Tourism: Lagos Economy Hits Over =N=50Bn Cash Transactions Last December

The Lagos State economy, for the second year consecutively raked in a major and unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the yuletide season. Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde disclosed on Saturday.

Trends and reports monitored by the Lagos State Government over the four weeks in December, especially during Christmas and New Year festivities, captured an estimated spending, well above =N=50bn in cash transactions, a record slightly higher than December 2017 which also recorded a good run in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spending.

The monitored reports attributed the positive trend to the peak in entertainment activities; huge influx of people from neighboring states, neighboring countries and holiday makers from abroad who either chose Lagos as their primary destination or transit to other parts of Nigeria last December.

In a press statement he signed, Ayorinde said various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses as well as event venues, shopping malls and cinema box office earnings captured an estimated direct spending of over =N=50bn within the entertainment and tourism sector in Lagos State alone.

He said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone with a multi-billion naira spending in tow in hotel lodgings, local in-bound flights and taxi/chartered transportation, alcohol and beverage consumption; culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; concerts and clubs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, and private security guards, which are all now part of the tourism and entertainment ecosystem.

“Like in 2017, last December in Lagos was hugely creative economy-friendly, which again affirms the State’s preeminence not just as West Africa’s commercial hub but also its entertainment nerve-centre,” Ayorinde said, adding that the beauty of this assertion is that the surge in the creative enterprise over the yuletide period was felt by all and sundry; was statistically measurable and is now a subject of discussion among analyts.

The Commissioner said there was a slight correlation between the horrific gridlock in some parts of Lagos during the yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.

According to him, the high volume of economic activity that were directly related to tourism-related visits, entertainment and leisure accounted for a significant chunk of the total value of transactions in the State of 21million residents whose estimated GDP of $136bn in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.

The statement attributed the State’s continued high performance in the creative economy to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s deliberate interest in and commitment to the development of infrastructure, security and ideas that impact positively on tourism, entertainment and shopping.

He cited the State’s “innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events which was released in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month.”

Said Ayorinde: “December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities. Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 to 31st, other big concerts like those by Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and of course huge spending.

“Hotels were filled to capacity in most parts of the State and we are aware that Lagos and Calabar benefited from additional scheduled flights due to the huge attractions of Calabar Carnival, OLF and the A-list Concerts in Lagos.”

He added that virtually all the entertainment sub-sectors recorded huge spendings in billions over the yuletide period with 15 top foreign and local box office hit films released across the state hitting a record N3bn revenue in December alone; while parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.

The statement added that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to Lagos in 2018.

First was the British report in Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listing Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for summer holiday. The second was the MasterCard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranking Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.

The Commissioner said these remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with the vision of Governor Ambode to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa and “to assure corporate institutions and investors that the State security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing entertainment and creative landscape in Lagos.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment eco-system In December.”

Dangote Refinery Receives Major Component

As it prepares to roll out in 2019, Dangote Oil Refining Company (DORC), has taken delivery of one of the major components of its refinery equipment, the regenerator for the Residual Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC).

Mr Rama Putta, the Head of Quality Assurance/Quality Compliance and Construction, DORC, stated this on Sunday in Lagos.

The Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) is one of the most important conversion processes used in petroleum refineries.

It is widely used to convert the high-boiling, high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions of petroleum crude oils into more valuable gasoline, olefinic gases, and other products.

Putta said the sand filling of the site had been completed, adding that 60 per cent of the land was swampy.

“The refinery equipment are coming in semi-finished shape and we will finish the assembling here at the sight.

“ The remaining is being manufactured in various countries, including China, India, America, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia,” he said.

Mr Devakumar Edwin, Executive Director, Dangote Group, said the 650,000 barrels per day refinery would stimulate economic development in Nigeria.

He said the refinery was designed to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude and produce extremely clean fuels that met Euro V specification.

He said usually, the sulphur in petroleum fuels results in vehicle exhaust emissions that have negative impact on health and environment, adding that the Dangote plant has invested in most advanced technology to produce Euro V fuel due to help Nigeria meet the European Standard of gasoline.

He said the project would provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs and add value to the Nigeria’s economic development, noting that the refinery will lead to significant skills transfer and technology acquisition opportunities in the country.

The company has commenced the installation of equipment for the 650,000 barrels-per-day crude oil refinery being built in the Lekki area of Lagos.

The refinery has continued to receive heavy equipment, through the Dangote jetty, located close to the refinery in the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

It would be recalled that the jetty, constructed by Dangote Oil Refinery received its first ship of 132 metres long, 9,755 tonnes general cargo ship, last year to deliver essential equipment for the ongoing construction.

The refinery is designed to accommodate multiple grades of domestic and foreign crude and process these into high-quality gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuels that meet Euro V emissions specifications, plus polypropylene.

It will include a crude distillation unit, single-train residual fluid catalytic cracking unit, diesel hydro-treating unit, continuous catalyst regeneration unit, alkylation unit, and a polypropylene unit.

The refinery will also be able to adjust its production of different products to match market demands. (NAN)

EXCLUSIVE PICTURES: BBC Hosts Beyond Fake News Conference In Abuja

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) delivered the keynote address on the spread and dangers of fake news.

A distinguished panel made up of Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka; Founder, Bella Naija, Uche Pedro; President, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Editor-in-Chief, New Telegraph Newspaper, Funke Egbemode; Jamie Angus and INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Festus Okoye who represented the INEC Chairman, had a robust discussion moderated by Seriously Speaking Host and Publisher, Today’s Woman, Adesuwa Oyenokwe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC Hosts Beyond Fake News Conference, Visits Buhari

On Wednesday, January 9, Jamie Angus, Director of the BBC World Service Group and Toyosi Ogunseye, Head, BBC West Africa, hosted over 300 guests at a Beyond Fake News Conference titled, Nigeria 2019: Countering Fake News. The event held at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) delivered the keynote address on the spread and dangers of fake news.

A distinguished panel made up of Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka; Founder, Bella Naija, Uche Pedro; President, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Editor-in-Chief, New Telegraph Newspaper, Funke Egbemode; Jamie Angus and INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Festus Okoye who represented the INEC Chairman, had a robust discussion moderated by Seriously Speaking Host and Publisher, Today’s Woman, Adesuwa Oyenokwe.

The engaging panel also had stimulating exchanges with the audience that included chairmen of political parties, lawmakers, civil society, diplomatic community, government officials, media owners/leaders and youth influencers.

In her welcome address, Ogunseye explained why the BBC was leading the conversation on Fake News, the importance of the conference and what the BBC will be delivering during the 2019 elections. They include: the Fake News conference, 10 governorship language debates in Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin, weekly fact checking content from the BBC’s digital team in Lagos and Reality Check team in London and the largest deployment ever by the BBC in Africa- over 50 reporters will be covering the Nigerian elections. There will be a minimum of one BBC reporter per state.

One of the highlights of the conference was Jamie’s commitment to sharing all BBC fact checking content with as many media organisations as possible.

Later that day, Jamie, the News Editor for Nigeria, Aliyu Tanko and Ogunseye met and had a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at his private residence. They told him about their plans for Nigeria- BBC’s largest audience. President Buhari, in his kind and witty remarks, was full of praises for the BBC, especially its fight against fake news and its expanded presence in Nigeria.

On January 10, the BBC’s governorship debates was kicked off in Nasarawa and Kwara states. The interesting debates can still be watched on BBC Hausa and BBC News Yoruba websites and Facebook pages.

Next week, the governorship debates will hold in Lagos (Yoruba), Akwa Ibom (Pidgin) and Gombe( Hausa). Please see attached flyer for more details.

 

Saraki Is A Liar, Police Reply Senate President On Attack Against Him

Nigeria Police has denied allegations contained in a statement issued by the Senate President Bukola Saraki, accusing the police of undermining his security and giving cover to people who were unleashing violence on his supporters in Kwara State.

In a statement issued by the Force spokesman Jimoh Moshood on Friday in Abuja, the police described the allegations as incorrect, misleading and false.

The police urged the public to disregard and discountenance the allegations.

”The Nigeria Police Force wishes to categorically state that all the allegations in the statement of the Senate President are incorrect, misleading and false and should be disregarded and discountenanced by the general Public, Moshood stated.

Read the full police statement below:

”The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a statement in the media credited to the Senate President on the recent political development in Kwara State where he raised allegations that “…the entire world to hold the IGP responsible if anything untoward happens to members of my family and myself”.

”The Nigeria Police Force wishes to categorically state that all the allegations in the statement of the Senate President are incorrect, misleading and false and should be disregarded and discountenanced by the general Public.
The Nigeria Police Force did not give any protection to any political thug or shield any APC thug to go to family quarters of the Senate President in Agbaji, Ilorin and vandalize houses, shops and inflict wounds with machete on three (3) people as claimed by the Senate President.
The Police did not receive any complaint or report of gunshot and wounding as claimed by the Senate President in other areas he mentioned such as Adewole/Adeta, Ile-otan and ubandawaki/pakata.

”For avoidance of doubt, there was no complaint reported at any Police division within Ilorin metropolis or any other Police Division on the 10th January, 2019 to today 11th January 2019 of any attack, wounding, shooting and destruction of any property by any individual(s) or any political party on their members.
However, Security within Ilorin metropolis and other locations in kwara State has beefed-up to ensure security of all Nigerians living in the State.

”It is pertinent to state that all Police personnel attached to the person of the Senate President, his office and family are intact and all the statutory security protection on the person of the Senate President are also accorded him all the time and there was no complaint from the Senate President before now to the Police on this.

”It is incumbent on the Force to set the record straight and correct the wrong impressions that must have been created in the minds of the general Public and the International Community from the misinformation and misleading account from the Senate President. The Inspector General of Police did not try any trick to implicate the Senate President in some criminal charges; the facts are in the public domain about the suspects of the Offa Bank Robbery now being prosecuted who implicated the Senate President in the matter.

”The Nigeria Police Force is hereby assuring all Nigerians that the Nigeria Police Force has no any undisguised hostility to the Senate President or his supporters in Kwara State or to jeopardize or undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family. The Force will continue to be apolitical and will ensure adequate security throughout the Country for all political parties, their members and supporters before, during and after the 2019 General Election.”

My Life Is In Danger – Saraki Cries Out

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki on Friday, raised concern over his safety and those of his political supporters in his state, Kwara.

Saraki, Director-general of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, at a news conference in Abuja, accused the security agencies of giving cover to people who were unleashing violence on the supporters of the PDP across the state.

A similar allegation had been made by the opposition All Progressives Congress members in the state, who alleged that PDP thugs destroyed billboards and posters across the state and in one instance at the Emir’s Palace in Ilorin, prevented the APC governorship candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq from making a speech.

Saraki said that the police had continued to show hostility to him and his supporters in Kwara State as part of efforts to jeopardise and undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family.

The Senate President cited three incidents to illustrate his fear about his security, alleged that on Thursday, some supporters and thugs of the APC attacked PDP supporters at Adewole/Adeta, Ilorin, who were holding their weekly ward meetings.

“They disrupted the meetings by shouting their party slogan and when our people responded by mentioning our own slogan, they fired gun shots into their midst in Adewole/Adeta.

“They also inflicted machete cuts on some of them. As a result of this attack, two people suffered bullet wounds.”
Saraki added that also on Thursday , the same thugs went to his family quarters in Agbaji in Ilorin and vandalised houses, shops and inflicted machete wounds on three persons.

“All these destructions took place in the presence of policemen who came with them but watched without any care, as the APC thugs and supporters unleashed violence on our people.

“For me, personally, I believe the decision to attack people and properties in my family ancestral compound is a direct affront and attack on my person.

“And whatever signal these APC elements with support from the police believe they are sending is definitely sinister, uncivilized and unfortunate.

“Our people have filed reports of the incidents in relevant police stations in Ilorin but we have doubts that anything tangible and constructive will come out of these reports.”

Saraki added that the same Police under the directive of Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris on Thursday commenced the transfer of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) out of Kwara.

The Senate President said that while the police are free to take decisions on the deployment of their personnel, they found the postings in Kwara State strange and more than a mere coincidence.

“It should also be noted that IGP has posted three different Commissioners of Police to Kwara State in the last six months.

“In fact, the previous and current Commissioner of Police in the State got strict instructions from the IGP not to relate or engage with the Senate President.

“The usual practice has been that the Commissioner of Police personally ensures the security of the Senate President whenever he visits his home state.

“That was the practice during the period of my predecessor and in my first year in office. “

Saraki said that now that he is set to begin ward to ward campaigns in the state, he is not sure what instructions the IGP had given to the police command in the state.

“Thus, the entire world should hold the IGP responsible if anything untoward happens to members of my family and myself.”

Saraki alleged that IGP Idris had tried thrice to implicate him in some criminal charges.

One of them was the arrest of some cultists, who claimed they worked for him. Another, he said, was the Offa robbery. Saraki said none of the plots succeeded.

“A situation where political thugs and operatives attack opponents of the APC under the watch and protection of law enforcement agents does not present Nigeria well in the comity of nations,” Saraki said.

We Didn’t Abduct Dino Melaye – DSS

The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied that its operatives abducted Senator Dino Melaye as alleged in some media.

A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr Peter Afunanya, said that the police brought Dino to its medical facility.

“The Service wishes to state that the information, as being misrepresented by sections of the media, is far from the truth,”he said.

Afunanya added that there was no time Dino was abducted by the service.

“The fact is that it was the Police that brought him to the DSS facility after obtaining a 14-day detention warrant with effect from January 9.

“The aim of bringing him to the Service’s facility is to complement Police efforts in giving the Senator a deserved medical attention,” he said.

He explained that the Service accepted him in line with medical ethics and spirit of inter-agency cooperation.

The spokesman said the clarification became necessary to address the allegation that hooded men suspected to be DSS operatives abducted him from the Police hospital.

“The DSS, therefore, reiterates and assures the public of its commitment to professionalism and respect for human rights in its operational engagements,” he said.

Force Spokesman, acting DCP Jimoh Moshood had earlier explained in a statement that the controversial Senator was moved to the DSS facility in Abuja, for further medical attention.

He said despite claims by the embattled Senator, the police medical team has been unable to find anything to confirm he has any infirmity that could delay his trial in Lokoja.

“On the 9th of January, 2019 we got a High Court Remand Warrant to keep him in police custody for fourteen days.

“The police medical team at our facility examined him and concluded that he was okay to stand trial but he is insisting that he is not okay; that is why we are taking him to another government hospital.

“He has been taken to the DSS hospital and he will be returned to us after their medical examination because he does not have any case with SSS.

“He only has a case with the police and we are going to take him to court within the period covered by the Remand Warrant.

“He will be taken to court within the period because the Remand Warrant is from an FCT High court, which gives us the permission to keep him in police custody for 14 days.

“He was only taken to their (SSS) hospital; he is not in their custody.

“Our people have examined him and we want another government hospital to also examine him and give a medical opinion.”

Melaye had reportedly collapsed after surrendering to the police who had laid an eight day siege on his residence for allegedly failing to honour its invitation with regards to accusation of attempted culpable homicide.

Falz Releases New Hit Single, “Talk”

Nigerian singer and rapper Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz, has started the New Year with the release of his single tagged “Talk”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the video of the song, which is directed by Prodigeezy, features Falz driving alongside his guys with different scenes relating to the lyrics played out.

‘Talk’ is a socio-conscious record that addresses critical happenings and advises the youths to be wary of ‘greedy politicians.’

As the 2019 general election draws near, the artiste uses lyrics of the song to address critical leadership issues and advised Nigerians, especially the youths, to speak up for what they truly want.

Falz, now popularly known by industry watchers as a ‘Music Activist’, had earlier hinted fans that he would release an album titled ”Moral Instruction” on Jan. 15.

He said of the album: “There is a dire need for us to redefine the concept of humanity and morality.

“There is a pressing need for re-education and re-orientation of the people, for this is the only way we can restore sanity.”

NAN reports that Falz, a lawyer turned singer, began his professional career as a music artiste in 2009, and currently owns an independent record label called Bahd Guys Records.

He is the son of Femi Falana, a Nigerian human rights activist and lawyer.

The music artists came to limelight after his song “Marry Me” (featuring vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade) won him a nomination in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

In 2018, Falz released a controversial audio/visual song “This Is Nigeria”, a mock-up of American rapper Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”.

It addresses societal issues prevalent in Nigeria, including SARS brutality, codeine abuse, and killings in some parts of the country.

The video of the song highlights the nation’s issues  especially violence and corruption in politics, policing, and religious bigotry.

The song was, however, banned by National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

More PDP Members Dump Atiku, Join APC

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar have lost another staunch member.

Latest on the list of defectors is Atiku’s North-East Campaign Director General, Senator Saidu Umar Kumo.

Kumo was at the campaign headquarters of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday to pledge his support.

A tweet by the spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Council, Mr Festus Keyamo said:

“The game is on! After recent mass defections of PDP leaders of North-East to join PMB’s train, today the latest convert, Atiku’s North-East Campaign DG, Senator Saidu Umar Kumo (standing to my left) was at our Campaign h/q to pledge his support! Then, the trending 4+4 followed!’’

Festus Keyamo, SAN

@fkeyamo
The game is on! After recent mass defections of PDP leaders of North-East to join PMB’s train, today the latest convert, Atiku’s North-East Campaign DG, Senator Saidu Umar Kumo (standing to my left) was at our Campaign h/q to pledge his support! Then, the trending 4+4 followed!

Last week, the suspended Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Babayo Gamawa and a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, Kaulaha Aliyu, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The two defecting top members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were received at the presidential villa by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The defection of the PDP bigwigs from Bauchi State came barely 24 hours after the president received various members of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Support Groups from the North East, who defected to the ruling APC.

The defectors who were accompanied by Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi state, met behind closed doors with President Buhari for about 35 minutes.

President Buhari had on Monday also received delegation of the North East political stakeholders including the defectors led by Umar Bukar Bolori, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The defectors included the former governor of old Borno state, Alhaji Mohammed Goni and a onetime deputy governor of Adamawa, Alhaji saad Tahir.