Ehingbeti Economic Summit 2021: The Lagos of Our Dream


Thursday, February 18, 2021  / 1:29PM / By LASG / Header Image Credit: Twitter; @followlasg

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Being Welcome Address by His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Ehingbeti 2021 Economic Summit

Your Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Representatives of Presidents and Heads of States Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader, All Progressive Congress, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Member of the Diplomatic Community Chief Executives and Captains of Industry, Distinguished Speakers, Guests, Youths, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to the 8th edition of Lagos Economic Summit (Ehingbeti). Our focus this year is "Setting the tone for the next decade - for a greater Lagos".

Ehingbeti is a forum for all stakeholders in and outside of Lagos - citizens, businesses, governments, regulators, civil society, technocrats, academics, funders, donor community, and international partners - to exchange ideas, address potential developmental roadblocks and chart a path forward towards accelerating sustainable economic growth in Lagos State.

It is noteworthy that the Summit previously planned for November 2020, was rescheduled to this period as we wanted to have conversations and constructive engagement with stakeholders in the Lagos project, including our youth whose voices must be heard. We wanted to take lessons from the unfortunate incident of 20 October 2020 - #ENDSARS - and together build back better. As a government, we are taking great care to address the concerns of all our citizens. The Lagos we are building today, and for the next decade, is for the youths of today, who are the leaders of tomorrow.

I would like to highlight a few unique features of Lagos that have so far been of economic advantage:

  • Lagos is Nigeria's largest city and the 7th fastest growing city in the world.
  • It contributes approximately 25% of Nigeria's total GDP
  • It is a service-driven State, majority of its revenue is generated from taxes and private sector commercial activities.
  • It accounts for 90% of Nigeria's foreign trade and 70% of all industrial investments.
  • Lagos is the main economic, financial, and industrial hub in Nigeria with over 2,000 manufacturing industries and over 200 financial institutions
  • It is rated the best city for start-up in Africa and ranked 2nd out of 37 states in 'starting a business' for Doing Business Ranking 2018. These position Lagos as an important socio-economic hub in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, and consequently an investment destination of choice.


Over the years, and with changes to the state government's administration, the Ehingbeti Summit has been an avenue for executing developmental projects and initiatives, in furtherance of Lagos State as a megacity. Some of the notable achievements as a byproduct of the past summits include:

  • Establishment of the Lagos agricultural youth empowerment scheme
  • Increased large mechanised rice cultivation, from 20 hectares to over 500-hectare acreage
  • Establishment of the Lagos rice mill situated in Imota
  • Increase in transportation infrastructure through the construction of the Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge and over 10,000Km road networks.
  • Over 5,000 units of houses have been constructed and delivered under the home ownership scheme
  • Construction of three (3) operational independent power plants in Akute, Island I & II and Alausa. Two more in Lekki Peninsula and Lagos Mainland are in the offing.
  • The establishment of the Ibile oil and gas projects, creating alternative power generation and distribution infrastructure, and making Lagos a major gas production and exporting hub.
  • The government has provided numerous initiatives and policies aimed at providing incentives for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and encourages ease of doing business.
  • Lagos state has been a driving force for this administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being the epicenter of the pandemic in Nigeria, we are taking proactive steps and ensuring consistent and transparent communication.

To make Lagos great and actualize our vision, we devised the Lagos T.H.E.M.E.S, an acronym that represents the six strategic pillars of development namely Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism as well as Security and Governance. These have been designed to focus on the key pillars of a competitive megacity in this new decade.

Ehingbeti is one of the anchors for the crystallization of the T.H.E.M.E.S programme of this administration. The plenaries and high-level discussion forums at this 3-day event all resonate with T.H.E.M.E.S. Over the next three days of Ehingbeti 2021, we will listen to visionaries, thought leaders, futurists, disruptors, innovators, venture capitalists, economists Gen X, Y, Z all focused on problem-solving for Lagos State. They will share insights and offer perspectives, including global leading practices on the various topics and most importantly the solutions that can be readily implemented in Lagos.

In order to set the tone for the prosperous future of Lagos state, some initiatives are being considered, while leveraging on the large young and skilled population, and available digital technology: Boosting shared prosperity and economic growth through private sector investments in Lagos are top priorities. The government has been addressing key determinants for achieving prosperity including with examples:

  • Diversification of the state economy, through agriculture, tourism, and power generation.
  • The launch of the strategic agricultural 5-year master plan, with initiatives and plans.
  • The establishment of the Lagos State Aquatic Centre of Excellence (LACE) under a Public Private Partnership framework.
  • The completion of the Imota Rice Mill funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria N8bn concessionary loan
  • Acceleration of Infrastructure development - facilitation of the first phase of the 6,000 unified fibre duct infrastructure deployment under a PPP initiative to bring broadband internet access to homes, offices, schools, and hospitals
    • Installation of 2,000 intelligent cameras around critical points to mitigate crime and enhance traffic management and improve data collection.
    • Commencement of some strategic transportation projects, example the Red Line Railway Project, the Regional Road at Victoria Garden City and Ikota and the Ibeju-Lekki Epe express way
  • Enhancing good governance - In line with our citizens engagement strategy the level of proactive communication and collaboration with citizens was increased to ensure transparency
  • Improving access to opportunities in the private sector
    • N103bn invested in infrastructure to boost employments and encourage entrepreneurs

In addition to these proposed initiatives and projects, we are ramping up on attracting local and foreign direct investments, for:

  • Economic growth - currently the largest internally generating state and controlling the largest GDP contribution (approx. 10% of national GDP) to the Nigerian economy
  • Access to free trade areas - Lagos has the highest number of free trade areas, 9 active industrial zones
  • Tax rates - As part of the efforts to encourage investment, the government has provided several trade treaties, reliefs and agreements to encourage foreign direct investment into the economy
  • Transport and infrastructure - With proximity to the Atlantic sea and with 2 ports, goods can be moved freely in and out of the state thereby giving Lagos state a significant competitive advantage
  • Wage rates and labor skills - Average wages in Lagos are cheaper, thereby providing an incentive for investors to invest due to the lower costs of production especially for labor-intensive production. Also, Lagos has the highest number of young skilled and highly educated workforce
  • Size of economy - The ever-growing population (7th fastest growing city in the world) and the scope for economic growth is an important factor for attracting investment.

The year 2021 is one of rekindled hope, taking into consideration the roll-out of vaccines to combat the global Covid-19 pandemic and introduction of agile and innovative means of digitization and technology across all aspects of human endeavor.

I am enthusiastic about the outcomes from this Summit and how these initiatives can be implemented to make Lagos State transform from a Mega-city to a Smart city in the new decade.

Following, we will have the goodwill messages, keynote speeches and thereafter begin the conversations that will assist drive the development agenda of this administration - T.H.E.M.E.S.

Once again, thank you and welcome to the Ehingbeti Summit 2021. Let's together Build the Lagos of our Dreams.


Download PDF Here - Ehingbeti 2021

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