By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed the determination of his administration to ensure that 11 resolutions reached at the Economic Summit (Ehingbeti 2021) are achieved.
The three-day summit, with the theme ‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade’, which ended on Thursday, had six plenaries, 20 discussion sessions driven by 146 speakers and panellists, and was attended by over 10,000 participants.
Sanwo-Olu, who joined virtually, in his address, said: “The conversation must not end here; the dreams and aspirations for the Greater Lagos that we seek and deserve must be kept alive in perpetuity.
“We must take the learnings and conclusions from this summit, and use them to forge a plan of action and implementation that will ensure that the future we are envisioning for Lagos State comes to fruition.
“We have learnt, from the emergence and spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, that we can never be too prepared. This time last year, Lagos had not yet seen its index case of the Coronavirus. A year ago, nobody anticipated what the next 12 months might look like.
“Indeed, so much has changed in the past year, humbling our confidence in the ability to predict and forecast what the future holds. The big lesson is that we must deepen our scenario planning capabilities, as national and subnational governments, and as corporations and business entities.
“We must plan for every eventuality, including the next pandemic, which will eventually happen, at some point in the near or distant future.
“Since the year 2000, under the vision and direction of former Governor Bola Tinubu, the Ehingbeti Summit has been a cherished platform for the conversations we should be having about where we want the city to be headed, and how to fast-track that journey.
“The narrative of progress and development in Lagos State over the last two decades would be incomplete without acknowledging the catalyzing role of the Ehingbeti Summit.
“We must now begin to plan for the next, even as we take action on the resolutions of this one.
“I call on the private sector to be aggressive in seeking out opportunities to partner with and support the government because government alone cannot make it happen; we cannot singlehandedly finance or execute all the ambitions that lie ahead.
“Ehingbeti speaks to what governments, the private sector and civil society can come together to accomplish through deliberate bilateral and multilateral partnerships.”
“To the young people of Lagos, we will create the right and enabling environment for you to establish, grow and thrive”
Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, who presented the 11 resolutions, assured the people that the Sanwo-Olu led administration is ‘always ready to listen and ready to act together. Some of the resolutions include: “Government must continue to provide an enabling environment and support for technology hubs. It should also provide venture capital to budding businesses and SMEs to boost their start-up capacity and sustain them.
“Government must harness the power of the youths, and put policies and programs in place to unleash their potential.
“Policies must be robust and treat the youths as assets – and concerted youth-focused capacity building in digital literacy, STEM, the arts, entertainment, sports and other sub-sectors must be created by the government in partnership with the private sector.
“Government must improve the education system through a thorough overhaul of the curriculum to provide an education that meets 21st-century realities thereby reducing youth unemployment. It must also venture into projecting its brand, and taking advantage of the coming large united African market since it plays a critical role in the industrialisation of Nigeria, and indeed the success of Africa.
“Given the importance of ease of doing business, the government should reinvent its processes and operations to improve transparency and accountability, and secure the trust and confidence of stakeholders sustainably,” among others.