The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured residents of the state that his government will continue to do everything within its powers to attract investors to the state with a view to creating more job opportunities and better lives for the people of the state.
Sanwo-Olu said it was this determination and effort of government that helped it to attract about $600million investment into the state even during the seven months of the covid-19 challenge, adding that he will continue to do more in creating enabling and conducive environment for investments to thrive in the state.
The governor who spoke at the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), Policy Roundtable Dialogue with the theme: ‘International Best Practice on Real Estate Regulations,’ in Victoria Island, Lagos, said that though the covid-19 posed a serious challenge to investment and job creation, he was not ready to use that as an excuse for failing to make the lives of the people of the state better.
According to him, “we want to tell you that from the point where we are, we are a level where we are consciously opening the economy.
“We are happy that for direct foreign investment, we were able to attract about $620million during the covid era on direct equity coming into the state, we are also about to open the biggest rice mill in the country in Imota which will start before the end of the year or in the first quarter of next year, when it opens by January or February, we will be producing about 2.4million 50kg of rice on an annual basis.
“But, it is not the mills that is the good news, it is all the employment that it will create in the entire value chain, more that 200,000 people, direct and indirect, that is some of what we are doing about the reopening of the city and we are doing a lot.
“Some of our meetings now are done virtually, for us we have started what we call the 3000 phase one metropolitan fiber dock initiative that we are doing on a PPP model, when you see the yellow, purple, green, red line, it is not just by chance, we plan to have 6000 kilometers of fiber optic all around Lagos, it is such that the new normal which is telecommunication, which is technology with our internet capability will become something that each and every one of you will have in your offices.
“Also in your places of residence, so as we go along we are dropping fibers in our schools, we are dropping in all public institutions so that we can see the reality of what covid has caused us and now we are responding very well to some of those challenges.”
The governor also gave an insight into how the state was able to handle the covid-19 challenge, saying, “Over the last seven months, we have had to test over a 100,000 persons and we have had close to 20,000 positivity, meaning the PCR test that we have done have confirmed close to 20,000 of that number and you have seen a lot of isolation centres across the state and we have had to close some down.
“The good news in all of this is that some people thought they will be picking patients in all the streets of Lagos and I am glad to announce to you that less than two percent was the fatality that we recorded, not that any life didn’t matter to us, unfortunately we lost some people, but its less than two percent, in other parts of the world they were doing five or six percent of that number, so you can imagine if we were doing six or seven percent of 20,000, but less than two percent was the fatality in Lagos, so what it meant is that its either we got it very right or God was just good to us or a combination of both, anyhow it is, I take it.”