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, IGP order police to fish out Lagos robbers

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola and the Inspector- General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar on Monday directed the police authority in the state to fish out armed robbers that terrorized some parts of Lagos metropolis on Sunday, killing six people including three policemen and injured several others.

The duo spoke in Alausa during the official presentation of 114 security vehicles donated by 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state, also the launching of other security items procured under the auspices of the State Security Trust Fund at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

Mr Fashola said that he knows how the Police officers feel because they were constrained to reduce civilian casualty when they responded to the attacks.

He, however, added that they must do whatever they have to do in not only protecting the state but to find the armed men who attacked the State.

“You must find those men who dared to attack us and it is by bringing those men to justice that your colleagues who died during the attacks would not have died in vain. We have walked this road before and we succeeded. Those who threaten us must be ready to spend better than us and they must be ready to fight harder than us because we will win”, he added.

While urging everyone to remain calm as the State Government is on top of the situation, the Governor gave a commitment to the families and dependents of the officers who lost their lives during the incidents that they will not be forgotten.

He said they will be entitled to insurance package with sizeable insurance compensation that the State Government has already put in place, adding that in whatever way possible the government will provide support to them.

“Our success in reducing crime has brought about many more challenges with many more people relocating to Lagos for security reasons, saying: “yesterday’s success has become history, today’s challenges live with us, it is our responsibility to provide security for tomorrow.

In security business, there are no margins for errors. We must be right always. We must ensure that it does not happen again. We have to rethink our methods, rethink our strategies and renew our commitment because we are at a period when people who do not work want to live life to the fullest”, Mr Fashola said.

The Inspector General of Police told the State Police Command that it is no more a tea party adding that the command must wake up from its slumber as the robbery incident of Sunday must not repeat itself.

“The story of what happened in Lagos yesterday should not repeat itself. We cannot fold our arms and allow common criminals to terrorise us. They should not terrorise the people anymore.

“We cannot fold our arms when the Governor has provided all that we want in terms of mobility, allowances, support and assistance. I have directed the Assistant Inspector General, Zone 11 and the State Commissioner of Police to meet and re-strategise on the issue. It will not be accepted anymore”, Mr Abubakar said.

Lagos traffic laws

The IG, who also spoke on the observance of traffic law by motorcycle riders in the State, said he had a personal experience on the Lekki -Epe Expressway at midnight on Sunday where he observed motorcycles not obeying traffic lights.

He said he expects motorcyclists irrespective of whether they are commercial or privately owned to obey the law and respect traffic rules, adding that the State Police Commissioner must convene a meeting with the union of motor cycle (Okada) riders in the next one month on why they must obey traffic laws in the State.

He said after the meeting with the union, a week’s grace should be given to the okada riders, after which anyone of them caught, should be arrested and prosecuted in the court of law.

26 persons arrested for possesion of illegal items

26 persons alleged to have imported prohibited goods have been arrested by men of Federal Operations Unit,Zone a ,Lagos State  of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The comptroller in charge of the unit, Mister Dan Ugo said goods seized from those arrested include fake drugs, cannabis ,fairly used clothes and vehicles worth over a N100 million.

He said that men of the service will not go to sleep until they rid the nation of criminally minded persons.

We are ready to implement new traffic Law – Lagos CP

The Lagos State Security Council met Wednesday at the Lagos House Marina under the Chairmanship of the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), with the Police pledging their readiness to begin full enforcement of the law and warning that in the process, nobody would be spared.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abubakar Umar Manko

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abubakar Umar Manko, who gave the indication  after the meeting, said the delay in enforcement was in order to allow for public enlightenment and all other requirements to be put in place to ensure easy compliance by members of the public.

Fielding questions from newsmen after the meeting, the Police boss explained, “Since the Governor signed it, it has become law. The fact that it has not been massively enforced does not mean that it is not in existence. So we have just finished a meeting. Everybody now knows there is a new law and that law is going to be fully enforced”.

According to the Commissioner, “Government has done its part, public enlightenment has been made, road repairs are going on and there are traffic signs everywhere, therefore, no citizen has the right to say that he does not know. The Police are going to start the enforcement in full and nobody is going to be spared”.

Promising that members of his Command would not disobey the law, Manko declared, “We are going to start full enforcement and we expect compliance to this law from everybody. The contents have been made public, so excuse of ignorance of the law is no more there”.

On “MBER” months, the Commissioner, who described them as no different from other months of the year, said although there may be some challenges the Police was fully prepared and would come out en masse to ensure that public peace was not disturbed.

Ogun to partner Japan on automobile plant

The Ogun State government has sought economic cooperation with Japan for the establishment of an automobile assembly plant and industrial park in the state.

The state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, expressed this while receiving a delegation from Japan, led by the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Rywichi Shoji, in his office in Abeokuta,

He said his administration was ready to collaborate with Japan on human capacity development, industrialization, energy and long-term financing.

While commending the administration for providing the much needed conducive atmosphere for business, Mr. Shoji, described the state as an emerging economy which paraded the best brains and geographically remained the center of industry, based on its rich land mass and closeness to Lagos and other West African countries.

He said the visit has afforded the team the opportunity to share first-hand information on areas of cooperation with the state.

Lagos: Fashola appoints Sunmoni as new Accountant-General

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola has approved the appointment of David Olabanji Adewale Sunmoni as the new Accountant -General of the State.

Mr Sunmoni’s appointment takes effect from 31 August 2012 when the appointment of the former Accountant General, Akin Ambode lapsed.

The new Accountant General, who was born on 16 of January 1959, has served as the State Auditor -General from 2010 until his new appointment.

A Master Degree holder in Business Administration (MBA) from the Lagos State University, Mr Sunmoni is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) and Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) as well as an Associate of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

Among the institutions he attended are London School of Accountancy, London, Methodist High School, Lagos and Oriwu College, Ikorodu.

Since he joined the State Public service, he has served in various capacities including Assistant Director, Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) Pensions from 2002 to 2006, Lagos State Treasury Office as deputy director treasury operations from 2006 to 2009, and Ministry of Waterfront as director of accounts from 2009 to 2010.

He has also worked with different organizations like A.G. Leventis Nigeria Plc, Pfizer Products Plc, Beta Glass Plc and Livestock Feeds Plc in different capacities like Senior Accountant, Financial and Management Accountant, Group Financial Controller and Company Secretary.

Mr Sunmoni has attended several professional courses and training programmes both locally and internationally.

The new Accountant General belongs to the Oriwu Club in Ikorodu and Lagos Country Club and is married with children.

Univeristy don calls for return to old educational system

A former vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Ayo Banjo has bemoaned the poor state of education in the country, blaming the decadence on the current 6-3-3-4 system.

He called on the federal government to revert to the old 6-5-2-3 system of education.

Professor Banjo made the call at a forum in Lagos where he linked the failure of the current system particularly to the lack of commitment by successive governments who have failed to make it work.

Arepo Inferno Update: Armed vandals disrupt fire-fighting operation

Once again vandals today disrupted fire fighting operations at the NNPC pipeline at the Arepo village in Ogun state.

The vandals attack forced some of the officials to run into the creeks while others ran for safety.

After several hours of disruption, NNPC officials entered into negotiations with the vandals which resulted into the withdrawal of NNPC security operatives in the operations.
At about 1pm emergency managers could then freely proceed to the scene of the fire.

Meanwhile, the Ogun state commissioner of police has visited the site alongside his men to see to bringing calm into the environment so as to allow fire fighting operations go un-hindered.

NEMA officials who were able to gain access to the site of the incident said nine vandalized points were discovered on the pipelines.

According to officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the fire which started at about 10PM Wednesday night following a gun battle between NNPC security men and confirmed pipeline vandals is still raging and has not been put under control.

An official of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, expressed his fear to Channels Television on the escalation of the fire.

Efforts by the NEMA officials to get to the scene of the incident to put out the fire was bypassed after a boat was secured to ferry the NEMA officials through but due to the sporadic shooting by the vandals, the mission was cut short, according to Mr Farinloye.

Fire razes LUTH’s Tuberclosis centre

A fire on Thursday night razed the Direct Observation Therapy Centre for Tuberculosis of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Idi Araba, Lagos.

The fire was said to have been caused by an electric spark.

The fire raged for over an hour while fire fighters were said to have responded after a number of distress calls were made.

Host communities accuse Chevron of denying them oil contracts

A group known as Chevron Host Communities Registered Procurement Contractors (CHOCOPROCO) on Tuesday protested over alleged marginalisation by the procurement department of Chevron Nigeria Limited.

The group with membership drawn from the Itsekiri, Ijaw, Elaje and Urhobo ethnic groups, all host communities of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) in Delta State called on the company to relocate its headquarter to its operational base in Warri, Delta State instead of Lekki Lagos in line with the Federal Government requirement.

CHOCOPROCO which led a protest to the Chevron Nigeria Limited base in Warri early on Tuesday morning and subsequently briefed journalists alleged that the company is colluding with some persons to marginalise the host communities giving them less than the local content policy of the Federal Government demands.

Led by their chairman, Emmanuel Adidi, the group said while they were open to dialogue the company chose rather to dub them criminals and warned that if every attempt to dialogue fails they will have no choice than to take more drastic steps.

They claimed that while they are contractors to Chevron as host communities and as stated in the Local Content Law the bulk of contract goes to a select few and others who are not members of the host communities.

The group alleged that persons who are staff of Chevron use business names to carry out contracts for the company effectively denying the host community members their rights.

They demanded to be carried along in the day to day procurement opportunities and awards and the immediate relocation of the Purchasing/procurement headquarters from Lekki back to Warri the operational base of Chevron Nigeria Limited as directed by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Fair basis

However in its reaction, the Nigerian arm of the American oil company in a statement by its Communications Manager, Sola Adebawo, maintained that “the contractors under the aegis of Chevron Host Community Procurement Contractors (“Chocoproco”), which is also known as E-Procurement Contractors are benefiting or have benefited from purchase orders awarded by the company through a rigorous competitive tendering process that provides opportunities to all the Procurement Contractors in our operating areas.”

Chevron Nigeria also claimed that “it continues to follow Local Community Contractors Standard Operating Procedure, which is part of a well-established contracting process developed to ensure contracting opportunities are managed on a fair basis and for the benefit of its communities – East and West of the Niger Delta.”

“The Local Community Contracting process is driven by the Global Memorandum of Understanding where the Regional Development Councils (RDCS) are pivots of empowerment” the stated said, adding that “there has been marked growth in the contracts awarded to community Contractors over the past three years.”

“We continue to work with all stakeholders including the contractors to overcome challenges, seek ways to continually improve our processes and come to an amicable resolution” the company added.

CNL also noted that its highest priority remains the safety of its employees, contractors and the security of its assets in its areas of operations.



Lagos to go tough on mast installations

Some masts and base stations of  commercial banks, telecoms and other users in Lagos have become high risk structures which needs to be overhauled.

That’s what the Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit (UFRU) of the Lagos state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development discovered after conducting integrity tests on some banks within Ikeja.

Led by the head of the unit, Mr Joe Igbokwe, the men of the furniture regulatory body accompanied by journalists visited four different branches of one of the nation’s leading commercial banks on Thursday to inspect the installations.

Mr Igbokwe lamented that the life-span of the masts were being abused and they were constructed on very poor foundations.

This is happening about two months after UFRU asked telecoms operators, banks and other builders of masts and base stations to furnish its office with information on the number of its structures for record purposes.

Fashola bans trailers from Lagos road during day time

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday signed into law the bill restricting the movement of trailers on Lagos road between the hours of 6am and 9pm.

The governor assented to the Lagos State Road Traffic Bill at a ceremony attended by members of the executive council, top officials of the police force and other traffic management agencies in the state.

Mr Fashola said the new law was a holistic review of the state’s Traffic Law of 2003, adding that it was designed to ensure safety on the roads.

He said that the growth of Lagos into a mega city with large migration into the state had resulted in traffic congestion, saying that the new law was one of government`s strategies to manage the situation.

“This new law is also the state government`s intervention to the alarming statistics of road accidents, especially those caused by reckless driving and activities of commercial motorcyclists.”

“From records at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), 722 accidents were reported, comprising 568 males and 154 females between January and July this year.”

“At our Toll Gate Trauma Centre, 254 accidents, which resulted in 35 deaths, were recorded during the same period. Fifty per cent of the cases were caused by okada riders, 27 per cent of the victims were passengers and 23 per cent pedestrians.”

“These are alarming figures and we cannot afford to allow this to continue, hence our intervention with this law,” he said.

Mr Fashola said that the real objective of the new law was to improve the traffic situation in Lagos and not to arbitrarily send people to jail. He enjoined road users to voluntary comply with the law.

The governor vowed that his government would strictly implement the law, assuring that offenders would be given fair hearing and would be accorded the right to defend themselves during prosecution.

Life expectancy

The Attorney General and Lagos State Commission of Justice Ade Ipaye said the law sought to promote the life expectancy of residents as it would significantly reduce congestion on the roads.

Mr Ipaye said that the law would address the safety and security issues associated with operations of commercial motorcyclists and illegal use of vehicles in the state.

He said the law would not be implemented immediately, adding that a lot of public enlightenment would be carried out while copies distributed to residents.

The Law

The new law spells out what constitutes traffic offences in Lagos State, as well as the penalty each attracted.

According to the law, trailers, with the exemption of fuel tankers and long passenger trucks are now prohibited from entering into or travelling within the metropolis from 6 am to 9pm.

Violators risk impoundment of their vehicles and payment of N50, 000 fine or six months imprisonment.

Another salient provision of the law is the prohibition of eating, counting money, making phone calls and engaging in other dangerous activities while driving, prescribing a fine of N30,000 for violators.

Other highlights included the ban on operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles on major bridges, Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway and Lekki-Epe Expressway.

It also compelled commercial bus drivers and their conductors to wear identification tags while property owners are also compelled to report cases of abandoned vehicles in their vicinity or risk punishment.

Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) are empowered to administer breathalyzers on drivers to detect their drunkenness while owners of commercial vehicles are compelled to obtain operating licenses from government.