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WE’LL BE CREATIVE IN THE FINANCIAL MODEL FOR LAGOS, SAYS SANWO-OLU

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said his administration would be creative in its financing model to provide the required funds to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the State.

He made the statement while receiving the management team of FMDQ Group Plc and FSD Africa, who paid him a courtesy visit at Lagos House, Marina. The FMDQ Group Plc was led by its CEO, Bola Onadele Koko, while FSD Africa was led by its CEO, Mark Napier.
Speaking at the event, which was also attended by the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Liewelyn-Jones and Head, Economic Development, FCDO of the British High Commission, Governor Sanwo-Olu said he would continue to push until he gets the desired results for Lagos and the residents of the State.

“We need to look for other sources of financing. We need to be very creative in our financing model. The population is huge and there is pressure on us to meet up with some of our very big and expanded economy.

“We are truly pushing ourselves in various areas. I am personally excited when I know and see that our team and your team are driving toward a convergence that can better the lots of our citizens. We will continue to push until we get the desired result,” the Governor said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the Lagos State Green Bond Issuance Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the State Government signed with FMDQ Group and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, urged all partners to leverage the partnership for full benefits on investments, adding that the relationship should be continuous and not a one-off.

In a related development, Governor Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said the State Government will work with consulting engineering and architectural firms to prevent the collapse of buildings in the State.

He made the statement during a courtesy visit by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Nigeria of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) at Lagos House Marina.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who reiterated his administration’s commitment to the provision of infrastructure for Lagos residents, said infrastructure is one of the ways in which societal problems can be solved. “It is something that we are looking holistically at believing that we want to improve the lots of our citizens given the political chance that God has given us.”

He said the State Government is in the process of identifying consulting engineering and architectural firms to help with monitoring building construction. “We believe that structural engineers and others can help by doing an independent assessment to ensure that everybody adheres to the rules. And the government can continue to do oversight function working with competent, capable consulting engineering and architectural firms so that we can monitor the city and prevent the collapse of a building.”

The President of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN), Engr. Ajibade Oke, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration in the area of infrastructure.

“The infrastructure in Lagos is fantastic. Look at the blue and red line rail, the BRTs, the flyover, bridges and other amenities that we are having in Lagos. We are even talking about Fourth Mainland Bridge. We thank God for the people that are managing Lagos State,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of FIDIC for the Africa 2022 Conference and past President of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN), Engr. Charles Akindayomi, appealed for the Lagos State Government’s support of the conference which is expected to be attended by about 250 delegates from different parts of the world, noting that the support will give the State an opportunity to display the rich culture and infrastructure development to the rest of Africa.

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Business & Economy

ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation re-elects Dr. Ezra, as president

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Dr. Ezra Yakusak - MD/CEO NEPC
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Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has been reelected as the President of ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) Network in Accra Ghana.

Dr. Yakusat, will serve another One-year tenure and will lead 15 other member ECOWAS countries in driving trade within the sub-region.

His re-election is also in line with Article 11 of the ECOWAS TPO Network. The ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organization is a network of all Trade Promotion Organizations in West Africa established by the decisions of Council of Ministers at the Ordinary Session.

Nigeria became the pioneer president in April 2021. Dr. Yakusat, became the president following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Awolowo as ED/ CEO of NEPC.

A statement by the council said the re-election of Dr. Ezra was at the end of 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Network held at Alisa hotel, Accra, Ghana from 19th – 20th May, 2022.

He was re-elected along with the vice president, Mr. Ben Guy Mbangue from Cote’ D’ivoire.

The duo constitute the Executive Bureau of the Network and the tenure expires after one year. All members present unanimously re-elected the President and Vice President respectively.

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World Bank projects Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances to increase in 2022

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World Bank has projected Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow to increase to $29bn in 2022 because of higher food prices and the continued adoption of official bank channels.

The bank said, migrants from the country are likely to send more money home to help with the hike in the prices of staples.

A report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief (May 2022): A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on the global governance of migration and remittance flows,’ the bank stated that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent to $630bn in 2022.

It said: “With risks weighted to the downside, there are several factors that support a view for continued—though more moderate—7.1 per cent gain inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.

“Momentum for the use of official channels in Nigeria should sustain an uptrend in the year, within flows reaching $21bn.

“Though economic activity is likely to ease in the United States and Europe, fundamentals remain positive for continued gains in remittance flows to the remainder of Africa, as the influence of ‘altruistic’ motivations that were demonstrated in Africa and South Asia during the peak pandemic years will likely carry over to the period of sharp increases in staple food prices.”

The global bank further said remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa was $49bn in 2021, with Nigerian contributing $19.2bn to the total inflow, adding that the use of informal channels to transfer money to the region caused a 28 per cent reduction in inflows in 2020.

“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples,” the bank said.

The World Bank stated that the Naira-4-Dollar policy, which was an attempt to return remittance to formal channels, of the Central Bank of Nigeria helped boost inflows by 11.2 per cent in 2021, adding that the stabilisation of the naira against the dollar within a range of 410-415 per dollar over the last year also contributed to the pickup in recorded inflows.

It noted that the increased stability of the Naira and increased use of the e-Naira would help boost the nation’s chances of achieving $21bn in remittance for 2022.

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Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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