According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 78% of all banking sector loans by value, given to states, went to Lagos state operating entities: “According to the data, about N15.1 trillion out of N19.4 trillion of the loans went to Lagos State in the third quarter of 2020, a 13.86% rise from the same period in 2019”. During the same period, entities in Yobe, Jigawa, and Ebonyi States received 0.1%, 0.13%, and 0.13% respectively. Rivers state, following Lagos, received 5% of the loan or N977 billion.
Of course, the NBS data while correct must be understood from the angle that most businesses in Nigeria have corporate headquarters in Lagos. In other words, while the loans could be booked against Lagos state, the project implementation could be in other states. Yet, there is no argument that Lagos state has a dominant impact in the Nigerian economic system.
From the data, Lagos is indeed a key-state risk for Nigeria. Since other states are not emerging, maybe, it is time to find a way to secure the state since it technically drives the nation, commercially and economically.
Nigeria can help Lagos on this burden by operating seaports in the South-south region of the nation.
The Lagos Ports are over congested causing the nation economic losses in billions of naira daily. Eastern Ports could provide a viable alternative by redesigning them as Free Trade Ports.
The Onitsha River Port which was built in 1983 by the President Shehu Shagari administration is a 1.2 million TEU port of destination that can clear goods from any part of the world, but the River will need to be dredged
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