The Lagos State Government on Monday, August 14, 2017, outlined plans to transform the blighted areas of Oworonshoki Waterfront into one of the biggest transportation, tourism and entertainment hubs in Nigeria.
Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya in a statement, said that the project will improve the aesthetics and security of the environment, while attracting investments in water transportation and boosting socio-economic activities in the axis, with the provision of shopping malls and related infrastructures.
According to the Commissioner, the proposed entertainment and mega ferry terminal site, already under reclamation, would divert a lot of human and vehicular traffic gridlocks away from the Lagos Island and take advantage of the central location and accessibility of the proposed Oworonshoki terminal to the Apapa Port, Ikeja Airport and other parts of the State.
“Youths and residents will enjoy quality sports, recreational, entertainment and emergency response facilities at the terminal.
“Commuters transiting through the terminal will not only enjoy state-of the arts infrastructure, they will also be able to park and ride and park and cruise from the state-of-the-art jetty, thus reducing the carbon emission level and travel time within the city,” Akinsanya said.
He expressed optimism that the reclaimed 29.6 hectares site of the project, which would involve revetment work to protect the jetty area, would also eliminate illegal dredging activities in the area.
Explaining that the project will be in three phases, Akinsanya said that it was also part of efforts by the State Government to revitalise and augment inter-modal system of water, rail and road transportation and housing development, just as he revealed that the Epe, Badagry and Mile 2 waterfronts have also been earmarked in the Master Plan for similar regeneration.
He said that Phase One, which is the ongoing reclamation of the 29.5 hectares of the project site by Messrs Fountain Construction Company (FCC), would be completed by November 2017.
The Commissioner further said, “Consolidation and settlement of the reclaimed land for six to nine months, will be followed by Phase Two, which will involve provision of shoreline protection and reconstruction of 2.8km Ariyo Street as an alternative road, that will run under the 3rd Mainland Bridge along with other infrastructures within nine months and to be completed by June 2018”.
“The third Phase which will be both State financed and Public-Private Sector (PPP) financed, will involve the construction of the Mega Jetty and Bus Terminal, complete with entertainment and Tourism facilities (Multiple Boutique, Hotels, Museums/Art Galleries, Sport and recreational facilities as well as a 1000 capacity car park, based on the design master plan of the area.”
Akinsanya said that on completion, Lagosians would be able to embark on travel from Oworonshoki either via water using the Jetty Terminal or via Ultra-Modern Buses departing from the New Bus Terminal.
Lagos State Government on Monday, August 14, 2017, announced the closure of the N85, 140,000,000 Series 2 Bond Issuance geared towards improving the physical and social infrastructure in the State.
Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade in a statement, said the Bond was issued in two tranches of N46,370,000,000 16.75 percent Tranche 1 maturing August 2024 and the N38,770,000,000 17.25 percent Tranche 2 maturing August 2027, under the N500bn Third Debt Issuance Programme.
Ashade recalled that the Government had on Friday, August 12, issued an N85.14billion Series II Bond in two tranches- a 7 year N46, 370,000,000 16.75 percent bond maturing in August 2024; and a 10-year N38, 770,000,000 17.25 percent bond maturing in August 2027, under the N500billion Third Debt Issuance Programme, by way of a book building.
According to him, the N85.14billion Series II issuance was the largest bond issuance in Nigerian capital markets in the last four years and the second largest issuance ever.
He also said that it was the first time any non-FGN issuer in Nigeria has issued out to 10 years, thereby extending the non-sovereign yield curve.
“We value the reputation we have earned as the most responsible issuer in the Nigerian capital markets and thank everyone who has worked with us to deliver a successful outcome,” Ashade said.
The statement also said that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was encouraged by the sustained support the State’s credit story had received from investors.
“In challenging market conditions, we are encouraged by the sustained support that the Lagos State credit story has received from investors for which we are grateful. This support is critical to our quest to improve the physical and social infrastructure in the State and lift the economic and social welfare of all citizens of Lagos State,” Governor Ambode said.
The Commissioner said that Chapel Hill Denham acted as Lead Issuing House and Bookrunner and led an issuing party including 10 other Bookrunners, on what he described as a landmark transaction.
-Pledges to increase price money for ITTF Nigeria Open
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday, August 13, 2017, identified that right investment in sports as necessary impetus that can bring about good performance of Nigerian athletes in sporting competitions.
Governor Ambode, who made the remrks while speaking to journalists at the end of the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open held at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, tagged Lagos 2017.
The governor stated that government and all the necessary stakeholders must now invest more in sports to take the country to its rightful place in the world of sports.
He expressed excitement at the successful hosting of the tournament which attracted Table Tennis stars from 22 countries, saying that the development was gratifying and in line with his vision to use sports as a catalyst for growth and development of the economy.
He said: “We are very happy to have hosted this competition. This is the fourth edition and you can see that this year’s competition has actually attracted more people and then more countries. The idea is to use sports as a catalyst for the growth and development of the economy.
“It is also a catalyst for tourism and it is my strong believe that we must continue to support sports as a means of allowing us to develop the mental capabilities of younger ones and Lagos State is ready to do that.”
When asked whether he was disappointed that no Nigerian qualified for the finals of the competition, Governor Ambode said on the contrary, he was not disappointed but that the development called for greater investment in sports in the country.
“I am not disappointed at all about that. It’s called Nigerian open and so it’s open to everybody and again we had Nigerians in the semifinal. So, we need to do more work and then more coaching and also develop sports. Government has to support sports thoroughly if you want to see Nigerians in the finals.
“I mean you can see the level of skill-set that the Egyptians displayed here and if we say we are giant of Africa, we have to prove it in all ramifications. So, my believe is that government has to spend more time and money in developing sports in this country,” Governor Ambode said.
Speaking on plans for the competition next year, the Governor promised to increase the price money and also the number of participating countries, saying that as the destination for sports in Africa, Lagos must lead the way in promoting sporting tournaments.
“For me, I am going to scale up the price money to attract more people to come for this competition. So next year, you will see more price money and then more countries participating in the competition. Lagos is the destination for sports in Africa and that is the only way we have to go,” the Governor said.
The overall winner of the competition, Assar Omar from Egypt, went home with $5,000, while the first runner up,Gandhi Sarthak from India went home with $2,300.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the implementation of the second phase of the CodeLagos Project, which will be launched in September 2017.
The approval is coming on the heels of the successful implementation of the pilot phase of the project which has trained 5,464 students of primary and secondary schools across the State.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh in a statement on Sunday, said that 65 schools including government and private schools took part in the pilot phase.
He said: “The training has delivered to the students critical life skills including basic computing, computational thinking and use of basic computer programming tools like Scratch and python over a period of eight weeks and the feedbacks have been inspiring.”
“Of the 65 schools in the pilot, 23 are government schools of which seven of them are girls’ only schools while two others are boys only.”
He also disclosed that the experience and knowledge garnered from the pilot phase has helped the Ministry to assess and fine-tune the framework and implementation model of the project in view of future roll out.
“This pilot phase has helped us test our assumptions and implementation plan, we have observed what worked and what didn’t and would put them into consideration for future roll out beginning with the next batch slated for September, 2017,” the Special Adviser said.
Meanwhile, the Government has concluded plans to roll out the project in all the State-owned public libraries to ensure access to CodeLagos classes for more Lagosians especially those out of the conventional schools system.
Bank- Olemoh said that more Lagosians would have the opportunity to take part in the training free-of-charge at any of the public libraries.
“We currently have 12 Libraries and we are setting up Coding Centres in each of the libraries for Lagosians to partake of the programme. We will also have coding centres in our tertiary institutions,” he said.
CodeLagos, an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, which aims to teach one million Lagosians to code by 2019, was unveiled to the public in November 2016.
According to Bank-Olemoh, “CodeLagos will ensure that the Lagos economy has the people that will drive its development for the next 50 years, positioning Lagos State as the technology frontier in Africa.
He enjoined Lagosians to visitwww.codelagos.org as the registration portal would be open for the public to sign up for free on Monday August 21.
To ensure the success of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) as an extensive and sustainable waste management system, the Lagos State Government has sought partnership with the private sector.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, while speaking at the Cleaner Lagos Initiative investors’ roundtable in Victoria Island during the week, maintained that the partnership had become necessary for people to become more responsive and protective in respect of issues relating to their environment.
Adejare said CLI had been designed to harness the great potentials and economic capacity of Lagos by creating an enabling environment for non-governmental agencies, the private sector and the government to harness international best practices in the vital area of infrastructure.
The Commissioner stressed that both the public and private sectors can work together to achieve a common good.
His words, “Today’s roundtable is just one example of the way in which the public and private sectors can work together effectively for a common good. It is expected that working together, we can begin to shift the attitude of the people to be more responsive/protective of their environment through stringent legislation, enlightenment campaigns and strict enforcement.”
Adejare told the investors that for the initiative to succeed there was the need to have a sustainable long-term funding at both the State and Local Government levels to support the efforts needed to reach the State’s goals, stressing that meeting these goals was critical to ensure continued process, development and economic growth.
While maintaining that government had budgetary constraints to fund its activities, the Commissioner informed that, “budgetary constraints and an acknowledgement of private sector efficiencies and know-how were two principal reasons why this administration had taken the economic and political decision to accelerate the use of private sector finance and adopt a Public Private Partnership model in order to deliver solid waste management infrastructure”.
He said that to fund these reforms as a whole, the government had come up with is the Public Utility Levy (PUL) which is a subsidized property-based charge designed to pay for these and other environmental interventions.
“The PUL will be a major contribution to the State’s ongoing efforts to address severe challenges that are unique to Lagos as a result of rising urbanization,” he said.
He maintained further that the money would not be paid into government accounts but would be held in the Environmental Trust Fund (ETF) and managed meticulously by an independent Board of Trustees.
The Commissioner reaffirmed confidence in the competence and capacity of the concessionaires to transform the landscape through the provision of the Transfer Loading Stations, Waste Depots and the provision of Engineered Sanitary Landfills, as well track-able waste bins and over 500 compactors of varying sizes and capacity.
The Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency LASIMRA at the weekend informed the general public, particularly operators and owners of properties having telecommunication infrastructure such as Base Transceiver Station Masts and Towers in Lagos, that the Agency will embark on a State-wide inspection and standards compliance audit between September 1and December 31, 2017.
Addressing newsmen in Ikeja, the General Manager of the Agency, Mr. Babajide Odekunle said the exercise is geared towards ensuring orderly development in the construction and operations of telecommunications infrastructure deployed by Mobile Network operators and other allied companies in Lagos State.
He added that the exercise will enable the Agency to develop a comprehensive database of telecommunications cell sites, including towers and other appurtenances to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its oversight functions.
According to him, the exercise is in line with the statutory functions of LASIMRA, as enshrined in its establishment Law of 2004 which includes the protection of public health and safety of the environment through enforcement of regulatory standards.
Odekunle said the exercise will be carried out by duly certified site inspection representatives of LASIMRA between the hours of 8.00am and 5.00pm daily from Mondays to Saturdays.
The General Manager noted, “By the virtue of section 21(3) of the LASIMRA Establishment Law, operators and owners of properties containing Telecommunications cell sites, BTS towers, masts and roof mounted Telecommunications antennas will be required by Law to provide LASIMRA’s representatives with unhindered access to the infrastructure sites throughout the duration of the exercise.”
The protest against the Rector of Lagos State Polytechnic, Mr Samuel Sogunro and its management team took another dramatic dimension on Friday, August 11, 2017, as members of Academics Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) Chapters, who have been protesting since Monday, AUGUST 7, 2017, set up fire to make bean cakes in front of the Library Complex which also house the administrative and the Rector’s offices.
According to them, the significance of the bean cakes is to celebrate the exit of Mr Sogunro as the Rector of the institution.
“We mourn the bad leadership of Sogunro and the negative history he has brought to LASPOTECH with Akara Elepo. May we never experience this kind of misnomer in LASPOTECH again” said a staff and chorus by others.
Another protester added, “the making of akara elepo (bean cakes) is also to usher Sogunro and his bad leadership out of our campus and usher in peace, harmony and good governance”
Attempts to reach the Public Relations Officer of the institution to hear the management side proved abortive.
-Both communities pledge cultural cooperation
Prince Abiola Kosoko, Alashe of Ebute-Iga and the Chief Executive Officer of Origin Garden & Zoo, on Wednesday, August 9,2017, led Ebute-Iga’s Liwe Group on a courtesy visit to Alayeluwa HRM Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, Emugoriade I, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo in his palace.
During the meeting between the two traditional heads of the ancient and historic towns in Ikorodu division which took place in the inner Chamber of Oba Kasali, both pledged to cooperate in the areas of cultural and traditional developments.
Oba Kasali while welcoming Prince Kosoko and his entourage to his palace, commended the Alashe Ebute-Iga for his efforts in propagating the culture and values of Yorubas,while assuring them of Igbogbo cultural cooperation.
On Badoo menace in Ikorodu division,Oba Kasali stated that the traditional rulers in the division are working towards stemming the unfortunate development and ensure security of lives and properties of the people.
Although, other communities in Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area and other parts of the division have recorded deadly attacks by the Badoo cult group, such has not occurred in Igbogbo township.
“We must revive our cultural values and heritages to bring back our value system. It is unfortunate that we have allowed others people’s culture at the detriment of our own. Mostly affected in this regard is our language which is now being considered inferior to the English Language. We have to start making efforts in correcting this, starting from the palaces to governmental institutions and schools”,Oba Kasali advocated.
“We are also in discussion with the Lagos State Government to set aside a day as public holiday for Isese Day every year. If properly harnessed, we can tackle the Badoo menace through traditional means”,Kabiyesi assured.
Speaking earlier, Prince Kosoko said he and his entourage had visited the monarch to felicitate with him and the people of Igbogbo on the celebration of Meri festival and also to establish a cultural and traditional cooperation between the two communities which are surrounded by water.
“Our visit is to pay homage to you kabiyesi, felicitate with you and the good people of Igbogbo on the Meri festival celebration and seek for cultural and traditional relationship between our communities. It is all about improving and advancing our traditions” ,Alashe stated.
“It is an historic visit because such has never happen before. We want our communities to have better cultural and traditional understandings that would help in the propagation of our value systems and tourism”, he stated.
“I also want to appeal to you and other monarchs in the division to use your good and revered offices in assisting more traditional chiefs gain state government recognition. This will be in the interest of the kabiyesis, the division and the state government” ,he added.
“If more of our traditional chiefs are given state government recognition, apart from collecting stipends, they will also be conscious of the fact that they are on government’s radar and as a result would not indulge or engage themselves in acts that would threaten security of the community and state”, Prince Kosoko explained.
Speaking on the Badoo menace, Alashe stated that there is need to explore more traditional options in tackling the menace.
Chief Richard, a Ghanian and Aare Liwe in Ebute-Iga and who was also in the entourage, described the visit as historic one that must be sustained.
Other traditional Chiefs in Ebute-Iga who participated in the historical visit were Olumale, Ajana, Oloriti-Agba, Jagun-Agba, Balogun-Agba, Oloriti-Kekere, Asipa and Alagba.
This is one of the trucks being used by one of the PSP operators incharge of waste collection and disposal in Ota-Ona, Grammar School and Itamaga axis which has been polluting the areas rather than ridding them of pollution.
This truck,due to its bad condition, breaks down most times it comes into these areas to operate,sometimes fully loaded with refuse, thereby polluting the environment due to the offensive odour emanating from the refuse in it while refuse in other areas are left unevacuated for several weeks.
It is a known fact that the current PSP operators,especially in Ikorodu division, do not have the required capacity to effectively manage waste being generated in Ikorodu and the Lagos State Government has recognized this fact,hence the new initiative.
People are now pleading with the state government to start the implementation of the new policy/initiative on waste disposal to urgently address the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the current waste managers to prevent truck such as this from plying our roads.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday, August 10, 2017, said that the first set of 5000 brand new buses under the Bus Reform Initiative, a brain child of his administration, would be flagged off within the next six months.
Governor Ambode, who spoke when students of the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States of America, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said that his administration was working round the clock to revolutionalise the transportation system in the State and improve the way and manner 23 million Lagosians commute daily.
Fielding questions from the visiting students, Governor Ambode alluded to the fact that an integrated transportation system was key to growing the economy of the State, Governor Ambode said the 5000 new buses would be the first step by his administration to change the existing transportation system predominantly driven by the yellow buses, popularly known as danfo.
The Governor said: “In the last one year, we have decided that we must integrate rail, road water and air transportation systems in such a way that the system of connectivity is improved upon and I would like to have a direct partnership on how that can actually be actualised.
“Right now we are cleaning out all the yellow buses you see in the State. As we proceed in the next six months and a span of three years, we are introducing 5000 new buses of European standard to actually clean up the city because if you want to grow the economy of Lagos, transportation is key and then it’s a major infrastructure for tourism itself.”
Governor Ambode noted that the dependence on road transportation in the last two decades, as the major means of transportation in the State has give rise to a chaotic system where about eight million Lagosians commute across the State every minute.
“The question is how do you move 23 million people on a daily basis from point A to point B with ease and comfort? So the way the city has been so designed in the last few years, the city has actually concentrated on only one mode of transportation, which is road transportation. There has not been any comprehensive planning to integrate all the modes of transportation in a way that makes it easy.
“There are eight million people walking on the streets of Lagos every minute, did we create more points for them. The answer is no. We have one-fifth of the State on water, are we doing effective water transportation, the answer is no. The rail system is still under construction in such a way that it can move mass number of people from one point to another. That is why we have a whole lot of congestion on the road,” the Governor said.
Besides, Governor Ambode said that State Government had made series of intervention to improve road transportation network through the creation of more bus terminals, lay bys, bus stops to accommodate the eventual take off of the Bus Reform Initiative.
The Governor also disclosed that the reforms in the water transportation system was ongoing and would take off fully within the next six to nine months, as a means to encourage residents to utilise it as an alternative means of transportation.
Governor Ambode also listed urban migration as one of the major challenges his administration was contending with just as he revealed that about 86 persons enter into Lagos on a daily basis without any plan to go back.
He said the attending consequence of such migration was evident on the State’s healthcare system as well as the 13,000 tonnes of waste generated daily in the State on a daily basis, saying that his administration however must continue to think outside the box to provide solutions to such infrastructural challenges.
“People fly in from Ghana to come and use our hospitals here in Lagos. So we now have to sit down beyond what we have learnt in school to look at the practical challenges of urban migration and good governance and things we have to mitigate against a population that is unaccounted for,” Governor Ambode said.
Thanking the Students for choosing to visit Lagos, he tasked them to go beyond acquiring leadership skills, but also get involved in policy formulation and implementation in their various domains.
Earlier, immediate past Vice President, International Affairs of Harvard Kennedy School, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji said the team was proud of the exploits of the Governor in the last two years, noting that despite the major challenges of urbanisation Lagos was facing, there was appreciable level of progress.
“I am overwhelmed with joy that I can bring some of the brightest and the best brains in the world to come and see the beauty, the greatness, the resilience, the talent and accomplishment of Nigeria. Lagos is the staple success story of Nigeria. I know Nigeria is not where it ought to be, but I know a State that is sustaining itself by itself under a crucial administration that understands how people should feel, she said.”
Thanking the Governor for receiving the Students, she said that the visit was to explore possible areas of partnership with staff of the State’s Public Service through research fellowships, policy analysis exercises, collaborations on talent, capabilities and constructive criticisms to move the State forward.