The Lagos State Government has reiterated its unwavering commitment to the implementation of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda as a catalyst for continued development and making Lagos the desired destination for trade and investment.
Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lola Akande, made this known during a National Workshop on Raw Materials demand and supply in the Pulp and Paper Mills Industry in Nigeria at the LCCI Conference and Exhibition Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
She stated that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration remains committed to the economic development programmes that would consolidate the position of Lagos State as the 5th largest economy and the largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.
Her words: “As a State Government, we will continue to evolve investment-friendly policies that would act as a catalyst for the development of the various sectors of the economy”.
Commending the initiatives and efforts of the organisers of the National Workshop, Akande emphasised the increasing need to grow and develop a viable Paper and Printing Industry for the growth of Nigeria’s Economy.
She said: “This industry, in terms of its potentials for huge employment generation which is critical to our economic development, also plays an important role in the socio-educational sectors of our dear country”.
On the challenges of excessive cost of paper and related products, the Commissioner pointed out that the continued dependence on importation of papers and related materials has a negative effect on the country’s economic development.
She averred that Nigeria spends an appreciable percentage of her foreign exchange earnings annually on paper and related imports, noting that this has a huge strain on the economy.
“Statistics, according to the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON), show that Nigeria spends about N3trillion annually on paper related imports”, the Commissioner said.
Akande, however, implored the organisers, stakeholders and participants to proffer workable solutions to the challenges faced by the sector.