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Canadian Governor-General, Payette, Ambode commission $4.5m Ebola biobank

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Canadian Governor General, Julie Payette, and Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has commissioned $4.5 million biobank laboratory, designed to diagnose and manage Ebola, Lassa Fever outbreak and other infectious disease.

While commissioning the biological containment laboratory, tagged, Lagos State Biobank, LSB at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, on Tuesday, they argued that outbreak of any infectious disease including Ebola, in Lagos considering it’s population could spell doom if such facility isn’t provided urgently.

On reason the Canadian Government chose Lagos, Payette stressed that the achievement recorded by the state in 2014 tackling Ebola virus was responsible for the partnership on the project.

“And Canada is very glad to have filled that gap with you with this laboratory and Bio-bank. We will continue to collaborate with you.”

She noted that the facility will assist to “prevent, detect and respond to about the worst calamities possible outcomes that could happen.

“The incidence of infectious disease if not contained could do so much damage and could ravage so many lives.

“It is not important, it is absolutely  essential to have a facility like this to make sure that never happens.

“As serious as the outbreak of Ebola was here in Nigeria and elsewhere in West Africa, it could not have been much worse,” Payette added.

Earlier, Ambode explained that the fund expended on the project which commenced in 2016, was provided by both government to boost prevention of public infectious diseases.

According to him, the Canadian government was responsible for the project design and construction while the state funded the community engagement, training of personnel, maintenance and environmental impact assessment for the facility.

He described the partnership as an effective collaboration which the state government was very proud that the Canadian government lead in this part.

“Lagos is excited over the project. It is a perfect example by a forwarding looking governments through partnership.”

On the facility, the governor stated that the biobank was designed for the management and control of infectious disease in the country.

“It will help to promote and diagnose public health diseases and boost clinical management of infectious disease outbreak in Lagos.”

Ambode added that the Lagos State Biobank would help Fast-track global and local research on infectious diseases.

“It will help to launch the state into a new frontier in research and development in various area of need especially in the diagnostic kits and production of vaccines for containment of infectious disease,” he added.

Earlier, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, hinted that the facility was one of the recommendations made by the committee inaugurated by the former Governor, Babatunde Fashola, after the state was declared Ebola free in October 2014.

Representative of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Adebayo Adeniji, disclosed that Ebola virus outbreak made the Federal Government realise the importance of collaboration with other countries on disease control.

Lagos APC Puts House Into Order, Collapses Campaign Groups Under ICG

By NewsDesk,

As part of the effort towards finding common ground among party members, the Lagos State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) has been able to resolve disputes among various groups, such that many had seemingly divided the party after governorship primary election in the state, by harmonizing Buhari and Osinbajo Campaign Support Group (BOCSG), Ambode Mandate Support Group (AMSG), and Babajide Olusola Campaign Organization (BOSCO) into an Independent Campaign Group (ICG), which would serve as an extra hand to the party in the state during forthcoming general elections.

Specifically, the collapsing of the groups was aimed at forming a formidable independent campaign team that accommodates all party members with the party ideology as its focal point.

However, The Guild got hinted that a drawn Organogram for the newly formed campaign group has Tayo Ayinde, who until recently was serving at BOSCO, as Director General of the Group, with an APC chieftain, Cardinal James Odunbaku, as his deputy.

Others on the list include, People Democratic Party (PDP) Lagos chapter former chairman, Moshood Salvador, who was named as Assistant Director General, West Senatorial District, alongside Wahab Alawiye-King, who was also appointed as Assistant Director General, Central Senatorial District, just as AMSG’s former DG, Akeem Sulaimon, got Assistant Director General for East Senatorial District.

As gathered, the resolve, which was said to have been reached during a reconciliation meeting broker by leaders of All Progressive APC on Monday, was said to have been aimed at addressing factional issues ahead of governorship and other elections in the state.

It would be recalled that crisis broke off in the party after the state incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, second term move was rejected by leaders of the state chapter of the party while another governorship aspirant, Babajide Sanwoolu-Olu, continue to receive endorsement.

The effect of the rejection was concluded as cause of Ambode’s loss to Sanwo-Olu during primary election earlier in the month, with over 900,000 votes against the incumbent.

Meanwhile, a source from the Lagos APC’s secretariat who spoke to The Guild, after the meeting, disclosed that merger of the trio was necessary, saying, it was reached after finding a common ground.

He added that the three groups had been harmonized to form a formidable organisation that would work for the state chapter of APC governorship candidate, Sanwoolu-Olu, President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and other political offices’ seekers in the state.

He stressed that the groups had agreed to work together as an ICG, with Ayinde to head the newly formed organization.

On the development, the source stated that the listed assistant director generals were up to task and that they were prepared to achieve the set goal of the newly formed campaign group.

He disclosed that Salvador’s mandate was to deliver for president Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo and other candidates of APC including Sanwo-Olu.

Ambode adjusts cabinet, appoints new commissioner for information, others

By Adewunmi Abodunrin,

As an indication that governments at all levels are prepared to fast-track development of citizens across Nigeria, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has reshuffled his cabinet with appointment of new executive members including Commissioner for Information and Strategy.

Aside appointment of the governor’s former Special Adviser, Communities and Communication, Kehinde Bamigbetan, as commissioner for Information and Strategy, that of other member of the state’s executive, Ambode also laid off three commissioners who were believed to have under performed in their areas of specialties. 

Through a statement issued on Thursday by Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, the governor listed three affected cabinet members who were Commissioner for Ministry of Physical Planning Urban Development, Anifowoshe Abiola; Commissioner for Ministry of Science and Technology, Femi Odubiyi and Commissioner for Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, Adebimpe Akinsola.

From the governor’s list, after appointment of Bamigbetan, Segun Banjo was appointed as Special Adviser for Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget,  Olayinka Oladunjoye to be in charge of Ministry of Commerce and Industry; while Hakeem Fahm would serve at Ministry of Science Technology; and Ladi Lawanson, for Ministry of Transportation;.

On same development, the state governor also deployed Rotimi Ogunleye from Commerce and Industry to Physical Planning and Urban Development;  Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf from Ministry of Youth and Social Development to Ministry of Wealth Creation; Agboola Dabiri from Central Business District to Ministry of Youth and Social Development; Steve Ayorinde from Ministry of Information and Strategy to Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Babatunde Durosinmi Etti from Ministry of Wealth Creation to Ministry of the Environment.

Others included: “Dr. Samuel Adejare from Ministry of Environment to Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development; Engr. Ade Akinsanya from Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development to Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.

“Benjamin Olabinjo has been moved from Special Adviser, Commerce and Industry to become Special Adviser Civic Engagement, while Kehinde Joseph moved from Special Adviser Civic Engagement to become Special Adviser Housing.

According to the statement, Special Adviser Sports, Deji Tinubu, has been redeployed as Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry and Anofiu Elegushi moved from Special Adviser Transport to become Special Adviser, Central Business District.

“The new commissioners are expected to be cleared by the State House of Assembly while the other redeployment and postings take immediate effect.

“The new appointments and redeployment are geared towards creating a new vigour and vitality for service delivery which has been the hallmark of the Governor Ambode administration”, it stated.

LASTMA assures traffic decongestion amid Agege bridge construction

By Balogun Alabi, 

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), has disclosed that it would ensure free flow of traffic throughout the construction of Pen Cinema Flyover bridge in Agege area of the state, and that adequate measures had been made to facilitate traffic decongestion.

LASTMA explained that materials, including operational vehicles and officers had been deployed to the Agege-Pen Cinema axis, which was a strategic place to human and vehicular movement, adding that alternative route to exit the State to neighboring states were accessible.

It noted that it had set up 24-hours Special Intervention and Rapid Response Unit to ensure traffic was minimally reduced, as it was not forgetful of the fact that temporary closure of adjoining roads in the axis would hinder vehicular movement and socio-economic activities.

The agency hinted that its traffic officials had also been directed to man all alternative routes and diversions opened during the construction period, in a bid to ensure motorists and commuters arrive their destinations on time.

Speaking on Sunday at LASTMA Agege Zonal Office, the agency’s General Manager, Olawale Musa, added that the Rescue and Response Department of LASTMA had been ‘re-organised’ and ‘re-invigorated’ to response timely to issues of accident.

“Abandoned and accident vehicles on the highways in the State, especially those on areas where construction works were on-going would also be removed,” he added.

Musa urged motorists and commuters plying the Agege-Pen Cinema axis to exercise patience, plan their journey ahead, obey road signs and cooperate with traffic officials to achieve free flow of traffic.

The GM also appealed to all members of public and motorists not to hesitate in suggesting alternative measures that would aid in eliminating gridlock, as LASTMA’s door is always opened.

However, it would be recalled that, the state government had on January 4, 2018, commenced the enforcement of partial closure of some roads in Agege to facilitate the construction of the 1.4km flyover which was initiated by the present administration in the State to end the perennial traffic situation within the axis.

Ambode swears in new HoS, tasks workers on efficiency, accountability

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has swore-in the 20th Head of Service, Folasade Adesoye, just as he tasked the over 100, 000 civil servants in the state to be efficient and proactive in the discharge of her duty.

Ambode said concerted efforts have been made to place the workers on a sound footing for proactive, innovative, selfless and technology-driven service delivery.

The governor, while swearing-in the newly appointed HoS at a ceremony held at the Executive Council Chambers in Alausa, Ikeja, added that the responsibility to ensure that the workers often exhibit these qualities rest on the appointee to use her office to galvanize civil servants to build on the gains already recorded. 

At the ceremony on Tuesday, he argued that his administration working with her predecessor laid the foundation for the new public service that is well positioned to rise up to the demands of present-day public service delivery.

Ambode stated that though a lot of progresses have been recorded in building on the reforms, it is still a work in progress and there is need to intensify on quality service delivery to the public.

“The success of your tenure will be assessed not by the efforts you are able to put in but the tangible outcome in terms of improvements in the outlook and deliverables of the entire workforce. You are inheriting a public service that has, to a large extent, keyed into the vision and uncompromising principles of good governance of this administration. As one who is fully aware of our vision and policies, some of which you have helped to translate and implement, I expect that you will hit the ground running and make your mark.”

Ambode, who expressed confidence in the ability of the appointee to add value to the public service and governance in general, noted the appointment was another confirmation of the dynamic quality of both the service and civil servants in the State, as the minimum standard now acceptable is selfless service to the State and the people.

He said it had now become a tradition to continually appoint experienced, dedicated and tested professionals to key positions in government, adding that Adesoye’s appointment was in recognition and reward for competence, commitment, perseverance and hard work, and charged her to keep up the good works.

Responding, Adesoye pledged total commitment to the duties and responsibilities of the new office, assuring that she would do everything within her capacity to justify the confidence reposed in her.

She said public servants in the State were already encouraged, motivated and energized by the demonstrated commitment of Governor Ambode to high quality public service delivery, prioritization of staff welfare, practical example of inclusive governance model, unprecedented state-wide infrastructural renewal and the strategic restructuring and realignment of the public service to ensure that it is fit and equipped to meet the challenges of the future, and pledged that efforts would be made to build on the successes achieved.

World Bank rates Lagos as Nigeria’s crucial economic stability, growth

By Jide Ajia

The World Bank has stated that role of Lagos metropolis to Nigeria’s economic stability and growth could not be overemphasized, even as the state remained the economic gateway to the country and for the rest of the world.

The Country Director, World Bank, Rachid Benmessaoud, said that the giant strides being recorded by the present administration in the state had received global attention, adding that, the bank was proud to be part of the transformation.

Benmessaoud, who spoke with journalists on Thursday when he paid a courtesy visit to the executive Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, at the Lagos House in Ikeja,  stressed that Nigeria needs Lagos with huge part of the growth for the country, stating that, the aim was about job creation and stability of the country.

“We really acknowledge the national, regional and local importance of Lagos being the gateway to Nigeria and for the rest of the world. There is a success story that is being told not only in Nigeria but globally and that success story is really thanks to the leadership that you (Ambode) brings in with a clarity of vision and also the speed by which you take decisions and implement programmes and projects,” Benmessaoud said.

He attested to the fact that the engagements of the WB have had with Lagos have been unique in Nigeria, noting that as the existing partnerships were coming to a close, hence they were looking at other opportunities to build on the positive momentum and partner the state on its urban regeneration drive.

“We are closing our ongoing portfolio which is very small right now, we would very much like to support you and go for the next generation of programmes that are responsive for your vision. We are very pleased to partner with you as you set an agenda for a transformative State,” averred Benmessaoud.

He said the visit to the governor, therefore, was to explore ways to build on the existing partnerships in the areas of transportation, energy and the environment towards meeting the growing demands of residents as well as attract more investors into the state.

“The objective of the visit is to maintain and capitalize on the positive momentum that we have created through our partnership over many years and also to see how we can leverage that partnership in helping you, supporting you achieving your vision for the urban transformation in Lagos State that will enable you to create a livable city, bringing more jobs that will not only retain and expand the existing businesses but also attract new businesses and generate more revenue for the State and attracting the private sector,” he said.

On his part, Ambode expressed satisfaction on the WB partnership over the years, noting that, the world financial institution had contributed immensely to the success story of Lagos State, especially in the transportation sector.

Alluding to the fact that Lagos was the first state in Nigeria to receive budget support from the WB, the governor commended the successful execution of the three Development Policy Operations (DPOs), saying that the state has been able to show evidence that the partnership had been very successful.

“It’s been very fruitful and we’ve become totally responsive to ensure that whatever it is that we are getting in terms of support from multilateral institutions, we show credibility also to show that we plan well for such support and we are willing to also continue to abide by international standard to ensure that whatever it is we are getting as support, it is used for the common good of every citizen in Lagos which is the whole essence of service,” the governor said.

The governor also stated that his administration has fashioned out a work plan to integrate water, rail and road transport system to evolve a viable means through Lagosians can commute within the state with ease.

“I think the new sets of proposal are the kind of strategy we should put for Lagos State and that’s what this visit speaks to. I will like to see a strong support in the transport sector, so that we have support for water, rail and other infrastructure that goes with it. Like I said, we already have a work plan that integrates the three together which we would share with the World Bank and also improve on our discussions in terms of advisory management, financing and also different kind of support that ultimately help us to deliver the dividends of democracy that we actually promised our people,” he said.

He further expressed Lagos state commitment to improve on transportation, environment and power because he believe that was the whole essence of making the state investor friendly.

“We have improved a lot on security and we just think that moving 23 million people on a daily basis in a comfortable way would mean that we will have to integrate our transport management system in such a way that you can move actually on water, using the rail also and then the road,” he said.

Ambode, Kalu, NADECO, others call for restructuring, urge Nigerians to remain united

Nigerians have been called upon to remain united and uphold the principles of democratic values in Nigeria’s journey to nationhood while asking for the restructuring of the present political polity that would suit all and sundry.

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, was among the callers of united, peaceful and restructured Nigeria and said for Nigerian to remain united and uphold democratic values, peace is essential.

He made the call on Monday, while paying tributes to the assumed winner of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, M.K.O Abiola and other martyrs of democracy who laid down their lives in the struggle to entrench good governance in the country.

The June 12 election, which was adjudged as the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria, was annulled by the military junta.

Speaking at a symposium put together by the State Government in conjunction with June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations to mark the 24th anniversary of the annulled election, Governor Ambode said the day and the events that followed would remain evergreen in Nigeria’s political history, being a process through which Abiola and others laid down their lives in a bid to actualise the popular will of the people expressed through the ballot box.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by the State’s Deputy Governor,  Idiat Oluranti Adebule, expressed that the seed of the 4th Republic currently being enjoyed was sown and watered by the blood of men and women who were cut down in their prime, adding that their memories would be honoured until the end of time.

While acknowledging the fact that the June 12 struggle was waged not only by Abiola and members of his family but also pro-democracy groups particularly National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), students, trade unions and indeed all Nigerians, Governor Ambode said it was a thing of joy that by the collective efforts of government and people, Lagos State, over the years, has kept alive the yearnings and aspirations of the people expressed on June 12, 1993.

“It is an open fact that the successive democratically elected governments in the State since 1999 have been totally committed to democratic principles, rule of law, strengthening of democratic institutions as well as implementation of programmes and policies that would enhance the well-being of all Lagosians, without bias for tribe, religion, political belief or gender,” he said.

“To strengthen the hope of the masses in the principles of democracy, our administration embraced ‘all-inclusive policy’ which was geared towards involving all segments of the populace in the governance process; avenues and institutions were created to enable all have a voice in the affairs of the State” .

According to the Deputy Governor,  Governor Ambode administration has embraced Town Hall meeting approach to create avenue for numerous stakeholders and the people to air their opinions and suggest a way forward for the State, while wealth creation and job creation strategies were also adopted with focus on entrepreneurial activities to expose youths and the people to numerous skills to make them either employable or self-employed.

Besides, Governor Ambode urged Nigerians to keep alive the principles of June 12 by upholding democratic values and culture especially by participating in democratic processes such as voters’ registration exercise, voting for candidates of choice during election and avoiding any act that could disrupt peaceful conduct of free, fair and credible election.

“We must also remain united and hopeful for a more prosperous future for our nation. This way, we will be keeping the spirit of June 12 alive and strong,” the Governor said.

Guest speaker at the symposium, Dr. Dele Ashiru from the University of Lagos, who spoke on the theme: “Development Strategy In Lagos: A Blueprint For National Development,” commended the leadership which the Lagos State has produced since 1999 till date.

He said it was incontrovertible that former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu incubated the developmental agenda of the State and advanced by his successor, Babatunde Fashola, while the incumbent Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode is expanding and consolidating the vision of development in a seamless, ingenious and brilliant manner.

On his part, Chairman of the occasion and former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (Rtd.) said even though a thick cloud is hanging in the horizon on the state of the nation especially with agitations from all parts of the country, he was of the firm belief that the situation could still be salvaged through restructuring which would not be about re-inventing the will but, returning to a federation of different people.

 

 

Inside Lagos job creation initiatives

By Hopo Reuben

Globally, unemployment is a major issue that governments are confronted with. In Nigeria, the unemployment situation is quite startling.

According to a recent World Bank statistics, youth unemployment rate in Nigeria is 38 per cent, but realistically, 80 per cent of Nigerian youths are unemployed with secondary school graduates mostly found among unemployed rural population accounting for about half of this figure, while Universities and Polytechnic graduates make up the figure.

What seems to be more worrisome is the fact that the nation’s universities and polytechnics continue to churn out more than 150,000 graduates annually and available jobs remain inadequate to keep pace with the ever expanding army of job seekers.

Highlights of the unemployment and underemployment watch for first quarter of 2015 further underscore the pitiable unemployment circumstances in the country. The report states that a total of 17.7 million people between ages 15 and 65 either unemployed or underemployed in the labour force in Q1 2015.

The report further asserts that the number of unemployed people (861,110 people) in the first quarter 2015 was more than the number of employed people within the same period (504,596 persons).

This terrifying unemployment trend in the country has become a recurrent decimal of sort. According to the Bureau of Statistics, in 2009, unemployment figure was about 20 per cent (about 30 million) in the country, but this figure did not take account of about 40 million other Nigerian youths captured in World Bank statistics in 2009.

It thus implies that if Nigeria’s population is 140 million, then 50 per cent of Nigerians are unemployed, or worse still, at least 71 per cent of Nigerian youths are unemployed. This is particularly disturbing and counterproductive because at least 70 per cent of the population of this country are youths.

Being the commercial nerve center of the country and an urban center where everyone is desirous of visiting for possible job prospects and other such opportunities, Lagos State no doubt, have a complex unemployment challenge.

It is in order to frontally tackle this challenge and ensure that the trend is drastically reversed, that the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has come up with several job creation strategies.

In order to sufficiently demonstrate the desire of his administration to confront unemployment in the State, one of the earliest tasks of Governor Ambode upon inauguration was the creation of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Office of Overseas Affairs and Investments (also known as Lagos Global), Office of Civic Engagement as well as the realignment of Arts and Culture with the Ministry of Tourism.

The main goal of this process is to creatively use these new establishments to fashion out ways of creating job opportunities for Lagos residents.

One of is such initiatives is tagged Equal Opportunity for all in a competitive environment which cuts across the five divisions of the state. It is to sensitize Lagosians about job opportunities in the state and the various skills needed to be suitable for such.

Another is an empowerment scheme that is being done in partnership with stakeholders both in the public and private sectors. The main objective is to enhance the employ-ability and entrepreneurship capability of the youth in particular and everyone in general. It is equally meant to harmonize government’s efforts in reducing graduate unemployment.

The pilot effort, which was done in partnership with a faith based organisation is already serving as a catalyst to bring about over 2000 business start-ups and over 8,500 jobs by the Year 2020.

The programme offers a wide range of courses covering 21 ICT Special ICT certificate aligned courses, 58 other ICT as well as 7 employ-ability training programmes.

The creation of the N25 billion Lagos State Employment Trust Fund is, perhaps, one of the most daring moves by any state government in the country to bluntly address unemployment. It is a strategic plan to make an annual contribution of N6.25 billion for four years by which time the fund would have reached the projected N25 billion mark.

Recently, Governor Ambode through the state’s employment trust fund distributed over one billion naira as loans to 705 resident Nigerians ranging from a minimum of N30, 000.00 to maximum of N500, 000.00 on the condition that these beneficiaries would create more businesses with the prospect of employing more people.

Similarly, through the platform of the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investments, the State has attracted more Direct Foreign Investments (DFI) to Lagos state than any other period in the history of the State.

One of such was from a technological firm called Main One Infrastructure Investments which has thus far provided 3, 000 jobs in Lagos State. More of such are already on ground and more Lagosians are being employed.

In same spirit, Governor Ambode was in Nairobi, Kenya in February to woo more foreign investors.

Also, young and old talented artistes are being promoted in the state through the platform of T. H. E.S.E. which is an acronym for Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sporting Excellence.

The 2016 One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) brought together, perhaps, the greatest collection of artistes in the country at five different locations viz- a -viz at Agege, Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and Lagos Island.

Some of the artistes that performed at the event include King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Queen Salawa Abeni, Dr. Adewale Ayuba, Sir Shina Peters, Harunna Ishola Jnr, Tiwa Savage, Phyno, Falz, Olamide, Dr. Sid, Olu maintain, Big Sheff and a host of others.

The 2016 OLF enabled the entertainment and tourism sectors to receive extensive momentum for growth courtesy high demand for related services and products during and after the event.

The event also produced about 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for different skilled people areas such as lightening, engineering, decoration, carpentry, welding, painting, catering, advertising etc.

Also, the state government emphasis on sports promotion has led to the creation of more jobs for folks in sports related ventures.

The Access Bank Lagos Marathon has run for two consecutive years and has become a huge platform for those in sports business and other related fields to earn a decent living. Equally, lots of Lagosians are being empowered through the various skills acquisition centres in the State.

The state government is also promoting micro- small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are very essential to tackling unemployment as well as promotion of a strong economy.

Additionally, the state public service has employed teachers and public servants in diverse fields who are now contributing their quota to the growth and development of the State.

Reuben Hopo is of the Lagos State Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State.

Ambode emphasizes need for new Lagos waste management policy

By Newsdesk

In an effort to keep Lagos clean and safe for healthy living, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has emphasized need for the State to develop a new waste management policy that could improve waste disposal system.

The governor recently disclosed this in Lagos, at the Annual Lecture of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) themed: “Living well together, tomorrow.

Ambode while speaking at the event said that the government was embarking on massive reform in waste management system, expressing optimism that the plan would fully be actualized by July 2017.

He added that the state is also embarking on massive reform in waste and sanitation management system.

The governor declared that he was uncomfortable with how the city appears and that Private Sector Participants (PSP) collectors are not having enough capacity over sanitation management, adding that he cannot afford to tax people to death.

‘‘I don’t want to tax people, so we need this partnership with private sector so that they can invest in the sanitation management of the city and in no time maybe by July, the city will change forever,’’ Ambode said.

It would be recalled that the governor directed Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), to stop collection of waste bills, while instructing that all payments should be remitted to coffers of PSP operators.

The governor had last year signed a $135 million (N85 billion) agreement with a foreign firm as part of its new waste management policy, a partnership under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, expected to last for four years.

The State’s Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Adejare who also explained the new drive said the investment, which would kick off next year, involved the deployment of over 600 Mercedes Benz compactors and the engagement of street sweepers in all wards in the state, while private sector operators would be restricted to handle commercial waste.

Adejare elucidated further that new policy would involve closure of existing landfill sites, creation of transfer loading stations in local councils and deployment of over one million ultra-modern waste bins with censors to monitor their movement against theft.

He added that was aimed at introducing new technology into waste management in the state.

The state commissioner stressed that decision to contract waste management under PPP arrangement was because of high cost,  which he said the state could not afford because of limited resources.

Under the reform, Adejare said three colour coded waste bags would be distributed to homes for different kinds of waste.

“The result of this new arrangement is that waste disposal will no longer be a challenge as efficient system will be on ground for effective management which will eventually eradicate cart pushers in the process,” the commissioner said.

Ambode okays death penalty for kidnappers

By Newsdesk

Following spate of kidnapping in Lagos State, the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has signed bill that prohibited Act of Kidnapping into law, saying the law would help end kidnappers’ activities in the state.

Ambode added that the law imposes a penalty of life imprisonment on anyone kidnapping for ransom and that if a victim dies during course of kidnap, the suspect would be liable on conviction to death.

The governor, who also signed bills on Sports Trust Fund and Sports Commission, lamented that kidnapping had become a major threat to safety of citizens and therefore required decisive action by the government.

He said “Security is of utmost importance to our administration and we are confident that this law will serve as a deterrent to anybody who may desire to engage in this wicked act within the boundaries of Lagos state.

“Our justice system will be required to execute this Law to the letter and make sure that any criminal caught faces the full wrath of the law.

“While we use this law to address the challenge of kidnapping and punish the criminals, we are also putting in place appropriate measures, particularly in our schools and other vulnerable targets, to prevent security breaches,” Ambode added.

It would be recalled that students of Lagos State Government College, Igbo-Nla in Epe were kidnapped in 2016 within their school premises.

The governor, however, explained that the sports laws would help the government in effectively harnessing potentials in the sports sector.

He noted that the laws have restated the administration’s commitment to sports and make Lagos hub of Sporting activities in the country.

Ambode said “the Sports Commission Law will give legal backing to the formulation and implementation of sports policies in the State while the Sports Trust Fund will enable government to raise money for the development of sporting facilities and activities.

“This Fund will provide a platform where the State government can enter into partnership with the private sector to finance Sports infrastructure, tournaments and programmes which will in turn create employment and generate revenue for the State.

“As provided for in the law, a Board of Trustees comprising all stakeholders in the sports community will be inaugurated soon to manage the Sports Trust Fund,” he added.