As we may all be aware, Lagos City-State as one of the fastest growing cities in the world has a vision of becoming Africa’s model Mega City and global, economic and financial hub that is safe, secure, functional and productive. To achieve this vision, we are guided by the 2012 – 2025 Lagos State Development Plan (LSDP).
The transition from Vision to Strategy is expressed in four Development Pillars:
- Economic Development
- Infrastructural Development
- Social Development & Security; and
- Sustainable Development
However, underpinning these strategic pillars are the platforms of Finance and Governance. How do we attain the massive needs of our people especially in the face of strong ‘economic ‘head winds’? I am therefore very pleased that the set up and inauguration of this Economic team would go a long way in solidifying this platform.
As with most developing major city States, we are confronted with challenges in the areas of infrastructure, security, health, wealth creation, education and attracting investments and creating enabling environment to do business to mention a few. The modest gains achieved in addressing these over the past 20 months have been due mainly to prudent managing of the limited resources.
Let me crave your indulgence to present a picture of what we are confronted with. Our 2017 budget has earmarked about N500 billion (about US$1.6 billion) as capital spend. Whereas our recent Infrastructure needs analysis shows that over $30 billion would be required to achieve the 30 most impactful projects for the State over the next 5 years (an average of US$6 billion per annum).
It is evident that Government cannot address this from current resources. A key task of this Committee is therefore to provide specific advice on the overall finance strategy to bridge the massive infrastructure gap. I am therefore glad and privileged that 9 competent and well respected Lagosians have accepted our request to serve in the Committee. My sincere thanks and appreciation to each of you.
Whilst the Committee is independent and largely constituted by members from the private sector, the need for integration and collaboration to ensure that the views are taken on board has resulted in having three members of the State Executive, led by the Hon. Commissioner for Finance, in the team.
A key agenda of this Government has been to have an ‘all inclusive’ governance arrangement. My quarterly town hall meetings and regular meetings with business leaders emphasize the need to have the public and private sector views as we take major decisions. This private sector led Economic team achieves the key objective of getting independent views on economic and business issues in delivering the mandate to the people.
The Committee would be a sounding board over policies that will improve the business environment and the economic development of the State. Other roles include:
- Advise the Government on policies that should be considered for the purposes of fostering and advancing economic and business opportunities;
- Provide an effective mechanism for engaging the private sector on matters relating to economic development of the State;
- Provide advice and strategic direction along the lines of the Lagos State Development Plan, and or in relation to modifications if considered necessary;
- Analysing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the Governor;
- Act as ambassadors/champions for certain new initiatives;
- Advise on competitiveness issues, policy and programs;
- Provide advisory input according to their particular areas of expertise as appropriate and relevant in guiding and shaping the Governor’s vision and implementation strategy and process;
- Assist and provide support to the Governor on projects, issues and other matters as they arise.
Please note that this appointment is for an initial period of two years. In true spirit of recognizing the Committee’s independence, I leave it to you to determine the frequency of your meetings and the extent of your interactions with other stake holders.
On this note, the State Economic Advisory Team is hereby inaugurated. Congratulations.
Thanks again and God bless you.