Entertainment Industry Key To Nigeria’s Economic Growth

Entertainment Industry Key To Nigeria’s Economic Growth

…As VP Holds Special Evening With Stakeholders In Lagos


Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday evening re-emphasised the importance of the entertainment industry to Nigeria’s economic growth, assuring that the sector would continue to enjoy support to maximize its potentials.


The duo spoke at an event organised for entertainers and tagged “An Evening with the Vice President” held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island and was well attended by scores of entertainers including actors, comedians and musicians, among others.


Osinbajo reassured stakeholders in the entertainment industry of the Federal Government’s commitment to support them to enhance national growth and development, adding that they remain key players in the nation’s all round development and Government was not oblivious of it.


The Vice President said he had met frequently with entertainers with a view to developing policies around the industry for economy growth, revealing that the government decided to create Technology and Creativity Advisory Council to see how the government could move the industry forward through proper policies, especially on how to address the issue of piracy.


“No sensible politician can ignore entertainers; if you do, you do so at your own risk. Entertainers also cannot ignore politicians; it is impossible. If you do, you do so at your own peril.


“Already, there is a lot going on. Your industry has to respond to what is going on. This industry is important and crucial to our economy.


“We must set up the environment that will make it happen. No environment is completely ready; whatever it is that we have at the moment, we have to make the maximum use of it to grow this industry,” he said.


He said it was gratifying that some entertainers were already in politics and urged others to participate, in order to make a change and a difference.


“Your support is actually important. What we need to do is to sit together and solve the problem. The country is what it is today because some people stole the treasure,” he said.


In his remarks, Governor Ambode said the State had always been the hub for entertainers and would continue to support the industry to grow the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


He also called for synergy between the Government and entertainers in order to create a convergence to grow the economy of not just the State, but also Nigeria.


“I just want to promise this time around that whatever it is that we have done as a government in the last three and half years, we have proven that the arts and entertainment industry can actually create a convergence with the culture of the city and then promote tourism using that convergence to grow the economy of Lagos and we have proven that.


“So, beyond our action there are other things that have to do with the framework, the things that have to do with copyright and access to capital to promote the entertainment industry and I hope that within the next one hour, we should be able to tell ourselves the truth on which way we can actually push this synergy to create that grows the GDP, not only of Lagos but the GDP of the whole country and we would be able to attract tourists to this country,” Governor Ambode said.


Also speaking, Sen. Goodwill Akpabio, who promised to support the industry as he had also been, assured the entertainers of government’s readiness to help them on issues of legislation.


Akpabio, who noted that the artistes were ambassadors of the country, urged them to promote Nigeria’s oneness.


Many of the artistes, who spoke at the event, identified the challenges in the industry as piracy, distribution of artistic works, poor power supply, lack of infrastructure, censorship, licensing, and access to credit facilities, among others.


COWLSO Urges Women To Rise Against Children Becoming Mothers

COWLSO Urges Women To Rise Against Children Becoming Mothers

 …Ambode Demonstrated Grace, Holds No Grudges- Bagudu

 …Says Lagos Gov’s Efforts Ensured 90% Reduction In Nigeria’s Rice Importation

Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu on Thursday showered accolades on his counterpart in Lagos, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for the high sense of maturity displayed in the wake of the political developments in the State, saying the latter demonstrated grace which has united the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2019 elections.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 18th National Women Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Bagudu said while it was inevitable to offend people in life, Governor Ambode had since moved on and holds no grudges against anybody.

Bagudu, who also commended Governor Ambode for achieving a lot for Lagos State, said history would be kind to him for his great works in the State.

“My friend Ambode doesn’t like to be praised; he is a very very private person and I always see a reflection of him in me that how does private people function in all our public work in politics but gratefully he has done a lot for Lagos; he has continued in the tradition and understandably, he might have offended some people.

“I have done so, many others before us have done so but he (Ambode) has demonstrated grace and being the believers that we are, we believe that history will judge him kindly. He holds no grudge against anybody. He has assured me and he loves the people of Lagos State and he is committed to their will,” Bagudu said.

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While lauding the Governor Ambode for the Lake Rice initiative, Bagudu said apart from rekindling hope in the ability of Nigerians to achieve a lot for the country, the project also led to 90 per cent reduction in rice Importation.

“Governor Ambode spoke about one of the things I believe is a measure of his greatness which is the partnership between Lagos and Kebbi. Ambode and I have worked in farms in Kebbi State and without Ambode, there wouldn’t have been Lake Rice.

“I want to say it again that without Ambode, there wouldn’t have been Lake Rice and the significance of Lake Rice is that it encouraged a revival in the ‘we can do spirit’ and Mr President captured it adequately when he said at least now when we tell the world we are going to do something they better take us seriously.

“Those Nigerians and a lot of Africans and well wishers who saw Mr President when he visited Prime Minister Theresa May and later on President Trump and announced enthusiastically that Nigeria has reduced its rice importation by 90 per cent can humbly say that without Ambode we wouldn’t have achieved that.

“He (Ambode) supported the Nigerian Rice Initiative and in turn without her excellency Mrs Bolanle Ambode and the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials and the great women of Lagos State who encouraged and supported the Lake Rice and the Nigerian Rice project, that wouldn’t have been possible and so I thank you all for what you have done for Nigeria and what we have done to show that it is possible,” Bagudu said.

Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu (2nd right); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); his wife and Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Bolanle (left); Chairman, Conference Planning Committee, Dr. (Mrs.) Arinola Oluwo (right) and recipient, Friend of COWLSO Certificate of Appreciation, Mr. Danny Kioupouroglou, Managing Director, Eko Hotels, (middle) during the closing ceremony of COWLSO’s 18th National Women’s Conference, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday, October 25, 2018.
Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu (2nd right); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); his wife and Chairman, Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), Bolanle (left); Chairman, Conference Planning Committee, Dr. (Mrs.) Arinola Oluwo (right) and recipient, Friend of COWLSO Certificate of Appreciation, Mr. Danny Kioupouroglou, Managing Director, Eko Hotels, (middle) during the closing ceremony of COWLSO’s 18th National Women’s Conference, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Corroborating his colleague, Governor Ambode said the Lake Rice initiative had significantly impacted on the economic fortunes of not only Lagos and Kebbi States but also the entire nation, saying Bagudu also deserved commendation for the success of the partnership.

Besides, Governor Ambode congratulated executives and members of COWLSO for another very successful conference, saying it was on record that Mrs Ambode, along with other hardworking and committed members, had succeeded in taking the association and the annual conference to a higher level.

The Governor said from testimonies, the conference was yet another rewarding two days of networking, eye-opening, educative and inspiring experiences, adding that it now behooves participants to spread the knowledge gained.

According to him, “The opportunity to be part of a conference such as this is a privilege which also comes with a corresponding responsibility. In the spirit of the theme of this conference: “Strengthening Our Collective Impact”, you all have a responsibility to share this experience with other women and men around you.

“This is the only way that the impact of the knowledge gained at this conference can be widened and deepened. It is a burden each and every one of you have to discharge to the best of your abilities.

“The government, no doubt, also has its own responsibility in terms of giving due and deserving consideration to the recommendations contained in your communiqué. I can assure you of our commitment to do our best in this regard,” Governor Ambode said.

In a communiqué for the conference, COWLSO said it was time for women to rise against the menace of children becoming mothers, especially by putting machinery in place for continuous sensitisation and advocacy to address and eliminate the root-causes and consequences.

According to the communiqué which was read by Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, wife of the Secretary to the State Government, COWLSO said government must put structures and policies in place to address the issues of children having children.

“The Government at all levels, policy makers in health sector both at State and local levels, family, society, NGO and so on, must all rise and resolve to eliminate the menace by enacting a policy for a reduction in the minimum age in rendering family planning services from 13 to 15 years,” the communiqué read in part.

2019: We’ll Campaign Vigorously For Buhari, Sanwo-Olu

2019: We’ll Campaign Vigorously For Buhari, Sanwo-Olu

…Reaffirms Commitment To APC’s Victory In Polls

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said he would lead a strong campaign to ensure victory for President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in the State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the 2019 general elections.

Governor Ambode, who spoke to journalists at the Presidential Wing of the Muritala Mohammed International Airport shortly after he accompanied President Buhari to perform the official commissioning of the new Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Border Posts at Seme-Krake joint border post in Badagry, said it was important for the APC to retain its leadership positions both in the federal and the State level.

“I have just accompanied Mr. President to the Nigerian-Benin Border Post. So what we have commissioned today is a joint Border Patrol post between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin and it is called Semo-Krake Border Post.

“But again, just to also use this opportunity to let Lagosians know that we are heavily committed to the re-election of Mr. President and you can see that his continuous visit to Lagos reiterates the fact that he is actually a lover of Lagos State and I am committed to ensuring his re-election.

“We are going to campaign heavily for him. I am also committed to ensuring that the APC wins the governorship election come 2019.  We support the candidacy of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and we would make sure that APC retains Lagos State and the centre,” Governor Ambode said.

Earlier, Governor Ambode had received President Buhari at the airport before the duo proceeded to Seme where the President joined his Republic of Benin counterpart, Patrice Talon to inaugurate the Border Post.

With the inauguration, the Seme-Krake joint border, one of the busiest boundary lines not only in West Africa but the whole continent, daily recording huge movement of persons, goods and services, is expected to enhance the free movement of persons and goods in the region and foster integration between the people of Nigeria and Benin.

Governor Ambode Tasks Women On Action And Unity of Purpose

Governor Ambode Tasks Women On Action And Unity of Purpose

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has charged women in the country to engage action and embrace unity of purpose, to achieve significant and lasting social change beneficial to all.

The governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, spoke at the opening ceremony of the 18th edition of the National Women’s Conference, held at the Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

According to him, the theme of this year’s conference, “Strengthening Our Collective Impact,” was a call for unity of purpose and coordinated action among women, to achieve their goals.

The governor said COWLSO had worked ceaselessly to complement the efforts of their spouses in government, stressing that “we are proud of your achievements, particularly in the area of giving hope and succour to the less privileged, through donations both in cash and kind. The theme of this conference is very apt and a call for unity of purpose and action.”

He said he had no doubt that the conference would impact participants, urging to attend the various segments of the conference as they had been packaged to add value to their lives.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of COWLSO, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said without being immodest, women all over the world were pillars of growth and development of their countries, as they had played roles that demonstrated how important they were to the progress of their countries economically, politically, socially and in all other areas that mattered.

She noted that women in Nigeria were no different, and that COWLSO was happy that women in Lagos State were setting the pace, adding that “our quest to continually improve the welfare of women and sustain the vintage position of Lagos state in the federation, are key objectives behind our coming together annually, to discuss the way forward. This year, we will be examining topics around the central theme: ‘Strengthening Our Collective Impact.’

“When we come together and collaborate, either in government establishments, privately owned businesses, N.G.Os or wherever, we tend to achieve significant and lasting social change that would be beneficial to all. We have the unique ability of looking at problems and coming up with solutions, that would transform lives and make the world a better place.”


Mrs Ambode urged women to learn to come together, support each other and discard unproductive habits, as there was advantage in numerical strength, hinting that tested facilitators and speakers had been invited to do justice to the various topics, such as ‘Vulnerable but not Defenceless,’ ‘The Hazards of Teenage Pregnancy,’ ‘Life of Purpose – Navigating aspects of life successfully’ and ‘What marriage means to us.’

She recalled that in the last three years, COWLSO had executed many health-related projects, which had recorded impressive impact on the health of babies, children, youths, women and the aged ones.

She listed them to include the upgrade of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department of the Lagos Island General Hospital, Odan while also sponsoring goiter operation for some women two years ago and donating Portable Otoread OAEs equipment to four general hospitals-Badagry, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikorodu and Gbagada General Hospital last year.

Mrs. Ambode further said last year, the committee donated an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Lagos Island Maternity, while this year, COWLSO donated portable Otoread OAEs equipment to Shomolu and Alimosho General Hospitals, as well as two Transport Incubator Ambulance, to Gbagada General Hospital and Lagos Island Maternity Hospital.


“These facilities aptly described as ‘womb on wheels’, are to be deployed to convey preterm babies, also known as ‘premature babies’, to government facilities equipped with neo-natal ICU, to save their lives. The ‘Transport Incubator’ is fully equipped with life-support gadgets and other conveniences, making it a womb-like environment for the baby, to enhance its chances of survival while being evacuated to the ICU.

“Those special ambulance buses can also be used to convey infants with severe post birth complications, and others in serious emergency situations. The women of COWLSO reckon that with this intervention, many more newborns, infants and children in Lagos State, will be saved from avoidable deaths with attendant happiness to their parents,” she stated.

Declaring the conference open, Governor of Edo State, Dr. Godwin Obaseki said the programme had helped in connecting the family with government, as wives of government officials had always ensured that they supported their husbands in the smooth running of government.

“This is a powerful network, it is powerful because it serves as opportunity for government to reach its people in another perspective of what is going on across the state,” he said, adding that it was only the family of government officials who would be able to point them in the right direction when they appeared to derail from the track.

Obaseki commended COWLSO for its intervention in the health sector through donations of health equipment to hospitals as well as making significant contributions for the wellbeing of the less privileged in the society, adding that the committee served as inspiration to many states, as such ideas had been replicated in many states, while assuring that Edo State would soon replicate same for women in the state.

The highlight of the day was the presentation of the Inspirational Woman Award to Mrs Toyin Sokefun-Bello, popularly known as ‘TY Bello’, for her outstanding work in photography and creative art.


Our Judicial Sector Reforms Already Improving Lagos GDP

Our Judicial Sector Reforms Already Improving Lagos GDP

…Urges Judges, Magistrates To Be Fair To Attract More Investment

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday evening commended judicial officers in the State for their integrity and dedication to duty, saying it was gratifying to note that the reforms carried out in the judicial sector were already improving on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.


Speaking at a special dinner to draw the curtains on the activities marking the 2018/2019 New Legal Year of the State Judiciary held at City Hall in Lagos, Governor Ambode said in view of the symbiotic relationship between investment and effective judiciary and security sectors, conscious efforts have so far been made to foster improvement in the sectors, with the ultimate goal of facilitating more businesses into the State.


The Governor, who particularly urged judges and magistrates to continue to be fair in their dealings to attract more investment into the State, said his administration equally remained committed to reforms in the judiciary, as well as improving on the welfare of judicial officers.


“I am a very strong believer in judicial sector reforms and that is why I have tried as much as possible to place more emphasis on judicial sector and security sector reforms because both of them go hand-in-hand to improve on the GDP of Lagos and you have seen that there is a correlation between the improvement we have seen in the judiciary and the level of investment that we are actually witnessing in Lagos.


“And so, the sure way to go is to continue to emphasize on judicial sector reforms and also encourage our Judges and Magistrates to be fair in their dealings and we would continue to attract more investment to Lagos,” the Governor said.


While congratulating the judiciary for the successes recorded in the last one year, Governor Ambode specifically commended the Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke for her remarkable achievements in office so far, just as he urged stakeholders in the sector to continue to support the laudable initiatives being implemented by the present administration.


“I can claim clearly here that as the third arm of government, I am happy with the conduct of the judiciary because they have displayed a high sense of integrity and they have actually carried on with a whole lot of respect.


“Under the leadership of my lord, Hon Justice Opeyemi Oke, the integrity and anti-corruption stance of the judiciary has been very commendable. In recognition of this, our administration is committed to supporting the judiciary and we would continue to support the judiciary.


“I want to urge all of us to continue to support the outstanding works that have been carried out by the Chief Judge and also support every other arm to ensure delivery of services to our people,” the Governor said.


Earlier in her opening remarks, Justice Oke commended all stakeholders for their cooperation and support for her administration, saying she was poised to do more to further advance the administration of justice in the State, and Nigeria.


She particularly commended Governor Ambode for the tremendous support to the judiciary, adding that it was on record that the Governor was always ready to strongly collaborate and assist when required.


“I especially thank His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his unalloyed and exceptional support of this administration and his understanding of the peculiar nature of the position of the judiciary in government and his strong attention to our requests,” the CJ said.