Nairametrics| Lagos State is one of the few states in the country that earns significantly more from its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) than FAAC allocations. The State also prides itself as the commercial capital of the country. Every major business in the country either has its head office or a major branch in Lagos. That’s probably the only good thing about doing business in Lagos going by the recent actions of the State against businesses and more disparagingly, the poor inhabitants of the state. The actions are sometimes executed suddenly, without due process and more often in contravention of the law. This behaviour did not just start today.
During the 1990’s, the state embarked on a demolition exercise at Maroko. The the military administration of General Raji Rasaki, said the land which was dominated by low-income workers and migrants from other states, was below sea level, and under developed. The government proceeded to forcefully evict them. Today, the area is called Oniru estate, with barely any of the original settlers resettled.
About seven years ago, the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola ordered the demolition of shops in Oshodi, Lagos State. Ambode followed suit with his own demolition of shops in another section of the popular Oshodi market. No Governor probably comes close to Fashola. From demolishing of Mile 12 market to Ladipo to Olodi Apapa, his record is a morale booster to his successor. And Ambode is surely following in his footsteps.
In September 2016, government again demolished a row of shops in Ikoyi, among which was a Nuli Juice outlet, for being illegal structures. Parties that executed the demolition, prevented the shop owners from removing their property. A similar exercise was carried a few days ago at Otodo-Gbame, a water front community in Lekki, where settlers were evicted despite a court order preventing that. The Lagos State government said it did so for environmental reasons.
The government in another gestapo fashion recently came up with a policy on the drilling of boreholes by stipulating a fine of N500,000 or confiscation of the equipment used for drilling a borehole without permission.
The law is especially targeted at commercial users. Ironically, many parts of the State do not have running water. Had the state lived up to its duties, there would have been no need for individuals and companies to resort to self-help.
Further compounding issues for small businesses is the recent ban on live music at beer parlours, restaurants and other food outlets, except they obtain a permit. Failure to adhere to this directive will lead to a fine of N500,000. This is another example of a policy aimed at crippling small businesses in the state. How many small businesses in the state would be able to afford the permit? Did the government consult with relevant stakeholders before imposing an immediate ban?
The government explains its quest to beautify Lagos and restore sanity to our roads and way if life is the reason for some of these actions. It’s easy to see sense in what they intend to achieve just that all you need to have sometimes is a common sense approach to issues as sensitive as a state induced disruption legal business activities. It’s bad optics no matter the lofty objectives. The economic effects are even worse to comprehend.
Policies like these lead to an increase in the cost of doing business in Lagos State not to mention the plethora of formal and informal taxes and levies already being paid by businesses in the State.
Lagosians in general also bear the brunt, through increase in cost of goods and services. Small and Medium Scale Entreprises (SMES) may decide to downscale or shut down. The job losses lead to a drop in revenue for the government and an increase in criminal activities.
The state is gradually turning into one that’s not favourable for businesses, despite its huge population and potentials.Hisoty so often repeats itself and in Lagos State, a history of antagonism to small businesses and poor people have a home.
Nigerian Governors who have tested positive for Coronavirus
Six Nigerian governors have contracted the novel coronavirus, but some have recovered.
On Saturday, July 4, Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. This makes him the 6th Governor to have tested positive for the virus that has infected over 11 million and killed no less than 532,000 people globally.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El- Rufai was the first governor confirmed to have been infected and recovered in April.
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, was also infected in March and was reported to have recovered on the 9th of April.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, announced that he tested positive on 30th, March, 2020 and his recovery was reported on the 5th of April.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, tested positive last week on June 30th and Delta’s Ifeanyi Okowa announced that he and his wife had tested positive on July 1.
So far, the governors who have tested positive for COVID-19 are:
1. Nasir el-Rufai
2. Bala Mohammed
3. Seyi Makinde
4. Rotimi Akeredolu
5. Ifeanyi Okowa
6. David Umahi
Earlier this weekend, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom announced that his wife, Mrs. Eunice Ortom, their son, and some of the wife’s aides had tested positive for COVID-19.
With Nigeria and the rest of the world still battling to contain the dreaded virus, the total number of confirmed cases has risen to 28,167 from 148,188 tests carried out as at Saturday, July 4, 2020. In addition, while 11,462 have recovered, 634 persons have died.
BUA cement to build power and cement plants in Adamawa state
BUA Cement’s newest plant in Sokoto is expected to be operational in 2021.
BUA Cement has announced plans to build a 50 megawatts power plant and 3 million metric tonnes cement plant in Lamurde and Guyuk local governments in Adamawa States.
BUA Cement which is Nigeria’s second-largest cement producer by volume with plants in Sokoto and Edo States, with the projects wants the boost the country’s power supply and increase the local production capacity for cement.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of BUA Cement, Abdul Samad Rabiu, in a press statement on Sunday, July 5, 2020, in Lagos.
The BUA Cement Chairman who led the company’s management team on a courtesy visit to the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, after preliminary findings showed that Guyuk and Lamurde areas had quality limestone.
According to Rabiu, “Preliminary findings show that the two local governments of Guyuk and Lamurde are reputed to have good quality limestone deposits and BUA Cement is ready to begin the investment in the state.
“BUA will use new technologies to supply power to the proposed cement plant and communities of Guyuk and Lamurde in addition to providing three thousand direct and five thousand indirect jobs.
“Guyuk Cement Plant will be a major investment in the North-East by BUA, while we solicit the support of Gov. Umaru Fintiri to set up the factory in Guyuk.”
He added that while the company has invested billions of dollars in various sectors across Nigeria, it has taken a decision to source its raw materials locally and therefore urged the Adamawa state government to support BUA to actualize the GUYUK Cement project.
The Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, in his response assured the Chairman and management team of BUA, that the state government would provide all the necessary support and make available whatever was needed to make the projects a reality.
BUA Cement’s newest plant in Sokoto is expected to be operational in 2021 and expects that its total production capacity will get to 14 million metric tonnes of cement per annum upon the completion of Guyuk Cement Plant.
BUA Cement has been having a running battle with Dangote Cement over the ownership of 3 mining sites in Obu and Okpella in Edo State. The mining sites have been subject of legal tussle between the 2 biggest cement companies in the country.
GSK, Sanofi to agree $624 million deal with UK for COVID-19 vaccine
Both GSK and Sanofi said that they are placing more priority on quality rather than speed.
British and French pharmaceutical giants, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi are close to reaching a $624 million (500 million pounds) deal with the United Kingdom (UK) government for the supply of 60 million doses of coronavirus vaccine as many countries move for possible COVID-19 treatments.
Reports suggest that the UK was considering an option to buy the vaccine should the human trials, which are due to commence in September 2020, turn out successful.
The funds would be paid in stages as the vaccine progresses, with the final payment made on delivery.
In order not to be left behind, the UK government has been engaging a wide range of companies both at home and abroad to negotiate access to vaccines. They said that the right announcements of these arrangements will be made as and when agreements with any of these companies are finalized.
The British business ministry’s spokeswoman, who confirmed that the ministry is handling Britain’s supply of potential COVID-19 vaccines, said talks were going on with different parties about access to possible vaccines but didn’t confirm if GSK/Sanofi project was one of them.
According to the ministry official, ‘’The Government’s Vaccines Task Force is actively engaging with a wide range of companies both in the UK and abroad to negotiate access to vaccines.”
“Appropriate announcements of these arrangements will be made as and when agreements with any of these companies are finalized and signed.”
Sanofi is presently working on 2 possible COVID-19 vaccines, one of which uses an adjuvant made by GSK to potentially boost its efficacy. The timeline for its clinical trials is behind the likes of Moderna Inc, the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc and an alliance of BioNTech and Pfizer Inc, whose projects all made headlines by moving to human trials as early as March.
Both GSK and Sanofi said that they are placing more priority on quality rather than speed in developing a vaccine.