Give Account Of 136bn Naira SURE-P Largesse, PDP Tells Fashola

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The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the State Governor to account for over 136 billion Naira SURE-P largesse allocated to Lagos State.

The party claims the money was collected by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola.

In a statement issued by the Lagos State PDP spokesman, Taofik Gani, the party noted that the amount was enough to build at least 100,000 low cost accommodation and adequate hostels on all the state’s tertiary campuses.

“In spite of the huge state internally generated revenue (IGR) and the over 136 billion Naira SURE-P largesse over the years, Lagos residents are still lacking many ordinary social services.

“Where they are available, Lagosians (Lagos residents) pay exorbitant to enjoy such,” the party stated.

According to the statement: “even the APC governorship Candidate’s campaign jingles, posters and other messages are clear vote of no confidence in the services rendered by Governor Fashola.

“This is because Mr Ambode has himself declared emergency in virtually all the sectors of governance in the state by proposing trust and emergency funds in the sectors.”

The Akinwunmi Ambode is the Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PPD re-emphasised its confidence in defeating the APC in the coming general elections.

“We are good to go and defeat APC in the coming elections. Fashola was able to cajole Lagos residents for some years with pseudo and momentary projects, while neglecting areas of governance that affect the masses most,” the party said.

The PDP, describing the Governor as a mediocre in governance, said it would capitalise on the flaws of Governor Fashola’s administration to defeat of the APC in the state.

 

Bill Amending Lagos Mortgage, Property Law Signed

mortgage Bill signed into lawA bill amending the Lagos State Mortgage and Property Law of 2010 has been signed into law.

The Governor of the State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, signed the bill on Monday, saying the amendment was necessitated by the need to make the law more effective and meet current realities in the State’s Housing system.

After signing the bill into law, Governor Fashola said the new law would enable the State’s Mortgage Board to be truly independent without interference by any person or body in the discharge of its duties.

Governor Fashola said that the Act would enable the Board gain the supervisory powers of regulation of departments and agencies that heads of Ministries should have over parastatals and agencies that report to them.

He expressed optimism that the new law would give institutional support and independence to the Board.

“We hope that the law will assist to give institutional support to the Board to be able to continue not only to build houses but also to provide mortgage finance and to do all of the things that it should do,” he said.

The Lagos State Governor further said that the opening up of means of generating needed financial support was one of the things that had been taken care of in the new law.

Another adjustment the law made was the lowering of the representation of the Ministry of Housing in the Board to the level of Assistant Director.

“Should there be a problem, things would escalate first to either a Director and then appropriately to a Permanent Secretary to whom Ministries and parastatals report for oversight.

“The adjustments that the law sought to make is to create proper governmental and institutional control. One interesting thing in all of these to me is that it shows clearly the fallibility of man in every undertaking that he pursues and it also shows how dynamic human thinking can be,” Governor Fashola said.

Thanking the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, and the Speaker and members of the State House of Assembly for passing this law, the Governor stressed that nobody should be entrapped by anything he created.

“Once we create it and it is not serving the purpose for which it was created we must also have the courage to take a second look at it and this is what we have done with this law,” Governor Fashola stated.

The Lagos Mortgage Board was created initially to deal with the problem of who should own the houses that Government wanted to sell.

Fashola, Lamido Say Political Leaders’ Misplaced Priorities Slowing Nigeria’s Progress

Babatunde_Fashola_Sule-LamidoGovernor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and the Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, say Nigeria’s political leaders’ misplaced priorities is slowing down the progress of the nation blessed with so much resources.

The governors made the observation at the first Kukah Centre Policy Debate held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Governor Fashola lamented that although Nigeria was blessed with abundant resources, there was a tendency to pay selective attention to national advancement and cohesion.

On his part, Governor Lamido said the problem of the country was caused by attempt by the leaders to appropriate public offices to themselves and their associates at the expense of the people they were expected to serve.

The governors lamented the impact of poor leadership on the country and called for a change of attitude and said that the leadership needed to do something to revive the sense of nationalism of all Nigerians so that they could work together in tackling the challenges facing Nigeria.

They said they are not bothered by who takes over from them but expressed hopes that the work they had done would speak for them now and in the future.

It was the first policy political debate organised at the Kukah Centre, a platform for key policy makers to dialogue with the public.

It was indeed a dialogue as members of the public interacted with the two state governors on policy issues affecting their states and Nigeria, at large.

The debate was moderated by the founder of the centre and Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah.

President Jonathan, Fashola Pay Tribute To Late Arisekola-Alao

alao2President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed shock and sadness over the death of renowned business man and religious leader, Abdul–Azeez Arisekola-Alao.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, read: “On behalf of himself, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, President Jonathan extends sincere condolences to the Arisekola-Alao family as well as the people of Ibadan and Oyo State on the passing away of the famed Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland.

“As they mourn the famous entrepreneur, community and religious leader, President Jonathan urges his family, relatives, friends, associates and dependents to be comforted by the fact that Alhaji Arisekola-Alao lived a much fulfilled life, and in passing on, leaves behind a legacy of significant and commendable achievements.”

The President also noted that Arisekola-Alao would always be remembered and honoured, especially for the remarkable entrepreneurial skills with which he established many successful businesses and created jobs for numerous Nigerians, as well as for his religious leadership and philanthropic gestures.

He prayed that God Almighty would receive his soul and grant him eternal rest.

Also, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has also sent his condolence to the family of the late businessman. The Governor said that the passage of the front line politician and religious leader would leave a vacuum that would be very hard to fill in Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general.

According to the Governor, Aare Arisekola would be sorely missed by all for his widely acknowledged philanthropy, statesmanship and entrepreneurial leadership.

Governor Fashola said that the indelible mark left by Arisekola in the field of commerce and industry and the contribution he made to the economic development of the South West region and Nigeria in general would never be forgotten in a hurry.

The late Ibadan businessman and the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao died on Wednesday June 17 at a hospital in Switzerland where he was undergoing treatment.

Fashola Advocates Driving In Lagos Without Honks

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola is campaigning for a Lagos where motorists will drive without using horn or siren on the road.

The Governor, who was present at the finals of the Be Road Friendly competition held for schools, pointed out that horns are hardly used in Europe and that similar situation can be achieved in Lagos.

The Governor spoke at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, venue of the Fifth anniversary of the Be Road Friendly Competition (BRF), noting that the programme was not just a competition but represents the best infrastructure that the state could build.

He noted that whilst the government could build halls, bridges and highways, such infrastructure don’t save lives themselves as only committed and reformed people would put them to work.

“Getting the mind of the people ready is the hardest job any government can have. I call it building infrastructure of the mind. It is the toughest to build. It is persuasion and consensus building that it is possible, let us do it”, he stressed.

Fashola asked people to visualize the possibility of driving in Lagos without the indiscriminate blaring of horns from anywhere, adding that in Europe, he has experienced over 10 days without horns on the highways when he travelled.

He stressed that it was a matter of what the people decide to do, because the refusal to use a horn by motorists at any particular time would not prevent him from reaching his destination.

“Anybody who says something is impossible is only making an excuse for not trying. They once said we cannot have streetlights at night in Lagos but we now have it. They also said that we cannot have traffic lights and that Lagosians would not obey them, but everything that they said is impossible is now possible.

“When I assumed office, no one believed a public office holder could operate without using siren but I have demonstrated that it is possible. Seven years after, I have not used siren. It is possible for us to have a horn free day, a horn free month, a horn free year and possibly a horn free state”, he added.

He commended the men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) for the job they are doing, adding that if there was any change in the mindset of the children, it was the LASTMA operatives who have been training them that should get the credit.

Be Road Friendly Competition is a School Traffic Safety Advocacy programme designed as a competition among school children to create awareness about responsibility on the roads.

The competition was won by a team which comprised of six pupils from different schools, whose theme was safety on the roads which they backed up with graphic illustrations.

The event was attended by members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Special Duties, Dr Deremi Desalu and Transportation, Mr Oluseyi Coker as well as pupils and teachers from the participating schools in the state.

Governors’ Forum: Faction Cannot Derail Mission – Govenor Fashola

Governor FasholaGovernor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Friday said that the existence of factions in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum cannot stop the group from achieving the core purpose for which it was established – peer review.

Fashola said this while on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

The Governor, who was hosting the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Retreat identified peer review as the substance of the institution. “Peer review is note-sharing, idea-sharing, inspiration, healthy competition building, healthy rivalry; and underlying all of that is the reason why the retreat itself was designed as a mobile retreat. It moves from state to state depending on the convenience at the time to host,” he said.

Admitting that “The factionalisation of the forum as it were is unfortunate”, he stated that the goals of the forum could still be achieved despite the fact that another faction of the Forum exists.

Fashola, howver, further expressed fears on the kind of Forum the present governors would hand over when their terms are over. He disclosed that they were in touch with the aggrieved persons as “we have also personal relationships with one another.”

“We are still in contact with one another even if we disagree on fundamental principles. It hasn’t in any way affected personal relationships, at least not as far as I am concerned.”

Asked if the governors task themselves on their fight against corruption within each state, Fashola said “Each Governor is independent” and so governors cannot question their colleagues on issues but “there are ways you speak to each other.”

He stressed that there are exchange programmes between states towards development and information sharing but that many of these initiatives were not publicised.

“I sent a team from my state to Rivers to go and understudy their primary and secondary school system because when I went there, I saw what I liked.”

On efforts being made by his administration to increase Lagos State’s potential in agriculture, the Governor stressed that Lagos was the smallest land mass in the country but the most densely populated. “We are a quarter of the size of Ogun, for instance.”

“If you want to do agriculture in terms of cropping, it has to be on some very extensive mechanized scale in order to build sufficiency” he said, but maintained that “that has not limited our venture into some type of relative sufficiency and we are targeting 30% self-sufficiency in case there was a crisis.”

He further stated that the land in Lagos was much more valuable for real estate than for agriculture, mentioning that the State was acquiring land in Ogun, Osun, Ekiti states. “We also have farmland of about 50 hectares in Abuja which we have started processing for farming.”

He added, “There are also moves by the State to acquire lands in some Northern states to help encourage local economies as well as small and medium scale farming.”

APC to PDP: Stop Stereotyping People On The Basis Of Their Religion

Lai MohammedThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the PDP’s reference to APC’s Road Map as a product of ‘Janjaweed Ideology’ is a thinly-veiled religious blackmail, which is in furtherance of its (PDP’s) ongoing campaign to pigeon-hole the APC as an Islamic party, rather than engage in an informed critique of the Road Map.

On a more dangerous level, it shows that the PDP would not relent from engaging in “Islamophobia” by using the Boko Haram crisis in a part of the country to stereotype Muslims and paint them as terrorists, even when it is obvious that majority of Muslims do not support the heinous crimes being perpetrated by the sect, APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

The party wondered why the PDP, in reacting to the APC’s Road Map, would be making an allusion to the despicable Janjaweed militia which is wreaking havoc in Sudan’s Western Darfur region, saying this is nothing short of religious escapism and a dangerous attempt to whip up religious sentiments against people of a certain faith.

”The only reason that the PDP used the word ‘Janjaweed’ is because the militia that goes by that name comprises mostly, if not exclusively, of people of Arab/Muslim stock in Sudan.

”This has further confirmed our fears that there is a clear attempt by the PDP, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, to divide Nigerians along religious lines as never before in the history of our country and to use religion as a political tool – a very dangerous move that can only result in religious warfare, from which no country that engages in has ever survived intact.

”Or how else can one explain the continuous attempt by the PDP, despite warnings from right thinking people and groups, to cast people of a certain faith, who constitute half of our country’s population, as either terrorists or terror sympathizers/sponsors, or to label the APC as an Islamic party just to hang it? Couldn’t the PDP have criticized our Road Map without resorting to its well-worn, dangerous game of religious blackmail?” APC queried.

The party said that while it had been restrained all along by not responding in kind to PDP’s blackmail, it is not unaware of the dictum that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.

”Perhaps the PDP has mistaken our decision to take the high road and avoid religious and ethnic politics as a sign that it (PDP) is succeeding in its religious blackmail. Therefore, we have decided to let Nigerians know that the sooner they repudiate this dangerous tactics by the PDP, the safer for our country.

”We are a party for all Nigerians, and we believe in issues-based politics, not one based on religious or ethnic sentiments. We believe God is neither Christian nor Muslim, and that he is the God of all, irrespective of their religion. We believe God will judge politicians not according to their religion but according to how much they have fulfilled the mandate to ensure the
welfare and security of their people, and by how much they have lessened the people’s burdens rather add to them.

”We therefore call on Nigerians to prevail on the PDP, especially President Jonathan, to de-emphasize ethnic and religious politics. President Jonathan should start off by refraining from using the Pulpit to disseminate political messages, as he has been doing since assuming office,” APC said.

The party also challenged the PDP to unveil its own Road Map for Nigerians to see and compare, rather than attempt to “drown the opposition’s message in a sea of religious blackmail”.

”We will not allow our Road Map to be buried on the altar of diversionary rhetoric by the do-nothing PDP. Therefore, in the days and weeks ahead, we will be highlighting the key areas of the document for all Nigerians to see.

”For now, let us say that our Road Map is for job creation, for which we have unveiled a broad and comprehensive agenda to create 20,000 jobs in each state for those with the minimum qualifications and who participate in technology and vocational training, and to encourage every State Government to create jobs by matching every job created at the State Government level with two jobs by the Federal Government.

”We will fight corruption, for which the PDP-led Federal Government has become infamous, whenever and wherever it occurs. An APC government will show zero tolerance for government or private sector corruption by placing the burden of proof on persons with inexplicable wealth to prove their innocence; and guaranteeing the independence of anti-corruption and financial crimes.

”We will provide free, relevant and quality education that is essential to prepare our youth for the jobs of tomorrow and to ensure Nigeria’s future success. We will revive agriculture as an engine for economic growth and new jobs and increase the supply of quality housing through a policy of social housing for the poor and affordable housing for the working class.

”We will improve Health Care; provide Social Welfare; build and improve our roads, power and basic infrastructure to create new jobs and unleash business growth and strengthen peace and security by stopping the kind of horrendous acts of terrorism, especially in the Northeast, which have robbed us of Nigerian lives of every age and withered confidence in our nation’s security,” APC said.

APC Promises New Nigeria As It Presents Code of Ethics

APC logoA new Nigeria is what the All Progressives Congress (APC) is promising all as the party prepares for the 2015 general elections. The party made the pledge during the presentation of its Code of Ethics in Abuja.

The APC assured Nigerians that it will do everything to protect and preserve human life and dignity in a nation bound by the principle of freedom, justice, peace, unity and the rule of law.

Former head of state and a leader of the party, General Muhmmadu Buhari told the gathering that there is a need to tackle the high level of insecurity in the country as the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has failed Nigerians in the last 14 years.

The first national summit of the APC held in Abuja was attended by state governors, former governors and lawmakers.

Governor Babatunde Fashola set the tone for the event with his remark that the party has a road map that will address the nation’s problems.

Governor Fashola maintained that the new nation that everyone wants, which is the dream New Nigeria, is only possible if each person values each and every person and holds tight every child as his or her greatest asset, adding that it is only possible if respect is given to every person’s choice of faith.

“It is only possible if we commit ourselves to one rule of law for everyone, if we commit ourselves to fairness and opportunity for all, if we commit ourselves to a strong system of government at the federal, state and local levels. It is only possible if we bridge our inequalities and if we put our nation back to work. There cannot be true freedom when there are not enough jobs. There cannot be shared opportunity when there are not enough jobs.  There cannot be peace and justice when there are not enough jobs”, he emphasized.

He said the set of principles must guide the people’s path when times are tough, when people’s pathway becomes hard to navigate, when forces block the way forward, when challenges stand in the way of the nation’s vision, when hope seems just out of grip.

He stressed that when people make inquiries about the APC and what makes it different, the answer they will get is that APC has a Code of Ethics, it also has a road map to the future and that Nigeria is a great nation that has been misdirected.

“We will tell them that no nation, no people are more hardworking but that we need jobs. We will tell them that our youth are ready to do great things, to make history, to lead our nation, to lead Africa, but they need opportunity. We will tell them that when we come together, celebrate our diversity, accept each other and stand together as One Nigeria, there is nothing we cannot achieve. We will tell them the APC is ready to build a New Nigeria”, he stated.

Former head of state, General Muhammad Buhari,  former vice president Atiku Abubakar and other leaders of the party highlighted the ideals of the party and its vision for a new Nigeria.

Chieftains and governors of the party from sixteen states announced their preparedness to defeat the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) come 2015 for failing to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

The party presented its draft code of ethics signed by all the governors present at the event.

Law Weekly Features Highlights Of International Bar Conference

This edition of Law Weekly examines a global perspective on combating terrorism while focusing on what the African Continent and Nigeria needs to get right to continue attracting foreign investment and patronage.

The programme also featured the International Bar Conference (IBA 2013) which held in Boston, Massachusetts in the United States of America.

The IBA is the largest yearly gathering of lawyers from all over the world and it is regarded as the global voice of the legal profession. The 2013 edition attracted 6000 international delegates from 120 countries.

On this episode of the program, we featured highlights of the conference as well as highlights from the African Regional Conference when the IBA came to Lagos.

Former United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference. While Governor Babatunde Fashola, of Lagos State, was one of the speakers at the conference.

Fashola Commissions Ikorodu Skid Plant

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Tuesday commissioned another Skid Plant in Ikorodu, reiterating the commitment of his administration to ensuring that Lagos residents make the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) a preferred choice for cooking.

Speaking at the Ewu Elepe Village, Ginti, venue of the commissioning, Governor Fashola, who was represented by his Deputy, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said one of the priorities of his administration in this second term was to revamp and reposition the Energy Sector in the State to enable it play its role in the socio-economic and environmental development of the State.

Expressing dismay that Nigeria is ranked the lowest in the use of LPG in the continent, in spite of its position as the largest producer of the product, the Governor declared, “We also recognize the immense potential of the country’s gas resources. It is only right that we devise a means to apply the existing solution to an existing problem meaning that this gas can be used to provide electricity for our country Nigeria”.

On the reason for introducing the cooking gas to Lagos state residents, Governor Fashola said, “A large percentage of households in Nigeria still use kerosine and firewood for cooking. These two fuels are not only the major sources of emission but on the long run may be more expensive than LPG”.

He said the Lagos State government recognizes the negative impact the current cooking fuel, kerosene and firewood, pose to the environment and people in terms of emission, “The use of LPG has several advantages as fuel because of its simple structure and because it is free from impurities, making it one of the few clean and efficient burning fuels in the world”.

He said the State Government was “working seamlessly” to strengthen the needed infrastructure, to ensure the development of the oil sector and to ensure that Lagos residents could make a shift using liquefied petroleum.

In his remarks earlier, the Managing Director of Banner Gas, one of the companies partnering with the State Government in the venture, Mr. Nuhu Yakubu, said the introduction of LPG, christened EKO Gas, was a demonstration of the State Government’s commitment to “Talk – to –Action”.

He said, “Before the year runs out, we are very sure and convinced that the Lagos State Government will have the course to commission more projects under the Energy programme of the State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources”, the Managing Director said adding that his company would be happy to have the Governor commission another Banner Gas- Eko Gas project powered by Banner Gas.

Four months ago, this kind of plant was launched in Surulere by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN).

Governor Fashola’s Father Dies At 80

The father of the governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, Ibrahim Ademola Fashola on Monday died at the age of 80 years at an undisclosed hospital.

In a statement signed by the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Lanre Babalola said the remains of Elder Fashola will be buried on Tuesday, the 6th of August 2013 at Vaults and Gardens Ikoyi by 1pm.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan Monday has sent a condolence message to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State who is presently away on lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia

A statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said the president on behalf of himself, his family, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, conveys sincere condolences to the governor.

“As they mourn Pa Fashola, President Jonathan urges Governor Fashola, his family and people of Lagos State to give thanks to God Almighty for the octogenarian’s very exemplary and accomplished life,”

The President urged  the family  to be comforted by the knowledge that Pa Fashola is returning to his Creator as a very blessed and fulfilled man who lived to see his son become a two-term Governor of one of Nigeria’s most populous and vibrant states.

President Jonathan joins the Governor Fashola, members of his family and the people of Lagos in praying that God Almighty will grant Pa Fashola peaceful and eternal rest from his labours on earth.”

The deceased is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grand children among whom is the Lagos State Governor, Mr.
Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Arinola Fuwa, Olayinka Fashola, Ademola Fashola, Omolara Fashola, Adewale Fashola, Ademola Fashola Jnr. and Ademola Keji Fashola.

Lagos Generates N10.2billion In One Year On Land Transactions

The Lagos state government has revealed that it generated the sum of N10.275billion from the land transactions in one year.

Addressing journalists at a ministerial press briefing to mark the 6th anniversary of Governor Babatunde Fashola, in Lagos on Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary Lands Bureau; Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola said the figure fell short of last year’s earnings as a result of the global financial crises.

Mr Muri-Okunola also used the occasion to warn all those encroaching on government land to desist from such act as government will not hesitate to deal with them.