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Before We Close The 3rd Mainland Bridge — By Prince Adeyemi Aseperi.

Peter Okunoren

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Sequel to the notification that the popular and busy Lagos 3rd Mainland bridge will be closed from Thursday, August 23rd to the midnight of Sunday, August 26th, for investigative maintenance test, I write to notify you that there are things to be done before 3rd mainland bridge could be closed to motorists.

I called that the Federal Government had earlier announced plans to close the bridge in July, but had to be shelved after due consultation with the state government and wide deliberations with other stakeholders, who expressed concern about the indiscriminate parking of articulated vehicles on other alternative routes which would have adversely affected motorists.

Subsequently, a Joint Task Force set up to remove the articulated vehicles from the highway was said to have been able to achieve a tremendous success but, the trailers are still on the bridges and the road on ikorodu road.

Once third mainland bridge is closed the only alternative route that Lagos State government will be banking on is the Lagos-Ikorodu road, Herbert Macaulay, Muritala Muhammed into oyingbo ,Iddo towards idumota. Sir those roads need fixing before 3rd mainland can be closed.

However, a critical look at Ikorodu road shows that the level of potholes and at some levels big gullies at the roads from mile 12, Ikorodu road to CMS to Bonny Camp is unimaginable. The same thing with Muritala Muhammed road is equally very bad. The road is worst anytime it rains. These we believe should have been fixed before closing the bridge.

Also, Leventis to Silverbird Galleria, overhead bridges and at some point the light rail construction is making motorists pass through hell along with those routes and blocking this most used bridge without fixing the bad roads and moving the trailers will further compound the hardship being experienced there already.

Meanwhile, a check at the Lagos-Ikorodu road still shows that tanker drivers are still packed on the bridges and along ikorodu road, Yes! This is the true nature of that road. If the 3rd mainland bridge is closed, there is no way Lagosians can withstand the kind of hardship that will be accompanied it. Motorists moving from Mainland to Island will be left with no choice than the Lagos-Ikorodu road via Stadium-Constain which will have a hellish time moving to the island due to the present rehabilitation going on in some areas connected to the road. Part of Harbert Macaulay road and Muritala Muhammed roads are also asking for repairs.

A typical example was when there was rain on Monday, 13th of August, 2018, 3rd mainland bridge and ikorodu roads were locked down due to bad roads and water logs and many motorists and others didn’t get to work until about 12noon.

Meanwhile, the tanker drivers menace needs urgent attention before the close of the 3rd mainland bridge for easy access to the island.

We agree that the decision jointly taken by the Lagos State’s Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya and the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to close down the 3rd mainland bridge is an excellent idea for assessment and repairs.

Therefore, on behalf of millions of Lagosians /Nigerians using the roads, I will like to suggest to our distinguished governor to please fix the problems on some of the alternative routes we talked about before the close of 3rd Mainland bridge. Otherwise, the good intention may turn out to be a major problem to Lagosians / Nigerians.

I also hope that the 3 days closure of 3rd mainland bridge will be used to fix visible potholes on the bridge.

We acknowledged the work of our distinguishes governor, we also know that closing the road is for the welfare of the Lagosians /Nigerians. Well done for all the wonderful jobs you are doing in Lagos state.

Wishing you more wisdom to govern Lagos state.

Cc. Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing
Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola

Cc. Lagos State Commissioner Works and Infrastructure,
Mr Ade Akinsanya

By Prince Adeyemi Aseperi.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Disburses First Tranche of $5m Partnership Commitment from African Development Bank

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Tony O. Elumelu, CON, has congratulated the African Development Bank (AfDB), and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, on their commitment to African entrepreneurship, with the disbursement of $2.5million seed capital to the AfDB-sponsored beneficiaries of the 2019 TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. $2.5m was released today, with the remainder expected to be disbursed to the entrepreneurs in Q12020.

The AfDB commitment follows the recent $8.5 million disbursements from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to 2,648 entrepreneurs in the Sahel region and Africa more broadly and further accelerates the economic empowerment generated by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In 2019, the Foundation significantly increased the scale and reach of it impact, with the number of beneficiarieof its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme rising from its annual commitment of 1,000 to 5,150, in collaboration with global and African partners.

 With its commitment to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and develop young entrepreneurs, AfDB joined the growing list of global development institutions benefiting from the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s unique model of identifying, training, mentoring and funding entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa. The partnership demonstrates the implementation of the AfDB’s ten-year “Jobs for Youth in Africa” strategy, launched in 2016, to support the creation of 25 million meaningful jobs across the continent.

The partnership illustrates TEF’s willingness to share its infrastructure and know-how, with others who share the mission to empower young African entrepreneurs and TEF’s goal of creating millions of jobs, as well as generating

 billions in revenue, to catalyse economic growth across the continent.

The Foundation is currently accepting applications to the 2020 cohort of its flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on TEFConnect.com, Africa’s digital hub for entrepreneurs.

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Dangote Farms Commissions Tomatoes Nursery To Provide Seedlings For Farmers

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In a bid to make Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production, Dangote Tomatoes Processing Limited, owned by the younger brother of Africa’s richest man, Sani Dangote, has unveiled a N2.8 billion greenhouse nursery in Kano to supply the best quality tomato seedlings to Nigerian farmers.

Speaking on the project, Sani Dangote said the nursery is designed to use the automated Pat Moose planting technology, the first of its kind in Nigeria and has the capacity to process 350 million tonnes of hybrid tomato seedlings per season enabling the planting of 12,000 hectares of tomato farm. The pat moose process takes three weeks before proceeding to the next stage reducing the whole process of growing tomatoes to just 3 months.

He stated that Nigeria consumes about 2.3 million tonnes of tomatoes annually and with the establishment of the nursery, “we have created a capacity to triple tomato production, attaining self-sufficiency in tomato production as well as a potentially exporting surplus to neighboring countries.

“Furthermore, this nursery will produce the highest quality tomato seedling available meaning that the farmers can grow the highest yield tomatoes. Currently, the yields produced by Nigerian farmers are less than the global standard. As a result, farmers will be able to earn more income from selling higher volumes of harvests each season.

“Nigeria is on a trajectory to becoming self-sufficient in rice, tomatoes and poultry production. This means that millions of jobs will be created for her citizens.”, Sani Dangote explained.

The African continent imports $40 billion of food annually despite having 65% of the world’s arable land. The public-private model on-going in Nigeria could be adopted by other African countries to also attain self-sufficiency in food production.

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Tony Elumelu Donates Technology Centre To AAU

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Chairman of UBA Group, Tony O. Elumelu, has made the donation of a multipurpose information technology center to his alma mater, Ambrose Ali University.

Through the UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Elumelu has championed the construction of a state-of-the-art multipurpose information technology building, which will benefit the students of Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State. The hall, to be named The Tony O. Elumelu multipurpose hall, is furnished with computers, desks, and chairs measure 839 square meters and have adjoining offices and conveniences.

Elumelu highlighted his motivation: “Education is crucial to Nigeria’s human capital – whether our young people join our national institutions, the private sector or, as I did, take the entrepreneurial path, no one can afford to be cut off from the digital world. It has been a personal mission to ensure that the hall was delivered to specification, for the benefit of the students at the AAU. Success brings with it the duty to give back, and I am just grateful that I am now in a position to meaningfully help the next generation”.

The multipurpose hall was formally handed over to the University, at a ceremony attended by members of the University’s governing council and staff, led by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ignatius Onimawo.

Speaking at the commissioning, UBA’s Directorate Head, South Bank, Mr. Chris Ofikulu, who represented the UBA Group Chairman, highlighted the contribution of UBA, through its Foundation, to education and development across Africa.

‘As a pan-African bank, operating in 20 countries across our continent, UBA is committed to being a socially responsible institution, and a role model for businesses in Africa. The UBA Foundation actively promotes the socio-economic improvement of the communities in which UBA operates, with a particular emphasis on development in the areas of “Education, Environment, and Economic Empowerment”. We believe in intervening and building capacity within communities, facilitating projects that will act as catalysts for social and economic development’ he stated.

“Tony Elumelu is a product of this great university and is conscious of the need to give back and there is no substitute for world-class educational infrastructure, and this is what has informed the construction of these facilities, that will help equip the future leaders of our great nation Nigeria,” he said.

The AAU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Ignatius Onimawo, who expressed his heartfelt gratitude towards the gesture by the UBA Group Chairman, noted that one of the most pressing needs of the University for 2020 had been met, and thanked UBA and Mr Elumelu.

He challenged students to make proper use of the facilities provided by UBA and to ensure that they emerge great leaders and mentors like Elumelu, whose commitment to catalyzing entrepreneurial growth across Africa, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and institutionalizing African philanthropy, had created a strong positive role model. ‘We at Ambrose Ali university are so proud of our son Tony Elumelu and every time we see him doing good across Africa, we feel joy and accomplishment’ said Onimawo.

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