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BusinessDay 10 Apr 2018

8 BUSINESS DAY C002D5556

8 BUSINESS DAY C002D5556 NEWS L-R: Oye Hassan-Odukale, chairman, Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF); Ademola Abass, special adviser to the Lagos State governor on overseas affairs and investment, and Abdurrasaq Balogun, executive secretary/CEO, LSSTF, during the 2018 Lagos State Security Summit, with the theme “ Securing Lagos State: Towards a Sustainable Framework for Modern Mega City” in Lagos, yesterday. Pic by Olawale Amoo Northern states worst in Nigeria sub-national poverty rates, with Zamfara’s 92% BEN EGUZOZIE Despite having the best opportunities till date, in governance of the country since independence (that is in the number of years as head of state), the northern region of Nigeria still lags behind as highly poor and worst in human development of all its constituent states. This is according to data from the Oxford University Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) “Nigeria Country Briefing,” 2017. The OPHI data indicate that the region, with vast landmass, posted as the worst performing in “multidimensional poverty index data bank.” The region, according to states ranked, posts an average of 85.36 percent in poverty rate in the period under review (year-to-date, 2017), Refugee crisis draining Cross River economy – SSG IGNATIUS CHUKWU & DAVID EJIOHUO The recent crisis in Cameroon has caused huge influx of fleeing populations into Cross River State, therefore compounding the problem of Bakassi refugees. This is said to have drained the resources of the state government. There are over 1,000 Bakassi refugees already causing nightmares in Cross River State, according to the secretary to the state government (SSG), Tina Banguo Agbo, who spoke with newsmen at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa. The Cross Rivers government was now at crossroads in the crossfire of crises from both the Bakassi crisis and the Anglophone crisis in … Lagos least poor, while Ebonyi most poor among the pack with six northern states ranked as “worse states.” These are: Zamfara, the worst state, with 92 percent poverty rate, Jigawa 88 percent, Bauchi 87 percent, Kebbi 86 percent, Katsina 82.2 percent, and Gombe 77 percent. Data from five other core northern states: Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa and Boko Haram ravaged Borno and Yobe, were not available in the Oxford University Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Multidimensional Poverty Index Data Bank. In the same vein, Taraba State (with 78%), recently enmeshed in herdsmen attacks, along with Plateau (51.6%) in the North Central Zone were also listed among Nigeria Country Briefing’s “worse states” in sub-national poverty rates rankings. However, data from herdsmen harried Benue State were not available. Cameroon, with the fleeing populations finding Cross River as a landing pad. The state government and people could not have minded, but considering the economic hardship in the country and near-zero allocation from the Federal Government According to Agbo, all the oil wells in Cross River had gone to other states, thus making the state almost a non-oil state, and now being compounded by refugees from two major crises. She said the state was trying to build over 500 flats to relocate them from the refugee camp, but the new influx from Cameroon had put Cross River on a high jump economically. Cross River, she said further, was seriously in prob- The only exception among the northern region is the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, which poverty rate is 24 percent, and strike traumatised Kogi State with 26 percent, according to the OPHI data. Meanwhile, Ebonyi, a salt producing and a largely agrarian state, majoring in rice production, in the South- East region, is the only ‘worst performed and poor state’ in the entire southern states of Nigeria. The state, currently under the leadership of David Umahi, elected governor in 2015, was ranked with 56 percent in the Nigerian subnational poverty rates. The OPHI data posted state in the southern region as largely performing fairly well in poverty eradication policies. Lagos State, with a gross domestic product (GDP) economy of $136 billion, and by far, Nigeria’s eco- lem because apart from the problems of the Bakassi returnees, and the new ones from the Anglophone crisis, the state also had to contend with all the militants that were driven from Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states. The Federal Government, she said, recently sent relief materials to the IDPs in the state, but pointed out that the relief materials were just a tip of the iceburg. “We need much more than that because the refugees problem is causing us millions of naira,” she said. Due to lack of job opportunities and to create a future for most refugees, the SSG noted that the state governor had to expand his appointments to over 1,000 persons with monthly salaries just to put food on the table. nomic capital, which recently emerged as Africa’s seventh largest economy, bigger than Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya, two of the continent’s most promising economies, is surveyed by OPHI as the least poor state in Nigeria, with only 8.5 percent ranking in sub-national poverty rate. Other states in the South West zone are: Ogun 27 percent, Oyo 29 percent, Osun 11 percent, and Ondo 28 percent. Data from Ekiti State was not available. In the South-South zone, Edo State came off with a promising 19 percent subnational poverty rate, while Rivers ranked with 21 percent and Bayelsa 29 percent. For the South East zone, Imo, a state currently governed by Rochas Okorocha, whose recent voodoo economics have swayed it to 20 percent, from initial 15 percent in 2014-2015. Lufthansa cancels Nigeria flights over airport strike FG to sign power purchase agreement with prospective GenCos Experts advocate for Local Content drive at ISPON presidential dinner Technology experts, policy makers and top executives of firms in Nigeria’s technology sector have advocated for the proper implementation of the local content policy in Nigeria. This happened at the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria’s (ISPON) ninth annual presidential dinner night in Lagos. The event, themed The Fourth Industrial Revolution, was attended by the minister of communications, Adebayo Shittu, who said local content was not about foregoing foreign solutions but consolidating on the Executive order 003 and 005 to build a stronger economy for the country and to create a win-win situation for all. IFEOMA OKEKE Over 1,000 passengers who have booked Lufthansa flights from Nigeria and Germany Monday and Tuesday had their flights cancelled as a result airport workers’ strike in Germany. Lufthansa operates an average of two flights every day from Nigeria and two from Germany, with an average of 250 passengers. This implies that on Monday night and Tuesday morning when the airline cancelled its Nigeria flights, over 1,000 passengers would be affected. Passengers emanating from various countries across the world where Lufthansa operates, including Nigeria would be affected by the strike action. “Due to this strike tomorrow, Lufthansa will have to cancel 800 out of the 1,600 scheduled flights, including 58 long-haul flights,” the group CYNTHIA EGBOBOH, Abuja Federal Government is to sign Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Prospective Power Generators through Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), in efforts towards improving the power sector. Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, disclosed this at the monthly power sector operators meeting in held in Abia State, stressing that the Federal Government through the NBET and TCN was working to improve the power sector by signing PPAs with Prospective Power Generators. According to a statement from the ministry, “The government is investing in the Tuesday 10 April 2018 While speaking with journalists after the event, Emmanuel Eze, chief technology fficer, SystemSpecs Limited, who received an award on behalf of John Obaro, CEO of SystemSpecs, said, “There is a lot of talents and many companies within the country doing a lot of great things for the economy. Implementing the local content act helps to consolidate on that.” Answering questions on the implementation of the TSA, Eze said billions, and perhaps, trillions of naira was being moved onto the TSA platform monthly, and praised the system for helping to block leakages. “It has been widely acclaimed that TSA has helped the country to block leakages and helped to engensaid in a statement, adding that around 90,000 passengers would be affected. Service would be back to normal on Wednesday after the strike, which will see groups like ground crew and airport firefighters walk off the job between 5am and 6pm local time (0300 to 1600 GMT), Lufthansa said. Frankfurt airport - Germany’s largest - warned on its website of “significant delays and cancellations” affecting many airlines, asking travellers to check with their carrier whether their flight would go ahead. Even passengers whose flights were not cancelled should plan to arrive at the airport earlier than usual as longer queues are expected, Lufthansa said. “It’s totally unacceptable that the union is waging this conflict on the backs of uninvolved passengers,” Bettina Volkens, Lufthansa human resources chief, said. expansion of the transmission capacity through TCN by building more substations and expanding existing ones to improve service capacity, where the consumer demand has increased, and reinforcing the capacity of existing transmission lines. “At the moment, there are over 90 TCN projects for transmission expansion, which TCN will be commissioning nationwide in the next few weeks and months. Some are completed and some are nearing completion.” He further urged, “NBET, on its part, must also improve on the timelines it takes to process payment to the Dis- Cos and, in addition, adopt a business orientation of ensuring that it collects as much as it can from the DisCos, who help her to retail the Bulk Power. der transparency within the government space, especially with regards to payments. A number of other African countries are trying to do something similar,” Eze said. Eze also advocated for more private-public sector collaborations to set up incubation centres and programmes to equip youths with the right ICT skills. He mentioned ‘Code Lagos” in which SystemSpecs was collaborating the Lagos State government as one of such programmes. Olorogun Emadoye, ISPON president, praised the executive orders 003 and 005 as milestones in achieving local content, and emphasised the importance of the software industry in the economic development of Nigeria.

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