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Abidjan-Lagos highway: ECOWAS moves to perfect design for project



The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has said it was set to perfect the design for Abidjan-Lagos highway development project for implementation.

The regional body disclosed this in Lagos yesterday, at the opening ceremony of the ongoing three-day workshop it organised to meet the relevant stakeholders for the necessary validation.

It also noted that the completion of such project would spur robust economic activities among member states.

Head of Roads and Railyway at ECOWAS Commission, Mr Ashoke Maliki, said: “Today’s (yesterday) event is important because member states, comprising Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, are here to look at the report presented by the consultant, validate it based on their experiences along the corridor and approve such report for investment.

“The Abisjan-Lagos corridor is very important corridor when it comes to African Continental Free Trade Area initiative.”

In his remarks, Chairman of Expert Committee for the project, Engr. Ebere Izunobi, said the project, which is about 1028km, would elevate lives of people along the corridor.

Izunobi, who is from the Federal Ministry of Works, said: “We are at the design stage and part of the components of the stage is the spatial development initiative, SDI, which is to agglomerate all the projects concerning individual companies, socio-economic activities along the corridor that are going to feed into the road and make it functional.

“By the end of this year, we would have been done with the design which includes environmental impact assessment, EIA, engineering design, project scoping and tender document.”By next year, we intend to package the procurement of the main road construction, then construction follows after.

“Roads are always meaningful if projects are linked to them and if they help businesses to develop. That is why the ECOWAS commission, which is coordinating the project on behalf of the member countries, have decided to get a consultant to look at that SDI and the project and its impact to the communities and improve the implementation.”


Gov AbdulRazaq excited as Kwara Sugar Film Factory takes shape



Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Wednesday inspected the trendy sugar film factory, one of the administration’s iconic projects which seek to refocus the state’s economy for job creation, youth empowerment, and improved standard of living.

Designed to make Kwara a major hub in the last mile movie production and creative industry in west Africa, the facility earned its name from the nostalgic Tate and Lyle Sugar Factory which collapsed in the 1990s, in what underscored the Governor’s rich sense of history.

The project is one of those being funded from the bond the state accessed in 2021.

In a brief interview with reporters at the project site, AbdulRazaq noted that the contents of Nollywood are increasingly dominating the world but that efforts must be geared towards improving production quality for them to compete with Hollywood and Bollywood.

“Our huge investment in the creative industry is to expand the economic base of the state and deepen the creative industry. That’s the way to go. Everyone sees our state as a civil service state. We want to change that. We want to make this state a destination for high-quality movie production,” he told journalists shortly after he was conducted round the facility by Project Manager Kamaldeen Abolarin.

“It is about thinking outside the box. You’ve seen how Nigeria’s music has dominated the world. You’ve seen how Nollywood has dominated the world. It is important for Nollywood to move from what some may call videos to cinematography. It is about expanding the quality of what we produce. So that Nigerian movies can feature more on the international scene. We have very rich contents, but we need to invest in the quality of our production. Our facility offers this.

“Gradually, we are getting there. You’ve seen our films on Netflix and other global platforms but we want more of our films there. What India has done is to improve the quality of films, that’s what we want to offer here in Kwara.”

He expressed satisfaction at the progress of work done, hoping that the contractor will deliver it for operation in the next few months.

“So far, so good. I am impressed. More equipment are coming in. Very soon, we will start film production in the state, and people will be coming in from outside the state to do the last-mile production of their movies in the state. And that means a great boost to the economy,” he added.

“We are open to partnerships, and we, of course, invite film producers and others in the creative industry to work with us.”

The facility, which is the first phase, has been furnished to taste as contractors commence installation of different high-tech gadgets and world-class sound stages and studios.

The film factory, specifically, is equipped with cyclorama studio; 2 TV production studios; large independent film production studio; Green Rooms; makeup facilities; training rooms; photography studios; co-working offices; buildings suites; and large canteen.

Like the innovation hub, international conference centre, industrial park, garment factory, and others, the sugar film factory is carefully linked with the visual arts centre whose components include a Dolby-fitted studio, indicating an emerging local economy built around creative industry, innovation, and enterprise, and dominated by young people.


Rafiu Ajakaye

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor

October 4, 2023

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JUST IN: POLICE declares Prime Suspect to MOHBAD’S death, PRIMEBOY wanted



LAGOS State Police Command on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 declared one of the prime suspects to the untimely death of IleriOluwa Oladimeji Aloba aka Mohbad who is identified as Owoduni Ibrahim aka Primeboy wanted.

According to the Press Release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin available to SOJ WORLDWIDE, he said Primeboy refused to honour several invitations sent to him.

A reward of One Million Naira will be given to anyone with useful information leading to his arrest, said the Police

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#SaferKwara: Governor AbdulRazaq Meets Army Chief



Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq receives Commander 22 Armoured Brigade Ilorin Brigade General Adebayo Abdulrahman Babalola at Government House, Ilorin.

During the visit, the Governor explored strategies for strengthening security in the state with the Army chief.

Military personnel have made several efforts to dislodge security threats from the state.

The Army chief reiterated that the operations will be sustained to keep the state safer for peaceful and law-abiding residents.

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