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Lekki Toll Plaza: LASG, LCC Engage Stakeholders, Seek Understanding

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…LCC restates its commitment to quality service in the Lekki corridor

…LCC restates its commitment to quality service in the Lekki corridor

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Lekki Toll Plaza: LASG, LCC Engage Stakeholders, Seek Understanding

Lagos State Government has urged the people of the State, especially the residents of Lekki and Ikoyi, to show understanding ahead of the proposed reopening of the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza by the Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC).

The appeal was made by Lagos State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, and his counterparts in Transport, Dr. Fredericks Oladehinde as well as Home Affairs, Prince Anofi Elegushi respectively during a stakeholders’ meeting held on Wednesday at The Lekki Coliseum in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

They assured the residents that Lagos State Government will look into all the requests and recommendations made by the stakeholders and respond appropriately.

The stakeholders meeting which was held to engage key residents on LCC’s plan to reopen the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza was attended by key stakeholders which included, the President of Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA), Olorogun James Emadoye; human rights activists, the media and several other residents of Lekki, among others.

Responding to the key stakeholders who expressed their views about the LCC decision to reopen the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza in April, Omotoso commended the speakers and implored them to show some understanding with the Lagos State Government.

He said: “We are here to seek your understanding as a government about the matter at hand. We are also citizens of Nigeria. We are all Lagosians. I have listened to all of you talking about our rights, privileges, and how government should be responsible for everything. I also feel that as citizens, we should have some responsibilities.

“Lagos is a city of about a 25million people and out of the 25million people there are about six million taxpayers and among six million taxpayers, only a 4.2million are active taxpayers. So, let us reflect on all these things. I know how people feel and I understand what has been said but I believe that the matter at hand is about seeking your understanding. It is a matter of showing some compassion for people who have one thing or another to do with this company.”

Dr. Oladehinde who also appealed to the people not to be shortsighted said the decision of the government is not to punish people but to create an enabling environment for more jobs through private sector participation.

“What Lagos State is trying to do is to create an enabling environment to create more jobs and when you create more jobs. We should not be shortsighted. The only way to create jobs is to create an environment where we can attract the private sector to build more infrastructure in the state. Let us look at the issue from the view that we are trying to resuscitate the economy of Lagos State,” he said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofi Elegushi, said the purpose of the stakeholders’ meeting was to engage key stakeholders on the matter of reopening the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Plaza.

He appealed for cooperation from the people, saying “we must all work together.”

In his address, the Managing Director/CEO of Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC), Mr. Yomi Omomuwasan, said the resumption of operations was necessary for the company not to default on its payment of local and international loans as well as to cater to the welfare of its workers.

He said LCC has also introduced new technology and innovations to make movement at the Toll Plaza seamless and faster for commuters

Speaking earlier some of the speakers expressed their views about the plan to reopen the toll plaza, pleading with the State Government to halt the process for now.

The residents based their plea on the harsh economic situation in the country, saying that the tolling would aggravate the situation. In his response, Omotoso appealed to the residents to consider the number of Lagosians, whose sources of livelihood also depend on the Tollgate.

Meanwhile, the Lekki Concession Company has stated that tolling will kick off officially on the 1st of April but motorists will be given two-week free access at the toll plaza. According to Omomuwasan, payments for access will start on the 14th of April, 2022.

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How E-Commerce Is Providing Opportunities For SMEs In Nigeria

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How E-Commerce Is Providing Opportunities For SMEs In Nigeria

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of any economy and play a critical role in driving sustainable growth.

However, SMEs in Nigeria face many challenges that hinder their success and growth. Some of the most pressing challenges, according to a PWC survey from 2020, including obtaining financing, finding customers, and infrastructure deficiencies. Given these challenges, SMEs in Nigeria need to establish a strong digital presence in order to secure their future success.

In recent years, the shift toward digital transformation has affected businesses of all sizes, industries, and locations. However, small enterprises tend to be less digitized compared to medium-sized companies and even less digitized than large corporations. This is partly because many digital tools and solutions are designed and priced for larger organizations, making it difficult for smaller businesses to keep up.

In the past, small business owners relied on physical storefronts to connect with customers. However, with the increasing adoption of mobile devices and internet access, there is now an opportunity for small businesses to reach a wider customer base. Yet, many small businesses struggle to take advantage of this opportunity because they lack the knowledge or resources to create an online presence.

Online platforms like Jumia have provided SMEs with an avenue to showcase their products and services to a national and even international audiences. This opens up new revenue streams and helps SMEs to grow their customer base. SMEs can operate with a leaner cost structure as they can conduct their business online without the need for a physical storefront. This allows them to focus on growing their business and reaching new customers, rather than worrying about high overhead costs.

In addition to providing a platform for SMEs to connect with customers, e-commerce companies like Jumia offer several innovative solutions to support the growth of SMEs. JumiaPay, for example, acts as a payment solution provider, allowing merchants to conduct transactions seamlessly and receive payment in real-time. Jumia Logistics provides business owners with affordable delivery options, allowing them to fulfill orders swiftly and reach customers in remote locations. Jumia Advertising provides opportunities for SMEs to increase their brand visibility and grow their business through relevant and high-quality online advertising solutions.

The impact of e-commerce on SMEs in Nigeria cannot be overstated. By providing access to a wider customer base and enabling merchants to reduce their overhead costs, e-commerce offers a valuable and sustainable solution for SMEs to overcome the challenges they face and secure their long-term success in the digital economy.

E-commerce has also been particularly beneficial for SMEs in rural areas of Nigeria. The lack of physical infrastructure and limited access to markets in rural areas can make it difficult for these businesses to reach new customers and expand their customer base. However, with e-commerce, SMEs in rural areas can easily reach a global market, allowing them to increase their sales and grow their business. Online platforms allow these businesses to showcase their products and services to a wider audience, increasing their visibility and reach. Furthermore, e-commerce eliminates the need for SMEs in rural areas to invest in physical shops, reducing their overhead costs and increasing their profitability. This can help these businesses to overcome some of the challenges posed by their location and reach their full potential in the growing e-commerce market in Nigeria.

Another way e-commerce has been beneficial for SMEs in Nigeria is the ability to easily track and analyze sales data. With access to real-time data and sales reports, SMEs can quickly respond to market trends and consumer preferences, allowing them to remain competitive and capitalize on new opportunities. By analyzing sales data, SMEs can also identify their best-selling products and services and make informed decisions about inventory management and pricing strategies. This can help SMEs to reduce waste and increase profitability, allowing them to invest in their business and reach new customers. Additionally, access to data and analytics can help SMEs to make informed decisions about their marketing strategies, allowing them to effectively target the right customers and increase their online visibility. By utilizing these tools, SMEs can increase their competitiveness and reach their full potential in the growing e-commerce market in Nigeria.

Additionally, e-commerce has made it easier for SMEs in Nigeria to receive payments from customers. This ease of payment processing not only helps SMEs to streamline their operations but also increases customer trust and confidence in online transactions, thus leading to an increase in sales. The use of online payment service providers also eliminates the need for SMEs to handle cash, reducing the risk of theft and making the overall payment process much safer and more secure. Furthermore, online payment service providers offer a variety of payment options, including debit and credit card payments, mobile payments, and bank transfers, allowing SMEs to cater to a wider range of customers and increase their sales potential. The availability of these payment options also provides greater convenience for customers, as they can complete transactions from the comfort of their homes or workplaces, making e-commerce a more attractive option for both SMEs and consumers in Nigeria.

In conclusion, the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria has presented tremendous opportunities for SMEs to establish a digital presence and overcome the challenges that have historically hindered their success. As e-commerce continues to evolve and mature in Nigeria, we can expect to see SMEs play an even more prominent role in driving economic growth and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers alike.

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inDrive Recognized As World’s Fastest-Growing Ride-Hailing App In 2022

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inDrive Recognized As World’s Fastest-Growing Ride-Hailing App In 2022

inDrive emerged as the fastest-growing app in its industry in 2022, according to data.ai (formerly App Annie)

…nDrive is ranked #2 in the world by total number of downloads

inDrive is continuing to expand beyond ride-hailing to become a marketplace of services that includes intercity transportation, cargo, couriers, handyman services, and job listings

inDrive, a global mobility and urban services platform, is the world’s fastest-growing global ride-hailing app in 2022, according to data.ai (formerly App Annie). The app saw a 45% increase in downloads year-on-year, climbing from 42.6 million in 2021 to 61.8 million in 2022 to become the 2nd most downloaded ride-hailing app worldwide based on Google Play and App Store data (China is App Store only).

inDrive was also the most downloaded ride-hailing app in Morocco, Peru, Panama, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Pakistan, Nepal, Namibia, and Botswana.

Arsen Tomsky, inDrive founder and CEO, said: “Despite a challenging macro environment, the data.ai figures underscore the success of our approach to launching in new geographies and maintaining growth rates across existing markets. Our goal at inDrive is to ensure that everyone who uses our app – from our passengers and drivers to our in-app handymen – has greater control over pricing alongside the flexibility to negotiate a fee that they feel is fair.

I am pleased to see that inDrive is the most downloaded app in more than ten regions around the world. We expanded into underserved markets to make mobility more accessible for all people because, at our core, we believe that everyone has the right to accessible and affordable services. We are set to continue on this path in 2023 and build on these results, reaching more people around the world.”

inDrive has achieved rapid growth in 2022, with an 88% year-on-year increase in gross revenue. The Company’s country count reached 47, up from 37 in 2021, as inDrive expanded its team by 1,000 in 2022 to reach 2,700 employees located across 17 offices worldwide.

Last year also saw inDrive launch several new verticals to expand its offering from passenger and cargo transportation, delivery, and handymen services to also include job classifieds and other services. The company recently rebranded from inDriver (Independent Drivers) to inDrive (Inner Drive) to reflect its mission to Challenge Injustice.

About inDrive: inDrive is a global mobility and urban services platform headquartered in Mountain View, California. With over 150 million downloads, the inDrive app is the second most downloaded mobility application in the world. In addition to ride-hailing, inDrive provides an expanding list of urban services, including intercity transportation, cargo and freight delivery, task assistance, delivery, and employment search.

inDrive operates in more than 700 cities across 47 countries, where it supports local communities via its peer-to-peer payment model and its community empowerment programs, which help advance education, sports, arts and sciences, gender equality, and other vital initiatives.

About data.ai: data.ai’s vision is to illuminate the digital landscape by unlocking consumer and market insights to accelerate competitive advantages across mobile and all digital channels globally, powered by AI. We passionately serve enterprise clients to create winning digital experiences for their customers.

By global growth in downloads across App Store and Google Play in 2022 vs 2021. Among ride-hailing apps with primary focus on car transportation.

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Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 

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Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has signed an agreement with China Sinoma International Engineering to build a six million tons per annum cement plant in Itori, Ogun State. 

The agreement was signed by the Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Aliko Dangote alongside the Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development, DIL, Devakumar Edwin, while China Sinoma Engineering was represented by its Group President, Yin Zhisong, and the company’s Chairman, Liu Renyue. 

Dangote speaking at the signing ceremony, said that the new integrated cement plant at completion will strengthen the local production capacity of Dangote Cement, bringing its local capacity to 41.25 million tons per annum and total African capacity to 57.6 million tons per annum. He said the Itori Cement Plant will also increase Nigeria’s capacity to export cement, thereby enabling more diversification and foreign exchange inflows for the economy.  

Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 
Left-Right: Chairman, Sinoma International Engineering (Nanjing) Co. Ltd., Liu Renyue; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin; and Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Olakunle Alake at the Signing ceremony in Lagos, of 2×6000 TPD Cement Project, Itori Cement Plc, Ogun State in Lagos.

According to Dangote, the project is further expected to develop the domestic economy through the creation of thousands of indirect and direct jobs and drive economic development in the Itori axis. Ancillary businesses, he stated will be drawn to the axis, and will be seeking to take advantage of the location of the cement plant to provide goods and services to staff, contractors, and other stakeholders.  

He added that constructing the new cement plant is in line with Dangote Group’s vision of producing local goods that were formally imported despite the abundance of raw materials for local production of such goods. 

He described Sinoma as a strategic partner who has been instrumental in the success of key projects in Dangote Group. He said, “We are comfortable working with your company. You have handled some of our key projects and I am positive that this project will be completed as scheduled. 

Dangote, Sinoma Sign Agreement On New 6Mta Cement Plant In Itori, Ogun State 
Left-Right: Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Olakunle Alake; Chairman, Sinoma International Engineering (Nanjing) Co. Ltd., Liu Renyue; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; President, Sinoma International Engineering (Nanjing) Co. Ltd., Yin Zhisong; and Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin; at the Signing ceremony in Lagos, of 2×6000 TPD Cement Project, Itori Cement Plc, Ogun State.

Group President of China Sinoma Engineering, Yin Zhisong, expressed satisfaction with the commitment and determination of the Dangote Group in building cement plants across Africa. He said: “It is an honour for us to build another cement plant for Dangote Group. We are proud and happy to be on this journey with the company again. 

When operational, the plant is expected to have two Lines x 6,000 TPD Clinker Production with an installed daily total capacity of 12,000 TPD of Clinker production. It is expected to be completed within 27 months with best-in-class equipment in the cement industry, sourced from Europe’s major equipment suppliers. 

The plant will have its own captive power plant to generate electric power for use by cement kilns and other production processes. 

The Itori Cement Plant will be Dangote Cement’s fourth cement plant constructed as a green field project in Nigeria, the rest are Obajana, Ibese, and Okpella Plants.  

Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with 51.6Mta production capacity across Africa with Nigeria accounting for 35.25Mta.   

Obajana plant in Kogi state, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta; Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta; and  Okpella plant in Edo state has 3Mta

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