Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has emphasized the need for patience in evaluating the economic reforms led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, stating that six months is a relatively short timeframe for evaluation.
Stating his belief, Sanwo-Olu expressed confidence that Tinubu’s economic reforms would yield positive results.
Sanwo-Olu revealed this during a live interview on Sky News, a frontline British news channel.
He equally highlighted key areas of focus for his administration to attract foreign investment into Lagos.
He urged citizens to be patient, noting that Tinubu’s administration had a clear strategy to address economic challenges.
“I believe six months is a short term to evaluate Tinubu’s far-reaching reforms, but in terms of the clear strategy and focus, the Tinubu administration is there,” he said.
The Lagos State Governor commended Tinubu for the “courageous step” of ending the fuel subsidy regime, emphasizing its necessity to safeguard the nation’s economy.
He acknowledged that while this action led to inflation, the funds saved had been reinvested in various interventions aimed at stabilizing the economy.
Sanwo-Olu, who recently participated in bilateral meetings during a weeklong business trip to London, assured Nigerians that relief would soon be felt as Tinubu rolled out additional interventions.
The Governor stated, “What the President has done over the last six months, none of his predecessors had the audacity to do.
“He took the courage and removed subsidy on petrol, which will save the country about $2.5 billion.
“These are funds that can go into other areas, such as education, health, and social investment. What he brings to the table is more important, having governed Lagos before.
“The fact that the President is challenging members of his cabinet to sit up and focus on the business of governance shows his commitment.
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“He said he would not hesitate to kick out non-performing ministers. What we are asking the citizens is to give the President a bit more time.
“He has a bold, laudable economic agenda, known as Renewed Hope. In the next few months, we will begin to see relief coming out from all of the interventions he has put forward and the country will be better for it.”
The governor also spoke about the readiness of Lagos to welcome more foreign investment in key sectors of the economy.
Although a sub-national, Sanwo-Olu said, Lagos remained a key player in the African economic order, with a Gross Domestic Product, GDP bigger than the economies of Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal.
He said the coastal state lacked the luxury of landmass but had been a major player in service-focused investment, given its growing population and size of its market.
According to Sanwo-Olu, “Conversations around the potential in which Lagos State is endowed has not been fully told. I personally led the State’s investment drive to London in order to avail foreign investors of requisite information and clear doubts that may surround the State’s business climate.”
Sanwo-Olu said, Lagos recently constituted the International Financial Council as an advisory board to offer sufficient information to investors about red tapes, regulatory and legal framework guiding business in the State.
He believed Lagos’ narrative could be used to tell the African story, stressing that the investment drive would put the state where it should be in the global economic order.
Sanwo-Olu added, “As part of our drive to promote more foreign direct investment into Lagos, we have recently constituted International Financial Council.
“The whole idea is for us to be able to let the world know what is happening in Lagos, starting with the Lord Mayor’s Show held in London. This is because Lagos shares a lot of history with London.
“The International Financial Council will be setting up strategies where we can handhold British companies and investors willing to come to Lagos to invest their capital.
“The council will avail them of the red tape, regulatory and legal framework. Investors will know what kind of permits and approvals they need to have. The Council will set up structures where communication and collaboration will be facilitated.”
Sanwo-Olu, also highlighted technology, financial service sector, creative industry and consumer products as key areas of priorities the state government was expecting to expand.
“The tech industry is very important. In the last four years, Lagos has become the capital of tech start-ups. The sheer number of entrants into the tech space shows that there is still a lot of depth we need to bring into the technology sector.
“Building capability in the technology space will help us drive and improve the financial service sector, where we have a whole lot of financial products that need to be deepened.
“We want to see a lot more international financial organisations coming to the sector. We want to have the creative industry also be a key player in Lagos economy”, he concluded.