BY ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos
The upcoming 2020 Lagos Economic Summit tagged ‘Ehingbeti 2020’ is aimed at attracting the private sector players into the governance of the state.
Through this, the state government believes private sector can complement the effort of the state government towards improving the social and economic wellbeing of the state.
This year’s summit, according to the organisers, is meant to reconnect with the private sector, adding that, the quest to strengthen existing relationship between government and the private sector is one of the major goals of the summit since greater private sector participation in governance remains a prerequisite for a functional state.
With the summit expected to hold from November 10th to 12th, 2020, the organisers have refreshed the Ehingbeti logo to reflect the contemporary outlook of the annual summit.
Since the inaugural summit in 2000, the summit has gained useful insights from innumerable business and political leaders, private sector players, renowned economists, notable development experts and outstanding scholars, who have participated from various parts of the world.
The co-chair of the ‘Ehingbeti 2020’ steering committee and former Lagos State commissioner for economic planning & budget, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso said the state continually outshines its peers in the country because of its continuous dialogue and collaboration with the private sector.
Cardoso, who is also the chairman, Citibank Nigeria, said: “It is timely that this is happening and I say that because Covid-19 and its aftermath has wreaked havoc in economies around the world and we are no exception to that and when it going to end nobody knows. All we know is that countries around the world, pay dearly from being on lockdown and for any lockdown, you have a corresponding loss in Gross Domestic Product(GDP).
With the challenges ahead and Lagos being the economic nerve center of the country, he said, there is a large responsibility to ensure that they protect the citizens of the state and this is something that can’t happen unless it is planned for.
Similarly, the commissioner for economic planning and budget, who is also a co-chair of the steering committee, Sam Egube, stated that, in the last two decades, Ehingbeti has played a pivotal role in the transformation of Lagos State, with useful inputs into Lagos State Development Plans (LSDP).
“Our realities from 2000 when the first Ehingbeti held, exactly 20 years ago, have significantly changed. As a state, we now have to cater for the infrastructural needs of more than 22 million population and ensure that Lagos remains on the path of continuous growth,” he pointed out.
The Lagos State government recently assured residents of its commitment to fulfilling all its promises, in spite of disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges not envisaged.
On his part, the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said, fulfilling the promises was in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’.
He said, in spite of reduction in the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government would fulfil its promises.
According to him, “the state government is determined to step up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies. I want to assure you that despite disruption occasioned by COVID-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we are still committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people, knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.”
“We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us,” he maintained.