By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Some hours ago, Lagos State Government, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, accused the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing headed by his predecessor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, of frustrating efforts of his administration to carry out a “total reconstruction of the International Airport Road from Oshodi.
Miffed by remarks of his successor, who is also a member of his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Minister released a statement, replying the Governor’s allegations.
In the statement signed by Special Adviser to the Minister on Communications, Mr Hakeem Bello, Mr Fashola said the allegations were false.
He said the allegations of lack of cooperation from the Ministry and frustration of Lagos State Government development initiatives were also simply not true.
According to him, in 2016, he approved the use of the Federal Ministry of works yard at Oworonsoki for Lagos State Government to create a lay-by to ease traffic.
The Minister further said he also approved that Lagos State be granted the rights to manage the street lighting on the 3rd Mainland Bridge to support the security initiatives of the state, a request he said the previous Federal Government administration had denied Lagos State for years.
During the same year, the Minister said he supported the approval of the World Bank Loan of $200 million to Lagos State, again a request he disclosed that the previous administration had denied the state.
“As far as International Airport Road which is currently the ground for alleged ‘frustration’ is concerned, the correct position is that the Lagos State government presented a request for four roads that it would wish to take over,” he said.
The statement noted that, “This is consistent with the position being canvassed by the Minister for states who are interested to apply to take over roads that are within their states.”
Mr Fashola said the Ministry has presented the memorandum conveying the request of the Lagos State government to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as was done with a similar request by the Kaduna State Government in 2016.
“Due to the fact that two of the roads also connect Ogun State, the FEC could not reach an immediate decision on them because it requested the input of the other state government affected.
“The Kaduna State government requested the Federal Government to transfer two roads within Kaduna Metropolis to the state in November 2015. Due process was followed and the request of the state government was approved in August 2016, a period of 10 months.
“Federal Executive Council Memorandum are debated and commented upon by all members and in cases of roads, surveys, maps and other material have to be provided to assist members understand the location and connectivity of the roads, (in this case Four roads), in order to assist how they vote on the Memorandum.
“As far as the Presidential Lodge is concerned, it is under the management of the Presidency and not the Ministry.
“After the approval by Mr President that the Presidential Lodge can be handed over to the state government, there was a directive to the Ministry to work out the modalities for handing over.
“The Ministry has prepared a vesting instrument to convey the transfer and all that is needed is a survey plan.
“The Presidential Lodge is a high security location and officials of the Ministry also require security clearance to enter in order to do any works.
“Access to the lodge is not under the control of the Ministry,” Mr Fashola said in the statement.
The statement said, “The motive behind this public accusations must therefore be scrutinized coming barely a week after the Governor spoke with the Minister on the outstanding requests of the state for several minutes and the Minister took time to explain the situation of things to the Governor. (The first telephone conversation the Governor has had with the Minister since May 29, 2015).
“If there is any lack of co-operation it is on the part of the state government that has refused to acknowledge let alone approving the Ministry’s request for land of the National Housing Programme in Lagos.
“The Ministry is not frustrated by this lack of response and remains optimistic that a response will come from Lagos State.”
“The Ministry remains committed to serving the Government and Good People of Lagos and will treat all their requests on Merit and in accordance with necessary due process as will be done to other States,” the Minister assured.
“As far as the refund of N51 billion is concerned this is not a new item. Almost all if not all states have these claims and the Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing has verified these claims. What is left is the process of raising the finance to pay the Debt owed to the States.
“Those who are familiar with the workings of Government will attest to the fact that it is an intricate sequence of processes, consultation and collaboration.
“Equating processes to a lack of co-operation is therefore akin to creating a storm in a tea cup,” the statement concluded.
CitiTrust Holdings Sells Commercial Paper for 22%
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
An opportunity has opened for commercial paper investors as CitiTrust Holdings Plc is offering the asset class at a coupon of 22.0 per cent per annum under its N50 billion commercial paper issuance programme.
According to details of the exercise obtained by Business Post, the company, in the financial services sector, is selling the debt instrument in four tenors of 90 days, 120 days, 180 days and 270 days.
The minimum subscription for prospective and potential investors is N5 million and can be purchased through any of the registered stockbrokers.
The 90-day instrument is going for 16.1 per cent, the 120-day paper is being sold for 17.5 per cent, the 180-day note is 19.1 per cent, and the 270-day instrument is going for 22.0 per cent.
The offer commenced on November 23, 2022, and is expected to close on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, with the net proceeds to be used for the company’s general corporate purposes and working capital.
CitiTrust said investors would be paid their interests from the operating cash flows of the organisation, with purchases to be settled via direct debit, electronic funds transfers, NIBBS Instant Payment (NIP), NIBBS Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) or Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
CitiTrust is a leading pan-African financial and investment conglomerate owned by reputable institutional and private investors. The company has a focus on high-end financial products and services for its targeted sectors of the economy, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, wealth management, pension management, insurance and alternative investment.
The firm is a foremost financial solutions provider and has been an intricate part of the Nigerian economy since 2007. It has grown and evolved over the years into an award-winning market leader in the financial sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, establishing its footprints in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and the UK.
In 2019, the organisation upgraded its operations into a reputable financial services provider to align with the strategic vision of its shareholders to build an enduring institution that delivers cross-functional services to its clientele.
The company’s deep knowledge of the market, dexterity, smooth and reliable processes driven largely by technology and the high quality of its personnel puts it on the cutting edge of strategic Importance with its clientele.
No Individual Should Operate Domiciliary Account in Nigeria—Tope Fasua
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
An economist and former presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in the 2019 general elections, Mr Tope Fasua, has kicked against the opening of a domiciliary account in Nigeria for an individual, calling it an abnormality.
Speaking on a Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast show, he said only corporate organisations involved in international trades should be allowed to operate a dorm account.
As individuals who need foreign exchange to transact any business transaction, they should be given a credit card or prepaid card, which would be loaded with the value of Dollars they require instead of giving them cash.
According to him, this would limit the demand for FX and strengthen the Naira in the forex market segments.
Mr Fasua made these submissions while reacting to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
“Personal dorm accounts are mostly unnecessary; only companies that are doing international trade transactions or financial market companies should be able to hold dorm accounts because they have a reason to,” the renowned analyst said on the programme monitored by Business Post.
“When I travelled abroad recently, GTBank loaded by card with Dollars, and when I need to spend where I am going, I just use my card,” he added, stressing that, “If you are an exporter, you have export proceeds coming in, you can have a dorm account.
“If you are an importer and you need to pay your customer once in a while, you can have a dorm account as a company, but if every Tom, Dick and Harry can speculate against their own currency, you will never get it out of crises.”
According to him, “The ease at which people move against their currency in this country is too much; it should not be that easy.”
LIBIZFAIR Will Boost Business Opportunities in Lagos
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Chairman of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that the Lagos Island Business Fair (LIBIZFAIR) will improve business opportunities in the state and also attract more investments.
The former federal lawmaker said this at the opening ceremony of the fair organised by the Lagos Island Connect, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
At the programme held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, Lagos, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, represented by the Head of the Lagos Annex of the agency, Mr Oladipo Odebowale, commended the state government for the initiative.
She noted that the platform provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, saying, “This will boost investment and business opportunities in the state.”
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, in her remarks, described the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as critical to the empowerment of youths.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the minister, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, she noted that building the capacity of youth-oriented enterprises, with the goal of providing opportunities for growth, will lead to an increase in prosperity among Lagos Island youths.
“I believe this platform can leverage socio-economic networking and Information Communication & Technology to provide more interactive opportunities for the teeming youth of Lagos Island and its environs from diverse cultural, religious, social and educational backgrounds to grow their businesses and services, as well as the State’s economy,” she said.
The Commissioner explained that the fair aligns with the policy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, widening access to the market and encouraging networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals & Investment (SDG&I), Mrs Solape Hammond, stressed that the programme was geared towards supporting businesses to thrive at the local government level.
“The study discovered that the youths of Lagos Island are versatile, technologically enabled, driven and willing to be positively engaged, particularly in personal and communal development.
“Though most of them are faced with different challenges yet, there is an enormous zeal to be gainfully engaged rather than being idle, which could contribute to community nuisance.
“Young people in Lagos Island have a brighter vision for the future, and all stakeholders must join together to support them to deliver it,” the governor’s aide said in her presentation on the Lagos Island Youth Needs Assessment Survey.
The co-founder of the Lagos Island Connect, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, while addressing participants, noted that the LIBIZFAIR 2022 was geared towards taking businesses in Lagos Island from a local to a global level by investing in the youths and preventing their massive migration to foreign lands.
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