Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the APC Governorship Candidate for Lagos went up against Jimi Agbaje, the PDP Candidate for Lagos, Babajide Gbadamosi, the ADP candidate for Lagos and Owolabi Salis the AD candidate for Lagos at the Lagos Gubernatorial debate organised by The Platform Nigeria, a creation of Pastor Poju Oyemade’s Convenant Christian Centre.
Arriving at the venue of the debate early, he posted a selfie with the hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #SanwoOluDebates and #ThePlatformDebates which a tweet from his handle a few hours ago had started a trend across Social Media. The selfie post received thousands of likes, comments and retweets across the different social media platforms.
Dressed in a white native attire, Babajide Sanwo-Olu immediately started the debate strong answering a question from the debate moderator Dr. Victor Oladokun about what he had done that qualified him to be the Governor of Lagos with his impressive resume in the private and public sector. He spoke about how 17 years in the private sector and 13 years in the government managing different key portfolios like Budget and Planning; Commerce and Industry; and Establishments, Training and Pensions have prepared him to drive fiscal governance, manage an important relationship with the private sector and ensure growth and development of the civil service. He also talked about his experience creating PPP housing projects as Managing Director of the Lagos State Development Property Corporation which prepared him to manage housing and other social projects required to make Lagos a 21st century economy. The other contestants who had minimal experience in the private sector and zero experience in the public sector tried to focus their answers on what they would do rather than what they had done.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu went on to answer questions about what he would do during his first 100 days of office; how he would solve transportation issues in Lagos; how he would stop the brain drain in the health sector, how he would communicate with the private sector and the population; ensuring accountability in government financing; external influence in government and finally gave promises he would fulfill to Lagosians in his first year.
He talked about resolving the Apapa gridlock, getting trailers off the streets of Lagos, setting up of a strong cabinet, fixing of potholes, and installation of traffic lights, assessment of teachers training needs, driving enrolment in the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme and other low hanging fruits he would tackle in his first 100 days of office. On government openness, he talked about how the Lagos government presents its budgets on time and also carries out quarterly reviews. He talked about how his administration would take that to the next level.
He spoke about how his experience training over 1000 teachers as commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions had given him an idea of the needs of the entire civil service and also how he planned to integrate technology into teacher training and the education development curriculum for Lagos.
Making a promise for the next 4 years, he spoke about the great plans he had for building a greater Lagos and how he wanted Lagosians to hold him responsible for those promises during the election cycle.
He had what may have been one of his greatest moments close to the end of the debate when asked about external influences by confidently stating, “I Am My Own Man”. He cited family governance with the high flying performance of his wife and family; education discipline with his constant quest for knowledge and his integrity in government as evidence that he would be fully accountable to Lagosians in the next 4 years.
Speaking to the wife of the convener of the event, Mrs Poju-Oyemade in a post event interview, he went on to talk about Project THEME, his 5 key pillars agenda to drive a greater Lagos. Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st century economy with improvements in power, food security, housing, etc; and growth in the Entertainment and Tourism sector as things he would focus on as governor.
In a post event message on social media, he thanked the conveners of the platform and Lagosians for the opportunity to present his plans for a greater Lagos. He talked about how excited he was and how important it was for Lagos to continue to take the lead like this. He went further using the hashtag #JideSanwoOluDebates and #ThePlatformDebates to reiterate some of the things he said at the debate.
A few hours after the debate, with over 50 thousands votes across 4 polls by newspaper platforms like Punch Newspapers, The Nation Newspapers, Budgitng, a government accountability bureau and popular individuals on twitter like @segalink, BabaJide Sanwo-Olu was leading the debate performance polls with the closest other contestant being Babajide Gbadamosi of the ADP.
Ex-Gov. Abubakar Spent N2.3bn To Buy Burial Materials, Bauchi Governor Alleges
As the blame game continues in Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed has alleged that his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar spent a whopping sum of N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.
The governor who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi over the weekend, alleged that the said funds were spent between January and May 2019.
Ladan Salihu explained that over N900 million of the money was spent in buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.
According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the commonwealth of Bauchi State where billions of Naira were syphoned illegally.
The spokesperson further alleged that: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books.
How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May, 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?
“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame,” he lamented.
When asked if the government has any proof to substantiate its claim, he said that there is no iota of doubt on the matter saying that there are documental evidence to prove it.
“All these are captured in the report of the Transition Committee and these were gathered from documents and vouchers and payments made from our treasury books. There is the Freedom of Information law, go there and find out for yourself from those documents.
“We are talking about the principle behind it. You have bought these materials for funerals in graveyards, what have you done to the Christian cemetery? But we are saying that it is wrong completely, it is not the duty of government to buy burial materials for anybody.
“It is the responsibility of the family, the community and people of goodwill. It has never existed in our history books that the government bought those materials in the first place.
“So, you know that these things were bought for a reason, you would not see the materials, because they have disappeared into or out of ballot boxes,” he alleged.
Ladan Salihu further vowed that: “Government will take very, very stern measures, we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. Where it is established that there is a clear case of misappropriation or outright stealing of public funds. It is an obligation, you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.
“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure, we use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money.
“We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let,” he added.
When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, on phone, he simply said, “that is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegation.
“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal,” he added.
Presidents of Rwanda, Senegal And DRC To Speak At The Largest Annual Gathering Of African Entrepreneurs
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s champion of entrepreneurship, has announced the line-up of speakers and activities for the 5th Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum — the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.
For the Forum’s Presidential Dialogue, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), H.E Félix Tshisekedi will join previously announced President of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame and President of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall, in an interactive, charged plenary session that opens Day 2 of the Forum. The Presidential Dialogue will be moderated by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, and will feature all three presidents engaging directly with an audience of 5,000, comprising of entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors and business leaders, with thousands of people interacting live online, through TEFConnect.
The Forum presents the largest single annual opportunity for entrepreneurs and policy makers to interact directly and all sessions at the Forum have private sector and public sector leaders anchor panel discussions, masterclasses, and a dynamic pitching competition that will engage an audience of start-up entrepreneurs, development institutions, and policymakers.
The speakers expected for this year’s Forum include Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import (AFREXIMBANK); Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AFDB); Dr. Awele Elumelu, Trustee, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Founder, Avon Medical; Kennedy Uzoka, Group CEO, UBA Group Plc; Mrs. Djene Kaba Conde, First Lady, Guinea; amongst other notable global business leaders.
Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation hosts the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders in one location. This year’s Forum, themed “Empowering African Entrepreneurs”, will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Hotel, in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. The Forum will also include the UBA Marketplace, where UBA, Africa’s global bank, brings together businesses from across the continent.
At the 2018 forum, TEFConnect, the largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs was launched to connect entrepreneurs to the opportunities they need for business success. TEFConnect will take centre stage at this year’s Forum as global debates move to technology as a key driver of economic development in Africa.
For more information: https://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/forum2019
Jim Ovia Advocates For Disruptive Technology To Scale Businesses In Africa
According to Zenith Bank Founder/Chairman, Jim Ovia, businesses stand a chance to triple growth rate and earnings through innovation and technology.
The options are to “innovate and transform or die”, he said. It is the technology age and businesses operating out of Africa should continually adopt technology to experience exponential scale in their business development.
He made this statement while chairing the launch of the PwC Experience Centre. Mr. Ovia added that the Experience Centre is a forward-thinking way to disrupt the over $1tn consultancy service industry yet to be digitized.
Therefore, the Experience Centre is an effective move towards expanding PwC’s innovative solution services across West Africa.