Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has described Africa as the next destination for global business, with Lagos being the convergence point.
He said the economic position of the state, the innovative youth population and the conducive environment provided by the government are what makes Lagos the destination of choice for many investors who have set up businesses in Nigeria.
According to a statement, Sanwo-Olu spoke during a dinner organised by Del-York International in his honour in Washington DC, United States of America, recently, with the theme: investment opportunities in Lagos, Africa’s largest economy.
The governor listed technology, infrastructure, renewable energy and entertainment as areas that remain fertile for serious investors to look at, saying that there is a guaranteed return on investments in these for those coming to invest in the state.
Sanwo-Olu, while responding to the questions on security in Nigeria, said Lagos is the most secure state in the country, noting that it is one of the major reasons why investors are looking towards the state, promising the audience that his government will continue to make the State inhabitable for criminal minds.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Del-York International Mr. Linus Idahosa, said there was no other place for investment at this time than Lagos State, given the many infrastructural projects embarked upon by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration to create a good and conducive business environment for investors.
He said: “Without any equivocation, Lagos is the best and safest place for investment at this period. I’m saying this not because we have the Governor of the State here but because it is the fact. Lagos is the biggest economic hub of Africa and the government is working to ensure a safe environment for investments.”
Speaking on the change being experienced in Africa, Mr. Steve Hayes, President of Corporate Council on Africa, U.S.A said unlike a few decades ago, Nigeria has started attracting a number of investments from Nigerians living in the United States. He pointed out that this will encourage investors in the real sectors in America to look at the direction of the country.
Other speakers touched on the issues of security and negative perceptions of Nigeria as being portrayed by foreign media, as one of the major factors militating against investment attraction in Nigeria.
On his part, Governor Sanwo-Olu allayed the fears of the investors, urging them to look at the brighter side of the country.
The business dinner, which was moderated by Africa-American broadcaster Williams Armstrong had over forty American investors in attendance.
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu, has pledged the continuation of his administration’s support for the creative industry in the State.
Sanwo-Olu applauds the tenacity and doggedness of the Nigerian creative artists and entertainers, for creating a growth path for the sector with less institutional support.
He said Lagos State Government was already changing the narrative by deliberately working in partnership with industry players to bring more development and professionalism into the creative sector.
Sanwo-Olu stated this last weekend at Atlanta in the United States of America (USA) during an interactive session with Nigerian musicians, producers and promoters at an event tagged ‘Stars are made in Lagos’, a side event at the just concluded 15th Headies Global Awards.
The governor also visited the Trilith studios in Atlanta ahead of the planned Lagos film city project, where he met with the founder, Mr. Daniel Truett Carthy.
Sanwo-Olu and his entourage were taken round the 700 acre site studio, with a 400 acres backlog and 24 sound stages.
Sanwo-Olu said there are thousands of people in the arts and entertainment industry in Nigeria and Lagos in particular that need to be heard globally and tell the Lagos story like Davido, Wizkid and a number of our filmmakers.
He said Lagos state government would continue to create the space for those in the arts and entertainment industry to be able to shine and be global players.
He said: “For us coming here is really about telling the Lagos story in America and we know that Atlanta is also a big entertainment space in the United States and so there is no better place to start a conversation than from here. What we are about is really to just test the water, be able to communicate and let the Diaspora audience know that they have a government and their people can also be there.
“We are opening up our doors to other players and believing that after this it would give other creative minds and producers; music and entertainment producers a platform where they also can indeed deepen that industry. So, we believe this first outing will germinate into a bigger outing for us.