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AMBODE PERFORMS PRE-LAUNCH OF $50M FACTORY IN LEKKI FREE ZONE

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday performed the pre-launch of a $50million manufacturing plant in Lekki Free Zone, expressing optimism that the facility would go a long way to create jobs and boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

Speaking at the pre-launch of the factory belonging to Longrich, a Chinese firm, Governor Ambode said  the facility was another success story of the efforts of the State Government in attracting investment, as well as an eloquent confirmation of the strategic importance of the free trade zone to the State’s economy.

He said a total of 25 companies were presently setting up manufacturing plants within the zone, saying it was indeed gratifying that the efforts to drive investments were yielding positive results.

He said the most important thing to him is that whether in government or outside of government, factories were springing up in the zone, thereby creating job opportunities for the people and improving the economy of the State.

According to the Governor, “One of the most fulfilling feelings in life is to see one’s efforts yield positive results. It gives me immense satisfaction to be here today to witness this Pre-Launching Ceremony of Longrich Nigeria Manufacturing Plant to be located in the Lekki Free Zone in Lagos State, Nigeria.

“At the inception of this administration, one of our core focus areas was attracting investments to our State; to create employment for our people and wealth for our investors. Today’s event is one of those crowning moments that confirm that our efforts have been rewarded.”

Governor Ambode particularly commended Longrich Group of Companies for the decision to site the $50million factory in Lagos of all the cities and countries in Africa, saying the State and the country stand to benefit immensely from the investment.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); Chairman, Longrich Group, Mr. Xu Zhi Wei (middle); Director, Longrich, Mrs Titi Ejimagwa(right) and Eko Hotel, 4 Star Director, Mrs Oluchi Abraham (left) during the pre-launching of the Longrich manufacturing plant in Lekki Free Zone, Lagos, on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

“I have been informed that this Lekki Longrich facility, upon completion, would not only be the hub for the distribution of the products to the African sub-region but would provide employment for at least 1,000 new workers in our State and boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings from exportation of manufactured products to other African Countries.

‘If we go by the success story of Longrich in China and the company’s track record, there is no doubt that Longrich Nigeria would be modelled after the world-class LONGLIQI Bio-Industrial Park in China which covers an area of more than 133 hectares and serves as location of LONGLIQI Bio-Science Co., Ltd,” Governor Ambode said.

While describing the firm as a global brand with range of top class quality products and unique business model, the Governor also lauded the fact that Longrich had created wealth for over 500,000 people who are trading in more than thirty brands of the company, with the majority of the traders residing in the State.

Besides, Governor Ambode assured that the State Government would continue to play its role as business enablers, especially by providing the necessary infrastructure and services required to support all investors and businesses who decide to make Lagos their home.

“Our administration has embarked on massive and ambitious projects. We have introduced public sector reforms and policies aimed at making it easier to do business in our State. Our governmental institutions like the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Office of Public Private Partnership and Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment (Lagos Global) are, more than ever before, in the fore front of providing an enabling business environment for local and foreign investments to thrive.

“These are just a few indicators to assure you of our commitment to securing not just Longrich’s investment in the South-West quadrant of Lekki Free Zone but to secure and attract more investments to our State,” he said.

The Governor, who described the  Lekki Free Zone as the flagship of the State Government’s industrial development drive, said aside the physical amenities, the facility also comes with a bundle of incentives that propel business prosperity.

He added that with the ongoing gas pipeline laying to the zone nearing completion, power generation costs, which accounts for significant production cost, would soon be significantly reduced, just as he reiterated the commitment of the State Government to sustain the business environment and protect all investments in the State.

Earlier, Chairman of Longrich, Mr. Xu Zhiwei commended Governor Ambode for creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State, saying it was on record that the Governor’s efforts made the setting up of the factory which would fully take off in October, 2019 possible.

“I want to thank Governor Ambode. He (Ambode) gave us the enabling environment; he gave us the full support; he embraced our dreams and believe in us.We can also feel the safety and security in Lagos State,” Zhiwei said.

 

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SANWO-OLU REVIEWS ADMINISTRATION’S STRIDES

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has highlighted key components of his administration, which he said are aimed at delivering his Greater Lagos vision.

The Governor named education, security, improvement of infrastructure as well as upgrading of the environment as some of the sectors his government will invest in to achieve a greater Lagos.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made the revelation while answering questions as a guest on Channels television’s flagship programme, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

While enumerating the success story of his administration in the last 196 days, the Governor said a lot of achievements have been recorded in the area of security of lives and property of the residents.

The Governor said: “At a period like this – going to the end of the year, criminal activities are usually on the increase because people want to do things to make quick money. We are working on salvaging the situation. We have a new Commissioner of Police who has hit the ground running from the first day he came in.

“You heard of the unfortunate incident of an expatriate that was stabbed to death by domestic staff recently. I was up till 2am last Friday because we were tracking the suspects. The Commissioner of Police led the team and we were able to apprehend the two suspects.

“Policing and security come in two ways. It comes with intelligence.

What kind of information do you have prior to or after the event. You really don’t know who has a criminal tendency by mere looking at their faces. We must have more men out there on the streets and we must have ability to be able to respond when there is a distress call.

“That’s why we keep increasing the number of vehicles we provide for them. We keep supporting them with a lot of communication gadgets. We keep saying to them that whatever they need to be able to respond when the distress comes, which is often sudden, we’ll give to them. When we do the analysis, it will be an issue of how well we are able to track and get the perpetrators of these acts.”

The Governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to adopt technology to combat crimes and reduce them to the barest minimum.

He said: “One of the things we realise is that security is also going tech. You need a lot of technology and devices to monitor crimes, and whilst we are doing a lot of hard things, we are also building up technology. Next year, we are building a new Control and Command Center as part of our Safe City project and Mega City security deliverables. We are going to bring to Lagos all those security measures you see in developed Nations.

“At the first phase, we will install about 2,200 high definition cameras across the State. From a CCTV, we can view, review, monitor and track incidents as they happen. We will also train officials. These are some of the things that will happen in the first quarter of next year”

On the issue of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the Governor said: “The NURTW is a national body of the Nigerian Labour Congress. It is a registered trade union organization.’’

“Like other unions, they are under the supervision of the State government. We regulate and supervise them. And we have warned that they could be proscribed if they don’t conduct themselves well.

Sanwo-Olu spoke about the State government’s plans for the construction of the 4th mainland bridge, saying his administration will make use of private equity to achieve the project.

“Two weeks ago, we advertised for the expression of interest from construction firms around the world for the 4th mainland bridge project. Our total budget for next year is about $3 billion and that’s the highest in the country. The 4th mainland bridge, from the design, we have seen that it is a 37 kilometre road. We cannot handle it alone so we are going to use private equity.

‘‘We have advertised. We have the alignment, we have the right of way and all of the biometric study.  Let everyone worldwide come and play a role.

The Governor also spoke extensively on his plan for the education sector, saying the state government is determined to elevate the status of the primary education to a very competitive level

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LAGOS INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGY TO BE AFRICA’S BIGGEST INNOVATION HUB – SANWO-OLU

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Lagos State Government’s investment in technology and innovation is a deliberate effort to position the State as key player in global technology space, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said on Monday.

The Governor said his administration’s financial commitment to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is to make Lagos Africa’s foremost centre of innovation by harnessing local capabilities in developing tech solutions that would reduce the State’s reliance on foreign tech inventions.

Sanwo-Olu spoke while receiving the management team of Oracle Africa Group who came on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Alausa. The team was led by the Group’s Country Director, Mr. Adebayo Sanni.

The Governor said the recently approved seed capital of N250 million was particularly aimed at enhancing young people’s innovative skills and empowering them to be tech solutions providers as the world progresses in digitisation.

He said: “Technology has gotten to a stage where we all need it to leapfrog and enhance accuracy in governance. As a Government, we have always promoted technology to take the lead and be a strong enabler for us to deliver on our promises to the people.

“We are taking steps to further collaborate with partners that will strengthen our capacity to be big player in global tech space. We just concluded a two-day Art of Technology where we announced the establishment of innovation research council and N250 million seed capital to support young innovators locally.

“We are not looking at what is going to be our immediate benefit by this investment; rather we want to create a robust technology culture that will give young people opportunities to explore their innovative skills in bringing about tech solutions and applications we can use to advance our service delivery.”

Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the technical support offered by Oracle Group to stabilise processes in the State’s civil service and in promoting accountability in administrative process. The Governor, however, said the relationship between both parties must be consolidated to boost the capacity of the State Government and keep it abreast of the latest technological solutions developed to ease processes.

Sanni described the two-decade partnership between Lagos Government and Oracle Group as “mutually beneficial”, noting that Lagos is one of the IT firm’s success story in deploying technology solutions to improve governance.

He said: “Lagos State is one of the places we use as an example globally in terms of what we have done in helping governments transform their business using technology. Oracle wants to consolidate on this partnership and make commitment that will help Lagos State sustain its growth.”

Sanni assured the Governor that the IT firm was willing to review and build on its technical assistance to the State Government for improved service delivery, while also promising to boost the capacity of the current administration in using data to take predictive analysis of situations across the State.

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TAMBUWAL BEGINS DISTRIBUTION OF N4BN MICRO-BUSINESS INCENTIVE FUND TO SOKOTO SME OPERATORS

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The Sokoto State Governor Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has flagged off the disbursement of N4 billion micro business incentive fund for the state small and medium scale business operators.

The exercise, which will come in stages, will be sustained for the next four years, according to the governor.

Governor Tambuwal made the pronouncement at Balle and Tureta, in Gudu and Tureta local government areas respectively where the state’s Micro Business Incentive Fund (SMBIF) was flagged off.

Speaking at the centres, where N20, 000 grant each was distributed to 1000 persons, Tambuwal vowed that the fund will get to the remaining 21 local government areas in the state.

The governor informed that the gesture is aimed at assisting the less privileged persons and small scale entrepreneurs in the state, towards improving their businesses.

He explained that the distribution will not be discriminatory as both males and females will benefit from the programme in equal measure.

The governor urged the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously.

“This is just the beginning. As we have started here today, I assure you that it will surely get to the other remaining 21 local government areas. We will not discriminate in the disbursement and enjoin all beneficiaries to make judicious use of the grant for the good of self, family and society,” Tambuwal said.

In his remarks, the state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Manir Muhammad Dan Iya, said the beneficiaries were selected from all the 23 local government areas in the state as directed by the governor.

Alhaji Dan Iya thanked the governor for giving the cabinet members the opportunity to serve and execute various developmental projects across the 23 local government areas in the state.

Participants at the events were full of praises and thanked Governor Tambuwal for starting the scheme in their towns.

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