Barely three months after his trip to Japan in company of President Muhammadu Buhari, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has embarked on another Asian trip aimed at scaling up Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and bilateral partnership.
The governor is on a working visit to China – the world’s second largest economy – to sign partnerships and agreements that will support the Lagos’ effort in transforming its economy to be 21st century compliant.
Sanwo-Olu will meet top management teams of China Railway Construction Company (CRCC) and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) for joint appraisal of ongoing infrastructural projects being handled in Lagos by the Chinese construction giants.
During the visit, he will deliver a keynote speech at China-Africa Business Council, which aims at putting Lagos before the Chinese investment community and declare the state’s openness to foreign investment.
The governor’s economic ambassadorial role will take him to Zhuhai Changiong Ocean Park, Huawei, GAC Motor Factory and Gree Air Conditioning for discussion on partnerships in the areas of industry, tourism and facility development.
Since inception, the Sanwo-Olu administration has driven up investment efforts in infrastructure, renewable energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and transportation.
The governor has been unequivocal about his quest for local and foreign finance to transform the state’s economy through sustained investment in infrastructure.
Presenting the N1.1trillion 2020 budget penultimate week, Sanwo-Olu noted that Lagos had revised its approval procedures and extant laws to promote Public-Private Partnership.
These efforts have yielded positive fruits, given the recent release by the World Bank, which praised Lagos as a “significant contributor” to Nigeria’s impressive performance in the Ease of Doing Business Index. Nigeria moved 15 places higher in the ranking.
Lagos and China have strengthened their bilateral relation since the inception of the Sanwo-Olu administration. Recently, the governor witnessed the signing of four agreements with China Development Bank (CDB), including $629 million financing facility, to accelerate completion of the Lekki Deep Seaport project, which started in 2011 and will be completed in 30 months.
The loan was secured from the Chinese bank after China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which owns majority shares in the project, signed a 45-year concessionary agreement with Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLTZ).
to complete the Phase 1 of Nigeria’s first deep seaport project in Lekki – a coastal community in the nation’s commercial nerve-centre – Lagos State.
After completion, the deep seaport will have two container berths of 680-metre long and 16.5-metre water depth. It will also have the capacity to be berthed by fifth generation container ships, which has a capacity of 18,000 TEU ship.
Commenting on the development, Sanwo-Olu described it as “another milestone” for the state in infrastructural development and commerce, saying the signing of the agreements ended period of uncertainty that had trailed the delivery of the project.
He noted that the completion of the project would invigorate the Lagos economy and push it up in the index of largest economy in the world.