Organisers of Ehingbeti, the private sector-centered economic transformation conference, at the midweek announced that the event originally scheduled for November 2020, will now hold from February 16-18, 2021.
The summit, now in its 20th year, is a public-private sector roundtable that started as a collaborative effort between Lagos State Government and Business Club Ikeja. It is seen as an ingenuous socio-economic apparatus with significant contributions to the evolution of Lagos State into a major economy in sub-Saharan Africa and an admirable megacity.
The summit, which will be a hybrid of virtual and live events, is expected to draw participation from different sectors of the economy and from across the globe, besides its other significant role in the wider Rebuild Lagos Agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration and its developmental campaigns.
Although, no explanations were given as to the decision, the rebuild Lagos agenda is probably against the backdrop of the destruction of private and government properties, including monumental assets across the state following the EndSARS protests across the state that was unfortunately hijacked by hoodlums.
Over the last two decades, successive governments in Lagos State since early days of the fourth republic, have hosted the summit as a way of consistently redefining the dynamics of public-private sector collaborations for development across social and economic indices in the State.
Explaining the role of Ehingbeti 2021 in the Rebuild Lagos Agenda, a statement by the organizers quoted Sam Egube, a Co-chair of the Steering Committee, as saying that stakeholders are “deploying Ehingbeti as a recovery strategy from the shockwave of COVID-19 and as a socio-economic reinforcement tactic at this period in the history of our State is timely.”
According to Egube, who is also Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget: “in the last two decades, Ehingbeti has played a pivotal role in the transformation of Lagos State, with useful inputs into the Lagos State Development Plans (LSDP).
“Our realities from 2000 when the first Ehingbeti held, exactly 21 years ago, have significantly changed. Now, we have to cater to the infrastructural needs of more than 22 million population and ensure that Lagos remains on the path of continuous growth”.
Recall that last November, Governor Sanwo-Olu constituted an eight-man team led by the Chairman of Citibank Nigeria and Co-Chair of Ehingbeti, Olayemi Cardoso.
The team was inaugurated at an event tagged “Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos” at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in the Lagos State Secretariat, with Vice President Yemi Osibajo, Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gabajabiamila, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; and Senator Solomon Adeola, in attendance.
Other stakeholders who attended the event aimed at restoring the destroyed infrastructure were members of the organized private sector, diplomatic corps and captains of industry including the Chairman of Dangote Group, who was represented by the Group’s Executive Director, Mansur Ahmed.
At the heart of Nigeria’s first state-institutionalized economic forum is the quest to strengthen existing relationship between government and the private sector since greater private sector participation in governance is a prerequisite for a functional state.
Since the inaugural summit in 2000, Lagos State has gained useful insights from contributions by innumerable business and political leaders, renowned economists, notable development experts and outstanding scholars, who have participated from different parts of the world in the Lagos Economic Summit Group (LESG) events.