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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening expressed the desire of his administration to partner with the Federal Republic of Germany in areas of security, transport, technology and development finance to give a quantum leap to establishment and sustenance of businesses in the State.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House in Ikeja while playing host to the President of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck, said he was also favourably disposed to a sister-city relationship between Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, and Frankfurt, the commercial hub of Germany, especially in the area of financial service sector.
He told the German President that his administration had instituted security and legal reforms to ensure a thriving business environment.
He said his administration was ready to explore the common interests between the state and Frankfurt, which is also Germany’s financial capital.
“We have invested deeply in security to ensure that every foreigner is protected in Lagos here and in Nigeria in particular, I am committed to ensure that every German is accounted for in Lagos and we would make sure that they live a very safe and comfortable life.
“I must recognise quickly the volume of German investments that we have in Lagos, I must also recognise quickly what it means to us because ultimately it is about creation of jobs for our people and where we see a situation where we have willing partners and by the demonstration of the number and quality of businessmen that you have brought in this delegation, I am assured that we would have so much to do together as we proceed.
“I will like to let you know that the key areas that we are deeply interested in are in the areas of power, technology hub and transportation.
“We believe that we need to change the state of our transportation system in Lagos and that’s why we are quietly talking to some of the German companies, we want a situation where we can actually phase out some of the buses that we are using and we should pride ourselves to be able to use some of the quality buses that come out from Germany and we are talking about buses to the volume of 10,000 to 20,000. But beyond that, we must also start to think about creating assembling plants and also workshop plants to grow the economy of Germany and at the same time grow the economy of Nigeria”, the Governor said.
On his part, Gauck, who spoke through an interpreter, pledged that Germany will assist Nigeria with the technical know- how to successfully fight terrorism.
He said the purpose of his visit to the country was to strengthen the cordial relationship between the two countries and to forge additional trade ties, said he was willing to share his countries experiences in the field of science and technology, especially in the areas of capacity building, expressing confidence in steps being taken by the present government in the country to address the nation’s challenges.
“I am delighted to be here in Lagos and we in Germany and in Europe are more than aware of the importance of this city as a centre of business, of political development, of creativity and intellectively in the art of West Africa. At the same time I am delighted to be here in Lagos on my very first visit to Nigeria. I am happy to learn more and hear more about the successes of this country and the problems it has to tackle.
“My visit is meant to underline the friendly close ties existing between Germany and Nigeria. We have great interest in the area of trade. We in Germany are ready to share our experiences in those areas where you think they might prove helpful or necessary and we are happy to share the experiences we have acquired in fostering security and fostering social security.
“We are happy to share the knowledge we have acquired in the field of science and technology and cooperate with you and we are also happy to the knowledge we have when it comes to bringing about a fruitful cooperation between the business communities to bring about benefit for all,” he said.
According to him, “That is all we want to talk about and look at the potentials on these subjects and other matters. I am happy not only to get an opportunity to meet the representatives of the business community and to get to know more about the strength of assisting this country in those areas but also to have the opportunity to learn more about the culture in diversity that this country has to offer.
“I refer to business delegation that is accompanying me on this visit. Amongst them you have experienced personalities, people who have been here for quite a while and have acquired crucial beneficial experiences in doing business here on the ground. At the same time we also want to be of assistance when it comes to providing training; we believe that the German model in the area of training can be adopted here.”