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Business News

A look at projects in Lagos State that may suffer after Ambode’s exit

It is no longer news that Lagos State Governor Akinwumi Ambode failed in securing his party’s ticket to contest in next year’s gubernatorial election

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Governor-Akinwunmi-Ambode

It is no longer news that Governor Akinwumi Ambode failed in securing his party’s ticket for the next gubernatorial election and by implication, the current administration in Lagos State comes to an end on May 29 2019 when a new administration will be sworn in.

As party campaigns for the next year’s elections gather momentum, there are growing concerns among the business community over the fate of some current government policies in areas of infrastructural projects, and job creation initiatives.

In this article, Nairametrics takes a look at some ongoing projects vis-a-vis policies under threat with the exit of the present administration in Lagos State next year.

 The City Light Rail Project 

The mass transit rail project, called the Blue Line, awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), which is to run between Mile 2 and Marina has suffered several delays.

When the Ambode-led government came on board, he stated that the project would be delivered to Lagos residents in 12 months. That deadline fell on July 2016; in fact, five months after he promised to deliver the project, he shifted the goalpost and said it would be completed in December 2016. But by November 2016, the governor made another volte-face, extending the date of completion to sometime before the end of 2019.

Ongoing Road Projects 

A visit to some major road project sites such as the Murtala Muhammed Airport road, Pen Cinema Bridge in Agege, and Iyana Ipaja road shows that the pace of work has slowed down significantly.

The Lagos State Government had promised to deliver the Oshodi-Airport Road in 15 months. It was to be expanded from four to 10 lanes and work commenced in September 2017. The Agege Pen Cinema Bridge has a December 2018 completion date.

Sadly, with the current pace of work on these projects, there are doubts over the ability of the present government to deliver before the expiration of this administration, while residents of these areas continue face untold hardships daily.

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Light Up Lagos Power Project 

The Ambode-led government launched the “Light-Up Lagos Project” which was conceived to light up major highways and streets in the Lagos metropolis with the aim of boosting commercial activities, enhancing security, and improving the aesthetics of the state and living standards for residents.

The project which has three segments (Light up Lagos Advisory Committee, Community Electrification, and the Street Lighting Initiative) was greeted with high hopes among residents, but most highways in Lagos are still in total darkness.

Early this year, the Lagos State government signed a N2.52 billion partnership agreement with a UK firm to construct 10,000 LED street lights covering 300km across the state. Lagosians still await the execution of this project.

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The Cleaner Lagos Initiative 

Waste management has been a major challenge in the state. The Ambode administration, through the Ministry of Environment, introduced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative and subsequently appointed Visionscape Sanitation Solution Limited, as its strategic partner for the deployment of waste management infrastructure in the state.

Subsequently, the State Executive Council passed a resolution to secure the financing structure adopted by Visionscape and its partners to raise up to N50 billion in bonds for the implementation of the CLI through the issuance of an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) as a charge on the State Internally Generated Revenue Account/ Environmental Trust Fund. The company thereafter raised an initial first tranche of its bond issuance, a N27 billion at 17.5% fixed rate with a five-year maturity due 2022.

Visionscape

Visionscape Van

Currently, there is an ominous future for Visionscape. Last week, the company vowed to suspend its operation following attacks by residents on its staff and equipment as a result of political outcomes in the state.

Lagos State Employment Trust Fund

One of the high points of the Ambode administration is the establishment of the Code Lagos Initiative and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. The fund was established to provide financial support to residents of the state, for job, wealth creation, and to tackle unemployment. The fund is expected to create 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs within a period of three years by supporting at least 100,000 MSMEs in the state. It is, however, not certain if a new administration will continue with these laudable initiatives.

Way forward

Ideally, Government should be a continuum, where an incoming administration continues with the projects and policies of the preceding administration, but this is not the case in the Nigerian political landscape as several projects are starved of funds immediately a new government comes into power. The Ambode administration also scrapped several policies and projects of the Fashola administration.

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Sadly, the list of abandoned projects and policy somersaults in the state are endless, all of which are not good signals to investors. Recall that the Lagos State Government terminated a PPP arrangement it entered with Lekki Concession Company, LCC, which could have seen it fund the construction of the Lekki-Epe Expressway and recoup its investment through tolling on the road over a period of 30 years. The government had to buy back the concession agreement by way of buying back the company.

Whichever way the pendulum swings at the next governorship election in the state, the new administration should act maturely by improving the existing infrastructure in the state. The race of making Lagos a “smart city” can only be achieved if there is consistent improvement of infrastructure in the state.

 

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Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via [email protected]

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    Billionaire Watch

    TikTok’s 38 year-old founder is worth $35.5 billion – Here’s what we know

    At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world.

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    TikTok a video sharing app was named the most downloaded app of the first quarter of 2021 but not much is known about its founder. The app now has over 689 million active users worldwide according to statistics from oberlo.com. It has also been downloaded over 2 billion times on App Store and Google Playstore. It is arguably the most popular video-sharing app out there and the numbers keep growing.

    TikTok was able to grow at a faster rate than Facebook and Instagram since its startup. The man behind this massive success is currently worth $35.5 billion and he is our person of interest today.

    Meet Zhang Yiming, the founder of Bytedance 

    38-year-old Zhang Yiming is the CEO and Founder of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. Zhang Yiming majored in microelectronics and software engineering at Nankai University. He worked for various tech startups including Microsoft before settling to start his own company.

    The billionaire leads a very secretive lifestyle. He founded ByteDance back in 2012 and steered it all the way to financial success. He is currently worth $35.5 billion but his net worth is well on its way to doubling based on recent valuations.

    ByteDance has two main flagship products – Toutiao, an AI-backed news aggregator and TikTok which he founded later after the success of Toutiao.

    Revisiting the success of  TikTok 

    Last year Zhang Yiming’s ByteDance was regarded as the most valuable startup in the world. TikTok became the most downloaded iOS app worldwide in the first quarter of 2019, according to the US research app Sensor Tower.

    TikTok is available in 155 countries and in 75 languages.

    Impressive valuation 

    Bytedance’s first major valuation was in 2018 where it was valued at $75bn according to Forbes. This was followed by another valuation which put it at $140bn according to CB Insights.

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    The latest 2021 valuation places ByteDance at over $250bn according to the South China morning post.

    Zhang Yiming owns a quarter of ByteDance and with this recent valuation, his net worth is set to grow to $60bn according to experts in the field.

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    Donald Trump scare 

    The former president of the United States was on the verge of banning TikTok in the country. He claimed the App has ties to the Chinese government. This would have been a setback giving that the application is quite popular among US millennials and Gen Z. Donald Trump lost his re-election bid and very little has been said by the Biden administration on the issue.

    What you should know 

    • At 38 years old, Zhang Yiming is the 39th richest man in the world. His parents were civil servants.
    • The popularity of TikTok in the United States has raised concerns from US regulators.

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    Business

    FG explains why the loan amount for youth investment fund is limited to N300,000

    At N300,000 per beneficiary, only 41,000 beneficiaries would be covered in the first tranche of N12.5bn.

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    President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports launch DEEL initiative

    The Federal Government has explained why it limited the loan amount for the current beneficiaries of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to N300,000.

    The government said that it had to place a limit of N300,000 for individuals and eligible businesses who meet the conditions and guideline in order to ensure that it gets to as many beneficiaries as possible.

    This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, who noted that the disbursement of the fund is being done in phases.

    What the statement from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is saying

    The statement explained that the ministry had received more than 3 million applications for the initial N12.5bn made available adding that at the current cap of N300,000 per beneficiary, only about 41,000 beneficiaries could be covered.

    The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has been following with interest the reaction of some beneficiaries of the NYIF, particularly those expressing disappointment at the N300,000 cap on disbursement under the first tranche of N12.5bn.

    Firstly, the framework specified N250,000 as the maximum for individuals and eligible businesses that are critical can access up toN3m subject to meeting key criteria set in the guideline and conditions.

    Considering the number of applications received, there was the need to ensure spread and enable more beneficiaries enjoy the facility.”

    The ministry assured beneficiaries that higher loan thresholds would be possible once additional funds were available in subsequent phases.

    The ministry in the statement also noted that it is ideal to start and gradually increase, considering that there are lots of first-time borrowers as well.

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    The ministry reaffirmed that NYIF was not a grant, but a loan, targeted at supporting the youth to start small businesses or to inject funds into existing small businesses.

    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had on October 15, 2020, launched the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, which was set up for investment in the innovative ideas, skills, and talents of Nigerian Youth.
    • It is to also institutionally provide the Nigerian youth with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills, and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
    • The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilization.

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