- Lagos to Become Africa’s 3rd Largest Economy by 2020
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, monday disclosed that the prime goal of his administration is to grow the state from fifth to third largest economy in Africa by 2020.
Consequently, the governor added that it had become imperative to also end the operation of yellow commercial buses known as danfo on roads in the Lagos metropolis before the end of this year.
He disclosed this at the 14th annual lecture of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) held at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos with a theme: ‘Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge of Africa’s Future Cities’.
The lecture, which organised by a renowned development expert, Professor Pat Utomi, was chaired by former Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, and attended by the Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University, Prof. Paul Collier, among others.
Ambode explained the significance of infrastructure projects his administration had been executing in strategic sectors of Lagos economy, noting that it was directed at up scaling the status of the state.
He explained that the establishment of massive lay-bys, rehabilitation of inner-city roads and the construction of flyovers in different parts of the state were designed to end the challenges of urbanisation.
Specifically, the governor noted that the main objective of his administration remained the growth of Lagos from fifth to third largest economy in Africa, which he said formed the heart of his government.
To realise this prime goal, Ambode insisted that yellow buses would be removed from Lagos roads for a more efficient, well-structured and world class mass transportation system that would facilitate ease of movement within the city.
He said the present connectivity mode in the state was not acceptable and befitting for a mega city, and as such, a well-structured transportation mode would soon be put in place to address the challenge.
Ambode said: “When I wake up in the morning and see all these yellow buses, commercial motorcycles and all kinds of tricycles, and we claim we are a mega city, that is not true. We must first acknowledge that that is a faulty connectivity that we are running.
“We have to look for the solution. That is why we want to banish yellow buses this year. We must address the issue of connectivity that makes people to move around with ease and that is where we are going.
“For instance, people going from Ikorodu to CMS have started leaving their cars at home because the buses are very convenient. So, why can’t we do that for other places?
“Yes, we do not have the money to do everything now but we can go to the capital market and then improve on the technology of collection of fares. That will encourage investors and then the city will change.”
Also, the governor said the state government was also embarking on massive reform in waste management system, expressing optimism that the plan “will be actualised by July this year.
“We are also embarking on massive reform in the waste and sanitation management system. I don’t like the way the city is and the Private Sector Participants (PSP) collectors are not having enough capacity to do it but again should I tax people to death, the answer is no.
“I do not want to tax people, and so we need this partnership with the private sector so that it can invest in the sanitation management of the city and in no time, maybe by July, the city will change forever.”
Also speaking, Utomi said the idea behind the formation of the group was to get young people to begin to appreciate early what leadership is all about, which is service to the people.
Utomi, founder of CVL, said Lagos remained the best governed state in Nigeria in the last 18 years, and a good example of what the country should be beyond and without oil.
He thus commended Ambode on his leadership style, and particularly congratulated Lagos for being named by the Rockefeller Foundation as one of the 100 most resilient cities in the world.
On his part, Director of Centre for African Economies, Oxford University, Collier, said from his over 30 years’ experience of coming to Nigeria, Ambode has proven himself to be the third excellent governor in a row in Lagos.
Collier, who was the keynote speaker, said judging by the population projection of Nigeria by 2050, now is the time for the country to start building its cities to conform to modern trend.
He said Nigeria’s oil had been a curse which messed up the economy, and so there was need to start proper planning for development.
Collier, therefore, suggested alliance between the business community and political actors, saying to build a city that works, attention must be focused on energy and connectivity.
Nigeria’s Non-oil Revenue Now N1.15 Trillion – Minister of Finance
Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has said that Nigeria’s non-oil revenue is now N1.15 trillion, representing 15.7 percent above the country’s target. This, she claimed, was a result of the federal government’s efforts at diversifying the nation’s economy.
Mrs. Ahmed disclosed this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2021 Annual Directors Conference which was held on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the event with the theme: “Creating the Future: Deepening the Corporate Governance Practice through Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Generational Collaborations,” was meant to discuss economic development.
Mrs Ahmed added that the recent development was in line with President’s commitment to further diversifying the Nigerian economy which is heavily dependent on oil. She observed that Nigeria was showing resilience in recovery from recession from coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which intensely affected global economies.
The minister said the federal government alongside the private sector had implemented a wide range of monetary measures to stimulate economic recovery, growth and development, job creation and improved standards of living.
She also explained that the government was doing everything to improve and diversify Nigeria’s revenue generation.
“Nigeria was quickly able to exit recession and is on her way to path of sustainable growth and we are intensifying efforts to grow and diversify our revenue sources to grow revenue from the current 8 per cent.”
“Our non-oil revenues have grown to N1.15 trillion, representing 15.7 per cent above set target. We are working on the 2021 finance bill and it’s nearing completion. Also, the recent approval of the medium-term national development plan is an important milestone of Buhari’s commitment to delivering sustainable growth and we require strong support and monitoring during implementation,” she said.
Mrs Ahmed reinforced the government’s decision to do something about infrastructure and reduce the cost of production for businesses in the country.
Intra-Regional Trade Potential a Key Focus in New Report
A new focus report, produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with the African Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO), shines a spotlight on the continent’s rapidly developing industrial sector, which is poised to become a key driver of broader economic growth as regional integration increases.
Titled ”Economic Zones in Africa – Focus Report”, the report was launched at the AEZO’s 6th Annual Meeting II, which took place on November 25 at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat office in Ghana, with participants also able to attend remotely. The meeting was held under the banner “Connecting African Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to Global Value Chains at the era of the AfCFTA” and explored a range of topical issues relating to SEZs, from their potential to boost trade to the impact of Covid-19 on the continent’s supply chains.
The focus report examines the wealth of benefits that the AfCFTA is expected to deliver to both Africa’s economic zones and the businesses located in them, which range from greater market access to a reduction in trade barriers and lower production costs.
The disruption that the pandemic brought to supply chains and the opportunities emerging from the health crisis for businesses to become part of nascent regional value chains across a more closely connected continent are a key focus.
The report also charts the digital transformation taking place in many of Africa’s economic zones, as businesses make the move away from traditional segments to high-tech processes and digital services, adding value to their offerings in the process.
In addition, it provides in-depth analysis of the drive evident among many SEZs to put environmental, social and governance principles and sustainable business practices at the heart of their strategies, at a time when ethical investment and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals are high on the global agenda.
The report includes in-depth case studies and viewpoints by representatives from key industry players namely: Tanger Med; Polaris Parks; Lagos Free Zones; Ghana Free Zones Authority; Misurata Free Zone; and Sebore Farms.
It also includes a contribution from Ahmed Bennis, Secretary General, AEZO, in which he highlights the role that SEZs are playing in the continent’s industrial transformation and the importance of supporting their development.
“Economic zones can play a game-changing role in Africa’s diversification and inclusion by providing end-to-end solutions and services that support industrial upgrades and increase countries’ attractiveness for investment,” he said. “With the implementation of AfCFTA and the post-Covid-19 recovery that the world is beginning to experience, we believe that real investment opportunities exist in Africa at this moment, which can translate into job creation and social and economic development. Africa has resources that need to be developed and economic zones can play a key role in this.”
Bernardo Bruzzone, OBG’s Regional Editor for Africa, added that while African economic zones had experienced production problems during the pandemic due to global supply chain disruptions, ongoing remedial action, including new infrastructure and human capital development, would help provide resilience against future external shocks.
“Africa’s real GDP growth is forecast to reach 3.4% in 2021, with an increase in intra-regional trade and improved connectivity among the facilitators of economic recovery,” Bruzzone said. “Looking ahead, we see economic zones as having a key role to play in helping the AfCFTA achieve its potential through the development of new strategies that will lead to a more diverse, higher-value range of exports.”
The study forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.
Lagos Budget N1.4 Trillion for 2022, Budget Surpasses Five Other Southwest States Combined
Lagos state government has proposed N1.388 trillion budget for the year 2022. The proposed budget was presented to the House of Assembly on Wednesday.
While presenting the proposed budget, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the State would be spending N325 billion on vital infrastructure projects in key sectors to energise and expand the growth of the State’s economy.
The key areas of growth identified by the Governor include Works and Infrastructure, Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy and Mineral Resources, Tourism, Entertainment and Creative Industry, Commerce and Industry, Wealth Creation and Employment.
The proposed budget, christened “Budget of Consolidation”, will be the last full-year fiscal plan of the State before the next general election.
About N823.4 billion, representing 59 per cent of the 2022 budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure. Recurrent expenditure, representing 41 per cent, is N565 billion, which includes personnel cost, overhead and debt services.
Of the total proposed expenditure, N1.135 trillion would accrue from Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs) and federal transfers, while deficit financing of N253 billion would be sourced from external and domestic loans, and bonds projected to be within the State’s fiscal sustainability parameters.
The State would be earmarking an aggregate of N137.64 billion, representing 9.92 per cent of the 2022 budget, for the funding of green investment in Environment, Social Protection, Housing and Community Amenities.
“This financial proposal is presented with a sense of duty and absolute commitment to the transformation of Lagos to a preferred global destination for residence, commerce, and investment. The budget projects to see a continuing but gradual recovery to growth in economic activity as the global economy cautiously recovers from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic,” the governor said while presenting the budget to the house.
Meanwhile, the 1.388 trillion budgeted for 2022 is higher than the budget of the five other southwest states combined. For 2022, Ekiti State’s budget is 100.7 billion, Osun 129.7 billion, Ondo 191billion, Oyo 294 billion. Ogun’s budget for 2022 is not yet finalised, but going by their 2021 budget of 339 billion, the combined budget of the five South-West states then amount to 1.053 trillion. With this, Lagos state budget is higher than the five states budget with a difference of 335 billion.
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