Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said that States in Nigeria must begin to explore their comparative advantage among themselves especially in the area of agriculture to move the vision of transforming Nigeria economic fortunes for the better.
Governor Ambode who spoke when he received his counterpart from Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was on a courtesy visit to Lagos, said that no State can survive on its own, hence leaders in such States must seek to discover possible areas of partnership that would not only enhance the economy but would create jobs for the people.
The Governor said, “What is most important right now is how do we take on our comparative advantage to the betterment of our people? We must start to think about the reintegration of most of the economic activities and advantages that each state has.
“We can create factories here and use products from Kano to sell to the rest of the continent. Kano also stands more like an export zone for most of the West African countries around the zone. So it’s a win-win situation for both states, there is nothing else but for us to just show exemplary leadership that other states can start to think of how we can energize together and carry the vision of Nigeria forward.”
Governor Ambode also said that Lagos and Kano share many similarities considering their mega city status, thus, both cities stand to benefit from each other to tackle the challenges confronting them and enhance their economic productivity.
“If Lagos was to claim that she knows everything, then Lagos wouldn’t be where it is now. So what you are bringing to the table that we would also want to share and learn from you, we know there are common issues like environmental sanitation, security, education and then more importantly about how we can take comparative advantage in the area of agriculture.
“We pride ourselves as the largest consumer of agro products in the country. We intend also to reactivate some of our furniture factory and also be able to do locally made furniture, all we need to do is to get the expertise to turn the hides and skin to become the best leather of the world and that would create employment for the people of Kano and Lagos alike,” Governor Ambode said.
In the area of commerce, Governor Ambode said that the State Government was working hard to bring back the Kano Pyramid, assuring that Lagos provides a ready market for agro products as it is the largest consumer of agricultural products in Nigeria.
Earlier, Governor Ganduje said he was in Lagos to learn from the strides of Governor Ambode, especially in the area of fighting crime and improving infrastructural development.
“This meeting is a meeting between two mega cities in Nigeria. So, we have come to share our problems, we are mega cities and everybody is aware that there are some specific problems that mega cities have to confront; problems of security, crime.
“I was one time invited to attend when some equipment you recently donated to the Police through the Trust Fund, I couldn’t come, but I saw everything that happened and I became jealous and that is why I am here so that I can learn from you”.
He said that the Kano State Government being the commercial nerve centre of Northern Nigeria is leading from the front to revive the agricultural sector especially in the areas of livestock farming, just as he added that the State is one of the largest producers of hides and skin used in making leather.
“The people who are waiting to consume these items are on this side of the country. Also in livestock, with the present problem of herdsmen, Kano state is providing grazing areas in order to improve their socio economic well being. These are areas that we can come together to cooperate,” Governor Ganduje said.