Panelists in a 2021 UK Africa Investment Summit event have said that renewable energy will be a critical driver of Africa’s post-COVID-19 growth recovery and economic prosperity – calling for a stronger partnership between the United Kingdom and Africa.
The panel was themed, “UK & Africa: Partnering in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Development.”
Discussions at the event covered British innovation and experience in the context of partnering with Africa to advance its economic development. Panel members said investment in large-scale electrification projects would be key.
What they are saying
Louis Taylor, CEO, UK Export Finance said, “African countries are building back better from the coronavirus, adding that this presents an “unalloyed opportunity for UK investors to be part of the African success story and for African countries to access the UK’s support for projects.
“The UK is still the ultimate one-stop-shop. The UK government is still the largest G7 investor in Africa. For instance, UK Export Finance is providing a £ 1.7 billion guarantee to support the development of Cairo monorail in Egypt – the UK’s biggest ever overseas infrastructure guarantee.”
Wale Shonibare, the AfDB Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation, while calling for a structured approach to sustainable infrastructure development and the implementation of large-scale electrification programs, citing the Bank’s Desert to Power initiative as an example of a project likely to attract interest from UK businesses; stated that:
“Building on the City of London’s deep expertise in innovative financial solutions, the African Development Bank sees promising opportunities to further expand its program to securitize receipts from solar home systems providers.”
Nicholas Oliver, Business Development Director of UK-based NMS Infrastructure Ltd, urged that: “We need to create partnerships with governments and local businesses. It is a great time to invest in Africa. The African Development Bank estimates that climate change presents a $3 trillion investment by 2030. What an opportunity.
Olusola Lawson, Co-Managing Director of African Infrastructure Investment Managers, an infrastructure investment management firm, noted that: “In Africa, you can’t have transition without electrification. In this context, what we see is the trend from centralized large-scale power plants to a more distributive system.”
What you should know
- According to International Energy Agency data, scaling up Africa’s capacity to achieve universal access to energy by 2030 would require over $100 billion per year, of which 40% would be dedicated to solar, wind, and other low-carbon power generation projects.
- The African Development Bank has taken the lead in accelerating the electrification of the continent through its New Deal on Energy for Africa, a transformative partnership-based strategy that aims to increase access to energy for all Africans.
- The UK Africa Investment Conference, hosted by the UK Department for International Trade, brings together the UK and African businesses to explore the opportunities for partnership and investment.
- The UK has been a strong partner to the African Development Bank in the institution’s drive to attract greater private sector participation in African infrastructure investment. The Bank is currently working with a number of UK institutions to improve the enabling environment for infrastructure development in Africa.
Sanwo-Olu says construction work on Fourth Mainland Bridge to start end of 2021
Governor Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the foundation for the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of 2021.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that the foundation for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of the year 2021.
The execution of the bridge is geared towards improving the transport infrastructure and movement across the state.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu during the 16th Executive/Legislative Parley, with the theme: ”A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”, organised by the Office of Civic Engagement.
He pointed out that the promise to construct the Fourth Mainland Bridge is not a political one.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu during the interactive session said, ”We did not politically promise Fourth Mainland Bridge but we are going to do Fourth Mainland Bridge.
”With your prayers and by the grace of Almighty God, we shall turn the sod and lay the foundation for the building and construction of that Fourth Mainland Bridge before the end of this year.
”We are on course and I am sure that the 37km ring road is on track, which will change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos,” the governor said.
The governor also disclosed that his administration was on course to complete the Blue Line and Red Line rail projects which were started several years back, saying the project will be completed and trains will move on the two rail lines before the end of his administration.
He said, ”It is a commitment that we have given to Lagosians and it is a commitment that we will see will come to fruition because we have finished the financial closure and we are excited about that project.’’
Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said that the executive and legislature would discuss extensively the theme of the retreat, “A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”.
While saying that the discussion in the next 48 hours would help to fast track the rebuilding of the state, Adebowale said that they would delve deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: a catalyst for growth, and Role of Social Media in Nation Building, among others.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Lagos State Government has shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
- This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
- Lagos State said it will announce the selection of the next stage in due course, even as the RFQ will be given to the pre-qualified bidders.
- The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.
Traffic violation: Lagos says LASTMA officials to carry body cameras in next few weeks
Within the next few weeks, LASTMA officials will start wearing body cameras to monitor traffic violations.
The Lagos State Government has said that officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will start using smart body cameras within the next few weeks to monitor traffic violations.
This is coming after a viral video that has been in circulation, showed a man driving his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), driving against traffic along International Airport Road, hit a policeman with the car and he fell over the bridge when attempts were made to apprehend him.
This was disclosed by the General Manager of the LASTMA, Olajide Oduyoye, while answering questions on a Channels Television Programme monitored by Nairametrics, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, February 26, 2021.
The LASTMA general manager who pointed out that technology is the way to go, said that Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is on top of that and in 2020, approved the deployment of technology to improve our communication for the agency.
What the LASTMA General Manager is saying
Oduyoye, while answering questions during the interview said, ‘’I’m glad that you said that and of course technology is the way to go, our Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is very much on top of that. He approved the deployment of technology for us to improve our communication last year 2020.
This year, we are definitely hoping in the next few weeks to start what you would say non-approachable offence dealings. That means we are going to be having body cameras on officers to capture incidences because things happen so fast and you don’t really have time to say okay let me get my camera and everything, but if you have your body camera on that is recording, then you can capture all sorts of different things that you can use against typical offenders.’’
While lamenting that chronic traffic violators do often remove traffic signs to deliberately disobey road laws, the LASTMA boss warned road users to obey traffic laws and not attempt to flee when caught.
What this means
- The members of the general public have often called to question, the mode of operation of LASTMA, with calls for reforms which includes the deployment of technology in their operations.
- This has often led to conflict between the officials of the agency and motorists some of who deny allegations against them and accuse LASTMA officials of extortion and being overzealous.
- The LASTMA officials, who sometimes are at the receiving end, have had to deal with attacks on them by traffic violators, in the course of discharging their duties.
- The deployment of technology especially the smart body cameras will go a long way to drastically reduce these conflicts and make the operations of LASTMA more credible.
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