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Return On Investments Is Real In Lagos - Fashola

Sep 9, 2008 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday confidently beckoned on investors to head for the State saying the return on investments is real because the population to be served is assured.

“The market is here, the profitability is real and the transparency of the economy is there”, declared Governor Fashola who spoke at the commissioning of a new carpet factory of Lucky Fibres Plc in Ikorodu.

According to the Governor, contrary to what some people think, Nigeria has a huge market that is waiting to be invested in as the demand is there.

Governor Fashola spoke apparently in reaction to some media reports that sharp practices in the real estate sector is responsible for the possibility of businesses in Nigeria offering returns of between 15 and 30 percent on investments made in the economy.

In his words: “There is a huge market that is under provided for in every term, whether it be housing stock, luxury goods, furniture and household equipments. This is a market waiting to be taken and every investor that steps into the market will control the market because it is still a sellers market. The demand continues to outstrip the supply and that is what accounts for the profitability of investment; and not corruption”.

While commending the faith and commitment of the Aswanis in not only Lagos State but Nigeria as a whole, Governor Fashola said by being ranked among the top 50 companies globally, Lucky Fibres Plc is a first locally and probably continentally.

He said the achievement has brought to the fore the need to address misconceptions about Lagos being a very expensive city to do business, adding that conclusions can only be arrived at after considering who is comparing and what is being compared.

In his words: “If a company that does not have uninterrupted power is competing with the top 50 across the world with companies that have uninterrupted power and take uninterrupted power for granted and is still holding its own, clearly it would probably move into the top ten or five, if it has uninterrupted power”.

He added that if any comparison is to done between Lagos and the City of London in terms of doing businesses, issues such as presence in London of underground transportation, water transportation, surface rail, bus transit system and a fully automated broadband should be considered and discounted as against what is currently obtainable in Lagos . It is only when you compare like with like that you can get true and fair results.

He said if one must compare, the comparison must be like for like and added that if Lagos as it begins to march towards the provision of those services has the facilities, it would even perform better in terms of the business indices.

The Lagos State Governor explained that today with the successes in the telecom sector, several companies are coming in because it is a huge market and therefore contrary to what people think, “Our market is rich, our market is waiting to be invested in, the demand is there”.

“We are opening up our businesses, we are opening up our practices, showing the way to our hearts, showing the way into governments and providing every support for every investor”, Governor Fashola emphasized.

He informed that the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) is an investor’s delight even as the government embarks upon the provision of infrastructure with many serious blue chip companies already taking up vantage positions and paying up, ready to roll out immediately infrastructure provision is completed.

He said the programme sets the administration close to its dreams of a state where facilities function and people live a peaceful and productive life.

Recalling that the location of the company was once a State –owned plywood plant, Governor Fashola said the success of the Lucky Fibres Plc in Ikorodu is a manifestation of the belief of the Government that it has no business in business, but that its role must be to provide an enabling environment for business to thrive and act as catalyst by making nominal investment where necessary to give confidence to investors.

In his words: “It must engage the profit driven zeal of the private sector and the managerial capacity and attention that follows that desire for profit as a strategic partnership in which to drive the economy and create jobs”.

He added that if the company had still remained as a State-owned plywood company which it was originally, all those given job opportunities would not have got that opportunity today.

The Governor charged Nigerians to cultivate the virtues of self reliance and entrepreneurship, adding that if Nigerians did not show commitment to the local economy, those it may ask to come and invest will not take them seriously.

Governor Fashola said the event therefore reinforces the desire of the government to engage in partnership with the private sector to enable it do better what it is better suited to do such as driving businesses, driving entrepreneurs and in a way that ensures that large scale entrepreneurs are the meat and soul of the fight against poverty.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Managing Director of Lucky Fibres Plc, Mr Haresh Aswani commended Governor Fashola for his efforts in changing the face of Lagos adding that the result is very obvious despite the short period he has spent in office.

He said the Lucky Fibres project is a good example of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) that has worked, adding that the mission of the organization is to beautify the homes of its customers and bring joy to the people.


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