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Nigeria’s Lagos Governor Presents N1.155Tn Budget Proposal For 2021

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday presented the 2021 budget appropriation of N1.155 trillion at the Lagos House of Assembly.

Presenting the appropriation, christened “Budget of Rekindled Hope´´, Sanwo-Olu said that it reflected the state’s determination to rise above the challenges that had affected its development indices in the last 10 months.

He said that the budget had a proposed Recurrent Expenditure of N451.75 billion and a Capital Expenditure of N703.27 billion.

According to him, the General Public Services allocation is N136.28 billion, under which the Science and Technology Sector has N28.27 billion and Other General Public Services has N108.05 billion.

Also, the Public Order and Safety allocation is N32.76 billion, while the Economic Affairs Sector has a proposed allocation of N381.86 billion.

Under the Economic Affairs´ allocation are – Agriculture N18.31 billion; Commerce N41,99 billion; Tourism, Art & culture N6.12 billion; Energy and Mineral Resources N32,56 billion; Transportation N98.93; Infrastructure – Works Family N172.24 billion; and Waterfront N11.78 billion.

The Environment Sector has an allocation of N50.93 billion, comprising of Drainage N11.94 billion and Other Environmental Services N39 billion.

Also, the Housing and Community Amenities Sector has N40,28 billion; Health Sector N118.36; Recreation, Culture and Religion N5.17 billion.

The Education Sector has a budget allocation of N143.65 billion, the Social Protection Sector N9.16 billion, while the Contingency Reserve (Including Special Expenditure – Statewide and Special Expenditure -Others) has N20,55 billion allocation.

For Loans (Repayments, CDSA & Debt Servicing) N166.21 billion, Personnel Cost (Statewide – Pension etc) N49.8 billion, giving a total N1.155 trillion budget for 2021.

The governor said that the “Budget of Rekindled Hope´´ demonstrated government´s willingness to overcome all obstacles and deliver all electoral promises to Lagosians.

He said that the coronavirus pandemic and EndSARS protests had only heightened the need to urgently implement the various programmes under the THEMES agenda.

According to him, the 2021 budget will, among other things, provide for youth employment by focusing on sectors with job creating potential like agriculture, construction, technology and security.

“We are set to improve the economic conditions and social safety needed for our youth and all hardworking Lagosians to flourish. We are committing resources to sectors that need to grow for our people to become self-reliant and economically empowered.

“Consequently, for the agricultural sector, our food security plan has a cumulative budget of N22.21billion, while we are committing a cumulative budgetary provision of N311.43billion to infrastructure.

“This will cover direct intervention through the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure, Water front, Transportation, the Judiciary, our Schools and Seed Capital of N15billion for The Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund.

“To continue to drive our digitisation strategy, we have committed a total of N37.37billion investment in technology, while in the environment and health services, we have committed a total of N48.28billion and N111.94billion, respectively.

“In line with our urgent need to light up Lagos we will begin a set of initiatives in the energy sector to ensure the Lagos economy is supported by power, one community at a time. To this we have committed a total of N32.58billion in the 2021 budget,´´ Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that the 2021 Appropriation Bill also aligned to the restoration of economic balance as the state navigated its way out of the negative impact of both the pandemic and the destruction of public assets following the EndSARS protest hijack.

The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said that the Assembly would meticulously perform its constitutional duty on the budget.

Politics

Akufo-Addo, Mahama Go Toe to Toe as Ghana’s Presidential Election Draws Closer

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President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will face former president John Dramani Mahama, leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the West African country’s December 7 presidential election.

The election has been dubbed the “battle of two giants.”

It is the third time Akufo-Addo and Mahama will compete against each other for the highest office in the country, with each previously having won one poll each– Akufo-Addo in 2016 and Mahama in 2012.

Although 12 candidates are vying for the presidency, including two women, only Akufo-Addo and Mahama are said to have a chance of coming out victorious.

The electoral campaign has been dominated by Ghana’s economy, infrastructure development, education, corruption, and debt relief.

Akufo-Addo, 76, has been touting economic growth during his current four-year term in office as well as the streamlining of government services and implementation of free schooling for senior high school pupils.

Mahama, 62, has meanwhile stressed the many infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, he realised during his presidency, promising do invest more in this area if re-elected.

Political analysts of the University of Ghana in the capital, Accra, predict a slim win for Akufo-Addo in the December elections.

Polls have indicated voters prefer Akufo-Addo’s policy-driven approach to run the nation of 30 million people, the university’s head of the political science department, Kaakyire Frempong.

A candidate is required to gain at least 50 per cent of votes to be elected in the first round.

Ghana’s roughly 17 million registered voters will also elect 275 legislators from 914 candidates on Dec. 7.

Akufo-Addo’s NPP is expected to once again gain the majority of seats in parliament.

Voting will take place at more than 33,000 polling stations between 7 am and 5 pm (0700 and 1700 GMT).

The electoral commission will announce results within 72 hours after the election.

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North Africa Politics

Libya Prepares for Elections

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The Libyan National High Electoral Commission (HNEC) has begun discussions with the chairmen of boards of electoral departments of the Commission in all Libyan regions preparations for the general election due in December next year.

An official source in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, said the managing director of the HNEC, Yahya al-Jadid, met with more than 20 participants via Zoom to discuss obstacles, challenges and the means to overcome them.

In a statement, the commission said al-Jadid underlined “the importance of that communication between the general department and its offices, in light of the developments of the political process and tasks awaiting the commission”.

He stressed the need for concerted efforts to raise the level of preparation and address the potential needs and obstacles.

The chiefs of office reviewed the need to procure office materials and to resolve the obstacles linked to the administrative aspect and the state of preparation of the commission.

The HNEC heads the electoral department which in turn counts 24 offices shared in all Libyan regions charged with implementing the electoral process, each within its electoral area.

The participants in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum held on 9-15 November in Tunis, under the aegis of the UN Support Mission in Libya, agreed on a roadmap setting a transitional period and the date for the presidential and parliamentary elections for 24 December 2021.

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East Africa Politics News

Ethiopian Forces Capture Tigray’s Capital In Final Offensive

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Ethiopian forces have captured Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced this in tweets on Saturday, as he said the “Tigrayan criminals” will now be hunted by the Federal Police.

Ahmed on Friday met African envoys in Addis Ababa and reiterated that civilians in the region will not be harmed in the final offensive.

“I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the #Tigray region.

“Our focus now will be on rebuilding the region and providing humanitarian assistance while Federal Police apprehend the TPLF clique.”

He said the town is now under the control of National Defence Forces, as humanitarian assistance will be provided to inhabitants of the region.

Recall that Ethiopia earlier announced that a Tigrayan town, Wikro, 50km north of Mekelle has been captured.

Tigray officials are yet to react to the Prime Minister’s claims as the region has been cut off from internet and phone access.

Both forces have been at daggers drawn since the 4th of November when Ethiopia accused Tigrayan forces of attacking state properties.

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