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Economy & Politics

Lagos sets up N1 billion seed capital for hospitality sector, rolls out optical fibre across the state

Sanwo-Olu said that this seed capital will be domiciled in the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced the approval of a N1 billion seed capital for investment in the tourism and hospitality sector in the state. The N1 billion seed capital is to help drive new growth in that sector

This was announced during his meeting with business leaders in the state, at an event tagged, ‘BOS Meets Business,’ which was held at the Banquet Hall in the State House, Alausa Ikeja.

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The Governor said that the investment was needed to support/strengthen the hospitality sector by providing key operators in the tourism business with soft loans to boost their capacity in driving growth. The governor said the initiative is necessary to position the tourism business as a new frontier for job creation and economic prosperity in the post Coronavirus era.

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

Sanwo-Olu said that this seed capital will be domiciled in the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), adding that the funds will be made available specifically to Micro, Small and Medium (MSMEs) operators in the sector

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The Governor also said that the Lagos State Government would be collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to further create access to funds to support the hospitality business.

Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu further disclosed that the state has concluded arrangements to provide technological infrastructure to support MSMEs by commencing installation of the first phase of the 6,000km optical fibre across the state.

READ ALSO: Lagos State Government orders building owners to conduct structural stability tests

He pointed out that the state had continued to improve on its ease of doing business policies to drive private investment and economic growth. This he said is made possible by the digitization of business registration and asset acquisition processes, which has removed administrative bottlenecks.

“We have just given approval for N1 billion support that will be given out through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund to support hospitality business in the State. The beneficiaries of this fund will go through screening in line with the requirement of the agency. We are making this investment because of the huge potential for job creation and inclusive growth this sector can bring about.’

“We will be working with the CBN for more funding to fully develop the potential of our tourism sector. This effort is being completed with the rolling out of 3,000 km optical fibre across the State to provide technological infrastructure for the MSMEs whose operations would depend on fast Internet networks to drive their businesses,” the Governor said.

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He said this is the time for Lagos state to strengthen its economy which has a GDP valued at $130 billion and over 3 million MSMEs. The strengthening will come in the form of good policies for accelerated growth and prosperity. He also noted that the state is the 4th wealthiest city in Africa.

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This policy and incentive for the hospitality sector by the Lagos State government will come as a huge relief for the small and medium scale operators in the industry which has been one of the worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

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READ ALSO: You can now track loans on LSETF website

The businesses in the sector have witnessed a lot of shutdown with loss of revenue and laying off of staff.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. aremu akinloye

    July 31, 2020 at 3:10 am

    What a wonderful development at a period lagosians are trying to seek a chance to recover from the plight of business sicknesses and the pioneering stake in the global relevance. I pray for the impartation of God’s hands and touch with the government.

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Economy & Politics

INEC to introduce election results viewing portal

INEC says the policy would be tested at the Nasarawa State Constituency Bye-Election.

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INEC headquarters gutted by fire

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the introduction of a dedicated public portal called the INEC Result Viewing (IreV), which would enable Nigerians to view real-time results in polling stations.

This was announced Thursday evening in a statement signed by Festus Okoye, INEC’s Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee.

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“ The Commission is aware that result management has remained a major source of mistrust in our electoral process. INEC is determined to address any source of this concern through enhancing the level of transparency in the conduct of elections,” INEC said.

INEC also said that it is an important principle for votes during elections to be correctly counted. This new initiative is a major step towards achieving that goal. However, INEC said this does not constitute electronic collation of votes just yet. Instead, “the collation of election results shall remain as provided for by law, a manual process of completion.”

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IreV would be tested during the Nasarawa State Constituency Bye-Election scheduled for August 8th, INEC said.

Concerned Nigerians are advised to visit inecresults.com, create an account, and fill in their details which will lead them to the portal to oversee the collation of votes.

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Economy & Politics

Chinese Loans: Clauses are international standard terms – Amaechi

The probes into Nigeria’s use of foreign loans could negatively affect how foreign lenders perceive the country.

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Nigeria Air, FG states why there is no hurry to resume train operation, Lagos blue rail line ready 2022 , Chinese Loans: Clauses are international standard terms - Amaechi

Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said the clauses contained in Nigeria’s Chinese loans for infrastructural development are standard international commitment clauses. In other words, such are regular, applicable clauses whenever a country goes into a trade agreement with another country.

The Minister revealed this while on Channels Television’s evening political talk show, Politics Today.

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Back story: The Nigerian Senate called a hearing last week, asking the Minister to explain the clauses on Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in Nigeria. Instead, the Minister argued that the probe into Nigeria’s use of foreign loans to finance infrastructure projects could negatively affect how foreign lenders perceive the country and also impact further financing for future projects.

(READ MORE: China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors)

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Later during his recent Channels TV interview, the Minister said Nigeria is not Madagascar or Sri Lanka and has been keeping up with payment plans for the loan. “ No country has complained about Nigeria’s loan obligations,” Amaechi said.

Although he acknowledged Nigeria has debt over revenue problems, he made it clear that “that does not mean we have at any point in time refused to pay our loans.”

Amaechi then claimed that only a criminally-minded person would have issues with the loan terms. “Only those who don’t want to repay are worried about the clauses. If we repay our loans we won’t get arbitration,” he said.

The Minister also disclosed that the Ministry of Finance has repaid up to $98 million of the loans, adding, “those are standard international commitment clauses” and that no loan can be taken by the government without the approval of the National assembly.

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Economy & Politics

NDDC reveals more lists of contracts awarded to federal legislators

The Commission said it released the list to expose committee chairmen in the National Assembly.

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NDDC corruption probe: Commission denies spending N81.5 billion in 6 months 

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said there is another list of emergency contracts that were awarded to National Assembly members in 2017 and 2019. This list was not submitted to National Assembly following the recent probe of the NDDC.

This disclosure was made in a press statement by the NDDC earlier today which was signed by the commission’s Director for Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili. According to the statement, the initial list that was submitted by the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was actually compiled by the former management of the commission in 2018, not the minister himself.

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READ ALSO: Explained: CBN’s powers to seize bank account of criminals

The statement by the NDDC went further to note that the Interim Management Committee of the Commission stands by the list which came from the files already in the possession of the forensic auditors.

The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Commission stands by the list, which came from files already in the possession of the forensic auditors. It is not an Akpabio list but the NDDC’s list. The list is part of the volume of 8,000 documents already handed over to the forensic auditors,” the statement said in parts.

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READ MORE: 2021 Budget: FG projects spending plan of N11.86 trillion and deficit of N5.16 trillion

In the meantime, the NDDC has urged prominent indigenes of the Niger Delta, whose names appeared on that list, not to panic, because the NDDC is aware that their names were used to secure contracts. The ongoing forensic audit would help to unearth those behind those contracts, the NDDC said in the statement.

Furthermore, the commission disclosed that it released the list to expose committee chairmen in the National Assembly who used fronts to collect contracts from the NDDC, some of which were never executed. Interestingly, the list did not include the unique case of 250 contracts that were signed for and collected in one day by one person, ostensibly for members of the National Assembly.

While assuring that the forensic audit exercise is on course, the NDDC noted that the commission had positioned 185 media support specialists to identify the sites of every project captured in its books for verification by the forensic auditors.

READ MORE: NDDC Probe: Akpabio accuses NASS members of getting most of the commission’s contracts

The NDDC then enjoined members of the public not to be distracted or swayed by a lot of misinformation and falsehood that are being orchestrated by mischief makers, even as more of such will be expected by those opposed to the IMC.

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It can be recalled that Akpabio, while appearing before the members of the house of representatives ad-hoc committee probing the N40 billion corruption allegation against the IMC of NDDC, said that most of the contracts that are being awarded at the commission were given to members of the national assembly.

READ ALSO: Akpabio denies accusing Reps of receiving 60% of NDDC contracts

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Not that likely, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked the minister to provide within 48 hours, the names of the legislators that benefitted from such contracts with full details or face legal action.

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Senator Akpabio, in response to the ultimatum, sent an official letter to the Speaker, providing the names of the national assembly members that benefitted from such contracts.

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