Tuesday, 9 February 2016

*Mulls Lagos, Frankfurt sister-city relationship
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State,
has expressed the desire of his administration to
partner with the Federal Republic of Germany in
the areas of power, transport, technology and
development finance to bring about a quantum
leap in establishment and sustenance of
businesses in the State.
Governor Ambode, who spoke yesterday, at
Lagos House in Ikeja while playing host to the
President of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck, said
he was also favourably disposed to a sister-city
relationship between Lagos, the economic capital
of Nigeria and Frankfurt, the commercial hub in
Germany, especially in the area of financial
service sector.
He said Lagos, being a commercial hub and the
fourth largest economy in Africa with a GDP that
is bigger than those of 41 countries in the
continent combined, and Frankfurt, a major
economic hub in Europe should explore a
working relationship in terms of massive financial
service that would be mutually beneficial to the
two cities.
While stating that the parameters for high return
on investment abound in Lagos, Governor
Ambode said ever since assuming office, he has
deliberately put in place measures to encourage
foreign investment, adding that he had also
invested massively in ensuring the safety of lives
and property both of Nigerians in Lagos and
foreigners.
“One of the things I have tried to do quickly is to
uphold the situation that there must be sanctity of
law and there must be rule of law. We are
strongly committed to the security and judicial
sector reforms and we believe that is the only
way we can encourage investors to come and do
business in Lagos,” the Governor said.
He added: “I must recognize quickly the volume
of German investments that we have in Lagos
and I must quickly recognize what it means to us
because ultimately it is about creation of jobs for
our people and where we see a situation where
we have willing partners and by the
demonstration of the number and quality of
businessmen that you have brought in this
delegation, I am assured that we would have so
much to do together as we proceed.
“I will like to let you know that the key areas that
we are deeply interested in are power,
technology and transport. We believe that we
need to change the state of our transportation
system in Lagos and that is why we are quietly
talking to some German companies that we want
a situation where we can actually phase out
some of the buses that we are using for the
quality buses that come from Germany and we
are talking about buses to the volume of 10, 000
to 20, 000.
“Beyond that, we must also start to think about
creating assembling plants and also workshop
plants in Lagos to grow the economy of Germany
and at the same time grow the economy of
Nigeria,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier in his remarks, President Gauck said he
was delighted to be in Lagos which he described
as the centre of business, political development,
creativity and intellect in the art of West Africa.
President Gauck, who spoke through an
interpreter, said he was particularly delighted to
be in Lagos first on his visit to Nigeria, adding
that he would be willing to learn and hear more
about the successes of Nigeria and the problems
which the country has had to tackle.
“My visit is meant to underline the friendly close
ties existing between Germany and Nigeria.
“We have great interest in the area of trade and
we in Germany are ready to share our
experiences in those areas where you think they
might prove helpful or necessary and we are
happy to share the experiences we have
acquired in fostering security and fostering
social security. We are happy to share the
knowledge we have acquired in the field of
science and technology and cooperate with you,”
President Gauck said.
The German President, who was accompanied by
his wife and top government functionaries as
well as strong delegation from the business
community, said he would like to explore
partnership with Nigeria in areas of providing
vocational training assistance and strengthening
cooperation between private institutions and
government institutions, as well as partner on
transfer of entrepreneurial skills.
President Gauck, who is billed to meet with
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday,
further pledged the readiness of his country to
assist Nigeria with technical know-how to
successfully fight terrorism.
He added: “We ought to stay in touch, we ought
to be talking about coming together to further the
investment climate and look at how we can
invest here.
“All in all Mr. Governor, I’m delighted to be here.
I’m delighted about the opportunity to meet you
in person and to get to know this fascinating part
of Africa; to see its development, to see some of
its cultural diversity and the lively energy that
dominate this part of the world.”

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