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Sentiments aside, this man has really done well for Agege as a whole. So many roads (including my in-law’s street) built and many folks are empowered! I will always wish him success in all his moves.”

 

That was a short message I got from a journalist and owner of a news medium recently. I had just sent out a story that had to do with the sudden endorsement of Dr. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, the unassuming Right Honourable Speaker of Lagos, by notable leaders in the Agege area of the State. The media man could not hold back his love for the man who has succeeded in turning Agege, a very busy but hitherto behindhand area of the State into a “mini-London”, apologies to Segun Ekundayo, a friend and resident of the area, who told me in December last year: “Obasa is a lifetime opportunity and blessing to Agege. He can never be forgotten.”

 

To Ekundayo, a human and industrial relations professional, Agege is now a mini-London. He opins that Speaker Obasa’s love for Agege is further boosted by the fact that he has remained a resident of the place even with his status as the third citizen of the State. “You will hardly find a political office holder who would want to remain with the people he lived with before his stars shone so bright. Many would leave their original places and go stamp their feets in choice areas only sneeking back when it is time for election. Obasa has never lived outside Agege and this is the reason he sees every of the people’s challenges, he has suffered from poor road infrastructure just like the pepper seller, the businessman, the motorists and residents. And today, his name is everywhere, even in the mouths of children.

 

“Let me tell you, that bridge that was constructed to replace that Pen Cinema Roundabout has galluped the economic activities in this area. You know what they say about how infrastructure can affect businesses whether positively or negatively. The roads and other infrastructure have helped to improve businesses. Of course, we know he is a legislature, but his influence and the way he has attracted life to our area is incomparable. We have never had it this good,” he added.

 

Prior to 2015, who would have thought that Pen Cinema, one of the busiest areas of Agege would one day become a hitch-free joyride for motorists and commuters plying that area? Visit Agege if you haven’t been there for a long time.

 

The much about the roads was confirmed by Dr. Babatunde Adejare, a member representing Agege Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives. Adejare, while speaking at an Iftar programme recently, recalled a conversation he had with a Senator some weeks ago.

 

What did Adejare say? This Senator was in Lagos for the birthday ceremony of revered musician, Chief Ebenezer Obey. Then, in the course of discussions, the Senator, who could not hold back his observation, expressed bewilderment at the transformation of Agege, especially in relation to the road networks. Hear Adejare: “Days ago, during the 80th birthday of Ebenezer Obey, a visiting Senator was marvelled that Agege now has very good roads. I told him not to forget that we have the Speaker of Lagos here.”

 

Did that sink? Is it now very clear why Agege – not just the Constituency 1 – and its political leaders want Obasa to return to the House of Assembly in 2023, despite the fact that he has the Senate seat for Lagos West in his palms and would get it if he wants it? The leaders of Agege, who endorsed his return to the House of Assembly, already said that much.

 

Wale Ahmed, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy in Lagos, also believes that having Speaker Obasa come from Agege remains a blessing to the people and that a top-up of the blessing would be Obasa’s return to the House. “My prayer is that after the elections next year, we would all gather here to celebrate again,” he prayed.

 

To the average resident of Agege, Obasa remains one to be proud of. Testimonies of how he has always helped indigent students abound. This assistance to students has become a norm. Some of the beneficiaries are today professionals. Doctors, lawyers, politicians. He has built leaders and constantly plays his role, with much sacrifice, to create an environment that would genuinely help the majority to have food on their tables.

 

Employment and youth engagement? Obasa will always remain a shining example in this area. He would never want to talk about what he does for people. But the people know. They also believe that to show appreciation is to ask him to return to that position. They believe the now popular axiom: “The reward for hardwork is more work.” And to the other parts that form Lagos West Senatorial District, the people of Agege are saying: “We know you also want to enjoy the goodness that Obasa has become to us, but please è lò sèmpè, asi’n gbadun oga wa.”

Eromosele is the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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Fidelity Bank Wins Best SME Bank Nigeria at Global Banking & Finance Awards 2022

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Fidelity Bank Plc, has been announced as the 2022 Best SME Bank in Nigeria by the Global Banking & Finance Review at its Annual Global Banking & Finance Awards which held in London, UK recently.

 

Global Banking & Finance Review is the leading online, digital, and print magazine for the banking and financial sector. The website receives over 7 million page views each year thanks to its balanced views and informative, independent news centered on the financial sector. The Global Banking & Finance Awards was created to recognize companies of all sizes that are prominent areas of expertise and excellence within the global financial community.

 

“Global Banking and Finance Review is privileged to honor those financial institutions that have achieved outstanding results and who stand out in their particular area of expertise in the banking and finance industry. Global Banking & Finance Review would like to congratulate the award winners and look forward to their continued success.

 

“The awards were created to recognize companies of all sizes that are prominent in particular areas of expertise and excellence within the financial community. They reflect the involvement of leading financial organizations and recognize the accomplishment, achievement, innovation, strategy, and progressive and motivating changes taking place within the financial sector”, reads a statement on the Global Banking and Finance Awards website.

 

Commenting on the award, MD/CEO Fidelity Bank Plc, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said, “We are grateful for this recognition and dedicate the award to our customers who rely on us to provide the right support for scaling their business. Receiving this award at the beginning of the year, provides us with increased motivation to do more in helping our clients achieve their strategic business goals.”

 

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 7.2 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best Private Bank in Nigeria and Best Private Bank Digital Solutions for Clients in Africa in the Global Finance’s World’s Best Private Banks 2023 Awards; as well as the Best Commercial Banking Brand in Nigeria by the Global Brands Magazine Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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Buhari Will Commission Dangote Refinery Before May 29 -Dangote Group

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The attention of Dangote group has been drawn to some misleading reports regarding the commissioning of its Dangote Refinery during the present working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to Lagos State.

 

In a terse statement signed by the Group Chief, Branding & Communications Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Anthony Chiejina, the Group averred that “We want to state categorically that our 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) Refinery project was never part of the President’s programme on projects to be commissioned.

 

“For the record, the projects slated for commissioning in Lagos State by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR include: Lekki Deep Sea Port; 32-Metric Tonnes Lagos Rice Mill, Imota; 18.75km Eleko to Epe T Junction Express road; John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, Onikan, Blue Line Rail (Phase 1) commissioning (Marina to Mile 2); Groundbreaking for the Blue Line Rail Phase 2 (Mile 2 to Okokomaiko), and MRS Lubricant, a private project in Apapa.

 

However, our Refinery will be commissioned before President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR formally leaves office in May, 2023, and the public will be duly informed and invited to the epic event.”

Before this statement today, Business Hilights recalls that there had been a fake news in an unverified twitter handle saying President Buhari will among other things commission the refinery which the company debunked and described as fake.

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