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Ambode Proposes N1.04tn Budget for 2018 Fiscal Year



100,000 MSMEs
  • Ambode Proposes N1.04tn Budget for 2018 Fiscal Year

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday presented an appropriation bill of N1.046 trillion to the state House of Assembly for the 2018 fiscal year, which he christened the budget of progress and development.

Ambode, who addressed a wide range of stakeholders made up of captains of industry, civil society actors, political and traditional leaders among others, disclosed that the budget represented an increase of 28.67 per cent compared to what he proposed under the 2017 fiscal year.

Although he put the state’s debt at N874.38 billion borrowed under different administrations in the last three decades, Ambode noted that it was inappropriate “to conclude that Lagos State has a high debt burden when situated within the context of infrastructure development and growth enjoyed presently by the state”.

He presented details of the state’s 2018 fiscal plan at the state House of Assembly, Alausa yesterday, assuring that when eventually approved, the budget would be used “to consolidate on infrastructure, education, transportation/traffic management, security and health.”

He added that his administration “will place emphasis on mandatory capacity building for civil servants, all teachers in public schools, officers in the health service sector and women and youth empowerment alongside our Medium and Small/Micro Size Entrepreneurs (MSMSE).”

Under the fiscal plan, the governor noted that N347.039 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure and N699.082 billion for capital expenditure, thereby representing a ratio of 33 to 67 respectively.
To fund the budget, Ambode said a total revenue of N897.423 billion “will be generated under the fiscal year. N720.123billion “will be generated internally while a total of N148.699billion will be sourced through deficit financing within our medium term expenditure framework.”

He provided sectoral breakdown of the budget, allocating N473.866 billion for economic affairs; N171.62 billion for general public service; N126.3 billion for education; N92.67 billion for health; N46.61 billion for public order & safety; N54.58 billion for environmental protection; N59.9 billion for Housing & Community Amenities; , N12.5 billion for recreation, culture & religion, N12.5 billion and N8.042 billion for social protection.

Specifically, Ambode said the state government would maintain the tempo of continuous construction, rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of network of roads throughout the length and breadth of the state, including those within the boundaries of Lagos and Ogun States.

With the prevailing favourable weather condition, Ambode said 181 inner-city roads would be commenced, noting that contractors “will be mobilised immediately. We have made provisions for continuous gridlock resolution, junction improvement, construction of more lay-bys and advancement of signalisation that will improve traffic congestion especially along the Lekki-Epe corridor.”

He, also, listed the Agege Pen Cinema flyover, alternative routes through Oke-Ira in Eti-Osa to Epe-Lekki expressway, an eight-kilometre regional road to serve as alternative route to connect Victoria Garden City (VGC) with Freedom Road in Lekki Phase I, completion of the on-going reconstruction of Oshodi International Airport Road into a 10-lane road and the BRT Lane from Oshodi to Abule-Egba.

Under his administration, Ambode said the state government “has not contracted any new external loan to fund our projects since assumption of office. We have only completed transactions which were already in place before we assumed office.”

He explained that his administration inherited external loans from various past administrations which make up 60 per cent of all our loans, noting that the figure “is made up of some loans that have been running since 1989, about 30 years ago; and were contracted at an average of N80 to $US1.”
Sadly enough, the governor said the loans “are being repaid at an average rate of N305 to $US1 translating to 205 per cent increase in the loan repayment rate. The State has incurred huge exchange losses on its external loans in this year 2017.

“The exchange loss represent 35 per cent of the State external loans stock due to exchange rate slump of the Naira from N197.50 to $1 to N305 to $1. This is one of the side effects of an economy in recession.

“Irrespective of these losses, it will be inappropriate to say that Lagos State has a high debt burden when situated with the level of development and infrastructural growth enjoyed presently by the State. We are certain that the loans have continually been used for the wellbeing of all Lagos residents.

“Despite the additional burden arising from devaluation of the Naira, our debt service ratio remains very strong on the back of our impressive revenue performance. The state’s net debt stock of N874.38bn represents just about 3 per cent of the state GDP, while the Debt service charge to Revenue ratio stood at 15.61 per cent compared to 13.32 per cent in 2016 and 12.45 per cent in 2015. I am proud to report to you that, today, your state remains financially strong and the most vibrant economy in the Nigerian landscape.”

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


NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi



NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi |

Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi Resumes Work With NAHCO

The Board of Directors of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has recalled Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, who was suspended over Management’s failure to diligently secure the delivery of a purchased equipment from vendor within the contracted period and Management’s inability to provide satisfactory/acceptable reason for the unreasonable long delay.

Mrs. Fagbemi was suspended by the Board at a meeting held on 27th of January 2021 in line with the Board’s earlier decision that if a certified bill of lading for the equipment was not received by 2nd February 2021, the GMD/CEO shall proceed on suspension with half pay until receipt of acceptable evidence of equipment shipment from the manufacturer.

Since Mrs. Fagbemi commenced her suspension on February 3rd, 2021, Mr. Olumuyiwa A. Olumekun, the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, has been acting as the GMD/CEO, according to a statement put out by the company.

It said “the Board is however pleased to inform the investing public and the Exchange that on, Tuesday, February 24, 2021, a satisfactory evidence of departure and arrival dates of the equipment has been received by the board from the equipment manufacturer.

“Consequently, the Board at its emergency meeting today, February 24, 2021, has recalled the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi from the suspension and she has resumed work.”

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Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre



Petrol Importation

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

Businesses have started feeling the negative impact of the rising price of Automotive Gas Oil, known as diesel.

A single litre now goes for N250 in some parts of Lagos, with businesses taking a beating on the back of rising energy costs.

Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos had increased the price of the product to N250 per litre, while many others sold it at between N220-N245.

Northwest Petroleum along the Oshodi-Apapa road increased the pump price of diesel to N250 per litre; AP (Ardova Plc), along Airport road, Ikeja, N248; and Oando, along Acme Road, N240.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its AGO price report on Tuesday, said the average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.22 per cent to N224.86 per litre in January 2021 from to N224.37 in December 2020.

It said states with the highest average price of diesel were Adamawa (N268.33), Zamfara (N262.78) and Kebbi (N257.50).

“States with the lowest average price of diesel were Osun (N194.60), Anambra (N195.83) and Enugu (N198.24),” the NBS added.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government means that the pump prices of the products will reflect changes in the international oil market.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has risen by more than 25 per cent this year from the $51.22 per barrel at which it closed last year. It rose to $65.25 per barrel as of 6:30pm Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Diesel is mostly used by businesses to power their generators amid a lack of reliable power supply from the national grid.

The President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, lamented that the recent increase in the price of diesel was taking a heavy toll on businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The cost of diesel and raw material is giving us a nightmare. The price of diesel has been skyrocketing in a way that creates fear in particularly manufacturers,” he told our correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, it is difficult for businesses to factor all the increase in diesel price in their final product prices.

Egbesola said, “That is why a lot of companies are downsizing and are making sure that they only produce products that they are so sure will sell in the market.

“Many companies have reduced their product lines significantly just to be able to cope. And that is not good for us because by the time this goes on, unemployment will increase. I believe government should be able to do something about this.”

He said although the downstream petroleum sector had been deregulated, there should be checks and balances.

Egbesola said many small businesses’ savings had been eroded already because ‘we keep spending our savings to make sure we don’t close shop’.

He said, “If things continue this way, there is no way we are not going to close shop. We are still struggling with the recent increase in electricity tariff.

“Many small businesses still depend so much on diesel generators because there is no alternative power supply. It is only the big players that have the facilities to use gas. And we cannot use solar installation because it is very expensive.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, relies largely on importation for petrol and other refined products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years.

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United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications




United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

United Capital Plc has been appointed, Tolu Latunji as its Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications.

In the new role, he is expected to drive a strategic communications, marketing and brand management programme for the investment banking group.

Latunji is a communication and marketing expert with 12 years’ experience in products development, marketing, brand & franchise building, effective management and communication of strategic objectives whilst ensuring adequate visibility for both organisation and product/service offerings through product, content and brand initiatives.

“With a 360 degree knowledge of communications and marketing, which includes but not limited to – brand management and initiatives, corporate affairs, internal and external affairs, product and brand marketing, event management and experiential marketing, cluster/segment marketing, Tolu has served at various capacities on government constituted sub-committees on financial inclusion,” a statement explained.

Prior to joining United Capital Plc, he was the Managing Partner of Ten & Square Media Co., a bespoke creative ideation and brand/crisis management firm, based in Lagos, Dakar and London.

Latunji was recently the Strategic Communications lead at FMDQ Securities Exchange, Nigeria’s first integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI), where he had the responsibility of effectively positioning the group, together with its subsidiaries, as the most sophisticated and technologically driven securities exchange in Africa.

Prior to that, he worked in Guaranty Trust Bank for nine years with roles in brand management & monitoring, events and experiential marketing, products and content marketing and user experience.

He led the marketing team to the successful development and launch of various retail, SME and corporate products. He was also instrumental in curating and developing the bank’s social footprints. Outside the corporate environment, Tolu engages in various humanitarian activities with food banks and empowerment programmes. He holds a B.Sc. Economics from University of Lagos.

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