Lagos State has set off an ambitious plan for its development over the next decade. By 2030, the state, which has the 5th largest economy in Africa, will have a running city-wide network of colour-coded Metro Lines that will move over 34.5 million people monthly and cut travel time in the metropolis drastically.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, outlined key infrastructural deliverables being undertaken by the state at the 8th Lagos Economic Summit, otherwise known as Ehingbeti. The three-day event with the theme “Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade”, is facilitated by the organised private sector in support of the state government.
The summit is largely virtual, but some sessions are to be held physically at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.
Ehingbeti Summit, co-chaired by chairman of Citi Bank, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, is an initiative introduced in 2000 as a biennial event aimed at creating a credible forum to discuss and formulate policies for accelerating infrastructural development and stimulating economic growth for Lagos.
The event was virtually attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, newly appointed Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and President of Africa Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, and founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, among others.
Sanwo-Olu, in his address, disclosed that the race to digitise every community in Lagos had begun with the ongoing laying of 6,000-kilometre fibre optic infrastructure across the city, stressing that the Smart City agenda of the government would fully materialise by 2030 when the entire landscape of Lagos would have been covered by a network of several thousands of kilometres of fibre optic carrying broadband internet into all homes, offices and schools.
The move, the governor said, is to leverage technology to revolutionise business culture in Lagos by energising Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that form the backbone of the state economy.
He said: “I invite every well-meaning Nigerian to join me to look ahead at the next decade, and the possibilities that lie ahead for Lagos. What will Lagos State look like by 2030? There will be a city-wide network of colour-coded Metro Lines, the first two of which – Red and Blue lines – will move over 34.5 million people monthly, cutting travel time by over 250 per cent. In 2030, Lagos will proudly stand beside every other megacity in the world, in terms of its capacity to transport its people efficiently and responsively.
“Water transportation infrastructure being put in place will make waterway transport systems a central element of life in the metropolis. The Fourth Mainland Bridge will come to define the cityscape of the 2020s in the same way the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge defined it a decade earlier. By 2030, Lagos will be a Smart City, fully covered by a network of several thousands of kilometers of fibre optic infrastructure that will carry broadband internet into homes, offices and schools
“The Smart City that is unfolding will also be home to a network of intelligent cameras that will support not only security and policing across the state, but also traffic management and data collection for urban planning. By 2030, Lagos will be home to one of the largest Rice Mills in the world, after we deliver our 32 metric tons per hour rice factory in Imota, which will produce 2.8 million bags of 50kg bags of rice per annum.”
The governor said the implementation of the plan would not only create millions of direct jobs for skilled youths, it would also empower women, who own substantial MSMEs in Lagos.
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Sanwo-Olu said plans were underway in Lagos to reverse the tide of billions lost nationally to medical tourism. He disclosed that Lagos was pushing ahead with a move to develop a Medical Park in Ikoyi in partnership with the private sector, which is expected to offer world-class medical and diagnostic services.
He said his administration’s development blueprint, known as Project THEMES, was designed to build on the achievements of previous administrations and lay foundations for future growth.
Sanwo-Olu, having reviewed the progress recorded within the past decade, said there was so much to be celebrated in the state, but added that so much was needed to be done in expanding the frontiers of growth in Lagos.
President Muhammadu Buhari pledged the Federal Government would continue to bring massive investments into Lagos in order to boost the state’s economic potential as one of the world’s fastest growing megacities.
The president said Lagos had demonstrated how understanding between national and subnational governments could be leveraged for accelerated growth, alluding to concession granted the state government to rebuild the federal highway leading to Murtala International Airport in Ikeja.
Buhari said: “The Federal Government is today completing the Standard Gauge Railway Line that links Lagos to Ibadan in the first instance, and from there connects to Abuja and Kano, and brings ease and efficiency to what is Nigeria’s busiest transportation corridor.
“Just last month, this new Rail Line achieved a milestone extension into the Port Complex in Apapa, setting the stage for a long overdue decongestion in that area.”
The WTO director general made a case for the creation of massive industrial hubs to harness the potential of the youth and women in artificial intelligence and digital economy.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala commended the Lagos government’s action to build digital infrastructure around the city, noting that the fibre optic programme makes the state a new manufacturing hub of digital products that will shape the global economy in the next decade.
On his part, Dr. Adesina believed the increasing youth population in Lagos must not be seen as a problem, but rather as an asset that should be harnessed for growth.
The Africa apex bank chief said it was time for the state government to create a youth-based economy that specifically targets skilled young population. He applauded Lagos’ Digital Skill Empowerment for the youth, and the rollout of broadband Internet infrastructure across the state.
“The future of Lagos must be knowledge- based and the state government must sustain its investment in education to produce knowledgeable, skilled young people for the jobs of the future,” the AFDB President said.
The event also featured discussion panel sessions that focused on how Lagos could harness its human capital to accelerate its development and bring the state closer to developed mega cities.
Ehingbeti Summit has led Lagos, in the last two decades, to achieve the delivery of five Independent Power Projects (IPPs) on the Mainland and Island. Other notable infrastructure conceived from the summit include Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, Pen Cinema Bridge, Agric Isawo Road, International Airport Road, opening of Regional Road and rehabilitation of Ibeju Lekki-Epe road network, among others.
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Twitter Board Unanimously Recommends Shareholders Approve Elon Musk’s $44 billion Takeover
In a regulatory filing on Tuesday morning, Twitter’s board urged shareholders to approve the buyout at Elon Musk’s proposed price of $54.20 per share during a special meeting later this year.
Though Musk has threatened to pull out of the merger agreement he signed on April 25, citing concerns over fake accounts, Twitter’s board has insisted that it will enforce the terms of the agreement.
A date for the shareholder vote has not yet been set, but the merger agreement includes a deadline of October 24 to consummate the deal.
Musk reiterated his desire to move forward with the acquisition last week during a virtual meeting with Twitter employees, though shares of Twitter remain far below his offering price, signaling considerable doubt that it will happen at the agreed price.
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On Tuesday at the Qatar Economic Forum in an interview with Bloomberg, Musk listed the approval of the deal by shareholders as one of several ‘unresolved matters’ related to the Twitter deal.
Shares of Twitter were essentially flat just before the opening bell Tuesday, and remained far short of the $54.20 per-share that Musk has offered to pay for each.
The company’s stock last reached that level on April 5 when it offered Musk a seat on the board before he had offered to buy all of Twitter.
In its filing on Tuesday, Twitter’s board of directors said in a letter to shareholders that it ‘unanimously recommends that you vote (for) the adoption of the merger agreement.’
A simple majority of shareholders would have to vote to approve Musk’s offer for the deal to take effect.
If the deal were to close now, investors in the company would pocket a profit of $15.22 above market prices for each share they own.
Twitter shares rose more than 1% following the board’s letter to shareholders, but the stock is still about $15 less per share than Musk’s offer price.
Last week, Musk told Twitter staff he wants to raise the service’s user numbers from 229 million to at least 1 billion people and said advertising would remain important for the company, despite previously saying he believes Twitter should not serve ads.
‘I think advertising is very important for Twitter,’ Musk said in an address to Twitter employees, according to audio of the meeting reported by Reuters.
‘I’m not against advertising. I would probably talk to the advertisers and say, like, ‘hey, let’s just make sure the ads are as entertaining as possible.”
Musk, who was expected to provide assurance to Twitter employees during his first meeting, didn’t offer an update on the deal closing.
He reiterated he was still trying to learn more about bot and spam accounts on Twitter, which he called his biggest concern.
In response to a question about whether he expected layoffs, Musk said there needed to be ‘some rationalization of headcount and expenses.’
‘Right now, the costs exceed the revenue,’ he said, adding ‘anyone who’s … a significant contributor should have nothing to worry about.’
Twitter’s logo is seen on the facade of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
Twitter’s logo is seen on the facade of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco
Analyst says Elon Musk is ‘worried’ about the economy
Twitter employees took to an internal Slack channel in droves during the session, posting memes and complaining that Musk was not providing useful answers on his vision for the business and employee compensation.
They also demanded on Slack that the moderator press Musk on his views about remote work, as Twitter currently allows employees relatively free reign to work remotely or in the office.
Musk said he believed Twitter staff should lean toward working in an office, but expressed willingness to make some exceptions. The bias should be ‘strongly towards working in person, but if somebody is exceptional, then remote work can be okay,’ he said.
The impending takeover of Twitter has been met with widespread skepticism and concern among the San Francisco-based company’s employees, some of whom have worried Musk will relax rules on certain content.
The billionaire told Twitter staff he believed users should be allowed to say ‘pretty outrageous things’ on the site as long as the content is not illegal.
Daily Mail Online
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Sanwo-Olu, Elumelu Launch Development Of New Falomo Towers
The Lagos State Governor, H.E. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and business leader and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, led other real estate stakeholders over the weekend in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Falomo Towers development in Ikoyi, Lagos. The project is being developed by joint venture partners, Afriland Properties Plc, investee company of the Heirs Holdings Group, and the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC).
Special Guest of Honour, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his address, commended the JV partners for their commitment to the Nigerian real estate sector and their vision in redeveloping the iconic Lagos landmark. He praised both companies for what he believed would be an exemplary delivery of a public-private partnership.
Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that the new Falomo Towers will become a highly sought-after destination for work, life, and play. “The JV is delivering an environment that offers contemporary work and living spaces, that will further catalyse Lagos’ economic renaissance. I am delighted that Afriland Properties, one of the country’s leading institutional real estate investors, is able to partner with Lagos State, to deliver excellence.”
Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, in his keynote address, stated that the project was a demonstration of the governor’s commitment to private sector growth in Lagos State and the country. He emphasized the importance of the private sector in transforming Nigeria’s economy and the need for meaningful partnerships, which would unleash the potential of the country.
“We believe that the growth of our economy, will be delivered by the private sector, but for the private sector to do well, our public sector leaders must create the right environment,” he said. “The partnership we are celebrating today is a model, not just for Nigeria, but for Africa. I salute all those who have contributed to this exciting venture, not least His Excellency, whose vision we are delivering”.
The Managing Director/CEO, Afriland Properties, Uzo Oshogwe, stated: “This mixed-use development will drive sustainability, creativity, and innovation. It reinforces our promise to beautify and enhance the Lagos skyline. We are implementing our firm commitment to Africapitalism, that through our long-term investment in real estate, we will create employment, economic prosperity, and social wealth, that will transform Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria, and the African continent.
The Managing Director, LSDPC, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph stated that the partnership with Afriland Properties Plc will provide additional residential apartments, that would increase the housing stock in Lagos and provide affordable housing for the middle-class citizens and millennials, who form the core of the 21st century workforce.
Falomo Towers is a contemporary mixed used development, focused on sustainability and sustainable building practices, designed to deliver a greener environment. The project will deploy cutting-edge technology-enabled design, to create an architectural masterpiece.
Afriland Properties Plc is a property management, investment, and development company, offering end-to-end services along the real estate value chain, from management to joint-venture investments. With a portfolio size of over N10 billion and one of the largest land banks in Nigeria, Afriland is pioneering the opportunities presented by an institutional approach to real estate, serving niche markets throughout Africa.
Falomo 1: l-r: Managing Director, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation(LSDPC), Hon. Ayodeji Joseph; Group Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr Tony Elumelu; Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Managing Director/CEO, Afriland Properties Plc, Mrs Uzo Oshogwe, during the Sod Turning Ceremony of Falomo Towers, a joint venture project of Afriland Properties Plc(Investee company of Heirs Holdings Group) and LSDPC, held at the site in Falomo on Friday
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How JP Morgan Chase Won $1.7b Case Against Nigeria
Detailsa have emerged on how JP Morgan Chase won a $1.7 billion London High Court battle against Nigeria over its role in a disputed 2011 oilfield deals involving energy majors Shell and Eni.
Nigeria had filed a lawsuit against U.S. bank JP Morgan Chase at a London high court in February, claiming more than $1.7 billion as damages.
The trial opened with Nigeria’s lawyer Roger Masefield alleging that JP Morgan was “grossly negligent” in its decision to transfer funds paid by the energy majors into an escrow account to a company controlled by the country’s former oil minister Dan Etete instead of into government coffers.
According to Masefield, the transactions put JP Morgan in breach of its Quincecare duty, which obliges banks to disregard a customer’s instructions if following those instructions might actually facilitate a fraud against that customer.
“Under its Quincecare duty, the bank was entitled to refuse to pay for as long as it had reasonable grounds for believing its customer was being defrauded,” Masefield said.
The damages sought include cash sent to Etete’s company Malabu Oil and Gas, around $875 million paid in three instalments in 2011 and 2013, plus interest, taking the total to over $1.7 billion.
But a London High Court judge said no such breach took place in a ruling published on Tuesday.
JP Morgan’s counsel Paul Erekoro, argued that the allegations against it were “baseless and false” and denied any complicity in the case.
The bank said that it did not breach the Quincecare duty, neither did it act with gross negligence as claimed by the Nigerian government.
Erekoro said that the release of Malabu’s claims over OPL 245 was a vital part of the transaction, because without this Shell and Eni would not have been prepared to take on the block, and it would therefore have continued to languish in an unproductive state.
“The Resolution Agreements were subject to detailed scrutiny by a large number of senior ministers and officials within the FGN, most of whom are not accused of any wrongdoing
“The agreements were personally approved by President Jonathan, and represented the policy of his administration.
“JPMC agreed to provide the Depository Account for this purpose, and charged a fee of $25,000 for its services. Its role was thus intended to be discrete and limited,” the bank said.
A spokesman for the bank said in a statement on Tuesday, that the judgment “reflects our commitment to acting with high professional standards in every country we operate in, and how we are prepared to robustly defend our actions and reputation when they are called into question”.
The London case dates back to 1998 when Nigerian military ruler Sani Abacha awarded the offshore oilfield licence, OPL 245, to a company Etete owned.
The $20 million price tag – of which Etete paid about $2 million, according to court documents – was widely viewed by industry experts as too low given the block was expected to yield billions of dollars of crude, although it remains undeveloped.
Subsequent Nigerian administrations contested Etete’s rights to the field, triggering years of legal wrangling until a deal designed to end the battles was struck in 2011.
Etete’s company Malabu Oil and Gas handed the undeveloped OPL 245 back to Nigeria as part of a resolution agreement involving Shell and Eni.
To complete the deal, Shell and Eni also paid a signature bonus of about $200 million directly to the Nigerian government and then deposited $1.1 billion in the Nigerian government’s escrow account with JP Morgan, court documents showed.
A report by the anti-corruption group, Global Witness, released in November 2018, said that Shell and Eni’s deal for Nigeria’s OPL 245 oil block reduced Nigeria’s expected revenue by nearly $6 billion.
The report urged Nigeria to revoke the OPL 245 licence rather than allow the oil companies to make enormous profits from the deal.
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