BrandArena: Lagos State Inaugurates Lagos International Financial Centre Council

Sunday 5 November 2023

Lagos State Inaugurates Lagos International Financial Centre Council

...To take ‘Open for Business’ message to the Lord Mayor’s Show in London

Lagos State and EnterpriseNGR, are poised to make history as the first African participants invited to join the prestigious Lord Mayor's Show’s 805th procession in London. The ground-breaking collaboration between Lagos State and EnterpriseNGR is built on their shared goal of positioning Lagos as Africa’s premier financial centre. To actualize this vision, Lagos State has inaugurated the Lagos International Financial Centre (LIFC) Council, in partnership with EnterpriseNGR. This member-led advocacy group promotes the growth and development of Nigeria’s Financial and Professional Services (FPS) sector as a catalyst for economic development.

With the LIFC Council leading the charge, and in line with its strategic mandate, to not only attract global investors but also to ignite a wave of economic growth and innovation within the state, Lagos aims to captivate global investors, unveil its potential as an investment destination of choice, and pave the way for a transformative era of economic prosperity.

Addressing the press at the Lagos House, Ikeja Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State., who will Chair the Council emphasised that the key objective of this historic participation in the Lord Mayor’s Show is to showcase the investment potential of Lagos and to elevate the State as a global investment destination; ‘Lagos is not just going to London for the parade and pageantry; this visit has a more strategic purpose.  This is a prime opportunity to showcase Lagos on a global platform. The newly inaugurated LIFC Council signifies not just an institutional milestone, but a commitment to a bold vision—positioning Lagos as the beacon of financial innovation in Africa.   

The Lord Mayor, Professor Michael Mainelli's invitation stands as a resounding endorsement of Lagos State's commitment to excellence, as well as recognition of its increasing economic prominence. This invitation aligns harmoniously with the council's mission to establish Lagos as a global financial hub, attracting investments that will fuel sustainable economic development.

Lagos and Nigeria's enduring history with the United Kingdom reflects a proud Commonwealth partnership since gaining independence in 1960. Nigeria remains dedicated to fostering diplomatic and economic ties, presenting abundant investment opportunities in sectors such as oil, finance, technology, agriculture, healthcare, and infrastructure. This resilient partnership, combined with Nigeria and Lagos's commitment to growth, creates a promising landscape for UK investors eager to contribute to and benefit from the nation's dynamic and expanding economy.’ He added.

EnterpriseNGR stands as the Voice of Enterprise. Fervently advocating for the growth and development of the Financial and Professional Services (FPS) sector, EnterpriseNGR plays a pivotal role in contributing to the nation's economic growth. Emphasising sustained growth across all FPS subsectors, the group advocates for an enabling and stable policy environment, with a specific focus on the transformative power of public-private partnerships. As a strategic partner in the historic delegation to the Lord Mayor's Show in London, EnterpriseNGR aligns its mission with the broader objectives of the LIFC Council, highlighting the indispensable role of such partnerships in driving sustainable development and investment.

EnterpriseNGR’s Chairman, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede CON, who joins the Governor as Co-Chair of the Council added; ‘EnterpriseNGR stands as a catalyst for transformative change in Nigeria's Financial and Professional Services sector. Our vision extends beyond advocacy; it's a commitment to incentivise investments that go beyond financial gains.  As we embark on this historic delegation to showcase Lagos on the global stage, we recognise the profound significance of attracting investments. Investment isn't merely a transaction; it's a catalyst for job creation, driving sustainable development and fostering a symbiotic relationship between investors, the State, and the communities at large.

Ms. Obi Ibekwe, CEO EnterpriseNGR commented, “EnterpriseNGR’s participation in this historic delegation to the Lord Mayor's Show underscores the critical role we play in driving transformative change within Nigeria's Financial and Professional Services sector. We are not just advocating for growth; we are actively working to create a dynamic, interconnected and thriving FPS sector. The inauguration of the Lagos International Financial Centre (LIFC) Council is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering strategic partnerships that contribute to the economic prosperity of Lagos and Nigeria."

The LIFC Council’s objective is clear - to align strategic partnerships that contribute to the economic prosperity of Lagos and Nigeria by establishing Africa’s premier International Financial Centre here in Lagos.  EnterpriseNGR’s membership of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres puts us in good stead to ensure global best practises and competitiveness of the Lagos International Financial Centre.

Our participation at the Lord Mayor’s show is an extension of welcoming hands to not just the UK audience but to the world at large with a clear message that Lagos is Open for Business. This delegation is a testament to our unwavering dedication to the larger vision of a prosperous and interconnected ecosystem and a Greater Lagos."

Lagos contributes more than 30% to Nigeria's GDP, accounts for about 60% of the country's energy demand, and is responsible for 90% of Nigeria’s foreign trade flow. It generates over 50% of Nigeria’s port revenues, and a remarkable 70% of the state revenue is internally generated. It boasts of a dynamic business environment, as well as a vibrant hub for innovation and technology, with a burgeoning tech ecosystem that rivals global counterparts.

The State has achieved significant milestones in 2023, including the commencement of the Blue Line Rail, the establishment of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, and the ground-breaking for the $100 million African Film City project in Epe. Private sector investors have also thrived in the state with Lagos being home to four tech unicorns, leading Financial and Professional Services players, FMCG companies and the largest single train refinery in the world. With attractions like tax holidays, access to a large market and gateway to other African markets, a burgeoning middle class, and a sound legal and regulatory framework that protects investments, Lagos provides a safe and secure business environment in a stable political setting.  

The delegation promises to leave an indelible mark on the global stage, contributing a chapter to the evolving story of the Lord Mayor's Show and fostering connections that transcend borders. As Lagos embarks on this historic journey, the delegation expressed gratitude to all sponsors who have made this critical mission possible, Coronation Group, Access Corporation, Lotus Capital, and Wema Bank. Their commitment reinforces the vision for Lagos State and emphasises the importance of global partnerships in shaping the future.  

In the coming weeks, Lagos, represented by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State. and the LIFC Council, will engage in strategic one-on-one and bilateral meetings with key UK-based businesses, investors, government officials, and Nigerians in the diaspora, all with one message: "Lagos is open for business. Come and invest in Africa's economic powerhouse."  

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