We’ll Transform Yaba To Major Technology Hub

We’ll Transform Yaba To Major Technology Hub

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday said plans are afoot to transform the Sabo Industrial Estate in Yaba area of the State to a technology hub and another Silicon Valley where new set of entrepreneurs and innovators will be raised to address the challenges confronting the nation in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

Silicon Valley, which is in San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States, is home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations and thousands of startup companies.

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Governor Ambode, who spoke during an extensive inspection tour across the State, said government will actualize the plan of transforming Sabo to the new hub for technology in 2017 and assist the already established technology incubators in the area to achieve their full potentials.

Some of the technology outfits visited in the area by the Governor included Ardela, IDEA and CC Hub, among others.

The Governor, who was joined on the inspection by top government functionaries and former Minister of Communications and Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said government was desirous of assisting entrepreneurs in the ICT sector to become good startups, adding that his administration would explore all the available initiatives in that regard.

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He said to start with, entrepreneurs in the sector would be allowed to access the N25billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF), which is an initiative of his administration, to grow their businesses, as well as other interventions from the State’s Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment.

He said: “I decided to come here just for me to feel the state of things and to learn about your challenges. Our government is seriously committed to assisting entrepreneurs like the ones here to be able to be good startups.

“I want to also say that we will use our Employment Trust Fund to support this concept here.”

The Governor said one of the factors considered when government was setting up the ETF was the need to set up incubators, but with the progress made in that regard by the private sector, government would now only build on the existing technology incubators.

“All we need to do is to now send people here and also support by way of infrastructure to scale up this place and others like this that can help in churning out more people.

“Our aim is to create enabling environment for our youth to thrive, to be more creative and enterprising. We so much believe in innovation and creativity. We strongly believe that youths are the ones that can take us out of this economic recession and the truth is that we must create enabling environment for our youths to optimally utilize their talents.

“You can recall that throughout my campaign, I promised to use tourism, hospitality and entertainment to create employment and jobs for our youths. This is the fundamental basis our government is built upon.

“The whole idea is that these young ones here should not just leave this place and go back to where they started from. I think that value chain is what we as government must tap into and then we would be able to move this nation forward. I believe strongly that the youths are the future of this country and we need to pay greater attention to everything that they are doing and I also believe strongly that technology is the key that we are going to use to grow this economy,” he said.

The Governor said government would explore the possibility of addressing the power challenges confronting the area, especially by linking the estate to the Mainland Independent Power Project.

In her remarks, the former Minister (Johnson) commended the initiative of Governor Ambode on the plan to scale up the industrial park in Sabo, saying that the development signaled a new beginning for the technology sector.

Speaking at Ladipo Market where he was received by hundreds of traders amidst pump and pageantry, Governor Ambode said from next month, his administration will commence construction of Alhaji Akinwunmi Street and Ladipo Street, as well as Obagun Avenue, off Fatai Atere Road.

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He also said that a multi-layer car park will be constructed to address the chaos in the area in terms of parking of vehicles, but solicited the cooperation of the traders and residents of the area, saying that government would organize a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss modalities for the construction.

Lagos To Adopt Boston Model To Tackle Environmental Challenges

Lagos To Adopt Boston Model To Tackle Environmental Challenges

The Lagos State Government on Thursday unveiled plans to adopt the Boston model to clean up the State Waterways and tackle other environmental issues confronting the State.

State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode disclosed this shortly after series of meetings with the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh and the Executive Director of Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Mr Paul Levy in the United States of America.

At the meeting, Mr. Levy recalled the Boston Waterways and sewage crises and explained to the Governor and his team on how the government worked hard for years to clean up the harbour as well to provide clean portable water to the people of Boston.

Governor Ambode who was later hosted by the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, where he held discussions on a Sister-City Collaboration with Boston, equally discussed areas for mutual economic partnership between Lagos and Boston.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th right), with Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Abdul Mustapha; Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Dr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti; Chief of Economic Development, Office of the Mayor, Mr. John Barros; Mayor of Boston, Mr. Marty Walsh; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas and Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya during a meeting with the Mayor of Boston at the Boston City Hall, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th right), with Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Abdul Mustapha; Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Dr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti; Chief of Economic Development, Office of the Mayor, Mr. John Barros; Mayor of Boston, Mr. Marty Walsh; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas and Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya during a meeting with the Mayor of Boston at the Boston City Hall, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.

The Mayor described Governor Ambode’s visit as a homecoming recalling that the Governor was, earlier in his career, a Fulbright Scholar at the Boston University and also worked in the State Treasury Department.

The Mayor and his team identified areas of mutual interest with Lagos and pushed for collaboration with both cities considering the numerous similarities they share.

Governor Ambode, on his part, said that the knowledge and experience he gained from Boston helped shape his career and benefited him in his position as Governor.

He pledged to explore areas where Lagos could partner with Boston, especially in the clean-up of the Lagos waterways. Governor shared insights into the investment opportunities available in Lagos, stating that Lagos is the prime destination for investments in Nigeria.

In a related development, Governor Ambode in a meeting with senior officials of the MIT Faculty and the MIT Africa Initiative in Cambridge, Boston Massachusetts, confirmed that the State Government has entered into a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the use of innovation and technology to tackle the challenges facing Lagos State.

Governor Ambode informed the MIT Team that Lagos is the technology hub of Africa with Yaba now globally acclaimed as a hotspot for start-ups, assuring that the MIT that his government would continually work to create an environment where new businesses will thrive as well support more tech hubs in Lagos.

He said, “We are Africa’s largest market and we represent a huge opportunity for businesses with solutions that can match our ambitions. Lagos is open to new ideas. Lagos is open for business. Lagos is open for innovation. We welcome new and different perspectives. That is why we are here at MIT. We hope to gain more partners as we continue with the business of making sure that Nigeria and Africa succeeds.”

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with Faculty Director, Legatum Center & member of UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, Professor Fiona Murray and Associate Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester during a meeting between the MIT Africa Initiative and Lagos State Government in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with Faculty Director, Legatum Center & member of UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, Professor Fiona Murray and Associate Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester during a meeting between the MIT Africa Initiative and Lagos State Government in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.

The Lagos State delegation to MIT including Governor Ambode, Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare and the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Engineer Ade Akinsanya, were received by the Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester, Faculty Director Legatum Center, Professor Fiona Murray and Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World and Food Security (JWAFS), Renee Robins.

Governor Ambode and his team also met with the MIT Africa MD, Julia Reynolds-Cuellar and the Director MIT Regional Entrepreneurship and Acceleration Program (REAP) Team on Africa, Sarah-Jane Maxted.

The discussions centred around tapping into MIT’s expertise in technology and innovation to create solutions for Lagos State, where the MIT team expressed their commitment to support and partner with the State Government in its drive to change the face of the State.

Governor Ambode also discussed the possibility of extending the reach of the MIT REAP to Lagos and to positively affect the growth of entrepreneurship in Lagos, just as he directed his team to work out modalities to commence an Empowering Teachers and Global Start-Up Lab programmes in Lagos through the MIT Initiative.

The Governor also scheduled further discussions with the MIT REAP on how entrepreneurs in Lagos can be supported to grow their businesses, innovate and contribute to the Lagos GDP.

As part of the visit, the Governor also held an interactive session with some Nigerian students at MIT, where presentations by young start-ups founded by Nigerians were made, expressing his interest in supporting more young Nigerian entrepreneurs especially with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

War Against Terror: Lagos State Government Harps On Synergy Among Security Agencies

War Against Terror: Lagos State Government Harps On Synergy Among Security Agencies

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday identified strong synergy and collaboration amongst security agencies as a necessary impetus for the success of the war against terrorism and insecurity.

The Governor stated this at the opening ceremony of the National sensitisation workshop on the implementation of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) held at the National Employers Consultative Assembly (NECA) Auditorium, Alausa.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, stressed that all security apparatuses must be united and determined in the knowledge that government is committed to providing all the support needed to guarantee victory.

He explained that this is imperative and compelling in order to sustain the current successes that have been achieved in the fight against terrorism.

The Governor restated his administration’s commitment to continue to extend necessary logistic support to security agencies in the state.

“We have a vision to make our state secure for business and tourism for the prosperity of our people. We are therefore committed to support all initiatives including this workshop aimed at ensuring a secured and peaceful environment for legitimate enterprises to succeed,” he said.

While lauding the organizers of the workshop for coming up with the initiative, the Governor described the meeting as a demonstration of the fact that the fight against terrorism must be all inclusive.

“While the Federal Government is expected to provide leadership, other levels of government and non-governmental and community based organisations must be carried along to play a collaborative role identified areas of responsibility”, he stressed.

The Governor, who described the successful release of the 21 Chibok girls as a most welcome development, appealed to Nigerians and the International community to continue to support efforts of the Federal Government to bring the incidences of insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria and the West African sub region under total control.

The two-day workshop has in attendance top security officers at all levels including from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Local Government Sole Administrators and members of the civil society groups.

Best Performing Governor Award: LASG Vows to Retain Lagos as Investment Destination

Best Performing Governor Award: LASG Vows to Retain Lagos as Investment Destination

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode at the weekend said the State was gradually emerging as the choice destination for investors, assuring that his administration would continue to work round the clock not only to become a shining example for Africans in Diaspora but retain the State as investors haven.

The Governor, who spoke at the 2016 International Forum on African Leadership, where he received an award for Best Performing Governor in Nigeria, organised by the African Leadership Magazine and held at the Regis Hotel, New York, USA, said since he assumed office on May 29, 2015, efforts have been geared towards creating a conducive and friendly environment for investors and for businesses to thrive.

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Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, on behalf of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, received an award of Best Performing Governor in Nigeria; President of Malawi, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika; his Wife and Chairman of Ecobank, Mr. John Aboh during the 2016 International Forum on African Leadership organised by African Leadership Magazine in Regis Hotel, New York, U.S.A at the weekend.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, apologised for his absence to receive the award, but said that he acknowledged the importance of the event hence his decision to send a powerful delegation including Durosinmi-Etti; the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; his Special Adviser on Overseas Affairs and Investment, Professor Ademola Abass; and his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Habib Aruna, to represent him.

The Governor, in his remarks shortly after receiving the award, said the security and judicial reforms which he initiated at the commencement of his administration and the creation of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment were part of efforts to reduce the burden of bureaucracy and security concerns for would-be investors.

While stating that the State is open for business, Governor Ambode assured would-be investors that government would continue to invest in security, job opportunity and infrastructure which are the tripod upon which his administration was built.

He said that Lagos is also playing a leading role in Nigeria’s economy, and as such must not shy away in ensuring that it takes the lead as Nigeria restrategises to restructure its economy for greater prosperity.

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Chief Press Secretary to Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Habib Aruna; Publisher & Chief Executive Officer, African Leadership Magazine, Mr. Ken Giami; Special Adviser, Office of Overseas Affairs & Investments, Prof. Ademola Abass; member, Georgia House of Representatives, Dee Dawkins-Haigler; Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti and Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde during the 2016 International Forum on African Leadership organised by African Leadership Magazine in Regis Hotel, New York, U.S.A at the weekend.

“Lagos as the fifth largest economy in Africa is like a country and with the momentum with which the State is moving, it might soon emerge as the biggest economy in Africa. It is home to almost every religion, tribe and colour and accommodates the largest pool of black people all over the world, including Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is from Nigeria and has a home in Lagos”, the Governor said.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of African Leadership Magazine, Mr. Ken Giami while thanking participants for finding time to honour the occasion, said the focus of the Forum was for good governance and how it could impact on the African continent.

“We have to connect, build bridges and cultivate both intra and inter African interests and connection, continue discussion and conversation on how to move Africa forward.

Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, on behalf of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, receiving the award of the Best Performing Governor in Nigeria from President of Malawi, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika while his Wife looks on during the 2016 International Forum on African Leadership organised by African Leadership Magazine in Regis Hotel, New York, U.S.A at the weekend.
Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, on behalf of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, receiving the award of the Best Performing Governor in Nigeria from President of Malawi, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika while his Wife looks on during the 2016 International Forum on African Leadership organised by African Leadership Magazine in Regis Hotel, New York, U.S.A at the weekend.

“A continent that has all the natural resources but still at the lowest ebb in the rank of other continents, needs trade and investment because there are many opportunities that abound in Africa. This is the time for countries all over the world to explore the resources that abound in the continent to make the world a better place for us”, Giami said.

Other recipients of the African Leadership Awards at the event include the President of Malawi, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika; President of Burkina Faso, Mr. Roch Marc Christian Kabore; Vice President of South Sudan, Mr. Taban Deng Gai, among others.

Why Lagos State Is Experiencing Influx Of Investors And Tourists Daily

Why Lagos State Is Experiencing Influx Of Investors And Tourists Daily

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday said the State has witnessed significant influx of investors and visitors in recent times, saying it was largely due to the aggressive upgrade of infrastructure, especially road construction and rehabilitation.

Governor Ambode, who spoke in Somolu Local Government at the climax of the inauguration of 114 roads constructed across the 20 Local Government Areas (LGs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), said each infrastructure provided has further improved the status of Lagos, both locally and internationally.
The Governor who was represented at the commissioning of two of the 114 roads-Okesuna and Anifowoshe roads, in Somolu LG by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Folarin Coker ,said from provision of security apparatus, roads, ‘Light Up Lagos’ project and other infrastructure has further improved  the confidence of tourists and investors in the State.

According to him, “Construction of 114 roads not only gives access, but further boosts the State’s economy, social welfare, creates employment and provides other benefits within the state.”

In Isolo LCDA, Governor Ambode inaugurated Panada/Lafenwa Road, off Mushin Road, in a ceremony attended by the Oba of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Adelaja, All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in Lagos State, Chief Henry Oladele Ajomole, party chieftains.

The Governor, who was represented by the APC South West Women Leader, Mrs. Kemi Nelson, said that the construction of the roads across the 57 Councils has made the Lagos economy the most viable in the country assuring that no effort would be spared to make life more comfortable for residents.

Earlier in her welcome address, Sole Administrator of the Council, Hon. Abimbola Osikoya, thanked the governor for the promise kept in the construction of the road, noting that the road had been unmotorable and would no doubt improve the economical pursuit of the residents of the area, especially because of its proximity to the popular Aswani Market.

At the inauguration of Olorunfunmi Street in Oworonsoki and Okeowo-Somorin Street in Ifako-Gbagada, both in Kosofe LG, the Governor said the selection of 89 local contractors to execute the project was a deliberate strategy to empower the people and stimulate the local economy.

The Governor was represented by a member of the House, Hon. Bayo Oshinowo.

A House of Representatives member, representing Ikeja Constituency, Hon. James Faleke lauded Governor Ambode’s effort at turning around the face of Lagos.

Faleke who spoke at the commissioning of Abiodun Jagun Street and Ishola Bello Street, both in Ojodu LCDA, where he represented the Governor.

“We cannot help but commend the efforts of our astute governor in this state. Governor Ambode has demonstrated that he is a man who thinks outside the box. He has been able to make judicious use of funds even in these very trying times,” Faleke said.

In Ikeja Local Government, Governor Ambode who inaugurated Onilekere Street, where he was represented by Iyaloja- General, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, said Lagosians should expect nothing but a better and safer Lagos in the next three years.

During the commissioning of the road in Olu Akerele Street, also in Ikeja LG, former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji lauded Governor Ambode’s administration for taking the dividends of democracy to the grassroots.

At Apapa LG, Governor Ambode through the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya and a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Apapa Constituency 1, Hon Mojisola Lawal, commissioned 648 meters North Avenue Road and 227meters Caulcrick Road.

In his address, Sola Administrator of Apapa Local Government, Mr. Tunde Alao, commended Governor Ambode for the initiative to engage indigenous contractors, describing it as wise economic decision especially in the face of the dwindling rate of Naira against the dollar.

Governor Ambode also inaugurated Jinadu Street and Folawiyo Bankole Street in Itire-Ikate LCDA and was represented by Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi.