Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has stated that it is through collaborative efforts, shared expertise, and exchange of ideas that Nigeria and Nordic Countries can harness the power of innovation to overcome environmental challenges that lie ahead.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said this today at the Opening of the Nordic-Nigeria Connect Conference 2023, themed “Innovation for a Greener Future”, held at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Nordic-Nigeria Connect is made up of Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, added that as the countries open the doors to knowledge exchange, networking and collaboration, they should embrace the spirit of innovation that will drive them towards a greener future.
The governor added that the conference presents opportunity for Nigeria to learn from the Nordic countries experience with a view to adapting best practices and innovative ideas that will enhance the nation’s progress towards building a greener and sustainable economy.
He added that the conference will explore cutting-edge technologies, sustainable practices and collaborative initiatives that can pave way for a more environmentally conscious future, adding that from renewable energy solutions to waste management innovations, each session will inspire and empower all to take meaningful actions.
Speaking further, Sanwo-Olu noted that Nigeria with its dynamic and rapidly growing economy, presents a unique opportunity for collaboration in developing and implementing innovative solutions to address environmental concerns.
He said, “Nordic countries have long been pioneers in sustainable development and innovation, setting benchmarks for the rest of the world and the collaboration between the Nordic countries and Nigeria is a testament to our shared commitment to creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly world.”
The Governor emphasized that as a government, his administration has laid a firm foundation upon which the state is building collaborations and alliances with the private sector that would allow businesses in like sectors operating in Lagos to key into the new economic trend.
He therefore advised, “As we engage in discussion and forge new connections, let us keep in mind, the shared responsibility we bear towards our planet. Our actions today will shape the world that future generations will inherit. By fostering innovation and sustainable practice we can ensure that the legacy we leave behind is one of environmental stewardship and resilience.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Olatunbosun Tijani noted that the federal government is committed to opening the country’s economic potentials to the world to invest. He said the country has tremendous untapped opportunities in many sectors of the economy.
He said the country is open for business and partnerships that will help the Nation to grow its economy as it is awakening to applying technology and innovation to drive the nation’s economy through various sectoral activities. The Minister added that government hope to build collaboration that they can leverage on the opportunity to build the nation’s economy.
Similarly, the Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy of Denmark, Dan Jorgensen stated it is important for the Danish and Nigerian governments to collaborate in finding solutions to environmental challenges, adding that climate change is no longer a far-off threat in the distant future, it is already here.
He noted that Nigerians knowledgeable than anyone in terms of climate change, adding that “ I have been following closely how Nigeria is already affected by climate change; unpredictable rainfall patterns, drought, water scarcity, floods and coastal erosion, crop failing because of either lack of water or excessive rainfall”.
The Danish minister stressed that his government has an ambition to strengthen engagement with the African continent, to build new partnerships and stronger alliances.
According to the Deputy Minister for International Trade, Finland, H.E. Mr. Jarno Syrjälä noted that innovations can be gotten through networking, partnership and collaboration as innovations do not happen in a vacuum, but requires the right policy decisions, culture and problems solving and can also be fostered in investment in science, education and research are key.
Director-General for Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, H.E. Mr Per-Arne Hjelmborn `noted that Sweden wants to be a strategic partner to Nigeria and the rest of the African continent to help boost the value chain and also want to become a knowledge partner for the nation in research, innovation, in competence development and in skill transfer.
He noted that Nigeria and the Nordic Countries have enjoyed a long tie and it is becoming more dynamic in sectors such as Power generation, Energy, ICT, Transport and digitization and he believes that Nigeria is a good match with Sweden in partnership.