By Oyebola Owolabi
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated the need to ensure that the resolutions reached at the Economic Summit (Ehingbeti 2020) are attained.
The three-day summit, with the theme: ‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade’, had six plenaries, 20 discussion sessions driven by 146 speakers and panelists, and was attended by over 10,000 participants.
Sanwo-Olu, in his closing address, said: “…the conversation must not end here; the dreams and aspirations for the Greater Lagos that we seek and deserve must be kept alive in perpetuity. We must take the learning and conclusions from this summit, and use them to forge a plan of action and implementation that will ensure that the future we are envisioning for Lagos State comes to fruition.
“We have learnt, from the emergence and spread of the Coronavirus pandemic that we can never be too prepared. This time last year, Lagos had not yet seen its index case of the Coronavirus. A year ago, nobody anticipated what the next 12 months might look like. None of us could have expected or foreseen the near complete shutdown of the world, the transformation of travel, work, education, meetings and social life. What a difference a year makes!
“Indeed, so much has changed in the past year, humbling our confidence in the ability to predict and forecast what the future holds. The big lesson is that we must deepen our scenario planning capabilities, as national and subnational governments, and as corporations and business entities. We must plan for every eventuality, including the next pandemic, which will eventually happen, at some point in the near or distant future.
“Since the year 2000, under the vision and direction of former Governor Bola Tinubu, the Ehingbeti Summit has been a cherished platform for the conversations we should be having about where we want the city to be headed, and how to fast-track that journey. The narrative of progress and development in Lagos State over the last two decades will be incomplete without acknowledging the catalysing role of the Ehingbeti Summit. We must now begin to plan for the next, even as we take action on the resolutions of this one.”
Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat, who presented the resolutions, assured the people that the Sanwo-Olu administration is “always ready to listen and ready to act together.”
Some of the resolutions include that “the government must continue to provide an enabling environment and support for technology hubs. It should also provide venture capital to budding businesses and SMEs to boost their start-up capacity and sustain them.
“The government must harness the power of the youth and put policies and programmes in place to unleash their potential. Policies must be robust and treat the youth 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.”
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