Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has assured a delegation of Walmart Incorporated that the state is ready to give necessary support to assist the firm in establishing its presence in the state.
The delegation of the firm, a leading global brand in retail supermarket, was led by the President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart Europe, Middle East, Africa and Canada, Shelley Broade, on Thursday.
Ambode said the presence of the Walmart brand in Lagos would go a long way not only to create jobs for the teeming youths, but also boost the economy of the state.
He said the success story of the brand, which currently operates in 28 countries with over 2.2 million employees, would be beneficial to the growth of the state as well as his vision to make life comfortable for residents.
The governor said, "That summaries the reason why Walmart has to berth in Lagos. We are committed to expanding the business scope for Walmart and like I said, I am interested in having your brand signature in Lagos.
"You have been pro-people and that's why we find a congress between the objectives of Walmart and Lagos State Government.
"As we speak, we have a population of over 21 million people and four million of that population are in the middle class. We have a bulging youth that is craving for employment and whatever it is that we do, we want to make sure that we attract as much investmenttoLagos that can help us to take our youths off the streets and give them employment.
"What I stand here to offer is the commitment to make the investment climate favourable to investors. We want to ensure that whatever it is that would make the business bigger for you, we are committed to it.”
"I want to assure you that if it is in the area of land permits or authorisation for issues that relate to setting up business, we are committed to making sure that we fast-track and do it as transparent as possible to allow more businesses to come to Lagos.”
Broader acknowledged the investment opportunities that abound in the state, adding that the Group was ready to expand its business horizon and create jobs for the people.
She said, "We are incredibly excited and proud to be in this exciting state of Lagos. Just looking at the burgeoning economy and at the growth in this market is very exciting and now Walmart operates around the world in 28 countries and our mission is to lower the cost of living, to help people save and live better.
"The passion that you feel right when you land at the airport, there's an excitement here. You can feel that this is a state within a country really on the move forward. There is a smile on the people's faces; there is eagerness and there's a mission that they are on to better themselves and their families. It's very exciting.”