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LSETF HAS SUPPORTED OVER 40,000 STARTUPS WITH ACCESS TO FINANCE – SANWO-OLU

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and others
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LSETF HAS SUPPORTED OVER 40,000 STARTUPS WITH ACCESS TO FINANCE – SANWO-OLU

…Says Tech Firms Have Received Millions Of Grants From State Science And Research Council

…As First Lady Hosts First Lagos Inter-Youth Collaboration

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday disclosed that the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has so far supported over 40,000 startups with access to finance which in turn has created jobs and contributed to the bid to ensure an enabling environment for businesses, especially budding entrepreneurs to thrive.

The Governor spoke at the maiden edition of the Lagos Inter-Youth Collaboration organized by the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State, held at LTV Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja, with the theme: “Youths and Moral Values in an Evolving Society: Challenges and Recommendations.”

The programme, according to a statement signed by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Office of the Lagos State First Lady, Mrs Olubukonla Nwonah, was designed to expose over 1,000 participants drawn from 100 youth groups both from formal and informal sectors as well as paramilitary institutions across the state to the various intervention programmes of the state government specifically targeted at the youth.

Mr Governor said: “The LSETF is also here. If my calculation is not wrong, they have intervened in over 40,000 start-ups. They have given some people soft loans; they have given some people grants directly; they have given other businesses development plans so that they can indeed develop their businesses to full fruition.

“They have been on for a couple of years and every year, they are doing lots and lots of great things. The programmes are available irrespective of who you are, where you are from or who you know, as long as you are a resident of Lagos.”

The Governor, who also spoke on activities of the Lagos State Science and Research Council, said in the last two years, grants worth millions of naira have been given to various tech firms through the council to support them to grow and build on their innovations.

“The council, headed by the VC of UNILAG, reviews a lot of tech start-up businesses that we have and once they see some of them, they pass them; they give them grants. In the last two years, they have given grants of N10million, N20million, N5million, and N2million to different categories of individuals.

“Our youth need to take advantage of these programmes. See how you can partake and how you can be part of it because it is published everywhere before they get entries. We have been doing it for the past two years and there is another one coming before the end of the year again,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He commended the Office of the First Lady for putting the programme together, saying it would go a long way to build conversations around various initiatives of the government for young people.

In her opening remarks, the First Lady, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said the Inter-Youth Collaboration was aimed at sensitizing youths on the inculcation of moral values which were gradually being eroded in today’s society, as well as how they can take advantage of intervention programmes of government for the youth.

“Our objectives, among others, are to encourage youth participation in Nation-building, create awareness on civic rights and responsibilities, provide access to opportunities profitable for youths, enlightenment of the youths about the activities of the state government, and re-orientation,” she said.

At the programme, key government MDAs including Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Finance, Wealth Creation and Employment, Youth and Social Development, Science and Technology, Health Management Agency, and Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment were on hand to educate participants on programmes of government including Bursaries and scholarship opportunities, low-interest loan packages of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, innovation funds, among others.

Representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were equally on ground to enlighten participants on how to participate in the voting process, while various prizes including laptops, phones, cash rewards and other gift items were won through raffle draws personally supervised by Mr Governor and the First Lady.

The highpoint of the programme was special appearances by Nigerian star actress and producer, Funke Akindele-Bello (Jenifer); as well as hip hop musicians – Humblesmith and CDQ.

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Buhari Pledge to Rescue Kaduna Train Attack Hostages

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured to rescue 31 hostages taken in a train attack and return them “safe and unhurt”, his office said, five months after their abduction.

Gangs of bandits with no ideological or religious motives are known to kidnap for ransom in northwest and central Nigeria.

On March 28, armed men blew up a train travelling between Abuja and Kaduna and opened fire, killing eight people, wounding 26, and taking an unspecified number of passengers hostage.

A week later, they freed one hostage — a top bank executive — as a goodwill gesture for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, because of his “advanced age”.

Dozens of hostages have already been freed following negotiations, but 31 remain in the kidnappers den.

“I have been informed that at last count, there remain about 31 people in the hands of the kidnappers,” Buhari told representatives of the families of the hostages in Abuja on Thursday.

He said his government would ensure the safe return of the remaining hostages to their families.

“My primary concern is to get everyone released safe and unhurt,” he assured.
The president commended the security forces on recent successes against kidnappers and “terrorists”.

“In the past couple of days, you must have heard about the number of terrorists neutralised by the military, and a number of hostages freed. These efforts will not stop, or reduce,” he said.

“We must take the fight to the terrorists and demonstrate that there is no hiding place for them within the borders of our country,” he said.

“Each one of them will be hunted, and pursued and spoken to in the language that they understand,” he added.

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Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja

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Five Guards Brigade Killed By Bandits Buried In Abuja
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The Nigerian Army on Thursday buried five members of the Guards Brigade killed by bandits during a clearance operation in the Federal Capital Territory recently.

The soldiers were laid to rest at the Guards Brigade Cemetery, Maitama , Abuja, according to a statement by Guards Brigade spokesperson, Captain Godfrey Anebi Abakpa

Among the deceased was Captain Attah Samuel.

“Until their demise, the gallant soldiers were serving with 7 Guards Battalion, Lungi Barracks Maitama and 176 Guards Battalion Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja respectively,” the statement said.

“While reading the funeral oration of the deceased officer and soldiers, the Commanding Officers of 7 Guards Battalion Lt Col Salim Yusuf Hassan and Commanding Officer 176 Guards Battalion, Lt Col Joshuah Kolowale Adisa described the late Captain and Soldiers as thoroughly bred Infantrymen who were genuinely committed to their duties in defence of Nigeria and whose contribution and services would be greatly missed.

“They asked God to console the families left behind stressing that while the Brigade and the Nigerian Army mourns, the families should take solace in the fact that they have fought a just fight and their souls shall continue to rest with the lord till the resurrection morning.

“Highpoint of the event was the presentation of accoutrements by the representative of the Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen James Alilu Ataguba to the next of kins of the deceased personnel and lowering of the remains of the fallen heroes.

There was also the blowing of the last post and gun salute to bid the departed heroes fair well

“The burial process started with Christian wake keep and funeral service held in honour of the fallen heroes at St John’s Military Church (Protestant) before the final Internment at the Guards Brigade Cemetery Maitama Abuja.

“The solemn ceremony was witnessed by senior officers of the Nigerian Army, Commanding Officers, Staff Officers of the Brigade, Bwari Area Council Chairman, Hon John Gabaya as well as family members and the barracks community.”

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Two More ISWAP Terrorists Linked To Owo Church Attack Arrested – DHQ

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor
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Two more Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists linked to the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state, have been arrested.

Gunmen had on June 5 stormed the Catholic church, killing over 40 worshippers and injuring others.

The incident drew widespread condemnation, with President Muhammadu Buhari ordering security agencies to arrest the attackers.

On June 9, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, blamed the attack on ISWAP, but the claim was countered by Ondo state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

Just yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, announced that the gunmen behind the attack on the church have been arrested.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the Director of Defence Information, Jimmy Akpor, said the two suspected ISWAP fighters were arrested through the collaborative effort of the military and the Department of State Services (DSS).

“Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022,” Akpor said.

“They were arrested through a combined operation by military and DSS personnel at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1 August 2022.

“Those arrested include Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.

“Barely few hours after the disclosure by the CDS of the arrest of 4 of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, 2 additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, 9 August 2022.

“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. The suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris.

“It is instructive to note that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP commanders, had also previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State resulting in casualties.”

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