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Lagos Generates 97.3b, Expends N110.2b in Q3, Says Ambode

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  • Lagos Generates 97.3b, Expends N110.2b in Q3

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday revealed that N97.3billion was generated as revenue in the last quarter by the state, though N110.2billion was expended, of which N55 billion was on capital projects.

Speaking at the 2016 third quarter town-hall meeting held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Ambode also revealed that the budget performance for January to September is 69 per cent as against 65 per cent for the same period in 2015.

“A total of N166.8 billion has been spent on Capital Projects this year more than double the N53.6 billion spent for the same period last year. We believe strongly that continuous increase in the capital expenditure spending is a necessity at this particular period.”

To stimulate the economy of the state, the Governor said that in this quarter, the state would concentrate more resources on capital projects and put money in the hands of our local contractors.

“Immediate payments will be made to contractors handling health sector and education sector projects within the next two weeks.”

Ambode also disclosed that efforts at stimulating and reflating the economy would be consolidated with the roll out of all empowerment programmes immediately to assist youth, artisans, people with disabilities and the needy.

“The funding for the N500 million Lagos State Persons Living with Disability Fund has been provided and beneficiaries will start getting support from this quarter.

“There is a lot of work to be done but our government is undaunted. We are, more than ever before, committed to the continuous development of the State and the prosperity of our people. Our guiding principle is to always channel our resources to areas and sectors that will positively affect the general wellbeing of all Lagosians.

“Let me thank you all for your perseverance, unflinching support and cooperation with our administration despite the harsh economic situation that confronts us and the entire country. We are the hope of today and the prosperity of tomorrow.”

Ambode also revealed that to put into effect the Neighbourhood Law signed into law by the state recently, 5000 personnel would be recruited in addition to the workforce of neighbourhood watchers.

During the question and answer period, the Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Akiolu, lamenting the rejection of the bill seeking special status for Lagos by the Senate, noted at that though enough lobbying was not done. He nonetheless said that Lagos enjoying special status is a matter of time, as it would surely come.

He said: “The suspension of the bill sponsored by our amiable daughter and wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu is unfortunate but it is better and advisable to let these people know that this is not a matter of quarrel but a question of time. It will definitely happen.”

The monarch, who recalled the history of the agitation for special status for Lagos, urged the promoters of the bill to go back to the drawing board and do their homework well before representing it for consideration and passage. The need for special status for Lagos State was re-echoed by Alhaji Tajudeen Odunsi, who demanded that the special status should not rob the state of its independence.

The Governor, who also spoke on the issue, commended Senator Tinubu for her courage to push for the bill, while also lauding the Senate President, Bukola Saraki for his magnanimity in allowing the bill to be presented on the floor of the Senate.

He however expressed optimism that the bill would be reactivated and represented again, saying that the success of the bill was in the overriding interest of Nigerians.

There were several requests for intervention to repair dilapidated roads and the governor promised to look into them including revealing that the process for the award of the construction of the next phase of 114 roads would commenced in a couple of weeks.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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