The Lagos State Government on Tuesday received a major economic boost as the Kingdom of Belgium expressed its readiness to expand its bilateral ties with the State government.
The Kingdom of Belgium is ready to expand its bilateral ties with Lagos State with the aim of tapping into the several investment opportunities that abound in the State.
The Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, Mr. Daniel Bertrand during his courtesy visit to the Lagos Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget at Alausa, Ikeja, said the purpose of his visit was to familiarise with Lagos and the opportunities which will be presented to a delegation of Belgian business entrepreneurs who are interested in doing business in State, despite the already active Belgian business community in Nigeria.
He noted that a courtesy visit to the Governor would also be anticipated, as the Belgian delegation would be coming to Abuja and Lagos in the next few months to explore investment opportunities, as they are very interested in the Nigerian market.
He said: “One of the priorities of my term is to strengthen our bilateral ties, especially in the economic and commercial fields. There is a huge potential as there are some very active Belgian companies in Nigeria, an example is Nigerite.
“But I think that the potential is huge and we can be far more productive than we are and that is why we are going to welcome in the next few months a delegation of business entrepreneurs coming to Nigeria to see what they can do here as they are very interested in the Nigerian market and they will visit Abuja and Lagos.
“So, I’m here just to learn a little bit about Lagos and the opportunities and also to see if it is the custom to be welcomed by the Governor because it is a very important visit on our part and maybe a courtesy visit to the Governor will be needed as well,” the Ambassador said.
Delighted with the visit, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube reiterated the State government’s resolve in improving the economy with its partnership drive and numerous investment opportunities.
He explained: “We are pleased to have you in Lagos, we believe that partnerships actually form the bedrock of development and this is one of the pillars of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s government. Mr Governor believes that you must have several levels of engagement and partnerships to make things work. So, one of the things we strive to do is to ensure that those partnerships go beyond talk, into real definitive actions and as a result of that we welcome you with a lot of excitement.
“At the heart of it, we must attract investment and that means working very closely with the federal government, other state governments and our development partners and we are quite alive to that responsibility. We are restructuring our development partnership department, which resides here in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget to make it more proactive in partnering people to solve problems. We will like to co-create with our development partners,” Egube said.
In attendance were Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Belgium in Nigeria, Mr. Stef Commers; Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget, Aare Adebayo Sodade; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget, Mrs Abiola Liadi and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Budget, Mr. Lekan Balogun.