The Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Olalekan Akodu has once again reinstated the major roles Growth and Employment in State is playing to ensure business and economic improvement in the state.
Akodu said at the Public Private Partnership engagement organized by GEMS has always been supportive in terms of facilitating business engagement between the public and private sector and the state government is looking forward for more frontiers to ensure that they partner with the organisation to take the state to greater heights.
The Permanent Secretary emphasized the roles the state government is playing to ensure that the state becomes private sector driven economy.
According to him, “The government of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has established three different agencies, the office of oversea affairs and investment, the ministry of wealth creation and employment and the office of civic engagement to promote business opportunities in the state and use it to reduce unemployment that is ravaging the nation.”
“Our objective is to make Lagos a mega city that is functional and productive because it is not the business of government to be in the actual production of good and service, we have left that for the entrepreneurs in private sector to do, our duties is to provide enabling environment for these businesses to thrive”, Akodu said.
He further mentioned that taxation is not strictly within the purview of the state government that there is a joint tax board that handles the issue of taxation.
“It is something that there must be a synergy between the federal government and state, even the local government to address the issue of multiple taxation. It is something that can be streamlined and can create that one stop center for business to understand what is payable to them. Taxation is important because without taxation, there cannot be provision of infrastructure.
Also speaking at the engagement, the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf said that the cost of running business in Lagos and other places of the country is one of the highest in the world.
He said that the high cost is due to a lot of issues that are not right with the country, “We have issues that people are embattling with which emanate from lack of good policy framework, lack of infrastructures, issue with macroeconomics environment which has to do with exchange rates, inflation, and many more.
“The cost of doing business in Nigerian and Lagos most especially is one of the highest in the world, it has made many business to be very uncompetitive, if we can fix infrastructure things will be fine.”
Yusuf also mentioned the issue of traffic which is crumbling many business activities.
He said that Lagos Chamber of Commerce is engaging the right authorities on how these challenges are impacting business activities negatively and prevail on them to fix it.
“We are engaging the state government to discuss issue on taxation and we are making some progress on all these major issues in the state, right now taxes are now being streamlined, system is becoming increasingly transparent, we have engaged them in the area of land issue though we are still not there because investors are still complaining on getting their certificate of occupancy. It is important to engage the state government to make things easier”, he said.
The Kaduna State GEMS3 Manager, Aisha Mujaddadi expatiated that GEMS3 works with private and public stakeholders at National, State and LGA levels to build and deliver a systematic framework that will make it easier to do business in Nigeria which lead to lasting improvements in economic opportunities for the poor and especially women in different states.
Mujaddai said further that GEMS 3 through its business environment program resolves environment issue most especially the one that will suit women to improve their life.
“When you empower a woman, you are empowering a lot of people. So what we do is to provide for them relevant information on what tax to pay because most of them lack access to information, we are empowering these women with all sorts of information on what to tax to pay, we tell them where to access finance and many more. We make sure that. With involvement of GEMS, we have seen a lot of changes in their life”, she said