The Lagos State Government, through the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment (Lagos Global), has declared that it has received approximately $43 billion investment proposition within one year of inception.
Prof. Ademola Abass, Special Adviser, Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment disclosed this on Thursday at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja during the Y2016 Ministerial Press Briefing of the Lagos State Government as part of activities marking the one year anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration in the state.
The Special Adviser said Lagos as an investment destination of choice is vigorously pursuing measures geared towards enhancing the ease of doing business, adding that investors are showing considerable interest in tapping into the investment opportunities in the state.
He noted that the state government has approved a good number of investment proposals out of the one hundred and thirty-nine (139) that are at various stages of consideration at the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment.
While revealing that the State approved investment proposals covering six (6) sectors, namely: environment, infrastructure, health, manufacturing, real estate and transportation, Abass observed that since the setting up of Lagos Global, it has been working to ensure that investors who desire to invest in Lagos enjoy a seamless and hurdle-free experience.
In his words, “By streamlining its internal working processes and adopting a project proposal template to eliminate difficulties associated with multi-agency handling of investments, Lagos Global has set the stage for a first-class service delivery to investors, right from the point of initial enquiry down to the setting up and running of businesses in Lagos State.”
The Special Adviser stated further that the Lagos Global liaises with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) particularly the focal investment MDAs in the State, through its Inter-Ministerial Coordination Department in performing its role as a one-stop shop for investment, stressing that the Office has established a cadre of ‘Investment Champions’ across all MDAs to serve as the interface between Lagos Global and MDAs in order to ensure effective collaboration and create a synergy in investment activities across board.
AMBODE APPROVES N1.5B PENSION FUND FOR LG RETIREES
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the release of N1.5billion intervention fund for the payment of outstanding gratuities and pension arrears of local government retirees in the state.
Mr. Akintola Benson Oke, the State Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pension, who disclosed this today at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa Ikeja during the 2016 Ministerial Press Briefing of the Lagos State Government to commemorate the first year anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration in Lagos State, added that the government has also approved the sum of N1.7billion being the balance of 142% pension arrears to the same categories of retirees.
According to him, “The payment of backlog of outstanding entitlement of retirees has been a major challenge of the Local Government Commission and the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) due to the fact that the 5% statutory funding provision was a far cry from the liabilities that has accumulated. Therefore, the order from the Governor that the state fund be utilize to offset this backlog, is a welcome development.”
He listed parastatals that would benefit from the payment to include: Lagos Water Corporation, Radio Lagos/Eko F.M, Lagos Television, Lagos State Printing Corporation, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) as well as the Centre for Rural Development (CERUD).
Others are: Lagos State Sports Commission, Lagos State Agricultural Input and Supply Agency, Lagos State Council for Arts & Culture and Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority.
The Commissioner however noted that the payment to the affected pensioners would be effected as soon as the verification exercise is concluded.
Similarly, Mr. Oke disclosed that since the commencement of the Retirement Benefit Bond Certificate Presentation in 2010, the State Government has paid accrued pension rights of about N48.08billion to more than 10,000 retirees/ deceased/withdrawn staff, stressing that the Ministry has also been able to maintain the trend of paying terminal entitlement of retired employees monthly since it started in August, 2015.
He also hinted that the regular deduction of 7.5% from staff’s salaries and the corresponding 7.5% by the State Government into the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) of Staff have cumulatively risen to N64billion approximately since inception of the scheme in 2007.
LAGOS GENERATES OVER N8BILLION FROM LAND MATTERS
…SIGN 5,625 CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
The Lagos State Government has generated over N8billion from land matters between May 2015 and March 2016 while Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has signed 5,625 Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) within same period.
Mr. Bode Agoro, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau made this known at the ongoing 2016 Ministerial Press Briefing of the Lagos State Government to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration in the State.
He said the feat was borne out of the state government’s strong will, immense capacity for hard work and desire to escalate and accelerate the process of issuing land title.
According to him, “the need for the acceleration of the titling process is that a high number of property owners in the state have realized the importance of having titles for their lands, especially the business community, as registered land titles are major documents needed as collateral for obtaining facilities from financial institutions.”
In addition, Agoro pointed out that the Directorate of Land Services in the Bureau has also introduced a new form IC which incorporates the passport photograph of the purchaser which will also be affixed on the deeds, emphasizing that only one deed will be released to the applicant in line with what obtains with the processing of Certificate of Occupancy.
On the issue of land grabbers popularly known as ‘Ajagungbale/Omoonile’, Mr. Bode Agoro lamented that the hoodlums have constituted themselves as nuisance to the peace and socio-economic activities of the state in regards to land transaction, especially as it relates to allottees of Government land.
He disclosed that as part of efforts to curb the nefarious activities of these miscreants, the legislative arm of Government has proposed a Bill to prohibit forcible entry and occupation of landed properties, violent and fraudulent conduct in relation to landed properties in Lagos State and for connected purposes.
The Bill, which is expected to become a Law and take effect in the third quarter of 2016, will criminalise the activities of land grabbers with prison terms ranging from 2-10 years upon conviction.
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