…As State Assembly ends 3-day retreat for lawmakers, legislative workers on 2023 budget***
The Lagos State Government has reiterated its readiness to create value for businesses by adopting policies that encourage entrepreneurs in line with global best practices.
Dr. Lola Akande, Lagos Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives, said this at the closing ceremony of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) on Sunday in Lagos.
The 2022 LITF which is in its 36th edition is organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Akande, describing value creation as the bedrock of any business, said it distinguished a brand from competitors and secured customers’ loyalty on a long-term basis.
She said that the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had put in place a dogged public service that was working to facilitate an enabling business environment for all.
Akande added that the administration continued to maintain the status of a committed business crusader, creating public value for entrepreneurs in an unstable environment due to global economic challenges.
“Without creating value for business, its unique offering will be lost, among other commodities, to the target market.
“The understanding of value creation and connecting businesses in this volatile economic space is germane.
“There is the need for deliberate and meaningful engagement with key stakeholders in order to enhance an understanding of the positive impacts of networking in business.
“This can form a basis for continuous assessment of the benefits, and development of strategic roadmap towards its long term implementation, while drawing on the strength of E-Commerce or digital marketing,” Akande said.
She said that Lagos; with a population of over 20 million and a top destination for investors and tech startups in the global tech market would continue to provide support.
Akande noted that through the efforts of the state government, technology entrepreneurs have come to know Lagos as one of the most improved environments to do business.
According to her, out of over $1.7 billion venture investments that came into Nigeria, 70 percent came into Lagos start-ups.
“Over the past six months, about one billion dollars in data centre investment has poured into Lagos because of some of the projects the state is executing and some of the regulations we are pioneering.
“The administration of Sanwo-Olu has a Smart City Plan to transform Lagos into a technology-driven state, hence, connecting businesses, creating value for stakeholders in the various sectors of the economy to thrive in their day-to-day business activities,” she said.
Mr. Keye Kupoluyi, Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, LCCI, lauded the efforts of the state and federal governments, regulatory and traffic management agencies, sponsors, exhibitors and all participants at the 2022 LITF for their immense support.
“We have done our best within the limits of prevailing circumstances to ensure a hitch-free fair.
“I am confident that our exhibitors got value for their participation at this fair,” Kupoluyi said.
In another development, a three-day retreat organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly for lawmakers and legislative workers on the N1.692 trillion 2023 budget presented by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu ended on Sunday.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu presented the budget entitled “Budget of Continuous Development’’ to the House on Oct. 27.
The House committed the budget to its committees on Economic Planning and Budget and Finance for scrutiny.
Addressing the close of the retreat, Speaker of the House, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, admonished the various House committees and staff to ensure proper screening of the budget to close the gap between estimated figures and anticipated revenue.
The speaker also tasked the committees to be prepared so they could ask Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) relevant questions during budget defence and oversight functions.
“All over the world, the economy has been badly affected. Here in Lagos, we have our own challenges.
“Bridging the gap between the budget size and anticipated revenue is what the House should do. When the Executive arm determines the cost of projects, the committees should be able to check for the value of such projects.
“I am sure everyone recognised what we have been doing in Lagos State and I urge you to continue on the same trajectory so you can always be appreciated.
“The House supports participants to critically review the 2023 budget strategies and issues for engagement with MDAs during their budget defence.
“The retreat sought to enhance participants’ understanding of the Lagos State Fiscal Law/Public Financial Management Law and ancillary matters,’’ Obasa said.
Earlier, the Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, noted that the retreat was an opportunity for the lawmakers to familiarise themselves with the breakdown of the 2023 budget.
Onafeko explained that this was to ensure continuity in budgetary guidance from lawmakers to the people of Lagos State.
Also addressing the ceremony, Mr. John Mutu, a representative of the consultancy firm that facilitated the retreat said the organisation would help members to reflect deeply on the budget with a view to getting a direction.
He added that the retreat would enable lawmakers to effectively do a post-mortem of the 2022 budget and identify priorities of the state that could be accommodated in the 2023 budget.
The theme of the retreat was: “Consolidating the gains of the current administration in Lagos State in a transition year: Prospects, opportunities, and recommendations.’’