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Nigeria, others to get $5bn investment from World Bank

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Nigeria, alongside 11 other African countries will get over $5 billion investment, over the next five years from the World Bank, to help restore degraded landscapes, improve agriculture productivity, and promote livelihoods.

The World Bank Group President, David Malpass made this promise on Monday at the One Planet Summit, a high-level meeting co-hosted with France and the United Nations that is focused on addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.

Specifically the money, the bank said will fund interventions in restoring drylands, agriculture, water, community development, food security, resilient infrastructure, landscape restoration, and renewable energy.

Other countries to benefit from the funds include Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Sudan with focus on Sahel region, Lake Chad, and Horn of Africa, the Bank said in a statement.

On why the region, Mahel explained, “Sahel region, in particular, was one of the most vulnerable to desertification and land degradation, with temperature increases projected to be 1.5 times faster than the global average. Eighty percent of farmlands in the region was degraded and about 30 million people food insecure”

Last year, the World Research Institute (WRI) had warned that Nigeria was becoming increasing vulnerable to climate change challenges.

The institute in a report published on its Aqueduct platform, a data-set website that tracks the change in water supply, water demand across the world, revealed that in less than 10 years, the country moved up 37 places from a country with low chances of having challenges with water to a low medium water stress risk country. With Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, and Kano, the top five contributing states.

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Access Holdings Gets New CEO To Replace Wigwe 

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Bolaji Agbede

By John Michael OJo

Following the death of its Co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Herbert Wigwe in a helicopter crash on Friday night in the United States, Access Holdings Plc on Monday appointed Ms. Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings.

This was made known in a statement by the company’s Board of Directors dated February 12, 2024.

The statement which added that the appointment was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria, reads: “Further to its announcement dated February 11, 2024, the Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc (‘the Company’) has today announced the appointment of Ms Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company following the unfortunate demise of its former Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Herbert Wigwe, on February 9, 2024.

“The appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the statement read in part.

Agbede  who joined Access Bank in 2003 as an Assistant General has nearly three decades of professional experience cutting across banking and business consultancy services.

She has also served in different roles at the bank including, Head, Group Human Resources between 2010 and 2022 before she was appointed the company’s founding Executive Director, Business Support in 2022, a role she held until her new appointment

Agbede who commenced her professional career in Guaranty Trust Bank, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University UK in 2002.

She is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

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Ogun Constitutes Ambassadors To Intensify Efforts On Investment Drive

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L-R: Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (Ogun State), Mr. George Onafowokan; Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo; Special Adviser, OgunInvest, Ms. Sola Arobieke; Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela; Zonal Director, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, Mr. Hassan Lawal, at the OgunInvest Ambassadors Network Inauguration and Orientation Course held at OgunInvest Office, Isheri, Ogun State.

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has inaugurated a 12-man committee of Ogun Invest Ambassador Network to create a robust and seamless working relationship between government and investors, for businesses to thrive.

Governor Abiodun, during the inauguration and orientation course for the ambassadors, at Ogun Invest Office, Isheri, in Ifo Local Government Area of the state, said the initiative was a landmark in the history of the state, as it would make a huge difference to the growth of current and potential investors willing to do business in the state.

He explained that the ambassadors would be responsible for enlightening investors on how to harness the opportunities that abound and what they stand to gain by doing business with the state, adding that their role is pivotal in building bridges, fostering collaboration and attracting investors that would propel the state to new heights.

Governor Abiodun, represented by the Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo tasked the ambassadors to sharpen their communication skills, charging them to make accountability and transparency their watchword.

The state’s helmsman disclosed that the government would, on a regular basis, carry out an evaluation performance on them through private organisations transacting business with the state, promising that those who performed well would be compensated accordingly.

Speaking, Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adebola Sofela, who admonished them to be diligent, in making Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency a success, described them as a link between government and investors, saying a proper regulatory framework would be established to earn investors trust and respect.

Identifying the calibre of people in the network chain, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan, noted that a new lease of life would soon commence in the state investment journey, expressing the hope that their selection would ensure a critical turning point in the investment atmosphere of the state and charged them to bring to bear their professionalism in the course of enhancing the industrial sector

Earlier, the Special Adviser on Ogun State Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency (Ogun Invest), Ms. Sola Arobieke, said the initiative was part of the drive to attract investments, enhance ease of doing business and carry out the service of a one-stop shop, to ensure access to relevant information and streamline processes for investors in the state, pointing out that the Ambassadors Network is a team of dedicated individuals from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), saddled with investment-related functions, to ease the settling of investors and investments into the state.

On his part, the Managing Director, Coleman Technical Industries Ltd., Mr. George Onafowokan, who spoke on, “Promoting Investment Through Service Excellence”, said the selected ambassadors should see their nomination as an opportunity to serve and see themselves as representatives of the state front liners at giving investors excellent service and be ready to drive both existing and potential investors through excellent service delivery

The 12 ambassadors inaugurated include Consultant, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Fatai Adeboyejo; Deputy Surveyor-General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mrs. Halimat Yusuf; Director, Physical Planning, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Felicia Aleburu; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Physical Planning and Urban Development Mr. Jolaoluwa Olugbemisola; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Suraj Fashola; Director, Land Acquisition, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Anifowose Olatunji and Director of Commercial Services, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Olumuyiwa Ogunsanwo.

Others are Director of Environmental Quality Control, Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Mary Adeosun; Director of Geological Services, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Lekan Eniolawun; Director, Estate and Facility Management, Ogun State Property Investment Corporation, Mr. Olusola Abijo; Director, Estate, Housing Corporation, Mr. Nafiu Olaleye and Deputy Director, Local Government Affairs, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs. Olapemiju Quadri.

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IGR To Contribute N240Bn To Ogun’s N703bn 2024 Budget – Commissioner

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L-R: Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, Commissioner for Budget and Planning and Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan, during the year 2024 budget breakdown and media parley in Abeokuta, on Monday.

Ogun State intends to generate N240 billion as Internally Generated Revenue in 2024.

The Chief Economic Adviser and Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo disclosed this during a comprehensive budget breakdown and media parley held in Abeokuta on Monday.

The state’s overall budget for the year is N703 billion, which has already been signed into law by Governor Dapo Abiodun.

Okubadejo said that the budget reflects the determined vision of Governor Abiodun’s administration to foster best-in-class governance, create a conducive environment for public-private partnerships, and achieve sustainable economic development while enhancing individual prosperity among its citizen.

He emphasized that the administration’s focal points which includes the facilitation of ease of doing business, institutional reforms, development of fiscal policy thrust, and the promotion of public-private partnerships was geared at boosting the economy of the state.

He added that the budget is strategically structured around key development pillars, encompassing infrastructure, social welfare, education, human capital development, youth empowerment, job creation, agriculture, and food security.

“Ogun State is ambitiously positioning itself to become the hub for industrialization, logistics, and knowledge—an aspiration integral to achieving the status of the most economically viable state in Nigeria and Africa and with its considerable land size, proximity advantages, ongoing industrialization, and robust infrastructure, is actively creating an investor-friendly environment,” he said.

In his remarks, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Olaolu Olabimtan emphasized the resilience and sustainability of the budget to ensure economic and financial independence for the state.

He noted that the budget would capitalize on internally generated revenue, which would give room for more capital expenditure for infrastructural development.

In his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, highlighted the media parley as a crucial platform for journalists to engage with key decision-makers with the objective of enhancing public understanding of the state’s achievements and future plans, aligning with Governor Abiodun’s ISEYA mantra.

He underscored the administration’s commitment to various economic indices, citing achievements in ease of doing business, revenue generation, national growth, and industrialization.

Akinmade noted that the media interaction was poised to catalyze dialogue, transparency, and public awareness, contributing to the overarching goal of sustained growth and development in Ogun State.

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