Lagos to Boost GDP Through Entertainment
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Tuesday revealed plans of his administration to leverage on the vast economic opportunities in entertainment, tourism and arts sectors, among others to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state and promote talents in the state to compete globally.
Speaking at Lagos House, Ikeja when he received artistes who performed at the One Lagos Fiesta (OLF), who were on a thank-you-visit, Governor Ambode said the creative industry remains a veritable platform to grow the economy, and that government would tap into it and use it to positively engage the bulging youths in the state.
The OLF, which is an annual end of the year revue put together by the state government, held simultaneously in five different locations across the state from December 24, 2016 to January 1, 2017, and it was adjudged to be very successful with participation of A-list artistes from different genres of music.
The Governor, who thanked the artistes for their partnership with the state government, said the OLF was a platform put together by his administration to majorly create awareness about the potentials inherent in the entertainment industry, especially in using it to grow the economy and positively develop talents that abound in the country.
He said according to statistics, the State recorded the lowest crime rate during the period of the OLF, saying that the artists contributed significantly in keeping the city secured and scale up the international rating of the state as a safe place.
He recalled the Project T.H.E.S.E (Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sports for Excellence) which was part of campaign promises to Lagosians, saying that his administration remained committed to using the initiative as well as the OLF to grow the economy of the state.
“We have a bulging youth population dynamics in Lagos. 66 per cent of our population are below the age of 35 and if two third are of below 35, it means there is an economy in that age bracket that government is not seeing. The OLF was used to test run how to bring people together.
“The issue now is beyond OLF, how do we now take that opportunity to become a catalyst for this partnership? On my part, I want to reiterate my commitment. This is an area I love which is underutilized for the societal development of the country.
“Government is now willing to use your industry to grow its GDP because so far entertainers are working, we would have more visitors coming to Lagos; they will stay in our hotels; they will buy clothes; they will go out in the night and buy our drinks and the ultimate thing is that more taxes come in for the state.
“So, there is a concentric cycle around the energy of entertainers and so what I want is a structured framework.
“What is it that we should do as government to grow the industry? Why should we go and be doing video shoot in South Africa for instance? I want a win-win partnership not just to use artistes and dump them till another December. I want a year-round partnership that is built around a framework,” Mr Ambode told his guests.
Going forward, the Governor tasked artistes to come up with a structured framework to grow the economy, while government will provide infrastructures and initiatives to help the sector.
“The challenge for our artistes now is to come up with a framework of how government can intervene. We are willing to support and we are willing to draw up a programme to support you but how do you want to fuse into that to make Lagos the entertainment hub in Africa? That is the challenge but I want to thank you for honouring us,” the Governor said.
Many of the big names in the entertainment industry including Queen Salawa Abeni, Adewale Ayuba, Tiwa Savage, Adekunle Gold, Sir Shina Peters, Sound Sultan among others, lauded Governor Ambode for the OLF initiative and his commitment to grow the industry.
Other notable names who were part of the delegation included Folarin Falana (Falz), M.I Abaga, Patoranking, Obesere, Tony Tetuila, Dr Sid, Idris Abdulkareem, Aramide, CDQ, Sulaimon ‘Atawewe’ Adio, Reekado Banks, Humblesmith, Dammy Krane among others.
OPEC+ Likely to Keep Output Cut Levels as Group Meets April 3
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) will likely stick to its existing deal to cut oil output at a meeting on Monday, April 3.
According to Reuters, this was said disclosed by five delegates from the producer group after oil prices recovered following a drop to 15-month lows due to banking fears and demand worries.
Brent crude has recovered towards $80 a barrel after falling to near $70 on March 20 as fears ease about a global banking crisis and as a halt in exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan region curbs supplies.
OPEC+ is due to hold a virtual meeting of its ministerial monitoring panel, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday.
The consensus was that Kurdistan curbs and recent price drops were not sufficiently important to affect the overall OPEC+ policy path for 2023.
Kurdistan’s crude oil exports – around 400,000 barrels per day shipped through an Iraqi-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan and then on tankers to the international markets – were halted late last week by the federal government of Iraq.
Last week, the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favour of Iraq against Turkey in a dispute over crude flows from Kurdistan. Iraq had argued that Turkey shouldn’t allow Kurdish oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline and Ceyhan without approval from the federal government of Iraq.
Talks between officials from Kurdistan and from the Iraq federal government have failed in recent days, but they are set to continue next week.
Three other OPEC+ delegates also told Reuters that any policy changes were unlikely on Monday. After those talks, the next full OPEC+ meeting is not until June.
Last November, OPEC+ reduced its output target by 2 million barrels per day – the largest cut since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The same reduction applies for the whole of 2023.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, has said OPEC+ will stick to the reduced target until the end of the year.
Oando to Quit Nigerian, Johannesburg Stock Exchanges
By Dipo Olowookere
The board of Oando Plc has informed the investing community of its intention to leave the Nigerian and Johannesburg stock exchanges in the coming months.
The reason for exiting the stock market, according to the energy firm, is to become a private company and to achieve this, its core investor, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited (OODP), has offered to buy all the shares held by minority shareholders in Oando.
OODP is offering to pay N7.07 in cash or its equivalent in South African Rand (ZAR) for each of the stock, which it said represents a 58 per cent premium to the last traded share price of Oando on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, being the day prior to the date it submitted the scheme application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Oando trades its shares on the floors of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
This news comes hours after the company announced that it had bounced back into profitability after years of dishing out losses to the frustration of shareholders.
In its unaudited financial results for 2021, Oando reported a profit after tax of N34.7 billion, in contrast to the loss after tax of N140.7 billion of the preceding year.
Before now, Oando has had it rough with regulators in Nigeria, leading to its suspension from the market and a court tussle over allegations that it tampered with its financial statements to deceive investors.
In the notice released this week, Oando said after the acquisition of “the shares of all minority shareholders in Oando,” it would “subsequently be delisted from NGX and JSE and re-registered as a private company.”
At the moment, the energy firm said it has “applied for the SEC’s No Objection to the scheme, noting that the deal is “subject to the approval of the shareholders of Oando at the Court-Ordered Meeting of the company, as well as the sanction of the Federal High Court.”
However, it disclosed that, “The terms and conditions of the transaction will be provided in the scheme document, which will be dispatched to all shareholders following the receipt of an order from the Federal High Court to convene a Court-Ordered Meeting,” promising to update the market “upon receipt of requisite approvals from shareholders and regulators.”
Ajay Banga to Become World Bank President Unopposed
By Adedapo Adesanya
The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced Mr Ajay Banga, a US national, as the only nominee for the position of the bank’s next president and may clinch the post if he passes the next hurdle.
This was contained in a statement issued by the World Bank on Friday.
“The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today confirmed that, as announced on February 22, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank Group closed on Wednesday at 6:00 pm ET.”
“The board received one nomination and would like to announce that Ajay Banga, a US national, will be considered for the position.
“In accordance with established procedures, the Board of Executive Directors will conduct a formal interview with the candidate in Washington D.C., and expect to conclude the Presidential election in due course,” the board said.
US President Joe Biden in February nominated Mr Banga to lead the World Bank, saying he is “well equipped” to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history.”
No other country proposed an alternate candidate for the prestigious post.
Mr Banga, 63, was born in India and is a naturalised US citizen. He has led Mastercard Inc and now currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic.
If confirmed, Mr Banga would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Mr Banga is expected to replace the current World Bank president, Mr David Malpass, who will step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire.
Mr Malpass faced strong criticism over the bank’s commitment to climate action and over his personal views on climate change.
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