Lagos Begins Urban Regeneration Of Ikoyi

Lagos State Government on Wednesday commenced the urban regeneration of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja G.R.A, with the unveiling of

Lagos State Government on Wednesday commenced the urban regeneration of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja G.R.A, with the unveiling of 45 new road construction equipment and commissioning of newly interlocked road in Lekki.

Speaking at the unveiling, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, said the new equipment were procured in line with efforts to reposition the Lagos State Public Works Corporation for the urban regeneration programme aimed at addressing environmental and infrastructural challenges in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja G.R.A.

The Governor, who was represented by Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Rotimi Ogunleye, said the equipment would be immediately deployed across the state for the urban renewal initiative, saying that they would go a long way in ensuring the regeneration of the entire Lagos landscape.

He said, “We are here to commission these machines, equipment and gadgets and to state that these range of products would be deployed immediately to the urban regeneration of Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Ikeja and they are being put in place today to further upgrade the activities of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation so that from their three centres in Badagry, Ojodu and Imota, they can take care of the rest of Lagos State.

“We are at this site to see physically the demonstration of the capability and capacity of the equipment. I want to state emphatically that this development is a sign of the government’s commitment to the regeneration and renewal of the entire Lagos State landscape.

Also speaking, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello said the paving stone machines and road printers were acquired to basically construct roads that would last longer considering the state of the Lagos environment being waterlogged.

“We carefully thought about it before we even embarked on it. It was planned long time ago for the equipment to be acquired and having been acquired, they will be deployed immediately for road construction.”

 

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Ambode, Falana, others honour Gani Fawehinmi as Lagos unveils giant statue

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Sunday urged Nigerians to draw strength from the legacies and exemplary life of

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Sunday urged Nigerians to draw strength from the legacies and exemplary life of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi.

He urged them to do so in fighting poverty and improving the society for the benefit of generations to come.

Mr Ambode, who was represented by his Deputy, Idiat Adebule, made the call at the unveiling of the remodelled statue of late Fawehinmi at Liberty Park in Ojota area of Lagos.

The unveiling of the statue was in commemoration of the late activist’s 80th posthumous birthday.

Mr Fawehinmi, a Nigerian author, publisher, philanthropist, social critic, human rights lawyer, politician and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was born on April 22, 1938.

He died on September 5, 2009 after a prolonged battle with lung cancer.

Mr Fawehinmi set up the National Conscience Party (NCP) and contested the presidential election in 2003.

Governor Ambode, at the unveiling the 44-feet high statue, described the late legal luminary as a relentless human rights lawyer, social critic and a towering figure in human rights activism.

”This event is a celebration of the life and times of Chief Gani Fawehinmi as well as his contributions to the pursuit of the ideals of democracy and human rights.

”Chief Fawehinmi remains a hero and a role model to many till date.

Late Lagos Lawyer and fiery human rights activist, Gani Fawehinmi

“His memory would remain evergreen in our minds while his lifetime should encourage us to seek for greater good of the people in the society.

”As a government, we draw inspiration from his struggles and ideals as we strive to make life meaningful for our people.

“We will continue to keep his ideals alive and pass it on to the next generation,” he said.

According to him, “the monument stands as a testimony of Fawehinmi’s strength and courage.

“He will continue to inspire us as we forge ahead with the mission of building a better society,” Mr Ambode said.

The governor commended late Mr Fawehinmi’s family sustaining his legacies..

A legal practitioner, Femi Falana, described the new Fawehinmii statue as the best monument in the country.

Mr Falana said Mr Fawehinmi was a thorn on the flesh of dictators as he was totally committed to fundamental change — Change from poverty to prosperity.

He appreciated Governor Ambode for investing in the remodelling of the statue in honour of Gani and his legacies.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state [Photo credit: Instagram – akinwunmiambode]

”It is a mark of greatness to honour great people like Gani who stood for justice, accountability, transparency and equity.

”I want to appeal that the streets named after British administrators who carted away with our country’s resources should be changed to names of our countrymen who have contributed positively to good governance,” Mr Falana said.

Ayodele Akele, Secretary, National Conscience Party (NCP), who also expressed happiness over the remodelling of the statue, said it was a birthday gift to the family, friends and associates of Mr Fawehinmi.

Also speaking, Isa Aremu, Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress, described Mr Fawehinmi as defender of the masses who was always on the street to protest against bad governance.

Mr Aremu said Mr Fawehinmi also fought a legal battle to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission could register as many political parties as possible.

”Gani is our mentor because he was with us totally on the street during protests.

“The best way we can all honour him is to sustain his legacies,” Aremu said.

The Convener of the Women Arise for Change Initiative, Joe Okei-Odumakin, said Mr Fawehinmi gave all his resources, time and energy to defend human rights.

”We should imbibe all he lived and died for — justice, good governance, equity, accountability, adherence to rule of law.

“Gani will continue to live in the sub-consciousness of all Nigerians,” she said

The international Coordinator of Concerned Human Rights – Nigeria, Declan Ihekaire, who spoke on behalf of the civil society groups, said Mr Ambode had respected the interest of the civil society organisations.

”When the old statue of Gani was being dismantled, we were not happy and we protested, but now we are very happy with the new statue.

”This statue represents all that Gani lived and died for. He will continue to live on,” he said.

Responding, the first son of the late Mr Fawehinmi, Mohammed Fawehinmi, who spoke on behalf of the family, thanked the state governor.

”I’m overwhelmed seeing this statue and I’m saying a massive thank you to Governor Ambode for honouring our father with this statue.

”It is an indelible work of Art that will place the name of Gani in the global map and it will go into the Guinness book of records no doubt — a statue of 44-feet, it is unbelievable.

”I have a feeling that I will dream about this because when I attended the last unveiling of the old statue, for about three months consecutively I was dreaming of my father telling me things.

“So, I think with this one he will still speak to me,” he said.

Mr Mohammed appealed to Mr Ambode to listen to the yearnings of the residents of Lagos by scrapping the Land Use Charge.

“We appreciate the governor’s efforts in driving development and making Lagos a megacity, but he needs to listen to the yearnings of the people, ” he said.

Mr Mohammed also urged the federal government to intensify its efforts to address the challenges facing the country, especially the herdsmen killings.

According to him, the nation’s natural resources can be utilised to take the country out of its current challenges.

Earlier, the sculptor of the statue, Olurotimi Ajayi of Modupe Studio appreciated Mr Ambode for the opportunity to use creative arts to develop tourism as well as create employment for artistes.

Mr Ajayi also commended the state government for investing in the statue of Mr Fawehinmi, a promoter and defender of the rights of the citizens, as it would serve as an inspiration to the younger generation.

”Visual arts feeds on perception. This statue will sell our local creativity and skills, and investors would be attracted.

”A society that values its heritage and culture is educating and counselling the younger generation on positive pathway, ” he said.

In his address, Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture said that the remodelling of the Gani Fawehinmi statue was part of the state’s strategy to enhance the aesthetic beauty of open public spaces and parks across the state.

Steve Ayorinde, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture. [Photo credit: Official Facebook page of Steve Ayorinde.]

Mr Ayorinde said the remodelling of monuments across the state was to celebrate and immortalise worthy icons that contributed immensely to the development of Lagos State.

He said the statue was also informed by the desire of the state government to project and entrench the enduring legacy of the country’s foremost human right lawyer.

Mr Fawhinmi, he said, was also an activist, philanthropist and one of the icons of pro-democracy movement in Nigeria.

(NAN)

Lagos to unveil Gani Fawehinmi’s statue

The Lagos State Government is set to unveil a new statue of Gani Fawehinmi on Sunday. The statue is located

The Lagos State Government is set to unveil a new statue of Gani Fawehinmi on Sunday.

The statue is located at a park in Ojota named after the late legal luminary and human rights advocate.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, with members of the Gani Fawehinmi family, leading voices in human rights and other dignitaries across the state, will unveil the edifying statue in commemoration of the late activist’s 80th posthumous birthday.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde in a statement, said the remodelling of the magnificent Gani Fawehinmi statue was part of the State’s strategy to enhance the aesthetic beauty of open public spaces and parks across the state and to celebrate and immortalise worthy icons that contributed immensely to the development of Lagos State.

According to the Commissioner, the new statue was also informed by the desire of Lagos State government to project and entrench the enduring legacy of the country’s foremost human right lawyer, activist, philanthropist and one of the icons of pro-democracy movement in Nigeria.

“Lagos State is proud that Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s courageous voice was loud enough for the world to take notice of socio-political developments in Nigeria. His fearless activism and constant interventions on behalf of the voiceless were legendary and helped ignite global interest on the plight of the masses and on Lagos as a liberal State that created an enabling environment for voices against oppression to be heard,” Ayorinde said.

The 34-feet high statue will serve as one of the many iconic edifices that highlight the Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration’s quest to transform the landscape of the state with artistic aesthetics, while also signposting the belief in giving honour to whom honour is due.

The commissioner quoted Governor Ambode as saying that the relevance of Gani’s struggle for transparent and responsive governance remains the pillar of our progressive leadership in Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in general.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state [Photo credit: Instagram – akinwunmiambode]

“It is therefore pertinent to accord him the needed reference and respect in the company of great and revered minds that considered Lagos as home and an integral part of their success story.”

The statement added that Governor Ambode and his entire cabinet, on behalf of the good people of Lagos State appreciate and congratulate the Fawehinmi family for keeping the flag of what Gani represents to the law profession and the civil society flying through the sustenance of the colloquium to celebrate his birthday annually.

Sunday’s unveiling is expected to be witnessed by members of Gani’s family, friends, protégés and loyalists that have sustained the legacy of the late legal icon by keeping the flag of human rights advocacy, fairness and justice flying.

The Commissioner added that adequate security measures and traffic control have been put in place to ensure that the two-hour ceremony is orderly and befitting of Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s legacy.

Under PDP Nigeria Lost $3bn To Fraudulent Oil Partnership – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday revealed that Nigeria under the previous administration led By the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday revealed that Nigeria under the previous administration led By the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost a whopping $3 billion to strategic oil alliance partnership arranged by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Osinbajo who spoke at the 10th Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium, organised to commemorate the former Lagos Governor’s birthday said Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s administration was a government filled with great deal of argument, saying he was a leader that allows different shades of ideas.

He said, “In 2014 when oil was floating between $100 per barrel and above, the actual releases for three ministries for ministries of Works, Power and Housing, then they were three separate ministry, was N99 billion while transportation got N14 billion, Agriculture received N15 billion and we need to compare to the actual release with what the ministries got in 2017 when the price of oil stood at $50 and $60 per barrel.

“N415 billion was released for ministries of Works, Power and Housing, N80 for Transportation and N65 billion for Agriculture

“One of the reasons this is possible was that if we do not steal the resources of the people, we can spend on things that concerned them. We aren’t stealing but spending them on infrastructures that will affect the lives of Nigerians positively.

“On the reason why we said that those who misappropriated the country’s resources must be made to pay for it. I will give you an example, $3 billion was lost by previous administration on what they termed strategic Alliance Oil agreement under NNPC. The people took the oil but they never paid back.

“With the fund, the government will achieve substantial development on Enugu-Port Harcourt road, Abuja-Kaduna Kano road, second Niger Bridge, Shagamu road and others.

Osinbajo said he was proud to have garnered experience in public service under the tutelage of Tinubu when he was Governor of Lagos State, noting that it was during that period the foundation of development currently ongoing in Lagos was laid.

He particular alluded to the concept of the Land Use Charge which Tinubu’s administration initiated, saying that despite the challenges and dissenting voices, he (Tinubu) successfully defended, a move which, according to him made Lagos better for it.

“When we introduced the Land Use Charge, which was the foundation of the development we see in Lagos today, some of us believed that it should not be introduced at all, others believed it should be introduced. I remembered we were having a meeting in a small room, Asiwaju, myself, Yemi Cardoso, Wale Edun and some others and the argument got so heated that Asiwaju asked us if we were the ones the people elected.

“He stormed out of the room and we did not leave, we stayed there. After some minutes, he came back into the room and asked us why we were still there. Then we continued the discussion. In the end, we developed that law and it has become part of the success story in Lagos. This showed that Asiwaju is one leader who allows people to develop ideas,” Osinbajo explained.

The Vice President who also presented a discourse on the topic, ‘Linking the Philosophy To Governance and Commitment’, also described Tinubu as a “fighter and a champion of people- oriented courses.

Speaking at the colloquium attended by the crème dela crème in the country, President Buhari said, “I call on Nigerians to join me to celebrate Asiwaju, a man who is widely known as a political strategist and I have come to see him as a man who cares about people and is a fountain of ideas for the economy and for the common man and woman. He is a true democrat and we appreciate his contribution for Nigeria’s capital progress.

“Asiwaju has invested in people because he believes that tomorrow will be better than today and good will one day triumph over evil.”

Dwelling on the concept of the Colloquium and its theme, ‘Investing In People’ the President said the Federal Government over the last two years had initiated programmes and policies that have made direct impact on the people, adding that the nation can only grow when government invests in its people.

In his welcome address, Governor Ambode said Tinubu’s era as Governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007 showed the depth of his governance capacity, adding that he has over the years sustained his relevance in the nation’s polity.

“After his gubernatorial years, he has continued to show pivotal leadership, particularly on the national stage.  It is not for nothing that he is acknowledged for his defining role in the emergence of a progressive political party in Nigeria,” the Governor said.

He said there was no better birthday present that his friends and well -wishers could give to him as befitting as what the theme of this year’s colloquium epitomized, saying that Tinubu’s legacy was built around his capacity to invest in people.

“The theme of this year’s colloquium is “Investing in People”. Whether it is called human capital development or people-centric investment, the meaning is clear enough and its importance is undeniable.  For us on the political landscape, it may well be the greatest governance challenge.  Creating highly impactful programs and policies for our people is my simple understanding of good governance.  At the end of the day, the level of investment on our people will determine our future sustenance as a Nation always.

“Look around you, there are only a few people that can match his (Tinubu) unquestionable thirst to invest in people.  It goes without any gainsaying that, I join numerous others seated here or outside, that have gained in the investment Asiwaju has made on people.  I am grateful for that,” Ambode said.

He said the colloquium was not just a talk shop, but a veritable platform for the generation of ideas by all stakeholders on the need to invest in people, adding that the ultimate objective and expectation is for the forum to avail policy makers at all levels of government new ideas and perspectives and to enrich the process of policy formulation, design and implementation.

Besides, Governor Ambode thanked President Buhari for the support to the State and gracing the occasion as part of his activities to mark his two-day official visit to Lagos, just as he expressed optimism that the historic visit would be more beneficial to the State on the long run.

Responding, the celebrator Asiwaju Bola Tinubu thanked President Buhari and the host of dignitaries including several Governors, members of the National Assembly, Ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, among other stakeholders for finding time to grace the occasion, saying that he was highly honoured by their presence.

Tinubu noted that that President Buhari was currently reinventing the country, expressing confidence in the ability of the president to turn things around and make the country great.

 

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We will Commission Gigantic Projects In Lagos, Not Bus Parks, ADP Tells Ambode

The Action Democratic Party (ADP) has taken a swipe at the Lagos State Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode over the invitation

The Action Democratic Party (ADP) has taken a swipe at the Lagos State Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode over the invitation extended to President Buhari to come and commission a newly built bus park in the state on Thursday.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday, Prince Adelaja Adeoye, the spokesman for the party said, “it’s rather low on the part of Governor Ambode to invite the President to commission a ‘mere bus park’ and that declaring a public holiday for such is rather wasteful and unnecessary.”
ADP said, they will take over the reign of Lagos in 2019 and invite their own President to come and commission laudable projects that will have a direct impact on the lives of Lagosians. The party maintained that locking down the state over a Presidential visit is pathetic and a sign of desperation to promote a party that has lost all of its goodwill. The party says that, this same APC led government in Lagos vilified former President Goodluck Jonathan for doing same during the last dispensation.
The Party says that it’s preposterous to shut down economic activities in the State because of a Presidential visit that will not add value to the lives of residents. The ADP says that Lagos should be a shinning light for all others in terms of leadership and infrastructural development and not this joke of commissioning bus stops.
ADP also reminded President Buhari that it would have been a thing of honor for him if he had not stopped the rail system conceived by the former Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande when he brutality seized power via a military coup and that this bus park is of no consequence.
ADP says that it is time for Lagosians to rise and demand accountability from those that lead them. The party argues that with the massive revenue been generated in Lagos, the state should be competing with some world renowned economies, and that the average Lagosian should feel the impact of governance through the redistribution of wealth.
ADP has charged Lagosians to get ready for real development that will change their lives for good. The party says that they will present a more qualified candidate for the 2019 election.

Ambode To Lagosians: I Will Return Your Taxes With Facilities

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday assured the residents that his administration will continue to judiciously put the

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday assured the residents that his administration will continue to judiciously put the monies paid by tax payers to good use by providing world class facilities.

Ambode, who spoke at the commissioning of Alapere Road and junction improvement works in Agboyi Ketu area of the state said the 1.4km road was a fulfilment of one of the recommendations of the Traffic Summit organized by his administration in November 2015.

He said the summit, among others, recommended that critical road junctions should be redesigned, improved and or upgraded to meet present and future needs of road users to reduce travel times and support economic activities.

“Undoubtedly, this infrastructure, with the improvement it has conferred on this axis, and the signalization of the traffic here, will not only serve the purpose of reducing travel time and resolving traffic gridlock, it will also increase the value of properties in this area and become a source of prosperity to the owners. That is the Lagos of our dream. A Lagos where we all succeed, together,” the Governor said.

Ambode also announced the approval for the commencement of the Phase three of the government’s Traffic Intervention Plan in the Ketu – Alapere Area, including the Dualization of the Demuren Road (Alapere Roundabout to Ketu Junction) and Davies Streets (Mr Biggs Junction to Mile 12).

He said the Phase three is a strategic linkage between the Third Mainland Bridge – Ogudu – Alapere Corridor via Alapere and Ikorodu Road – Ketu – Ojota – Mile 12 Corridor and that it would provide an alternative route for Lagosians, thereby taking pressure off the Ojota Interchange.

The Governor urged residents of the area to take ownership of project and other facilities provided across the State by government and protect them, noting that the projects were being executed by their taxes.

“The truth is all these projects are more or less a return from the tax you are paying to government and so we are going to appeal to ourselves. Whatever little amount that you are paying as taxes, believe me you will get greater value in return and that is why you are able to get all these projects,” he said.

 

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2019: Lagos senators endorse Ambode for second term

The three senators representing Lagos East, West and Central Senatorial Districts on Sunday passed a vote of confidence and endorsed

The three senators representing Lagos East, West and Central Senatorial Districts on Sunday passed a vote of confidence and endorsed Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for a second term in office, saying that the giant strides of his administration were being felt across the state.

The senators- Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East); Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) and Solomon Olamilekan (Lagos West), who paid a visit to the Governor at Lagos House, Ikeja, said they were proud of his achievements and the renewed vigour he had brought to bear since he assumed office.

Reading a letter of endorsement on behalf of his colleagues, Mr Ashafa said Mr Ambode had beyond reasonable doubt proved his mettle to lead the state to greater heights, citing massive infrastructural development, strategic solutions to traffic gridlock as well as key interventions in various sectors in the State in the last 33 months.

“Since May 29, 2015, when you took the mantle of leadership and administration, you have made it clear that you are out to deliver on all your campaign promises. Looking back today, we are Senators representing the three senatorial districts of Lagos State are very proud of your achievements and the renewed vigour which you have brought to the public service of Lagos State.

“We particularly are proud of the infrastructural development that you have brought to the entire State in general and to our districts in particular. Your smart solutions in tackling the traffic and security challenges that initially faced your administration have become template for other States to copy.

“Also, your strategy partnerships with Kebbi and Kano States have thrown more light to the capacity of Lagos State and the creative manager of man and resources which you are. We must also mention that through the course of the period which our country battled with an economic recession, your Excellency made sure that Lagos State remained well-above the curve and also ensured that workers in Lagos State did not miss their salary for one day throughout that period and indeed throughout this administration. For this, we thank your Excellency for always placing the interest of Lagosians first.

“In conclusion, the foregoing and many more reasons formed the bedrock of the decision of the Senators representing the Central, East and Western districts of Lagos State together with the political leadership of our various districts resulted in our visit today to convey our vote of confidence and endorsement for another well-deserved term for your administration,” Mr Ashafa said.

On her part, Mrs Tinubu commended Mr Ambode for turning every part of the state into a huge construction site and as well working to improve the lives of the common man.

Addressing the governor, Mrs Tinubu said: “You (Governor Ambode) have done very credibly and even on our way here just seeing the masses have somewhere to go to is a testimony of how you really want to improve the lives of the common man.

“And not only that, we see that there is no where you go to that you will not find development. Anyone that will say oh they haven’t come to me, all I would say is that they should be patient; it’s going to go round. I want to congratulate you and pray that your next term in office will be better than this because they say that the glory of the latter house will be greater than the former and so we pray that you will continue to take this State from glory to glory.”

Also, Mr Olamilekan said the vote of confidence on the governor was as a result of the good works he had done so far, adding that it was also to urge him to continue to do more for the State.

“What we are doing here today, we believe we are speaking the minds of Lagosians that you are overwhelmingly endorse for second term in office. What we can always say as Oliver Twist is to demand for more. I believe that by the time the second term commence, a lot that is yet to be done will be attended to. Once more, we want to thank you for the good job you have done so far,” he said.

Responding, Mr Ambode said he was humbled by the collective endorsement of the senators, assuring that he would continue to give his best for the development of the state.

“I am seriously humbled by the collective presence of the three distinguished Senators from Lagos State in the State House this evening. I must also say that this is a sign that there is huge political stability in this State and to also let the people know, I am humbled by the desire of the Senators to say that I should continue with all the things I have already done for Lagosians.

“I want to say I am very proud of the three of them; they have done Lagos State very proud; they have been very active and I must also say that there is harmony and brotherhood in the political class in Lagos and we are proud of our Senators,” Mr Ambode said.

PSP waste operators petition Lagos Speaker, demand intervention

Dozens of private waste operators on Wednesday marched to the Lagos House of Assembly to demand the intervention of lawmakers

Dozens of private waste operators on Wednesday marched to the Lagos House of Assembly to demand the intervention of lawmakers in the increasingly filthy state of the metropolis.

The operators appealed to the Assembly to save their business and the thousands of jobs they created.

In a letter addressed to the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, the waste operators pleaded that they be allowed to continue operation in both domestic and commercial waste collection.

“That foreign investors should be encouraged to invest in the lacking infrastructure that will support effective waste management such as Material Recovery Facilities, Engineered Sanitary Landfill sites, etc,” read the letter written by Ola Egbeyemi and Taiye Kolade, the group’s chairman and secretary respectively.

For months, the private waste operators (also known as Private Sector Participants, PSP operators) in the state have been at loggerheads with the executive arm of the government over the latter’s decision to remove them from the domestic waste collection.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, last year, signed into law an environmental bill that empowered a concessionaire to take over the domestic collection of refuse across the state.

Afterward, the government launched a Cleaner Lagos Initiative that saw a Dubai-based firm, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, contracted to handle domestic waste collection.

Aggrieved at the government’s decision to remove them from the lucrative domestic waste business, the PSP operators headed to court where the judge encouraged an out-of-court settlement between the parties.

The settlement has remained deadlocked, as both parties have refused to shift grounds.

A PREMIUM TIMES report last month detailed how the Dubai-based firm had begun to recruit some of the local PSP operators to help in the evacuation of waste.

In their letter on Wednesday, the private waste operators said they are now facing a situation where “a foreign company without capacity” is trying to engage PSP operators who have almost 1,000 trucks and over 20 years of experience on the job.

“The government has decided to restrict the PSP operators to manage only the commercial waste collection which is less than 20 per cent of our current activities,” the letter read.

Private waste operators protesting at the Lagos House of Assembly

“The current market value of the commercial waste collection is N301 million while the number of enlisted PSP operators are 365 with a total number of trucks of 931.

“The commercial premises if shared based on capacity will result in revenue that is grossly inadequate for any operator hereby affecting our viability.

File photo of a local PSP operator evacuating the waste at Tinubu Square.

“The problem is compounded by the closure of Olusosun dumpsite which will result in an increase in our logistics cost and adversely affect the turnaround time.”

The operators said that an analysis of the commercial business currently offered them showed that only 31 companies earned 52 per cent of the commercial revenue.

Private waste operators protesting at the Lagos House of Assembly

“The 31 operators represent only eight per cent of operators and they are nervous at the risk of seeing their revenue reduced significantly as a result of redistribution.

“On the other hand, 92 per cent of operators either solely operate in the domestic waste collection or earn a significant revenue from it. They are currently facing a 100 per cent loss of revenue if and when Visionscape takes over the domestic waste collection.

Private waste operators protesting at the Lagos House of Assembly

“While the sharing of the commercial waste collection provides some revenue, it is still grossly inadequate to make them viable. The conclusion is that the policy to restrict the waste operator to only commercial waste collection will destroy all existing operators and investments.”

We’re Laying Foundation For Sustainable Economic Growth – Ambode

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State Ambode says his administration is laying the necessary foundation for steady and sustainable economic

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State Ambode says his administration is laying the necessary foundation for steady and sustainable economic growth in Lagos State.

Ambode who was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said this on Thursday at the Graduation Ceremony and Job Fair of the first set of trainees from the Lagos State Employability Project (LSESP) in Lagos.

He identified skills acquisition as a sure pathway to economic prosperity and personal development of the youth in the State.

Ambode said his administration would continue to support initiatives toward the drive to for human development.

According to him, the graduation of 540 trainees is one of the primary goals of the Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) set up by his administration two years ago to address the issue of unemployment among youths.

The governor said he was excited that many residents and entrepreneurs had taken advantage of the fund.

He said that the LSESP was also providing a viable platform to bridge the gap of shortage of skilled and employable labour required to fill the needs of the job market and also provide 10,000 new jobs for youths by 2019.

”While the business ecosystem in the State has improved over the years, a manpower skills gap remains a significant issue for businesses operating in Lagos.

”Several firms and industries across the country are unable to find graduates and non-graduates with requisite skills to fill key positions. Paradoxically, there are thousands of unemployed youths out there desperate to find a job, any job,” the governor said.

Ambode said each of the graduates would be awarded a certificate endorsed by both the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) and the Australian Vocational training and Employment Group (AVTEG).

According to him, the certificates will affirm them as globally competitive and employable.

”The Employability Support Project will continue to support these young men and women through job placement initiatives.

“With twin aims of capacity building for Lagos State youths and the provision of employment opportunities for them, the project aims to provide 10,000 new jobs by 2019,” he said.

Ambode said that the project is a testament to the successful collaboration between the LSETF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in strengthening the human capital potential of Lagos youths.

Congratulating the graduands, the governor urged them to utilise their skills and the opportunities to go all out to become productive citizens.

”The State has done its part and kept its pledge to provide a safety net to any Lagos resident who needs a helping hand. It is now up to you to go forth and capitalise on the assistance you have received.

”I also urge other well meaning institutions and organisations to join the league of private firms who have keyed into the project as partners to harness the creative energies of youths in the State to become productive, self-reliant and proud contributors to the growth of the economy,” he said.

In her address, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, Chairman, LSETF, said the project was to improve the technical and vocational training outcomes in the State with the aim of increasing employment opportunities for young people in Lagos.

”This event is a journey that started in November 2016, resulting in the signing of an MOU with the UNDP in May 2017.

“UNDP provided LSETF a grant of  one million dollars to complement the Fund’s contribution of three million dollars towards an employability project in Lagos State.

”Also, 20 per cent of the graduates have already received job offers from employers, while efforts are ongoing to match the remaining graduates with other supporting firms,” she said. (NAN)

 

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Lawyers, activists march against ‘obnoxious’ Lagos taxes

Dozens of lawyers and civil society activists marched in Lagos, Tuesday, in protest of some new tax regimes introduced by

Dozens of lawyers and civil society activists marched in Lagos, Tuesday, in protest of some new tax regimes introduced by the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode government.

The protesters said the taxes are “anti-people.”

“The tax increments by Ambode would cause hyperinflation, insecurity, encourage crime and hunger,” said Adesina Ogunlana, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, during the protest.

The protest came after the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the state government by the lawyers’ body to reverse the increments.

“If the governor refuses‎ to stop and reverse all tax increments after our protest, we will go to court.,” Mr. Ogunlana continued.

“The law court is part of our struggle. We are here for one purpose; to fight against our oppressor. We know our condition of life, sweating everyday, having problems with food, accommodation and they are here asking us to pay taxes, taxes and more taxes.

“I know of a school given N5 million for borehole permit. Are the parents of the students not in trouble?

“Ambode’s tax is illegal, toxic, satanic and we are not going to accept it. We voted for him and now he wants to vote us out of Lagos.”

Last week, the Lagos State government introduced a new fiscal regime that saw a hike in property taxes in the state, prompting a backlash from residents and activists.

But the government defended its actions saying the funds generated from the increase in taxes, such as the land use charge, would be used to build infrastructure.

On Tuesday, the protesters insisted the only solution is to reverse the increments.

“This is not about negotiations, it is about a total reversal,” said Abiodun Aremu, Secretary, Joint Action Front.

“We resisted Fashola on the doctors’ strike. NBA was with us at ‎Ojota in January 2012. This protest today should not end up like the Ojota charade. It is their plot that the poor people must be driven out of Lagos and we must resist them.”

The protesters converged on the NBA secretariat at the Ikeja Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning and marched to the Lagos State House of Assembly where they were initially denied entry.

After sitting at the gate and insisting the Assembly complex was a public building, a state lawmaker, Sani Agunbiade, arrived and ordered the security guards to open the gates.

Addressing the lawmakers, Mr. Ogunlana said, “Our purpose here is two-fold, to communicate the grievances of Lagosians vis-a-vis the new directory of revenue generation of the government and also to present a letter to the Governor and the Speaker.”

Mr. Ogunlana then read the letter out loud accusing the government of enacting a law without proper consultation, adding that Mr. Ambode should not to be like the Biblical King Jeroboam who said ‘my father whipped you with iron but I will whip you with Scorpion.”

In his response, Mr. Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the House, welcomed the protesters and informed them the Speaker and other members of the House were on an assignment outside the state.

“We thank you for the peaceful presentation of your position. The clerk will receive the letter on behalf of the Speaker and the Commissioner for Information will receive the letter on behalf of the governor,” said Mr. Agunbiade (APC, Ikorodu 1).

“We want a good relationship with the NBA especially when bills are to be passed into law. We expect you to state your position in the public hearing.”