Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, received in audience Ms. Claire Pierangelo, the new Consul-General of the United States (U.S.) Consulate in Lagos, with both pledging to collaborate on areas of mutual interest.
The objective of the courtesy visit, the U.S. diplomat said, was to strengthen the Consulate’s working relationship with the State government, pointing out that the embassy of the U.S. in Lagos had been a “great partner” of the government.
The courtesy visit was Ms. Pierangelo’s first official call on any Nigerian public officer since she arrived in Nigeria.
The new envoy succeeded Mr. John F. Bray as Consul-General; and assumed duty on May 29 – the day Sanwo-Olu was sworn in.
She said: “I am here today on a visit to a friend of the U.S. government and our strategic development partner in Africa. We have had good working relationship and we believe this could be further strengthened for greater impacts on areas of collaborations.
“I am delighted to meet the Lagos State Governor with whom I started work on the same day. Maintaining a cordial relationship with Lagos government is critical to the success of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria. In the coming days, we will be sharing our plans on how to strengthen our shared partnership for the future.”
Ms. Pierangelo mulled avenue for cooperation with Lagos government in the areas of education, health, and security, reiterating American government’s commitment to deepen bilateral relationship with Nigeria through “active collaborations”.
Ms. Pierangelo also said the Consulate sought the support of the Lagos Government in enabling ease of moving its office to a new site on Victoria Island. She noted that the Consulate decided to move its office to a new site to allow space for more bilateral engagements.
Responding, Gov. Sanwo-Olu said Lagos and the U.S. Consulate shared a long history of collaboration that were beneficial to both parties. He said his administration would not hesitate to welcome any plan that would further improve the partnership the State has had with the American government.
He said: “We have a long history of partnership with the American government, which has resulted in positive growth for the State. I believe there is a lot of collaboration we can work on together for the benefit of the people.”
Ms. Pierangelo was accompanied on the visit by the Consulate’s Political Chief, Mr. Osman Tat, and Protocol Aide, Mary-Anne Onwuchekwa.
Imota rice mill to produce 650 bags of rice per hour – LASG
The Lagos State government has said that the Imota rice mill, when completed, will produce 650 bags of 50kg rice per hour.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said this while on a tour the site of the mill, to assess the progress of work.
Olusanya, in a statement issued on Thursday in Lagos, expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the 32 metric-tonnes-per-hour capacity rice mill.
She said that when completed, the mill would be the world’s fourth largest and the biggest in Africa.
The special adviser said that agriculture and food security were important components of the T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda of the state government for making Lagos a 21st-century economy.
She expressed government’s commitment to completing the mill, in order to meet the rice demand of the state and indeed, the nation.
”The mill is situated on a landmass of 8.5 hectares of land and each of the two production lines has a capacity of 16 metric tonnes and will produce 650 bags of 50kg rice per hour,” Olusanya said.
She added that the mill was designed, constructed and its equipment installed by local contractors, which underscored the state government’s confidence in the capacity of indigenous engineers.
The governor’s aide said that over 250,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created from the mill when completed, while increased economic activity was also expected at Imota, Ikorodu and the state in general.
Governor Sanwo-Olu presents N1.168 trillion budget for 2020
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday, November 8th presented a budget of N1.168 trillion to the Lagos State House of Assembly for approval for the 2020 fiscal year.
The proposed budget is to be funded by a projected Total Revenue of N1.071 trillion and a deficit amounting to N97.53 billion. The budget size is higher than the 2019 budget by 34%. Capital Expenditure amounts to N723.75 billion while the Recurrent Expenditure is N444.81 billion, giving a 62:38 capital to recurrent ratio.
According to Sanwo-Olu, “This, in our view, is strong for development. We have placed an increased focus on wealth creation where we will take deliberate steps in courting a partnership between our people and various development institutions.
“In line with this, we have provided N11.8bn as counterpart funds in preparation for various social impact schemes. In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1bn this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programs and virtual markets for artisans. This is in support for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises which are the engines for both economic and employment growth.
“It is equally proposed that a total of N167.81 billion of the Recurrent Expenditure shall be applied towards personnel costs and other staff-related expenses. This represents 22.02% of the proposed Total Revenue, which is within the acceptable wage policy of 25% of Total Revenue, and includes a provision for the new minimum wage.
“The budget deficit of N97.53 billion will be financed by both internal and external loans. Since revenue generation is the spine of any budget, this budget supports investment in our revenue generating agencies. This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors. Although our capital spent on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion as at September 2019, as against the 2019 budget proposal of N78 billion, it is our intention to spend N115 billion in 2020,” he said.
The governor said Education would see a significantly increased capital budgetary allocation of N48 billion, an increase of 60% over the 2019 provision of N30 billion, adding that “we must improve the standard and relevance of our education outcomes to our industries. We will work together with our Local governments to strengthen early child education and teachers training/administration, leveraging technology.
“Similarly, in healthcare, we have provided for a capital expenditure of N33 billion, compared to the 2019 budget proposal of N21 billion. We will ensure that our primary health care institutions remain active and attractive to the primary health care needs of our people. Lagos belongs to us all; we will continue therefore to drive partnerships with the private sector in promoting health services within our institutions.
“Given the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have tripled the capital budget provision to tackle this from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu stated that wider consultation was made in the three senatorial districts, in addition to taking memoranda and feedback from stakeholders’ meetings organized by members of the House within their constituencies, which were also attended by Cabinet members, adding that the 2020 Budget would be supported by a Performance Management System that would ensure that, by December 2020,” we shall achieve an optimal budget implementation when compared with previous years. This is in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of public finances.”
Oniru Throne: Abisogun Family Members At War Over Succession!
Less than 40 days after the death of a first class monarch in Lagos State, the Oniru of Iruland. His Royal Majesty, Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru, serious war has reportedly broken out in Abisogun Ruling House over his successor.
It will be recalled that the respected and powerful monarch died in late September, 2019 at the age of 82 after a brief illness.Under the reign of the monarch, Iru land, the host of the highbrow Oniru and Victoria Island, became a mega location with investments and buildings worth hundreds of billions of naira.
We were reliably informed that a tussle has broken down over the throne with many candidates showing interest in the coveted seat.Some of those said to have shown interest in the obaship seat included Wasiu Ogunbambi, Jamiu Adelakun and Saliu Abisogun.Others included Hakeem Ajasa, Fabayi clan, Giwa Otto clan amongst several others.
Reliable sources informed us that lobby has started in high places as some of the candidates were said to have circulated their curriculum vitae among the kingmakers and have started talking to top officials of the Lagos State Government in-charge of chieftaincy affairs in the state.It was gathered that the matter has torn the family apart as none of the candidates was willing to step down for another.Our sources added that what baffled watchers of events in the area is the fact that the crisis broke out just few weeks after the death of the Oba of the town.
“It was only on Friday November 1, 2019 that we did the final burial of Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru in Eko Hotel. So it is surprising that the candidates for the throne could not even wait for some time before they start fighting over the stool.”Were they waiting for the Oba to die? We all know that the throne is lucrative, but that does not mean that they should start fighting immediately. It is uncalled for,” said a source.
It was however, gathered the kingmakers have started necessary consultations both traditionally and officially, and that the needful would be done in due course, while those interested in the office “have been cautioned to allow the people in-charge due their work so that Iru land would have the right traditional ruler at the right time.”
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