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Lagos Flags off Reconstruction of 10-lane Oshodi-Int’l Airport Road

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  • Lagos Flags off Reconstruction of 10-lane Oshodi-Int’l Airport Road

The Lagos State Government yesterday flagged off the reconstruction of the Oshodi-International Airport Road, with a pledge to complete the project within the next 15 months.

The state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, had last month at the quarterly Town Hall meeting held in Badore area of Ajah, announced that the reconstruction of the road, which is a major gateway to the country, would commence in September, and that the construction would facilitate the transformation of the road to a world class standard.

Specifically, the design of the project include the reconstruction and expansion of the existing carriage to three-lane expressway on both directions, construction of two-lane service road in both directions, construction of ramp bridge to provide a U-turn from Ajao Estate to airport, construction of a flyover at NAHCO/Toll Gate and drainage works.

Others include the removal of existing pedestrian bridge at Ajao Estate and construction of pedestrian bridges at Ajao Estate and NAHCO/Hajj Camp, construction of slip road to provide access to Ajao Estate, construction of lay-bys and installation of street lights, among others.

Speaking while flagging off the project, the state Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Mr. Adebowale Akinsanya said the commencement of the project was in line with the commitment of the present administration to transform the entire axis, being the major gateway to the country’s commercial nerve centre.

He said the state government took it upon itself to undertake the reconstruction of the road being one of the busiest roads in the state with vehicular volumes averaging 50,000 vehicles daily, and that its poor state was not acceptable for the status of the State as the fifth largest economy in Africa and the nation’s commercial hub.

Akinsanya said some of the fences along the corridor have been identified to be within the right of way, but that government would minimise the impact of the project on property owners.

He said in order to properly carry along people of the area, a stakeholders’ meeting would hold on Thursday to sensitise the people whereby they will have an opportunity to ask the necessary questions.

Akinsanya said to fast-track the project, three group of workers would work on the project and they would work day and night, while upon completion, the project will be linked to the Oworonshoki reclamation project, which is also ongoing and is aimed at transforming the corridor to a major entertainment and tourism hub.

The commissioner, however, urged residents and motorists to cooperate with the state government while the construction last, saying the intention was to transform the area.

“There will be some minor inconveniences but we are going to try to mitigate the impact. The work will be accelerated. The project is to make life easier for everybody. We just want to appeal to people to cooperate with us. We will be here to talk to the people in case of any issue and we are also working with our partner, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN),” the commissioner said.

Also speaking, Managing Director of Planet Projects, the firm that designed the project, Mr. Biodun Otunola, said prior to the commencement of the construction, adequate feasibility studies were carried out, and that the project, upon completion, would facilitate total transformation of Oshodi and International Airport corridor.

He said in as much as there would not be alternative roads created specifically for the project, adequate measures have been put in place to educate the public on the staging that would be developed, saying the project would be executed in phases, while motorists will make use of other sections of the road during construction work on a particular section.

Otunola, whose company is also handling the construction of the Oshodi Transport Interchange, said by the time the road project and the interchange are completed, the whole axis would have been transformed to world class standard.

“The desire of the state government under Ambode is to ensure that this whole corridor is turned into an international corridor so that investors and the people can be proud that we have an international gateway.

“We are not just building roads, we are thinking of the transportation implication and so there is a bus reform project that is ongoing and every part of Lagos will be connected by bus and that is why this road project will be linked to the Oshodi interchange. So, there will be about 20 lay-bys, bus terminals and so on which are all flowing from the same Master plan for this area,” he said.

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.

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

JR Firms, an agribusiness firm with headquarters in Nigeria, has announced partnership with Sanit Wing Rwanda through the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in the company.

The CEO of the company, Mr Rotimi Olawale, explained in a statement that the partnership was in furtherance of its goals to ensure food security, create decent jobs and raise the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa.

The stake was acquired through Green Agribusiness Fund, an initiative of JR Farms designed to invest in youth-led agribusinesses across Africa.

Sanit Wing Rwanda is an agro-processing company that processes avocado oil and cosmetics that are natural, quality, affordable, reliable and viable.

The vision of the company is to become the leading producers of best quality avocado and avocado by-products in Africa by creating value across the avocado value chain.

With focus on bringing together over 20,000 professional Avocado farmers on board and planting of three million avocado trees by 2025 through contract farming, the company currently works with One Acre Fund in supply of avocado to its processing facility.

The products of the company which include avocado oil, skin care (SANTAVO), hair cream and soap are being sold locally and exported to regional market in Kenya.

With the new partnership with JR Farms- the products of the company will enjoy more access to markets focusing on Africa and the European Union by leveraging on partnerships and trade windows available.

Aside funding, the partnership comes with project support in areas of market exposure, capacity building, exposure and other thematic support to grow the business over the next four years.

JR Farms has agribusiness operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, United States and Zambia respectively.

In Nigeria, the company deals in cassava value chain processing cassava to national staple “garri” which is consumed by over 80 million Nigerians on daily basis, while in Rwanda, it works in the coffee value chain with over 4,000 coffee farmers spread across the East Central African country.

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Shut Down Depots Selling Petrol Above Approved Price – Marketers

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Shut Down Depots Selling Petrol Above Approved Price – Marketers

The Federal Government should close down depots that are selling petrol above the approved price, oil marketers said on Thursday.

National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Sanusi Fari, said the sale of petrol above government approved price by depot owners would soon lead to a hike in the commodity’s pump price.

Fari told journalists in Abuja that the government through its agencies such as the Department of State Services and the Department of Petroleum Resources should curb the development to avoid crisis in the downstream oil sector.

He said some private depot owners were selling at N165 per litre to independent marketers, way above the government stipulated price of N148 per litre.

Fari said, “Our challenge is the inconsistency in the pricing of petrol. Up till a week ago, government was still insisting that the February price for petrol remained unchanged.

“And most of the private depot owners are selling above the government stipulated price. As at today ( February 25, 2021) private depot owners are selling at N165 per litre to independent marketers.”

He added, “In the last six years, only NNPC imports refined products into this country and these tank farms buy their products from NNPC under a controlled price.

“This has affected our businesses seriously because government is insisting that we sell at the rate of N165, which is not going to work.”

The IPMAN president said filling station owners buy the product at N165 per litre from the private depots and incur other expenses such as transportation, rent, etc.

“So government cannot expect us to sell less than what we buy,” he said.

Fari added, “This is why we are calling on government and agencies that are saddled with the responsibility to control petrol pricing to urgently clamp down on depots that are selling above the stipulated price.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s sole importer of patrol, recently stated that it never hiked the cost of petrol to depots.

It also enjoined the depot owners to sell the product at the approved rate and called on the DPR to enforce the stipulated price across the depots.

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Nigeria Will Benefit Less From African Trade Deal – NESG

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Nigeria Will Benefit Less From African Trade Deal – NESG

Nigeria and other resource-based countries will benefit less from the African Continental Free Trade Area than economies that are more diversified, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group has said.

The NESG, a private sector-led think-tank, said in its 2021 Macroeconomic Outlook that Nigeria could reap more gains through export diversification away from crude oil.

It said trade in Africa remained dominated by raw materials and less processed products, adding that on average, minerals and agriculture accounted for 44 per cent and 16 per cent of intra-African trade respectively between 2007 and 2017.

The NESG said, “Evidence has shown that African economies that are more diversified and have improved transport infrastructure, would benefit more from the trade pact than others that are resource-based and agricultural dependent.

“Putting this in context, South Africa currently accounts for 40 per cent of intra-African manufacturing imports. On the other hand, resource-based countries, such as, Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria – which collectively account for approximately 50 per cent of Africa’s GDP – contribute only 11 per cent to intra-African trade.”

“Another bone of contention is the issue of ‘rules of origin’, which constitutes a significant risk factor. This implies that protectionism practices by some countries could constitute a setback for the establishment of the ambitious single market for Africa. But there are several reasons to be optimistic,” it added.

The group said the World Bank estimates revealed that the AfCFTA would promote manufacturing exports over natural resources, agricultural and services exports, and that manufacturing exports would account for one-third of the projected total exports of $2.5tn by 2035.

It said, “Nigeria could reap more gains through export diversification away from crude oil, as manufacturing exports currently account for an average of nine per cent of the country’s total exports.

“This suggests that efforts should be directed at strengthening domestic value chains, particularly the agro-allied industrial base.

“To achieve this, there is a need to attract private capital, most especially, FDI, that would allow for knowledge and technological transfers.”

According to the NESG, for Nigeria to maximally benefit from the trade deal, there is an urgent need to also address transport infrastructure bottlenecks and provide improved logistics.

It said, “Finding a lasting solution to the Apapa gridlock by creating similar ports in other regions of the country, so as to ensure speedy clearance of consignments needs to be prioritised.

“Nigeria also needs to set standards for locally-made goods to enhance their attractiveness in the regional market.

“The Nigerian government as a matter of urgency needs to operate an efficient and corruption-free land border system, so as to guide against the importation of low-cost sub-standard products into the country.

“It is only when these and many more reforms are implemented that Nigeria can begin to reap the benefits of the trade deal.”

The group noted that owing to the outbreak of COVID-19, the implementation of the AfCFTA was postponed from July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

It said, “The key goal of the free trade pact is to expand the volume of intra-African trade, which stood at 16 per cent in 2018 .“Till date, 36 countries, including Nigeria, have ratified the agreement. The trade deal is expected to create a single market with a combined GDP of $2.5tn and total population or market size of 1.2 billion.”

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