Ease Of Doing Business Pushes Lagos GDP From N27trn To N41trn

By: Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

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The Gross Domestic Products, GDP of Lagos State has risen from N27 trillion to N41 trillion under the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

This according to the state is connected to the attention paid to the promotion of ease of doing business in the state.

Governor Sanwo-Olu gave this indication at the extraordinary 9th Lagos Corporate Assembly, (LCA) which is the 4th in the series of the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) Meets With Business Community at Eko Hotel, Lagos.

The Governor who was represented by his Deputy Dr. Kadri Hamzat explained that the government believes the phenomenal growth in its economy has been made possible through initiation and implementation of deliberate policies and intentional strategies to facilitate and promote conducive environment for business to thrive.

While speaking on the theme of the assembly “Unpacking Barriers to Ease of Doing Business: Accelerating Business Growth.” the Governor mentioned that the forum has become public-private engagement platform, through which the state government and the business community interact and discuss issues that are germane to Ease of Doing Business and business prosperity in the state.

He said, “This gathering is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in Lagos State. Lagos, the economic hub of Nigeria, is home to a diverse and dynamic business community. As your Governor, I am profoundly aware of the critical role you play as the engine driving the economy of our State. Your resilience, innovation, and contributions have been instrumental in positioning Lagos as a beacon of prosperity and progress.

“With this role that you play, it is always very exciting to reiterate that Lagos occupies the enviable position of the fifth largest economy in Africa. Its economy remains exceedingly active with fourteen industrial estates and four Central Business Districts (CBD). It hosts seventy percent of the country’s total industrial investment, sixty percent of the nation’s commercial activities, contributes thirty percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and fifty percent percent of the non-oil GDP.

“As the most urbanised cosmopolitan in West Africa and largest market in sub Saharan Africa, Lagos has the fourth highest GDP in Africa after Cairo, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Its GDP is equivalent to twenty-four African countries combined.

“I assure you of our continued support as our administration is unreservedly committed to providing the necessary resources, infrastructure, and policies that will ensure your businesses not only survive but thrive. We will continue to engage with you, listen to your needs, and implement reforms that will foster an environment necessary to grow your businesses.”

While assuring the business Community to incorporate their feedback into policy formulation and regulatory reviews, Sanwo-Olu urged stakeholders to work together to accelerate business growth, create more jobs, and drive economic development in Lagos State.

Red Tapeism

A member of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, (PEBEC) Dr. Jumoke Oduwole said the mandate of the council was to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and improve the perception of doing business in Nigeria.

The Council which is chaired by the Vice President, Alhaji Kashim Shettima has other members including 19 ministers, representatives from the national Assembly, judiciary, states, local governments among others.

Oduwole said “We work with friends of Nigeria, development partners and diplomatic corps and Civil society groups. We also work with regulatory bodies that you encounter on a daily basis.

“We listen to complaints from your companies directly or through social media and we look at international best practices and engage with MDAs. We negotiate this: why does it take 10 steps in Nigeria while in Ghana, it takes only three steps and in Singapore, it takes only four minutes? We break down the process and we say what we can do better.”

Language of Business

The State Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem said the State still retains its key status as the operational headquarters of many multinationals and Fortune 100 companies, because of the understanding of the language of business that placed investors appropriately.

According to her “The Lagos Corporate Assembly (LCA) was designed as a public private engagement where issues affecting the business environment are presented by the private sector in a cohesive manner and discussed with Mr. Governor, with immediate directives to the responsible Ministries, Departments or Agencies, MDAs for resolution.

“Without doubt, Lagos State has been at the forefront of promoting the Ease of Doing Business reforms in Nigeria over the years. I am glad to note that according to the World Bank’s Subnational Doing Business Report, Lagos State applied and met all criteria to qualify for the first phase of the World Bank funded State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) programme.”

The Commissioner added that Lagos had implemented key reforms which covered land administration, obtaining development permits, electronic payment of taxes and levies, quick determination and resolution of commercial disputes, among many others, saying she is confident that these and other reforms would also score the State high on the other SABER Result Areas (RAs) and Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs).

She added that the State is in the process of constituting an Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Team that would be tasked with interfacing with stakeholders in the business community via a one stop shop virtual interface.

 

Olusola Akintonde

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