By Ezra Odogu
Lagos State is strategically important to the Southwest’s regional economic aspirations, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said on Monday.
Sanwo-Olu said Lagos, as the nation’s hub of commerce and industrial activities, would continue to strengthen partnerships and raise the economic status of States in the Southwest region, stressing that his administration would always be open to collaborations that would spread socio-economic prosperity across the region.
The Governor spoke at the commissioning of a new Ekiti State Government’s liaison office and Governor’s Lodge built on Oduduwa Crescent in Ikeja GRA, Lagos. The edifice was developed and delivered by the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration.
Sanwo-Olu said the location of the Ekiti State’s liaison office in Lagos offered a suitable ambience to remotely conduct business of Government and host investors.
There are also liaison offices of Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Oyo states, and the proposed secretariat of the Southern Governors’ Forum in the area.
Sanwo-Olu said the decision of his colleague Governors to open liaison offices in Lagos was an indication of the strength Lagos could bring to bear for shared growth and prosperity. He said collaboration remained the key to development.
“This is an honour and privilege to have my brother Governors see the strength Lagos can bring to bear for our shared prosperity. When we all work together, with the understanding that we all have different skills and strengths, we can organically develop every State’s unique strength and address our weaknesses, so that our region and the country can be on the path of growth, development and economic sustainability.
“Ikeja is a capital city and it will continue to be home to all strategic developments. Just as Government houses are springing from here, new businesses in hospitality and healthcare are coming here. GRA is a short distance to the airports. This means people can drive in here and conduct businesses without having to get into other parts of Lagos. Governors can quietly come in and run the business of Government from this wonderful territory.”
The influx of public buildings and private businesses into GRA, Sanwo-Olu said, necessitated his administration’s response to ramp up infrastructure within the area. The Governor disclosed that the State Government would be commissioning network of roads in GRA and other ancillary infrastructure in the coming months.
Sanwo-Olu praised Governor Fayemi for deeming it fit to build the lodge, stressing that the development would further drive the growth of Ekiti’s GDP.
Fayemi described Lagos as “key factor” in Ekiti State’s investment strategy, noting that Lagos was not only a key market for Ekiti products, but also its window to the outside world.
He said the liaison office edifice, which has conference facilities and accommodation for the Governor and aides, would save Ekiti State avoidable expenses in hotel accommodation each time its officials visit Lagos for meetings and official duties. He added that Ekiti State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (EKDIPA) would use the edifice for expansion of commerce and investment.
“The strategic importance of having this edifice in Lagos is enormous. This liaison office will serve as a go-to place not only for Ekiti indigenes in Lagos, who require official services and information from Ekiti State Government, but also to non-Ekiti indigenes desirous of engaging the State. It will also serve as a communication and contact Centre of our State with Federal and State Government Offices, Embassies, offices of international organisations here in Lagos as well as private sector players headquartered in Lagos,” Fayemi said.