In furtherance of its quest and avowed commitment to economic development and trade growth between Nigeria and South Africa, the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce has taken another leap with the hosting of Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Dapo Abiodun, MFR of Ogun State.
The occasion was the October edition of its monthly breakfast meeting held at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suits, Victoria Island, Lagos on October 31, 2019. Since its inauguration in 2000, the Chamber has initiated policies and programmes toward promoting commerce and other businesses between the two countries’
The event which was sponsored by Phillips Consulting, a leading professional service firm and chaired by Oba Otudeko, the patron of the chamber, brought together business leaders, industrialists, leaders of thought, scholars, experts and business journalists.
Clearly, the agenda was unmistakable — Lagos State, Nigeria’s economic capital and Africa’s fifth largest economy is faced with overpopulation and dearth of infrastructure.
The neighbouring Ogun State, is Nigeria’s emerging industrial hub which is blessed with abundant “unutilized’’ land mass and sprawling infrastructure and industries.
Going by the palpable excitement in the hall as well as the questions that Mr Folusho Philips, the Chairman of the chamber and Philip Consulting – sponsors of the event, who moderated the session asked the two governors, and by the brilliant answers given, no one present was left in doubt that the two states are set for business in an unusual manner.
The insightful questions and the contributions from attendees made the occasion a very fruitful and engaging one.
However, since it was a breakfast meeting that had the very time-conscious Oba Otudeko as its chair, the governors did not have enough time to share all the details of their robust plans and strategies.
It was very impressive though, that with such limited time, the governors were able to clearly show by their statements their appreciation of the strategic roles the partnership between the two states could play in the development of trade in Nigeria, and the peculiar circumstances that surround the fact that as states, they are sub-nationals lacking any federal powers, which obviously would limit the speed with which certain decisions could be taken. With this in mind, they had gone ahead to institute what they called the ‘Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission’.
The commission will be co-chaired by the Deputy Governors of both states. This they believe will help provide a proper framework that would ensure that the desired objectives are achieved and in good time too.
They also underscored the fact that their focus is on and around trade, investments and industry guided by three anchors: trade facilitation and agreements, ease of doing business; and the economic growth and well-being of their citizens.
From their submissions, it was obvious that they had given good considerations to sovereign governance and productivity around these anchors.
No doubt, it is a good prism through which a fit-for-purpose conversation around sub-national productivity and economic well-being can be approached. Kudos to Governors Sanwo-Olu and Dapo Abiodun for their distinguished performance and outside the box approach to governance.