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Lagos Must Remain Top Destination for Business in Africa—Governor

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babajide sanwo olubabajide sanwo olu

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said the ultimate goal of his administration was to ensure Lagos remains the top destination for business, work and living in Africa.

He made this disclosure at the swearing in of 35 members of his cabinet, who took the oath as Commissioners and Special Advisers at the Adeyemi Bero Hall in the Secretariat in Ikeja, and witnessed by the leaders and members of All Progressives Congress (APC) from all local government areas and local council development areas in the state.

During the programme, the Governor reiterated his government’s commitment to build on the foundation laid by his predecessors through Lagos Development Blueprint initiated by Mr Bola Tinubu in 1999.

While addressing his new team members, Mr Sanwo-Olu said he cabinet was unique in leadership qualities and gender diversity, adding that its members were selected through a rigorous process based on their track records in service delivery in their respective fields.

The Governor charged them to bring their years of leadership and administrative experience to bear in handling affairs of the state, stressing that the people of Lagos could not wait any longer to benefit from his administration’s programmes.

“It is with pride that I congratulate the new Commissioners and Special Advisers on your well-deserved appointments. It is a testament to your capacity, your accomplishments and your track record of hard work, commitment, dedication and professionalism in your private and public endeavours.

“Today, all of you are inducted into a singular administration, unique in its diversity – both of heritage and of creed – made up of technical and politically skilled men and women who understand the challenges of our state, grasp the grand vision of our administration, and are sensitive to the yearnings of our citizens, whom we must ultimately serve,” he said.

The Governor charged the appointees on innovation, commitment and exemplary leadership in the assigned roles, while also advising them to be prepared for the challenges ahead and be ready to pay any price for the development of Lagos.

He said, “Great opportunities for employment and wealth creation can only be realised sustainably if we are able to enhance governance with creativity, innovation and technology, while embracing collaboration with the private sector and continual dialogue and partnership with all relevant stakeholders.

“This is the task we have been called upon to undertake in the next four years on behalf of our people who are relying on us to support their dreams and aspirations. I charge you all to show commitment, diligence and exemplary leadership as the necessary virtues needed to achieve the greatness we desire for our State and to deliver the prosperity our people deserve.”

Also speaking at the event, Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji, described the event as “a major milestone” in the history of political development in Lagos.

She said the choice of the cabinet appointees was a testimony to the determination of the Mr Sanwo-Olu administration to tackle the challenges facing the state and build a prosperous society.

She presented the cabinet members to the public and urged them to keep their focus on service delivery.

Giving a vote of assurance on behalf of the cabinet members, the Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, said the team would foster unity of purpose and dedication to enable the Governor realise his vision.

Other Commissioners sworn in include: Mr Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo (Finance), Mrs Folashade Adefisayo (Education), Prof. Akin Abayomi (Health), Dr Idris Salako (Physical Planning and Urban Development), Mr Gbenga Omotoso (Information and Strategy), Mrs Bolaji Dada (Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation), Mr Lere Odusote (Energy and Natural Resources), Dr Frederic Oladeinde (Transportation), Mr Gbolahan Lawal (Agriculture), Mr Moruf Akinderu Fatai (Housing), and Mr Moyo Onigbanjo (Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice).

Also, Commissioners are Mr Hakeem Fahm (Science and Technology), Mrs Ajibola Ponnle (Establishment, Training and Pension), Engr. Aramide Adeyoye (Works and Infrastructure), Mr Segun Dawodu (Youth and Social Development), Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf (Home Affairs), Mrs Yetunde Arobieke (Local Government and Community Affairs), Mrs Lola Akande (Commerce and Industry), Mrs Olufunke Adebolu (Tourism Arts and Culture), and Mr Sam Egube (Economy Planning and Budget).

The Special Advisers are Dr Wale Ahmed (Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations), Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya (Agriculture), Princess Aderemi Adebowale (Civic Engagement), Mr Afolabi Ayantayo (Political and Legislative Affairs), Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka (Housing), and Mr Joe Igbokwe (Drainage and Water Resources).

Others Advisers are Olatunbosun Alake (Innovation and Technology), Arc. Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi (Urban Development), Anofi Elegushi (Central Business Districts), Bonu Solomon Saanu (Arts and Culture), Oluwatoyin Fayinka (Transportation), Oladele Ajayi (Commerce and Industry), Tokunbo Wahab (Education), and Solape Hammond (Sustainable Development Goals).

Also present at the event were the Deputy Governor, Mr Obafemi Hamzat; First Lady, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Tayo Ayinde; his deputy, Mr Gboyega Soyannwo; and Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola.

At exactly 12:18pm, Mrs Yemisi Ogunlola of the Ministry of Justice administered the oath on the appointees, signalling the official take-off of their tenure.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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SweepSouth to Battle Fichaya, Others for Market Share in Nigeria

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SweepSouth

By Adedapo Adesanya

Johannesburg-based SweepSouth, the home cleaning service startup that was launched in 2014, is looking to hijack some customers from its competitors in Nigeria by offering quality services.

SweepSouth allows people to book home cleaning services at affordable prices and connects them with cleaners they call SweepStars, who are carefully vetted and are professionals with extensive experience in home cleaning.

Traditional domestic service agencies in Nigeria are mostly informal, and people who use these cleaners often have to find them by asking around their neighbourhood but the problem with this approach is that it is difficult to know if the cleaner is experienced.

Things are about to change as SweepSouth’s value proposition will help its customers find a cleaner in minutes and will deliver the best services.

The startup’s expansion in Nigeria is led by its new country manager, Ms Awazi Angbalaga, an operator who has worked across industries in the past eight years.

Ms Angbalaga noted that SweepSouth has been test-running its services in Nigeria for the last two months and that the uptake has been exciting.

“Although we’ve largely been testing out our service here, we have already had our first 300 bookings, and the feedback we’ve received backs our belief that our proposition is compelling to Nigerians. While we’re growing our bookings every week, our focus continues to be providing the best service to our customers,” she said.

At the moment, SweepSouth charges a base fee of N3,400 ($8) for cleaning a one-bedroom apartment and around N7,500 ($18) for cleaning a 3-bedroom apartment. The pricing is at par with what is obtainable with traditional domestic service agencies, which is important for a service which is aiming for mass-market adoption.

But SweepSouth will face competition from those traditional domestic service agencies and newer startups such as Fichaya which are now targeting Nigeria’s young working-class population.

Remote work and a growing class of young tech workers, who are willing to pay gig workers for services that make their lives easier, are powering the home services industry. Other startups in this space even offer home-cooked meals and laundry.

To break into the market, SweepSouth may also look to provide additional services such as its SweepSouth Connect, which links people with a wide range of professional artisans. SweepSouth Connect is already available in Kenya and South Africa.

The startup did not confirm if it will launch its Connect service in Nigeria but it stressed that for now, the focus is to reach mass adoption and provide exceptional service to customers.

At the moment, customers can only make bookings from the SweepSouth Nigeria website, but the startup shared that it will launch its app this month. The app will improve customer experience across the entire process from booking to leaving reviews for the SweepStars they’re matched with.

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Buhari Loses Suit to Challenge Electoral Act at Supreme Court

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Electoral Act 2022

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Supreme Court has struck out a suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, challenging Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.

On Friday, the case was expunged on the grounds that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain it and is an abuse of the court process.

A notice for the judgment delivery was served on President Buhari and the National Assembly on Thursday, inviting them to appear before the court today for the judgment.

The President and the Minister of Justice had filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of the controversial clause in the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

In the suit filed on April 29, President Buhari and Mr Malami, who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.

There have been several debates regarding Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act 2022 which was assented to in February.

Upon assenting to the act, President Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete the contended clause, however, the parliament declined the president’s request.

Section 84 (12) of the legislation holds that “no political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

In their suit marked SC/CV/504/2022 and filed on April 29, 2022, President Buhari and Mr Malami sought an order of the apex court to strike out the section of the Electoral Act, which they argue was inconsistent with the nation’s constitution.

According to the court document, the plaintiffs contend that the Section 84(12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022 is inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People and Peoples Rights.

The plaintiffs further contended that the constitution already makes provisions for qualification and disqualification for the offices of the President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners, and Special Advisers.

They urged the Supreme Court to make: “A declaration that the joint and or combined reading of section 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void”.

However, in its decision on Friday, the Supreme Court held that President Buhari, having assented to the bill on February 25 2022, cannot turn around to challenge the same act.

In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the court said allowing the suit to have its way will amount to approbating and reprobating at the same time and no court of law shall allow that.

The apex court unanimously agreed that President Buhari lacked the jurisdiction to bring the suit before it because of the nature of the reliefs sought.

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London Police Arrest Ekweremadu, Wife Over Organ Harvesting

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organ harvesting Ekweremadu

By Adedapo Adesanya

The London Metropolitan Police has announced that it arrested a Nigerian national, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Mrs Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, for allegedly conspiring to bring a child to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting.

In a statement on its website, the Met Police wrote that “Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

While the statement did not, however, give further details about the suspects, the age and description given match that of the former Deputy Senate President and his wife.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate [the] travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.”

As at press time, neither Mr Ekweremadu nor his aides have issued a comment about the development.

But the police added that “both [have] been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“The investigation was launched after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support. As criminal proceedings are now underway we will not be providing further details.”

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