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Lagos State Debuts at London’s Lord Mayor’s Show, Signaling Global Ambitions

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Nigeria’s Lagos State achieved a historic milestone by participating in the prestigious Lord Mayor’s Show in London, marking Africa’s inaugural appearance at the event with an 800-year tradition. The participation reflects the state government’s aspirations to position Lagos as a global financial hub and attract foreign investment, especially amidst challenges faced by the federal authorities in revitalizing Nigeria’s economy.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, leading Nigeria’s contingent at the London parade, emphasized that Lagos’s participation is an invitation to the world to explore the abundant opportunities in the state. He stated, “Lagos isn’t just open for business — it’s open for transformative, groundbreaking projects that shape the future.”

Lagos, Nigeria’s former capital, remains the economic powerhouse of the country, contributing significantly to its GDP and port revenues. Despite its economic prominence, the state grapples with challenges such as inadequate infrastructure and rapid population growth, leading to overcrowding and increased demand for services.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, co-chair of the Lagos International Financial Centre Council (LIFC), highlighted Lagos’s readiness to position itself globally. He noted that the market infrastructure is now in place, and improvements have been made in market management.

While Lagos seeks to attract foreign investments, challenges persist. The US Department of Commerce identified foreign exchange restrictions and rising business costs in Nigeria as drawbacks for potential investors. Instances like the suspension of flights between Nigeria and the UAE and GSK ending its business in Nigeria due to soaring costs underscore the need for addressing these challenges.

Aig-Imoukhuede urged Nigeria’s financial authorities to focus on reducing the inflation rate and stabilizing the exchange rate. Addressing these issues, he emphasized, would enhance investor confidence and contribute to Lagos’s ambitions of becoming a global financial center. The participation in the Lord Mayor’s Show signifies Lagos’s determination to showcase its dynamism and progress on the global stage.

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