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Economy

Lagos generates N503.7bn in 2017, despite harsh economy – Ambode

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EFCC: We did not raid Ambode’s residence

 …As South Korea looking into bitcoin ban, prompting prices to drop***

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode indicated on Thursday that the state generated a total of N503.7billion revenue in 2017, despite the country’s harsh economic climate.

Ambode indicated this, at the state’s first quarter 2018 Town Hall Meeting in Ikeja, pledging to vigorously pursue all infrastructure projects, while remaining focused to the task of building a virile Lagos.

“Despite the harsh economy, our state budget performed at 82 per cent.

“Total revenue generated was N503.7bn representing a performance of 78 per cent; total recurrent expenditure was N281.33bn representing a performance of 92 per cent, while total capital expenditure was N387.60bn or 76 per cent performance,” the governor said.

Ambode said that the state was entering into the New Year with confidence of being on a solid prosperity footing, with interesting prospects for all Lagosians.

He said it was gratifying that the support of the people enabled government to achieve a lot and commence the transformation of the landscape of the state.

Ambode listed some of the key projects delivered last year to include the new Tafawa Balewa Square Bus Terminal, new Ojota Pedestrian Bridge, Aboru-Abesan Link Bridge and adjoining inner roads.

He cited others as Ojodu Berger Slip Road and Pedestrian Bridge; Jubilee Bridges in Ajah and Abule Egba; Freedom and Admiralty Road in Lekki; new Lands Registry; newly upgraded Jubilee Chalet in Epe, among others.

Giving a report of activities of his administration in the last quarter, Ambode said the state government commissioned the first state-owned DNA Forensic Centre.

He said that in the coming weeks, he would sign a contract to upgrade the facility to offer toxicology services.

“In fulfillment of our promise to our students in tertiary institutions across the state, this administration disbursed a total sum of N635.5million to 8,419 students across the state.

“Our government acquired healthcare equipment worth N2.5 billion.

“The equipment will strengthen the capacity of our health facilities to render improved health services and also facilitate smooth take-off of the Lagos State Health Scheme, which is designed to enable residents enjoy unfettered access to qualitative healthcare,’’ he said.

Giving an outlook on 2018, Ambode promised that he would sustain the momentum of development and vigorously pursue all ongoing projects, with special focus on health and education.

The 2018 Appropriation Bill of N1.046 trillion is presently awaiting the approval of the House of Assembly, just as the state government earmarks N92.676 billion for health, representing 8.86 per cent.

The state also earmarked N126.302 billion for education, representing 12.07 per cent of the budget.

Ambode assured the residents that the state government, in the coming weeks, would pay compensation to those whose structures gave way for construction of the 1.4 kilometre Pen Cinema Flyover/Bridge.

He said the government would also pay compensation to those affected in Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Owutu and other areas where construction activities were ongoing.

The governor, who entertained questions from residents, ordered the Public Works Corporation to immediately move in to fix bad roads in Computer Village, Abesan Estate, Oriade, Abule-Egba, among other areas.

Ambode also revealed that the Market Development Board would be inaugurated in coming weeks.

He expressed optimism that when functional, the board would address issues of market relocation for developmental projects, just as he said that the Onikan Stadium would be ready in January 2019.

Ambode urged all taxpayers to be alive to their responsibility of fulfilling their obligations to the state, saying regular payment of taxes remains the major source of funding infrastructures.

He assured the people that the government, on its part, would judiciously utilize the taxes to make life comfortable for the people.

In the meantime, South Korea’s Justice Ministry is preparing a law that would forbid the trading of crypto currencies, Minister Park Sang Ki has said on Thursday, prompting a dip in the value of bitcoin and others.

However, the South Korean president’s office later softened the ministry’s statement, saying that closing down the domestic crypto currency trade was only one measure being considered.

“This is not the final decision,’’ the Blue House said, adding that it was seeking further input from other ministries before moving forward.

On the Bitstamp platform, bitcoin was trading for 13,800 dollars after the Justice Ministry announcement.

Hours earlier, it had commanded a price of almost 15,000 dollars.

A legal ban on crypto currency trading would need a majority vote in the parliament, a process that could take several months at least.

The presidential office’s website was overflowing with complaints over the possible ban.

Crypto currency trading is especially popular in Asia, with the rapid appreciation of bitcoin and other digital currencies causing a buying rush in South Korea in 2017.

The South Korean government had announced in December that it was considering regulations to control the trading of digital currencies, including a ban on anonymous accounts.

Economy

Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

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Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called for the use of innovative technologies in resolving the economic and social challenges of the country.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Wednesday during the pioneer graduation of the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy (LJLA) at Konga Place in Lekki.

He said that the new platform of globalisation and Internet of things must be significantly employed to resolve new challenges encountered in the course of improving the living standards of citizens.

30 students, 15 men and 15 women, between 18 and 35 years, graduated from the academy after a one-year course and mentorship in leadership.

The Lagos Leadership Summit (LLS) is a pivotal platform dedicated to empowering Nigeria’s young professionals with the skills and insights essential for success in various leadership roles.

With a focus on leadership excellence, ethical governance, and youth inclusion in governance, the summit offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage with renowned leaders and industry experts.

” You have to be able to innovate for us, you are here as leaders of not tomorrow but today. Proffer solutions that the government can use as a tool, to solve the challenges that we are facing today but more importantly to solve global issues.

“And that is why we started the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy. For us as a government, we felt how well can we honour a man than for us in public sector to set up a cream of new leaders.

“So we set up this school that has the first set, the one-year fellowship, who indeed have not only shown us that we took the right step, they have been outstanding individuals,” the governor said.

The guest speaker and former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, noted that it was important for followers to trust their leaders for a successful outcome.

“The people need to trust the government, they must know the capability of their leaders so that when issues beyond human expectations happen, the followers can show empathy to the plight of their leaders.

” I have always been an advocate that believes that the process is as important as the result, the end shouldn’t justify the means, the process is crucial, it serves as a blueprint for others coming behind,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, who spoke on “Leadership And Community Engagement”, stated that to achieve effective leadership in Nigeria, there was the need to navigate complex political, economic and social landscapes.

Hamzat urged the citizens to be involved in governance while stressing the need for collaborations with private stakeholders and the public sector.

According to him, community engagement with government at all levels is pivotal to the nation’s development.

In her address, Mrs Ayisat Agbaje-Okunade, LIJA’s Executive Secretary, noted that the challenges faced required leaders who are not only capable but compassionate, visionary, and adaptable.

According to her, leadership must transcend rhetoric and manifest tangible outcomes.

“We need leaders who inspire confidence, foster unity, and drive transformation.”

Agbaje-Okunade urged the participants to embrace the responsibility that comes with leadership and pave the way for a generation of new leaders.

The keynote speaker, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, said that leadership is about leading people on a new purposeful journey.

Suleiman said being a strategic thinker and a transformational leader was what makes leadership different from management, adding that the future is being crafted in leadership.

“In essence, as a leader, you must be able to lead people to the future hence, you must be convincing for people to be bold to follow you, able to trust and believe in you.

“For one to be a leader, the people must be able to believe and trust you to take them to the future where you have never been to,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunbosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, stressed that leadership had nothing to do with being young or old but having good values and character.

The commissioner advised the participants to pursue excellence in their various career paths to succeed in life.

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Economy

Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth

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Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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Economy

Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

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Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), on Wednesday, disclosed that he had secured the release of four family members involved in manufacturing arms at the Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory in Delta.

Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, said that the release of the four persons was through collaborative efforts.

On March 12, troops of 63 Brigade, Asaba, uncovered an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Onicha-Olona, Delta North Senatorial District and arrested eight family members in connection with the crime.

Nwoko disclosed that efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“Following my recent visit to the headquarters of 63 Brigade, Asaba and productive discussions with the Brigade Commander, I am pleased to announce progress in addressing the situation regarding the illegal arms factory discovered in the Onicha-Olona community, Delta.

“Efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“I am pleased to reveal that through collaborative efforts, I have successfully secured the release of four family members implicated in the illegal activity.

“However, our commitment to upholding the law remains unwavering, and endeavours continue for fair judgment and potential pardon for the remaining four individuals,” he said.

The lawmaker stressed that the underlying issue highlighted by the discovery, however, remained of paramount importance.

“We must seize the opportunity to redirect the talents demonstrated by those involved towards lawful and productive endeavours.

“The young man in the family, known for his passion and ability to build drones, exemplifies this potential.

“His skills should be harnessed and put to good use,” he said.

Nwoko added that the Industrial Revolution served as a pertinent historical precedent where individual efforts catalysed transformative change and made possible by governments that created conducive environments.

“We can emulate this model here. We can provide support and opportunities for talented individuals like the young drone builder, and stimulate a new wave of innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

“As previously stated, Nigeria’s economy faces significant challenges exacerbated by escalating imports, particularly in the realm of arms and weaponry.

“Therefore, we must harness our indigenous talents for the greater good and bolster our local industries,” he said.

Nwoko further said that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, have crucial roles to play in this regard.

According to him, by engaging with individuals possessing such skills, we can offer them legal avenues for their expertise to flourish.

“The aim is not only to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms or other weapons manufacturing but also to channel these talents towards legitimate industries for national development.

“I reiterate the need for the government to support and integrate such offenders with specialised skills and talents into the formal economy.

“This initiative should focus on recognising their capabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the development of our local indigenous technology.

“As noted earlier, an individual capable of modifying an AK-47 magazine, originally designed to hold 30 rounds, to accommodate 60 rounds using rudimentary equipment, holds immense potential for greater achievements.

”Such individual can do more with proper legal support and access to adequate resources.”

He disclosed that he was committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partnering with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.

“I am committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.”

“They have the intelligence and insights of the potential beneficiaries of this “amnesty” drive towards creating a new cadre of indigenous technologists.

“This law would establish an agency dedicated to providing government support and resources to rehabilitate and engage these individuals in legal and productive activities.

“I tentatively suggest naming this proposed law the “National Talent Rehabilitation and Integration Act”.

“This legislation will not only focus on rehabilitation but also on harnessing the skills and talents of offenders for the benefit of society.

“By providing a structured environment and necessary support, this agency will facilitate the transition of individuals from illicit activities to lawful and productive ventures.

”And they will be contributing to both their personal rehabilitation and national development,” Nwoko added.

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