By Merit Ibe
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for rail link across key projects commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday to maximise the benefits of the infrastructure and facilities. It said connecting rail network that supports movement of goods and persons will facilitate trade and commerce within the state and across West African borders.
The Director General of the Chamber, Chinyere Almona, noted that the commissioning of the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Lagos Rice Mill at Imota, the 18.75killometres Eleko-Epe rigid pavement six-lane expressway, the first phase of the Blue Light Rail from Mile 2 to Marina and the John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, are significant factor in driving development in the state.
She also urged the Federal Government to be sensitive to the massive private investments in various states and be more intentional in creating a stable policy environment,and halting policy summersault that has damaged iinvestor’ confidence in the country.
Almona noted that with a rail connection, Eko Rice can easily move into the West African market to explore the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“With access to the African market, farmers in Lagos are encouraged to commit more investments into rice production, create more jobs and provide more rice paddies to beat the rising cost of the product.
“With infrastructure remaining a critical driver of growth and development, the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Nigeria’s largest seaport with a draught of 16.5m, will support trade and commerce in Nigeria and the entire West African region. The 32-metric tonnes per hour Lagos Rice Mill at Imota-Ikorodu was also launched to produce rice for Lagos residents and possibly for export.
“The intent to ease transportation in Lagos led to the conceptualisation and eventual launch of the Lagos Blue Line Rail project. This project is part of fulfilling the request for a multi-modal transport system in Lagos to ease the traffic jams experienced by Lagos residents.”
The Chamber commended the Lagos State Government for its efforts to provide infrastructure, which positively impacts the economy, growing the GDP of the State and that of the Nation.
“We urge finance development institutions to support rice farmers in Lagos to scale up their production capacity to meet local demand.
“LCCI encourages other state governments to provide the needed infrastructure to spur economic activities and growth in their states. We also call on the Federal Government to be sensitive to the massive private investments in various states and be more intentional in creating a stable policy environment. Policy summersault has remained one of the most damaging factors to investors’ confidence.”