“Lagos GDP Growth Nears 50%, Exceeds 40 African Countries’ GDPs”: Gov. Sanwo-Olu

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• Lagos Governor Advocates for Sub-National Inclusion at AfriCaribbean Business Forum

Economic growth in Lagos State over the past two decades highlights the potential of sub-national governments to drive African development, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated at a transatlantic forum in the Bahamas on Wednesday.

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Speaking at the 3rd AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF 2024) in Nassau, Sanwo-Olu emphasized the role of focused leadership, internal revenue generation, and strategic partnerships in transforming Lagos into an economic powerhouse. Addressing delegates from Africa and the Caribbean, he spoke on the theme: “Global Africa, Global Lagos: The Role of Sub-Nationals in Driving the Global African Agenda.”

Notable attendees included former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Dangote Group Chairman Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who participated alongside the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings.

Sanwo-Olu highlighted Lagos’s evolution from a deficit-stricken state during the military era to a thriving hub of investment and technological advancement. He noted that the state’s GDP has surged by nearly 50% in the last five years under his administration, surpassing the GDPs of over 40 African countries.

The governor attributed this growth to efforts in improving the Ease of Doing Business and leveraging technology and entrepreneurship. “Lagos is a unique African success story, contributing over a third of Nigeria’s GDP despite being the smallest of Nigeria’s 36 states. Our GDP growth is a testament to effective public-private partnerships and innovative governance,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu also emphasized the critical role of sub-national governments in driving development and economic progress across the continent. “Lagos serves as a model for how cities and states can implement significant reforms and transformations, translating high-level goals into tangible outcomes.”

He illustrated how locally envisioned economic initiatives have made Lagos the most viable state in Nigeria. The Eko Atlantic City project, conceived by former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu (now President Tinubu), stands as a global model for environmental responsiveness and climate action. Other initiatives include the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lekki Deep Seaport, the 10-lane West African Border Highway, and intracity rail infrastructure.

Sanwo-Olu praised the entrepreneurial spirit of Lagos’s youth, which has positioned the city as a global hub for digital technology and innovation. “We have harnessed the creativity and talent of our young people, leading to the emergence of fintech unicorns like Interswitch, Paystack, and Flutterwave. This innovation ecosystem is supported by conducive policies and incentives,” he said.

He also discussed the landmark gains from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), describing it as a revolutionary initiative that aims to unlock the full potential of free trade across Africa.

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