President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday affirmed the need for the Federal Government and Lagos State government to partner on the rapid transformation of the country, saying such concerted effort was strategic to the economic development of the country.
The president, who spoke at the 6th Lagos Economic Summit known as ‘Ehingbeti 2012 ‘ said the forum tagged, “From BRICS TO BRINCS: Lagos Holds The Key” which hasfour key areas of Power, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing as its focus fits into his transformation agenda and vision 2020:20 of his administration.
Jonathan represented at the summit that drew eminent personalities and scholars from various walks of life, by the Minister of Trade and Investment Mr. Olusegun Aganga said the country has the potentials for rapid economic growth, hinting that the Federal Government in recognition of the strategic importance of Lagos State was considering ceding two out of the five existing rail lines in Lagos to the state to facilitate rapid development of the rail transportation sector.
According to the president, “We know that the issue of power cannot be solved by the federal government alone. And there are many investment opportunities that abound in the power sector. For this reason, we have privatised the power sector. And we further focus on creating an enabling environment for investors to survive in the country.
“Our administration will work with the state government to deliver power to the citizens of Nigeria. My administration will work closely with the state government and the private sector to deliver power supply to Nigerians. In this regard, the federal government is ready to partner with the state governments particularly Lagos State government to improve power generation and distribution through the Public Private Partnership (PPP).”
“The aim of the Federal Government to increase power capacity this year is to bring Lagos State to a sustainable power supply adequacy. This we will do by channelling power from the power plants that will be commissioned later this year to provide more power to the state. And we are working on two important power plants to be cited in Ijora and Egbin.”
He emphasised that the power that would be generated from these plants will be dedicated to the state, adding that the effort by the Federal Government was to provide an enabling power plant to the state to support the industrialisation and economic growth.
In his address the Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola said the resolve of the state government to continue to hold the biennial economic summit demonstrates their commitment to the cause of Lagos economic growth and sustainable development. According to him, “We have been driven by our imagination, and the desire to transform Lagos into what we firmly believe is infinitely possible – Africa’s model mega city. “It is no longer debatable that the growth poles for the world are to be found mainly in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa and Nigeria is an important part of this projection.
having been identified as one of the “Next Eleven” – eleven countries described as having a high potential of becoming, along with the BRIC countries, the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.
“Lagos is home to about 2,000 industrial complexes, 10,000 commercial ventures and 22 industrial estates. It contributes 30% to the nation’s GDP (2006 statistics) and is the leading contributor to the non-oil sector GDP (2011 statistics). Lagos accounts for over 60% of Nigeria’s industrial and commercial activities; 70% of national maritime cargo freight, over 80% of international aviation traffic and over 50% of Nigeria’s energy consumption”.