- Akosile – Lagos is the gateway to the aspiration of over 200 million Nigerians
As Lagos emerges as the fifth best African city with high desirability by people to live, work, and invest, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has pledged to intensify efforts for Lagos to top other countries in years ahead.
According to a recent report by Brand Finance City Index 2023, Cape Town, Cairo, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Lagos and Nairobi are the only six African countries that appear on the 100 world’s best cities as numbers 60, 67, 72, 76, 90, and 94 respectively.
Reacting to the announcement on Thursday during an interview programme on TVC News, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sanwo-Olu, relayed his principal’s excitement stressing that the government of the state is doing something right that enabled it to find itself in the pool of great cities across the globe.
Akosile said he was not surprised by the ranking, saying that Governor Sanwo-Olu and his predecessors had worked assiduously well to put Lagos in a favourable place on the global rankings.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s spokesman stressed that his principal has delivered on his electoral promises to Lagosians, thereby making the state habitable to residents and attractive to others.
He said: “Lagos is the gateway to the aspiration of over 200 million Nigerians. It is the gateway of Nigeria to the world, anyone who wants to come to the country for business thinks of Lagos first. In the last four years, the current administration has more than doubled the budgetary size from N888 billion in 2019 to about N1.7trilion in 2023 and it has been going on that way and what that means is that we are opening up the economy of the state with a lot of infrastructural renewal and developments.”
Akosile further reiterated the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s desire to place Lagos in the first position in years to come.
He revealed some of the plans of the administration to enhance the city saying, “Rome was not built in a day, it is a gradual process. By Monday, next week, we are going to be flagging off the commercial operations of the Blue Line rail from Marina to Mile 2. By the time it starts working, it will add up to the perception index of Lagos as a state where you can come and have peace of mind transportation-wise.
“Before the end of the year, we are going to flag off another one, that is one of the biggest – the Red Line. It is going to be moving a whole lot of people from the Eastern part of Lagos to the Western part of Lagos. By the time we launch the two, our perception will increase because more people will be desirous of living and working in Lagos because they know transportation won’t be a problem.”
Recalling the Governor’s trip to meet with Afrexim at Cairo, the capital of Egypt, Akosile said Sanwo-Olu is taking up diverse projects in different sectors to fulfill all the promises he made to Lagosians.
“When Governor Sanwo-Olu came on board, he promised to ensure Lagos becomes a smart city and what he means by that is to make everyone do their business with innovation and technology. What does the government do? What the government does is to provide you with the infrastructure to be able to do that.
“Lagos has done that over time if you look around you. There are CCTV cameras all over the state that we have been installing. And what this means is that people who want to work, invest, and do business in Lagos have peace of mind that their investments are safe,” he said.
Apart from the physical infrastructure, he also noted that Governor Sanwo-Olu is building a youth-friendly state, and “that is why the Governor has been giving young minds grants to ensure they create a lot of software to be used to solve challenges in Lagos State”.
Akosile also dismissed fears that Lagos may become too expensive to live in due to the recent rankings, saying, “The implication for the citizens is positive because they have a state where they can come to live and enjoy their lives and be happy.”