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Lagos Assures Investors Judicious Use of N100bn Bond

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Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, January 29 signed documents for the issuance of N100.33 billion bond, which was raised from capital market to fund infrastructure and ongoing projects in the state.

The signing ceremony which took place at the State House in Alausa, featured investors and issuing parties present when the governor signed the over-subscribed Series III Bond Issuance of N100 billion, which was issued and raised by the state under its N500 billion bond Programme approved four years ago.

Speaking at the event, the governor said the financial intervention was important to the Lagos economy, saying it is the largest bond programme ever embarked on by any state in the country.

“We have embarked on a new journey that is not meant to serve our personal interest, but to activate more prosperity for our dear Lagos and give our people the hope for better tomorrow we all dreamed.

“When we came into government, we made commitment to all Lagosians that we are coming to pursue and implement an agenda that will build our capacity to achieve Greater Lagos we all will be proud of.

“Today, I am standing in from you all to say we are writing the financial history of Lagos in another chapter and it will bring good dividends to all residents. With this N100 billion bond, we will ensure that all Lagosians feel the direct impact of this intervention in their homes and on the roads.

“We are bringing new infrastructure and repairing the existing ones, including bridges and hospitals. We are going to renovate schools and build new ones for our children; slums will be regenerated and pressing environmental issues will be solves. We are going to make people feel the essence of governance.”

Mr Sanwo-Olu recalled that the effort to raise the bond started three months ago with a simple discussion with professional partners led by Chapel Hill Denham, which worked effortlessly to ensure that the statutory period recommended by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise such bond was met.

The Governor applauded the efforts made by partners to secure essential requirements to access the capital for the bond, which involved the reduction of the state’s interest expense by N17 billion, giving the state the opportunity to raise the bond from the capital market.

“Less than three months down the line, we are celebrating the biggest sub-national bond issuance today and the team of partners has also helped us to restructure our entire balance sheet.

“We have been able to revert the entire borrowing of Lagos from very high rate to acceptable numbers. The team has also helped us to reduce interest expense by N17 billion, which made it easy for us to approach the financial market,” he said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu assured investors who subscribed to the N100 billion bond that the funds would be disbursed strictly to finance infrastructural projects required to boost Lagos State’s economy.

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Lagos Matters

TAC, NTDC Agree To Collaborate To Strengthen Tourism

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf has said that the state government was prepared to collaborate with the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to strengthen tourism in the state and in Nigeria.

Speaking during a visit to the Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker aka Folly Coker in Abuja on Wednesday, Akinbile-Yusuf said that her ministry would take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by NTDC to reach out to major tourism stakeholders in Africa.

“This collaboration will provide us with the opportunity to further market Lagos as a must-visit destination in Africa and the world.

“Lagos State is prepared to collaborate with NTDC in areas that will give recognition to creative arts and tourism development.

“Lagos is a preferred destination for business, leisure and entertainment,’’ she said.

Reacting, Mr Folorunsho Coker called on state governments to collaborate with Federal Government in the joint efforts to boost tourism in their localities.

He said that the visit was necessitated by the need for states to collaborate with the Federal Government to effectively tap into tourism potential in their localities.

The Director General urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos in its rapprochement towards the Federal Government for mutual benefits of both levels of government.

“When the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government come together on a project, success is guaranteed. It is like saying when both parties clap, the whole of Africa will hear.

“Tourism has huge revenue generating potential and it is good for government at all levels to come together and tap optimum benefits of these potential,’’ Coker said.

He urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos State by mapping out collaborative strategies with the federal government to develop tourism and other sectors of the economy.

Akinbile-Yusuf was accompanied on the visit by Mr Babatubnde Olaide-Mesewaku, Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and other top officials of the ministry.

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Lagos Matters

Lagos records first Lassa fever case

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Lagos State has recorded a case of the Lassa fever, a Hemorrhagic fever that is raging in over 19 states in the country.

The Lagos state Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement early Wednesday, confirmed that the patient is currently in isolation at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

Abayomi called on residents to be calm and not panic, noting that the situation is under control.

He assured the residents that state government, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will do everything possible to control the spread of the disease in the state.

He said, “The Ministry of Health through Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health Directorate is currently carrying out ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who may have been infected in line with international standards while we beef up our other surveillance strategies.”

The Commissioner stressed the need for members of the public to ensure and maintain an adequate personal hygiene and environmental sanitation at all times as part of prevention and control measures against the spread of the disease in the state.

Abayomi noted that the prevention and control of the disease remained a shared responsibility of all citizens through the observance of the highest possible standards of personal and community hygiene as well as environmental sanitation.

He urged residents to store house-hold refuse in sanitary refuse bags or dust bins with tight-fitting covers to avoid infestation by rats and rodents; dispose refuse properly at designated dump sites and not into the drainage system and store food items in rodent-proof containers.

He stated that a case of Lassa Fever should be suspected in any person with persistent high fever not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever or bleeding from the body surface.

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Lagos Matters

‘You are expanding the kingdom of armed robbers’ — Bode George hits Sanwo-Olu over okada ban

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Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the ban of okada and tricycles in some areas  of Lagos will only increase the spate of armed robbery in the state.

On February 1, the government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu restricted commercial motorcycles and tricycles in 15 local government areas and local council development areas.

The action was received with widespread criticisms among Lagosians.

Commenting on the ban during an interview with PUNCH, George, a native of the state, said the action would only “expand the kingdom of armed robbers”.

He said the ban is “inimical to anything that makes sense”, asking if any alternative employments have been put in place for those affected.

He advised Sanwo-Olu, whom he described as his younger brother, to revisit the law.

“How can they (state government) do that? Let us forget about politics, the governor is my younger brother and his uncle is my friend. I talk to him like an elder. He should sit down and revisit that law,” George said.

“It is inimical to anything that makes any sense at all.  Most workers in Lagos work in the Island, how do they get to their offices early now? Must everybody buy a car? Which alternative employment do they have for the people that they have stopped from riding a commercial motorcycle? So, how do they survive?

“They are only expanding the kingdom of armed robbers. The number of people out of job is unbelievable and you are adding to it. Get the Amotekun to be in every area and they will monitor the movement of these people (okada riders).”

Speaking on the 2023 presidency, George said ideally, the PDP should zone the ticket to the south-east.

He added that if Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), should contest the election, then he would challenge him in the race.

George described a Tinubu presidency as disruptive, vowing to denounce his citizenship if the APC leader emerged as president.

“I had said it before that ideally, from our party, once it comes back to the South, it must go to the South-East…because they have never had it, but if the name Tinubu pops up in the APC, I would go all out to contest with him,” he said.

“Let us get out there because it would be the greatest disservice for our nation to have him contest as a presidential candidate.

“It would be the most illogical and most disruptive issue to have him (Tinubu) elected as President. If this happens, I will disown Nigeria to take the citizenship of Togo or any other country.”

On the widespread insecurity across the country, George said sacking the service chiefs would not put an end to the problem.

According to him, insurgency is as a result of “mistrust between people of different faiths and tribes”.

“Nigerians are now getting involved, is it the problems of service chiefs that is responsible for all these? What we have right now is the insurgency largely as a result of mistrust between people of different faiths and tribes,” he said.

“The service chief is just one man and a tree does not make a forest. It does not mean that if you change one man all is well.

“The issue is a collective responsibility. Their loyalty to the country must outshine everything they think of.”

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