Lagos State and EnterpriseNGR made history on Saturday, November 11, as the first African participants in the prestigious Lord Mayor’s Show, with a spectacular procession that celebrated the rich cultural heritage and economic prowess of Lagos State and Nigeria.
The success of this historic participation set the stage for a series of engagements culminating in the “InvestLagos” Reception, held a few days after the Lord Mayor’s Show.
In partnership with EnterpriseNGR, Lagos State recently inaugurated the Lagos International Financial Centre (LIFC) Council to bolster Lagos’ standing as a global financial centre. The LIFC Council thereafter took its “InvestLagos” strategy, and “Open for Business” message to the Lord Mayor’s Show, inviting the world to witness the vast opportunities Lagos State has to offer foreign investors. The pioneering journey, undertaken with a mission to position Lagos as Africa’s premier financial centre, has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the global stage.
The float design showcased the progress and dynamism of Lagos State, a thriving financial centre with over 25 million residents. Featuring familiar icons integral to Lagosians’ daily lives, the design incorporated symbols of innovation and growth, including the recently launched Lagos Blue Line train. Naira design patterns, elements of the Nigerian coat of arms, iconic Danfo and Keke Marwa vehicles, and the Eyo Masquerade collectively depict the city’s cultural richness and significant economic prowess. The float was more than a celebration of Lagos’ resilience but a proclamation of its remarkable journey and achievements on the global stage. The float also told the story of the fruitful and important partnership between EnterpriseNGR and Lagos State, emphasising the valuable outcomes that come from collaborations between public and private sector.
The vibrant parade featured executives of EnterpriseNGR and the Lagos State Government adorned in the colourful splendour of Aso-Oke as well as traditional Eyo dancers, a symbol of Lagos’ cultural heritage, who graced the procession, bringing to life the city’s deep-rooted traditions. Our Heritage UK, a UK-based African cultural charity group, added to the rhythm, infusing the parade with the spirit of traditional music and dance. The CEO, Ms. Obi Ibekwe and other executive members of EnterpriseNGR were on the float, sharing the exciting story of Lagos, EnterpriseNGR, and celebrating the growing global influence of African nations.
Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, said, “Our participation in the Lord Mayor’s Show was a resounding success. This visit had a more strategic purpose. It was a manifestation of our commitment to a bold vision—positioning Lagos as Africa’s beacon of financial innovation. The newly inaugurated LIFC Council played a pivotal role in showcasing the investment potential of Lagos on a global platform. As our procession made its way through the streets of London, we let it be known that Lagos State was not just participating in a historic parade; we were striding into the global spotlight, inviting the world to witness our dynamism and echoing the message that our great State is open for business, with a myriad of investment opportunities available to all.”
Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede CON, Chairman of EnterpriseNGR, added: “Our historic participation in the Lord Mayor’s Show underscored the critical role public-private partnerships play in driving transformative change within and beyond Nigeria’s Financial and Professional Services sector. Our successful joint participation is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering strategic partnerships that contribute to the economic prosperity of Lagos and Nigeria.”
Ms. Obi Ibekwe, CEO of EnterpriseNGR, also commented: “When we embarked on this historic project to showcase Lagos on the global stage, we recognised the profound significance of attracting the investments required to drive sustainable development and growth for the State. I am honoured to be at the forefront of the great strides being taken to foster the symbiotic relationship between investors, the State, and the wider communities required to deliver that growth.”
The delegation, led by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, and Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede CON, Chairman of EnterpriseNGR, will continue to showcase Lagos as a vibrant hub of economic opportunities, innovation, and growth in the week following The Lord Mayor’s Show with numerous bilateral meetings scheduled with government, investors and private sector players in the UK.
Building on the momentum of the Lord Mayor’s Show, the “InvestLagos” Reception gathered diplomats, UK and Nigerian business leaders, and influencers for an evening of celebration and collaboration. This exclusive event continued the strategic mission to position Lagos as Africa’s premier financial centre. The “InvestLagos” Reception offered a unique setting for fostering partnerships to boost the state’s economic prosperity. Attendees engaged with key figures from Lagos State Government, EnterpriseNGR and key stakeholders in the UK Finance and Professional Services sector to solidify connections that will contribute to Lagos’ global influence.
The successful participation at the Lord Mayor’s Show marks a historic chapter in Lagos’ journey towards becoming a global financial hub. It also sets the stage for future collaborations and investments that will drive sustainable economic development in Lagos and Nigeria.