There were a number of resolutions reached after 3 days of intense dialogue over the future of Lagos at the Ehingbeti summit under the theme “For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.”
Ehingbeti held 6 Plenary and 20 Deep Discussion Sessions driven by 146 Speakers and Panelists with over 10,000 participants (or 5,500 people per day) in attendance.
Ehingbeti examined six thematic areas – Destination Lagos: Shaping Up as the World’s Best Investment Destination, Strengthening Governance, Institutions and Legislation, 4th Industrial Revolution: The imperatives and prospects for the Digital Economy, Roadmap to Shared Prosperity – Ensuring Inclusive Human Capital Development, Funding Growth Sustainably and Sustainability, Resilience and Impact.
The following are some of the key insights from the Summit:
- It was recommended that Government continues to provide an enabling environment and support of technology hubs. It was also requested that the State continue to provide venture capital to budding businesses and SMEs to boost their start-up capacity as well as sustain them.
Lagos State Response: The Lagos State government said it will look to deepen its work in this area through existing and new programs at LSETF, LASRIC, and the Ministries of Wealth Creation, WAPA and Youth and Sports Development and welcome collaborators to work with it.
- It was recommended that Lagos harness the power of the youths and to put policies and programs in place to unleash their potential. Policies must be robust and treat the youths as assets – and concerted youth-focused capacity building in digital literacy, STEM, the arts, entertainment, sports and other sub-sectors must be created by the Government in partnership with the private sector.
Lagos State Response: “We recognize that youths are different from us and capable of making their own way in the world – therefore, we must seek to understand them and how to adequately support them,” the Deputy Governor of Lagos State said.
- Another overwhelmingly emphasized point was the need to improve the State education system through a thorough overhaul of the curriculum with a view to providing an education that meets 21st Century realities thereby reducing youth unemployment.
- Lagos State plays a critical role in the industrialisation of Nigeria, and indeed the success of Africa. Hence, the State was mandated to venture audaciously in projecting its brand, and taking advantage of the coming large united African market.
- Some of the conspicuous infrastructure development, especially increased road networks, housing schemes and optic fibre investments were appreciated and encouraged to be scaled up to cater for its demographic endowment. Stakeholders in Lagos were enjoined to collectively invest in the infrastructure of the future i.e telecommunication, the green economy and renewable energy.
- Given the importance of ease of doing business, the Lagos State Government was implored to reinvent its processes and operations to improve transparency and accountability and secure the trust and confidence of stakeholders sustainably. The State also needs to continue promoting accountability through responsible and responsive revenue institutions as well prudent deployment of tax policy that can be accurately determined.
- The invaluable role of data in economic growth and development was noted and Government was enjoined to upgrade the functions of the Lagos Bureau of Statistics to be an independent, professional Bureau so as to boost data management for development.
- Lagos State Government was commended on its commitment to gender balance in public appointments and advocated continuous improvement on it.
- The Summit also recommended greater attention to be paid to matters of women and children and emphasised that Government must continue to pay attention to the inclusion of people with disabilities as well as the poor and vulnerable in the society.
Lagos State Response: “With the establishment of our State Social Register and Social Protection Policy enacted in 2020, we will work to make the required social investments, alongside our many partners in the private, civil society and development sectors to meet the needs of our people. Above all, we recognise the place of citizens as critical stakeholders and commit to according them their pride of place in our business processes and service delivery.”
- The State Government was implored to continue to build strong law enforcement institutions, develop zero-tolerance for law breaking and indiscipline as well as hold its Public Officers accountable for unethical behaviour. Investmentment in technology to drive e-government, e-commerce and security must be intensified.
- The summit emphasized that current level of public enlightenment and publicity of Government’s plans, projects and programs needs to be improved. There is a need to ramp up and find new ways of creating public awareness and improving participation in government programs.
- All parties stressed the importance of and renewed commitment to improved partnerships and collaboration across national, state and other sub-national governments, the Private Sector, Civil Society and the international community.