.E.S.
In his address before the launch of FC4S, Sanwo-Olu called for more support for environment-friendly initiatives of the government, which, he said, were initiated to improve the lives of the people.
He said the establishment of FC4S in Lagos would complement his government’s actions to provide capital and capacity to ease the challenges of waste management in the State.
He said: “Lagos has continued to demonstrate its capacity as a city-state that can respond to the needs of its people through excellent initiatives, such as this that is being launched today. As one of Africa’s leading economies, it means Lagos must not be short of solutions to our challenges. It is in view of this, that our administration rolled out six pillars of development whose implementation rests squarely on private sector participation.
“For Lagos to survive and thrive, we must take environmental issues seriously. We are a city that combines exploding population with very limited land mass, which puts our resources – land, water, and so on – in a very precarious shape. To keep productivity high, we must drive our ambitious environmental and health programmes through partnerships that will work for our people.”
Sanwo-Olu said his administration would leverage the services of FC4S to build strong financial base for its environmental programmes, noting that innovation would also generate job opportunities for residents.
He reiterated his administration’s readiness to deploy resources and actions towards confronting challenges around waste management and climate change.
The Governor said he believed private sector funding would engender desired differences in public administration and operations of government’s agencies. He observed that public funding could barely be adequate for optimal operations of government’s agencies, urging for more partnership to achieve his administration’s objectives.
“When we consider some issues as huge challenges, we must also consider the fact that they present huge opportunities for innovative ways of dealing with them which must first be seen, and then seized. But to convert these opportunities to manifest reality, great amounts of investment are needed, especially from the private sector,” he said.
The Governor also affirmed his government’s determination to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while urging the private sector to assist the State in achieving the global target.
Chairman of Governance Board of FC4S, Mr. Bola Onadele said the firm would leverage Lagos’ financial and commercial value to achieve the desired changes in waste management and provision of capital for operations of relevant government’s agencies.