The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to launch a compendium of registered artisans in the State to scale up the informal sector with the overall objective of increasing job opportunities and growing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.
Speaking with Government House correspondents on Tuesday at Lagos House, Ikeja after a meeting between Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and members of Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans (LACOSTA), the State’s Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Dr Babatunde Durosimi-Etti said the compendium was part of the initiatives of the State Government to assist artisans to promote their businesses.
He said the compendium, which will be launched during the Artisans’ Day coming up in October, will comprise the list of all registered artisans in the State, their locations, business details and other necessary information.
According to the Commissioner, the compendium when fully launched will go a long way in increasing number of artisans to access the Employment Trust Fund (ETF) set up by the present administration in the State, and as well help residents and potential customers to locate artisans in any part of the State.
He said: “Governor Ambode at the meeting with the members of the association, said the setting up of the ETF was part of the inclusive policy of his administration and the Governor was also briefed that the association was collaborating with the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment to come up with a compendium of artisans whereby you probably be having state registered artisans which will be launched during the Artisans’ Day coming up in October.
“The compendium will have every artisan having a registration number and can be a sort of reference point for the Employment Trust Fund in assisting artisans to access capital,” Durosimi-Etti said.
He said the Governor also assured the artisans that all necessary efforts would be put in place to give them access to market, as part of initiatives to encourage and promote home-made.
On his part, LACOSTA President, Alhaji Nurudeen Buhari said the courtesy call by members of the association was basically to appreciate Governor Ambode for all the initiatives he
had brought up since the inception of his administration to support not only the artisans but the good people of the State.
He said the meeting was also to assure the Governor and the State Government that members of the association were very much committed toward contributing their quota to the growth and development of the State.
“We had fruitful deliberation with the Governor and he promised to build up the skill of our members as well as the compendium that will help our members to benefit more from the ETF. Most of our members have benefited already from the ETF loan and they are happy. And with the new compendium, I think more of our members will benefit and we want to thank the Governor for that,” Buhari said.
…As Govt Assures Of Fair Distribution Across Sales Centres
In an effort to ensure even distribution across all the sale centres, the Lagos State Government on Wednesday said that at least 70 trailer load of the LAKE RICE have arrived the State ahead of the commencement of the sale on Thursday.
The State’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Toyin Suarau who spoke to journalists, said that the Government has made adequate arrangement to ensure that Lagosians willing to purchase LAKE RICE can do so without much hassles.
“This present administration has made the necessary logistics in place. Trailers are coming into the State with the rice. As we speak, there are over 30 trailer loads in Lagos, by Friday it would be about 40, by next week it would be up to 70 trucks and even after the Sallah period, there would be more coming into the State,” the Commissioner said.
According to him, the Rice would be on sale across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas, saying that the decision was to ensure that residents can get it without travelling far distance.
He said the rice would also be available at LTV Blue Roof Complex, Agidingbi, Ikeja, while the prices still remain the same as N12, 000 for 50kg bag, N6,000 for 25kg and N2,500 for 10kg.
“There is going to be even distribution of the LAKE RICE and that’s why we are using all the Local governments and the Local Council Development Areas.
“This will ensure wide distribution of the product to as many people who want it. we have made arrangement for the rice to continue to come into the State, so there is no need for panic buy or any form of rush, just go to your local government or local council development area you will get it to buy,” Suarau said.
Suarau who affirmed that the sale of the LAKE RICE would commence on Thursday, said the State’s Agricultural Development Authority Complex in Oko-Oba, Agege would flag off the sales while other Local Governments centres would follow suit.
“The Local Government and Local Council Development Areas are the grassroots. Our target is the residents at the grassroots. I may be able to afford rice for N18, 000 or N20, 000 but some people may not be able to do so. Last Christmas, if not for the Lake Rice, some people would not have eaten rice and you know rice is the main food for Christmas,” he said.
The Commissioner also expressed optimism that with the up-scaling of the Imota Rice Milling Plant from 2.5 metric tons to 16 metric tons per hour, expected to be up and running by next year, the production of LAKE RICE would be done in the State to ensure availability of the product all year round.
…Says Weak Institutions Impeding Ease Of Doing Business
…Lagos Has Made Greatest Institutional Transformation, Says NBA President
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday called on lawyers in the country to raise their voices in support of the demand for devolution of power to States and fiscal federalism, especially the review of the current revenue sharing formula.
By the current revenue allocation formula, the Federal Government takes as much as 52.68% of centrally-collected revenues in the federation account, while States and Local Governments share 26.72% and 20.60% respectively.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 57th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) held in Lagos, Governor Ambode tasked lawyers to utilize the golden opportunity of the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution to lend their voices to the call for redress of all the aberrations that had stunted growth and inhibited capacity of States to harness their potentials.
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to call on the Nigerian Bar Association as a body and members to raise your voices in support of the demand for devolution of power to States and fiscal federalism, especially the review of the current revenue sharing formula.
“These, in my view, are fundamental and critical to creating an enabling environment that will accelerate development in all parts of the country. The ongoing process for the review of the 1999 Constitution presents a golden opportunity for us to redress all the aberrations created by the interjection of the military that have stunted growth and inhibited the capacity of States to harness the huge potentials of our nation.”
Speaking on the theme of the conference, “African Business: Penetrating Through Institution Building,” Governor Ambode identified weak institutions as a major factor inhibiting growth in Nigeria and Africa, saying that the development had constituted a major disincentive for investment in the continent, which in turn, was hampering efficient and effective harnessing of the huge resources in the continent.
He said in most cases, institutions are weak because their establishment is influenced by personal and short-term considerations, while in some other cases, institutions are deliberately weakened in order to make them subject to the whims and caprices of the leadership.
As a way out, Governor Ambode said: “Building and sustaining strong institution requires our collective commitment to the rule of law. It entails building the capacity of such institutions to be able to discharge their responsibilities effectively and transparently while also being accountable to the people. It must create an atmosphere of confidence, mutual understanding and protection against arbitrariness.
“We must take a cue from developed economies where the integrity of their institutions is not compromised for whatever reason. In those climes, it is the institution that puts officials of the State in check and not vice versa as we have experienced and are still experiencing in most parts of the continent.”
The Governor said such ideal situation and global best practice was what Lagos State had been striving very strongly to attain in order to build an economy that is globally competitive.
“This has been one of our key commitments in the past two years as exemplified by the fa- reaching reforms we are implementing by way of security and judicial sector reforms. Happily, these efforts are yielding the expected outcomes,” Governor Ambode said.
Besides, Governor Ambode expressed excitement at the recovery and return of President Muhammadu Buhari back to the country after long medical vacation in the United Kingdom.
“Let me firstly on behalf of all the people of Lagos State and all Nigerians thank God for the safe return of Mr President, General Muhammadu Buhari. Mr President, we wish you well always,” Governor Ambode said.
In his opening remarks, NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), acknowledged the efforts of the Lagos State Government at building strong institutions, saying that the State had made greatest institutional transformation in recent times.
He said the decision to host the conference in Lagos again was not just because of the facilities and infrastructure but also to support the transformative journey which the State had witnessed.
“Our last conference in Lagos was in 2009. We are delighted to be here once again, especially to join the State to celebrate its 50th anniversary. We have come back here not just because of the conference facilities and other infrastructure but also to support the transformative journey that this State has witnessed in the last several years.
“If we are talking of institutions, there is no better place to do that than in Lagos. Lagos is a State that has perhaps made the greatest institutional transformation in recent times. Many of us remember Lagos in the 80s and 90s with the state of the frustrating traffic, the very frustrating pollution, the hold-up, the smoky roads and army of unemployed youths rooming the street to what you now see as a much more modern city, a true centre of excellence. I therefore wish to thank His Excellency, Governor Ambode for the tremendous work he is doing in Lagos and also for being a strong partner to the Bar Association,” Mahmoud said.
The conference, which is still ongoing, was attended by 11,935 delegates and 142 speakers from 15 countries.
On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the nation’s Center of Excellence and the 5th largest economy in Africa.
Lagos State is connected in many ways to the history of Nigeria including the study and practice of law. It is home to the brightest legal minds that laid the foundation for the legal profession in Nigeria. It is home to great and world acclaimed men such as Chief Frederick Rotimi Williams, the first Nigerian to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Taslim Olawale Elias, the first black African President of the International Court of Justice, Christopher Sapara Williams, first indigenous Nigerian Lawyer called to the English Bar. e.t.c.
These distinguished and illustrious sons and daughters of our nation contributed greatly not only to the evolution of the legal profession in Nigeria but also to the greatness of our State over the past 50 years.
Indeed it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to identify the icons of the profession in contemporary time without a story to tell about the limitless opportunities which Lagos offers for all to realise our dreams and reach the peak of their potentials irrespective of race, ethnic, religious or socio-economic background. This is the legacy that has been jealously cherished by succeeding generations and which we will continue to build on because it is the source of our strength, leadership and prosperity.
It is against this background and in the spirit of Lagos at 50 celebration that we feel excited to partner with the Nigeria Bar Association in hosting this year’s annual conference.
The NBA has chosen for this 57th conference, a theme that speaks pointedly to one of the issues that have kept Africa far behind on the scale of ease of doing business. Weak Institutions constitute a major disincentive for investment which is extremely important for the efficient and effective harnessing of the huge resources that nature has blessed us with.
Our Institutions are weak because in most cases, their establishment is influenced by personal and short term considerations. In some other cases, they are deliberately weakened in order to make them subject to the whims and caprices of the leadership.
Building and sustaining strong institution requires our collective commitment to the rule of law. It entails building the capacity of such institutions to be able to discharge their responsibilities effectively and transparently while also being accountable to the people. It must create an atmosphere of confidence, mutual understanding and protection against arbitrariness.
We must take a cue from developed economies where the integrity of their institutions is not compromised for whatever reason. In those climes, it is the institution that puts officials of the State in check and not vice versa as we have experienced and are still experiencing in most parts of the continent.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this is the ideal and best global practice which we, in Lagos State are striving very strongly to attain towards building an economy that is globally competitive. It has been one of our key commitments in the past two years as exemplified by the far reaching reforms we are implementing by way of security and judicial sector reforms. Happily, these efforts are yielding the expected outcomes.
I have no doubt in my mind that this conference will produce new and useful ideas which will help in deepening the effects of ongoing efforts to build and strengthen our institutions in line with global best practice.
Before I end this brief remark, let me use this opportunity to call on the Nigerian Bar Association as a body and members to raise your voices in support of the demand for devolution of power to States and fiscal federalism, especially the review of the current revenue sharing formula.
These, in my view, are fundamental and critical to creating an enabling environment that will accelerate development in all parts of the country. The ongoing process for the review of the 1999 Constitution presents a golden opportunity for us to redress all the aberrations created by the interjection of the military that have stunted growth and inhibited the capacity of States to harness the huge potentials of our nation.
Once again, I welcome you all to the Nation’s Centre of excellence. I would have been one of you. I made a failed attempt to become a lawyer but JAMB messed me up.
…Pledges To Increase Price Money For ITTF Nigeria Open
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday identified the right investment in sports as the necessary impetus that can bring about good performance of Nigerian athletes in sporting competitions, saying that it was time for the country to focus in such direction.
Governor Ambode, who made the reamrks while speaking to journalists at the end of the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open held at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, tagged Lagos 2017, said government and all the necessary stakeholders must now invest more in sports to take the country to its rightful place in the world of sports.
He expressed excitement at the successful hosting of the tournament which attracted Table Tennis stars from 22 countries, saying that the development was gratifying and in line with his vision to use sports as a catalyst for growth and development of the economy.
He said: “We are very happy to have hosted this competition. This is the fourth edition and you can see that this year’s competition has actually attracted more people and then more countries. The idea is to use sports as a catalyst for the growth and development of the economy.
“It is also a catalyst for tourism and it is my strong believe that we must continue to support sports as a means of allowing us to develop the mental capabilities of younger ones and Lagos State is ready to do that.”
When asked whether he was disappointed that no Nigerian qualified for the finals of the competition, Governor Ambode said on the contrary, he was not disappointed but that the development called for greater investment in sports in the country.
“I am not disappointed at all about that. It’s called Nigerian open and so it’s open to everybody and again we had Nigerians in the semifinal. So, we need to do more work and then more coaching and also develop sports. Government has to support sports thoroughly if you want to see Nigerians in the finals.
“I mean you can see the level of skill-set that the Egyptians displayed here and if we say we are giant of Africa, we have to prove it in all ramifications. So, my believe is that government has to spend more time and money in developing sports in this country,” Governor Ambode said.
Speaking on plans for the competition next year, the Governor promised to increase the price money and also the number of participating countries, saying that as the destination for sports in Africa, Lagos must lead the way in promoting sporting tournaments.
“For me, I am going to scale up the price money to attract more people to come for this competition. So next year, you will see more price money and then more countries participating in the competition. Lagos is the destination for sports in Africa and that is the only way we have to go,” the Governor said.
The overall winner of the competition, Assar Omar from Egypt, went home with $5,000, while the first runner up, Gandhi Sarthak from India went home with $2,300.