May 22, 2024
We need to do a lot to attract more private capital into the Nigerian economy
How the year 2020 impacted Nigeria and what 2021 holds for the nation’s economy
– By Godswill Odiong

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By TOKI MABOGUNJE

I am pleased to welcome you all to the opening ceremony of the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair, the 35th in succession to be organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry. On behalf of the Council and the entire members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I would like to express our most sincere appreciation for your presence here this morning as well as your regular interest in and support for the Lagos International Trade Fair.

We feel honoured to play host to His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. who is here represented by the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo. I would also like to appreciate the Honourable Minister in his own right for honouring our invitation.
In the same vein, we are gratified by the presence here today of the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. We deeply appreciate the regular support of the Lagos State Government under the able leadership of Mr. Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu towards the successful hosting of the trade fair.

May I also welcome public and private sector dignitaries, each of whom deserves special recognition? We are honoured by the presence of members of the Diplomatic Corps, top government officials, leaders of the organized private sector, Chief Executives of corporate bodies and public institutions, management of Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), and other eminent guests. Distinguished Ladies & Gentlemen, I welcome you warmly to this opening ceremony and I say thank you for honouring our invitation.
Your Excellencies, the President, the Governor of Lagos State, Distinguished Ladies & Gentlemen, I am pleased to remind you that the 2021 edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair is being organized on the premise of our generic theme for our annual fair, which is ‘Connecting Businesses, Creating Value’. This theme underscores the importance of relationships and networking among businesses for the purpose of wealth creation. The theme also underlines the value of interactions between producers and service providers and end-users. This is the cardinal objective of the Trade Fair.

The economic conditions have been challenging even as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic shocks and disruptions since last year into this year. The Nigerian economy has recorded some impressive growth figures this year showing recovery of the economy. As investors, we need to continue to demonstrate our resilience and determination to forge ahead despite these challenges. As a chamber, we have strong confidence in the Nigerian economy, and we believe we would meet our growth target for this year. The LCCI’s trade fairs, specialized exhibitions, and several business events are some of the many ways we support trade and commerce in the economy.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry is committed to the vision of the current administration in respect of economic diversification and self-reliance. Our programmes, advocacy activities, and capacity development are geared towards the realization of economic aspirations. We recognize the imperative of non-oil sector development and the need to add value to our primary products in order to improve earnings for both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. This trade fair provides a platform to identify non-oil alternatives and highlights the significance of value addition. The trade fair equally serves as an avenue to boost economic and commercial activities
We appreciate and commend the intervention of the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government in mitigating the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses. We believe the various initiatives in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) will accelerate the pace of economic recovery and put businesses on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth. We have, however, always expressed our concerns about the country’s debt sustainability profile and revenue mobilization challenges.

Distinguished ladies & gentlemen, we need to do a lot more to attract more private capital into the Nigerian economy. In this connection, our economic and investment policies must be right, and our institutions must be investment-friendly. We need to fix the structural, institutional, policy, and regulatory issues impeding private sector development.

The Lagos International Trade Fair is a flagship legacy of the Lagos Chamber and has enjoyed enormous support from sponsors, partners, loyal exhibitors, government, and foreign embassies here in Nigeria. Let me appreciate the major sponsors of the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair who have supported the Fair in various ways. We thank the Choice Group International, the Bank of Industry, the TGI Group, FEDAN Investments Limited, Lifemate Furnitures, Grand Cereals Limited, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, and Gree Air Conditioners. Your support over the years has sustained the Fair, enhanced the brand reputation, and made it more relevant to the business community as a veritable platform for trade and commerce.

I want to also appreciate the inestimable contribution of the media to the Lagos International Trade Fair over the years. As we celebrate more than three decades of the Fair, the robust media coverage of the Fair has endeared the LITF brand to the hearts of many who have become loyal participants either as exhibitors, visitors, partners, and sponsors at the Fairs.

Your Excellency, the President; the Governor of Lagos State, Honourable Minister, members of the diplomatic corps, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, once again, I welcome you all to the opening ceremony of the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair. I thank you all for your kind attention.
– BEING THE WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE LAGOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, MRS TOKI MABOGUNJE AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 2020 LAGOS INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR ON FRIDAY, 5TH NOVEMBER 2021, AT THE TAFAWA BALEWA SQUARE, LAGOS

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