The Lagos State Government, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and some stakeholders have charged investors to invest in the Lagos Island axis of the state to enjoy massive returns.
They gave the advice at a webinar on Wednesday with the theme: “Harnessing Lagos Island’s Comparative Advantage: A Sectoral Analysis”.
The event was organised by the LCCI and the Technical Working Committee of the Lagos Island Economic Summit (LIECOS).
Mrs Solape Hammond, Special Adviser to Lagos State Government on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Investment, stated that investing in Lagos island was critical following its positioning, strong sustainability aspirations and commercial opportunities.
Hammond said key highlights of the blueprint for investment in the axis were its coastline advantage, youthful population, birthplace of commerce, tourist attraction, and go-to area for financial and transportation hubs.
She said that myriad investment opportunities ready to be tapped abound in real estate, transportation sector, finance including non-banking services, human capital, tourism and hospitality and technology sectors.
Hammond added that the green, blue and circular economies that drove sustainability were waiting gold mines in the state.
“Lagos Island has all the ingredients to become strong and vibrant, and the future is incredibly bright but the work has to start now.
“The state is also ready and committed to lead and provide for these investments from the perspective of sustainability,” she said.
Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, President LCCI, said the relevance of Lagos Island in the chronicle of Nigeria’s existence as a national entity could not be over emphasised as the heart of Lagos, and the centre of trade, commerce, finance, and administration.
He noted that the extensive and daily money-making activities had, over time, accelerated the transition of the Island from a mere trade point to a commercial nerve centre.
This, he said, underscored its immense potential along with the key structural components of the Nigerian economy, especially in distributive trade, real estate, transportation, logistics, tourism, and hospitality sectors.
“However, as the economic assets of the metropolitan mega-city increase by leaps and bounds, unintended consequences of rapid population growth, urbanisation, relentless demands for infrastructure, increasing demand for quality education services and healthcare are common realities.
“It is therefore imperative to develop a comprehensive blueprint for harnessing opportunities for the development of the Island to unlock untapped economic potential along with its areas of comparative advantage.
“The development agenda should be implemented in a way that allows for periodic performance assessments and continuous improvement,” he said.
Erelu Abiola Dosumu, the Erelu Kuti of Lagos, said the significant culture and documentation of history had helped enshrine Lagos Island culture and tourism.
She added that the main structures to promote culture and tourism were the palaces of the Oba of Lagos and those of the chiefs which housed artworks inherited and reclaimed.
“These facilities for showcasing great artworks abound in Lagos Island and these can be good tourist attraction mechanisms to drive the art and tourism sector.
“We must set up trust funds to protect the area and I am proposing an International festival in Lagos for a week to showcase Lagos-owned and Lagos-based artworks,” she said.
Mr Hakeem Ogunniran, Chairman, Board, Lagos Building Investment Company, said strategies to consider in revitalising the axis included holistic review and regeneration of the Lagos Island central business master plan.
He said the axis should create development corridors and initiatives, insulate the community business development from native and informal settlements, and attract more complimentary uses within the locality to deepen investments.