Tinubu’s reforms will yield positive outcome, says Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured the global investment community that positive results will come out of the economic reforms implemented by President Bola Tinubu.

Sanwo-Olu said the decision by the Tinubu administration to remove fuel subsidy was courageous, aadding that it was neccessary to save Nigeria’s economy from the edge of catastrophe.

He said although the policy led to inflation but that the money saved had been re-invested in various interventions geared towards stabilising the economy.

Sanwo-Olu said this on a live interview anchored on Sky News, a frontline British news channel, on Friday.

The Governor went on a week-long business trip to London, where he participated in various bilateral meetings, including the Lord Mayor’s Show.

Sanwo-Olu assured that Nigerians would soon feel relief as the President rolled out more interventions, noting that Tinubu came with clear strategy to tackle the nation’s economic challenges.

He pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with the President.

Sanwo-Olu said: “I believe six months is a short term to evaluate President Tinubu’s far-reaching reforms but in terms of the clear strategy and focus, the Tinubu administration is there. What the President has done over the last six months, none of his predecessors had the audacity to do.

“He took the courage and removed subsidy on petrol, which will save the country about $2.5 billion. These are funds that can go into other areas, such as education, health, and social investment. What he brings to the table is more important, having governed Lagos before.

“The fact that the President is challenging members of his cabinet to sit up and focus on the business of governance shows his commitment. He said he would not hesitate to kick out non-performing ministers. What we are asking the citizens is to give the President a bit more time. He has a bold, laudable economic agenda, known as Renewed Hope. In the next few months, we will begin to see relief coming out from all of the interventions he has put forward and the country will be better for it.”

Sanwo-Olu spoke about the readiness of Lagos to welcome more foreign investment in key sectors of the economy.

Although a sub-national, the Governor said Lagos remained a key player in the African economic order, with a GDP bigger than economies of Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and Senegal.

He said the coastal state lacked the luxury of landmass but had been a major player in service-focused investment, given its growing population and size of its market.

Sanwo-Olu said conversations around the potential in which the state was endowed had not been fully told, stressing that he personally led the state’s investment drive to London in order to avail foreign investors of requisite information and clear doubts that may surround the state’s business climate.

He said: “As part of our drive to promote more foreign direct investment into Lagos, we have recently constituted International Financial Council. The whole idea is for us to be able to let the world know what is happening in Lagos, starting with the Lord Mayor’s Show held in London. This is because Lagos shares a lot of history with London.

“The International Financial Council will be setting up strategies where we can handhold British companies and investors willing to come to Lagos to invest their capital.

“The Council will avail them of the red tape, regulatory and legal framework. Investors will know what kind of permits and approvals they need to have. The Council will set up structures where communication and collaboration will be facilitated.”

Sanwo-Olu also highlighted technology, financial service sector, creative industry and consumer products as key areas of priorities the state government was expecting to expand.

“The tech industry is very important. In the last four years, Lagos has become the capital of tech start-ups. The sheer number of entrants into the tech space shows that there is still a lot of depth we need to bring into the technology sector. Building capability in the technology space will help us drive and improve the financial service sector, where we have a whole lot of financial products that need to be deepened.

“We want to see a lot more international financial organisations coming to the sector. We want to have the creative industry also be a key player in Lagos economy.

“Then, of course, General Consumer products. Because of the size of our population, we believe any investor can have a share of the market. Lagos does not have the luxury of land for extensive farming, but we are very well in other business areas because of the size of population and nature of services people need.”

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