….As Reckitt Benckiser Intensify Health Advocacy In Lagos
Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Fulvio Rustico has described the task of administering a cosmopolitan City-State like Lagos as the most challenging and most fascinating any public office holder can undertake in the world.
The Italian Envoy, who said this at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, acknowledged the enormous challenges of governing the state, which is not only the power house of Nigeria and the fourth economy in Africa, but has also been projected to be the second or third city in the world by 2050.
Rustico, who was accompanied on the visit by Consul General of Italy in Lagos, Dr. Andrea Pompermaier; and Deputy Head of Mission and First Counsellor, Luca Attanasio, said he envies the Governor going by the challenges of his office, and that his country was seriously interested in building on the existing relationship with Nigeria, and by extension, Lagos.
“We look with great interest to the potentials of Lagos. You are one of the largest cities in the world and we were just talking about the projection that Nigeria is going to be number three in the world with 450 million inhabitants in 2050, then we have to think that Lagos is going to develop at least at the same rate in few years time, Lagos will be probably number two or third city in the world and so a strategic partner for whatever country in the world.
“I envy you Mr Governor because you have one of the most challenging and most fascinating tasks anywhere in the world. You have a fantastic city”, Rustico said.
He also announced that the Italian Mission in Nigeria has perfected plans to establish the Office of Trade Commissioner in Lagos within the next few weeks or months, and that the office would be very important and helpful to foster economic relations.
Responding, Governor Ambode acknowledged the support of the Italian Government in bringing about peaceful transition from one democratic government to another in Nigeria, which brought about the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the moral leadership and integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari has engendered stronger bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the western countries, adding that because of the strategic economic importance, Lagos is the destination point for foreign investors.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Reckitt Benckiser Worldwide, Rakesh Kapoor also led a delegation of the company on a courtesy visit to Governor Ambode.
Kapoor, who reiterated the company’s commitment to advocacy on health and hygiene issues, thanked the Lagos State Government for its continued corporation and support over the years.
He traced the existence of the company in Nigeria to the past 50 years, and acknowledged Lagos to be the second largest market for the products of the company in the world.
He, however, solicited the support of the Governor for the company’s quest for growth and development.
Responding, Governor Ambode commended the public health advocacy plan of the company which is expected to commence in Shomolu very soon, just as he promised the continued support of the state government to programmes that will benefit the people of the state.
He thanked the company for providing a platform to engage the youths with employment opportunities, and assured that the government would remain committed to programmes that will be of mutual benefits to both parties.