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Lagos reiterates commitment to creating value for businesses



More Trouble for Sanwo-Olu: Election Tribunal orders substituted service over Petition

…As State Assembly ends 3-day retreat for lawmakers, legislative workers on 2023 budget***

The Lagos State Government has reiterated its readiness to create value for businesses by adopting policies that encourage entrepreneurs in line with global best practices.

Dr. Lola Akande, Lagos Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives, said this at the closing ceremony of the Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) on Sunday in Lagos.

The 2022 LITF which is in its 36th edition is organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Akande, describing value creation as the bedrock of any business, said it distinguished a brand from competitors and secured customers’ loyalty on a long-term basis.

She said that the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had put in place a dogged public service that was working to facilitate an enabling business environment for all.

Akande added that the administration continued to maintain the status of a committed business crusader, creating public value for entrepreneurs in an unstable environment due to global economic challenges.

“Without creating value for business, its unique offering will be lost, among other commodities, to the target market.

“The understanding of value creation and connecting businesses in this volatile economic space is germane.

“There is the need for deliberate and meaningful engagement with key stakeholders in order to enhance an understanding of the positive impacts of networking in business.

“This can form a basis for continuous assessment of the benefits, and development of strategic roadmap towards its long term implementation, while drawing on the strength of E-Commerce or digital marketing,” Akande said.

She said that Lagos; with a population of over 20 million and a top destination for investors and tech startups in the global tech market would continue to provide support.

Akande noted that through the efforts of the state government, technology entrepreneurs have come to know Lagos as one of the most improved environments to do business.

According to her, out of over $1.7 billion venture investments that came into Nigeria, 70 percent came into Lagos start-ups.

“Over the past six months, about one billion dollars in data centre investment has poured into Lagos because of some of the projects the state is executing and some of the regulations we are pioneering.

“The administration of Sanwo-Olu has a Smart City Plan to transform Lagos into a technology-driven state, hence, connecting businesses, creating value for stakeholders in the various sectors of the economy to thrive in their day-to-day business activities,” she said.

Mr. Keye Kupoluyi, Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, LCCI, lauded the efforts of the state and federal governments, regulatory and traffic management agencies, sponsors, exhibitors and all participants at the 2022 LITF for their immense support.

“We have done our best within the limits of prevailing circumstances to ensure a hitch-free fair.

“I am confident that our exhibitors got value for their participation at this fair,” Kupoluyi said.

In another development, a three-day retreat organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly for lawmakers and legislative workers on the N1.692 trillion 2023 budget presented by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu ended on Sunday.

Gov. Sanwo-Olu presented the budget entitled “Budget of Continuous Development’’ to the House on Oct. 27.

The House committed the budget to its committees on Economic Planning and Budget and Finance for scrutiny.

Addressing the close of the retreat, Speaker of the House, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, admonished the various House committees and staff to ensure proper screening of the budget to close the gap between estimated figures and anticipated revenue.

The speaker also tasked the committees to be prepared so they could ask Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) relevant questions during budget defence and oversight functions.

“All over the world, the economy has been badly affected. Here in Lagos, we have our own challenges.

“Bridging the gap between the budget size and anticipated revenue is what the House should do. When the Executive arm determines the cost of projects, the committees should be able to check for the value of such projects.

“I am sure everyone recognised what we have been doing in Lagos State and I urge you to continue on the same trajectory so you can always be appreciated.

“The House supports participants to critically review the 2023 budget strategies and issues for engagement with MDAs during their budget defence.

“The retreat sought to enhance participants’ understanding of the Lagos State Fiscal Law/Public Financial Management Law and ancillary matters,’’ Obasa said.

Earlier, the Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, noted that the retreat was an opportunity for the lawmakers to familiarise themselves with the breakdown of the 2023 budget.

Onafeko explained that this was to ensure continuity in budgetary guidance from lawmakers to the people of Lagos State.

Also addressing the ceremony, Mr. John Mutu, a representative of the consultancy firm that facilitated the retreat said the organisation would help members to reflect deeply on the budget with a view to getting a direction.

He added that the retreat would enable lawmakers to effectively do a post-mortem of the 2022 budget and identify priorities of the state that could be accommodated in the 2023 budget.

The theme of the retreat was: “Consolidating the gains of the current administration in Lagos State in a transition year: Prospects, opportunities, and recommendations.’’


Fuel Subsidy Removal: Don Predicts Reduction In Fuel Price



Prof. AbdulGafar Ijaiya of the Department of Economics, University of Ilorin, has expressed optimism at President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural remarks on the removal of fuel subsidies, saying this may reduce prices at the long run.

Ijaiya, who spoke on Monday in Ilorin, observed that with commitment from the Federal Government in revamping existing refineries alongside Dangote refineries, will increase the availability of petroleum products.

The expert who however explained that though such effect may not be felt immediately, noted that the present pump price is about N200, depending on filling stations across the country.

He questioned if the present fuel price at about N200 was as a result of the subsidy removal, adding that if it is not, then fuel may likely increase with about 50 per cent rate after the removal.

“But the thing is that very soon, what has gone wrong with the refineries will be corrected and Dangote refineries will commence by July/August,” he said.

Ijaiya, who teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, pointed out that in the beginning there might be an increase in the prices of foods and services.

He however asserted that in a society like Nigeria where people are used to hike in prices, it would not mean much to the citizens.

“By Economics principle, we have adjusted our expenditure profile consumption to particular items. We have moved from consuming luxury and unnecessary items to necessary items.

“This means people go for what is necessary and do away with those that are not,” he said.

Ijaiya affirmed that in the long run, the fuel pump price will adjust downward and there would be more supply of the products.

He further added that when there are more supply of a particular product in the market, it will automatically reduce the price.

“If we have enough supply, with time and there are no other man-made distortion that has to do with our behaviour, I see us buying it between N80 and N100 per litre,” he predicted.

The economist also foresee filling station advertising and competing for sales, saying it will be good for the nation.

He, however, cautioned that “we are in an uncertain world”, but maintained that fuel subsidy removal would be good for the country eventually as only a minority are benefiting from it.

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NNPC Ltd, OML 130 Partners Conclude Lease Renewal Process  



The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 Partners have closed out the lease renewal process for OML 130 to unlock additional value from the Asset for stakeholders.

The NNPC Limited announced the renewal of the OML 130 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and conversion of the acreage to a Petroleum Mining Lease (PML), in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 provisions on Thursday.

During the ceremony which was presided over by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, five agreements were executed.

The NNPC Ltd management, in a statement, listed the agreements to include the PSC between NNPC Ltd and its Contractors, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) with Total Upstream Nigeria (TUPNI) as the operator.

The agreements include a Heads of Agreement (HoA) Amendment involving NNPC Ltd, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and CNOOC and a Settlement Repayment Agreement (SRA) Addendum between NNPC and its Contractors (CNOOC and SAPETRO).

Others are Concession Contracts for one Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL) and three PMLs and Lease and License Instruments between NNPC, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

The NNPC Ltd said the milestone would pave the way to firm up Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Preowei, amounting to US$2.1 billion.

This will subsequently be followed by Egina South projects lined up by TUPNI and the OML 130 partners to introduce additional volumes to the best-in-class Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Vessel,’’ the company said.

Stakeholders in attendance at the signing ceremony were the NNPC Ltd Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Malam Mele Kyari, the Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO), and Mr Bala Wunti, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan.

The event also had in attendance the NUPRC Chief Executive, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Managing Directors of TotalEnergies in Nigeria and CNOOC, Mr. Mike Sangstar, and Mr. Li Chunsheng, among others.

OML 130 is in the deep water Niger Delta, 130 kilometres offshore. The block contains the producing Akpo and Egina fields and the Preowei discovery.

To date, the Akpo field, via the Akpo FPSO, has produced over 646 million barrels of Condensate, while the Egina field, via the Egina FPSO, has produced over 233 million barrels of Crude Oil.

So far, about 1.6 Trillion cubic feet (TcF) of gas has been commercialised from both fields with an outstanding record of non-zero gas flare.

OML 130, currently producing 170,000 barrels per day, is the largest producer in TotalEnergies’ Nigeria portfolio and amongst the most prolific assets in Nigeria.

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PAP Sets Aside N1.5bn To Drive Entrepreneurship For Niger Delta Ex-agitators



The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has launched a N1.5 billion Cooperative Fund – the PAP Beneficiaries Cooperative Society (PAPCOSOL Ltd.) to give strategic empowerment directly to ex-agitators of the Niger Delta.

Launching the scheme on Wednesday, the Interim Administrator of PAP, retired Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu said the initiative was a novel alternative economic development scheme.

He said the initiative was designed to create a more viable means of sustainable livelihood for ex-agitators with socio-economic development of their communities and making them self-reliant.

“Over the years, various reintegration empowerment programmes have delivered less-fulfilling results. I am confident that this initiative is the most practicable approach to ensuring the sustainable reintegration of ex-agitators.

“The scheme which will be serviced monthly with N500 million was birthed out of the need to encourage ex-agitators who are fast ageing, to explore more sustainable means of livelihood.

“This is better than depending on the monthly N65,000 monthly stipends from the Federal Government.

“The cooperative, which already has offices in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers, will be closely supervised by the PAP office.

“It would be run by an Advisory Board led by Justice. Francis Tabai, a retired Supreme Court judge, and other seasoned professionals and ex-agitators,’’ Ndiomu said.

Ndiomu noted that beneficiaries would be provided with technical support on their business ideas, and also get access to grants.

Ndiomu with the NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko

He added that the scheme would focus on agricultural value chain, services and manufacturing.

Ndiomu expressed regret that the monthly N65,000 stipends had introduced the culture of dependency and indolence in ex-agitators.

In his remarks, Tabai commended the Interim Administrator for championing the drive to reposition PAP and transform the lives of people of Niger Delta.

He promised to bring his wealth of experience to ensure that the board delivered on its mandate.

Similarly, Hon. Felix Ayah, (PDP-Southern Ijaw Constituency I), lauded Ndiomu for thinking out of the box on the initiative.

Ayah stated that he and other leaders of the region would embrace the new thinking and promised to give the PAP boss maximum support.

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