Fashola Invites Chinese Government To More Partnership Opportunities In Lagos
• "Lagos will be the anchor of the African Economy", says Chinese Consul General
Jun 27, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Wednesday called for increased partnerships between the State and the Chinese Government particularly in the areas of Power, Agriculture/Agro-allied, Transportation and Housing sectors saying a lot could be achieved in those areas with such partnership and funding collaboration.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Lagos House, Marina, while playing host to the new Chinese Consul-General in the State, Mr. Liu Xianfa, said the economic policy thrust of his administration now focuses on the four sectors as the most viable means to boost the State's economy and improve the living standard of the people.
The Governor said although the Chinese Government, through its corporations, already has very impressive commercial and economic relationship with Lagos especially in the Transportation sector, Agriculture, Power and Housing have opened new windows of investment that calls for such increased partnerships.
"Our economic policy thrust now focuses critically on four areas – Power, Agriculture/Agro-Allied, Transportation and Housing. We have been very active in the Agriculture/ Agro-Allied sector and the Housing sector. But we believe that there is a lot more that can be done if the partnerships and the funding collaboration can be put together", the Governor said.
Governor Fashola noted with satisfaction that the Chinese Government is already partnering with Lagos in the Lekki Free Trade Zone through the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the Light Rail Project and lately the phase two of the Lagos – Badagry Expressway expansion as well as other major infrastructure projects adding, "These do not include the projects that have been already successfully completed".
"We hope that as China expands the sphere of her economic influence, we will see more partnerships and investments by the Chinese Government through her corporations in Lagos State", the Governor said adding, "For me, diplomatic relations count for little if they do not create economic opportunities for the interest of those involved, in this case the Chinese, the Nigerian and the Lagos interests".
Welcoming the new Consul General to Lagos, Governor Fashola, who noted the good relationship between the State and immediate past Consul-General, expressed the hope that the new one would expand the relationship and make it more beneficial to the peoples of Nigeria, Lagos and China.
"We had very useful working relationship with your predecessor in the sense that he had, apart from being a member of our diplomatic family and community, also become a member of the Lagos Family. He related very well and I am sure we can only expect to build on the relationship and successes that he established", the Governor said.
Governor Fashola assured the new Consul-General of the support and cooperation of his Government to enable him succeed during his tenure in Lagos. "You can count on all of our support to make your tenure successful", the Governor said.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Consul-General had told Governor Fashola that he was at the State House to officially present himself as the new helmsman in the Chinese Consulate in Lagos and to solicit for the cooperation of the Government to enable him carry out his duties successfully.
Mr. Xianfa, who said he was meeting Governor Fashola for the third time since his arrival three months ago, lauded the Governor for his love and care for the people, especially as demonstrated during the Dana Air accident in the State as well as the monumental achievements of his administration in the last five years.
"I have visited the Light Rail project and others and all I have seen have convinced me that Lagos will be the anchor of the African Economy. People tell me I am lucky to be here because Lagos under your leadership is prospering. Personally, I am impressed by the Mega-City Plan", the Consul-General said.
Pledging to do his best to expand the relationship built by his predecessor, the Consul- General who expressed deep interest in learning the history and culture of Nigeria declared, "Even before I came here, I know that Nigeria is the cradle of the African culture".
Accompanying the Consul-General on the visit were his Deputy, Mr. Qui Jian and a Director in the Consulate, Mr. Xu Chumman while on the Lagos State Government side were the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Taofiq Tijani, his Works and Infrastructure counterpart, Dr. Femi Hamzat, Special Adviser to the Governor on Central Business District, Mrs. Aderinola Disu and the Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Relations to the Governor, Ms Toyin Caxton- Martins.