Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is seeking partnership with the Chinese Government and businesses in key sectors like infrastructure development, industry, energy, information, and communication technology, and transportation, in efforts to drive development in the State.
The Governor, who is on a working visit to China, is expected to execute meaningful partnerships that will support the State’s aspiration of becoming a 21st-century economy, will visit the China Railway Construction Company (CRCC), and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), for project appraisal.
On this visit, Sanwo-Olu seeks to explore his presentation to China-Africa Business Council, to put Lagos before the Chinese investment community and declare the State’s openness to investors.
Likewise, the Governor’s economic ambassadorial role will take him to Zhuhai Changiong Ocean Park, Huawei, GAC Motor Factory and GREE Electrical Appliances, Inc. of Zhuhai for possible collaboration in the areas of industry, tourism, and facility development.
Specifically, Lagos State is seeking investments in infrastructure development, industry, energy, information, and communication technology, and transportation; and Sanwo-Olu’s administration has been unequivocal about its quest for both local and foreign investors to actively participate in the economic and infrastructural development of the State.
While presenting the proposed Lagos State budget of N1.1trillion for 2020 to the State House of Assembly last week, the Governor had noted that, “the State has revised some of its approval procedures and operating laws to enable business thrive.”
Interestingly, these efforts were corroborated in the acknowledgment of Lagos State by the World Bank for its significant contribution to Nigeria’s impressive performance in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index published last month, in which the country moved 15 places higher in the global ranking of countries.
“Our recorded fifteen places upward-movement in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business has impressively positioned Nigeria as one of the most improved economies globally for business operation. However, it is important we identify and consciously leverage the feat to attract opportunities and investments into the country,” noted Sanwo-Olu, while commenting on the significance of Nigeria’s achievements on Ease of Doing Business to its economic development.
Recently, the Governor had witnessed the signing of four agreements with China Development Bank (CDB), including a $629 million financing facility, to accelerate completion of the Lekki Deep Seaport project, which started in 2011, and will be completed in 30 months.
The loan was secured from the Chinese bank after China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which owns majority shares in the project, signed a 45-year concessionary agreement with Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLTZ), to complete the Phase 1 of Nigeria’s first deep seaport project in Lekki – a coastal community in the nation’s commercial nerve-center – Lagos.
After completion, the deep seaport would have two container berths of 680-metre long and 16.5-metre water depth. It will also have the capacity to be berthed by fifth-generation container ships, which has a capacity of 18,000 TEU ship.
Sanwo-Olu described the development as “another milestone” for the State in infrastructural development and commerce, saying the signing of agreements ended period of uncertainty that had trailed the delivery of the project. He noted that the project completion will invigorate the Lagos economy, and push it up in the index of largest economy in the world.