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Ogun 2023 Budget meant to prosper residents, increase value — Finance Commissioner

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Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

The Ogun State Government has disclosed that its 2023 budget is meant to improve quality of life in the State.

The Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser in the state, Dapo Okubadejo, gave this disclosure, on Thursday, while fielding questions from journalists at the 2023 Budget Breakdown Media Parley, held at the Olusegun Osoba Press Centre, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.

Okubadejo noted that in the area of transportation, the blue and red rail lines from Lagos will be extended to the State from Kajola to Agbara respectively.

Describing the approach of the State to budget as inclusive and holistic, the Chief Economic Adviser said “this is reflective of the deep thinking that goes into the making of the budget and policy formulation and execution since since 2019.”

Equally, he added that government deliberately focusses on certain reforms to improve internally generated revenue and in a manner that will prosper the people.

For instance, he said construction of roads in the economic hubs across the state has “not increase the value of land, but quadrupled along the Atan-Agabara-Lusada axis of the state, as a result of the ongoing reconstruction of the 19km road being embarked upon by the incumbent administration.”

He added that the construction of the Epe-Mojoda-Ijebu-Ode road has increased the value of land along the axis by 300 per cent.

Okubadejo, flanked by his counterparts in the Ministries of Budget and Planning and Information and Strategy, Olaolu Olabimtan and Waheed Odusile, respectively, explained that Governor Abiodun-led administration decided to earmark the large chunk of the 2023 budget to infrastructure, in order to make the State more attractive for investors.

According to him, the huge investment by the current administration in the provision of roads and other critical infrastructure has started yielding positive results, adding that “the socioeconomic development going on around the Agro Cargo Airport in Ilishan is humongous.”

While scoring the state high for recording 71 per cent budget performance in 2021, Okubadejo expressed confidence that the N472billion budget of 2023 would be pursued towards expanding development and creating more prosperity for the people.

The Commissioner added that the State Government would look for investors that can help the state explore oil and bitumen, and continue to partner private sector in the provision of critical infrastructure capable of making life more meaningful for the people of Ogun.

Okubadejo, however, said that the Abiodun-led administration adopted the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) in contrast to what he described as “cash accounting” being used by the immediate past administration.

He stated that the method of accounting adopted by the last administration in the state did not indicate liabilities, which according to him was not only confusing but fraudulent.

The Commissioner further noted that Ogun would partner Independent Power Project (IPP) providers, not only to generate electricity, but involve in the distribution of power to industries, public and commercial entities in the state.

South West

Sunday Igboho returns to Nigeria after regaining freedom

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Popular Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo has returned to Nigeria after regaining his freedom from prison.

His spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, confirmed the news through a statement and a video on social media, showing Igboho at a mortuary.

Igboho had been living in exile since 2021, seeking refuge in Benin Republic after being declared wanted by the Department of State Services (DSS) on terrorism charges.

He faced legal battles in Benin Republic, where he was arrested while trying to travel to Germany. After spending two years in a Beninese prison, he recently regained his freedom.

His spokesman revealed that the activist returned to the country to attend his mother’s burial.

Igboho had earlier been declared wanted by the DSS for allegedly engaging in activities that threatened national security.

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South West

Lagos trains teachers in robotic learning in schools

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The Lagos State Ministry of Establishments and Training yesterday organised a training programme with the theme, “Supporting Teaching and Robotics Learning in Schools for Teachers in Lagos State.”

Declaring the training programme open, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Olubusola Abidakun said that the programme represented the State Government’s unwavering commitment to the continuous upskilling and knowledge enhancement of teachers in the State.

She said the State Government has been steadfast in its resolve to optimise the capacity building of teachers because it recognises that the quality of education is inseparable from the competence and dedication of teachers, adding that this was why the Administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has spared no effort in providing avenues for continuous professional development of teachers.

According to her, the theme, “Supporting Teaching and Robotics Learning in Schools,” was carefully chosen to equip teachers with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the evolving dynamics of modern education.

Mrs. Abidakun urged the participants to approach the programme with an open mind and a readiness to embrace the opportunities for learning and collaboration, saying that the skills they acquired at the training programme would enhance their professional capabilities.

The three-day training programme, which has 100 participants in attendance, commenced yesterday at the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), Ikeja.

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South West

Olu of Lisa charges religious bodies to establish welfare fund to ease hardship

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Religious bodies have been charged to establish welfare fund for the people to ease tension and pressure orchestrated by economic hardship facing the country, the Olu of Lisa, Oba Nojeemdeen Oladele Odugbemi has said.

Olu of Lisa, Oba Nojeemdeen Oladele Odugbemi gave the charge during his speech at the 5th anniversary of Warof Aanaahu Islamic Relief Foundation in Lisa over the weekend.

The monarch posited establishing the welfare fund with no interest will reduce sudden and premature death experienced by people when they find it difficult to repay loans with high interest borrowed from banks.

Oba Odugbemi added that establishing such fund will complement the efforts of the government aimed at ameliorating the sufferings of the masses as government alone cannot do everything because of the enormous responsibilities.

The monarch enthused that there have been cases of premature deaths in the country because of thinking of how to repay loans at shortest time which resulted into high blood pressure and eventual death.

He urged the religious bodies to set up such fund at no interest in order to better the life of the people which according to him must be done with trust and sincerity of purpose.

The Lisa monarch commended the members of the Board of Trustees of the foundation for the trust among themselves and for sustaining the foundation since its inception five years ago.

The president of the Board of Trustees, Alhaji Balogun Nurudeen who had earlier paid homage to the Olu of Lisa in his palace, in his  emotional speech said that the foundation has recorded some achievements in the last five years to include loan empowerment scheme for members, community social responsibility project like drilling of boreholes, acquisition of about 20 acres of land for the foundation estate and building of meeting halls and mosques at various branches.

Others are giving out palliatives to the needy and indigents, assistance to widows in cash empowerment and paying of school fees for the orphans, installation of street lights in all their branches and increase in membership as well as expansion of branches from eight to more than seventy branches among others.

The Foundation President hinted that these achievements spread to all over their branches across the country with branches also in South Africa and United States of America.

He assured that members of the foundation will not relent in their efforts to ensure that people are raised from the poverty level and in no small way contribute to the economic development of the country.

Highlights of the programme include giving out loans to the tune of fifty million naira, five million naira to reward to members of the foundation, empowerment of vehicles, sowing machines, deep freezers, tricycles, motorcycles, dryers among others worth fifty million naira.

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