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Fourth Mainland Bridge: Construction to begin in April, says Sanwo-Olu

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, says the construction of the long-anticipated Fourth Mainland Bridge will begin in April.

Speaking on transportation during a media chat with journalists on Thursday in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that there were funding issues which delayed the project.

He explained that the private sector investors had been demanding terms and conditions that were unachievable.

“We started a long process, that process has taken over three years. There is extensive study, biometrics, data metrics and we have preferred bidders that we wanted to work with but what we were seeing in the last two years, is the dynamics of funding has changed globally,” he said.

“The kind of things they are asking of us are things that we know we cannot give of them. They are asking us to get a sovereign guarantee. Meaning that we need to go and sit with the federal government and the federal government needs to go to the National Assembly.

“Technically what it means is that federal government will be guaranteeing that and they will not do it because it’s not in their bid so there is no point deceiving ourselves that that is going to happen.

“By the way, we also don’t even want the dollar money. We want it local. Whatever it is, It’s a local transaction. It’s a local bridge and we will have to fund it locally.”

Sanwo-Olu further said the government is working with the investors to reach an agreement on the project by reducing the number of lanes or the number of levels of bridges.

“So on our own, what we have done is that we are working with them and we are walking back. We have done extensive redesigning, creative redesigning, you know, so there are some places where you probably want to do eight lanes. Let’s do four,” he said.

“There’s someplace where you want to do three levels of bridges, let’s do one, you know, but it doesn’t take away the fact that fourth mainland bridge, we will do it.”

The governor, however, reiterated his commitment to begin the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge before the end of April 2024, despite the challenges that have arisen in securing funding for the project.

Meanwhile, on December 30, 2022, the Lagos state government announced CCECC-CRCCIG Consortium as the preferred bidder for the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.

The project, which is a proposed PPP transport infrastructure development, will comprise the construction and operation of a greenfield tolled road and bridge with a design speed of 120 kilometres per hour, including the development of adjacent real estate.

Business

Japa: Six tips for Nigerians to boost their chances of securing US visa

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The United States (US) visa, is undisputably, the most sought-after in the world for relocation because of the exceptional life opportunities attached to it.

A US visa is a permit issued by the US government that grants Nigerians and other non-citizens entry into the country for certain purposes, such as work, study, or travel.

This document must be attached to the applicant’s passport before gaining access to enter as an immigrant or non-immigrant to the US.

An immigrant visa is for those who plan to stay in the US permanently, while a non-immigrant visa is for those who intend to visit the US temporarily.

Non-immigrant visas allow people to work or study in the US for up to 180 days, while an immigrant visa allows you to stay indefinitely and work without restrictions.

As a Nigerian, whether you are applying as an immigrant or a non-immigrant, you must master some tips to boost your chances of getting a visa at the US embassy.

In this article, there are six tips to help you increase your chances of securing a US visa.

1. Research your visa category 

As a US visa applicant, you must thoroughly research the visa category that best suits your purpose of travel and gather all the necessary documents accordingly.

2. Begin early

As thousands apply for US visas daily, you must start the application process well in advance to give you enough time for any unprepared delays.

3. Get ready for questions

You must prepare for the visa interview by engaging and familiarising yourself with potential and unexpected questions and practising concise, confident responses.

4. Honesty

Be honest and transparent during the interview, because offering false information can lead to serious consequences and future visa rejections.

5. Prepare all documents

Present your supporting documents in an organised manner, making it easier for the consular officer to review and verify the information.

6. Show commitment to Nigeria 

You need to demonstrate strong ties to your home country, such as stable employment, family, or property, to assure the consular officer that you will return after your authorised stay (if applicable).

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Business

Adesola Adeduntan steps down as First Bank CEO

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Adesola Adeduntan, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, has resigned from his position.

According to a letter addressed to Tunde Hassan-Odukale, the bank’s board chairman, Adeduntan’s tenure ought to elapse on December 31, 2024.

However, he voluntarily decided to step down on April 20.

“As you are aware, my contract would be expiring on 31 December 2024 after which I would no longer be eligible for employment within the Bank having served as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank for a record time of nine years,” Adeduntan said.

“During this period the Bank and its subsidiaries has undergone significant changes and broken new grounds. We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa.

“I have however decided to proceed on retirement with effect from 20 April 2024 to pursue other interests.”

Furthermore, he expressed gratitude towards the board of directors of First Bank and FBN Holdings for the support he received from them during his tenure.

Adeduntan was appointed as CEO of First Bank in 2016.

Prior to his appointment, he served as the bank’s executive director and chief financial officer (CFO).

Before joining First Bank in July 2014, he was a director and the pioneer CFO/business manager of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

Adeduntan formerly worked as a senior vice-president and CFO at Citibank Nigeria Limited, as a senior manager in the financial services group of KPMG Professional Services, and as a manager at Arthur Andersen Nigeria.

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Business

Customs adjust FX rate for import duties to N1,147/$

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has again adjusted the foreign exchange (FX) rate for duties to N1,147.02 per dollar.

This represents a 7.3 percent decrease compared to N1,238.1/$ displayed on April 18.

The rate adopted by customs was observed on Friday.

It fell below the official foreign exchange rate, which closed at N1,154/$ on April 18 at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM).

The drop in the FX rate for customs tariffs and duties is coming amid the Central Bank of Nigeria‘s (CBN) effort to stabilise the naira.

On April 17, the naira appreciated to N1,050 at the parallel section of the FX market, from the N1,100/$ traded on April 15.

Meanwhile, on April 16, President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the national single window (NSW) project to boost trade in Nigeria.

NSW is an electronic portal linking all agencies and players in import and export processes to an integrated platform.

Speaking on the development, Adewale Adeniyi, the comptroller-general (CG) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said the country is making progress with consultations on the reopening of the borders with Niger Republic and Benin Republic.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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