The need to create a platform where states in Nigeria can learn from one another to explore their various areas of strength has been proposed by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
He added that this would go a long way to increase strategic partnership among the states and engender economic development.
He made the statement when he received members of the National Economic Council (NEC) Implementation Monitoring Committee on Retreat on the Economy led by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
The governor also used the occasion to canvass for a framework that would allow states to benefit from each one another, with a view to fostering a cycle of growth in the country.
Governor Ambode who commended the committee for choosing Lagos as the first state to visit, said that it was a confirmation of the success of the partnership between Lagos and Kebbi State on commodities production.
According to him, “the essence of this, is that beyond the things that we say in NEC in terms of projects, we should be able to find a common platform and a framework that allows every other state to benefit from the comparative advantage that each state is bringing to the table, and the choice of Lagos as the first state to visit by the Committee in terms of the projects signified how serious we have been able to carry out most of the things we have been doing and it underscores our achievement on the partnership with Kebbi State on commodities production in the country.”
He explained: “We believe strongly that the way to go forward is for us to bring out our comparative advantages in our various states and be able to learn from each other. So, I want to recommend to this committee that beyond the fact that you are doing visitation, let it end up to be part of the framework to work around peer-review mechanism amongst States and then for us to take advantage of what we are doing.”
The governor explained that beyond the partnership with Kebbi State, his administration had also significantly improved on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lagos in terms of improving on the productivity of citizens and making life more comfortable for them.
“We have improved so much on security to create that platform to allow people to do their business more comfortably and in doing that, the end result is that when more people are doing their trade and distributing goods and services, it is likely to touch on our IGR and that means more people will pay taxes, which at the end of the day, we would use to provide more infrastructures,” he added
He commended the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who also doubled as NEC Chairman, for taking strong steps to actualize deliberations and conclusions reached at their meetings for the greater benefit of the people.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed said her team was at Lagos House as part of the flag-off for the Implementation Monitoring Visit in line with NEC’s resolution and the retreat, which the Vice President had with governors in 2016.
She recalled that at the retreat, participants agreed to address 71 key items, noting that Lagos State had already presented a good plan to the committee.
The Minister also commended the partnership between Lagos and Kebbi states, especially the new rice milling plant being developed, saying that the partnership was a sterling example of cooperation to expand growth.