Lagos State Government has stated that it has attracted $8.32 billion investment in the last two years, adding that the state has the ability to bring in, retain and leverage on inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Affirming this at the ongoing inter-ministerial press briefing organised to commemorate the 2nd Year Anniversary of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond, stated that the economy policy of this administration is designed to improve the business climate of Lagos and promote socio-economic prosperity.
Hammond explained that the State Government, through the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, in the last two years of this administration, has participated at several global campaign to attract investments and partnerships for the execution of the SDGs-related projects.
Accordingly, the Office has established a good relationship with embassies, High Commissions and development agencies of several nations including the UK, Netherlands, France, China, Canada and Japan.
She confirmed that while the government is currently engaging several local and international organisations for various investment possibilities in the State, her office has supported more than 12 private sector investors interested in investing in Lagos.
The Special Adviser also revealed that the Office has facilitated interventions on several investments with MDAs (Transport, Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Wealth Creation, Energy and Environment), adding that the office is set to launch an ‘Investment Deal Book’ that details investment prospects across major sectors in the State.
“Other strategies and efforts undertaken to promote sustainable investment in Lagos include the strategic partnerships with development agencies, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Africa Development Bank (AfDB), World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD),” Hammond disclosed.
She added that while discussions on sister city relationship with United Arab Emirates is currently ongoing, she revealed that the Office has facilitated agreement of the Sustainable Cities programme with UK DFID as one of 15 cities in the global programme on urban regeneration and water transportation.
Beside exploring foreign collaborations to make Lagos a premier of investment in Africa, the Special Adviser pointed out that the Office has established a good relationship with Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), with the appointment of a Lagos Liaison Officer.
She also confirmed that the office is set to establish “A one Stop Shop” Secretariat to improve the ease of doing business for potential and existing investors who are desirous of setting up businesses in the state, adding that the creation will facilitate the process of granting approval for lands, buildings, taxes, from all MDAs that are involved in business start-up.
Speaking on engagement designed to amplify the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals, she said the Office launched the maiden SDGs Week in conjunction with some organised private sectors, where free food items were distributed to vulnerable citizens, instructional materials to Primary School Pupils and medical equipment to nursing mothers across the State.
On effort established to strengthen resilience, livelihood opportunities and short term employment for Lagos residents, Hammond revealed that the Office launched and implemented the Conditional Cash Transfer Project in vulnerable communities by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in conjunction with the Lagos State Government.
According to her, over 2,103 MSMEs owners received Unconditional Cash Transfer while 951 beneficiaries of ‘Cash for Work’, were paid to carryout environmental sanitation and hygiene for three months.
‘’The Office coordinated the launch of the Lagos Care Initiative, a socio-economic intervention programme for vulnerable residents, designed to impact about 20,000 people, 69 markets and 2,512 MSMEs. Also, at the inauguration of the Lagos State Human Capital Development (HCD), Core Working Group, the Office was made the Secretariat of the Group, which aim is to develop strategy and action plan to increase state-wide HCD investment,” Hammond declared.
Also, the Special Adviser noted that the birth of the Lagos State Volunteer Corp (LSVC), is significantly encouraging citizen participation and inclusion in governance as individuals, corporations, civil society, the diaspora and international partners have been actively involved in carrying out both government and private initiatives.
‘’This bold initiative has created a platform to foster positive community relations, empowering individuals, particularly the youth to create value to the society and entrench selflessness and care in our communities.
“With above 9,000 Lagosians signing up for the scheme, the Special Adviser stated that over 50,000 man hours have been volunteered to execute several projects across the 57 LGAs and LCDAs of the State, including the distribution of palliatives to Lagos residents during the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and distribution of the Mother, Infant and Child Food Pack (MICH).
“The Office, through the Lagos State Volunteer Corps in collaboration with Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, LAWMA, Central Business District (CBD), and Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, has also carried out Clean Up activities in some of the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas.
“Following the successful alignment of the T.H.E. M.E.S Agenda with SDGs, the Office has launched the SDGs’ Champions in all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The champions have been trained to provide timely and administrative data for tracking and reporting SDGs in Lagos State and for comparability and decision-making on sustainable action in compliance with global action.”
“We have also commenced evaluation study on impact and outcome from SDGs project in all MDAs, with a view to monitoring progress achieved in line with SDGs targets and indicators and the reclassification of the agenda with the Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP) Pillars and SDGs’ targets,” she said.