Lagos Athletics Association To Host Lucrative Track Meet On June 24

File photo of the Director, Lagos Open Athletics Championship, Yussuf Alli.

 

The Lagos State Athletics Association have announced the hosting of a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Former National long jumper, Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship revealed that arrangements are underway to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.

According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.

“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said

“The Lagos State Athletics Association which is one of the most vibrant in the country is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo.”

The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.

There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.

Long jump, high jump, triple jump, shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.

Sanwo-Olu Inaugurates ‘Red Line’ Rail To Commute At Least 1m Lagosians Daily

Sanwo-Olu says the project will become operational by 2022. Photo: [email protected] Lagos State.

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday flagged off the ‘red line’ rail project which, when completed, has the capacity to commute at least one million persons daily. 

During the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction, the governor explained that the 37-km Rail Mass Transit will traverse from Agbado to Marina, noting that it would become operational by the last quarter of 2022.

“Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations,” the governor said during the event held at the proposed site of the Ikeja Train Station.

“This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”

 

The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases, the first – Agbado-Iddo – will be completed in two years and will share the track with the Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta.

It will also have a dedicated track from Ebute-Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes. The passenger capacity of the first phase is 500,000 per day, according to a statement by the Lagos State Government.

At the event, Governor Sanwo-Olu also presented cheques to property owners affected by the right-of-way and described the project as part of his government’s effort to deliver quality infrastructure for the transport system.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and other dignitaries were also present at the ceremony.

‘He Was A Patriot To A Fault’: Atiku, Gbajabiamila, Sanwo-Olu Pay Tributes To Late Jakande

The late Lateef Jakande became governor on the platform of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) founded by a former Premier of the Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo.

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday paid glowing tribute to the first civilian governor of Lagos, Lateef Jakande.

Jakande fondly called Baba Kekere, died in the early hours of Thursday at the age of 91.

In their separate tributes to the late journalist, Atiku, Gbajabiamila and Sanwo-Olu described him as a true patriot who worked effortlessly for the development of Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre. 

“It is with a mixed feeling of soberness and joy that I join relatives and admirers to mourn the demise of the late first civilian governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande,” Atiku began in his tribute to the late Lagos leader as posted on his official Twitter handle.

“His works in promoting qualitative public education and welfare in public service will continue to stand for him as a glowing tribute of the life of service that he lived.

“I also join the government and good people of Lagos State to mourn the illustrious individual whose good name shall remain written in gold in our heart. I pray that the Almighty Allah accepts his soul and grant him Aljannah Firdaus.”

‘A Father To All’

For the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jakande’s death is a “monumental loss” to the country, describing him as a “man of peace, who lived all his life serving humanity.” 

“Lateef Jakande’s death is a personal loss to me, because he was a father to us all. A strong political ally to my mother, Alhaja Lateefat Gbajabiamila,” the speaker’s  Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi quoted him to have said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“We will never forget the role he played in the economic and political existence of Lagos State, especially when he served as governor between 1979 and 1983.

“Baba Jakande touched the lives of many people in different ways. His major preoccupation was the peace and unity of his people, and he lived by that example.”

Indelible Marks

While describing the late Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) stalwart as an outstanding politician, Sanwo-Olu in his tribute said Jakande’s marks in the state will remain indelible. 

“With gratitude to God for a worthy life well spent in the service of Lagos State, Nigeria and humanity, I announce the death of a venerable statesman, outstanding politician, public administrator and the first Civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande,” the governor tweeted.

“Baba Jakande’s record of service as a journalist of repute and a leader of remarkable achievements as governor of Lagos State will remain indelible for generations to come.”

Housing Drive

Jakande made impacts in the areas of housing, education, health, and rural development.

READ ALSO: Ex-Lagos Military Administrator, Ndubuisi Kanu Is Dead

One of his popular achievements is the development of low-cost housing estates in various parts of Lagos State.

He was responsible for the introduction of housing and educational programs, which focused on building new primary and secondary schools in the neighbourhood and ensuring free education at the primary and secondary school level.

As a journalist, he first worked with the Daily Service and then in 1953, joined the Nigerian Tribune where he rose to become the Editor-in-Chief. He left Tribune in 1975 and established John West Publications on whose platform he published The Lagos News.

Fashola Restates Commitment To Ensuring Food Security

The Lagos State Government has promised to continue seeking ways of ensuring food security and reducing unemployment in the state.

Governor Babatunde Fashola revealed this at the graduation ceremony of 285 youths from the state Agriculture Youth Empowerment Scheme, AGRIC-YES in Epe.

Speaking at the ceremony, the governor said that the progress and achievements recorded by the AGRIC-Yes programme in such a short time showed that what is needed to boost food production in the country was “a clear idea, a clear plan and unflinching commitment to implement those plans”.

In his words, “If we do not produce food, the factories will shut down, if we do not produce food and go back to the land, there will be no rubber to make tyres to even drive those luxury cars. That was the simple idea behind the AGRIC-YES, to go back to the land, to create dignity and honour with the land so that young people will have a new focus and a new beginning”.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, had charged the graduands to use the skills which they have acquired to be the change they want to see in the world.

The graduates who are now full-fledged agropreneurs, six months after undergoing an intensive training on different aspects of agriculture, also expressed joy at the opportunity given to them by the state government.

In her remarks on behalf of other graduands, one of the best graduating students, Miss Oloko Olanrewaju, expressed gratitude to the governor for the privilege given to them, pointing out that they have been well trained during the course and promising to put their best to achieve food security in the country.

Also present at the ceremony were Secretary to the State Government, Oluranti Olugbile, Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, Chairman House Committee on Information, Segun Olulade, members of the State House of Assembly, Chairmen of Local Governments, parents and guardians as well as relations of graduands and other stakeholders.

After the graduation ceremony, Governor Babatunde Fashola took time out to commission several projects in the farm settlement: 32 tonnes capacity quality cassava flour factory, 50,000 capacity automated 5-unit broiler houses, ram, cattle ranch and feed mill including 2.34km network of road within the institute and a 200 units two bedroom apartment for the farmers

Fashola Presents N489.69 Billion Budget Estimate For 2014

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Wednesday presented to the State House of Assembly for approval, a total Budget Estimate of N489. 69 billion for the 2014 financial year, saying the focus would be to complete on-going projects and consolidate on the gains of the past budgets.

The amount, which is about N7.587 billion short of the 2013 Estimate, as is traditional with the Governor Fashola administration, prioritizes Capital over Recurrent Expenditure with Economic Affairs, General Public Service and Education taking the lion share.

According to details of the Budget presented in the Chambers of the new House of Assembly, Capital Expenditure took N255.025 billion while Recurrent Expenditure got N234.665, which represents a Capital to Recurrent Expenditure ratio of 52:48 as against 58:42 ratio for 2013.

In sectoral allocation, according to the Budget details, Economic Affairs got the lion share with N160,046,436,169 or 32.68% followed by General Public Service which got N100,215,966,990 or 20.47% while Education with N77,423,827,872, representing 15.81% of the Budget Estimate, came 3rd.

Other sectors of the economy that got priorities include Housing and Community Amenities N50,537,201,984 billion (10.32%), Environmental  Protection N39,727,711,248 (8.11%), Health N37,812,553,057(7.72%), Public Order & Safety N17,977,368,027 (3.67%), Recreation, Culture & Religion N3,482,081,806 (0.71%) and Social Protection which brought up the rear with N2,466,309,939 representing 0.50% of the Budget.

Reviewing the performance of the Year 2013 Budget, Governor Fashola noted that the Year 2014 Budget would be the last full year budget that his administration would implement, and expressed joy that the current Budget has performed exceedingly well.

According to the Governor, “In the 1st quarter of this year, I reported a budget performance of 61%, while the 2nd quarter performance was 83% and the recently reported 3rd quarter performance was 70% giving us a cumulative aggregate performance of 71% in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of the year”.

Expressing the commitment of his administration to improving upon the 4th quarter performance, Governor Fashola, however, gave reasons why the performance could not be taken beyond what was reported to include the constraint posed by the limitation of financial resources which, according to him, was a direct consequence of delays in Federal allocation to the State, tax default by a large segment of the society, and the continued growing population of the State which has put immense pressure on existing facilities.

Urging Lagos residents who are yet to start paying their taxes to do so, the Governor declared, “It is a commonwealth that gives everybody a chance to realize their aspirations”, adding that it has helped to reduce the State’s dependence on the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee remittances.

In his remarks after the presentation, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji, gave a commitment that the House would apply its utmost best, within legislative powers to give the 2014 Budget proposal the undiluted attention it deserves.

While appreciating the efforts of the Executive arm towards ensuring fiscal responsibility in the 2013 Budget, the Speaker urged the Governor to ensure that the Budget addresses debt reduction and completion of on-going projects as already specified in his budget speech.

Lagos Has No Means To Relocate Badia Residents – Ipaye

The Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye has said that the state government does not have the means to relocate persons who were evicted from Badia East local government area, adding that, they were illegal residents of the swamp turned slum.

He said this on Sunrise while discussing about the alleged 9000 people who lost their homes as a result of forceful eviction and demolition by the Fashola led administration, in February.

A report by Amnesty International and the Socio Economic Right Action Centre stated that satellite pictures revealed a densely populated area containing concrete house and other structures razed to the ground but the Lagos State government denied this claim and said that the area was a rubbish dump.

A Nigerian representative of the Amnesty International, Oluwatosin Popoola confirmed that “approximately 36,000 square meters of high density structures were razed to the ground on the 23rd of February 2013”.

He further stated that the Lagos state government sent in bull dozers with the support of heavily armed police officers. Their research in May interviewed over 40 affected persons who testified to this.

“Several structures were demolished by officials of the Lagos state task force,” and “we were told the government didn’t come to mark any of their properties,” he added.

Their report also revealed that the residents were not informed beforehand and so were caught unawares by the eviction.

However, the Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye insisted that the 10 hectare area was an uninhabited swamp which ‘grew into a refuse dump’.

He said the government had projects it wanted to carry out on the land but before this could happen, scavengers came in and built wooden structures.

“The state governor had been there at least twice 2008 and in October, 2012, where “we made it clear that it was not permissible for people to build so called homes on refuse.”

He added that the area had harboured criminals who would carry out criminal activities in neighbouring communities.

A former resident of Badia who was born and bred in the area, Friday Ogunyemi, refuted the claims of the Commissioner, adding that the site was not a refuse dump.

He disclosed that the former state governor, Bola Tinubu had led a team of bull dozers in 2003.

He said their forefathers had been relocated from Oluwole Village (which was later called National Art Theatre) to the ‘back of Marble industry’ (now Badia east) which was owned by the Federal Government and not the Lagos state government.

Mr Ogunyemi also disclosed that the Federal Government in 2005 proposed a ‘slum upgrading’ project for the benefit of the residents. Lagos state was part of the technical committee.

Police bars vigilante groups from carrying guns in Lagos

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko has declared that it is a criminal offence for members of vigilante groups to carry rifles.

The Lagos State police boss said vigilante groups are supposed to work with the police at the local level.

“They can arrest suspects and hand them over to the police whose responsibility it is to investigate and prosecute if the need arises.”

“It is a criminal offence for members of the vigilante to carry guns” he said.

Mr Manko said anyone seen with a gun must have a valid license for it and such individual must have been duly screened by the appropriate authorities.

“So it is a crime for one to have a privately licensed gun and in turn hand over same to vigilante group for security purposes,” he said.

Manko explained that if a vigilante member is arrested with a rifle issued to him by another person they will be arrested for illegal possession of fire arms.

He noted that members of the vigilante are there to complement efforts of the police, not to usurp the responsibility of the police.

 

LASTMA officials have no right to drive impounded vehicles – Commissioner

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, has said that officials of the State Traffic Management Authority have no right to drive impounded vehicles.

Mr Opeifa made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.

“It is unlawful for LASTMA official to drive vehicles that contravened the law, except the arrested motorist resisted arrest or has no driver’s licence, which is the only guarantee for any driver to be on the road.

“We have been hearing reports of our men driving arrested vehicles. However, in the course of driving the vehicle, if there is an accident, the officer involved will be held responsible.

“My advice is that when a vehicle is arrested, the offender should cooperate by coming to Alausa to redress the issue, which at times, after scrutiny, the offender may be allowed to go without any punishment,” he said.

He also advised LASTMA officials to stop chasing unruly motorists, but rather, they should book their vehicles.

 

 

Lagos to ban smoking in public

In line with efforts by the international community to clampdown on smoking, the Lagos state government has announced plans to ban smoking in public places in the state.

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, made this known on Monday when he stated that “the provisions of the new traffic laws had prohibited people from drinking or smoking while driving in the state.”

He hinted that the ban on smoking will be an extension of the state’s traffic law which already forbids drivers to drink.

According to Mr Ipaye, “it is an offence to smoke while driving, smoking is totally prohibited for drivers; obviously it is not just for safety reasons it is also for health reasons because we are moving towards banning smoking in all public places.

“It is an offence to drive drunk; if you’ve been taking drugs, this law provides for blood test to determine whether you have ingested drugs which are inconsistent with your ability to drive.”

“So, this law makes it an offence to drive without a driver’s license, without proper plate numbers. It is an offence to use the phone while you are driving except you have hands-free set so you don’t need to put the set to your ear.’’

Ipaye said the government decided to “criminalise” traffic offences and sanction offenders, as part of the strategy to bring the chaotic traffic situation within the metropolis under control.

“We are keeping the roads in good repairs, but still, we have problems, and that problem is made worse by commercial motorcycles, by cart pushers, by even people rearing cattle” he said.

“There seem all of a sudden to be no rules; people just disobey the traffic lights.”

 

New law: All houses in Lagos must be beautified

Lagos State Government has made it mandatory for occupiers of houses in the state to beautify the perimeter areas of their buildings.

Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, stated this at the inauguration of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency at Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday.

According to him “a violation of this would attract N250, 000 or the amount the state would incur if it decides to carry out the beautification, or six months imprisonment or other non-custodian sentences…also anyone caught felling trees in the state or trimming them without permission would be fined a minimum of N50, 000 or sent to one year imprisonment.”

He said, “It is also an offence to walk on lawns and gardens. Urinating, defecating in any  of the parks, gardens and open spaces; loitering or soliciting for illegal purposes, smoking and dumping refuse among others in the parks are also offences.”

The commissioner said the government had demonstrated commitment to environmental transformation by its massive greening programmes and would not relent in making the environment more beautiful.

He said the establishment of LASPARK was to create a structure for the beautification and landscaping of open spaces in the state as government had done with other agencies like LAWMA and LASAA.

He added that the state’s Parks and Garden Law of 2011 would enable the agency to function and build on the solid foundation laid by the Conservative and Ecology Department of the ministry.

He said, “As a matter of fact, we are structuring the state in such a way that ministries would formulate policies while agencies would implement and sustain them. We have about 89 agencies in the state and they are all performing well. Other states in the country are understudying them.

“LASPARK will maintain and manage all designated parks and gardens; carry out the general directives and policies of government in respect of parks and recreation centres among other duties.

“We are going to make the law available so that everybody will know what is expected of them. But we will not enforce the law now. We will do so after the traffic law is up and running.”

The General Manager of LASPARK, Olukunle Sotade, said the agency intended to collaborate with all sectors of the economy to build on the good foundation of the CE department.

He urged Lagosians to support the agency to succeed by obeying the parks and garden law.

Fashola rejects Oba’s chieftaincy title

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Saturday politely rejected the honour of a chieftaincy title from a royal father, Oniru of Iru land, Lagos, Oba Abidun Idowu Oniru.

He said, “Kabiyesi and his chiefs can continue to lead us, let them deal with all those traditional and chieftaincy issues. At the appropriate time, we will come and join them, but for now, leave us in our suits, booths, overalls and helmets, because this agbada is not good for clearing refuse and tarring the roads.”

He, however, received the award of excellence conferred on him by the monarch who was celebrating his 75th birthday and 18th coronation anniversary. While expressing his appreciation to Oba Oniru for honouring him, Fashola said the task of governance required absolute focus and would want the chieftaincy title to wait for now.

On the award for excellence, Fashola said it was not for him; rather he dedicated it to all the civil servants in the state who he said were responsible for the giant strides of his administration.

While acknowledging the mornach’s exemplary leadership and support for his administration and his predecessors, the governor expressed his gratitude to the Oniru on behalf of members of the state executive council.

He confessed that when the state Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Prince Segun Oniru, informed him of the event, and told him that the Kabiyesi wanted to present him with something, he had made it clear that he would not attend the event if what the Kabiyesi wanted to present to him was going to be a chieftaincy title, but that Oniru had assured him that that would not be the case.

Former Lagos State governor and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Senator Bola Tinubu was also conferred with an award of excellence.

But Tinubu was not present as he had travelled to the United States.

Other dignitaries at the occasion included the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Oba Abdulfatai Aromire Ojora, Oba Tijani Akinloye, Chief GOK Ajayi, (SAN), former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Adewusi, chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, as well as all the white cap chiefs.

 

Okada riders protest new Lagos Traffic Law

Hundreds of commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, in the early hours of Monday, barricaded the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to protest against the Lagos State Government’s new Road Traffic Law.

Part of the new law restricts the operations of okada on major roads across the state.

The protesting Okada riders at 8AM, stormed the Abule-Egba area, on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, one of the restricted routes for Okada riders.

This resulted in a gridlock as they disrupted free flow of traffic.

It took the intervention of the state security outfit, Rapid Response Squad, RRS, the police, Federal Road Safety Corps and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA,  to restore normalcy on the road

An official of the state Ministry of Transportation, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the protest, saying the situation was immediately put under check with no arrest made as the protesting Okada riders retreated accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, has disclosed that the government has added 15,000 road signs in addition to the existing 10,000.

Opeifa said the massive installation of the signs would enable road-users to be conversant with the signs and their significance, adding that it would also assist road-users to know the restricted routes for motorcycles and tricycles, designated bus-stops, among others.

He implored the residents to inform the government through GSM number 08174616936 on locations where they felt that traffic signs are needed.

He, however, warned “recalcitrant” Okada riders and tricycles also known as “Keke NAPEP or Marwa” in their own interest, to desist from plying the restricted 475 routes as anyone found violating the law would be appropriately sanctioned.