A vocational center, Lagos State School Leavers Modern Apprenticeship, has been inaugurated by the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola for street urchins, popularly known as Area boys in a bid to get them off the streets.
The center which was inaugurated on Tuesday is expected to not only provide a base for young school leavers to acquire vocational skills but also provide a base for the urchins to be trained without fee.
At the inauguration of the center, Mr Fashola noted that most of the urchins dropped out of school and did not have good parental care.
According to him, the situation the urchins found themselves forced them into taking drugs and other vices, adding that “these youth if trained could be very useful members of the society. That is why we feel it is imperative to train these miscreants.”
He explained that this scheme and amongst many others are responsible for the fall in crime in the state. “This is what we have been doing to secure the state from crime. Before 2001, you could not walk on the streets of Lagos without being molested by these miscreants. We have about 17 other skill acquisition centers to arrest the situation and prevent crimes.” he said
86 persons have been arrested by the Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, for not having definite residential address and means of livelihood.
The arrest, which was carried out in the Ikoyi area of Lagos between 11pm and 1am on Wednesday, was a response to complaints by residents of the area about the presence of illegal squatters in uncompleted buildings and food vendors in make-do shops.
Task Force Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman who led the arrest, said those arrested were suspected to be part of criminal gangs terrorising Ikoyi residents. “They were arrested at Lugard Street, Bedwell Street, Glover Street and three different spots in Parkview Estate…those arrested were those selling and living in shanties and those living in uncompleted buildings.” he said.
Mr. Sulaiman said the raid would continue till criminals are wiped out of the state, adding that the government would no longer tolerate people living in uncompleted buildings as a large number of them usually turn out as criminals.
The chairman futher said “Those arrested will be further investigated and charged to court.”
Hundreds of vehicles belonging to those visiting the Lagos state secretariat have been shut out by the Lagos State Government as “a proactive measure” against the menace of Boko Haram. Reports say the state government began the ‘no sticker, no entry’ policy for vehicles into its’ state secretariat on Wednesday, without making adequate stickers available for its workforce. Sources at the secretariat said the stickers that were only given to the senior staff while the majority were left empty-handed. To ensure compliance, the entrance to the secretariat was blocked by officials of the Vehicle Inspection Office, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, to stop vehicles that did not have the state government stickers from entering the secretariat. As a result of the action, roads in areas around the secretariat including Ikeja, Oregun, Agidingbi, Secretariat end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Mobolaji Johnson Avenue were blocked with vehicles, which led to a gridlock. Fashola had in February issued an executive order that only vehicles with new government stickers would be allowed into the secretariat because of the Boko Haram menace, though the take-off date wasn’t indicated. Before the order, five of the seven entrances to the secretariat had been shut permanently, leaving only one entrance and one exit. Also, three makeshift mosques in the secretariat were demolished, while Christian worshipers were ordered to relocate from the premises.
The Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday said that the state is planning to assist victims of Monday’s rainstorm in the state.
An early morning rainstorm on Monday claimed lives and destroyed property worth millions of naira in Lagos.
Mr Fashola disclosed the intention of his administration while inspecting the office of the Public Defender constructed by the State Ministry of Justice which was also affected by the storm.
The governor said the state and local government councils were working on how to assist victims, saying that the state emergency management agency is evaluating extent of damages in the affected areas.
He said: “Let me first express sympathy to all those who are victims of that storm. From the report that I have received, the damage came not so much from the water, but from the high storm that blew off roofs and stalls. I would like to thank the various local government chairmen where this incident occurred. I have been briefed regularly about the impact at various local governments and the steps the various local governments have taken in terms of resettlement relocation and provision of reliefs.
Mr Fashola said that the Lagos state agency in charge of environmental issues, LASEMA is evaluating the extent of damage and will send its report to the government for necessary action.
EXPECT MORE RAIN
Mr Fashola said what the rainstorm pointed to the fact that people should be wary of practices that tend to degrade the environment.
“We are in unusual time in terms of whether. We are having changing patterns of weather when you begin to witness rainfall in January and February. The knowledge that we have about raining season is June and July so, it means we must change our ways.”
“From what I see today in Europe, clearly you see that it is winter area but the winter is so extreme. Just yesterday I was monitoring Ukraine over 110 people have died there. People are losing their limbs. Some people are being amputated to keep them alive because of the impact. We cannot expect as part of this world on this same planet to be immune from this unusual weather pattern. I expect therefore we will see very heavy rain fall later in the year,” the governor said
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Monday inaugurated the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 18th National Sports Festival billed to be hosted by the State in November, stating that Lagos will match and exceed the standard set by the last host, Rivers State.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Ikeja, while inaugurating the Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said Lagos State as a Centre of Excellence will succeed by using its strongest asset which is the people.
The governor said “we have chosen to succeed by using our people who are our strongest assets and allow the private sector to drive our sports festival and hopefully sometimes Nigerian Sports. There is too much government in our sports. But Government can play its role of regulation but should allow private sector to express its power of enterprise and flourish”.
The Governor explained that the Deputy Governor is statutorily the Chairman of the Committee and supported by heads of ministerial departments and agencies to facilitate communication with government to enable it play its role to regulate.
Governor Fashola added that the State Government is humbled by the acceptance of many giants of the Nigerian Corporate, Legal, Political and Social world to serve the Committee expressing the hope for not only a true sporting spectacle but also the first National Sports festival that will have a corporate sponsor and also many event sponsorship of the various games.
“More importantly, I expect the kind of efficiency that our partnership with the Private Sector has elicited in security, education, infrastructure, solid waste management and transportation to be replicated in our sporting life”, the Governor stated.
Governor Fashola stated that the resolve by the State Government to improve the sporting fortunes of the State and the Country is one of the reasons why she bidded for the hosting rights and also accepted the rights.
He reiterated that Lagos State has been encouraged by the enthusiastic response by individual and Corporate citizens in the many sporting championship from football, lawn tennis, table tennis, athletics and scrabble that are sponsored by the Corporate and individual organisations.
The State Governor also implored the boards of the various sports associations which were recently inaugurated to harness the potential championships in respective sports into a harmonised calendar through which they can monitor emerging talents and provide support that will nurture them.
He added that because the effort will need collaboration to succeed, the various sponsors are also being implored to kindly notify the associations of their programmes and event for ease of record and for the purpose of accreditation.
Earlier the State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr Wahid Enitan had said the inauguration of the Local Organising Committee with its various organs marks an important step towards the successful hosting rights.
He also presented all the members of the Local Organising Committee to the gathering.
Later, while responding on behalf of the LOC members, the Chairman and Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire thanked the Governor for the opportunity given to the members to serve the State and promised that the members will deliver the best Sports Festival in the history of Nigeria.
He called on sports loving individuals and Corporate Organisations to support Lagos State Government efforts in funding the hosting of the games.
The members of the Local Organising Committee inaugurated include Commissioner for Sports,Mr Wahid Enitan, Vice Chairman, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, Commissioner for Health, Dr Olajide Idris, his counterpart in Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr Disun Holloway, Special Adviser on Sports, Dr Dolapo Badru, member of the State House of Assembly, Hon Babatunde Ayeni, Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Mr Yakubu Alkali, Permanent Secretary, Office of Sports, Mr ‘Delano Adepoju-Conde, the Asoju- Oba of Lagos, Chief Molade Okoya Thomas(CON.
Other members are Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, former Managing Director of United Bank of Africa, Mr Tony Elumelu(CFR), Alhaji Uba Saidu Malami, Chief Ademola Seriki, Mr Olawale Edun, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, Mr Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Erelu Angela Adebayo, Professor Ademola Onifade, Mr Ademola Sadiq, Mr Ayodeji Tinubu, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, Mr Godson Uti, Mrs Grace Asagba, chairmen of Local Organising Committee (LOC) Sub-Committees, Dr Kweku Tandor who will serve as the Secretary General and Mr Nunayon Travih who would function as the Assistant Secretary-General.
In its drive to build a local capacity in the health sector, the Lagos state government has decided to make the Gbagada General Hospital an annex of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
This they say will happen as soon as the ongoing Cardiac Renal Centres are completed. The Annex will also have an Emergency and Burns Center. It is expected that the facility when finished will reduce the level of foreign referrals for cardio-Vascular and Kidney related diseases.
The state Governor, Babatunde Fashola made this known after the inspection of on-going projects at the Hospital on Sunday December 11 2011. The Governor who was accompanied by members of the state executive council also inspected the Link road to the Hospital & the Neighboring Estates and communities in Gbagada said the road when completed will not only make the Hospital respond to its Primary responsibility but also, enrich the infrastructure of the Gbagada area which is a Flood Plain.
The road will also have a dedicated emergency lane and have a lifespan of Forty years.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Thursday advocated further nurturing of the business relationship between Nigeria and Singapore through visits by Singaporean entrepreneurs to Lagos and Nigeria.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja where he played host to the Singaporean High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Shabbir Hassanbhai, said such visits would also enable the entrepreneurs to know and acquaint themselves with the environment in which they expectedly want to invest.
According to the Governor, “The biggest impediment now probably, if that is the right word to use, is the very slow movement of Singaporean entrepreneurs outside their own shores. Leaving their shores and coming here will enable them to see the environment in which they expectedly want to invest”
Also while accepting an invitation by the High Commissioner to speak at an Africa-Singapore Business Forum coming up mid next year in Singapore, Governor Fashola again suggested that such a forum be held in rotation between Africa and Singapore to act as a vehicle of interchange of knowledge and nurturing of business relationships.
“I think, maybe if we begin to have this kind of fora in rotation, maybe host it in Africa one period and in Singapore another period, it will facilitate the crossing of channels and direct contact with the people and the place rather than dealing with them on laptops and telephones”, the Governor further suggested.
Governor Fashola charged the High Commissioner to take it as an assignment “to get Singaporean entrepreneurs to actually leave the shores and comfort of their country and really go and see the world, particularly Lagos and many parts of Nigeria”.
Acknowledging that he has been a beneficiary of Singaporean hospitality and business efficiency, the Governor declared, “Many members of my team have been largely inspired by what you have done in your country and we have been back here since that very first contact trying to surpass ourselves as it were and the Singaporean ethos of work still runs very deep in this Government and we will continue to keep that alive”.
Governor Fashola also called for the deepening of relationships between Lagos and Singapore in the area of medical knowledge and capacities pointing out that by the time his administration completes a few of the State’s specialist health facilities it would require training and capacity building in the health sector.
“I have seen the advances and frontiers of Medical Science in Singapore. I have also had cause to know people who have benefited from the opportunity and I think that with the level of facilities that we are developing here, it wouldn’t be difficult to create an exchange of personnel when we can have your people come and work with us and help develop the knowledge that we have. I think that is the area we want to pursue and explore as we go further”, the Governor said.
On the investments by Singaporean entrepreneurs in Nigeria and particularly in Lagos, Governor Fashola expressed joy at the development, notably the investments in Lagos being driven by Tolaram Group adding that a few weeks ago, he met with the Group and reached some compromise on land which, according to him, has been on the way of the project.
“That project is our project and it is as much our project as it is theirs. So we have a mutual self-enlightened interest to see its actualization and we will continue to work with them to see that we give the necessary governmental support to deliver that baby”, the Governor said.
Congratulating the High Commissioner on the progress and development he has achieved in the deepening of relationships between Nigeria and Singapore, Governor Fashola particularly commended him for the arrival of the first cargo flight from Singaporean Airlines to Nigeria.
“I am convinced that in the event, men and women will follow the cargo and then we will have full service passenger flight. I recall this was one of the constraints when I met the Minister and you when I spoke about visiting Africa and he complained that given that he was much advanced in years, connecting flight was a consideration”., the Governor said.
Governor Fashola was optimistic that the process of completing the air services agreement that would enable the flight to be permanent would “in a very short rather than long term” be in place adding, “Our two countries will be better for it”.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Singaporean High Commissioner said he was in Lagos to acquaint himself with the Governor and people of Lagos State as well as see how he could strengthen the already existing relationship between Lagos and his country.
According to him, in the last three years, the Government of Singapore has been very focused in wanting to create a larger economic footprint in Africa adding that the political relations Singapore has enjoyed particularly with Nigeria has been a great fortune for his country in building this economic footprint in Africa.
Recalling that Singapore has many on-going economic activities in Nigeria at the moment, the High Commissioner cited as the most important, the inauguration of the first cargo flight of the Singaporean Airline to Nigeria on December 5, 2011.
“For me, this is a very significant event in trying to bridge the connectivity issue we have between Asia and Africa and, I think starting with cargo we hope that as soon as we sign the agreement with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, we will conclude the agreement early next year”, the High Commissioner said pointing out that he had already met with the NCAA Managing Director and the Aviation Minister on the matter.
Areas Singapore is seeking further investment opportunities and partnership with Nigeria and Lagos, according to the High Commissioner, include Technical Education and Skill Acquisition for youth empowerment which according to him is the key to the success of Singapore adding that a Singaporean company has recently signed an agreement on rice production and processing in Nasarawa State and has invested close to $50 million.
Other areas Singaporean companies are investing; the High Commissioner said is the Lekki Free Trade Zone adding that while all that is going on Singapore has been very active also in creating more awareness on Africa.
On the Singapore-African Business Forum, the High Commissioner, who said the first edition was inaugurated in August 2010, added that the second seminar would be coming up on August 30, 2012 and pleaded with Governor Fashola to come and be one of the keynote speakers at the forum to talk about Nigeria and Africa.
Also present at the occasion were Honorary Consul-General, Republic of Singapore, Mr Haresh Aswani, the Commissioner for Commerce, and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu and her Home Affairs and Culture counterpart, Mr Oyinlomo Danmole as well as the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr Gbolahan Lawal.