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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SANWO-OLU APPROVES N1BILLION SEED CAPITAL FOR TOURISM BUSINESS
•Grants Three-Year Waiver On Penalty For Land Use Charge Defaulters
•Lagos Governor Meets Business Leaders@jidesanwoolu @JokeSanwoolu @lagosmcic @olowo_mpr#ForAGreaterLagos
Read More.. https://t.co/aZ594BVSrE pic.twitter.com/qyCAzDEXKZ
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) July 29, 2020
Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors
The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.
This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.
Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.
According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.
Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.
But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.
In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.
“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.
Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
- Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
- This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
- They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.
2020 budget performance: FG achieves 89% capital release in December 2020
The Minister of Finance has revealed that the FG achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to MDAs as of December 2020.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that the Federal Government achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as of December 2020.
She said that the 89% capital funding for MDAs was achieved with the release of N1.74 trillion.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Ahmed at an interactive session with the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday, February 22, 2021.
She also revealed that the government had disbursed N118.37 billion for Covid-19 capital expenditure from the fund.
What the Minister for Finance is saying
Ahmed said the Nigerian economy faced serious challenges in 2020, with the macroeconomic environment significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said this led to a 65% drop in projected net 2020 government revenues from the oil and gas sector, which adversely affected foreign exchange inflows into the economy.
On the delayed release of funds to implement the 2020 capital budget until March 31, the Minister said the complaint had decreased.
She said, “I think the complaint was earlier in the year when we were trying to transfer the balances. As far as I know, in the past three weeks, I haven’t heard any such complaints and we have been able to address them.
“But when we started the transfers, we couldn’t transfer to some agencies because of some limitations in the system, but we have since been able to transfer the capital component that is being utilised by the agencies budget to the system.”
While pointing out that the implementation of the MDAs projects was tied to procurement processes and capacity of the MDA, Ahmed also said the extension of the 2020 capital budget implementation to March 31 had recorded 30% performance as at January.
However, Ahmed said that she expected that the extension would record 100% performance in March.
Speaking during the interaction, the Senate’s Chief Whip, Senator Orji-Uzor Kalu, commended the Minister on the capital performance of the 2020 budget.
He said, “I want to commend the minister and her team because this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that by December 31, we are having 89% performance expenditure of the budget. It has never happened before; Last year was the very first.
“The budget had been going 49%, 27%; this means from what the Senate President was asking, it means by March, we should be looking at implementing the budget 100%.’’
Earlier, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the meeting was to get an update on the capital implementation of the 2020 budget given its extension for implementation by the national assembly to March 31.
What this means
- The 89% capital release for the 2020 budget as of December 2020 is quite encouraging as it occurred despite the economic challenges and disruption caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
- There seems to be an improved effort by the Federal Government at the budgeting process with the early passage of the 2021 budget and the implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget.
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