The Lagos State Government has inaugurated Investment Champions who are to serve as investment desk officers in the various Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) as part of efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the State.
Speaking on behalf of the Special Adviser, Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment, Prof, Ademola Abass at the inauguration and sensitisation of Investment Champions in Alausa on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary of the Office, Dr. Olajide Basorun stated that the idea of investment champion was part of government’s strategies to ensure that investors have pleasant experience in the State.
He urged the investment champions who are drawn from all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to work together with the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment to bring about a drastic reduction in obstacles militating against doing business in Lagos.
According to him, “As investment champions, your role is critical in positioning Lagos as the most desirable investment destination in the world. You are to act as investment agents in your various MDAs, fast track information on investment enquiries, follow up on investment proposals within your MDAs, direct investors to the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment and provide prompt professional investment services to Lagos Global.”
Prof. Abass also noted that the effectiveness of these desk officers along with other measures such as improvement in the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, paying taxes are important to bring about improvement in the ease of doing business rating of the country, considering the fact that about 73 percent of Nigeria’s ease of doing business rating was based on the Lagos economy.
He maintained that countries are rated by the World Bank Group, “Doing Business” based on the relative ease of doing business within their shores, using certain parameters including the ease of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, paying taxes, trading across borders, getting credit and enforcing contracts.
The Special Adviser noted further that on this basis, Nigeria was rated 169 out of 189 countries with Lagos State alone contributing 73percent of Nigeria’s rating. This implies that as we continue to enhance the ease of doing business in Lagos, the ranking of the entire country will go up.
Abass hinted that the goal of the State government is to move the country up by 20 places on the ease of doing business rating by 2017 as this is the logical consequence of progress being made in this direction.