The long suffering of motorists and residents around the Apapa area of Lagos would soon be a thing of the past if the words of Lagos state Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu are anything to go by.
Sanwo-Olu said that modalities have been put in place to construct two additional ports in the East and West of Lagos State in order to dicongedt the Apapa port and ease the perennial gridlock in and around the axis.
The governor stated this on Tuesday while speaking at a virtual Lagos State Government speaks at Institute of Directors (IOD) UK Forum with the theme : Business Opportunities in Nigeria and Investment in Lagos, said myriad of opportunities abound in the state if the government decongest the Apapa port.
Sanwo-Olu, in his effort to sell Lagos and Nigeria to the United Kingdom business community also revealed that before the end of the second quarter of 2021, Lagos would Commission the biggest Rice mill in the country.
“The effort of diversification has started yielding results, we have seen Nigeria moving from behind the second largest importer of Rice, which is a staple food that everybody consumes here, now we are the largest producer in Africa within the last five years. It may interest you to know that before the end of the second quarter, Lagos will be commissioning the largest Rice mill in Africa. Lagos as shall as its, we are contributing our own share to national development in the production of Rice for the country.
“For us in Lagos, we are creating opportunities to develop two additional ports. We are building a port in the Lekki part, which is an Eastern part of the city and we are building another one on the western part of the city, the badagry port and one of these has started, so that we can decongest the Apapa port.
“We are giving ourselves a very tall vision and we believe that with our commitment they are achievable. We say we want to be Africa’s model mega city and a global and Financial hub that is safe, secure, functional and productive. This is a vision we can hold ourselves accountable to. “
According to the governor, “our mission is to eradicate poverty and promote economic growth through infrastructural renewal and development. We believe that if we up our infrastructural challenges, in the long run, the cost of doing business, the waiting time on our road will reduce and will be able to give out people economic empowerment.”
Speaking further, Sanwo-Olu unfolded the Lagos THEMES agenda to the audience, a package which include the government’s strategic plan at enhancing opportunities in the state.
” We are driven by this vision and mission and my cabinet and entire government believes we can accomplish this vision. So given that tenet of vision and mission, what have been able to localize these issues. So our government came up with a THEMES agenda, which is a six point developmental agenda. It’s called project THEMES. The first is traffic management and transportation, which is to update our traffic network, our roads. Lagos is surrounded by water, therefore our transport system must involve roads, waterways and eventually rails. And this can lead to effective management of our transport network, where traffic light, road network and all round transportation management is working effectively.
“The E is health and environmental, which is geared towards the optimization of out public health and ensure that as many of our citizens as possible get adequate Healthcare services and also handle our environmental challenge. It simply tskks snout how we can manage our environment, waste management.
“We are also looking at providing portable water for our citizens. Then we also have education and technology. We all know that the future that we see is about the children and the youth. So silill upgrade is very important to us. We need to create tech hubs, build PPPs and create a living smart city for Africa. And also ensure we grow our e – governance for all f our government. And we also plan to make Lagos a 21st century economy in order to globally competitive. So Lagos can not just stand on its own, we need to look at what is happening in other climes. And this will make Lagos to be compared to other notable cities of our time.
“The second E on the THEMES agenda is the industry which God has blessed us with. The entertainment sector and Lagos is the hub for Nollywood business in Nigeria and Nollywood is one of the largest employers of Labour in Nigeria. It has been a referred to as the third largest film industry after Bollywood and Hollywood. And we in Lagos intend to create an enviable atmosphere where they can thrive. We are bulging film village, film cities for them and we are restoring some of our historic sites in Lagos. We are going to be commissioning and unveiling one of our museums and we are working with the British museum on this at the JK Randle centre.
“The last on the THEMES is the S, which is on Security and governance. Security for us is very important, we can not attract the level of investment we want if investors and visitors don’t feel safe in Lagos. So we need to strengthen our security channels and we are working with the three arns of government. But more importantly is to have a citizenr engagement in the level of governance and for our budget process for example, we have ensured that what we are doing our citizens are in tandem with us.”