Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening congratulated Muslim Community in the State on the successful commencement of this year’s Ramadan, urging them to avail themselves of the training and serenity that the season provides.
Speaking at a Ramadan Tafsir/Iftar and Special Prayer held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja organised by the State Government to mark the official commencement of the Muslim fasting month, Governor Ambode said it was important for people to imbibe the teachings of the season, especially in relating with God and fellow human beings.
“This holy month is one full of blessings for all faithful. It is a celebration of a tradition and a key pillar of lslam that has been practiced for 1,440 years. Every year, we are called to pause and reflect on our lives; how we are serving the Almighty, how we are serving our fellow human beings, our nation and our State.
“I call on all our people and in particular our Muslim brethren to avail ourselves of the training and serenity that Ramadan provides; to cleanse our hearts and enrich our souls. This is a time to rededicate ourselves to the good of humanity, the development and progress of our dear State, and our great country, Nigeria,” the Governor said.
While thanking the Muslim Community in the State for the prayers and support extended to his administration in the last four years, Governor Ambode said they deserved commendation for cooperating with government in bringing about the achievements recorded in various sectors and sections of the State.
“In a few days from now, the tenure of this administration will come to an end. This occasion, therefore, provides for me a unique opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to the entire Muslim community in the State for your support, prayers and contributions as citizens to the successes we have achieved. We also thank the Almighty for His innumerable blessings on us as one strong united family.
“We have built a good partnership, worked peacefully in an atmosphere devoid of religious conflict and together, we have achieved so much in these four years. Our administration, to the best of our ability, fulfilled our promises to the people as can be seen in different sectors of the State.
“To the Chief Imam of Lagos, other Chief Imams, my ever-supportive clerics, brothers and sisters, I want to sincerely appreciate and thank you for all your prayers and support in the last four years. Only Allah can reward you for all your love and cooperation,” he said.
Noting that the best days of the State are still ahead, Governor Ambode admonished residents to continue to support government, just as he urged Muslim brethren to also cooperate with the in-coming administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to take the State to greater heights.
According to him, “there is still so much more to be done and I am very confident that the best days of our State are still ahead of us. The good news is that the foundation has been laid and we are on the right track to attaining the next level of development, prosperity and social security for our people.
“All that we need to do, as citizens, is to continue to cooperate with the government and support our leaders with prayers for divine wisdom and guidance.”
At the event, there were lectures and prayers by eminent Islamic clerics in the State led by the Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.
In his opening remarks, the State’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef said the entire Muslim Community in the State was grateful to Governor Ambode for being compassionate, saying that the Governor’s large heartedness had granted them unprecedented level of achievements.
OONI LAUDS AREGBESOLA @ 63, CALLS HIM AN EPITOME OF LOYALTY
Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has described the Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as a great icon of public service and epitome of loyalty that must always found worthy of celebrations.
Ooni Ogunwusi who doubles as the permanent chairman of Osun state council of Obas and Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) spoke in a press statement released by his Director of Media & Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare congratulating Ogbeni Aregbesola on his 63rd birthday.
“Congratulations from The Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to the Minister of Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Ogbeni Adesoji Rauf Aregbesola on his 63rd Birthday Anniversary.
The statement reads; “Ogbeni Aregbesola as a comrade, you started with student’s right activism over four decades ago. As a proponent of democratic rule, you in the 90s participated in the several pro-June 12 struggles which led to the enthronement of civil rule in 1999.
“You have since 1999 lived for the people through your sterling public service performances, first as Commissioner For Works and Infrastructure in Lagos state from 1999 to 2006, followed by your emergence as Governor of the state Osun from 2010 to 2018 and your current position as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in charge of Interior through which you oversee very sensitive sections of Nigeria’s internal security like Immigration, Civil Defense, Fire service, Correctional service among other responsibilities.
“RAUF, you are indeed a great descendant of Oduduwa and a Nigerian patriot with incorruptible Pan Africanism for which you are always worthy to be celebrated. You are an Omoluwabi per excellence, a down-to-earth grassroot politician with incredibly huge followership, a great promoter of our cultural values and heritage, an icon of people oriented public service and an epitome of loyalty.”
Ooni, the foremost African monarch and Yoruba’s Natural leader prayed for good heath and longevity for Aregbesola who is the immediate past of the state of Osun.
“My dear Ogbeni, may the Almighty Olodumare keep upholding your entire household as you gloriously clock 63 today.
“We also pray the rest of your journey on this earth shall be characterized by sound health, meaningful long life and immeasurable prosperity.
Igba odun odun kan
Afon a gbo ko to wo
Happy 63rd Birthday!!!” Ooni prayed.
EID-EL FITRI: OONI CONGRATULATES MUSLIMS, SAYS THERE IS ALWAYS A REASON TO CELEBRATE
The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and across the world especially those of Yoruba origin as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end with the annual Eid-el Fitri celebration.
In a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, the Ooni who is the Co-Chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers explained that there are reasons to celebrate and thank the Almighty Allah for His goodness and mercies in every situations.
“Celebration here is not the conventional merriment of social gathering as we all know that there is an order against that especially in this situation we are all face with globally. The Ooni says we should celebrate in our various homes with our families by remembering Allah and why we should not give up in our hope of a better tomorrow.
“God in His infinite mercy shall accept our fasting and prayers including those we said against the rampaging coronavirus and other enemies of humanity. We’ve been through a lot together and we can’t but be grateful to God for keeping us.
“Although it is regrettable to realize that we cannot gather like before especially for the annual congregational prayers but we must make the best out of what we have while we hope and pray to be part of the brighter future.” The Ooni said.
In the same vein, the Natural leader of the Oduduwa race worldwide urged Nigerians to keep supporting the government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by observing the laid down precautionary measures including maintenance of social distancing, personal hygiene, regular hand washing and others.
African Guarantee Fund Announces Response to Economic Impact of COVID-19
African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF), has today announced its COVID-19 response aimed at reducing the uncertainties facing financial institutions in Africa as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. AGF’s COVID-19 response is built on the imperative need for commercial solutions over and above the regulatory efforts already provided by the various central banks and governments in the continent.
African Guarantee Fund’s response sets the platform for economic stabilization, followed by an economic revival through AGF’s newly developed COVID-19 Guarantee Facility that will, firstly, provide more comfort to financial institutions to restructure facilities that become non-performing because of COVID-19 and, secondly, provide commercial stimulus to the financial sector with the aim of mitigating the deterioration of SMEs’ perceived risk.
Commenting on the announcement, AGF CEO, Mr. Felix Bikpo said, “The consequences of COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have escalating negative effects on SMEs in Africa both on the supply and demand sides. Consequently, we must assume that there follows a deterioration of these SMEs’ creditworthiness. This is likely to increase the cost of credit for the financial sector which will surely increase their reluctance to finance the SME sector if there is no external stimulus. It is because of this that we must develop a commercial response in addition to the regulatory responses given by the different central banks and governments in the continent. Therefore, in line with our mandate we have launched the COVID-19 Guarantee Facility.”
AGF will also continue to use its technical assistance support to increase the capacity of financial institutions in their risk assessment of SMEs during the crisis period. This will allow analyzing the impact of the pandemic on the financial institutions, so as to forge the best possible responses to adapt effectively.
The African Guarantee Fund recently received a third time AA- Rating by Fitch, which was first assigned in November 2017, a first for a guarantee fund in Africa.
“This exceptional rating is a sign of confidence and trust in AGF’s operational excellence, particularly now that financial institutions are in need of cushioning to continue lending to SMEs, who hold the key to the economic recovery of their respective countries,” concluded AGF CEO, Mr. Felix Bikpo.
Since inception, AGF has boosted SME lending in Africa by issuing guarantees to financial institutions thereby unlocking loans worth USD 2.5 Billion.
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