The African Leadership magazine recently organized an international forum on African leadership and was attended by the Malawian President, Mr. Lazarus Chakweras and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the President of African Development Bank (AfDB).
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who presented a keynote address during the event, charged the African leaders to be strong, have a sense of collective responsibility, as well as optimally harness the abundant domestic resources and the transparent management of the continent’s vast natural wealth.
He said, “The speed and quality of the economic recovery process from the pandemic will depend on our shared sense of collective responsibility and the financial capacity of developing countries to address immediate shocks, stabilize their economies, and invest in growing back.”
According to Dr. Adesina, African leaders have to contend with the serious infrastructural challenges impeding on economic growth as an annual estimate of between $64 and $108bn is required to finance the infrastructural gap.
In his words, “Moreover, tapping domestic sources of revenue will be essential to our economic recovery. Africa must grow by mobilizing domestic resources, especially by unlocking its over $1 trillion in pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and insurance funds to help close the annual infrastructure financing gap estimated at $64-108 billion.”
“Africa will build back faster by also harnessing and better managing the revenue streams from its abundant natural resources, including minerals, metals, biodiversity, blue economy, forest resources, agriculture, and oil and gas, to boost domestic savings.”
- The good news is that a number of African countries have started exploring opportunities for tapping into private financing, creating and nurturing new strategic partnerships and alliances in infrastructural development and financing.
- This strategic shift has come about on the realization that scaling up financing from traditional sources alone would not be adequate to close the huge infrastructure gap.
- Also, there is evidence that those countries that have invested strategically in infrastructures are beginning to reap the benefits. It is therefore crucial for other countries in the continent to open up opportunities to attract new investors, as well as explore new mechanisms for financing infrastructures in their respective countries.
Federal High Court rejects EFCC’s appeal seeking forfeiture of Saraki’s assets
Saraki has disclosed that a Federal High Court has rejected an application by the EFCC to have him permanently forfeit some of his assets to the FG.
A Federal High Court in Lagos has rejected an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking permanent forfeiture of some assets belonging to Bukola Saraki to the Federal Government.
The ex-Senate President disclosed this in a statement on Thursday evening.
“Earlier this afternoon, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos rejected an application brought before it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in which the agency sought the permanent forfeiture of some of my properties to the Federal Government,” Saraki said.
He revealed that the court said EFCC had failed to provide evidence to support its claims that his properties were paid for with funds sourced from the Kwara State Government House.
“The Court further held that the evidence before it showed the purchase of properties was legal and as such cannot be said to be done with the proceeds of crime.
“In 2018, the Supreme Court held that there was no evidence to support the claims of corruption leveled against me by the agency while giving its judgment in appeals filed before it challenging the judgments of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the Court of Appeal,” the former Kwara State governor added.
Saraki added that he believed the Judiciary to be an institution that upheld the rights and liberties of citizens in a democracy and praised the court for “upholding the laws of our land.”
What you should know
- The Attorney general of the Federation, Abubakar Malami inaugurated the inter-Ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Forfeited Assets and announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the selling off of forfeited assets in 6 months.
Lagos, Chinese firm to rollout 1,000 SUVs as taxis, to complete auto assembly plant in 12 months
Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to roll-out 1,000 SUVs as taxis for Lagos residents.
Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm, Choice International Group (CIG) Motors Co. Ltd. on Thursday for the roll-out of 1,000 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as taxis for Lagos residents.
The signing and flag-off ceremony which was held at the Lagos House, Marina also included the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a Motor Assembly Plant in Lagos State, with the Governor saying that the roll-out of vehicles from the plant is expected within the next 12 to 18 months.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the Lagos State Taxi Scheme was another innovative policy of his administration targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transport system.
Sanwo-Olu said that the scheme would create jobs, accelerate socio-economic growth, and further put the state on the global map as the centre of excellence and a modern megacity committed to sustainable development.
What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is saying
Sanwo-Olu pointed out that the task of bequeathing a safe, efficient, quick, and modern public transport system is a key thrust of the administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda.
He said, ”We are guided by the need for an equitable transport system with mobility choices for our people. The Taxi Scheme, to be known as ”Lagos Ride”, which is being inaugurated today is in fulfilment of our desire to give Lagosians transport choices.
”It is one of the Lagos State Government’s socio-economic intervention programmes- a modern ride-hailing service that will be professionally managed in line with global best practices. Under the Lagos State Taxi Service, drivers/operators will be given the cars for a period of four years during which they pay a monthly instalment and they will have the opportunity of owning the cars after they have fully paid the hire amount.
”The Lagos State Taxi Service is structured along a profitability model, it is self-sustaining and able to expand and regenerate itself,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant was expected to revive industrialisation, increase citizens’ employment and wealth creation, boost tourism, and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.
He said, ”As we inaugurate the taxis and sign the Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant, Lagosians should expect a roll-out of vehicles from this plant within the next 12 to 18 months.
”I urge the beneficiaries of the Lagos State Taxi Service to collaborate with us to sustain the scheme.We have the political and administrative will to ensure the Taxi Scheme survives.
”I am hopeful that the operators will cooperate with the Lagos State Government to render excellent service to the people,” he said.
The Group Chairman, CIG Motors, Diana Chen, said that they hope to celebrate this exciting moment again when 1,000 units of branded SUVs with high-tech technology arrive and run across Lagos streets and roads, with 1,000 well-trained drivers carrying happy customers that live and work in Lagos.
What this means
- This collaboration by the Lagos State Government with the Chinese auto firm is one of the ways of the government to get private sector participation in a modern transport system within the metropolis’
- The establishment of the Assembly Plant and the Lagos Taxi Scheme were among the benefits of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s official trip to China.
- This is a welcome development as it will help to change the face of public transportation in the state.
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