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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Sanwo-Olu welcomes South Korean investment firm in housing, real estate, infrastructure

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…Says Lagos ready for business, open for new investments

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday reiterated his administration’s commitment to investments from local and international companies, saying Lagos is ready for business and open to new investments.

The Governor spoke during a courtesy visit by the management of the Daewoo Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited, led by its Group Chairman, Mr. Jung Won Ju, at the Lagos House, Ikeja.  

Governor Sanwo-Olu assured investors that his administration will create an enabling environment for investments and businesses to grow in the State.

He said the Lagos State Government is ready and willing to partner with Daewoo Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited in automobile, real estate and technology.

He said, “The relationship between South Korea and Nigeria dates back several decades and we all know how the Daewoo Industry is worldwide. We are aware of your strength and capacity. Lagos is ready for business and it is open for new investments. I know Daewoo Nigeria has been here for a while but this is an opportunity for you to take that relationship to another level.

“So, on this your visit, don’t let it just be a visit to show; let it be a visit of commitment and real partnership. Let it be a visit where there will be real transactions on the table that both of us can take away.

“We are here to create the enabling environment for investments and businesses to grow. So, whatever you need from our side for your investments within our means, you can be rest assured that we are willing to do it for as long as we see a mutually beneficial relationship.

“Our city is open. We are ready and willing to create that partnership with you in automobile, real estate and technology because we have a very strong and capable youth population that is dynamic. They are very professional and they are ready to work.”

Speaking earlier, Mr. Jung Won Ju, said his company will be investing in real estate and infrastructure in Nigeria, saying Lagos has been identified as one of the major investment areas because Lagos is the economic capital of Nigeria.

Also speaking, the General Manager, Contract and Business Development of Daewoo Engineering and Construction Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adekunle Ilesanmi, commended Lagos State for accommodating a lot of investments and providing an enabling environment for returns on investments.

He said, “We are going to be investing in housing, real estate and infrastructure. Daewoo has over 40 years of commitment in Nigeria. We are trying to increase our investments in the country and Lagos has been identified as one of the major investment areas because Lagos is the economic capital of Nigeria.

“The chairman is willing and has assured Mr. Governor that we will make that commitment in a short time, especially in real estate and housing.

“It is very commendable to see Lagos State accommodating a lot of investments and giving an enabling environment to all the investors coming in and ensuring that there is a return on investments. 

“That makes Lagos attractive because when you invest here, you are sure of a return on your investment. The government is going to support you to be able to have a return on your investment.”

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Democracy forced on Africa, not working — Obasanjo

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November 21, 2023

…We should have ‘Afro Democracy’ in place of Western Democracy — Former president recommends

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has said democracy has not been working as a system of government in Africa because it was “forced” on the continent.

Obasanjo stated this on Monday, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, in his address at a high-level consultation on “Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy for Africa.”

The former president said the Western style of democracy failed in Africa because it did not take into consideration the views of the majority of the people.

Obasanjo described Western Liberal Democracy as a “government of a few people over all the people or population.”

“These few people are representatives of only some of the people and not full representatives of all the people.

“Invariably, the majority of the people were wittingly or unwittingly kept out. This is why we should have ‘Afro Democracy’ in place of Western Liberal Democracy,” he asserted.

Obasanjo said African countries have no business operating a system of government in which they have no hands in its definition and design.

“The weakness and failure of liberal democracy as it is practised stem from its history, content, context and its practice.

“Once you move from all the people to representatives of the people, you start to encounter troubles and problems.

“For those who define it as the rule of the majority, should the minority be ignored, neglected and excluded?

“In short, we have a system of government in which we have no hands to define and design and we continue with it, even when we know that it is not working for us.

“Those who brought it to us are now questioning the rightness of their invention, its deliverability and its relevance today without reform,” he said.

Obasanjo explained that the essence of any system of government should be the welfare and well-being of the people.

“Here, we must interrogate the performance of democracy in the West — where it originated from — and with us the inheritors of what we are left with by our colonial powers.

“We are here to stop being foolish and stupid. Can we look inward and outward to see what in our country, culture, tradition, practice and living over the years that we can learn from?

“(Something) that we can adopt and adapt with practices everywhere for a changed system of government that will service our purpose better and deliver.

“We have to think out of the box and, after, act with our new thinking.

“You are invited here to examine clinically the practice of liberal democracy, identify its shortcomings for our society and bring forth ideas and recommendations that can serve our purpose better,” he said.

In his remarks, former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, noted that liberal democracy in Africa was confronted with many challenges.

Fayemi said the improvement of the welfare of the people remained important, saying that democracy faced challenges of delivery in Africa.

“Non-delivery of development outcomes for the people must be adequately addressed so that democracy can deliver,” he said. 

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KPMG celebrates Okubadejo, three others for meritorious service

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November 21, 2023

In a night filled with camaraderie, reflection, and applause, Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) celebrated the illustrious career of Mr. Dapo Okubadejo and three other outstanding professionals who served in varying capacities and contributed numerous years of meritorious service to the renowned firm.

The send-off dinner held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, was a fitting tribute to their dedication, excellence, and lasting impact on KPMG’s success.

The Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, delivered a heartfelt tribute to Okubadejo, describing him as an “embodiment of consultation and a seasoned veteran.”

Talabi acknowledged Okubadejo’s competitive drive, attributing his qualities to the prestigious standards of KPMG.

He expressed gratitude to the firm for shaping Okubadejo into an influential figure and a role model for all.

In his remarks, Partner and Head Advisory KPMG, West Africa, Mr. Olumide Olayinka, said that Okubadejo was recognised as a trusted advisor to investment firms, institutions, financial services entities, conglomerates, and strategic investors.

Olayinka noted that he had been a guiding force in deal advisory, saying his influence transcends sectors, consistently providing solutions for clients and leaving an indelible mark on KPMG’s success story.

Earlier in her address, Partner and Head of Enterprise Risk and ESG Services, KPMG Nigeria, Mrs. Tomi Adepoju, expressed immense delight in celebrating Dapo Okubadejo, Joseph Tegbe, Wole Obayomi, and Adetola Aibangbee for their immense contribution to the growth of the organisation.

Adepoju praised their collective impact within and outside the firm, citing their roles in inspiring confidence and driving positive change in society.

“The departure of these ‘Fantastic Four’ partners is not seen as a retirement but as a transition to new opportunities in the Nigerian, African, and international markets.

“KPMG acknowledges their invaluable contributions, shaping the firm’s success and positioning them as partners for life,” Adepoju said.

 Responding, the Ogun State Commissioner for Finance and the Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, recounted how his 31-year journey with the firm started.

He expressed gratitude to God for the journey and pledged eternal appreciation to his mentors. 

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Edo 2024: Airiavbere joins guber race, says APC must not remain in opposition

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November 21, 2023

By Elvis Omoregie, Benin

The immediate past Executive Director, Finance and  Administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), General Charles Airiavbere (Rtd), has said that Edo State must not continue to remain in the opposition, but align with the party at the federal level for the rapid development of the State.

He disclosed this before the people of Oredo Ward 1 of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benin City, while declaring his intention to contest the 2024 Edo State governorship election.

Airiavbere said that reclaiming the State from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) back to the APC is a task that must be achieved in the coming governorship election in the state, adding that the state is known as the heartbeat of the nation and it must maintain that toga.

“So, I have contested elections in Edo State to lead Edo people to a land of prosperity, a land of safety and a land of infrastructural development and that is why, five days after I retired, 2011, I joined the party at the federal level at that time.

“I could not have just been leaving the army and I come to Edo State and face the opposition.

“I contested seven months after I retired, I contested and I won the party’s ticket of the PDP with eight other people that contested against me – seven months, because my programmes were laudable, they were clinically explained that these were the programmes I have for the Edo people.

“In 2016, I left the PDP and joined the APC because that was the government at the federal level. I have always insisted that Edo State remains under the Federal Government because this is the heartbeat of the nation.

“How can the heartbeat be in another party and then you still say it is the heartbeat of the nation? It doesn’t work like that. And that is why we discovered a few days ago, I was hearing that those who even came for the PDP programme spent over six hours coming from Akoko-Edo to Benin.

“We cannot continue like that, we must trust the government at the federal level and we must key in; that we return this state to the APC government, is a task that must be done and  that is why I decided to throw in my cap into the ring

“We must be prepared. For a political party in opposition, I have experienced it. I have been on both sides, be it in opposition, being in government and I know what it is,” Airiavbere said.

Airiavbere said that APC as a party must field its best candidate which he represents and that he needs the support of all the party faithful to actualize his political ambition.

He said, “Some people are saying there should be zoning and there should not. You can only zone what you have and if you don’t have a daughter, you can’t give your daughter’s hand out in marriage.

“You can’t go and borrow and that is why APC must present the best and the best is standing before you.

“In 2016, we contested, Obaseki was the flag bearer of the APC and we supported him. 2020, we had a consensus that produced Pastor OsagieIze-Iyamu and that is why when I decided to come out, I said it is the turn of General Charles (GC).”

He said he can be trusted with leadership roles having demonstrated that in the NDDC.

“The changes in NDDC took place last few days of August, where I was the immediate past Executive Director, Finance and  Administration where I spent eight months. There was an effective change in the system to make sure that the nine Niger Delta states, for which the NDDC was established, have a new direction and I can tell you, those last eight months were eight years in operations to make sure that th1e policies for which NDDC was established was reshaped and redesigned. I can tell you, this is exactly what we have done.

“This is an opportunity for me to give you my scorecard of what we have done in NDDC. I got there, we didn’t have approved budgets from 2021, 2022 and 2023 and these are things we put in place in less than five months of my staying in NDDC.

“The welfare of staff became our main focus to make sure that we have a working force to carry out these new policies and as at the time, we were leaving in August, promotion exams have been done for two years, letters of promotions have been issued, trainings have been done to make sure that everyone is equipped, the platform was fully strengthened for continuity of policies. 

“I can assure you today, that NDDC is a bridge to foreign partners, to investment partners and that is what I intend to bring to Edo State,” Airiavbere said.

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Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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