N57bn Funding For New Water Stations- LASG

The Lagos State Government (LASG) is financing new water stations and networks with N57 billion to meet the short fall in water distribution to its residents.

Mr Munimu Badmus, the Managing Director of Lagos State Water Corporation (LWC), disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.

Badmus said the Odumola Greenfield (substation) project alone would add over 100 million gallons per day (MGD) to the state’s current 210mgd.

Badmus said that the current 210mgd was inadequate for the rising population of the state.

According to him, the Greenfield which will be completed soon, will cost the state government about N57 billion.

Badmus said that because of the huge funds involved, the state would need private investors to build the networks that would carry the water to the residential areas.

“’In Nigeria, there is still a huge gap with the production and distribution of portable water ; and in Lagos state, because of the high population, the water need is more than what the state is producing.

“To reduce the gap, we are constructing some greenfield water stations and networks and the state government will spend close to N57 billion to complete the projects.

“Some investors have indicated interests in the projects but the state government is verifying their credentials to ensure their credibility and avoid their doing shoddy jobs.

“The investors will start work as soon as their credentials are approved by the government,” he said.

NAN reports that the state government plans to take the water production capacity of the state to 745MGD by 2020.

Lagos Swears in Three New Judges

Three new Judges have taken oath of office into the Lagos State Judiciary with a charge to maintain a high standard of professional competence and integrity.

The new judges are former Director of the State’s Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Idowu Alakija; former Chief Registrar, High Court of Lagos State, Olugbemiga Ogundare; and former Deputy Registrar of the Court, Serifat Solebo.

Speaking at the Banquet Hall of Lagos House in Ikeja, the state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said the swearing in of the judges was the first of his administration which signified another milestone in his commitment to enhance the quality of life of the people through a justice administration system that is just and fair.

Governor Ambode explained that “over the years, the State Judiciary, apart from being the busiest and most vibrant in the country, had established a reputation for itself as a trail blazer in the entire federation with intellectual judicial pronouncements that have stood the test of time at appellate courts.”

The Governor added that the niche which the State Judiciary had carved for itself over the years was achieved through various reforms that were initiated and implemented by succeeding leaderships of the State Judiciary in partnership with Executive and Legislature.

He however pledged that “his administration would initiative key reforms in the sector especially in areas of infrastructure, technology, people and processes and improved welfare for the judiciary.”

He said the reforms would be based on the recommendations of the recently held Justice Summit by the State’s Ministry of Justice which brought together several stakeholders in the justice sector.

“I congratulate the newly appointed judges for being adjudged fit and proper persons to be on the respected higher bench of the busiest and most vibrant State judiciary in the country.

“In the end, we hope to bequeath a more vibrant and qualitative judiciary and justice sector fit for the 21st century and beyond. It is also my hope that with the caliber and qualities of these new learned personalities, our bench will be further enriched to effectively discharge its constitutional functions and deliver hope and justice to our people.” Governor added

Appointment Process

Earlier, the State’s Chief Judge, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade thanked Governor Ambode for approving the exercise that led to the appointment of the judges, as well as other stakeholders who contributed in the painstaking appointment process.

The Chief Judge also urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen to approve the appointment of more judges for Lagos State Judiciary, being the busiest in the country.

According to her “On the average, a judge in Lagos has over 500 to 600 cases in his or her docket. I was talking with the Chief Judge of Ekiti State the other time and I was told that the whole of the Judiciary of the State has just 400 cases. So, I like to renew my call to the CJN to approve more judges for us and I also urge Governor Ambode to approve another appointment process,”

She however urged the newly appointed judges to embrace hard work and dispense justice without fear or favour.

Responding on behalf of the appointees, Justice Alakija thanked Governor Ambode for their appointments, and pledged that they would carry out their duties diligently and abide by the code of conduct.


Land Control: Supreme Court Throws Out FG Suit Against Lagos

The Supreme Court has struck out a suit filed by the Federal Government seeking an order to seize control and management of its land in Lagos State from the state government.

After upholding the preliminary objection filed by the Lagos Government to challenge the competence of the suit, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, unanimously struck out the Federal Government’s suit.

The dispute between the federal and Lagos State governments was about “general control and management of federal land within Lagos State particularly the re-issuance of certificates of occupancy, granting consent or exercising rights of ownership.”

Justice Dattijo Muhammad, who read the apex court’s lead ruling, agreed with the Lagos State Government that the court lacked the power to exercise its “original jurisdiction” in the suit because the Federal Government had “transferred its title in the land to others”.

N25bn Employment Fund For Only Registered Lagosians — LASG

The Lagos State Government has said the state’s N25bn State Employment Trust Fund will cater for only the unemployed and aspiring entrepreneurs who are resident in Lagos.

The Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, Lagos State, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, in an interview with our correspondent, however said the fund, which is geared towards addressing youths unemployment and promoting wealth creation through entrepreneurial development, would be available to all tribes.

According to Ashade, this is the government’s way of intervening in employment generation and getting Lagosians jobs.

When asked if the scheme was open to every unemployed in Lagos, Ashade stated, “It is open to Lagosians because this is Lagos State. Lagosians, no matter tribe, religion or party affiliation, are the people we are focusing on. The government is to serve Lagosians, no matter their party affiliations.”

He added, “What we have realised is that if we don’t restrict it to Lagosians and people that are resident in Lagos, who we can identify through Lagos residents registration database, it will lead to a situation where people that are not contributing to the wealth of Lagos will come from other parts (of the country) to benefit from what is meant for Lagosians. And we want to put a stop to that.

“We are not going to discriminate as long as you are resident in Lagos.”

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had signed the bill establishing the Fund into law and appointed members of its Board of Trustees.

The governor had said an annual contribution of N6.25bn would be injected into the Fund by the state government for four years, totalling N25bn.

Ashade said, “The guidelines are going to be very simple. The interest rate is three per cent. We are trying to promote financial inclusion so that people that will not be able to access credits of financing from the conventional banks will find succour and be able to do that through the Employment Trust Fund.

“Beyond that, it will also create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Lagos. Once businesses thrive in Lagos, they will provide more employment for the teeming population. We are ensuring that we remove bureaucracies in issuing necessary permits for private businesses.”

Ashade also stated that Lagos had the capacity to support the a-meal-a-day programme for pupils of primary schools.

“I am not speaking for other states. It is also beneficial to us that the Federal Government is contributing 60 per cent and we are going to provide a counterpart fund of just 40 per cent,” he said.

The commissioner said while some critics had argued that some states might not be able to sustain the programme, it had economic benefits for any state that adopted it.

Ashade said, “One benefit of it is that it will increase school enrolment and it will also provide the nutritional needs of our pupils. There is an agricultural value chain around that: some people will plant some of the food that we need to use for the meals not forgetting the vendors and transportation.

“These will also jumpstart some critical sectors of our state and some other states that decide to embrace the programme. I think the advantages are what we should concentrate on and not whether some states can afford it.”