Lagos State government on Sunday restated its commitment to continued support and partnership with the private sector in growing the economy, and in creating job opportunities.
The state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by Tunji Bello, secretary to the state government, gave the commitment at the closing of 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos.
Ambode said partnership was necessary in order for the state to attract private sector investments.
“We remain committed to supporting the business community through policies that will continuously ease the process of doing business. We know that our objective of job and wealth creation is dependent on our ability to create and sustain a conducive business environment that will attract more private sector investments, particularly in the critical and largely untapped sectors of the state economy,” he said.
Assuring that the state government will continue to build infrastructure, develop policies and build a framework for businesses to thrive, the governor called on the private sector to play their role by paying taxes.
“We have a clear roadmap in our journey to economic prosperity and the attainment of our goal to become Africa’s third largest economy by 2020, and Africa’s model megacity by 2025.
‘However, the private sector must play its own part in this social contract. As we provide these facilities and policies to support your businesses, we expect you all as individuals and businesses to pay your taxes promptly. It is these taxes that finance all government activities and are essential for us to meet our obligations to the people of Lagos State,” he said.
Rotimi Ogunleye, the commissioner for commerce, industry and cooperatives, who acknowledged a cordial relationship between Lagos and LCCI, noted that the participation of the state in the annual trade fair afforded the state the opportunity to showcase its programmes and projects as driven by various MDAs.
“It also provides a platform for the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state’s pavilion to relieve them of the burden of bearing the cost of participation, thereby ensuring their visibility and improved patronage by domestics and foreign patrons,” he said.
Nike Akande, president, LCCI, on her part called on both the federal and state governments to continue to address Nigeria’s infrastructure deficits.
This is necessary if the country is to continue to attract local and foreign investors in the nation’s economy, she said. She also particularly appealed to the state government to consider an earlier request by LCCI for a permanent site for the staging of the annual trade fair, noting that the present arrangement of building temporary structures to stage the fair comes at a huge cost to the organisers.