Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says Lagosians will start using the blue line of the light rail project by December 2016.
Ambode spoke during the 5th Lagos Corporate Assembly, a forum for public-private sector engagement, at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
He said, “The contractors are actually working on the waters for now and by December this year, the project will start running. So, work is seriously ongoing.”
Ambode added that the government was about concluding on the channelisation of the waterways in Lagos to improve water transport, encourage investment, and reduce the pressure on road networks in the state.
He said the state would continue to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive with the overall aim of improving on the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens.
Ambode said as part of measures aimed at encouraging investment, his administration created the N25bn Employment Trust Fund to give soft loans to entrepreneurs, while the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investments, the Office of Civic Engagement, as well as the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment Generation, were established to promote investments.
He said his administration was in the process of establishing the Lagos Micro Finance Bank, to help business owners to grow.
He said, “We are in talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria on this and very soon we shall come up with the Lagos Micro Finance Bank and this is another effort geared towards the economic wellbeing of our people.”
Speaking on the strategy to reduce traffic in Apapa, Ambode said, “The idea is that when we open up the Ikorodu area and construct the Ishawo-Oke-Oko Creek Road to connect the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway from there, we will finally put a stop to the activities of pipeline vandals so that we can begin to directly pump petroleum products from Atlas Cove in Apapa to Mosimi, and then the tankers will have no business coming to Lagos to lift products.”
The governor, who spoke on several other issues affecting businesses in the state, said he would work on a strategy for the collection of rates and permanently tackle the menace of touts.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Rotimi Ogunleye, said the forum was an avenue for the government and the private sector to interact and discuss issues that were germane to the industrial growth of the state.
He assured the private sector that the Ambode-led government was poised to assist the industrial sector to maximise its potential for greater contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of the state.