Photograph — Nigerian Today

The Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit is set to kick off on Wednesday, February 28th 2018. An event which marks the beginning of a better economic relationship between two major commercial cities for sustainable economic development.

The presidency, governors of Lagos and Kano state, along with other stakeholders will converge for two days to discuss how to achieve successful partnerships between states.

Succinctly themed: “States Partnership as a Tool for Sustainable Economic Development,” the summit will serve as a platform to share ideas on major issues, attract investors and highlight areas of opportunities international agencies can collaborate on with each state. The strategic areas of discussion will be on ease of doing business, security, governance, agriculture, tourism, internally generated revenue, education and infrastructure in key areas of power, transportation and urban waste management.

Speaking with Thisday, the Commissioner for Finance in Lagos state and chairman of the summit, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, expressed the importance of economic alliances between cities. Considering the market size of both cities, the commissioner believes a successful collaboration will grow both states economically, which would, in turn, benefit the country as a whole. “It is therefore imperative to really enhance the relationship between cities. We believe sincerely we can collaborate better with the population we have, our comparative advantages and our combined GDPs. This can help us grow the GDP of our states and that of Nigeria,” he said.

This summit will also serve as a precursor to further economic partnerships between two of the most populous states in Nigeria. According to the commissioner, the collaboration would extend beyond just this summit and would encompass more economic activities than the streamlined agro-based partnership with Kebbi state. He said a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at the end of the summit, and this would serve to solidify the economic partnership.  

Mr Akinyemi Ashade, who is also the former Minister for Economic Planning and Budget, highlights the importance of this kind of collaboration to the country. He noted the area of Ease of Doing Business — an area fundamental to attracting investors to the country. He explained that “If Nigeria must continue to make progress on the ease of doing business, Lagos and Kano are vital. Our ranking improved in the last rating. Both Lagos and Kano states contributed to our improved ranking on the ease of doing business. If we must sustain that progress, we must really focus more on Lagos and Kano states.”

Considering these cities account for a majority of the economic activities in the country, a successful relationship will also spill over to other states in the economic value chain of both states.

An example of a successful state partnership is the agro-economic Lagos-Kebbi partnership that produced “Lake Rice.” The partnership provided residents of both states with access to rice by bridging the supply gap during the economic recession that gripped the nation. Just like Lake Rice, this latest partnership is also coming at the right time to attract investors to the crawling economy; it’s also a good initiative that states should consider in order to benefit from the comparative advantages of other regions.

When asked about Lagos partnering with other states, the commissioner revealed Lagos is about to finalise its membership of the Odu’a Investment and it’s also an active member of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN).

The summit is scheduled to hold at the Jubilee Chalets, Epe, Lagos, between February 28th and March 1st 2018, and will be graced by Yemi Osibanjo, the Vice-President of Nigeria; Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos; Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Governor of Kano state; Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and many other dignitaries.  


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