BRT To Commence e-ticketing In Lagos On Tuesday

The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), regulator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), has announced that the use of e-ticketing payment to board BRT buses in the state will commence on Tuesday as part of ongoing re-structuring of BRT’s operations and management aimed at enhancing effectiveness.

Managing Director, LAMATA, Dayo Mobereola, who disclosed this over the weekend said the measure was part of a holistic plan to return BRT operations to its efficient and effective state as planned when it was launched in 2008.

Dr Mobereola said the Lagos State Government is aware of challenges faced by commuters using the BRT, explaining that steps were currently being taken to ensure the restoration of efficient and effective service delivery on the system and increase its capacity.

According to him, the e-ticketing payment was a solution through a payment card named ‘Lagos Connect,’ and it would offer commuters several options, such as, “with the e-payment system, Lagos Connect, commuters in Lagos will pay as low as N20 per trip instead of N70.”

“They would not need to struggle for change or lose their money, and the system is safe and convenient” he added.

Controversies Trail Actors Guild of Nigeria Election in Lagos

The controversy surrounding the Actors Guild of Nigeria continues two weeks after the Lagos chapter of the guild had its elections disrupted.

Few days after the election, comedienne Victor Osuwagu was declared winner and sworn in as the chairman but another congress was conveyed by the outgoing chairman Emeka Rising which sworn in Don Pedro Aganbi.

The motion was ruled to make Don-Pedro Aganbi as the new chairman of the Lagos chapter of the Actor Guild of Nigeria.

Lagos Wins Best Local Currency Bond Award for 2012 For Successful Bond issue

Lagos state government has been awarded the Best Local Currency Bond Award for 2012, for successfully floating an N80 billion bond in November last year.

The award which is the first of its kind to be conferred on any organisation in Nigeria was presented to the state in London by EMEA Finance, a leading magazine in the United Kingdom known for its in-depth global financial research and analysis.

Presenting the award to the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, during the EMEA Finance Presentation of Achievements 2013 Awards Dinner, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of EMEA Finance, Mr. Christopher Moore, noted that Lagos has won the award across three continents namely Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

According to Moore, “the Magazine has a vision to be an independent voice, that speaks at the highest level of integrity and journalistic ethics for the financial community and others across the EMEA region namely, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Lagos State Government is, therefore, not only a national or continental winner but an inter-continental winner.”

Speaking to journalists after the award, Abiru, noted that “essentially part of the credibility of the bond is the way and manner Lagos State has managed its debt management strategy which has been adjudged to be very efficient. This is also influenced by the fact that the debt that we raised provided the fund that we used to expand the economy of Lagos because they are essentially monies that are channeled to capital expenditure.”

According to the Commissioner, “what this means is that the fact that all our recurrent expenditures are covered by the revenue we generate, and it is the net recurrent surplus that we contract loans such as has given us this achievement tonight to complement to fix our capital expenditure infrastructures.”

The magazine took special recognition of the N80 billion bond which the state floated in 2012 and commended the government for taking the bold step to address its infrastructure regeneration projects.

The N80 billion bond is the first tranche  of the total N167.5 billion  Second bond programme  of  the Lagos state government which is the largest sub-national bond ever issued on the Nigerian bond market.

Resign Or Be Recalled, PDP To Remi Tinubu

The Lagos State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has asked that Senator Oluremi Tinubu be recalled owning to her comments to the opposition members of the Senate, who she said are playing with the lives of the Nigerian people.

The senator had on Saturday asserted this view during a meeting with journalists where she gave a report of her stay in the Senate and denounced rumours that she is interested in the Governorship of the State in 2015.

Mrs Tinubu, currently representing Lagos State in the Senate, accused lawmakers belonging to the People’s Democratic Party of sidelining bills proposed by the opposition.

In a counter response, the Lagos state PDP, in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Taofik Gani, described her comments as “the long awaited evidence needed to commence the recall of the confused Senator”.

The statement further called on “registered voters in the Lagos central Senatorial district to immediately commence the recall process of the Senator without further delay”.

The party accused Senator Tinubu of performing below expectation on the floor of the Senate adding that “she has indeed not initiated any successful bill to justify her membership of the senate”.

The party regards as dishonourable her chastisements on senators not going home to their people because “they are so comfortable in Abuja”.

“She has also misapplied the privilege of being the senator representing the most strategic senatorial district in the state, even though she is non-Lagosian.”

The party has now asked the Senator to “resign honourably or face imminent recall”.

Fashola Expresses Satisfaction Over Isale Gangan Residential Project

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola paid a working visit to the Isale Gangan Urban Regeneration Residential Development Project in Central Lagos today as he expressed satisfaction saying that with the progress of work at the site, the project would likely be delivered next year.

Isale Gangan Residential Development is an 11-storey, 54-flat housing project being developed in the historic Isale Gangan area in Central Lagos both to house some residents  of the area whose houses collapsed several years ago and as a means of renewing the blighted area.

Governor Fashola, who was conducted round the project by the Managing Director of the construction company, Mr. Chahid Raffoul, was accompanied on the tour by the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Olufemi Hamzat and his Physical Planning and Urban Development counterpart, Town Planner Olutoyin Ayinde, among other top government officials first visited the site in early February this year, told newsmen after the inspection, “The first two floors have been cast indicating that they could do two of these floors every two months, hopefully by next year we should be out of here”.

“This is the beginning of urban regeneration in Central Lagos where people brought together small parcels of land to create large buildable parcel of land and that is the way we must begin to use our land”.

“That is the way places like Hong Kong were regenerated and rebuilt. So we are on our way, we have taken the first bold step. I encourage other families who have contiguous land to talk to one another, create more space up”, Governor Fashola said adding that   such developments would create more space for roads and drainages resulting to better living environment for the people.

Describing the area as “the heart of Lagos” and “where it all began” Governor Fashola declared there is a time to rebuild it and that time is now”, adding, “This is strictly residential. Almost all the others have taken off so we have the markets now, the Oluwole Market second phase is coming up. So as congested as it seems if properly planned, properly laid out with separate residencies from business areas, we will have a better life.

Governor Fashola first inspected the project on Sunday February 3 this year, when he assured residents of the area that although there would surely be challenges ahead, his administration was not looking back in its determination to deliver the project.

The Governor, who also fielded questions from newsmen after the inspection, said although there were challenges on the way to the completion, the important thing was that the project has moved from a dream to a plan and from a plan to reality adding that the structure was being built to ensure that it would not collapse.

Giving background information about the project, Governor Fashola, who said the area suffered collapse of buildings several years back, pointed out that the unfortunate incident created an opportunity for his administration to decide to renew the area and put some solid structures in place.

According to the Governor, “This place will be a residential home for all of the families who own small pieces of land here. Each of them now has an apartment here instead of the small piece which cannot contain a house. We have helped them merge into this very big space so their lands are now in the vertical space. We have relocated them to Ipaja so that after the completion of this project those who want to return here can do so but those who do not want to return can let theirs out. But each family that owns land here has already been resettled”.

The 11-floor residential building, being constructed by Anatolia International Limited, consists of nine residential floors with a total of 54 flats made up of 36 2-bedroom flats and 18 3-bedroom flats. Each floor contains six flats made up of four 2-bedroom flats and two 3-bedroom flats while the ground and first floors are for parking lots. Other facilities include two lifts, two main staircases and four escape staircases.

 

 

EFCC Arraigns Kebbi State Director For Stealing N64m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a Director with the Kebbi state, Ministry of Finance , Yahaya Saidu Andarai and one  Farouk Abubarka Uduli, before the Lagos  High Court in Ikeja for allegedly stealing the sum of N64million belonging to Coscharis Motors Ltd.

The two men, who were arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, are facing a 27 count charge of conspiracy , fraud and stealing.

The defendants were accused by the EFCC of  converting the said sum  which is  the proceed of AX motorcycles,  property of Coscharis Motors entrusted to them on behalf of Jega National Union Local Government Employees of Kebbi state.

While the second defendant, was only charged with two count, the first defendant was charged with all 27 counts. Both men however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Counsel to the EFCC,  Oluwabumi Abosede, said that the defendants had committed the offence between August 26, 2009 and August, 2, 2012, in Maza Maza area of Lagos.

CHARGES:

She also said that sometime in August 2010, the first defendant stole 20 units of Ax Motorcycle valued at N2.2million

The anti- graft agency further said that on the 26 of August 2009, with intent to defraud,the first defendant, Andarai, converted to his use the sum of N17million, the money entrusted to him by the Jega National Union of Local Government Employees of Kebbi state.

According to the EFCC, the offence committed is contrary to section 309 Cap 2 laws of Lagos state.

After the defendants had taken their plea,  an oral application was made by the first defendant’s counsel Odu Hycinth that the first defendant should be remanded in EFCC’s custody because of his alleged ill health, pending when he will meet his bail conditions.

He said that Andarai, is an hypertensive patient and has been to the Military hospital at , very close to the EFCC office.

He also said that the first defendant is a very responsible man who is a director with the ministry of finance in Kebbi state and he is still serving, adding that he would be available for trial any time the matter comes up.

Hyacinth, further added that the issue of the first defendant not being present will not arise because he is a credible person.

In her reply, counsel to the EFCC said”I know that the proper place after arraignment is prison custody.”

“I will allow the court to use its discretion because am not aware of his health issues.” She said.

However Justice Onigbanjo, said that he is not satisfied with the explanation from the first defendant counsel and that of the EFCC investigating police officer IPO on the ill health of the first defendant.

He  however granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N2million, with two sureties in like sum.

The matter was then adjourned to November 20, 2013, for trial.

Lagos PDP Says ACN’s Lai Mohammed Is Over-Ambitious

The Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that it is high time that the National Publicity Secretary of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Lai Mohammed was called to order in “his unconventional and guerrilla style of making false press releases all in a bid to appear as always talking or posing opposition to president Goodluck Jonathan.”


The state chapter of the PDP in a press statement said its position is “on the heels of the falsehood being peddled by Lai Mohammed that President Jonathan will be in Lagos State tomorrow and that the president should rather shelve the visit because the ACN will be holding its conventions in the state tomorrow.

The statement said, “Supposing the President actually plans to visit lagos State tomorrow for the further federal support in developing the state, should a self-acclaimed progressive like Lai Mohammed, oppose such visit only for the sake of parochialism and self agrandisement?”

The party emphasised that ACN, Mr Mohammed nor Governor Babatunde Fashola cannot even curtail the fundamental Right of ordinary citizen to move around not to talk of curtailing that of the Commander-in-Chief.

 

Faceoff: Battle For Lagos

Leave JAMB And NECO Alone, Educationist Warns FG

An educationist,  Salmon Salami, has described the proposal to reorganise JAMB and NECO as a ‘very bad one’ hence he has sounded a note of warning to all stakeholders to hands off the plan to scrap the Unified Joint Admissions Board and the National Examinations Council.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Salami agreed that there is a need to reduce the cost of governance which is the government’s reason for the proposed change.

However, he said “education is one thing you cannot afford to toil with.”

He added that UTME and NECO should be spared as there are other drain pipes in the education sector; where the government can focus its attention.

He said JAMB is so sensitive and is such an institution that allows the children of common men access to university education.

He also raised a few potential problems which could arise should the two examination bodies be scrapped amongst which are; students would make extra expenses in purchasing forms of different schools which would be empowered to conduct the examination and admission of students.

Kara Village Razed Down

Residents of Kara village, a border community between Lagos and Ogun state are reeling in shock a day after a furious blaze swept through the area, leaving vast destruction in its trial.

Scores of houses and kiosks were razed down by the inferno that swept across the village on Wednesday night, claiming no loss of life.

Eye witnesses said the fire started at about 7pm and was caused by a cooking fire, which was further inflamed by a powered generating set that was nearby.

The officers of the Lagos State fire service reportedly got to the scene about three hours after the fire started with only one truck.

After they exhausted the tanker, they drove back to get more water while the fire raged on.

Properties worth millions of Naira as well as valuable materials were lost to the inferno as many residents have now been rendered homeless.

It is still difficult to exactly determine the number of houses that were razed.

I’ll Open Ladipo Market After You Clean It Up, Fashola Tells Traders

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde  Fashola, on Sunday informed displaced traders of the Ladipo auto spare parts market that the closed business arena would be re-opened after it is cleaned up and put in order.

During an inspection tour of the market in Mushin Local Government Area, Governor Fashola stated that the Government would reopen it for business once the traders spearhead a clean-up exercise and formally undertake that never again would trading take place on the road or the edges of the canal.

“It is a massive degradation of a section of Lagos and this is not acceptable. People should not carry on like this. But what is, perhaps, worthy of note is that those who are involved have seen the error of what they have done here and are ready to work with us to clean-up and I have said here that they must take the lead”, the Governor said.

The market had been was shut last week Monday following repeated warnings and visits by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello and the Chairman of the Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences, CSP Bayo Sulaiman, which were not heeded.

Governor Fashola visited the environs following pleas by the traders and the leadership of the Igbo Council in Lagos State led by Professor Anya O. Anya.

Fashola told the traders the conditions they must meet before the market can be open for business activities.

“You will clean first and when you have done it, I will come back and I will bring members of your leadership who came to me and we will say this is the agreement now. We will sign a new agreement, nobody trades on the road, it must be behind the property line. Nobody trades on the pavement, it is for pedestrians”, the Governor said.

Lagos Gives Residents Of Illegal Shanty 3 Weeks To Relocate Ahead of Demolition

The Lagos State government has given three weeks to illegal occupants residing at the Adelabu NEPA Garden settlement in Surulere, to vacate the area or face a  forthcoming demolition of the shanty. 

The ultimatum was given by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, on Friday, while inspecting on-going construction of drainage channels in Surulere area of the state.

Mr. Bello insists that the shanties are built on drainage channels and government will no longer tolerate it any longer.

Meanwhile the head of the residents has appealed to the government for more time to effect the relocation, noting that they have been living in the shanty for over 40 years.

The threat to demolish the Adelabu NEPA Garden settlement is coming just after the demolition of the settlements in Ijora-Badia area of the state.