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More than two-thirds of the population of Lagos State are under 30 and this majority have a common need; finding their paths to sustainable income, which is often dependent on their levels of education and skill acquisitions.

Therefore, a government that invests in education and human capacity development would be touching directly on the lives of the majority of Lagos and building a path to a more prosperous future. The government of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu can aptly claim that cap with its massive investment in education in Lagos State for over the past 2 years of his administration, which is backed by effective implementations by those he has entrusted with the tasks.

Following tightly with his promise during his inaugural address in 2019, where he disclosed his T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda, the silent but energetic achiever and his team have initiated and pursued major education intervention projects, which is now yielding visible and laudable results.

Sanwo-Olu’s plans for education are ambitious and they are being intelligently driven by likewise passionate people like the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo and the Special Adviser to Governor on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab. Initiatives like the BOS Education Transformation Plan (BOSETP), car gifts to the best performing teachers, construction and upgrade of hundreds of schools across the state, Public-Private Sector Partnership projects, mass literacy education of girls, and the Eko Digital Skills initiative, Job Initiative Lagos etc., are beaming a promising outlook for the state.

Year on year, Sanwo-Olu’s administration has improved the educational share of the state budget. In 2021, a whooping 148billion will spent on education, which represents 12.7% of the state’s budget and closer to the international benchmark of 15-20% and one-fifth on the entire nation’s budget on education. It is without doubt that this government is keen on its dream of Greater Lagos. An empowered populace is the fulcrum of development, peace and progress.

The kind of critical focus the education sector is getting in Lagos State is believed to have birth immediate impact on the profile of the state, with the state-owned institution ramping up capacities for improved delivery of quality education and modernization of curriculum for relevance in the 21st century. One major move is the Eko Digital Skills/Job initiative, powered from the Office Of The Special Adviser On Education, Lagos State headed by Barr. Tokunbo Wahab.
In collaboration with the private sector, these initiatives are designed to empower one million students and pupils of state-owned primary and secondary schools with in-demand IT skills by 2023 and 12,000 final year students of state-owned higher institutions with required skills that bridges the employability gap.

Wahab once pledged the commitment of his office to the efficient implementation of the state’s sustainable educational policies that will make the state rank among the best in the world. That pledge seems not to take too long to be realised as the state’s institutions are getting credible international recognition for the efforts of this government in driving their transformation.

The Lagos State University, for instance, for the second year running have been ranked as the Second Best University in Nigeria in the World University ranking by Times Higher Education, THE. Even more importantly, the 38 years old institution was ranked the Best Young Institution in Nigeria as released by world ranking body. In the same energy, The Lagos Polytechnic moved to the number three spot on the webometric ranking of 2021, with Yabatech and Federal Poly Ilaro left to be displaced at this pace, probably within the next two years of this administration’s first term.

This webometric ranking of the best polytechnics implies that the quality of published research works from the school is high when compared to other polytechnics, that is, the school research output and informal scholarly communication is high.
Great works commands great acceptance.

The evidential growth in the capacities of these institutions is directly linked to the concerted efforts of the major drivers of the educational revolution happening in the state.

Freelanews Research Unit projects multiplier effects on the economy in the areas of reduced unemployment, lessened youth restiveness, improved security and soaring of economic activities across the state in the long run. It is also a popular view of analysts that the governor may have indeed projected this level of achievements, when he made the wise choice of putting the likes of a very bright legal luminary, Barrister Wahab, at the heart of the force powering Lagos to whole new level of growth through strategic human capital development.

It was initially argued that the former gubernatorial aspirant’s appointment Tokunbo Wahab was merely for political patronage, giving that his legacies were in areas of law and social justice. But the last two years have proven that success is only affined to character, not a compendium of capabilities.
The world is fast moving to a knowledge economy and Lagos setting the pace, yet again with the Eko Digital Skills and Job Initiatives, which are expected to precipitate a total transformation of the Lagos economy with an outlook to a very prosperous future.

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#ForAGreaterLagos

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Education

INFRASTRUCTURE, EDUCATION TOP LAGOS’ PRIORITIES IN 2022, AS SANWO-OLU PROPOSES N1.39 TRILLION BUDGET

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•Activates 30-year Devt Plan for State, says sustained funding in key growth sectors to stabilise economy

Lagos State has earmarked huge capital expenditure in the 2022 fiscal year to service key growth areas in order to consolidate the recovery of the State’s economy and positively transform residents’ livelihoods.

In the proposed N1.388 trillion budget for year 2022 presented to the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the State would be spending N325 billion to deliver vital infrastructure projects in key sectors to energise and expand the growth of the State’s economy.

The key areas of growth identified by the Governor include Works and Infrastructure, Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy and Mineral Resources, Tourism, Entertainment and Creative Industry, Commerce and Industry, Wealth Creation and Employment.

The human capital development drive of the Sanwo-Olu administration is projected to take a leap in 2022, with an allocation of 21.24 per cent combined in the total expenditure to education and health.

The financial proposal, christened “Budget of Consolidation”, will be the last full-year fiscal plan of the State before the next general election.

Sanwo-Olu said the coming year presented an opportunity for the State Government to consolidate on the progress recorded by his administration, while leveraging investment in-flow, partnership and business-friendly policies to maximally translate his achievements into noticeable positive impact in the lives of residents.

About N823.4 billion, representing 59 per cent of the 2022 budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure. Recurrent expenditure, representing 41 per cent, is N565 billion, which includes personnel cost, overhead and debt services.

The Governor noted that his administration had clearly articulated its vision in governance through the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda in the last two years, adding that the State was now looking towards the future with the activation of the implementation of a 30-year development plan (2021-2051) which replaced previous 13-year growth plan developed in 2012.

He said: “Year 2022 Budget is the next step on our journey to true and sustainable greatness in Lagos. The challenging environment requires that we focus our interventions on areas of greatest social impact and achieving the greatest good for the greatest number in the shortest possible time. Next year is an excellent opportunity for us to consolidate on what we have done so far, and ensure that every effort, investment inflow, partnership, business policy is translating maximally into noticeable positive impact in the lives of our people.

“It is in this light that we are presenting the Year 2022 Budget of Consolidation with a size of N1,388,285,459,990.51. This financial proposal is presented with a sense of duty and absolute commitment to the transformation of Lagos to a preferred global destination for residence, commerce, and investment. The budget projects to see a continuing but gradual recovery to growth in economic activity as the global economy cautiously recovers from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Of the total proposed expenditure, N1.135 trillion would accrue from Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs) and federal transfers, while deficit financing of N253 billion would be sourced from external and domestic loans, and bonds projected to be within the State’s fiscal sustainability parameters.

The State would be earmarking an aggregate of N137.64 billion, representing 9.92 per cent of the 2022 budget, for the funding of green investment in Environment, Social Protection, Housing and Community Amenities.

On Security, the Governor explained that the State’s continued investment in the sector had reaped positive dividends, stressing that more allocation would be channeled to security in 2022 to make Lagos safer for living, working and investment.

Despite the global economic downturn, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos had seen more construction machinery deployed to deliver new infrastructure in the areas of roads, rail, housing, health, education and waterways.

He said: “There has been significant progress on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit projects, which include both the 27-kilometre Blue line, that will run from Okokomaiko to Marina, and the 32-kilometre Red line that will run from Agbado to Oyigbo and eventually to Marina.

“These rails, when completed, will deliver a combined 32.5 million people every month on their respective routes, reducing travel time by over 250 per cent, increasing the productivity and quality of life of our people.

“The Red line will come with eight new modern train stations, 10 new overpasses and 13 pedestrian bridges. These ambitious projects are expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2022.”

The outgoing year’s budget, Sanwo-Olu said, performed “remarkably well” despite the challenges encountered by the State, noting that the expenditure performance at the third quarter of 2021 rose to 80 per cent.

The Governor said the need to stabilise the State’s economy led to the adoption of far-reaching cost saving measures, including restructuring of local borrowings to reduce overall debt service obligations on Lagos.

“The State Government has successfully restructured all existing loan facilities, translating into a reduction in interest rates from an average of 18 per cent to about 12.75 per cent. This year, Fitch, a reputable international rating agency, upgraded the rating of Lagos from AA+ to AAA, reflecting Lagos’ capacity to service its financial obligations, compared with national and international peers, as well as its resilient operating performance during the pandemic,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The Governor thanked Lagosians for supporting and standing by his administration in the past two years. He said there were more challenges lying ahead, urging the residents to join hands with him in delivering his programmes for common good. He assured that the pace of governance would be amplified in the coming years.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, praised the Governor for the “outstanding performance” of the 2021 budget, especially in infrastructural renewal and wealth creation among other things, promising speedy and meticulous vetting of the 2022 expenditure proposal.

Obasa said the progress under the Sanwo-Olu administration was commendable, but urged the executive arm to look inward and devise other methods of improving the State’s IGR beyond the current sources.

He said: “While the projections of this administration are being guided by its THEMES agenda, we need to further strengthen it to touch the lives of the people. It is a known fact that Lagos has the highest foreign debt profile. This loan has been the secret behind most of the infrastructural developments we all see all over the State. Nevertheless, I will advise the executive to focus more on intense projects that will be geared towards alleviating poverty in our State.”

The Speaker pledged more legislative support for the executive to achieve all the outlined objectives in the 2022 fiscal year.

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Fresh Acts Music Awards (FAMA) Set to Celebrate Emerging Nigerian Artistes

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Nigeria music industry witnessed an array of exciting talents in the past few years than usual, there’s no question that this next generation of emerging artists is wildly impressive already, a generation blurring lines between genres, exploring new sounds, exhibiting limitless creativity and making their claim for a place in the mainstream despite limited structure, funding and necessary business models. It is in this stead Fresh Act Music Awards was born; FAMA is an annual music awards celebration aimed at celebrating young rising talents across different genre.

“Fresh Acts Music Awards is our opportunity to recognize and honour incredible young artistes who we feel have deeply impacted and inspired the world through their music” said the Chief Executive Officer of FAMA, Mr. Abiodun Caston (publisher of Nigeria’s most circulatedCampus/Youth Magazine, ACADA Magazine), “but beyond that, we are creating a platform which will lead Nigeria music industry revolution, we are dedicated to development and growth of music talents and contributing our quota to an informed workforce of Nigeria music industry through periodical seminars and workshop, contest to discover new talents in partnership with brands and music industry heavyweights prior to the awards ceremony every year”, he further stated.

Also speaking on FAMA, the award’s Director of Brand and Business Development, Damola Salam said, “The awards nomination will present a diverse pool of young emerging artists across various genre than usual, we are structured to be the eye of the industry who sees these great talents and introduce them to the world, we are also not leaving out the behind the scene guys who contributes to the growth of the culture such as Disk Jockeys, Producers, Vixen, Sound engineers, Cinematographers, music Influencers and artist managers. The nomination process is dominated by panel-based Awards academy, which comprises of active industry leaders and star makers who have been instrumental to the springing up and development of rising stars in recent years”. “Our vision is to create a credible award ceremony that will be a benchmark for the industry”, Salam stressed.

Being the maiden edition, FAMA 2021 will consider materials released between January 2020 – September 2021. Additional information can be obtained on our official website, www.thefamawards.com
Join the conversation with the hashtag #FamAwards2021 on Twitter (@Thefamawards), Facebook (Thefamawards), Instagram (Thefamawards) and other social media platforms to make history.

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