Lagos governor reveals serious challenge before his administration

L-R: Protocol Officer, Chinese Consulate General in Lagos, Mr. Zhang Yalong; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Diaspora and Foreign Relations, Mr. Jermaine Sanwo-Olu; Chairman of Chinese Interactive Group, Chief Diana Chen; Special Adviser to the Governor on SDG, Mrs. Solape Hammond; Consul General of China in Lagos, Mr. Chu Maoming; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Deputy Consul General, Mr. Guanzhonggi; Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; CNOOC General Manager Operational, Mez Zheng and Managing Director, Lekki Free Trade Zone, Mr. Huane during a courtesy visit by the Chinese Consul General to the Governor at Lagos House, Ikeja, on Monday.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that a serious challenge facing his administration is population explosion.

He said his administration’s development agenda was aimed at leveraging the population of the State for sustainable socio-economic development.

The Governor added although the State was facing the challenges of growing population, his administration was prepared to turn the burden to opportunities by training people and equipping them with life skills.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Monday while hosting the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Chu Maoming, in Alausa on a courtesy visit.

The Governor said his administration would be expanding the state government’s relationship with the Chinese government to build human capital by exposing young population in the State to training opportunities in diverse areas, including technology, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and cultural exchange.

“Lagos and China can learn from each other, because we share similarities in several areas. Both entities are both hugely populated, with Lagos being the most populous city in Africa. China has a huge population not only in Asia, but also in the world. Based on these similarities, we can promote value exchange that would lead to improved human capital development on both sides, Sanwo-Olu said.

“Lagos is growing by the day and we are faced with the challenges of catering for this population. We initiated a development agenda that is aimed at harnessing the potential of residents. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with China, which would explore opportunity of technology transfer to build the skills of our young people.

Also, there are many exchange opportunities in Chinese manufacturing sector, agriculture, construction and culture. Our people need to take advantage of this opportunity for employment generation.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu observed that Lagos and China shared long history of collaborations, but added that his government would deepen the relationship.

Maoming said the Chinese private sector investors had concluded to increase the volume of trade with Lagos to the tune of billions of dollars, stressing that the investment would result in job creation and knowledge transfer.

He said: “I arrived Nigeria in May and I have visited a lot of Chinese businesses operating across the country, including Lagos. Today, there is good news. Chinese business community has concluded the plan to increase their size of investments in Lagos. The presence of Vice Chairperson of the China’s biggest oil company, National Offshore Oil Corporation, here today is an indication of the readiness of the Chinese business community to inject billions of dollars in the Lagos economy. We are exploring other areas of opportunity in which China and Lagos can cooperate to sustain our bilateral partnership.”

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