INEC To Redistribute 1.4m Unclaimed PVCs In Lagos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Friday said that it was making plans to redistribute the unclaimed 1.4 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the state.

Mr Sam Olumekun, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, disclosed this in a telephone interview with our reporter in Lagos.

“We are actually working out a new strategy,” the INEC boss told NAN, as he explained the commission’s plan to redistribute the permanent voter cards.

Olumekun, who expressed concerned over the number of uncollected PVCs in Lagos state, urged the owners to go to INEC offices in their local government areas for collection.

NAN reports that Lagos state has the highest number of unclaimed PVCs in the country.

INEC had said that it was still in possession of 7,920,129 permanent voter cards yet to be collected from its offices across the nation.

A breakdown of the uncollected PVCs as at March revealed that Lagos had the highest number of 1,401,390 followed by Oyo with 647,586 and Edo which had 449,001 while Kano had 195,941.

The figure also showed Bauchi State as having the least number of uncollected PVCs, 15,542, followed by Bayelsa and Plateau which had 28,533 and 25,300 cards respectively.

NAN

Lagos State Begin Dismantling Communication Masts

Mrs Olayemi Oni, general manager, Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA),  has revealed that the Lagos State Government had begun dismantling and removing abandoned and substandard communication masts compromising the safety of residents across the state.

Oni disclosed that the agency was reaching out to organisations and property owners to ensure they complied with the new standards.Oni said that the agency was working on generating an up to date database of telecommunication companies and facilities as well as ensuring compliance with environmental and safety rules for the overall well being of residents.

She explained that the agency was interacting with as well as offering the necessary advice to various communications industry stakeholders and other firms, who had assets and facilities that required supervision.

She told the newsmen that the hollow masts being phased out were substandard and the ones that were susceptible to falling off easiest, and causing various degrees of accidents that could compromise the safety of residents.

She said that the state had removed 16 of the hollow masts and was giving time to some companies, who had written for extension of time to replace the masts with the recommended hot galvanised steel masts.

“We are targeting the hollow masts, there is particular specification that Lagos State has given.”When your mast does not meet the standard, we advise the owners to relocate because all these masts have telecommunication equipment on them and then, we do not want to disrupt organisation’s work because they are using it for operations.

“Lagos State has abolished hollow masts for hot galvanised steel,” she said.She said that the enforcement was on and several organisations were complying.Oni listed ongoing projects to include network audit of underground utilities, enumeration, site inspection and standard compliance of surface communications infrastructure, among others.LASIMRA is the agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating utility infrastructure in public space in Lagos.

 

New Bidder For 4th Mainland Bridge To Be Announced In June

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Adebowale Akinsanya, at a ministerial press conference in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria said that the State Government was at last stage of selection of preferred bidder for the project stating that the new bidder would be announced in June 2018.

The government said works on the proposed bridge would begin before the end of the year.

According to Akinsanya, “In the last one year, the state received a series of proposals from prospective partners. As head of the technical committee, we look at technical proposals submitted by the bidders. And after the exercise, we ended up short listing three bidders.

“After that, the finance and technical committee met to check bids submitted. Presently, we are at the last stage, interview session.”

the commissioner also revealed that the bidders would be directed to submit further information, basically to convince representative of the government.

“And by June, we will announce prefer bidder for the project. The reason we embark on this rigorous exercise was to ensure that appropriate partner is selected for the project.

“This project is priority to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. And before end of the year, work on fourth Mainland bridge will commence. We are on last phase of selection,” he said.

However, the state government had almost two years ago awarded the construction of the 38km bridge to Africa Finance Corporation, AFC and other investors and later terminated the contract after a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, had been signed.

 

Lagos State Lost 84 People, N12.8 Billion Worth Of Properties To Fire In One Year

84 people and N12.8 billion worth of properties have been lost due to fire outbreaks in the last one year, the Lagos State Government reveals.

The government admitted to saving properties worth N76.9 billion from being destroyed by fire in 980 fire calls recorded in the state between May 2017 and April 2018.

Speaking at a ministerial news conference in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, Mr Oluseye Oladejo, also disclosed that the fire service received 1,282 emergency calls, of which 980 were fire calls.

Oladejo said 333 victims were rescued while the agency recorded 202 rescue calls and 83 false calls, adding that 84 people were recovered dead.

The commissioner stated that despite the sizeable number of incidents recorded, the state government was able to respond promptly to emergencies thereby saving lots of lives and properties.

“Within the period under review, the State Government rehabilitated and upgraded 225 old Fire Hydrants that were initially below ground level in Lagos Metropolis and installed 50 new additional ones to link the Mini/Micro Water Works in the State. The hydrants have been providing easy access to copious Water supply for Firemen during Firefighting and Rescue Operations,” he said.

Also, Oladejo said plans were underway to commence removal of all abandoned vehicles on roads across the state.

Already, Oladejo said the governor had approved the creation of Vehicle Recovery Unit to solely see to the removal of abandoned and accident vehicles on the roads which would be under the Ministry of Special Duties, adding that plans were being firmed up for the take-off of the unit soon.

He said: “The Ministry late in 2017 was given the mandate to set up a unit for vehicle towing and recovery services to remove abandoned and accidental vehicles from our roads.

“I am happy to inform you that the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations has gotten approval from His Excellency, the Governor, to set up a Towing and Recovery Unit in the Ministry to complement the emergency rescue efforts of the State.

“This speaks largely to efforts in terms of prevention to mop up abandoned vehicles in all nooks and crannies in the State and also to make sure that broken down vehicles are promptly removed to prevent mishaps on the highways. For the smooth take off of the Unit, the Governor also directed that equipment and towing trucks of various capacities be procured to be able to remove vehicles of whatever make and size.”

Speaking further, the commissioner said as part of efforts to improve the functionality of Fire Service Department and to efficiently manage disasters, the Governor has also approved the recruitment of additional 150 fire fighters who would join the newly inducted 100, while 70 ad-hoc staff of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) had already been absorbed into the State civil service.

“We have also scaled up the functionality of the fire fighters with the induction of a new set of 100 operatives. These fire fighters have just completed their mandatory training and have been inducted into the fire service to join the existing fire fighters. We have also recently recruited additional 150 fire officers who are currently undergoing training and will be inducted into the fire service in the next few months.

“To continue to comprehensively manage disasters in the State, His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode absorbed over 70 ad hoc staff of the Agency into the mainstream of the State Civil Service in November 2017. His Excellency also approved payment of special allowance for staff of the Agency. The idea is to get the best out of these workers who have demonstrated uncommon dedication and commitment to duty,” Oladejo said.

Besides, the commissioner said within the last one year, two new fire stations were established in Bolade-Oshodi and Abesan, while approval had been granted for creation of four stations to be located in Safety Arena, Eredo-Epe, Olorunda-Badagry and ijegun-Satelite Town.

 

Tourism Sector Contributed N800 Billion To Lagos GDP In 2017

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode revealed at the Lagos Tourism Summit with the theme “Destination Lagos: Towards A Sustainable Tourism Driven Economy” that in 2017 the tourism sector had contributed about N800 billion ($2.2 billion) to the Lagos Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.

He further disclosed that the infrastructure and resources being deployed in the sector, the figure is expected to double or triple in the next five years.

He also stated that the enormous resources being deployed in physical and social infrastructure across the state would begin to crystallise by December into mega structures that would support tourism and market the state as a smart destination.

The governor said the quest to transform the state to a tourism hub made the state to plead for the control of wasting away federal assets like the National Arts Theatre, National Museum and National Stadium and possibly declare the intention to have the Murtala Muhammed International Airport concessioned to the state.

According to him, the tourism master plan is focused on six key sectors: culture and heritage; film, art and entertainment; business tourism; nature and adventure; medical and wellness and then beach and leisure.

Meanwhile, in his keynote address, former President of Ghana, John Mahama, suggested that partnership between Lagos and Accra is capable of making the cities of Lagos in Nigeria and Accra in Ghana choice destinations for tourism in West Africa.

Mahama stated that the partnership among members of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is important because the prosperity or instability of one will rub on other countries within the sub-region.

However, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who reiterated the Federal Government’s desire to make culture and tourism a new oil resource for Nigeria, said the police had been directed to set up an anti-piracy unit in each state of the federation.

In another development, Lagos State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, has said that between May 2017 and April 2018, Lagos State Fire Services and other safety responders of the state government had salvaged property worth N76.9 billion from destruction, with N12.82 billion worth of property lost to fire incidents.

Oladejo, who spoke at the ongoing ministerial press briefing to commemorate the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, noted that despite the sizeable number of incidents recorded, the state government was able to respond promptly to emergencies thereby saving lives and property.

The commissioner, who disclosed that there are plans to remove all abandoned vehicles on the roads to complement emergency recovery efforts and prevent mishaps on streets and major highways in the state, said the move was aimed at further addressing traffic decongestion and averting security challenges associated with abandoned vehicles.

 

Tinubu Reveals Who Made Him Governor Of Lagos State

A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Tuesday revealed how Afenifere chieftain, Ayo Adebanjo ensured he became the Governor of Lagos State.

Tinubu said if not for the honesty and integrity of the elder statesman, he would not have become the governor of Lagos State in 1999.

The former Governor explained that it was Adebanjo who insisted the results of the primary election which favoured him must be upheld even when others were trying to scuttle it.

Tinubu spoke at the formal launch of an autobiography in commemoration of the 90th birthday anniversary of Adebanjo.

The programme was entitled “Telling It As It Is,” and was held in Lagos.

Tinubu said, “He (Adebanjo) insisted that every member of the AD must stand for primaries. He said the results of the free primary election must be upheld and that was in my favour.

“If he were corrupt, he would have collected bribe then as the Acting Chairman of Action for Democracy but he stood his ground and upheld the primary election, which later made me the governor of the state.

“May God bless you. I pray that you will continue in this your honesty, I respect you, and you are a mentor to me.

“Though we may disagree on some issues, he is my mentor and he taught me rebellion, that means I am not a bastard.”

O’dua Group Admit Lagos as Investor

Forty-two years of galvanizing the economy of states in the western region, the O’dua Investment Group formally admitted Lagos as one of the investing states.

The six Governors of south west region under the auspices of the Western Nigerian Governors Forum on Wednesday formally admitted Lagos State into the Group.

Lagos acquired a total of 115 million shares thus growing the share equity of the company to 690 million.

In a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day quarterly meeting in Lagos, the governors also ratified a document allowing Lagos to acquire land in their respective states for massive rice production

Specifically, all the Governors resolved to embark on a Rice Accelerated Program for Integrated Development (Western RAPID) to further consolidate actions on food security and job creation in the region.

Governors of South West group at a meeting in Lagos.
The forum, which is being coordinated through the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, also signified interest in the concession of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

All the governors resolved to consolidate actions on food security and job creation in the South West region.

Odu’a Investment Company Limited was incorporated in Nigeria as a Limited Liability Company in July 1976, to take over the business interests of the former Western State of Nigeria now comprising Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States.

inception, it has been operating as a conglomerate owning substantial investment in Real Estate, Food and Beverages industries, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Hotel and Catering, Telecommunication, Printing and Publishing.

The company commenced operations on the 1st of October, 1976.

Apart from investments in limited liability companies, the Company also owns substantial properties at choice locations in Ikeja residential/industrial estates and Apapa in Lagos state as well as a number of residential and commercial properties in Ibadan including Cocoa house, Aje House, Orange Court, Almond Court.

Investments in some other parts of the country are also assets to the company.

Odu’a Investment Company Limited is a company run by an independent Board of Directors comprising of seasoned, high-flying and accomplished professionals with vast experiences in business and human resources management.

Source: NAN

President Buhari Arrives Lagos

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Lagos State to inaugurate and inspect some projects in the state.

The President was received on Thursday by the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, as well as the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, among other government officials.

On his arrival, he would inaugurate the Ikeja Bus Terminal which is expected to commute more than 100,000 residents across 23 bus routes in the state.

He is also expected to attend the official flag-off ceremony for the construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port project and inspect the ongoing construction works at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island.

President Buhari is billed to attend a colloquium organised to mark the 66th Birthday of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, in Victoria Island axis of the state.

In an earlier statement, the state government explained that the multi-purpose Lekki Deep Sea Port would be one of the most modern ports in West Africa, offering enormous support to the growing commercial operation across Nigeria and the entire sub-region.

The Eko Atlantic City Project, a planned city being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, is also projected to accommodate at least 250,000 residents and a daily flow of 150,000 commuters.

The government is optimistic that the development would have a positive impact on the environment, as it would help in stopping the erosion of the state’s coastline.

Jim Ovia Supports Lagos State Security Trust Fund With N250m

Founder and Chairman, Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia, has offered the sum of N250 million to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund in a bid to re-affirmed his support.

The announcement was made by Jim Oyia on behalf of Zenith Bank Board of Directors during the recently-concluded parley with the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on 6 March 2018 at the Lagos Means Business forum at Eko Hotels & Suites.

Mr. Ovia commended the Government of Lagos under Governor Ambode, for encouraging enabling environment for businesses in Lagos State, particularly pointing out the remarkable improvement in security across the state. According to Mr. Ovia, the Lagos State Security Trust Fund has become a model for other states across the federation. He thus encouraged other private sector stakeholders to increase their contribution in funding the security initiative.

While stating the nature of security in Lagos State, Mr. Ovia lauded the leadership style of Governor Ambode, likening the state to an incorporated enterprise being so efficiently run by its Chief Executive Officer, in this case, Executive Governor Ambode.

The Lagos State Security Trust Fund was established on 3 September 2007 by the Lagos State Government as a public-private partnership for the improvement of security in Lagos State. Since its inception, Zenith Bank Plc has made contributions amounting to cumulative total of over ₦650 million to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund.

 

If You’re Not A Senator, Leave Ambode’s Lagos Now!!!

By Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH on Monday, March 19, 2018)

It is not the red piece of cloth waved by the matador in a bullfight that enrages the bull. Bulls are colorblind. The red piece of cloth is to mask the blood of the gored bull. Sheer animalistic instinct propels the bull to charge at one of the three matadors, who rides a horse, taunting the brawny beast. Bullfighting is common to Spain, Portugal, France and some Latin America countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru. Basically, bullfighting is in three parts: the entry, the planting of the banderillas, and the killing of the bull. The entry sees the bull being released into the bullring with one of the matadors approaching it. The planting of the banderillas is the thrusting of wooden spikes into the bull’s neck muscle to weaken it, and the third and final part is putting the bull to the sword. After the bull is felled, harnessed horses come in and pull out the unfortunate animal, which would be cut up and sold in the local market. The head of the matadors that kill all six bulls could be awarded one or the two ears of the bull. And if the spectators feel he did the job with panache, they would root for him to be given the tail of the bull. If the head matador is injured and leaves the bullring to receive treatment, the remaining two matadors must kill the bull. But if by fate and grit, the bull survives the fight, which is a very rare occurrence, it would be granted a pardon called ‘indulto’ in Spanish and returned to its home ranch to become a stud for the rest of its life.

A few days ago, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, and Lagosians were locked in a bullfight over the state’s an-arm-and-a-leg Land Use Charge. The matador and the bull were in the bullring – sizing, guesstimating, eyeballing and assessing each other. Who will blink first? The matador did; he backtracked, dropped his sword headlong into the sandy arena. He also dropped the red cloth and sauntered out of the ring with a grim, sad frown etched on his brow. But the bull will not be fooled. It continues to watch intently, muscles taut, head lowered, body angled back like a catapult ready to fly. Lagos is on the cross.

The contempt unfolding in Lagos today couldn’t happen over 2,000 years ago in the whole of Rome and Judea when Jesus Christ was dragged before Pontius Pilate. The priests and the elders of the time couldn’t unilaterally pronounce Jesus guilty; they had to take him through the law of the land. And Pontius Pilate, who represented the law, openly asked the traducers who they would love to be released between Jesus, the Messiah and Barabbas, the notorious criminal. The people shouted, ‘Jesus!’ Pilate tried all he could to deliver Jesus Christ from the priests and the elders because he knew they wanted to kill him out of envy. Pilate stalled. The shouts of ‘Crucify him!’ became intense even as Pilate inquired what Jesus’ offence was. Absolving himself of Jesus’ impending crucifixion, Pilate washed his hands off the case and released Jesus to them. In a mutual respect move, one would have expected the Lagos State Government to make wide consultations with all the various segments of the Lagos economy before arriving at the controversial Land Use Charge which saw rates increase by 400%. Did the Lagos Sate House of Assembly meet with all segments of the economy? If it did, did the opinions of the segments reflect in the 400% increase? How Ambode, a chartered accountant, assented to the record-breaking increase in an economy that just moved from recession to depression was an ultimate betrayal of voters’ trust. Chinese philosopher, Confucius, never lived in Lagos but in an enduring epigram, he says: “To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.”

I had thought the governor was a different breed until this shocking action that revealed his underbelly and disrespect for Lagosians. To think that the state-in-council sat and approved the increase showed that the political hegemony bequeathed by Governor Emeritus, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in Lagos State, is low on benevolence and high on malevolence. To think that Ambode expects Lagosians to applaud the reduction of the rate shows the hypocrisy in the prebendal politics of ‘Baba so pe’ (Baba says), which is always quick to describe the opposition Peoples Democratic Party as wicked and greedy. Really, I don’t think there’s any difference between the nest-of-killers’ politics and the politics of a godhead, who determines who get into posts within vicious transport unions, local government councils, state executives and legislatures, federal parliaments, federal cabinet, churches, mosques, banks and palm wine drinkers’ club. Ambode and his cabinet must have thought that Lagosians remained the puppets which subsequent administrations controlled on the strings of deceit and coercion; bringing the word of promise to their ears and breaking it to their hope. Methinks announcing a price increase and reducing same to gain cheap political popularity had faded out of governmental fad. If any state was to return to that vomit, it shouldn’t be our Almighty Lagos.

Not a few Lagosians saw through the politics of the rate reduction. Many are still shocked as to why the government decided to trifle with its immense goodwill earned on the platter of non-lousy service delivery. They contend that if the governor wasn’t playing politics and taking the masses for granted, he shouldn’t have, in the first instance, assented to the unholy increment. They’re also quick to note that the governor shouldn’t have embarked on a superfluous reduction after all the hues and cries, but should have returned the law to the assembly for a proper amendment – when the spirit of the disturbing law still lives. Some of the questions on the lips of Lagosians are: How would the government check landlords who are sure to increase rents astronomically? Is the new law not unfair to property owners whose buildings or lands aren’t in use? Did the representatives of the masses in the Lagos State House of Assembly truly enact a law that stipulates 100% increase in charge if payment was not made between 75 and 105 days? Does the increase reflect the economic realities of the citizenry? Defending the law, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, said property of N10m and below constituted 75% of property owners in the state, who were expected to pay N5, 000 per annum as land use charge. But the commissioner failed to state how much the owners of property above N10m were expected to pay.

The caliber of people Ambode is building his new Lagos for is probably encrypted in the revelation by the senator representing Kaduna-Central senatorial district, Shehu Sani, that each of the nation’s 109 senators monthly receives a running cost of N13.1m and a consolidated salary of N750, 000, in addition to N200m for constituency projects. The labourer, teacher, civil servant, commercial motorcyclist, unemployed, petty trader, struggler appear to have no place in the future Lagos. Aside from senators and privileged members of the political class, other Nigerians whose citizenships are guaranteed in the new Lagos, on account of their earnings, include big-time kidnappers such as Evans, big-time assassins such as Ade Lawyer, transport union kingpins, herdsmen, sweepstake winners, armed robbers, ‘pen robbers’, security chiefs, corrupt judges, big-time prostitutes, rich clerics, successful sycophants, shylock businessmen, smart blackmailers, foreign-based footballers, expatriates, etc.

Lagos Reduces Land Use Charge

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has reduced the Land Use Charge.

The state government had jacked up the charges payable by 400% as enabled by the Land Use Charge Law of 2018.

Sequel to the reduction, therefore, commercial fee charge has been reduced by 50 percent, while owner-occupier third-party fee was reduced by 25 percent and the owner-occupier fee charge is down by 15 percent.

The decision was taken at the Executive Council Meeting held on Thursday (today) at the State House.

The state government had clarified the figures on the rate for the newly reviewed Land Use Charge Law of 2018.

The state government said though the law setting up the Land Use Charge stipulated increment every five years, the various administrations in the state had not done so, and that the Ambode administration’s attempt was the first in 15 years to increase the charge payable by Lagos landed property owners.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, made the clarification to newsmen.