Niger Delta leaders praise Muhammadu Buhari, Godswill Akpabio

Key leaders in the Niger Delta region on Wednesday commended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio for the huge changes in the region.

The leaders, deeply impressed by Akpabio’s political style and transparency, called for a united front against critics of the former Governor of Akwa-Ibom State.

Specifically, the leaders praised the former Senate’s Minority Leader for rewriting the history of the region, using his talent to achieve more for the people and effectively handling the development issues and challenges in the region.

In a statement in Yenagoa, the leaders described the minister’s critics as high ranking beggars surviving on dubious contracts in the country.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio is a man of vision. He sees far into the future’’ the leaders said.

The leaders emphasized Akpabio’s contribution towards resolving the problems that are impacting negatively on the Niger Delta people, restructuring, reformulation of policy postures, readjustment of strategies and reshaping of outward relations along more fashionable and multi-dimensional lines.

Signed by the chairman, Niger Delta Leaders Forum (NDLF), Chief John Harry, the leaders described the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the East West Road by the end of 2021, the release of funds for the project and mobilization of contractors to the sites as encouraging.

‘’Senator Godswill Akpabio is a very good lawyer and politician, strong and honest. In Akwa-Ibom, he expanded the opportunities and capabilities of people to live the lives they value. Indeed, he did more than anyone else to develop the oil rich state’’

 

Waste To Power Project:

RIWAMA Sole Administrator, Bro Felix Obuah Assures Ministry Of Energy Of Support

The Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro Felix Obuah has assured the State Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of all necessary support and assistance in its proposed ‘waste to power project’.

Bro Obuah gave the assurance while hosting the team from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources led by the Commissioner, Dr. Peter Medee, Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

The Sole Administrator noted that the Agency has made frantic efforts to restore the Garden City status of Port Harcourt, the State Capital since 2015 when the present management of RIWAMA was inaugurated under his headship.

He emphasized the hindsight of the State Governor, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike who has demonstrated more than any other leader before him that he is environment friendly and very desirous to see Rivers State as the cleanest among her peers in Nigeria.

According to the Sole Administrator, on assumption of office in June, 2015, the State was more or less a garbage dump as Service Providers abandoned their duty posts, due to the refusal of the Amaechi administration to pay them for about six months.

To change the environmental narratives that have presently placed the state ahead of other states in sanitary health, Bro Obuah noted, Governor Wike paid off all the arrears owed Service Providers by the Amaechi administration.

Still on policies and strategies that are responsible for the glaring turnaround of the environmental situation of the state, the Sole Administrator, Bro Felix Obuah said unlike what obtained before he came on board, RIWAMA has not been collecting any form of revenue from residents and companies in the state and has wholly relied on the prudent use of the money allocated to the Agency monthly from the state government.

“It’s also worthy of mention that on assumption of office, we inherited only one functional dumpsite from the previous administration situated at Rumuolumeni close to Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, which was later abandoned following complaints and pressure from the university authorities about the disturbing effects of the dumpsite close to them.

Challenged by this, we upped our game and today, we have been able to establish three other functional dumpsites in the State.

For efficiency and easy monitoring of waste evacuation by our Service Providers, we divided Port Harcourt into zones among these Service Providers and RIWAMA remains on record as the first in the country to develop an APP for monitoring of wastes,” Bro Obuah declared.

On the proposed waste to power project, Bro Felix Obuah said it was a nice idea but was quick to point out that this was not the first time such proposal was being presented to the Agency. He said some in the past, had claimed to be experts in the field and used that as a ploy to secure Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and property from the State Government, and later abandoned the project without recourse to the State Government.

Bro Obuah hoped this would be an exception and promised to lend his support and weight to see that it was a success.

Earlier, while speaking, the State Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Peter Medee who led the delegation said the whole idea was on ‘recycling wastes generated in the State into energy resource’, which in turn will create wealth and employment for Rivers people.

Describing the innovation as Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s signature programme, the Energy Commissioner said the facilitating team will arrive in the State next month from the United Kingdom to understudy the process of waste collection in the State to help deliver a cleaner Rivers State.

Signed:

 

 

Jerry Needam

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to

Bro. Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,

Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA).

 

Friday, October  2,  2020.

 

PRESS STATEMENT

SPN CONDEMNS THE BRUTALISATION, ARREST AND DETENTION OF REVOLUTIONNOW PROTESTERS AND JOURNALISTS

WE DEMAND THEIR IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF ALL ARRESTED PROTESTERS

Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the brutalization, arrest and detention of RevolutionNow protesters and journalists in different parts of the country on Thursday 1st October 2020 being the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence. Particularly in Lagos, about 30 protesters were arrested and a Punch Newspaper reporter brutalized by trigger happy police men. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all protesters across the country. We support the demands of the protesters against the increase in fuel price and electricity tariff as well as the general hardship in the country.

Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and other police officers and Department of State Service (DSS) operatives across the country have reconfirmed their attack dog status by attacking peaceful protesters in Lagos. We would recall that the antecedents of Hakeem Odumosu as the head of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) for several years before he was appointed the Commissioner of Police was characterized by violations of the rights of Nigerians. These attacks against peaceful protest and freedom of speech are also being carried out by the police across the federation. It should be clear to many that the Police and the Military are structured to protect the interest of a privileged few at the expense of the vast majority.

We also recall that the Police also attacked the protest led by the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) on September 10, 2020, wherein 14 protesters and 4 journalists were arrested and detained. Police repeated the same brutality on September 16, 2020, in a protest led by Joint Action Front (JAF).

The Buhari-led government just like the previous civilian governments has taken Nigeria back to the inglorious jackboot military era wherein the fundamental human rights of Nigerians are willfully and brazenly attacked. The Buhari-led government and Nigeria Police blatantly violate Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution (Fundamental Human Rights of Section 33-43) through its policies and actions. The fundamental human rights of Nigerians to freedom of speech, freedom to protest, freedom of assembly etc., are inalienable rights.

We are aware that President Buhari wants to brutalize Nigerians into accepting his anti-poor economic policies including the recent hikes in fuel and electricity tariff. We call on the working masses and youths to remain undaunted in the face of these attacks. We should continue to organize resistance against anti-poor policies of deregulation, privatization including hikes in electricity tariff and petrol prices and fight for a country wherein the interest of all is protected. We of the SPN hold that an economy built and sustained on a capitalist programme especially with neo-liberal policies is recipe for disaster and undermines the economic interest of the vast majority of the working masses. An economy that will rescue Nigeria, industrialize it, create jobs on a massive scale and plan production and services to meet the needs of all would have to be nationalized (major sectors and industries to be publicly owned) and democratically controlled by the working people. This is the starting point of what we mean by socialism. We call on the working masses and youth to join us in the struggle to build a better Nigeria where the needs of all, not the greed of few form the basis of governance and economy. Despite mounting repression, the struggle to liberate Nigeria continues and victory is certain!

SIGNED

Abiodun Bamigboye                                                             Chinedu Bosah

Acting National Chairperson                                                  National Secretary

 

 

NIGERIA AT 60: TOWARDS THE LAND OF OUR DREAMS

By Babajide Sanwo-Olu

NIGERIA is 60- despite all that she has been through as a nation. For some, it is a time to hit the street in colorful dresses for a carnival to exhibit what many a critic have described as our proclivity for flamboyance. To others, it is a time to get on our knees, thank The Almighty for bringing us this far as a united nation and, thereafter, reflect on our tortuous journey to adulthood.

How have we fared? Have we disappointed our forefathers? Are we more purposeful as we were at Independence? Are our youths happy? Are the elders smiling? What is the state of our infrastructure? Are we proud of our democracy? Is the world leaving us behind? How long will our teething problems last? When will our security challenges abate? When are we going to fully recover from the terrible effects of COVID-19 that has dealt our world a lethal blow? These are some of the many questions on my mind as I reflected on Nigeria’s Diamond Anniversary.

It all began here at the old Race Course, Tafawa Balewa Square on that rainy October 1, 1960 morning. Lagos served as the cradle of our sovereignty and the capital of Nigeria as a protectorate, then a republic (from 1914 to 1991). The unique topography of Lagos – its islands, sandbars and lagoons; our heterogeneous nature as a town that is the melting pot of cultures – has positioned our state for its leadership role in the economic, political, social and cultural development of our great country. What originated as a fishing village on an island has metamorphosed into a thriving seaport and megacity.

Lagos is no longer the nation’s political capital, but it is undoubtedly its business and financial engine-room. Indeed, it is West Africa’s commercial nerve centre. Lagos contributes 30% of Nigeria’s GDP and holds no less than 80% of the country’s industrial capacity. This is quite remarkable, considering the fact that Lagos is home to 10% of Nigeria’s 200 million+ population on a landmass representing less than 1% of our great Nation.

Realizing early that long-term investment in critical infrastructure is an intrinsic part of economic development, Lagos pioneered many key projects, such as the early rail transit system, which yielded a corresponding growth in urbanization along the line of the railway on which towns, such as Ebute-Metta, Yaba, Surulere, Ijora, Ikeja and Agege, sprouted. We witnessed the population boom of the 1970s as a result of the growth in the oil industry. This signaled a paradigm shift in our history – a period which opened up our coastal city with the influx of thousands of people seeking greener pastures and jobs in the oil industry as well as the construction of a social housing programme. It was the crystallization of an idea that would go on to define the very essence of life in the sprawling metropolis – the hot chase for “The Lagos Dream”.

As far back as the 80s, with rising unemployment statistics, we had understood the need to maximize the opportunities inherent in a city-state such as ours by diversifying the abundant economic potential and harnessing human capital for better growth. The road to actualizing this was a dedicated will to develop alternate industries in agriculture, technology, hospitality and entertainment, among others, as well as in the informal sector. Our founding vision of a megacity in which there are opportunities for all, regardless of race and colour, remains strong.

Today, a population of over 21 million residents is evidence of the unprecedented rate at which Africa’s largest city is growing. Our urban footprints in the last 60 years provide a window into the urbanization of Lagos, illustrating a story of the social, economic, environmental and political factors that have reciprocally shaped our city. Research suggests that these changes may be nothing compared to what we will witness in the next 60 years. Maintaining the current growth and migration rates, Lagos could become the world’s largest metropolis, home to 85 or 100 million people.

How are we poised to further steer Nigeria through the next decades of her independence? We must look to the foundational pillars which define good governance in any democracy. Our administration condensed this to six cardinal indices of development particular to Lagos State, yet adaptable to any city of the world, namely: Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; Entertainment and Tourism; Security and Governance. These are encapsulated in the acronym T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda for a Greater Lagos.

What do you see when you close your eyes and imagine the Nigeria of the future, say 5, 10, 20, 50, 60 or even 100 years from now? This is the question I ask myself daily in the discharge of my duties and in implementing policies which are designed to be adapted for a world beyond our present circumstances and realities. The litmus test for any course of action is to objectively answer whether a policy would be of benefit to our children and generations yet unborn.

Afro-futurism is a concept that is largely shaping developments around the continent, Nigeria inclusive. In our quest for a semblance of what a utopian African society would look like (our very own Wakanda if you like), Lagos is making monumental strides in the transport and housing sectors. These are the two behemoths which often pose great challenges to a city with a sprawling population such as ours. Some of the priorities of my administration are solutions which accommodate people and move them efficiently from one place to another, significantly reducing lost productivity time associated with current commute challenges.

The Lagos Light Rail system is one of such projects which will redefine our commuting experience and overhaul the entire transport system. Gleaning lessons from the railway operations of old and infusing ultra-modern technology, this will open up Lagos like never before, easing the movement of people and goods within the metropolis. We are in the final phase of delivering the 27km Blue Line, which connects Marina in the heart of the city with Okokomaiko on the outskirts. It is set for test-run in December 2021. This will pave the way for the Red Line from Agbado-Marina and six other planned routes, which are part of our transport masterplan. The future of transportation is the ability to connect from opposite sides of the mainland to Lagos Island in minutes. This will not only positively impact the ease of doing business within Lagos, but promote enhanced interstate commerce with better opportunities for all.

We are making the most of our unique topography by investing aggressively in an operational water transport system. Commuters are being ferried across Lagos waterways along various routes, comprising Ikorodu, Ebute-Ero, Apapa, CMS, Ikoyi and Ajah, with LAGFERRY services. We launched 14 boats earlier this year and are set to double the fleet by the end of first quarter of 2021. We extended the campaign to safety of passengers by removing water hyacinth from the water channels and creating navigation routes through the use of directional balls. These are all geared towards easing the pressure on our roads.

We recently flagged off the 13.68km long BRT corridor from Oshodi-Abule Egba, which has drastically reduced travel time from an average two hours during peak periods to approximately 30 minutes. This is in addition to an upgraded e-ticketing system, which will be integrated into the BRT, LAGFERRY and Light Rail services. Acknowledging the need for partnership in meeting the demand for commuting services, we have engaged ride-hailing companies to develop regulatory guidelines which meet this demand and prioritize safety of passengers. These are all aimed at improving the public commuting experience and increasing productivity of an average Lagosian.

Occupying just 0.38% of Nigeria’s land mass and one-third of that figure under water, it would seem the odds are stacked against us in housing. With our sight set firmly on the future, we are developing Lagos Homes housing projects in many parts of our dear state. Some have been delivered in Ikorodu, Igando, Lekki and Badagry. Besides, we are implementing policies which make the creation of housing solutions easier, but we are not oblivious of the limitations of the government to solely reverse the housing deficit. We are continuously seeking partnership with the private sector and real estate developers to jointly address this problem.

One such venture is the Eko Atlantic City, a mega real estate project which challenges our perceptions of what is possible in the realm of city architecture. Popularly referred to as the “Great Wall of Lagos”, this entirely new coastal city being developed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean will become home to a quarter of a million people and provide 150,000 with jobs. This template will set the stage for us to join the league of smart cities; this would have been inconceivable decades ago.

Our commitment to providing sustainable energy and affordable power is challenging the traditional stereotypes. A few months ago, the Lagos State Government launched an innovation challenge (Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon), which is leveraging the tech community to find crowdsourced solutions to our metering gap through locally developed prototypes for prepaid meters. Similar initiatives aimed at accelerating the pace of technological advancement are constantly incubated through dedicated programmes at the Eko Innovation Center.

In the same vein, we expanded the Olusosun landfill, one of Africa’s largest dumpsites, by 42 acres to accommodate increased activity and plans to harness energy from the natural gases which build up there. This is one example of the ways in which Lagos applies homegrown solutions to problems, in this case waste management.

To Lagosians, I cannot overstate the crucial roles we all have to play as individuals in the achievement of the Lagos of our dream. We rely on you, because you are our greatest resource –the demographic dividend which is only payable when our young, vibrant workforce exert their full capacities to driving economic growth.

When I close my eyes and think of Nigeria of the future, it is one that has largely been influenced by the advancements we make here in Lagos. And so, my imagination is filled with the endless possibilities of an intermodal transport system that optimizes the use of road, rail and water as well as intracity aerial modes of transport. I see the fantastic buildings that will dominate the city’s skyline as we continuously build up and also our coastline with the advent of floating cities.

But, most especially, I see you: the creative, passionate, resilient people, who will make these dreams come true with your output and advancement in commerce, industrialization, service delivery and commitment to excellence.

I see a Lagos that becomes a net exporter of talents with ambassadors whose names reverberate from all corners of the world. Our art and fashion gracing the runways of coveted shows and adorning the closets of icons; a pristine environment devoid of pollution and white sand beaches that will be the toast of the tourism industry; our Afro-fusion music and Nollywood works driving global conversations, dominating the screens of an enthralled audience from Sydney to California, Amsterdam and Mumbai. Ever present in my mind’s eye are upscaled levels of export production and much needed foreign exchange from the industrious merchants of the international markets at Ladipo or Balogun; and the sophisticated innovations that pop out of Yaba, our own Silicon Valley.

Encompassing these socio-economic advancements is the infectious warmth of our people and their boundless energy, their calmness in the organized buzz that characterizes our city and, perhaps most importantly, a cohesive security infrastructure that promotes peace.

I refuse to accept that this is all the fruit of my fertile imagination. No. I truly believe in our inherent power to advance the course of Lagos and, by extension, Nigeria’s path towards realistic dreams. Adapting the lingo that has come to be associated with another metropolitan city, I make bold to say that “You can make it here, and win everywhere”.

Sanwo-Olu is the Executive Governor of Lagos State.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede calls for public-private partnership to preserve our planet 

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Nigerian banker, investor and philanthropist on September 30, 2020 appealed to business leaders, investors and heads of government on the urgency to collectively fight for the preservation of biodiversity of the planet at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly. The summit, a high-level virtual Summit organized by H.E. Volkan Bozkir to support the first United Nations Summit on Biodiversity at the level of heads of state and government was themed “urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”

Speaking as the sole African non-state actor at the Summit, Aigboje made a case for sustainable business practices and public-private partnerships to support biodiversity. He stated that the loss of biodiversity is not only an environmental issue, but also a developmental, economic, health, security and moral one.

The United Nations revealed that biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with growing impacts on people and our planet and Africa is no exception. Bringing this home to Africa, Aigboje noted that “Africa is immensely rich in biodiversity and yet by the end of this century, Africa could lose up to 30 percent of its entire animal and plant species as a result of excessive exploitation, unsustainable industrialization, deforestation, pollution and many harmful human activities.”

In 2012, Aig-Imoukhuede led Nigerian banks and the Central Bank in the adoption of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles. He also made a business case for private sector activism, stating that: “biodiversity provides annual benefits valued at approximately $120 trillion– more than the entire world economy. In contrast, the global financing needs for achieving the Convention on Biological Diversity is less than 1% of its annual economic benefits.

It is the moral duty of every leader in the world who enjoys the privilege of responsibility to join the fight to save our planet. “Governments have a key role in enacting policies and programmes to protect and restore the Earth’s ecosystems, including establishing incentives to encourage sustainable business practices as well as sustainable investments,” Aigboje said. “However, the fight to save our biodiversity conservation should not be left to government alone, it requires multi-faceted global efforts and collaborations by all stakeholders including the private sector, especially corporate leaders and executives,” he added.

There is an increased urgency to demonstrate leadership and commitment to improve our relationship with nature. “The appearance of COVID-19 has shown that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. If we continue at our current rate, the loss of biodiversity will undermine progress towards achieving 80% of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Summit is critical to galvanize urgent action to protect biodiversity, and to build political momentum and raise ambitions for the development of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, to be adopted in 2021. “The time to act is now,” he concluded, “delays and inaction may prove too costly for you and I.

 

 

Desmond Elliot tasks Nigerians on unity, gives cash to traders in Surulere

Lagos lawmaker, Hon Desmond Elliot, on Thursday applauded the courage, commitment and loyalty of nationalists who risked their lives to the pursuit of political emancipation and freedom of the country from colonialism and imperialism.

He also commended Nigerians for sustaining hope for a better nation.

‘’ “We have much to be thankful for and a lot more to be hopeful about. This is the time to show commitment. This is the time to bless the good people of Surulere Constituency 1, socialize and communicate with the constituents. We are talking, communicating and empowering the people. As representatives, we must be there for our people; we must listen to the cry of the people. We made a promise a month ago to support some people” he said.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon Desmond Elliot on Wednesday, September 30 picked the medical bills of Ward G3 Youth Leader, Bolaji Oki.

On Thursday, October 1, the Lagos lawmaker commissioned boreholes in Ward E 1 and Ward F3, Recreation Centre in Ward E. He also gave cash to a lot of people in Surulere Constituency 1.

The lawmaker emphasized healthcare, small scale businesses and conglomerate.

‘’We bother ourselves with things that are not necessary. Tribalism is one of the most disruptive influences confronting us’’ he said.

The member representing Surulere Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly urged politicians to emulate the spirit of the nationalists, their dedication to duty, their precision and concept of national unity.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Lagos Political, Community and Religious Leaders Forum (LPCRLF), Mr. Alao Taiwo, the representative of Surulere Constituency 1 appealed to political leaders and youths in the country to avoid any action capable of destabilizing the nation.

He enjoined Nigerians to work harder to enhance productivity, reduce unemployment and poverty and ensure prosperity.

‘’The APC Government will continue to attract investments, ensure better terms of trade and improve relations with creditors and development partners’’.

The famous actor advised Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the cause of building a strong, united and viable nation.

“We have positive achievements and dividends of democracy to report” he said and commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for focusing on meaningful development projects.

 

 

 

 

 

LAGOS PUTS NIGERIA ON GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS

…Celebrates 60th Independence With 60,000 Cupcakes Mosaic

 

…Sanwo-Olu: Lagos State Is A Land Of Creativity And Innovation

Lagos State on Thursday put Nigeria on the world record by celebrating the 60th Independence anniversary with 60,000 cupcakes to produce the largest anniversary logo in the world, made with cupcakes mosaic.

The initiative by Lagos State Government in conjunction with Fly Africa aimed to put Nigeria in the Guinness Book of World Record as holder of the world’s largest anniversary logo made with cupcakes mosaic in the world.

Speaking at the historic event, held at Teslim Balogun, Surulere, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the State through the laying of the largest cupcakes mosaic, has sent a message to the world that Lagos is a land of creativity and innovations.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the wife of the State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat at the event monitored by the officials of the Guinness World Records, disclosed that the last largest cupcakes in the world was a 30,400 cupcakes made in Singapore in 2015.

The Governor in his address also commended all the founding fathers of Nigeria, independence icons and those who have worked tirelessly to ensure that Nigeria remains a united nation.

“I am sure that with this largest cupcakes mosaic today, we have sent a message to the world that Lagos State is a land of creativity and innovations. It is my belief that Lagos State and indeed Nigeria would continue to strive and record greater achievements.

“I call on everyone here today to join hands with our administration to build a Lagos that we would all be proud of.” the governor said.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Phar. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said putting Nigeria in the Guinness World Record as holder of the world’s largest anniversary logo made with cupcakes mosaic, is very unique to Lagos being the trail brazier in every lofty initiative.

She said Lagos State Government through the event is once again putting itself before the international community, especially tourists across the world to see what the State can offer in terms of breaking new grounds and in creativity.

She said: “The relevance of Lagos State in Nigeria cannot be undermined as the State has been channeling its efforts into activities that have strengthened the nation economically, culturally, and socially. Our great State has no doubt been serving as the melting pot for Nigeria tradition and culture.

“The coming together of Fly Africa and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for this event which is one of its kinds in the history of this nation underscores Lagos’ rich attractions that have earned the Nation a global voice and respect, across the continent.

“It is also commendable that we are equally using this event to eye World Guinness Record through the laying of the Largest Cupcake Mosaic in different colors, being the first ever in the world.

“I appreciate the almost 150 volunteers who came together to make this Largest Cupcakes Mosaic possible as well as the various partners for this event.”

Akinbile-Yusuf also disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, has used the period of the lockdown in the tourism and entertainment industry to rethink a workable direction for the post-covid era, adding that going forward, efforts will be channeled towards the development of the State local tourism sites and the promotion of local creativity.

“Rather than enriching the economy of other countries through international tours, we want to change the narrative by making our State a more beautiful city to behold where international tourists can visit and invest their resources,” she said.

Commenting on the laudable achievements, the Managing Director of Outori Limited and lead Aviator of Fly Africa, Mr. Wole Olagundoye, said the record breaking event would inspire Nigerians and Africans to rise above the odds and strive for positive actions towards achieving great and transformational feats.

“Only Africans can make Africa succeed, our own destiny is not in the hand of other nations but right in ours and we must seize this moment to make the necessary changes,” he said.

Also joining Governor Sanwo-Olu in laying the largest Cupcakes Mosaic, which received wide jubilation immediately the sixty thousandth cupcake was laid, are members of the State Executive Council.

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

OCTOBER 1, 2020

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

NIGERIA @ 60: SANWO-OLU HOSTS 60 SCHOOL CHILDREN FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY CONVERSATION

  • Lagos Governor Inspires Pupils On Patriotism, Civic Duties

  • First Lady Makes Case For Return Of History To School Curriculum

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, called off the ceremonial Independence Day parades on Thursday, opting for a low-key commemoration of the nation’s 60th Independence anniversary.

Alternatively, the Governor created a simple, but memorable commemorative event for selected school children to give them the understanding of the significance of the anniversary.

Sanwo-Olu, who was joined by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, hosted 60 primary school pupils drawn from various localities across Lagos for a no-holds-barred conversation about the Independence Day.

The event was held at the State House in Marina – a short distance from the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), where the instrument of independence was handed over to Nigeria’s founding fathers on October 1, 1960.

The event tagged: “Nigeria’s Future Diamonds”, was organised with an objective to inspire patriotism among children and to give them orientation on civic duties required towards building the nation of their dreams.

The pupils listened with rapt attention, as Sanwo-Olu delved into the history, taking them on an elaborate lecture on the nation’s pre-independence struggles and the roles played by each of the Nigeria’s founding fathers who fought for country’s freedom from colonialists.

The Governor told them that each stanza of the national anthem was a reminder to every citizen to sustain the vision of a united and prosperous Nigeria, stressing that the collective labour of the nation’s past heroes would be in vain if future leaders failed to uphold the values.

He said: “Today makes it 60 years when our country, Nigeria, became independent from colonial rule. The freedom we are enjoying today did not come by accident; it was made possible by the collective efforts and labour of the likes of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello of blessed memory, and Chief Anthony Enahoro, among many others. They were the ones who negotiated with the British and liberated us from colonial rule in 1960.

“Every time we sing the national anthem and recite the national pledge, we are reminded of the labour of these heroes, and our collective duty, as citizens, to keep alive the vision of a united and prosperous Nigeria. As young citizens, it is our duty as today’s leaders to protect your future. We understand there are challenges, but the effort of building the nation is on course. We will do our best to create a country in which you will be proud of being citizens.”

Sanwo-Olu observed that the nation had experienced high and low moments in its march to attain desired development, but said the current challenges would be surmounted if the citizens eschewed divisive tendencies and work in common purpose.

The Governor charged the children not to give up on the country, noting that there had been positive development recorded in the last six decades, which indicated that Nigeria of everyone’s dream remained achievable.

He urged the children to be patriotic and imbibe values that would promote the unity of the country. Sanwo-Olu also advised them to start reading books that will educate them better on nation building and civic duties.

He said: “As you grow older, you will need to read books and there are authors, such as Prof. Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Peter Enahoro and Chimamanda Adiche. These books will educate you more on what it takes to build a nation and what roles you will need to play when you become leaders. You must never give up on the country, no matter how imperfect it might look.

“We need you to begin to imbibe the Lagos Spirit, which is all about excellence, resilience, commitment to service and tolerance. You are the future leaders and you must start acting as leaders. The only way we can all build our dream country is to believe in Nigeria. This is why we brought you together; to make you understand you have roles in delivering a country that will reflect the dreams of all of us.”

The First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said the yearly commemoration of the nation’s Independence anniversary underscored the need to bring back history subject to the basic schools’ curriculum.

The subject, she said, would give children understanding of the significance of the event.

The pupils also had personal interaction with the Governor, during which they asked questions about education and healthcare. The session also afforded the children an opportunity to share their future ambitions with the Governor.

Samuel Olasunkanmi, 7, of Amosun Primary School in Agege, said his future ambition was to work as law enforcement agent to achieve his dream of bequeathing responsible Police Force to the country.

Also, Okikiola Akinrinmola, 9, of the State Primary School in Sango-Agege, said she would like to become a teacher in the future to raise the quality of education in the country.

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

OCTOBER 1, 2020

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT

PRESS RELEASE

LAGOS CANCELS INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE

The Lagos State Government has opted for a low key celebration of the 60th Independence Anniversary due to the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still with us.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed that the planned parade and other activities that involve the gathering of more than 50 people should be cancelled.

He congratulates Lagosians on this auspicious occasion and strongly advises that they should celebrate quietly at home and pray for the country. They should also observe the COVID-19 protocols, including wearing of face masks to protect themselves and their loved ones.

The Governor urges Lagosians not to relax their vigilance against COVID-19 so as not to reverse the gains that the state has made in fighting the disease. They are to keep embracing social distancing and washing of hands with soap and water. Anybody who feels unwell should stay indoors and contact health authorities.

The police and other security agencies have been directed to ensure that nobody flouts these directives in the interest of all of us, especially now that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is warning that a second wave of the deadly disease could occur.

 

Gbenga Omotoso

HC, Information and Strategy

September 30, 2020.

02 October 2020


Sir Shina Peters, Ruby Gyang, Waje, Illbliss, Chigurl, Brymo feature in Nigeria’s Independence Day Celebration Song by Adron Homes

 

Foremost real estate company, Adron Homes has released an all-star music production titled ‘We are Nigeria’ today, October 1 2020 to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary.

The song features popular and award-winning Nigerian musicians including Sir Shina Peters, Ruby Gyang, Waje, Illbliss, Brymo, Chigurl & B.J Lawrence

‘We are Nigeria’ was Produced by Moshood with Adron Homes as the executive producer for the track.

Commenting on the music production, Group Managing Director Adron Homes, Aare Adetola Olaniyi Emmanuelking said, “With this song, we aim to inspire hope in the heart of every Nigerian and to remind ourselves of the importance of our unity as a nation. We believe that this song will spur renewed faith and ignite the power of words over our beloved country; reminding us of our greatest asset – the strength we possess in our togetherness.

Adron Homes firmly believes that this 60th celebration should symbolize our national values and reawaken the spirit of patriotism in the minds of Nigerians. The song also aims to give every Nigerian at home and abroad a chance to speak positive words over our great Nation in this light, the company further made the announcement that in the spirit of making the incredible affordable, it has declared a 60 hours 50% discount on ALL its estates which ends at 12 noon on Friday, October 2nd 2020.  A viral campaign tagged #AdronUnityBeatChallenge has been launched following the release of the song.

We encourage every Nigerian at home and in the diaspora to join us in speaking positive words over our country by joining the challenge and challenging friends and family to make a video of their own version of the song to stand a chance to win exciting prizes,” Olaniyi added.

How to Join the challenge:

  • Follow @adronhomesofficial on Instagram

  • Click the link on the @adronhomesofficial bio

  • Post your video using the hashtag: #AdronUnityBeatChallenge

‘We are Nigeria’ is available for streaming on YouTube.

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Police Spearhead FG’s New Drive for Independence

In a bid to boost rice production in Nigeria and pave the way for self-reliance, the President shut the country’s land borders and rice farmers went into overdrive nationwide. It was time to take Nigeria back from foreign nations that have turned the country to a dumping ground for foodstuffs.

Besides the protection of locally manufactured goods, the move was also against smuggling of oil products out of Nigeria, and the inflow of small arms and drugs into the country.

To achieve this objective, the Federal Government through the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu appointed a seasoned officer from the high-pressure world of law enforcement, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Udu Moses Ogechi, to lead a coalition force of border guards drawn from various security agencies to keep smugglers at bay.

The Presidential Task Force christened Enhanced Nigeria-Benin Joint Border Patrol has its operational headquarters at the ever-busy Seme Border, in Badagry area of Lagos. It has done much in reshaping the future of the nation.

Four days before Nigeria closed the border without warning, security agents had intercepted truckloads of prohibited tramadol and codeine, and Customs officers had earlier impounded loads of Pump Action Rifles smuggled into the country.

Today, with the Presidential Task Force at work, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for anyone to smuggle banned items across the Nigerian Border.

In fact, one of the accomplishments that the President proudly celebrated in his Democracy Day address, on June 12, was the efficiency of police officers and other security agents involved in the special operation to keep Nigeria’s borders safe.

“To reduce security challenges through our external borders especially smuggling of oil products out of the country, inflow of small arms and drugs into the country and equally protect our local manufacturers, we introduced operation ‘Ex-Swift Response’ closing our borders from August 20th 2019, and have considerably succeeded in meeting its objectives as well as improving our national revenue,” the President said in his broadcast.

British automatic pistol recovered from bandits at Seme by the Ogechi-led Nigeria-Benin Border Patrol team.

Although, it has not gone down well with neighboring countries, the border closure has been described by Nigerian officials as one visionary and pro-active move against the spread of the novel coronavirus which the World Health Organization (WHO) first reported on December 31, 2019.

Day and night, Ogechi’s men are seen maneuvering their patrol vehicles through neighborhoods along the border, risking life and limb to protect and serve the nation.

Before he was singled out for the task of carrying out the presidential mandate of securing Nigeria’s most strategic land border, Ogechi had served as the Squadron Commander, MOPOL 43, Lion Building; Commander in charge of Diplomatic Missions and the Commander, Lion Building.

Ogechi who hailed from Akaeze, at Ivo LGA, in Ebonyi State, had served as the Commander, Federal Task Force on Narcotic and Counterfeit Drugs under the late Dr Dora Akunyili, and had contributed largely to the successes recorded in the war against fake drugs. He led the operations.

During his years at NAFDAC, he led the sanitization of Onitsha Head Bridge drug market, where illicit drugs worth billions of naira were confiscated, along with arms and ammunition.

The ongoing Border patrol mission has witnessed seizures of contraband goods worth billions of Naira and the seizure of weapons and illicit drugs.

According to the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele who visited the Seme Border recently, Ogechi’s activities have earned Nigeria huge revenue.

ECA and IIF Host Private Investors, African Finance and Development Ministers to Discuss the Role of Private Capital During the Crisis, and Post-Pandemic Recovery

 

October 01, 2020, Washington, D.C.—The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Institute of International Finance (IIF) released the following statement after a virtual meeting of delegates representing African finance and development ministries, and the private creditor community to discuss the role of the private sector in supporting low-income countries through the COVID-19 crisis, and driving post-pandemic development.

“We all agree that access to private capital is essential to economic growth and development, the post-COVID-19 recovery, as well as raising living standards and creating greater prosperity across Africa. Given the importance of private capital, and its growing role in Africa over the last decade, it is crucial that countries with market access and the appropriate macroeconomic framework continue to have the opportunity to this access as a complement to concessional financing. A number of these countries have pursued policies to increase investor confidence, attract investment, obtain greater market access, and lower their cost of capital – these efforts must be encouraged. Similarly, new initiatives to help further lower the cost of capital must be encouraged and implemented swiftly – such as the creation of repo markets for frontier issuances as part of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility. Where additional liquidity can be provided it must be the priority.”

Regarding the upcoming discussions about the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Annual Meetings, the group noted that extending the bilateral DSSI through 2021 would allow much-needed debt relief. All creditor countries are encouraged to participate fully in an extended DSSI.

Further, the group said “the upcoming meetings should include a discussion on how to capitalize international financial institutions so they can pursue credit-enhancement frameworks with the borrowing countries and the private sector to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

“No two countries entered the crisis in the same position, and their economic situations continue to reflect the diversity of the African continent. Accordingly, we recommend a case-by-case approach to resolving any potential insolvencies as the most viable solution. However, we also take note of the work of the IMF on a new debt restructuring framework that would allow countries willing to participate to opt in.

“All stakeholders, including debtor countries and the private sector, should have a seat at the table and their views must be considered. We strongly encourage open, inclusive  and transparent consultation with private creditors and African Sovereigns as reform options are considered on the private sector initiatives as well as the debt restructuring framework, and building on the recently concluded UN Financing for Development conference.”

Representing the private sector, the IIF has helped coordinate the views of over 100 of the world’s foremost asset managers, banks, and other financial institutions providing private finance to nations and companies through Eurobonds, syndicated loans, trade finance and other credit structures across the continent of Africa. These investors bring significant expertise and experience in Africa and other emerging markets, and represent total assets under management in excess of $45 trillion.

This meeting also follows up from the ministers of finance and development meetings the ECA has been convening as part of its support to member states on the crisis, and is part of a continued dialogue between the public and private sector. The group has agreed to follow up as appropriate.

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About the ECA

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.

Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges.

About the IIF

The Institute of International Finance is the global association of the financial industry, with more than 450 members from more than 70 countries. Its mission is to support the financial industry in the prudent management of risks; to develop sound industry practices; and to advocate for regulatory, financial and economic policies that are in the broad interests of its members and foster global financial stability and sustainable economic growth. IIF members include commercial and investment banks, asset managers, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, central banks and development banks

-Ends-

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org

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