8th Ehingbetti Summit: Lagos as An Accelerator; A Smart City's Destiny


Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / 8:51PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Twitter; @LagosMepb

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Lagos state is central to Nigeria's economic fortunes and development. These were amongst the opinions expressed by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR while delivering remarks at the opening session of the 8th edition of the Lagos Ehingbetti Summit.


According to the President, the Federal Government has made it a priority to support Lagos in unleashing its socio-economic potentials, which would help to accelerate economic growth in the country.


President Buhari also noted that the Federal Government through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) has embarked on several projects that would have a positive impact on the Lagos economy.


According to him, these projects include the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the upgrading of the Apapa-Oworoshoki expressway.


President Buhari also said the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail would connect the Apapa ports complex to Ibadan thereby helping in the decongestion of the Lagos ports and the freeing up of Lagos roads around the ports area.


He also added that the Federal Government recently handed over the National Arts Theatre to the Bankers' Committee, as part of efforts geared towards developing a world-class creative industry hub, hence unlocking the opportunities in the arts and entertainment sector of the Lagos economy.


The President commended the administration of Lagos state for its focus on infrastructure, ease of doing business, and improving the quality of life of its citizens.


He urged the Lagos state government led by Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu to ensure that its economic prosperity leaves no one behind.


In a conversation with Governor Sanwoolu, the DG-Elect of the World Trade Organization Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala emphasized the need for Lagos State to give priority to the following key areas;

  • Providing decent Jobs for a teeming youth population, leveraging on the country's peculiar demographics
  • Strengthening the Digital Economy through the provision of broadband infrastructure to boost connectivity, which would enable e-commerce businesses gain an additional leg up
  • Improving Infrastructure (Hard and Soft) from power and transportation to other forward-looking components.


She tasked the Lagos state government with championing the cause of deepening women and youth inclusion in governance.


Sudanese born-billionaire and accomplished African business leader Mo Ibrahim in his goodwill message believed Lagos has the scale to unlock economic opportunities and achieve a vibrant market that could move Nigeria and Africa forward.


He identified transportation, waste management, health, education, security, rule of law and bureaucracy as areas Lagos must tackle firmly to become a globally competitive city.

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In his speech at the event, Governor Sanwoolu said the strategy of the state post-pandemic was to " Build Back Better and Bolder", with a rededication to its T.H.E.M.E.S economic agenda.


He assured stakeholders that Lagos remains committed to improving its infrastructure, economy, and security to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).


Looking at the future, the governor set a few target that citizens should expect by 2030:

  • A MegaCity with an integrated transportation network (Roads, Rail, and Waterways) that will reduce travel time by 200%.
  • A Smart city that will leverage a robust broadband infrastructure to unleash a technology revolution. This would involve smart city cameras to ensure efficient traffic management and security
  • Agric Processing through the county's largest rice mill in Imota, Lagos.
  • Strengthening the Lekki Free Trade Zone as a driver for additional PPP activities including faster-paced industrialization with Dangote's oil and fertilizer refinery sitting at the heart of the export free zone, the Lekki Deep Sea Port, and other major industries that would spring up from the new economic hub.
  • Enhancing tourism and supporting the growth of a dynamic creative industry.
  • Developing strategic medical parks with projects like the largest Children's hospital and infectious disease centre amongst other medical and healthcare developments.

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