Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has been appointed vice president of Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), an interest group established to promote trade and investment by facilitating engagement between government and the private sector throughout the Commonwealth.
Chief Executive Officer of CWEIC, Oliver Everett, who stated this while meeting with a group of Nigerian businessmen at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said Ambode would be in office alongside Lord Mayor of the City of London, Jeffrey Mountevans, as co-vice president of the council for the next one year, subject to renewal for another year.
Everett, who was in Nigeria to talk to small business owners on investment opportunities in Commonwealth nations, especially in Europe, said Ambode’s appointment was a major pointer to the fact that Nigeria and indeed Lagos is open for real and serious investment.
The meeting with a select group of small business owners was facilitated by the Office of the Special Adviser on Oversees Affairs and Investment, otherwise known as Lagos Global, a one stop shop created by the Ambode administration to facilitate investment and enhance ease of doing business in the state.
While tutoring small scale business owners on investment opportunities in Europe, Everett advised them, for instance, to avoid production of sugary drinks, saying a lot of people in Europe were now avoiding such drinks because of obesity, and would rather prefer natural drinks.
He said Nigerians in the United Kingdom are the fourth largest spenders, and that there is already a huge market for Nigerian goods in that regard, as well as to Europeans who love made in Nigeria goods.
Besides, Everett commended the anti-corruption efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the war on corruption embarked upon about a year ago had positively changed the perception of investors about the safety of their investments in Nigeria.
CWEIC was established in July 2014 with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is a not for profit membership company with a mandate to facilitate increased trade and investment across the Commonwealth.
It is the apex organisation representing private sector businesses within the Commonwealth and is the only institution with a remit to promote intra-Commonwealth trade and investment.
CWEIC is also responsible for organising the Commonwealth Business Forum alongside the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.