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The Lagos State government is seeking public and private collaboration to foster growth and investment in river transport to reduce congestion in the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State revealed it during the Lagos Waterways Investment Summit hosted by the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in Lagos yesterday.
The summit was the first edition organized by Future Cities Nigeria (FCN) and LASWA.
The theme of the event is “Lagos State Transport: Opportunities for Transformation and Investment”.
Sanwo-Olu said the areas of investment required by the private sector included the provision of water transport (passengers, cars and goods), infrastructure construction and management, technical partnership and advice, financing and the supply of logistics.
He said the state covers 1,171 square kilometers of Nigeria’s land mass, 40 percent of which is water, with lagoons and coves covering 22 percent.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Mr. Ope George, special adviser of the Office of Public-Private Partnerships, said that a successful partnership with the private sector in the waterways will bring a positive change to the socio-economic status of the state.
The governor noted that the state government has made some interventions in the waterways sector, which would further strengthen the enabling environment for the private sector.
The fact that the Lagos State Ferry Service (LAGFERRY) transported members of the national football team, the Super Eagles, to Porto Novo on March 26, he said, is a bold testament to this vast potential.
He noted that the state is the most populous and engine room of its business and commerce, housing the headquarters of many giants in the financial and industrial sectors.
Sanwo-Olu’s Special Advisor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Investments, Ms. Solape Hammond, said the state pledged to identify and promote real and specific foreign direct investment on the waterways of the state.
Hammond said the state will always serve as a “business mediator” who helps investors and the local business community navigate government bureaucracy.
She noted that the state would also serve as a one-stop-shop for investors intending to invest in Lagos State, thus promoting private, civil and development partnership.
Hammond said it was an indisputable fact that Lagos derived its long-standing excellence to a large extent from the worthy contribution of private investment to its socio-economic development.
“We assure our potential investors that your investments are safe. Fitch International has just upgraded our rating from AA + to AAA long term for tax red pins,” she said.
LASWA Director General Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, highlighting the achievements of the state government in the waterways, said he had access to 15 of the 20 local communities in the waterways.
Emmanuel said the purpose of the waterways investment opportunities is to provide accessible and affordable alternative public transport service to all sections of the state.


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