Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday urged the country to pay more attention to the non-oil sectors of the economy in view of the dwindling revenue from oil.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2015 Lagos International Trade Fair held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, said as a proactive response to the issues in the oil sector, Nigeria must embrace other sectors so as to garner resources to address the critical needs of the people.
Alluding to the fact that the theme of the Trade Fair, “Enhancing Value Addition In The Non-Oil Economy,” was apt, Governor Ambode said there was need to look inward for alternative and sustainable revenue sources apart from oil.
The Governor said that already, Lagos has been in the forefront of generating non-oil revenues, and that the State had accounted for over 65 percent of the nation’s non-oil Gross Domestic Product, and over 60 percent of the country’s value added manufacturing.
He urged members of the business community to consolidate on the gains recorded so far, by following up the relationship already established with government for mutually beneficial business and investment.
He also expressed optimism that when the 2016 edition takes place, it will consolidate on the gains of the current efforts of government at all levels in improved infrastructure, more efficient business support services, improved public transport system and a more secured and business friendly environment, would have materialized.
He, however, urged the business community to remain hopeful and support President Muhammad Buhari’s genuine commitments towards transforming the current challenges to opportunities for sustainable economic growth.
He also assured that Lagos is open for business, and invited all interested investors to key into the investment opportunities that abound in the state.
Earlier, in his welcome address, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Alhaji Remi Bello urged government at all levels to urgently address all impediments to successful running of businesses in Nigeria such as infrastructure, quality framework and funding, among others.
He also thanked Governor Ambode for his laudable efforts to maintain close working relationship with members of the business community.
Bello, who specifically acknowledged and appreciated the exceptional commitment of Governor Ambode to the creation of enabling environment for businesses to thrive, described Lagos State Government as a worthy partner to the success story of the Chamber.
He added that the 2015 Lagos International Trade Fair witnessed impressive local and foreign participation from countries such as China, Egypt, Japan, Ghana, India, European Union, Republic of Benin, Ethiopia, Pakistan and from many Nigerian State Governments.
The State Government was also presented with the award of the overall best state pavilion in the course of the 10-day fair.
Earlier in the day, Governor Ambode attended the Lying in State of late Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, the Matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty at the family’s residence in Park Lane, Apapa
Addressing journalists shortly after the rites, Governor Ambode said mama Awolowo’s demise was a great loss to Lagos as she was a major force in the development of trade and commerce in the state.
“For the fact that the final burial rites of mama is commencing in Lagos state signifies that this is a loss to the whole of Lagosians and the mere fact that we are remembering Mama from Park Lane also shows that she’s been a major bastion of commerce and trade in the whole development of Lagos state.
“For us, this is a major loss to Lagos, it’s not even about the Yoruba race alone. So coming here is just to show that together we would remember mama for every good thing that she’s been, she’s been very humble, very generous and like Papa always said, she was indeed a jewel of inestimable value”, the Governor said.