Lagos Govt Acquires Two New High-Speed Trains

The Lagos State government has acquired two new high-speed trains for its Red Line rail project, as part of efforts to improve traffic management and transportation.

Mr Gboyega Akosile, who is the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

He revealed that Governor Sanwo-Olu completed the acquisition deal of the two sets of 10 cars Talgo 330kmph trains on Tuesday at an event held inside the Milwaukee facilities of Spanish train manufacturer, Talgo Incorporated in the United States.

In this photo released by the Lagos State government on January 19, 2022, Governor Sanwo-Olu is seen addressing an audience in Milwaukee, United States.

 

According to him, the trains will be heading to Lagos for the Red Line – a 37km track rail project which will have 11 stations and will be the first operational metro system in West Africa, when completed.

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“A train is not something you can just go on the shelf and pick up,” the governor was quoted as saying at the event. “We are very lucky to get brand new trains. We have seen our beautiful white and red trains. Coincidentally, the rail line is called Red Line and you can see they have given us the colour. We are just going to brand it and put up our seal there.”

This photo released by the Lagos State government on January 19, 2022, shows the interior of one of the two newly acquired trains.

 

“We hope that this (purchase of the trains) will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial business relationship. Providing source of livelihood for our citizens is all about providing jobs for our people and that is what we are doing. It is about ensuring that we can build our economy; people can move from one location to another, and businesses can grow.

“Part of what we have done in the last two and half years is to have what we call Integrated Urban Mass transportation system, where we will be using road infrastructure, waterway infrastructure, and rail infrastructure so that we can move over 20 million Lagosians within and around the city.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu said his team was in Milwaukee to see things for themselves in respect of the purchase of the trains, adding that they have inspected the trains, seen their configuration, and were satisfied that they fit into the tracks of the Red Line in Lagos.

A photo released by the Lagos State government on January 19, 2022, shows Governor Sanwo-Olu walking alongside others in Milwaukee, United States.

 

He gave an assurance that the first phase of the Red Line would begin by the last quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, with a capacity of 500,000 passengers daily.

The acting Milwaukee Mayor, Cavalier Johnson, who received Governor Sanwo-Olu in the city, said “It is a little bittersweet.

“I am sending my congratulations to the Governor of Lagos State in Nigeria, but also a little disappointed that we missed out on the opportunity to have those train sets operating here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.”

 

For the CEO and President of Talgo, USA, Antonio Perez, it is important that the trains are utilised and it does not make any good for them to be stored and kept without passengers riding them.

Governor Sanwo-Olu was accompanied by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde; his Special Adviser on Works, Aramide Adeyoye, and Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Abimbola Akinajo.

Yellow Buses, Cabs, Others To Pay N800 Levy From February – Lagos Govt

A file photo of buses in Lagos State.

 

The Lagos State Government and transportation stakeholders in the state on Tuesday signed an agreement and officially unveiled the ‘Consolidated Informal Transport Sector Levy’ to harmonise dues collected by the government from commercial motorists at parks and garages across the state.

The agreement between the state, local government, and various unions in the sector, as well as some government agencies in Lagos, was signed on Tuesday during a ceremony held in Ikeja.

In his remarks at the event, the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, stated that the levy pegged at a flat rate of N800 covers money for not just the local government, but also that of clearing waste from motor parks paid to the Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA).

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He listed the benefits of the levy to include harmonising the collection process by putting a structure in place, reducing multiple taxes dues and levies to all agents of state and local governments, providing reliable data, eradicating harassment of bus drivers, and bringing collaborative engagements within stakeholders, among others.

The commissioner said the levy approach was an alignment with stakeholders and total restructuring of the transport system to further boost monies coming into government coffers, adding that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration had put the interest of citizens as a priority.

Statutory Levy Scrapped?

Stating that personal income taxes of the drivers would also be deducted from the N800 levy, he disclosed that the levy which would take effect on February 1 would be paid to moderate the fees that motorists in the sector pay daily, adding that tax cards would also be issued to them.

“The N800 is a single structured collection of the monies payable to all government agencies and parties who are directly or indirectly associated with the transport sector,” Olowo explained.

“What the government has done is to organise the collection and reduce the multiplicity of levies and all sorts of taxes, dues, and monies due to government from the transport unions.

“Bus drivers will get tax cards, and the issue of arbitrary payments will be eradicated once they pay from the point of their loading each day.”

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Toyin Fayinka, on his part, said the development was the first approach towards a total restructuring of the sector.

He said all stakeholders were duly consulted before the final signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at bringing sanity into motor parks in line with best practices globally.

The Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers Union (NURTW), Musiliu Akinsanya, explained that the union, in collaboration with the Road Transport Workers Union (RTEAN), had approached the government to consolidate the fees to make it easier for the government.

He said they were in agreement with policies that would ensure the development of the state.

Akinsanya, popularly known as ‘MC Oluomo’, clarified that the N800 levy does not deprive the union of collecting its normal statutory levy, although he said the union’s dues would be collected at only one point in a structured manner going forward.

“The harmonised levy will not affect the national union ticket,” he stressed. “What it is aimed at consolidating are all the levies collected by the government and it was the union that approached the government to help us harmonise the payment of all the levies to prevent duplication of levies.”

Lagos To Partially Close Marine Bridge For Repair Works

Logo of Lagos State Government

 

The Lagos State Government says the Marine Bridge will be partially closed from, Monday 17th January to Saturday, 2nd April 2022 for emergency repair works on the infrastructure.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Transportation, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said that the partial closure was to allow the Federal Government to carry out routine maintenance works on the bridge’s infrastructure.

He said that the temporary closure of the bridge is in two sections, Apapa Outbound, which will be repaired between 17th January and 9th March 2022, and the Apapa inbound section of the bridge scheduled between 10th March and 2nd April 2022.

The transport commissioner while highlighting alternative routes, noted that traffic outbound Apapa will be diverted to give way for contraflow of traffic between RRS point and Total Bridge, adding that motorists using lighter vehicles will be diverted to Marine Beach by Mobil filling station to connect Ijora Bridge or make use of service lane by Leventis to connect Naval Dockyard to link Total Underbridge to further their journeys.

“For the inbound Apapa motorists during the second phase of the rehabilitation works, Oladeinde explained that traffic inbound Apapa will be diverted to allow contraflow of traffic between Total Bridge and RRS point”, he said.

He also added that Motorists using lighter vehicles will be allowed to descend towards Total Under Bridge and make use of Fire Service road to connect Marine Beach by Mobil filling station, while those heading towards Apapa will make a detour and connect Area B through NAGAFF using Mobil filling station service lane.

The commissioner assured that palliative repair works have been carried out on all the aforementioned alternative routes to ameliorate the effect of Traffic and deployment of Lagos State Traffic Management personnel (LASTMA) to manage the diversion plan.

He implored motorists to be patient as the measures taken are aimed at providing quality and safe road infrastructure for everyone.

Lagos To Divert Traffic On Dopemu Road For Three Months

Logo of Lagos State Government

 

The Lagos State Government on Sunday said it will divert traffic on Dopemu Road in the Agege area of the state for three months.

In a statement, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said the move followed the planned rehabilitation and upgrade of Babajide Sanwo-Olu Road within the period.

According to him, the repair works will be executed in three phases adding that the first phase of the project will focus on Ipaja Road to Adealu Street junction which will last for three months.

“In line with the on-going infrastructure development, the Lagos State Government will divert traffic on Dopemu Road in the Agege area of the state by 10:00 pm on Friday 21st January 2022 for the rehabilitation and upgrade of Babajide Sanwo-Olu Road for a duration of 3 months,” the statement read.

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Oladeinde asked motorists inbound Dopemu Bridge from Iyana Ipaja/Alagba axis to go through the Ipaja road to connect Oyewole Street into Seriki Street which will link them to Kolawole and Adebambo Street to access Adealu road for their desired destination.

He equally advised motorists heading towards Dopemu Bridge from Ipaja (Oke Koto) are to use Markaz road to connect Awori street and link Sarumi Alawo street/Oniwaya and Surulere to continue their journey or alternately go through Alfa Nla from Old Ipaja road to connect Oniwaya/Surulere axis to reach Dopemu Bridge.

The commissioner assured that alternative routes have been mapped by the state’s Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to enable effective control of vehicular movement along the axis during the duration of the construction.

While lauding Lagosians for their perseverance through the myriad of constructions ongoing across the state, the commissioner called for support from the citizenry, assuring them that the sacrifice being paid will yield the desired outcome for the state’s Multi-modal Transportation System.

2023: Nigeria Needs The Best To Lead, Says Makinde

Makinde said Tinubu stood for politics without bitterness.

 

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State believes the country deserves to be led by its best hands as the nation inches closer to the 2023 general elections.

He made the comment on Saturday when a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, paid him a condolence visit over the deaths of the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi; the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Saliu Adetunji and a former governor of Oyo, Christopher Alao-Akala.

“Let me also use this opportunity to wish you well in your political quest to govern this nation,” Makinde noted during the visit. “We want the best for this country and only the best is good enough at this particular time.”

“I want to welcome you to Oyo State. We are really grateful for this visit. This is the year political parties will elect their candidates towards the election that is coming next year. So, what this had demonstrated to us is, you stood for politics without bitterness.”

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The Oyo leader also thanked the former Lagos State governor for the visit.

Makinde expressed delight over Tinubu’s visit even though the move might be misinterpreted especially in view of the political season.

“We may fight, struggle for political positions but we know power can only come from God and He gives it to whomever He will like to give it to at whatever time,” he added.

“We really thank you for this visit and want to let you know that we have taken proper notice that you have risen above politics and all that is going around here to come and share with us at this moment that we are grieving. We say thank you.”

‘We Will Leave One Day’

Tinubu is full of praises for Makinde.

 

Earlier, the former governor had commended Makinde for his leadership qualities, explaining that the loss of these prominent Oyo indigenes is a reminder that “we are just passing through and we will leave one day. But no matter how long, it is difficult to absorb the loss easily.”

“With this situation, we share in your loss. You, as the governor on the saddle of power, take responsibility for the situation here,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde.

“I want to say that we thank God Ibadan has been peaceful and not a den of violence but peaceful.”

Tinubu Pays Condolence Visit To Makinde Over Demise Of Olubadan, Soun And Akala

 

Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Saturday, paid a condolence visit to the Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, over the demise of two prominent traditional rulers and a former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao- Akala.

While speaking at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, Tinubu said that the departed traditional rulers – the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso 1 – as well as former Governor Alao-Akala, would be greatly missed.

Makinde said Tinubu stood for politics without bitterness.

 

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, quoted Tinubu as saying that the reign of the two prominent traditional rulers was peaceful, adding that the duo contributed to the peaceful atmosphere of the state.

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The statement also quoted Tinubu as adding that the late Governor Alao-Akala equally contributed immensely to the political development and the love radiating within the political arena in the state.

The former Lagos governor also commended Governor Makinde for “demonstrating good character” as far as governance is concerned in the state.

He said: “I want to thank you, the governor. It was only last night that I thought of my coming here and we are here today. Having lost a former governor of this state, the Olubadan of Ibadanland and Soun of Ogbomoso, it is just for us to go back to the sense of value of people and their lives.

“With this situation, we share in your loss. You, as the governor on the saddle of power, take responsibility for the situation here. I want to say that we thank God Ibadan has been peaceful and not a den of violence but peaceful.

“Every other thing that has happened has taught us in the book of religion that we are just passing through and we will leave one day. But no matter how long, it is difficult to absorb the loss easily.

“Thank you for being accommodating. We gave you a short hour notice and you responded.

“That is a demonstration of a good character, which is rare. People get, sometimes, intoxicated with power and the arrogance of office can be overwhelming, but not with you. Thank you for receiving us so quickly.”

Tinubu is full of praises for Makinde.

 

In his remarks, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde, said that the former governor of Lagos State stood for politics without bitterness.

According to him, politicians, may fight, struggle for political positions, but power can only come from God and He gives it to whomever he likes.

Makinde equally appreciated the former governor of Lagos State, wishing him well in his political endeavour.

He said: “I want to welcome you to Oyo State. We are really grateful for this visit. This is the year political parties will elect their candidates towards the election that is coming next year. So, what this had demonstrated to us is, you stood for politics without bitterness.

“During this political season, you may have to question yourself on why you need to come to the Government House because people might have another interpretation to it. But you sent a message across to me and I was delighted to host you in Ibadan.

“We lost two traditional rulers almost in quick succession. First, it was Soun of Ogbomoso land, and we were planning for the burial when the Olubadan of Ibadanland also joined his ancestors. We were still in the middle of that when former Governor Akala also died. I can see that in Oyo State, we try to take politics out of what we call ‘omoluabi’.

“We may fight, struggle for political positions but we know power can only come from God and He gives it to whomever He will like to give it to at whatever time.

“We really thank you for this visit and want to let you know that we have taken proper notice that you have risen above politics and all that is going around here to come and share with us at this moment that we are grieving. We say thank you.

“Let me also use this opportunity to wish you well in your political quest to govern this nation. We want the best for this country and only the best is good enough at this particular time.”

Senator Tinubu’s visit to the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, came after he had paid condolence visits to the palaces of the Soun of Ogbomoso land, Olubadan of Ibadanland, and residence of the late Governor Alao-Akala, where he sympathised with the respective families.

Ikoyi Building Collapse: Provisional Approval Not Given Before Construction Started – LASBCA

A high-rise building in Ikoyi, Lagos, collapsed on November 1, 2021.
A photo collage of the collapsed building in the Ikoyi Area of Lagos State. Source: Facebook/LASEMA

 

The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has told a coroner inquest inquiring into the Nov.1 collapse of the 21-storey building at Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos that construction of the three high-rise blocks began months before provisional approval was granted.

Counsel for LASBCA, Mr A.S Odugbemi, made the assertion while questioning Mr Muritala Olawale, the Managing Director of Prowess Engineering Nigeria Ltd.

Olawale was a former consultant structural engineer to the project. He withdrew his services via a letter dated Feb. 20, 2020, over disputes on how the project was structurally executed.

At the coroner’s proceedings, Odugbemi disputed the contents of paragraph 17 of Olawale’s Statement on Oath to the Inquest stating that late Femi Osibona, the Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Ltd, had informed his team that he had received provisional approval for the project’s construction.

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According to Olawale’s Statement on Oath, Osibona showed his team a copy of the provisional approval from the Lagos State Government and ordered them to commence construction on the site.

Disputing Olawale’s claims, Odugbemi said that LASBCA never granted Osibona a provisional planning permit when the team moved to the site to commence construction in January 2019.

He stated that LASBCA granted provisional approval in April 2019.

“Will you be surprised if evidence is provided to you right now that work had started before the provisional planning approval was granted in April 2019?” Odugbemi said.

Responding, Olawale said “I will be surprised. All the approval processes were being handled by the client (Osibona).”

Olawale did not give a specific answer to Odugbemi’s query on whether the three high-rise blocks were covered by a general insurance policy as required by law.

He, however, informed the panel that prior to construction, a soil test was conducted at the site by another company contracted to do the job.

“We have submitted the result of the soil test of the site to other panels investigating the collapse,” he said.

Of the three high-rise buildings (Blocks A, B, and C) which were situated on Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Block B (21-storeys) collapsed on Nov. 1 killing 46 persons while 15 persons were rescued alive.

One of the deceased was Mr Femi Osibona, the Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Ltd, the contractor of the project.

Nurses, Midwives In Lagos Suspend Three-Day Warning Strike

A file photo of nurses.

 

The National Association Of Nigeria Nurses And Midwives (NANNM) has suspended its 3-day warning strike in Lagos State.

This follows a meeting between NANNM’s management and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday.

According to a statement by NANNNM’s State Secretary, Toba Odumosu, issues of agitation of nurses and midwives in Lagos were presented in an earlier notice of strike action, and the governor’s interventions on the demands urged the council to call for an emergency congress for 12noon Monday 10th January 2022.

The spokesperson noted that after considerations and a review of feedbacks and resolutions reached with the government, the congress has taken the decision to suspend the strike action effective from Tuesday 11th January 2022 by 8 am.

All nurses within the metropolis were urged to return to their duty post on Tuesday.

Lagos Tops As EFCC Secures 2,220 Convictions In 2021

EFCC news
The EFCC logo

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Thursday that it secured a total of 2220 (two thousand two hundred and twenty) convictions across all its commands in 2021.

In a statement, the agency explained that the figure which emerged from a review of the commission’s performance in the outgone year shows that the Lagos Command of the agency recorded the most convictions-481, closely followed by the Ibadan Command with 324 convictions, while the Port Harcourt Zonal Command had 230 convictions.

According to the statement, the conviction secured by the Commission in 2021 is the highest by the EFCC since inception.

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Before 2021, the highest record of conviction by the commission was secured in 2019 with 1280 convictions. The 2220 record of 2021 is a 127.5 % improvement over the 2019 record.

Interestingly too, the 2220 record represents a 98.49% success rate in prosecution as the commission said it lost only 34 cases during this period.

While commenting on the performance, the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, commended the personnel of the commission for their industry and dedication despite the challenges of criminal prosecution in court.

He also assured that the EFCC will continue to motivate all categories of staff for greater efficiency through capacity development and other incentives.

Fire Razes Shanties In Ebute Metta

The scene of the fire in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos on January 5, 2021.

 

Some properties worth millions have been destroyed as fire razed some shanties in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos.

Eyewitnesses said the fire started around 11 on Wednesday morning at the Kano and Coates streets of the Lagos mainland.

Both streets house residential shanties, plank shops as well as sawmills.

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It is however not clear if any life was lost, even as the exact number of homes and shops affected is still sketchy.

However, firefighters and emergency responders have been battling to bring the situation under control.

Many residents of the area were said to have been injured in the inferno.

Lagos Govt To Provide Land For Shangisha Landlords To End Magodo Dispute

Governor Sanwo-Olu during the visit to Magodo on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022. Credit: Lagos State Govt.

 

The Lagos State Government has promised to provide 549 plots of land to Shangisha landlords as compensation to end the land dispute between them and the Magodo Residents Association.

The move is an agreement reached by parties following Wednesday’s meeting presided by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

Governor Sanwo-Olu had on Tuesday visited the area where he called on the parties in the tussle to stand down, in a bid to completely resolve the matter.

“We have actually started a committee meeting, but I want to invite them (Judgement creditors) again officially to my office tomorrow (Wednesday) by 11 a.m. to come over with two or three of their representatives,” he had said during the visit.

“The State Government representatives will be there, the residents’ association will be there, and the police will also be there. So whatever it is that must have brought about all these troubles and heartaches will need to be brought there.

“We will all go through every line of it and we will come to an amicable resolution. So, I want everyone to please ensure that peace will be restored to the estate. I want all of our citizens to go about their lawful businesses knowing fully well that nobody will be harassed or any property will be trampled upon pending all of these conversations.”

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Before then, some armed police officers, acting on the instruction of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had laid a siege in Magodo Phase II Estate amid reports of a planned demolition of properties in the estate, in a bid to enforce a Supreme Court order.

Lagos Govt Appoints New Director Of Public Prosecutions

File photo

 

The Lagos State government has appointed a former director at the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Dr Babajide Martins, as the new Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

This was announced in a memo signed by the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ms Titilayo Shitta-bey.

It stated that Martins’ appointment followed the appointment of the former DPP, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, as a Judge of the High Court of Lagos State.

A director in the DPP’s office, Ms Oshinusi Adetutu, was also appointed as the new Director of the Directorate of Citizens Rights.

Others include the appointment of Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi as the Deputy Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the appointment of Mrs Aderoju Salau as the Deputy Director of Directorate of Civil Litigations.

The appointment takes immediate effect.

Dr Martins is a graduate of the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990. He is also a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

He graduated with a Master’s in Law, LLM in European Management and Employment Law, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) respectively from the University of Leicester, England.

The new DPP, thereafter, bagged a Ph.D. in constitutional law from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Prior to joining the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Dr Martins had worked in England as a crown prosecutor and at Blackburn Borough Council in England, where his practice included criminal prosecution, civil litigation, employment law, youth justice, and safeguarding.