-The Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing has reopened the Apapa/Leventis bridge to vehicular activities after it had been closed for over a year
- The ministry also promised repairs on third mainland bridge, as it said it would frown on activities that damage bridges in the state
After closure for over a year, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing on Wednesday, January 6, reopened the Apapa/Leventis bridge to traffic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the bridge was closed for emergency repairs in August 2016 after a portion of the bridge deck damaged by fire caved in.
Some of the reinforcement rods on top of the bridge’s center had become exposed as the asphalt covering them had been eroded. It was re-opened to light traffic after the emergency repairs and later shut in 2017. The permanent repairs began in 2018 after Julius Berger, the contractor on the project, imported some materials to aid the repairs.
The 40-year-old bridge links Nigeria’s premier port to both the Lagos mainland and island. While performing the tape cutting ceremony to open the bridge, the director highways, southeast, Funsho Adebiyi said that the opening would ease gridlock on the Apapa axis. He said: “It is my pleasure to open this bridge in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today we are having a new bridge as well as a new access road. So, hopefully, gridlock will end here."
He said that the government was going to take drastic action against all forms of abuses that would cause damage to bridges in Lagos state. The federal controller of works in Lagos state, Adedamola Kuti said that the bridge was damaged in 2016 due to “activities of some miscreants living under the bridge’’.
“When the contractor came on board and removed the slab, that is the deck that got damaged, we discovered that the beams carrying the weight of the slab itself had been affected by the fire.
“So, there was no way we could go ahead with the replacement of the slab, other than for us to start from the beams. So we had to produce new distress beams, and then, of course, the slabs.
“And we have also done the surfacing of the other adjoining slab close to the damaged one,’’ he said. He thanked residents for their patience during the period of closure of the bridge and pledged the federal government’s commitment to the continued maintenance of all the roads and bridges in Lagos state.
He listed bridges that had been repaired to include the marine beach bridge, coconut bridge, and Ijora 7Up bridge. He added that work was ongoing on the Alaka bridge in Surulere and the third mainland bridge. He further explained that repair works were ongoing on Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, Lagos-Ibadan, Ikorodu-Sagamu expressways and some other federal roads in the metropolis. Kuti said that materials for total rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge had been imported and that permanent repair works would soon begin on some damaged expansion joints alongside the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge.
“We have completed the Adeniji Adele bound, we are working on the Mainland bound. So the repair works on the Third Mainland will start very soon because our materials are on the way,’’ he said. Speaking on the newly installed beams on the Apapa/Leventis bridge, Thomas Balzuweit, Julius Berger’s regional manager, said that experts were used to getting “a comprehensive design study to get high-quality materials“. Balzuweit added that various quality control checks were done before installing the beams to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge to cater for the huge vehicular traffic on the axis.
Alhaji Wasiu Olowuntoye, president, Container Truck Owners Association (CTOA), who led a delegation of truck drivers to witness the opening, said that the hardship to truck owners would be minimized. He said: “We are happy today because our members have suffered so much, they spend several days and sometimes weeks trying to go in or out of the ports but with this bridge opened, there will be good for traffic flow."
Even as globalization has led to unprecedented gains for many from the movement of goods, services, people and ideas, there are those who have lost out – economically, politically or culturally. This has in part contributed to the rise of polarized political debate and populist, nationalist and, at times, extremist agendas, both in the West and in emerging markets. Against this context of citizens’ concerns about jobs, inequality and globalization, policymakers are looking for new pathways to prosperity.
We now know more about those pathways –and their nuances. Exactly ten years ago, global headlines were dominated by the financial crisis. What followed was an erosion of trust in elites and institutions, but also new lessons about which economies bounced back, which ones struggled and why. More recently, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution has unfolded, it has brought fresh opportunities but also new questions about how economies can best integrate technologies for a faster path to broad-based prosperity. Additionally, growing job polarization across advanced economies as well as a decline in labour’s share of income in industrialized economies over the last decades has led to a call for more dynamic education systems and labour market policies. It has also become clear that the manufacturing-led development model that lifted millions out of poverty, most recently in Asia, is unlikely to be viable – or possibly even desirable – in the future. A wide range of new technology-intensive, high-skilled occupations are expected to be in demand in the future, along with new growth broadly across sectors such as education, health, care, green energy and more, calling for a new approach to “industrial policy” in the digital age.
The World Economic Forum is introducing the new Global Competitiveness Index 4.0 as a much-needed economic compass, building on forty years of experience of bench-marking the drivers of long-term competitiveness and integrating the latest learnings about the factors of future productivity. The GCI 4.0 is organized into 12 pillars: institutions; infrastructure; ICT adoption; macroeconomic stability; health; skills; product market; labour market; financial system; market size; business dynamism; and innovation capability. The Index also introduces a new progress score ranging from 0 to 100, with the frontier (100) corresponding to the goal post for each indicator and typically representing a policy target. This approach emphasizes that competitiveness is not a not a zero-sum game between countries—it is achievable for all countries.
As countries reset their path to competitiveness, there are ten key takeaways for all economies:
1. Competitiveness is not a luxury good. In fact, all economies must pursue the drivers of productivity, regardless of their current level of income or current areas of strength, if they want to grow faster in the future and build resilience against shocks. While there is a strong correlation between competitiveness and income level, some economies are over-performers and others under-performers when it comes to putting in place the building blocks of competitiveness at their current level of income. Economies that under-perform relative to their current income level may have difficulty sustaining that level without improving their competitiveness. There is no compensability between the twelve levers of competitiveness– a sound financial system cannot compensate for poor physical infrastructure, just as ICT adoption cannot compensate for the lack of an entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. Countries must pursue all twelve avenues but create their own sequencing strategy to balance and focus efforts, taking advantage of cheaper capital and technology.
2. Investing in people is good for social and economic outcomes. There is no trade-off between social inclusion and a country’s level of competitiveness. In fact, the health, education and skills of a population are among the key drivers of productivity, particularly in the context of economic and technological transformations. With the right skills, workers can become the agents driving and managing such changes, rather than being displaced by them. Investing in people can no longer be an afterthought – it is a fundamental building block of growth and resilience in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
3. Embracing globalization in the 4IR goes beyond free trade. Openness remains a fundamental driver for competitiveness: more open economies are more innovative and their markets more competitive. However, the definition of openness must look to concepts beyond trade and include the freedom of people’s movement and ideas exchange. Collaboration across borders is particularly critical for a dynamic innovation ecosystem. Using such a definition, we find that Singapore, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and the United States are some of the most open countries in the world, while Brazil and India emerge as relatively “closed”.
4. But open economies must also embrace social protection. While openness is a ‘win-win’ between countries it is at times a ‘win-lose’ within countries. This means that even as governments must pursue openness for greater long term prosperity, they must also support those who lose out to globalization. Attempting to address inequality by reversing globalization is counterproductive. Instead of protecting specific jobs or the products resulting from those jobs, policies should focus on improving the conditions of those specifically impacted by globalization through re-distributive policies, safety nets, investments in human capital, more progressive taxation, and opportunities to transition to new economic opportunities.
5. Creating an innovation ecosystem goes well beyond research and development. Innovation has become an imperative for all advanced economies and a priority for a growing number of emerging countries. And yet for 77 of the 140 economies studied, innovation capability is the weakest pillar, with innovation powerhouses, such as Germany, the United States and Switzerland, still outliers. While scientific publications, patent applications, R&D expenditure and research institutions are all well-established aspects of developing innovation capability, they are not enough. For good ideas to move through to commercialization, a number of “softer” factors are equally important. This includes the ability of companies to embrace disruptive ideas (where the US leads), the attitude toward entrepreneurial risk (where Israel leads), diversity of the workforce (where Canada leads), and flat hierarchical structures in companies (where Denmark, Sweden and other Nordic countries lead).
6. Technology offers a path to economic leapfrogging but only in combination with other factors. While technology is not a silver bullet, it is a vital tool for growth and prosperity so its allocation and governance is critical. The promise of leveraging technology for economic leapfrogging remains largely unfulfilled. There are, at most, 4.5 billion smartphones in use in the world and more than half of humanity has never gone online. It is vital that economies provide greater access to ICTs to the majority of their populations. At the same time, it would be misguided to rely on technology alone to solve all problems. For many of the least competitive economies, the root causes of slow growth continue to be the ‘old’ developmental issues such as institutions, infrastructure and skills. For technology-based leapfrogging to offer a new path to development for low-income economies, these issues cannot be ignored.
7. Institutions still matter. Weak institutions—defined as including security, property rights, social capital, checks and balances, transparency and ethics, public-sector performance and corporate governance—continue to be the Achilles heel hindering competitiveness, development and well-being in many countries. For 117 of the 140 economies studied, their institutions pillar performance is a drag on their overall competitiveness score. Governments must pay attention to both traditional and emerging aspects of the institutional environment as a factor of productivity. For example social capital—a broad concept that captures the quality of personal and social relationships, the strength of social norms and the level of civic participation in society—is highest rated in Australia and New Zealand, while freedom of the press is best rated in Norway and intellectual property protection most advanced in Finland.
8. As do infrastructure and the financial system. The quality and breadth of transport infrastructure (road, rail, water and air) and utility infrastructure lower transportation and transaction costs and facilitate the movement of goods and people. Basic elements of such infrastructure are still missing in many economies, encumbering their competitiveness. The financial system is also still an area of relative weakness for several economies. Finland, Hong Kong SAR, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Norway have the most stable financial markets (all scoring above 95), while India, China, Russia and Italy—all with a score of 84 or less—are among the G20 economies that have specific vulnerabilities in their financial systems.
9. In a time of constant change, there is a need for constant agility. Amidst the transformations and disruptions brought about by the 4IR, the adaptability and agility of all stakeholders—individuals, governments, and businesses—will be key features in successful economies. For governments in particular, “future orientation” entails aspects such as adapting legal frameworks to digital business models, providing a stable environment for doing business, responding effectively to change and having a long-term vision. Singapore’s government is the most ‘future-ready’, followed by Luxembourg’s and the United States’. The United Arab Emirates and four other Gulf countries appear in the top 10, which also features Malaysia. On the other hand, the governments of Brazil, Greece and Venezuela are perceived as among the least ‘future-ready’.
10. Achieving equality, sustainability and growth together is possible – but needs proactive, far-sighted leadership. There is a worldwide consensus on the need for a more holistic model of economic progress that promotes higher living standards for all, respects planetary boundaries, and does not disadvantage future generations. While, there is no inherent trade-off between equality and growth, the relationship between performance on the GCI 4.0 and on environmental measures is less conclusive. The most competitive economies have the largest ecological footprints, but they are the most efficient (their footprint per unit of GDP is the lowest). It is therefore incumbent upon leaders to set longer-term priorities and put in place proactive efforts to create virtuous cycles between equality, sustainability and growth.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, Head of Social and Economic Agendas, World Economic Forum
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.Read More
For allegedly selling petrol above N145 per litre and under dispensing, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Friday, sealed up five filling stations in the Sango-Ota area of Ogun State.
Mrs Muinat Bello-Zagi, the Abeokuta Operations Controller of DPR, told journalists in Sango Ota that the marketers were caught through the efforts of members of the public.
Bello-Zagi, who was accompanied by her Head of Retail Outlet, Mr Femi Adebowale, said that the state had enough petrol to supply.
She said that there would be no reason for anyone to either hoard or sell above pump price.
“The DPR receive calls from members of the public to some filling stations selling above pump price.
“We decided to go into the nooks and crannies of the area because the operators always think we cannot visit the interior.
“This is to further create the awareness that DPR can go anywhere to enforce the law.
“Some of the stations fell short of standard safety measures expected of them and we made sure they did what was expected of them, while some that proved difficult were made to face the sanctions.”
Bello-Zagi restated the commitment of DPR to sanitize the system and ensure petrol marketers comply with government directiveRead More
The fuel scarcity currently being experienced in the country is set to be a thing of the past as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation announced on Wednesday that it was expecting up to five ships, each filled with 50 million litres of petrol in the next three days. In addition, the corporation disclosed that its downstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Products Marketing Company, had increased the number of trucks that move petrol from its depots to 1,300 per day in order to ensure hitch free distribution and supply.
It will be recalled that last week, the Federal Government directed the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, to ensure that queues for petrol were cleared within a week.Read More
According to the report, happiness is used to measure social and democratic progress. The World Happiness Report was first released in 2012 and since become an annual report.
The 2017 World Happiness Report has revealed the rating of all countries across the globe, but 10 African countries seem to experience more elements of happiness than others.
World Happiness report adopts a combination of indicators such as GDP per capita, average life expectancy, trust in governance, freedom of speech and making choices, citizens’ ability to hold governments accountable, social support, and generosity to rank countries across the world.
Here are 10 happiest countries in Africa.
Algeria is a popular destination for tourists and investors because of its cities ,views of the coast, cliffs and other delights.
According to the World Happiness Report 2017, Algeria is the happiest country in Africa and ranked 53 across the globe.
Mauritius is famous as a major tourist destination for visitors from across the world. The country is also referred to as the most advanced democracy in the region.
Based on the WHR 2017, Mauritius is ranked the second happiest country in Africa. The country also offered a ground for integration of all religions and cultures across the world. An example is the celebrations of the Chinese New Year in the country.
The rank of the North-African country comes as a surprise entry to many, as it is currently undergoing a political turmoil.
Libya was ranked the third happiest country in Africa, according to the World Happiness Report 2017. Despite the lawlessness, Libyans are known to be generally warm, friendly, and extremely hospitable. Visitors often praise the Libyan people for their kindness and respect they show to others.
Morocco is another city acknowledged for its composition happy and warm people. One of its cities – Fez is known as the “Athens of Africa.”
Morocco was ranked the 4th African country with the happiest people. A local was reported to have said “You don’t need a visa to get into Fez” – a city in Morocco, “you just need a smile.”
Somalia ranking above countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa is also surprising. Somalia was ranked the fifth happiest country in Africa.
Unlike other African countries, what pushed Somalia up the list are the availability of social supports and freedom to make life choices.
Despite the economic recession and insecurity challenges, Nigeria was ranked the 6th happiest country in Africa in the WHR 2017.
According to the report, Nigerians have found a way to be happy irrespective of the social and economic challenges its residents are facing. Hence, people in the country are noted as welcoming, warm, and eager to help whenever you are in need of assistance. This attribute is what you get across the country. The optimism of the people that situation would get better is one of the factors retaining the country on the list.
7. South Africa
South Africa is one of the most developed countries on the continent and is able to offering infrastructure and facilities to enhance people’s welfare.
Tunisia is the 8th happiest country on the continent, and this is attributed to her improving per capita GDP, economic growth, as well as a strong social fabric. The country has also been noted to have a conducive environment that promotes peace and cohesion. Its social norms are noted to dictate good etiquette, address and treat people with respect.
Egypt is one of the largest countries on the continent. The North African country was ranked 9th on the continent by World Happiness Report 2017. Egyptians are noted to be highly religious, and this helped them to successfully pass through numerous societal challenges.
In general, citizens of the country are very friendly and helpful people, and most of them would go the extra mile to help out. And also love to chat.
Ethiopia is one of Africa’s emerging economic powerhouses and has managed to put in great efforts in keeping its people happy. The country was ranked 10th in Africa by the World Happiness Report 2017. Many religions in the country were noted to peacefully co-exist and people on its streets shows how warmth the country is.Read More
"In accordance with policy on repayment of national assets taken illegally, Switzerland has agreed with Nigeria and the World Bank to return nearly US$321 for the benefit of the Nigerian people," the Swiss government said in a statement.
Military ruler Abacha, in power from 1993 until his death in 1998, is suspected to have embezzled $2.2 billion from Nigeria's central bank in what the United States has called "brazen acts of kleptocracy".
The Swiss statement said these funds were frozen in a legal procedure by Geneva's public prosecutor against Abba Abacha, Sani Abacha's son.
It said the return of the funds would be supported and supervised by the World Bank, adding that the move should "strengthen social security for the poorest Nigerians".
When the agreement was announced, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter had said the fight against corruption was "one of Switzerland's priorities".
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has led a purge of corruption since taking office in 2015, vowing to recover what he said were "mind-boggling" sums of money stolen over decades.
Lagos has been ranked the second cheapest city to live in the world by Emigrants. This makes it the cheapest city to live in Africa.
According to a of , the cost of living in the city has dropped significantly over the last year, hence improving the standard of living of expatriates working in Lagos. In addition, the collapse of the value of Naira against the dollar was identified as another factor that inspired the new ranking.
As a result, Lagos fell 16 places to 132nd on the World priciest cities index for 2017. Thus, joining the cities likein in in in in the bottom five cheapest cities in the world. [Pulse]
“Although Nigeria has been attracting significant interest and investment in recent years, the fall in global oil prices has driven a collapse in the value of the Nigerian naira, which pushed down relative pricing, despite strong local inflation,” the report highlighted.
“The relative cost of living in Lagos has more than halved since 2008, which might signal renewed interest from foreign investors, with price levels so low by international standards.“
Cost of living in metropolitan Asian cities was stated to be more expensive than other cities across the world. Cities in the region dominated the top five expensive cities in the ranking.was ranked the most expensive city in the world and was followed by .
Theis a survey conducted twice-yearly, and it samples opinion of more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services that include food, rent, transport and recreational costs, among others.
For native Nigerians however, living in Lagos is considered expensive. The case is different for expatriates working in the city as they earn in dollars,putting them in an advantageous position, and making life in the city relatively cheaper when compared with other major cities in Africa.
There is a high cost of infrastructure and access to social amenities in Lagos to all class of residents. This is because most of the needed public utilities are either absent or in poor condition. This situation cuts across education, health, public transport among others. The worst of them is the public electric power supply.
Expatriates are made to rely on private institutions which usually come at a great expense to foreign workers living in the city. For example, a standard private school offering British or American syllabi could cost as high as between $5000-$10000 per annum.
Other areas of high cost are transportation and relaxation or leisure activities. Commuting in the city is commonly via road transport, and most of the road networks are in bad shape while the city's traffic clog is legendary.
On an average, a resident of the city expends about N40,000 ($114)on transport within the city.
The Easterners are known for a lot of things, both good and bad... Same goes for every tribe, ethnic, country, continent and race. We taking them bit by bit, so here you have them, the 5 distinct things you can relate with Easterners.
The Easterners are people of perfection. They don’t always throw parties every day, but when there’s an event, there’s always a process, a way the event planner wants it to be, and a way everyone makes it be. It’s not about wedding event particularly, but any hangout, business deals, proposals, receipts, quotations, etc. Everything must be on point, especially if it’s a contract job.
They are everywhere:
There’s no place you can go, literally, physically, magically, by whatever means, that you wouldn’t meet someone from the East. I guess when history said they were descendants of Hebrews, this is what they meant. The easterners are great travelers. They are living in every part of Nigeria, in Africa and all over the world. Don’t be surprised if you ever meet an Easterner, living on an exotic cabin boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
When it comes to the love of money, they are still leading. While most believe in Business and Entrepreneurship, some believe in the quick roll in of cash. While some states have successfully kicked them off the pyramid of witchcraft & cultism (I am not calling any names. lol – I think they know themselves), ritual crafts are popular in the east. While some ritualists have seasons like Easter & Xmas, others are all weather ready to operate.
The Easterners spend lavishly on Burials. Before you think all well about this, it is safe to say they do that mostly in Burials. Sometimes, they hoard money so much; they don’t spend much on themselves or on people till their death (few would disagree with this but it’s almost the truth). They usually tag it to giving the dead a burial, befitting for a legend…. Which is great but I do think if the dead had that amount of money given to them when alive, to live a stress free life or enjoy some few years of travelling, they would be more grateful and won’t even mind being buried without all the millions (I know I would prefer the later).
Most like everything with extra cash or gain attached to it. Most Easterners barely assemble for any gathering, just to have fun. Call an Easterner to show up some place, first thing most of them would ask is if there’s something coming out and what’s in it for them. This is absolutely why most top entrepreneurs can’t host many things in the East that would require the youths to just turn up, have fun, connect and exchange ideas. Everything for most is just about the cash or nothing…. Like where do you just turn up without offering a value and money turns up magically? How can money ever trump connection? Connection can bring you money, but money can't bring you connection.
All these applies to a whole lot of people outside the East but the aye in the East is more.
Denmark has officially apologized to Ghana for the active role it played during the slave trade era. A delegation from the Danish government being led by the Queen Margrethe II is in Ghana on an official visit.
The Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen who is part of the delegation described the slave business as “sinful” which must never be entertained.
“We share a dark history of slave trade; it is sinful and an unforgivable part of any history. Nothing can justify it, the expectations of men, women and children, in which Denmark took part,” Mr Samuelsen noted at a joint press conference with his Ghanaian counterpart Shirley Ayorko Botchway.
“Nothing can justify it,” He stressed.
On her part, Ghana’s Foreign Minister Mrs Botchway briefed the media about what the two countries are doing to deal with the issue of illegal migration.
“Illegal migration and its associated challenges have been receiving lots of attention in the past few years. We deliberated on the underlining causes such as poverty, pervasive youth unemployment, the proliferation of conflict and endemic instability in parts of our continent,” she revealed.
She added: “We decided to work together towards stemming the tide of illegal migration, particularly the activities of human traffickers. At the same time we are committed to tackling the root causes of mass migration.”
The Danish delegation later moved into a high profile meeting with President Akufo-Addo. The Queen is in Ghana with 38 Danish companies.Read More