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LASG, LFTZ stakeholders meet, brainstorm on solutions to host communities’ challenges



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

The Lagos State Government has charged communities around the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) to have a clear understanding of the ongoing development in the area.

The Managing Director, Global Impact Environmental Consulting (GIEC) Ltd. Dr. Babatunde Osho, who represented the Lagos State Government, gave the advice at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Wednesday.

Osho said the stakeholders needed to provide lasting solutions to some of the challenges confronting the host communities.

The GIEC boss said that information from the community stakeholders showed some issues between the government, community and the Free Zone tenants.

He noted that this informed the need for a laid down framework guiding the operations between all parties involved in the development of Lekki Free Zone.

“Before any development can take place, we need to find out the needs of the communities and sign a MoU before going further.

“Based on the challenges emanating from the development of the zone, the government needs to assess the plan on ground and its responsibility toward addressing the challenges to provide solutions.

“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is trying to be proactive looking at the kind of investment that will take place along Lekki axis and understand that such development comes with both the positive and negative.

“This meeting is so we have the laid down plan that will guide the government in view of future occurrences,” he said.

He noted that in developed countries, before setting up a Free Trade Zone, strategy environmental and social assessment policy was embarked on.

Osho said that the company would come up with a framework that would tackle how government could address the challenges confronting the affected communities.

He said that the issue of land acquisition would be addressed with recognition of the international best practices in view of recommending Land Acquisition and Resettlement Policy Framework.

Osho said that there was a need for predictive studies based on the gradual development at the free zone, to avoid disaster in the future.

He said that the government also wanted to document various vegetation that had gone as a result of the development and find ways to preserve such.

The Director, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Omololu Obayomi, said the Lagos State Government had engaged in a separate master plan for Lekki area due to the development emanating lately.

He urged communities affected to cooperate with the government as the incoming development would provide jobs for their youths and develop their environment.

A representative of the Ministry of Transport, Assistant Director, Transport Operation Department, Mrs. Fausat Jenty, urged the community to be law-abiding and obey road signs to avoid accidents along the trade corridor.

A representative of the Ministry of Trade Commerce and Industry,  Sector Unit Head, Mr Abiodun Okesanya, pleaded with the community to co-operate with the Lagos State Government to enable them to benefit from the development.

Mr. Wasiu Ayeola, of Lekki Costal, urged the government to apply global practices to any development that would be taking place in their community.

Ayeola called for the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the government for future development, to achieve set desired

He urged the government to intervene on the issue of employment and land acquisition.

The Community Leader, and Chairman Lekki Worldwide, Chief Tajudeen Jegede, called for the establishment of traditional leaders in Lekki communities to improve further development.

Chief Morufu Alowonle, from Tiye community, Lekki, said that there was no development in Lekki after the commencement and relocation due to the trade zone.

“Initial agreement with tenants at the free zone is that they will help us to train our children from secondary schools to university level.

“We gave them a list of 666 students, they shortlisted to 444 and later came back and told us that they would train only 160 students,” Alowonle said.

The Women Leader, Origero Community Lekki, Madam Olubunmi Giwa, said they did not have primary schools in their community and had no market for them to trade.

Giwa urged Government to intervene in getting jobs for their children.

She said that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, adding that if they remained idle that they could become miscreants which they never prayed for.

She urged Government to intervene and provide lasting solutions to their challenges and improve their livelihood in the affected communities



Makinde Presents N434.2bn 2024 Budget Proposal For Oyo State



PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

 Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday presented a budget of N434.2 billion for 2024 to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

According to Makinde, the budget is made up of N222.3 billion for capital expenditure, and N211.8 billion for recurrent expenditure.

Presenting the budget tagged: “Budget of Economic Recovery”, the governor said the capital expenditure is 2.4 percent higher than the recurrent expenditure.

He added that the 2024 budget was estimating an increased Internally Generated Revenue of N72 billion with an average of N6 billion monthly.

Education gets the highest share of the budget with N90.6 billion or 20.8 percent of the budget, followed by Infrastructure which gets N74.3 billion or 17.1 percent of the appropriation bill.

The health sector takes the third position with N40.9 billion, which is 9.4 percent and Agriculture has N15.8 billion, which is 3.6 percent of the total budget proposal.

PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

*Governor Seyi Makinde

He promised that the 2024 budget would cover projects, policies, and actions “which when implemented will cushion the effect t of the hardship the people are facing as a result of fuel subsidy removal.”

Makinde further said that his administration would continue to use technology to block loopholes, saying his government has no plan to increase taxes.

He urged the House of Assembly to see to the speedy passage of the budget proposal for the state’s economic growth and benefit of the people of Oyo State.

Responding after the presentation, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr ‘Debo Ogundoyin (PDP Ibarapa East) assured the governor of speedy consideration of the Appropriation Bill.

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Troops Destroy 51 Illegal Refining Sites, Recover Stolen Crude Oil – DHQ



….Destroy 7 dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, one outboard engine, others

The Defence Headquarters says  troops of Operation Delta Safe have  destroyed 51 illegal oil refining sites and recovered stolen crude oil and refined products in the Niger Delta in the last one week.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, disclosed  in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also apprehended 58 perpetrators of oil theft and denied them of  estimated sum of N668.7 million

He said the troops destroyed seven dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, 141 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, one outboard engine, one tricycle, one speedboat and one tugboat.

According to him, troops recovered 267,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 567,700 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,000 litres of DPK.

“Troops has maintained momentum against oil theft and arrested persons involved in oil theft in Bonny and Ikpoba Local Government Areas of Rivers and Edo States respectively.

“Troops also arrested suspected armed robbers and foiled illegal bunkering activities in Oshimili South and Ukwa West of Delta and Abia States respectively,” he said.

In the South East, Buba said  troops of Operation UDO KA arrested 15 suspected criminals and repelled attacks by IPOB/ESN criminals in Anambra, Abia and Imo States.

He said the troops conducted raids and rescued kidnapped hostages in Ishielu and Igbo Eze North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi and Enugu States respectively.

He said the troops neutralised three criminals, rescued five kidnapped hostages and recovered 14 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo.

In the South West, Buba said  troops of Operation AWATSE foiled armed robbery attacks in Orelope and Olorunsogo Local Government Areas of Oyo State and arrested a gunrunner in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun.

According to him, troops rescued 15 kidnapped hostages and recovered two vehicles.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” he added.

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NEPZA Boss Says Nation’s Free Trade Zones Not Really `Free’



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the country’s Free Trade Zones are business anchorages that have for decades been used to generate revenues for the Federal Government.

Dr Olufemi Ogunyemi, the Managing Director of NEPZA, said this in a statement by the authority’s
Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, on Monday in Abuja, stressing that the the widely held notion that the scheme is a `free meal ticket’ for investors and not a means for the government to generate revenue is incorrect.

Ogunyemi said this public statement was essential to clarify the misunderstanding by various individuals and entities, in and out of government, on the nature of the scheme.

He reiterated the authority’s commitment to enhancing public knowledge of the principal reason for the country’s adoption of the scheme by the NEPZA Act 63 of 1992.

“The Free Trade Zones are not hot spots for revenue generation. Instead, they exist to support socioeconomic development.

“These include but are not limited to industrialisation, infrastructure development, employment generation, skills acquisition, foreign exchange earnings, and Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) inflows,” Ogunyemi said.

The managing director said the NEPZA Act provided exemption from all federal, state, and local government taxes, rates, levies, and charges for FZE, of which duty and VAT were part.

“However, goods and services exported into Nigeria attract duty, which includes VAT and other charges.

“In addition, NEPZA collects over 20 types of revenues, ranging from 500,000 dollars-Declaration fees, 60,000 dollars for Operation License (OPL) Renewal Fees between three and five years.

“There is also the 100-300 dollar Examination and Documentation fees per transaction, which occurs daily.

“There are other periodic revenues derived from vehicle registration and visas, among others.

“The operations within the free trade zones are not free in the context of the word,” he said.

Ogunyemi said the global business space had contracted significantly, adding that to win a sizable space would require the ingenuity of the government to either expand or maintain the promised incentives.

“These incentives will encourage more multinational corporations and local investors to leverage on the scheme, which has a cumulative investment valued at 30 billion dollars.

“The scheme has caused an influx of FDIs; it has also brought advanced technologies, managerial expertise, and access to global markets.

“For instance, the 52 FTZs with 612 enterprises have and will continue to facilitate the creation of numerous direct and indirect jobs, currently estimated to be within the region of 170,000,” he said.

Ogunyemi said an adjustment in title and introduction of current global business practices would significantly advance the scheme, increasing forward and backward linkages.

“This is with a more significant market offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).

“We have commenced negotiations across the board to ensure that the NEPZA Act is amended to give room for adjusting the scheme’s title from `Free Trade Zones to Special Economic Zones respectively.

“This will open up the system for the benefit of all citizens,” he said.

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