Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated his administration’s commitment to continually partner and deepen relationship with international investors and developmental partners to harness the opportunity in skills acquisition, training and investments.
Governor Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance while receiving Management of the European Business Organisation (EBO) Nigeria led by its President, Mr. Adefolu Majekodunmi who paid him a courtesy call at Lagos House, Marina on Friday.
The Governor implored the European Business Organisation to support the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, which is a deep intervention model to support and produce entrepreneurs in digital, agriculture, creative and construction industries.
He said: “We are open and willing to continue to partner with all of our international investors and development partners all over the world. And I am sure European Union is an important component of that. We can indeed deepen that relationship.
“We believe that the relationship is an opportunity for us to see how we can help the youths and look at direct support in terms of entrepreneurship for some of them and areas where we think we can collaborate.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who expressed his administration’s commitment to providing friendly business environment for investors, said the State Government is currently building several infrastructure within the state to aid business activities, adding that he is doing a lot of high level conversations to solve issues surrounding the Apapa gridlock, especially issues relating to the ports in the area.
The Governor, advised the European Business Organisation Nigeria to look at the opportunity in the Lekki Free Trade Zone area, added that part of the medium and long term solutions to Apapa gridlock, is to have another port outside Apapa and decongest tank farms in the area. He further disclosed that the Lekki Port will commence operations next year.
“I will advise you as EBO to look at the opportunity in the Lekki Free Trade Zone area. There are two free zones in Lekki – Lekki Free Trade Zone and Lagos Free Zone. A lot of companies are already in the zones. We are putting a lot of infrastructure there; internal and external roads are coming up there, power and other things are also coming up there,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the President of EBO, said his organisation is very keen to partner with Lagos State in digital economy, particularly in terms of innovation and technology, which is one of the key components of the THEMES developmental agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
He said the European Business Organisation, which operates from 45 countries, is a worldwide organisation that represents the interest of European businesses outside the European Union, adding that the focus of the EBO Nigeria is to support European businesses operating in Nigeria from a perspective of investments with Nigerian entity.
Majekodunmi said Europe is the largest trading partner with Nigeria, larger than China and America, adding that Nigeria had a trade surplus as at 2020 of four billion Euros with the European Union itself.
“European businesses in Nigeria are very keen to invest in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State, which is the investment destination of Nigeria. We want to work with Lagos State in a number of areas, particularly with regards to human capacity development, training, sustainability, digital economy and investments in certain areas, such as infrastructure, transportation, telecommunication, electricity, hospitals and such like as well,” he said.