By Moses Adeniyi
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said by working together, States within the South-West region have the potential to organically optimise unique strength and address prevailing challenges for a change in narratives in the region.
According to him, the productivity of such partnership remains veritable to the region and the country to trail the path of growth, development and economic sustainability.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who spoke at the commissioning of a new liaison office of the Ekiti State Government and a Governor’s Lodge built on Oduduwa Crescent in Ikeja GRA, Lagos, said Lagos State is strategically important to the South-West’s regional economic aspirations.
Governor Sanwo-Olu assured that given the place of Lagos as Nigeria’s hub of commerce and industrial activities, it has become important for the State Government to continue to strengthen partnerships and raise the economic status of States in the South-West region, stressing that his administration would always be opened to collaborations that would spread socio-economic prosperity across the region.
According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, the Ekiti State liaison edifice, developed and delivered by the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration, was located strategically with the advantage of a suitable ambience to remotely conduct business of Government and host investors.
Sanwo-Olu who hosted his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, on Monday, said the decision of his colleagues in the South-West to open liaison offices in Lagos was an indication of the strength Lagos could bring to bear for shared growth and prosperity.
“This is an honour and privilege to have my brother Governors see the strength Lagos can bring to bear for our shared prosperity. When we all work together, with the understanding that we all have different skills and strengths, we can organically develop every State’s unique strength and address our weaknesses, so that our region and the country can be on the path of growth, development and economic sustainability.
“Ikeja is a capital city and it will continue to be home to all strategic developments. Just as Government houses are springing from here, new businesses in hospitality and healthcare are coming here. GRA is a short distance to the airports. This means people can drive in here and conduct businesses without having to get into other parts of Lagos. Governors can quietly come in and run the business of Government from this wonderful territory,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu applauded Governor Fayemi for deeming it fit to build the lodge, stressing that the development would further drive the growth of Ekiti’s GDP.
In his remarks, Fayemi described Lagos as “key factor” in Ekiti State’s investment strategy, noting that Lagos was not only a key market for Ekiti products, but also its window to the outside world.
He said the liaison office edifice, which has conference facilities and accommodation for the Governor and aides, would save Ekiti State avoidable expenses in hotel accommodation each time its officials visit Lagos for meetings and official duties.
He added that the Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA) would use the edifice for expansion of commerce and investment.
“The strategic importance of having this edifice in Lagos is enormous. This liaison office will serve as a go-to place not only for Ekiti indigenes in Lagos, who require official services and information from Ekiti State Government, but also to non-Ekiti indigenes desirous of engaging the State.
“It will also serve as a communication and contact Centre of our State with Federal and State Government Offices, Embassies, offices of international organisations here in Lagos as well as private sector players headquartered in Lagos,” Fayemi said.
Lagos host liaison offices of other South-West States, including Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Oyo States, and the proposed secretariat of the Southern Governors’ Forum in Ikeja, the State Capital.
Governor Sanwo-Olu has thus, disclosed that the State Government has continued to facilitate infrastructure development around the metropolis and would be commissioning network of roads in the Ikeja GRA and other ancillary infrastructure in the coming months.
According to him, such investment is strategic given the influx of public buildings and private businesses into the GRA.