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Buhari singles out Lagos for investment, other economic support

By Idowu Abdullahi

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that plans had been concluded by the Federal Government to do more for Lagos State through more massive investments and other economic support in boosting the state’s economic potential as one of the world’s fastest-growing megacities.

He indicated that the move had become imperative after his administration recognised Lagos as central to the economic fortunes of Nigeria and that the state must be prioritised in the scheme of things.

Buhari explained that the renewed pledge was in line with the apex government commitment to supporting the state in unleashing its full socio-economic potential, which he said, the central government has demonstrated in the last few years.

The president made the promise on Tuesday bin a video goodwill message to the Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit, themed ‘‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.’’

According to him, one of the significant ways in which our support has manifested to Lagos State is in the special federal funding that we approved in 2020 in acknowledgement of the state being an epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

Continuing, Buhari said, “the challenges of Lagos must therefore be very clearly seen as part of the challenges of Nigeria, and the Federal Government will support Lagos to overcome its challenges and to thrive socially and economically,” he said.

On the investment plan to revamp the National Theatre, the president told the 8th Economic Summit that his government had granted approval for the temporary transfer of the iconic federal asset on the Lagos landscape, to the Bankers Committee, which would invest in upgrading it and developing it into a world-class creative hub.

Buhari expressed confidence that the enterprising young people in Lagos would be the biggest beneficiaries of the National Theatre when fully upgraded into a world-class hub.

“Speaking of young people, we are aware of just how central they are to the Lagos economy, and to Nigeria as a whole. In the creative arts, culture and technology sectors, we are determined to continue to open up opportunities by which they can achieve their dreams and aspirations; as well as thrive in a safe, secure and increasingly prosperous country,” he said.

The president highlighted various other initiatives of the federal government being implemented in Lagos, including the National Social Investment Programme, the Energizing Economies Programme, the Economic Sustainability Plan, among others.

Commending the Lagos State Government for its partnership and collaboration with the federal government on the human development programmes, Buhari stressed the importance of understanding between national and subnational governments.

“Let me also acknowledge and salute the fact that we have a forward-looking administration in Lagos that is focused on infrastructure and improving the ease of doing business and the overall quality of life of Lagosians. The theme of this year’s Lagos Economic Summit invites us all to share our aspirations for a Megacity that boldly occupies its place in the global standing of Megacities.

“A Lagos that can keep up with its growing population in terms of housing, education, healthcare, security and jobs. A Lagos that is innovative and productive, and that ensures that its economic prosperity leaves no one behind. I enjoin all speakers and participants to go all out in the course of the next few days to think and contribute along these lines, and to come up with a practical masterplan for achieving this Lagos of our dreams,” he said.

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