Stakeholders pass eleven resolutions for collaborative execution at Ehingbeti

Rising from its 3-day deliberation, which attracted 146 speakers, over 15,000 registrants and 6000 participants from across the globe, stakeholders at the Lagos Economic Summit have passed eleven resolutions for joint execution of the public and private sector in the quest to build the Lagos of our dreams.

Rising from its 3-day deliberation, which attracted 146 speakers, over 15,000 registrants and 6000 participants from across the globe, stakeholders at the Lagos Economic Summit have passed eleven resolutions for joint execution of the public and private sector in the quest to build the Lagos of our dreams.

The recently concluded Ehingbeti also saw the state pledging to scale-up needed policies that would promote inclusive governance to accommodate all stakeholders, at the 8th edition of the public-private sector dialogue organized by the Lagos Economic Summit Group in the State since 2000.

Themed “For A Greater Lagos: Setting The Tone For The Next Decade”, the just concluded edition of Ehingbeti was a dialogue centered around values creation, social engagement and positioning Lagos as an investment hub for the next decade.

Specifically, the summit deliberated on a number of issues including Policies, Human Capital Development, Digital Economy, Sustainable Development Goals, Education, Health and Agriculture, which underscored the need to create a conducive environment for humans and the right business atmosphere for investment to flow into the state under a private sector-led programme.

Before presenting the summit resolutions, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his goodwill and commitment to supporting Lagos State because of its special status, while acknowledging the World Trade Organisation (WTO) DG, Dr. Ngozi Okojo-Iweala, the Africa Development Bank (ADB) President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Mo Ibrahim, British High commission; United State embassy, Consulates of France, Netherlands, Norway and United Arab Emirate for their support and contributions to the success of the summit.

According to him, “the summit examined six thematic areas the state must work on as:  destination Lagos: shaping-up as world best investment destination; strengthening governance institutions and legislations; Fourth Industrial Revolutions: imperative and prospect for a decent economy; roadmap for a shared economy: ensuring inclusive human capital development; funding growth sustainably and sustainability resilience and impact”.

“We as a government look to deepen our work in these areas, through existing and good programmes such as the Lagos State Employment Trust Funds, Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation; and Ministry of Youth and Social Development have been embarked on”.

“With establishment of the state’s social register and social protection policy enacted in 2020, we will work to make the required social investment alongside our many partners in private and development sectors to meet the needs of our people. Above all, we recognised the place of citizens as critical stakeholders and commit to accord them their pride of place in our business processes and service delivery.”

However, in line with summit’s objectives, the Lagos State Deputy Governor presented the resolution as the event comes to an end.Some of the resolutions includes:

“Recognising that dramatic shifts have been brought about by the realities of the 21st Century as well as the roles of technology in all aspects of our lives, it is recommended that the Government continues to provide an enabling environment and support of technology hubs. It was also requested that the State continue to provide venture capital to budding businesses and SMEs to boost their start-up capacity as well as sustain them. We as a government will look to deepen our work in this area through existing and new programs at LSETF, LASRIC, and the Ministries of Wealth Creation, WAPA and Youth and Sports Development and welcome collaborators to work with us.

“The need to harness the power of the youths and to put policies and programs in place to unleash the potential of our teeming youth population was strongly highlighted. Policies must be robust and treat the youths as assets – and concerted youth-focused capacity building in digital literacy, STEM, the arts, entertainment, sports and other sub-sectors must be created by the Government in partnership with the private sector. We recognize that they are different from us and capable of making their own way in the world – therefore, we must seek to understand them and how to adequately support them.

“Another overwhelmingly emphasized point was the need to improve the State education system through a thorough overhaul of the curriculum with a view to providing an education that meets 21st Century realities thereby reducing youth unemployment.”

On infrastructure: “Some of the conspicuous infrastructure development, especially increased road networks, housing schemes and optic fibre investments were appreciated and encouraged to be scaled up to cater for its demographic endowment. Stakeholders in Lagos must collectively invest in the infrastructure of the future i.e telecommunication, the green economy and renewable energy.”

On ease of doing business: “Given the importance of ease of doing business, Government was implored to reinvent its processes and operations to improve transparency and accountability and secure the trust and confidence of stakeholders sustainably. The State also needs to continue promoting accountability through responsible and responsive revenue institutions as well prudent deployment of tax policy that can be accurately determined.”

All parties stressed the importance of and renewed commitment to improved partnerships and collaboration across national, state and other sub-national governments, the Private Sector, Civil Society and the international community, while the state legislative arm, through the Speaker, promised to support execution of the summit resolutions.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.