Lagos State has spent over N6.6 billion to equip security agencies in the last six months, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Samuel Babatunde Adejare, has said.
In a report by The Nation, he said the state government made security a priority to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, and as well encourage local and foreign investors to continue to do their busineses within the state,
“The administration boosted the Police with equipment worth N4.8billion last December, with more added recently by President Muhammadu Buhari. In other words, the state has, in all, spent over N6.6billion to equip security agencies in the past six months,” he said
The Commissioner spoke on the sideline of the “Business Luncheon for Managing Directors/CEOs” organised by the Ikeja branch of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Lagos, at the weekend.
With Manufacturing in a depressed economy: The way forward as its theme, the forum ex-rayed the challenges facing manufacturers particularly under the current foreign exchange (forex) crisis with a view to proffering solutions.
Adejare, who was Special Guest of Honour at the luncheon, said with the huge investment in security, the Police now have more attack helicopters, patrol vehicles, power bikes, gunboat armoured personnel carriers (APC), and bullet proof vests.
He also said an aggressive inter-modal infrastructure provision in the transport sector has seen the injection of 434 new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles in the Ikorodu corridor as well as the re-launch of the Blue Rail Project.
According to him, an ambitious water transport scheme is in the pipeline, while the health sector is also receiving attention, with the state approving a-N49billion Medical Park in Ikoyi. He said in addition, about 114 local government roads are currently being delivered.
The Commissioner assured that with the state’s huge investment on security, infrastructure, power, transport and related needs of the manufacturing sector, “our government will continue to put in place policies that will make the state the premier investment destination in Nigeria.”
According to him, the state already accounts for over 60 per cent of the industrial and commercial activities in Nigeria, which makes it a major hub and headquarters of key national and international businesses and professional organisations.
Adejare however, said regular dialogue between the state government and manufacturers was imperative in order to sustain the administration’s economic reforms and innovative policies aimed at making Lagos an investment destination of choice.
The Commissioner pointed out that such regular dialogue or synergy between the state government and private sector operators would lead to improvement in production capacity, rise in domestic and cottage industries, and more funding access to industries.
He listed other benefits that would flow from such synergy as stimulation of new ideas, greater use of home-made inputs and products, improvement in standardisation of products, and boost in export products.
Adejare also canvassed a more robust relationship between the government and MAN. “Some of our expectations from MAN include the need for manufacturers to strictly abide with the state laws on environment, sanitation and pollution; improve on occupational safety and health laws of their employees; continue the payment of statutory taxes and levies,” he stated.