Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has pledged support for the manufacturing sector noting that it holds the key to sustainable economic growth and development in the state.
According to a statement obtained on Thursday from the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Ambode pledged the support at the opening of the Thirrd Quarterly Council Meeting of NACCIMA in Lagos.
He said the support to the manufacturing sector and investment in the state would drive self-sufficiency and sustain the status of Lagos State as the economic hub of the country.
He said, “We are aware of the challenges of the business community in terms of poor power supply, inadequate infrastructure, high interest and foreign exchange rates among others.
“The resultant effects of these problems are manifesting in high operation cost, high rate of unemployment and poverty. But I am positive that these challenges are surmountable.
“We, therefore, need to be proactive and look towards becoming self-sufficient by collaborating with the manufacturing sector which obviously holds the key to sustainable economic growth and development.”
He added, “This is why Lagos State has established the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment to make the state a first choice destination for both local and foreign investors.
Also speaking, the National President of NACCIMA, Mr. Bassey Edem, urged the Federal Government to hasten its roadmap for the diversification of the economy to augment the dwindling income from crude oil.
Edem also urged the government to tackle corruption as it would translate into economic advancement, good governance and good living standards.
He decried the poor utilisation and management of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex and urged Ambode to call for a review of the concession of the complex.
Edem said, “The complex is primarily designed for trade promotion in Nigeria, but it has become a shadow of itself. We therefore request that the management of the complex be transferred to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry as was done for Kaduna International Trade Fair Complex.
“ As an umbrella body of all chambers of commerce and industry, we will continue to lend our voice and support government at all levels to fulfill their roles,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Remi Bello, the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, cited poor power supply, unstable policies, multiple taxation, poor access to credit and deficient infrastructure as problems affecting the business community.
Bello said that the meeting was aimed at reviewing these challenges for a better business environment and making an impact on the new administration.
He urged the government to continue to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in order to boost the economy.
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Source : Punch