By Babajide Komolafe
Lagos State Government, on Sunday, unveiled plans to hold its eight economic summit this year, saying it has so far implemented 109 of the 119 resolutions produced from previous summits.
Meanwhile, the state government has reiterated its commitment to completing the Blue and Red rail lines, which are among the products of its previous economic summits.
Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Samuel Egube, disclosed this while speaking at a brief briefing on the 8th Lagos State Economic Summit, Ehingbeti 2020 to be held from October 10 to 12.
Highlighting achievements of the previous summit, Egube, who is a Co-Chair of the Ehingheti 2020 summit, said: “The summit has a rich history and is firmly established as a credible forum for stimulating economic growth for Lagos State.
“It is our belief that you cannot lead a place like Lagos with one mind. You have to bring together all the minds.
“The good thing about the summit is that the government is responsible for the decisions taken and we are obliged to report back to the next Ehingbeti what we have done with the decision we took.
“If there are challenges, we highlight what those challenges were and take other decisions on how to repair those challenges.
“For example, the whole idea about the Blue Line, the Red Line, the Rail Master plan are things that came out of Ehingbeti.
“Today we see the rail line is on its way. Those are big projects; sometimes it is difficult to take such decisions on your own, but when the private sector comes together and say let’s do this, it increases confidence in taking such leap.
“I can tell you that we are on our way to deliver the red and blue line. The entire Lekki-Ikoyi toll bridge came out of Ehingbeti discussion.
“The fact that we are trying to expand our activities on the waterways is also Ehingbeti. Lagos homes ownership scheme rent to build scheme; all of these came out of Ehingbeti.”
Speaking on the need for the summit this year, Chairman of Citi Bank Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Cadoso, who is also a Co-Chair of Ehingbeti 2020, said: “It is timely that this happening and I say that because Covid-19 and its aftermath has wreaked havoc on economies around the world and we are no exception to that and when it going to end nobody knows.
“All we know is that countries around the world paid dearly from being on lockdown and for any lockdown, you have a corresponding loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“With the challenges ahead and Lagos being the economic nerve centre of the country, there is a large responsibility to ensure that they protect the citizens of the state and this is something that can’t happen unless it is planned for.
“So it is a great opportunity for us in the private sector to come together with the government again to show what Lagos is truly made off and show what Lagos can truly do in the most difficult and challenging circumstances of which we are in.”
Also speaking, Solape Hammond, the Special Adviser on the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and Investments to the Governor of Lagos State, said the Ehingbeti 2020 summit has three broad objectives.
He said the objectives include creating an enabling environment for a much-needed conversation about Lagos and the way forward for Lagos in terms of growth and development;
Use it as an opportunity to showcase Lagos to the world, hence the decision to hold it on a virtual platform; and also to hear from Lagosians, especially the younger people.