Facebook to take on Google in Nigeria with new hub, $20 000 accelerator

Facebook also announced partnerships with seven other hubs across the country including in Abuja (Ventures Platform), Jos (nHub), Kaduna (Colab

Facebook also announced partnerships with seven other hubs across the country including in Abuja (Ventures Platform), Jos (nHub), Kaduna (Colab Hub), Kano (DI Hub), Uyo (Start Innovation Hub), Enugu (Roar Hub) and Port Harcourt (Ken Saro Wiwa Hub).

The social network said these hubs would serve as “centres of excellence” and will feature dedicated Facebook spaces, where many of Facebook’s training sessions will take place, and a space where creatives and developers can book to help them advance their skills.

Facebook today unveiled NG_Hub in Lagos and a new accelerator programme which will offer Nigerian startups $20 000 in equity-free funding

Today’s launch followed a statement in November last year by Facebook that it planned to launch a hub in Nigeria with CcHub this year.

The NG_Hub space includes workspaces, meeting rooms, games and chill out room, an event space and a well catered café, will also be the focal point for a number of training programmes.

Accelerator to offer $20 000 in equity-free funding

The hub will include Facebook’s Fb Start Accelerator programme– a research and mentorship-driven programme focused on those building solutions using advanced technology, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Facebook notes on its accelerator page that those accepted in the accelerator programme will get $20 000 in equity-free funding; product development and business support; access to technical experts and business mentors from the Facebook and CcHUB network and an office space with high-speed internet, meeting rooms and more.

To be eligible for the programme startups must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a functional product leveraging one of these technologies: artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), data science, artificial reality or virtual reality
  • Have gained some users or customers.
  • Have a technical lead and founder (s) that are fully committed to the business.
  • Have the potential to disrupt or greatly enhance their focus industries.

Startups that want to participate in the accelerator programme have until 22 June to apply (one can apply here).

As part of a week-long of celebrations, Facebook will host a number of events until Friday aimed at engaging the different communities in Lagos, and across Nigeria. This includes a community roundtable, a dev meetup, a VC and policy roundtable and an event aimed at women in tech.

Featured image: Ime Archibong, vice-president of partnerships at Facebook (Facebook Africa via Facebook)

Lagos Gov’t Rescues 24 Children From Illegal Orphanage Home (PHOTO)

The Lagos State Government on Monday, May 14, 2018, shut down another illegal orphanage home, Pro Labore Der (labour for

The Lagos State Government on Monday, May 14, 2018, shut down another illegal orphanage home, Pro Labore Der (labour for God) in Badagry area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria and rescued 24 children.

Officials of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development stormed the orphanage home at Gbetewo Village in Olorunda Local Council Development Area of Badagry and shut it for operating without approval.

The existence of the illegal home came to the notice of the Research Department of Ministry through a distress call which detailed the activities of the home to enforcement officers of the government who swung into action to carry out the rescue operation.

While the operator of the home absconded at arrival of government rescue team, children rescued during the operation were within the ages of four months and a pregnant 17-year old girl.

Agboola Dabiri, a Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, said the State was not going back on its words to make all illegal homes non-existence, stating that the children’s right was a priority to be protected.

Dabiri expressed grievances at uncertainty surrounding the general well-being of children in illegal homes, reiterating that unregistered homes had been given an ultimatum to register under government, as failure to comply meant automatic closure and charging operators to court.

“For no reason should children be deprived of their rights. Adequate care, feeding, shelter, clothing, and healthcare is their right. We are not against adoption, but patronage of illegal orphanage is a crime,” he warned.

He debunked believes that churches and mosques were eligible to register homes, saying religious organizations had no right to certify and authorize the operation of homes in the State.

“It is fine for churches, mosques to own orphanage homes. We are not against that, but they do not have the right to give licences or authorize the operation of a home. Only the Ministry has the mandate of regulating and authorizing operation of homes. No rest for illegal homes, nobody should hide behind religious organizations,” he said.

The Commissioner urged landlords in the State not to accommodate anyone seeking shelter in their houses, but must be aware of activities of their tenants to avoid harbouring criminals.

While commending the traditional chief of Gbetewo, Gabriel Babatunde Mehoto who was instrumental in the rescue, Dabiri called on members of the public to support government in its course to achieve a better and safer society.

Read more at PM News

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Marriages Conducted At Ikoyi Registry Are Not Legally Binding – High Court Says

The Lagos high court on Thursday, May 17, 2018, has ruled that marriages conducted by Federal Registry, Ikoyi is not

The Lagos high court on Thursday, May 17, 2018, has ruled that marriages conducted by Federal Registry, Ikoyi is not legally binding.

Petition for marriage divorce  Chuka Austine Obiozor, a judge, issued a restraining order to the Ikoyi registry from conducting marriages, saying it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to perform the duties of the state and local governments.

The judgement delivered on Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1760/16 said marriage registries in the local government and local council development areas of Lagos State are the authentic and legally-binding government divisions established to carry out such functions.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, May 17, 2018, Muslim Folami, a Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, said the judgment will be communicated to all stakeholders, including embassies.

He said the decision of the court is supreme and is legally binding on all and that all marriages conducted and registered in any of the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas are valid and in accordance with the marriage act.

According to him, the judgment will put a stop to the perception of superiority of Ikoyi Marriage Registry over the local government registries.

“We are going to use every available platform in the five divisions across the state to sensitize our people and inform them about this latest development; From Epe to Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja and Lagos Island,” he said.

In his remarks, Deji Sokeye, the president of the marriage registrars in all the local government and local council development areas, said the responsibilities of the LGAs/LCDAs has come back to them by the virtue of the law and as provided for in section 30 (1) of the marriage act and section 7 (5) of the 1999 constitution.

He said the judgement would restore confidence in the certificates already issued and those that will be awarded in future by the registries.

Read more at Vanguard

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Makoko residents protest police killings, destruction of property

Dozens of residents of Ori Oke, Makoko, in Lagos Friday marched to protest the killings and destruction of property of

Dozens of residents of Ori Oke, Makoko, in Lagos Friday marched to protest the killings and destruction of property of some Ilaje indigenes during a violence which broke out between the Ilaje community, police and Land Grabbers’ Task Force on May 10.

The protesters, who marched to the State Crime Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID), Panti, Yaba, bore different placards and chanted “Police are supposed to be our protector and not killers.”

Addressing the crowd, Adeola Ilori, a human rights lawyer, said what happened last Thursday was “totally illegal.” He said the land grabbers took laws into their hand and used the police as their instruments”.

“They took laws into their hands and attacked an harmless community; four people were killed and on Tuesday I can still count not less than 10 that are still critically injured,” Mr Ilori said.

“I have read the land grabbers law passed in 2017, it is about three pages and 26 sections. There is no place that gives right to the land grabbers’ committee or task force to kill, maim and burn down a church just to reclaim a land.

“The only section that empowers the land grabbers’ task force to intervene is to ask the two parties to check the land documents and I was told this particular land has been taken to court of appeal.

“Since last week Thursday, the governor has not issued any statement to condemn the issue or visit the affected people and pay condolence to the dead neither has the commissioner done that and we know they have heard.”

Present at the protest were officials of Yaba Local Council Development Authority,: Centre for the Defence of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CDHRA; Ilaje National Alliance Movement; among other civil society groups.

Mr Ilori said although the commissioner had said the police officers and other government officials who were involved in the illegal operation had been arrested, no one had been charged to court.

“We want all of them arraigned in court including officers of the Lagos State Land Grabbers’ Taskforce and their chairman, Jide Bakare, and get justice for our people,” Mr Ilori said.

“Seun Areku, popularly known as Ijaya, Tobi Oloruntoba, OC Makoko Police Post were those who shot people during the violence, those at the hospital confessed.

“We want the repair of their church, we want compensation for the dead and those in the hospital medical bills must be taken care of and they must stop this act from now on,” he said.

Solomon Gbinigie, the councillor representing Ward A in Yaba local council, said an injustice had been perpetrated against the Ori Oke people.

“There is nobody that has a replacement for human lives, Seyi is gone, Kolawole is gone but the land is there,” Mr Gbinigie said.

“We must ensure that all officers involved in this are brought to book.”

Tunde Emmanuel, the National Public Relations Officer of INAMO, described the attack as a “witchhunt on the Ilaje nation.”

“They have done this in Itedo and three other places in Lagos and what we heard was that Governor Ambode said anywhere the Ilaje are residing in Lagos, they should drive them away,” said Mr Emmanuel.

“This land has been occupied by the Ilaje people for more than 80 years, automatically they are the owner of the land, just recently, the Coker family claimed to be the owner of the land and they have been attacked afterwards.

“The case has been in court and they have won the first time and now they are back in the Court of Appeal.

“People retaliated when they came on Thursday and started destroying their property and they were maimed and killed by the policemen. We are Yorubas and not foreigners, we are entitled to our lands.”

Esther Omisakin, a hairdresser whose shop was set ablaze during the incident, said she was unable to salvage anything from her shop.

“I was called that Taskforce are around and when I got there I saw three vehicles. We were told to start packing our things that they want to burn the shops without any prior warning and before we could park, they have begun throwing broken bottles to the window of the church, spraying bullets for anybody that comes around and the place was set ablaze,” said a tearful Ms Omisakin.

“As they arrived I was just setting up, they went into the church premises arrested Papa and Tobi and told us that they didn’t come for us. They came with hooligans as well.”

Dauda Alade, who does SIM cards registration opposite the church, said hoodlums took away his work tools.

“All of a sudden they started destroying the church. The police who told me that they are not concerned about us and asked me to close my shop were the ones who came back and asked me to open it or else they will shoot it; and immediately I opened it. The gun was hammered on my head and I was dragged into the police van.

“Right there the hooligans took my three laptops for sim registration away alongside phones given to me to charge. Now I am sleeping not having anything to do after I have been released on Saturday from Area C Command alongside Papa and Tobi.”

Maurice Fangon, a professor and the Secretary-General of the Centre for Defence of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA), said the Land Grabbers’ Task Force are always ready to turn any situation into a money making venture for the state government.

“By the time, (governor) Ambode wins the second term, he will do worse,” he said.

“You can see the case of Otodo Gbame and Atiporo. We currently have over 14 cases of forceful eviction, invasion and the likes in court.”

Responding to the protesters, Yetunde Alonge, an Assistant Commissioner of Police who heads the State CIID, said the police would ensure the community gets justice.

“Immediately the incident happened, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Imohimi Edgal, called the community leaders, issued a press statement and set up an independent committee to investigate the matter,” she said.

Lagos Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal. [Photo credit: Lagos State Police Command  ]

“Those identified already to be at the scene of the violence have been arrested and investigation is on-going and the CP will not rest on his oars until justice prevail especially when it comes to community policing issue like this,” she assured the protesters.

SARS Operative Arrested For Extorting N5,000 From Woman

Inspector Charles Omotosho   The police have arrested one Inspector Charles Omotosho, an operative of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad

SARS Operative Arrested For Extorting N5,000 From Woman
Inspector Charles Omotosho


The police have arrested one Inspector Charles Omotosho, an operative of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over alleged extortion.

Omotosho was apprehended for allegedly arresting a lady in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, after which he was said to have forcefully collecting N5,000 from the victim.

The Police Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) revealed this on Friday in its news bulletin through an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Abayomi Shogunle.

“On 16th May, 2018, the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) received a complaint from a citizen via Twitter [@ife_luv12] that a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Operative forced her to make a bank transfer of Five Thousand Naira (N5,000) to the said SARS operative’s bank account following an arrest for no just cause.

“PCRRU immediately registered the case (Tracking Number PCRRU316356) and initiated an investigation. The officer was promptly identified to be Inspector Charles Omotosho attached to Federal SARS, Ikorodu, Lagos State,” the statement read.

Inspector Charles Omotosho holding a copy of his statement of bank account which confirms the alleged extortion of N5,000.


The police unit revealed that Omotosho was immediately removed from front-line police duties and taken into custody after he was identified to have purportedly committed the crime.

It added that a copy of the officer’s statement of bank account was obtained and the entry of the said transfer was discovered therein in the course of a preliminary investigation.

PCRRU noted that it established that there was a contact between the officer’s patrol team and the complainant and others at Ikorodu as contained in the complaint.

A screenshot of the complaint as received by the Police PCRRU via Twitter


Consequently, Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, directed the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2 Command, Lagos to carry out a detailed investigation.

The IGP also ordered the AIG to commence the immediate necessary disciplinary action against Omotosho, as provided for in the Police Act and Regulations Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

PCRRU said it has handed the erring officer to the AIG Zone 2 Command, Lagos together with a print out of his statement of bank account for necessary action while the outcome would be made public soon.

It, however, urged members of the public who are not happy with any encounter with the police not to resort to self-help but lodge a complaint at PCRRU via any of its readily available means.

The PCRRU channels are, “Calls Only: 0805 700 0001, 0805 700 0002 | SMS and WhatsApp Only: 0805 700 0003 |  BBM: 58A2B5DE  | Twitter: @PoliceNG_PCRRU |Facebook: www.facebook.com/PolicePCRRU | Email: complaint@npf.gov.ng OR PolicePCRRU@gmail.com | Website: www.npf.gov.ng/complaint.”

The police unit also vowed that any act of impunity by any of the force personnel would be resisted, maintaining that bail is free.

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US Bitcoin Digital Wallet Plans To Launch Blockchain Incubation Hub In Nigeria

Paxful is launching a blockchain incubation hub in Lagos. Photo – TechCity U.S. Bitcoin marketplace and digital wallet, Paxful is

Paxful is launching a blockchain incubation hub in Lagos. Photo - TechCity

blockchain incubation hub
Paxful is launching a blockchain incubation hub in Lagos. Photo – TechCity

U.S. Bitcoin marketplace and digital wallet, Paxful is planning to establish a blockchain incubation hub in Lagos, Nigeria.

Paxful intends to show its commitment to the African market by investing in the blockchain incubation hub, which will launch in the next few months, according to Techcity.

The peer-to-peer marketplace will set the incubator up as a co-working space which will offer networking and advice for initial coin offerings, corporate blockchain training and mentorship for Nigerian developers working with blockchain.

The company has over 1.7 active million monthly users on its platform, with these users able to purchase, sell or accept bitcoin, while its global wallet enables funds to be exchanged, with over 300 different payment methods available, including Amazon Pay and PayPal.

Blockchain technology is showing signs of steady growth across the continent, with Africans embracing the technology and the solutions that it promises to modern-day challenges.

As blockchain technology enables a continuously growing list of records to be linked and secured using cryptography, the applications for this tech may solve a number of economic and political issues that are currently experienced in Africa.

A blockchain incubation hub in Lagos

Paxful CEO Ray Youssef explained the company’s focus on Africa and their efforts to support blockchain entrepreneurs across the continent.

“Paxful is committed to fostering economic growth in Africa and helping the unbanked and underbanked gain access to the opportunities they have been denied for so long,” Youssef said, according to BitcoinMagazine.

“The incubator is simply a starting point to help driven entrepreneurs in an industry that has shattered boundaries all over the world,” he added.

Nigeria has been selected as the base for its African blockchain incubation hub due to the popularity of Paxful in the country, but also because of Nigeria’s successful startup culture.

Ahead of the incubator launching in Lagos, the company has hired its first African executive to oversee the hub’s day-to-day operations and recruit the necessary staff, according to ITWebAfrica.

Chuta Chimezie has been appointed as Paxful’s Regional Director of Africa, and in addition to his work in running the incubation hub, he will work to improve brand awareness and create educational content.

Prior to joining Paxful, Chimezie founded the Blockchain Nigeria User Group, a selection of advocates and entrepreneurs working to increase the adoption of these emerging technologies in Nigeria.

The post appeared first on Moguldom.

Teni – Askamaya (prod. Spellz) + LAGOS (prod. Jaysynths Beatz)

Teni – Askamaya (prod. Spellz) + LAGOS (prod. Jaysynths Beatz) Rave of the moment and Nigeria’s certified “Rookie” of the

Teni - Askamaya (prod. Spellz) + LAGOS (prod. Jaysynths Beatz)

Teni – Askamaya (prod. Spellz) + LAGOS (prod. Jaysynths Beatz)

Rave of the moment and Nigeria’s certified “Rookie” of the year – TENI (The Entertainer) basks in the euphoria of claiming one of the major accolades at the last HEADIES by dropping two brand new singles, from her armoury of hits from the Dr. Dolor Entertainment Camp.

“ASKAMAYA”, produced by the uniquely talented Spellz, shows TENI in her ever amazing element as she delivers with unique dexterity that shows her musical maturity over the years.

“LAGOS”, produced by Jaysynths Beatz, is an ode to the Nigeria’s Center of Excellence – Lagos State, as TENI waxes lyrical about the beautiful city of Lagos, a song which would give any Lagosian (resident or indegene) goosebumps at the press of the play button.

Both singles truly shows that TENI, having horned her craft over the years and teaming up with Dr. Dolor Entertainment, is definitely a new breathe of fresh in the African music scene and these singles are just the icing on the cake of what is to come from TENI and Dr. Dolor.


DOWNLOAD “Askamaya”


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Seedstars mulls expansion of co-working offering Seedspace in Nigeria [Q&A]

Read more: Seedspace in drive to buy up, partner with co-working spaces across world In an emailed Q&A, Ventureburn interacted with Navarrete to find

Read more: Seedspace in drive to buy up, partner with co-working spaces across world

In an emailed Q&A, Ventureburn interacted with Navarrete to find out more.

Ventureburn: Have you had any applications for any local and foreign entrepreneurs and co-workers looking to be based at Seedspace Cairo?

Romulo Navarrete: So far we have four different teams occupying the space (as of a week before the launch – ed).

Within these teams, we have a mobile payment startup, a film streaming platform bringing foreign-language films available in Egypt, a marketing agency, and a software company. Also, we are hosting our Seedstars Academy programme in-house, where we train talents to co-create startups with us.

VB: What co-working sites does Seedstars have in Africa?

RN: We have Lagos, Nigeria; Abidjan, Ivory Coast (launched in February); Cape Town, South Africa; Cairo, Egypt. Casablanca (Morocco) is planned for this mid-year (June or July). They are all brand new hubs with the exception of Cape Town in which we did a joint venture with an existing co-working space.

VB: How are the hubs in Africa performing so far?

RN: In Abidjan we have around 20 or more members and itinerant digital nomads that come to stay at our co-living area. We also have a Seedstars Academy focused in edtech to tackle the access to good education challenge for Ivorians.

In Cape Town we have 50 or more members that range from startups, to SMEs and freelancers, not only South African but with a very large community of expats that have foreseen the opportunities in the city: this really adds a lot to the cultural mix we always have loved! Furthermore, we are receiving a group of 20 or more digital nomads in the second semester.

In Lagos we have over 90 members.

VB: You say that the aim is to have 15 hubs around the world by the end of this year. Where in Africa will you open next?

RN: Our next opening is Casablanca, Morocco and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

VB: What so far has been the best performing Seedspace (in terms of number of participants and startups assisted and revenue earned by Seedstars)?

RN: In terms of best-performing hub, I’d say Seedspace Lagos is by far the best and this might be because of the potential that Nigeria has an entrepreneurial ecosystem and also because in Lagos we deploy pretty much all our Seedstars activities.

We not only have a physical hub with co-working and co-living (co-living for the moment reserved for the internal staff) but also run a Seedstars Academy (training talent for venture building), Seedstars Growth (acceleration programme), Seedstars World (startup pitch competition) and we are the home for two ventures that we created in the fintech industry: QuickCheck (micro-lending platform) and InvoizPaid (factoring).

No wonder also that we have several finalists for the Seedstars World competition that are from Nigeria! For this performance, we are looking to analyze the possibility of expanding within Nigeria.

VB: What should those looking to partner with Seedstars and then get their hub or co-working space rebranded as a Seedspace know?

RN: We are quite open to discuss with potential partners and dig in further to have an agreement that best suits the interests of both parties.

The most important aspect of the conversation is definitely the cultural fit and alignment with the vision. We are looking for partners that, just like us, believe that entrepreneurship and technology can indeed make a difference in emerging markets and that they walk the talk.

From having a similar view on the business, then we jump into the specifics of the business of having a hub.

We want to make an impact but we are fully aware that we need to be sustainable, and for this we have some “real state” requirements: spaces over 1000 square metres, in emerging ecosystems and strategically located within the city. We then have a team dedicated to analyse the feasibility of the project.

VB: What should owners of these spaces bring to the table for Seedstars? What kind of support do you get from Seedstars as an owner?

RN: In terms of what we bring to the table, we bring a proven business-model together with central services, such as marketing, people operations and finance.

This helps all the spaces to be aligned and suppresses a burden for the local entity, and most importantly, we bring our global community of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, press and corporates interested in innovation.

If ever somebody wants to enter into a conversation (with us on this) they can write to me at romulo@seedstars.com.

*Editor’s note (11 May 2018): In an email in November last year Seedspace Cape Town lead Nathan Heller told Ventureburn that there were currently Seedspaces in Durban, Nairobi and Addis Ababa. However, these are no longer listed by Seedstars as part of the Seedspace network.

Heller explained in an email this week that there was an affiliate model in progress at the time, but that this is no longer the case and that the organisation now has “a much clearer and more permanent own hub model and partnering with existing hubs eg Cape Town taking place”.

[Song] Teni – “Askamaya” + “Lagos”

Doctor Dolor Entertainment act, Teni releases two new songs titled Askamaya and Lagos. The singer recorded a considerable amount of success

Doctor Dolor Entertainment act, Teni releases two new songs titled Askamaya and Lagos.

The singer recorded a considerable amount of success in 2017. It was the year in which she released a hit single titled Fargin, got songwriting credit for one of the biggest pop songs Like Dat and signed a record deal. Teni continued to build on her early success with the release a song titled Wait, earlier this year.

The recently crowned Headies Rookie of the year, offers two new singles with the hope of entertaining her growing fanbase. One of the songs titled Askamaya comes in the form of a melodious Afro-pop tune. Askamaya was produced by Spellz and it is a material worthy of listening.

Teni switches to a mood of reflection on  Lagos, narrating some of her experiences in the City of opportunities. She sings about these experiences as the reason she loves the City. Its a song that shares a lot of similarities with Wizkid’s Ojuelegba. It is a fine piece for an artiste of her stature and she would need more of such songs to rise to claim a spot at the zenith of the industry.

Listen to Askamaya + Lagos below



Quotable Lyrics

Omoge loke loke

Omoge loke loke

Omoge loke loke

Omoge loke loke

The post [Song] Teni – “Askamaya” + “Lagos” appeared first on TooXclusive.

Lagos Seeks Partnership With World Bank To Boost Economy

  The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has asked the World Bank to partner with the state government in funding


The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has asked the World Bank to partner with the state government in funding key projects in transportation, energy and water sector.

Governor Ambode stated that such partnership will positively impact the economy not the state alone but the country as a whole.

He made this known on Thursday during a courtesy visit by Executive Directors of the Bank led by Mr. Patrizio Pagano in Alausa, Ikeja.

Governor Ambode said that the State Government in the last three years had hugely invested in the provision of infrastructure across all sectors and sections, but collaboration from the Bretton Wood institution in key sectors in the State would go a long way in boosting the economy and making life comfortable for the people.

He said available statistics from the United Nations confirmed the fact that an average of 86 people enter into Lagos every one hour which is the highest in the world, while the population of the State was now around 24million, with attendant impact on infrastructure and other social amenities, adding that the complexity of the State makes the need for support in funding key projects more compelling.

“The significance of Lagos to the overall economy of Nigeria itself is not what we want to toy with and so when I read in the brief that the delegation would be coming to Lagos, I thought it was a very good decision that you would be able to see some of the sectors and some of the impact we have made.

“So, if the World Bank was to generally support the development of the Nigerian economy, beyond the fact that you would be having anything to do with the Federal Government, I think that the greater part of what you should concentrate on should be issues that relate to major sectors that have to do with Lagos because anything that is driven by Lagos more or less has an overall positive impact on the Nigerian economy,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor Ambode led- the administration had commenced the process of implementing major reforms in the transport sector with major bus terminals and laybys springing up in key areas across the State, adding however that major support was also needed in areas of integrated transport system involving road, rail, and water transportation.

While alluding to the traffic congestion on the Airport Road by the leader of the delegation, the Governor said the development was a signpost of the fact that there was an urgent need to invest massively in other modes of transportation.

“Unfortunately, with the huge population of Lagos, we just have some effective operation of one mode of transportation which is a road. So, technically, when you are having a whole lot of people coming into the State and you are having so much expansion around the West Coast, it is important that we review the integration of our public transport management system in a manner that we can actually stand to say that we are planning ahead of the kind of urbanization challenges that we are having in our hands as well as some sense of implosion in terms of population coming from other parts of the country into Lagos.

“So, technically there are major reforms going on in the public transport system and because the roads and the infrastructure are the things that are visible right now, it is important that we seek greater support to be able to create new terminals, create new laybys, new bus stops and actually even purchase new buses because when you look at the bus system in the city, it cannot actually meet the demand of a globally competitive city that we are trying to make Lagos become.

“In that regard, I just think that the transport sector is one area that we really need to look at and if we are able to make a good example and a good success of what Lagos should really be in terms of integrated transport system, we would have helped Nigeria to create an example and we would have also been able to replicate it in other parts of the country,” the Governor said.

He said Lagos, being a sub-national was also having challenges in providing energy to adequately power the State, as well as in the area of providing potable water to the huge population due to competing for pressure on resources, adding that support to augment efforts being made by the State Government would equally be helpful.

Besides, Governor Ambode thanked the World Bank for the various budget support initiatives in transport, Agric, and water sectors, saying the support had crystallized not only in development and growth of the State but also resulted in stronger ties with the institution.

Responding to a question on how Lagos contributed to Nigeria’s economic recovery and growth plan, the Governor said his administration decided to reflate the economy by investing massively in key sectors which in turn touched even the lower fabric of the economy, saying the development changed the tied of the negative outlook of the country’s financial numbers, and eventually stabilized the economy.

“The last three years have been tremendously progressive for Lagos. We have done so much in terms of infrastructure to make sure that the city stabilizes. We are very strong in the area of security and right now, Lagos appears to be the safest city in Africa and security wise we have been able to put the city back on track and it has stabilized a whole lot of investment here.

“We believe also that if we continue in that path, some years to come we would become the third largest economy in Africa,” the Governor said.

Earlier, Pagano said the delegation, which consists of 10 World Bank Executive Directors representing 96 countries, was in Nigeria to study the challenges and expectations of the partners in West Africa from the bank, saying the team was delighted to learn the challenges faced by Lagos, which he described as Nigeria’s most dynamic State.

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