Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has pledged to continue formulating and implementing policies and programmes that would consolidate the state’s position as the industrial and commercial hub of Nigeria.
Ambode said this on Tuesday in Lagos during the 2018 Africa Industrialisation Day, themed: “Promoting regional value chains in Africa: A pathway for accelerating Africa’s structural transformation, industrialisation and Pharmaceutical Production.”
He was represented by Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
Newsmen report that Africa Industrialisation Day was proclaimed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in 1989.
Ambode said that the various projects in the areas of security, environment, infrastructural renewal and upgrade were designed to create an enabling environment that would promote industrialisation and sustain the state’s status as prime investment destination in Africa.
He noted that government’s task was to demonstrate serious commitment to private sector participation through implementation of policies, programmes and best practices that encourage the productive sectors of the economy, including the pharmaceutical industry.
The governor acknowledged that the private sectors were key stakeholders and prime mover of the economy, and would continue to maintain its open door policy aimed at harnessing productive potentials using private sector as vehicle of economic growth.
According to him, doing that will enable his administration fulfil its objective of creating employment, eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable economic development.
He noted that government was not oblivious of challenges confronting entrepreneurs, saying that it would continue to engage members of the private sector to develop appropriate and sustainable solutions.
Dr Salaudeen Jubril, Faculty Member, Lagos Business School (LBS), said promoting regional value chains would accelerate regional, international trade and investment flows, increase competitiveness and facilitate industrialisation of many economies.
He said that Africa required more development financing, harnessing the potential of its youth population, infrastructural development and stable political environment to deepen industrialisation.
Dr John Isemede, a trade expert, said that weak industrialisation was responsible for the continued decline in the value of the naira.
Mr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said resolving impediments to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises would facilitate and deepen value chain development and Africa’s economic integration.
He urged government to address issues of taxation, power deficit, bad road networks, inefficiencies at the ports and low interest fund for businesses to thrive.