Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will, on Monday, January 18, 2021 lead members of the Lagos State Executive Council to make a strong pitch to British businesses and policymakers in a new push to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria and the state in particular.
The State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube, disclosed this on Sunday in a statement made available to newsmen, saying that the governor would present business opportunities in Nigeria and the significance of investing in Lagos as the keynote speaker at a virtual event organised by the United Kingdom’s Institute of Directors.
According to the commissioner, who is also the Co-Chair of Ehingbeti – Lagos State Economic Summit scheduled to hold next month, the event, which makes Governor Sanwo-Olu the first elected black leader to address the United Kingdom Institute of Directors (IoD-Uk) in its over 100 years of existence, will see him take the platform to showcase Lagos to the British investors for investment consideration following the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).
“As a state contributing about 40% of Nigeria’s $410bn GDP and housing over 10% of the country 220 million population, Lagos is evidently a fertile ground for investment and a big market for commerce,” Egube said.
Also speaking, IoD Branch Manager for Yorkshire and North East, Helena Drake, said over 100 large British businesses had registered to participate in the virtual investment forum.
She listed the participants to include Helen Grant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Special Trade Envoy to Nigeria; Rt. Hon Granr Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade and President Board of Trade.
“Over 100 large British businesses have registered to participate in the virtual investment forum, while Helen Grant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Special Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Rt Hon Granr Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport and Rt. Hon Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade and President Board of Trade will lead British public sector leaders to participate at the forum.
“The IoD Director-General, Mr Jon Geldart, who will lead his executive and other board members, will moderate the event,” Drake said.
“The IoD is committed to facilitating business relations and seeking investment openings for its members in any part of the world,” she added.
Nigeria is a major investment and trade destination for Britain following its exit from the European Union and the British government’s £37 billion to boost trade expansion in Africa, where Nigeria is the biggest economy and Lagos holds the enviable position as the 6th largest economy with its 40% contribution to Nigeria’s GDP of $410billion, which is bigger than that of 20 African countries.
Executive Assistant to Mr Sanwo-Olu, Mr Olusegun Fafore, in his own remark, said the IoD Investment Forum would afford the governor opportunity to personally market the investment opportunities in Lagos directly to investors and UK businesses seeking to expand into Lagos.
“The governor is the Chief Marketing Officer of the state. He will promote the state and Nigeria using the IoD platform.
“Lagos as the largest market in West Africa and economic hub of Nigeria offers investors a guaranteed return on investment, and with the purposeful leadership provided by Mr Sanwo-Olu to revamp infrastructure and reposition the state on the Ease of Doing Business, we are sure Lagos will continue to hold the best attraction for any discerning investors. This is the point the governor will be making to the British businesses and policymakers at the forum,” Fafore stated.
IoD was established in 1903 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1906 as a business organisation for top business leaders and entrepreneurs and it is the longest-running organisation for professional leaders in Britain.