By Ugo Aliogo
The Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, has expressed the desire of his administration to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the state by 50 percent in 2017.
This is as the state said it prosecuted 1, 536 criminal cases in all courts in the last one year through the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Ambode disclosed this yesterday at the grand opening of Yamaha showroom and Assembly plant in Lagos, stressing that one of the key objectives of the administration is to make the sate the hub for foreign direct investment.
The governor noted that the collaboration between CFAO, France and Yamaha, Japan to establish the assembly plant was a welcome development for the state economic growth, adding that it was a clear demonstration of the fact that the state attracted investment opportunities.
Ambode explained that the location of the assembly plant was very strategic, noting that Lagos remained the most attractive destination for doing business in Africa, while assuring them that “the state is open for business and investment and we are convinced that Lagos has what every society has which will drive investment and business opportunities.
“I want to assure you that you have made the best decision in locating your business here. With a population of 21 million, of which the significant proportion comprises of the middle class with a strong purchasing power, the state is open for business and attracting investors. Over 60 per cent of Nigeria’s industrial capacity is located in Lagos.
“CFAO assembly plant joins over 10 assembly plants located in the state and we still have the capacity for more. Nigeria receives about $6 billion of FDI annually, and from that figure, the state attracts 70-80 per cent of that investment; we expect this figure to increase by 50 per cent in 2017. The policy thrust of the administration is built on the tripod of security, job opportunities and infrastructure.
“We therefore continue to invest in the critical infrastructure and security to guarantee safety and return on investment. As a government we will continue to explore ways to make your business strive. We are committed to introducing new incentives to make businesses grow, support the society and take more of our youths off the street.
“The ease of doing of business is of concern to us, as a result we are working to improve the indices in the state, while we continue in our commitment to carryout judicial and security reforms. The significance of today’s event is to showcase partnership across three continent; CFAO from Europe, Yamaha from Asia and Nigeria in Africa.”
In his address, the President of the Yamaha Motor Corporation, Japan, Mr. Hiroyuki Yanagi, stated that Yamaha and CFAO motors were brands which had built a track record in the market because of their shared passion for quality, innovations and exceeding customer expectations in terms of products and experiences.
He added that since 60s Yamaha motors has been developing businesses in Africa, stressing the company now operates in 52 out of 54 countries across the continent, “we are pleased to have this new assembly plant in Lagos state.”
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem who disclosed this during the ongoing ministerial press briefing to herald the one year anniversary of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration, said that out of the total number of cases being prosecuted, judgments were delivered in 15 of the matters being handled by the Directorate.
He said out of the 1,536 cases, 1,375 cases are currently being prosecuted at the Federal and State High Courts as well as 122 and 38 respectively at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Kazeem said that in addition to the 1,536 active criminal prosecution files, the DPP’s office was also handling 137 applications for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
“With regards to criminal prosecutions, our Directorate of Public Prosecutions is committed to ensuring that all offenders are brought to book, thereby discouraging impunity in our society.
The Directorate is also committed to speedy trails, especially so that suspects are not detained for too long awaiting trial.
“The truism ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ is one of our guiding principles, especially in criminal justice administration. Both the victims of a crime and the alleged offender deserve to have their case resolved at the earliest possible time,” he said.