8 BUSINESS DAY C002D5556 NEWS UK firm seals N2.5bn energy deal with Lagos JOSHUA BASSEY A United Kingdombased firm, Low Energy Designs (LED), has sealed a $7 million (about N2.5bn) deal with Lagos State for the provision of 10,000 streetlights covering 300 kilometres across the state. The deal, estimated to generate about 500 jobs for the locals, will see LED constructing hybrid energy power assembly plant in Epe. The project is to be delivered within 12 months. The state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, describes the development as a milestone and paradigm shift in the provision of street lighting in Lagos. Streetlight, a major component of the Ambodeled government from inception, aims at reactivating nightlife and reducing crime in the commercial city. Ambode, represented by Olawale Oluwo, commissioner for energy and mineral resources, at the signing of the deal with LED, on Monday, said it was a boost to the Light Up Lagos project of the government, which also involved community electrification and embedded power programme. “With this agreement we have signed, we are setting a new chart for the future of what street lighting, installation, management and control will be like in Lagos. It is a major paradigm shift. “We have about 33,000 street lights in Lagos under the Lagos State Electricity Board. Now, the LED UK, based on this 300km, will give us about 10,000 streetlights. So, technically, they are going to be having about 31 percent of our entire streetlight infrastructure and this is a significant development. “The second major development is the fact that going forward, what we have with LED UK is what will be replicated to power Lagos with respect to street lighting,” he said. Giving a further insight into the deal, Ambode said with the partnership, there would no longer be fixed costs with regards to management of streetlight installations across the state, while all challenges hitherto associated with street lighting would now be a thing of the past. “With this, as a government, we are not installing poles, we are not providing security, we are not bothering ourselves with diesel, we are not worried on Fridays and Saturdays about people coming back from clubs knocking down our poles. “All those have been outsourced. We are not going to be worried about that. We just buy light from investment of this LED UK with all their installations; they manage it, they provide the security, they power it and as long as we see the light, we pay. That is what has changed,” the governor said. Impact of franchise deepens with matchmaking investment forum Franchise Business Development Services (FBDS Nigeria), a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and representative of World Franchise Associates (WFA) in Nigeria, will March 29, hold its second Franchise Matchmaking Forum. Franchise Matchmaking Forum is a quarterly franchise investor’s forum, where CEOs of franchise brands (franchisors) pitch their franchise opportunities to an audience of prospective franchise buyers (prospective franchisees). The Forum, according to the convener, Chiagozie Nwizu, is in line with the programmes in the calendar of the Nigeria 2018 Franchise Agenda, developed after franchise industry stakeholders round table held in November 2017. According to Nwizu, the event offers the opportunity where the franchisor finds qualified potential franchisees that meet his brand’s criteria, and the potential franchisee meets the franchisor with a suitable proposition for his investment interest. “Fund and support providers such as Nigeria American Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and commercial banks will be attending to provide support. “The event holding in Lagos between 10am-6pm, will be attended by 20 local and international franchise brands like House of Tara, Experimac, ReMax, Avis, Meadow Foods, Chicken Republic, Studio24, BestChoice, among others, looking to expand in the lucrative Nigerian economy, and driven by the sheer volume of investible funds seeking promising franchising opportunities,” Nwizu, managing consultant of Franchise Business Development Services, said The successful franchise brands operating various businesses of varying investment sizes and industry categories will be pitching and exhibiting their franchise prospectus to the prospective franchise buyers. “Invited franchise buyers who are only required to register at a dedicated event website (www.fbdsnigeria. com/matchmaking) include potential start-up entrepreneurs; corporate workers seeking investment or retirement plans; institutional investors looking forward to investing in new portfolios. “The participants will in addition, be learning how franchising works, and various support services they can take advantage of. They will also have the privilege of meeting franchise fund providers and learn how they can access low-interest fund for franchise investment,” the convener said. Tuesday 06 March 2018 Edo swears in council executives, urges prudent use of N2bn Paris Club savings Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has sworn in the newly elected local council chairmen for the 18 local government areas of the state, charging them on prudent management of resources saved up in their treasuries. Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony held at the Government House, in Benin City, the state capital, on Monday, Obaseki charged the new heads of the councils to be accountable, responsive and responsible in administering the affairs of their councils. He said, “My administration has kept aside N2 billion saved from the Paris Club refunds in the councils’ treasury for the new executives to commence activities. “You are not coming to meet an empty treasury. I have saved your Paris refund in excess of N2 billion and some of you have savings in excess of N2 billion. “So, you will be coming into office with some reserves and savings, but you have to focus on enduring projects.” He said the era, in which council bosses left offices with debts for their successors would not be accepted, noting that his administration has spent the last 17 months offsetting debts incurred by former local government executives. The governor described the peaceful conduct of the electoral process as historical, noting, “The increasing acceptability of the laudable programmes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) enabled you to secure victory at the polls. We do not expect less from you. “Your elections were free and fair, so you must go and serve the people who voted you into office. You have no Godfather to settle. Your sole responsibility must be the welfare of the people in your council,” the governor charged the newly elected executives. Minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, who witnessed the swearing-in ceremony, commended Obaseki for saving up funds for the chairmen to kick-start their activities. He described the act as benevolent and urged the council bosses to utilise the fund for the benefit of the masses. In his vote of thanks on behalf of other chairpersons, Jenkins Osunde, Oredo Local Council chairman, thanked the people for finding them worthy to pilot their affairs. He assured that they would live up to the confidence reposed in them and build on the foundation already laid by the Obasekiled administration.
Tuesday 06 March 2018 BUSINESS DAY 9