By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The electrical workshop at the Government Technical College (GTC) in Ikorodu, Lagos State, has been revamped by Ikeja Electric Plc, a leading electricity distribution firm in Nigeria.
This is one of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the energy company aimed to boost technical education in the country.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ikeja Electric, Mrs Folake Soetan, the organisation remains passionate about giving back to the communities where it operates.
“We care about our customers and we look for every opportunity to support them, through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform, which has touched thousands of lives positively.
“We acknowledge the efforts of Federal, State and Local Governments in providing quality education for our children and raising the future leaders of tomorrow.
“No doubt, the responsibility being handled by the government is huge and demand is enormous. Government cannot do it all alone. That is why private organisations like Ikeja Electric throw their weight behind initiatives that support the government and drive development.
“At IE, we give back to the societies where we operate. Therefore, in line with our commitment towards education, we decided to rehabilitate the electrical workshop at Government Technical College (GTC), Ikorodu, in order to further enhance technical capacity building and create a conducive learning environment for the students,” Mrs Soetan said at the commissioning of the project on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at the institution.
Speaking further, the Ikeja Electric chief noted that the philanthropic gesture demonstrated IE’s commitment to the goal of promoting quality education. There’s no doubt that education is the bedrock of development for any nation.
“Clearly, when technical skills are encouraged among young people, it helps a nation to develop in terms of technology, economy, manpower, self-sustenance, creation of jobs and reduction of unemployment,” she said.
While commending the company for the gesture, Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, who was represented by Dr Funke Oyetola, Director of Policy, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Lagos State Education Ministry, expressed gratitude to the Disco for contributing towards improving the facility and adding value to the school while encouraging them to partner more with the state.
She commended the exemplary gesture by the firm, noting that the impact will definitely be meaningful to the recipients because the quality of learning will improve thereby enhancing the capabilities and potentials of the students for future challenges.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Ms Moronke Azeez thanked the Disco, saying the mission of the board was to provide industry response and gender-inclusive technical and vocational education.
According to her, the board was not only interested in the training of the students but was also engaging technical partners to help create startups and employment opportunities for them.
She said Lagos State currently has about 400 partners involved in the exercise, adding that there was a need for more private sector support of technical and vocational education in the state
In her remarks, the Principal of GTC, Mrs Kenku Adedoyin also applauded Ikeja Electric for expending resources and time in order to impact the lives of students and teachers.
According to her, the students feel very comfortable in the workshop as they are excited to learn because of the conducive environment.
“Therefore, we want to express our gratitude to Ikeja Electric for being our partner in progress in nurturing and supporting the talents that will graduate from this college. We want to reassure them that we will maintain it. And we believe you hear positive news about our students,” she said.
After unveiling the plaque, the guests toured the facility to witness the rehabilitation works carried out by Ikeja Electric. The DisCo noted that upgrading the Electrical Workshop was part of its contribution towards advancing technical education and capacity building among young talents.
LandWey to Deliver over 1000 Houses to Nigerians Soon
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Over 1,000 houses would be delivered to Nigerians by the end of the second quarter of 2022, the managing director of Landwey Investment Limited, Ms Shola Bello, has disclosed.
This is part of the efforts being made by Landwey, which is one of Nigeria’s largest residential developers, in reducing the housing deficit in the country.
Ms Bello, in a chat with newsmen on Monday, noted that the company has been able to deploy measures to mitigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic recession in the real estate sector in Nigeria.
“2022 began on a rough note for most real estate developers in Nigeria. This has been made obvious by the growing apprehension amongst some clients over the viability of their investment owing to delayed delivery of housing units and some publications addressing these issues.
“Many developers in Nigeria have openly addressed some of the challenges experienced in the course of construction and delivery of housing projects, a challenge which is largely attributed to the impact of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant economic recession.
“In the past few years, many developers have had to navigate the harsh economy and its severe impact on all businesses across many industries. While it may appear that many of these businesses have recovered from the impact, the story is not quite the same for the real estate industry.
“The industry has felt its huge blow from resultant factors ranging from scarcity of labour, a challenge we have since overcome, scarcity of building materials, unfavourable importation policies, long project approval timelines as well as other environmental limitations.
“However, our clients are always at the forefront of everything that we do, therefore, we have had no other choice but to unearth new and creative solutions in order to mitigate the rippling effects of the pandemic and the harsh realities of the global economy,” she told journalists.
The real estate guru lamented that most real estate development companies had to reassess and adjust their operations to acclimate to the “new atmosphere by working and negotiating potential changes in project completion timelines and the management of their internal and external workforce, communicating challenges and progress updates routinely with investors and reviewing supply agreements with suppliers while also determining the impacts of delays in our delivery obligations as well as other potential risk factors.”
She added that after what appeared to be a challenging Q1, the company is now making a headway on housing project delivery with a mass delivery of homes scheduled to take place at the end of the second quarter.
“I can assure you, by the third quarter of 2022, we would be well on our way to completing at least 1000 homes,” Ms Bello concluded.
AfDB to Facilitate Nigeria’s Return to Agric Electronic Distribution System
By Adedapo Adesanya
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced that it is ready to help Nigeria return to the electronic wallet system of input distribution to farmers to boost agricultural production.
This was disclosed by the president of the multilateral lender, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, on the sidelines of the bank’s ongoing 2022 Annual Meetings in Accra, Ghana themed Fostering Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa.
During his time as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Mr Adesina introduced the e-wallet system which allowed the government to register about 14.5 million farmers.
Through this platform, it reached them directly with inputs, notably seeds and fertilisers, via electronic coupons on their mobile phones.
Mr Adesina said the bank would support Nigeria with about $30 million reallocated fund to be used for an emergency food plan to produce in the dry season.
“Nigeria needs to go back and use the electronic wallet system that I developed when I was a minister to get fertilisers straight to farmers and cut out all the middlemen.
“We are going to help the government to do that because when farmers have quality seeds and fertilisers, they can rapidly triple food production,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria will also benefit significantly from the African Emergency Food Production Plan.
Business Post had reported that the AfDB Board had approved the $1.5 billion facility which will support smallholder farmers in filling the food shortfall. It will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds.
It is also set to increase access to agricultural fertilizers and enable them to rapidly produce 38 million tons of food, which is about a $12 billion increase in food production in just two years.
“In Nigeria, we have provided $540 million for special agro-industrial processing zones in seven states including the Federal Capital Territory.
“That will allow Nigeria to have special zones where you can have agro-processing value addition and increased competitiveness of agriculture.
“We are not alone, we put in $170 million and others put in money such as the Islamic Development Bank and other partners,’’ he said.
LG Financial Autonomy: FG, NFIU Floor Governors in Court
By Adedapo Adesanya
A Federal High Court has ruled in favour of the federal government and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) against the state governors over the financial autonomy for the 774 Local Government Areas of the federation.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja delivered the ruling on Monday, May 23 in favour of the central government and the NFIU.
The NFIU had in June 2019 issued guidelines aimed at curbing crime vulnerabilities created by cash withdrawals from local government accounts by various state governments.
It directed that the states/local government joint accounts should use only for receiving funds and subsequently transferring them to local government accounts only.
The guidelines also reduced cash withdrawal from local government accounts to N500,000 daily.
Immediately after the guidelines came into place, most local governments across the country stopped facing challenges in the payment of staff salaries.
However, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) sued the FG and the NFIU for interfering with state government powers to initiate transactions on Local Government Joint accounts citing provisions of the 1999 constitution.
While reacting to the judgement the Director/CEO of NFIU, Mr Modibbo Tukur, said the judgement is good because the federal government is always ready to protect both states and local governments by making funds available for their governance responsibility.
He stressed that funds can now be decided on by local councils which can be channelled to improve local security.
Mr Tukur stated that the ruling would help ensure transparency and accountability since anti-corruption agencies like the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are involved.
“From this judgement and from today all transactions on Local Government funds will be disclosed to ICPC and EFCC 100 per cent and will be reported continuously,” he said.
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