Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Monday said his administration had embarked on reforms aimed at generating 3000 MW of power within the next few years.
Ambode said this while declaring open the 7th Annual Public Lecture of the Lagos State Public Service Chapter (LSPSC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
The theme of the lecture was “Lagos at 50: Unlocking Its Economic Potentials for Sustainable Development.’’
He said that the power initiative would go a long way in scaling up the state’s economy and making life more comfortable for the people.
Ambode said that adequate power supply was a key factor needed to unlock the economic potentials of the state, adding that the sector remained strategic in reducing the cost of doing business.
He described the theme of the lecture as apt and in sync with the resolve of his administration to identify, explore and exploit the untapped potentials of the Lagos economy.
Ambode also said that was one of the reasons why the state government was adopting the approach of strategic, innovative and long term thinking and planning.
The governor added that the most effective and efficient way to unlock the economic potentials of Lagos was to open up the economy for private enterprises to thrive.
Ambode explained that it was for this reason that his administration had been delivering first class infrastructure and putting in place right policies to ensure a business-friendly environment.
The governor attributed the ongoing projects at the Eastern and Western axis of the state as well as Lagos Marina and Onikan to the resolve of his administration to unlock the tourism, entertainment and arts potentials of the state.
“Our smart city initiative will help to ensure that the state is cleaner, safer, productive and then more resilient thereby making the state more attractive for Foreign Direct Investment.
“Upon assumption of office in 2015, our administration created the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment and subsequently launched the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund and as at today, over 3000 entrepreneurs have benefited from the fund through access to low cost credit for their business.
“Lagos State is also actively involved in the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), a body comprising of all the South-Western States.
“Through DAWN and other platforms, we are working on a collaborative development plan, a regional economic integration which will help to minimise some of our current challenges such as high immigration, infrastructure deficit and traffic congestion.
“Government is committed to diversifying the Lagos economy and opening it up to the world.
“With the office of Transformation and Innovation, we are continually improving on the ease of doing business in the state.
“Consequently, we are continually open to welcoming and partnering with international investors and development partners toward achieving sustainable economic and social development,” he said.
Ambode, who said government alone could not implement all the reforms, urged accountants in the state’s public service to see themselves as key stakeholders in bringing about the desired outcome.
He charged them to be the best in their endeavours and help to strengthen the financial base of the state to facilitate execution of infrastructural projects vital to economic growth and development.
Earlier, ICAN President, Mallam Isma’ila Zakari, described Lagos State as a typical example of sustainable development in Nigeria.
He said that it was important for other states in the country to learn from the experience of the state and apply same to address their challenges.
Zakari, who was represented by Dr Innocent Okwuosa, an accounting lecturer with University of Reading, UK, said: “Lagos is a shining example in Nigeria.
“If every other state in Nigeria followed what Lagos is doing, perhaps all the issues confronting us as a nation would have been resolved.
“Lagos has gotten human capital and good leadership exemplified by the accountant at the helm of affairs in the state.
“Sustainable development is inclusive development and that is what Lagos is doing,”
In his address of welcome, the Chairman, Lagos State Public Service Chapter of ICAN, Mr Hakeem Tairu, said the lecture was significant coming at a time when the state was witnessing tremendous development.
Tairu said that development in the state was cutting across all sections and sectors of its economy.