Governor Ambode Woos Investors At Water Transport Roundtable

Governor Ambode Woos Investors At Water Transport Roundtable

…Says Sector Remains Critical To Solving Traffic Congestion

…As Lagos Seals Partnership With Multi-National Consortium To Clean-Up Waterways

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday expressed the commitment of his administration to provide critical infrastructure and enabling environment for investors to participate in the ongoing efforts to rev up water transportation, saying the sector remains critical to solving the traffic congestion affecting the State.

Speaking at a Roundtable on Water Transportation organised by the State Government, and held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, the Governor said though the sector had been left unattended to over the years, but that the State Government was nonetheless now committed more than before to fully harness the potentials of the water transportation to the benefit of the people and economic prosperity of the State.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson (right) and Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bhupendra Suri (left) during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson (right) and Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bhupendra Suri (left) during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.

He said the chaotic traffic situation in some parts of the State in recent times and the pressure on the road with attendant danger to lives and property, made the need to forge ahead with the reforms in the water sector being championed by his administration even more compelling.

According to him, “The question to ask is what has brought us to this despicable situation so to speak where the only mode of transportation for over 22million people is road and the road itself is chaotic. In the last three years, we have been fighting traffic and unfortunately in the last two weeks, we have seen what has happened in Apapa and what we have been trying to do. Just about three weeks ago, we saw what happened with regards to the Otedola Bridge disaster and then the carnage, as well as the inability of government to provide for the needs of the people.

“So, among the over 22 million people, almost 8 million are walking on the streets every second and at the same time, 86 people enter into Lagos every one hour according to United Nations statistics for 2016 which is the largest in the world. So, if other states are failing, more people are going to be coming to Lagos and that means maybe right now, there are 120 people entering Lagos not wanting to go back and the only mode of transportation we have for them is just the road and that is why we are coming up with other modes.

“1/5th of Lagos is water. We have the smallest geographical space in Nigeria of 3577 square kilometers with 25 per cent of that being water. So, you are asking yourself that why in the history of Lagos and in the history of Nigeria, that we did we not just think of other modes of transportation and what really went wrong?”

While reeling the benefits of water transportation especially to traffic management, the Governor said it was instructive to note that being surrounded by water, many parts of the State could be connected within few minutes.

“I was in Apapa yesterday and I look at the gridlock and it made sense to me that it is just five minutes ride between Apapa and Marina and so the question is can’t we create barges that take our cars officially and then push them there in just five minutes and so in no time everybody is in their offices instead of going through the traffic?

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; Acting High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe and Counsellor, Economic, South African High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Calvin Phume during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; Acting High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe and Counsellor, Economic, South African High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Calvin Phume during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.

“Between Badore and Ikorodu is just ten minutes. So, we lay off people on Ikorodu axis. This is something that has been waiting for a long time and I just think this is the right time for us to do it because those coming behind us will not forgive us if we don’t take advantage of all the things we need to do to develop water transportation,” the Governor said, adding that major channelization projects, shoreline protection and jetties, among others were currently being constructed as part of efforts to boost the sector.

He said in addition to efforts ongoing, the roundtable was basically to come up with sustainable framework to boost water transportation and encourage people to adopt it as alternative to other modes of transportation.

While wooing investors to take advantage of the reforms in the water sector, the Governor said it was instructive that in the last 36 months, more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) came into the State largely due to transparency and credibility to encourage investors, assuring that his administration would continually create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Earlier, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson said the essence of the roundtable was to evolve effective framework in partnership with the private sector and relevant stakeholders to play up water transportation in Lagos with the view to diverting a lot of pressure currently on the roads to water.

Also speaking, a major player in the sector, Mr Ganiyu Balogun, who is the Managing Director of Tarzan Ferry Services, commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to rev up water transportation and harness it’s potentials for the benefit of the people.

He said stakeholders were aware of the challenges in the sector and were willing to partner with the State Government to address the issues in the overall benefit of the State.

There were also presentations at the event by University of Lagos, United States Mission in Nigeria, Trade and Investment Department of British High Commission and Paramount Maritime Holdings of South Africa, all expressing readiness to partner with the State Government to boost water transportation.

Meanwhile, the State Government at the roundtable also sealed a major partnership with a consortium of multi-national companies, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance, to rid the waterways and water bodies in the State of filth with specific focus on plastic waste.

The agreement will also bring about the setting up of a world class collection and recycling framework for plastic waste in Lagos State.

The consortium including Nigeria Bottling Company, Coca-Cola, 7-Up Bottling Company, Nestle and Nigerian Breweries, among others, will be investing in boats with capacity to collect waste from the waterways, thereby protecting the ecosystem and boosting water transportation.

We’ll Begin Transformation Of Maracana Stadium, Ajegunle To Multi-Purpose Sports Centre Soon

We’ll Begin Transformation Of Maracana Stadium, Ajegunle To Multi-Purpose Sports Centre Soon

…Says New Facility’ll Have Volleyball, Tennis Courts, Swimming Pool, Others

…Moves To Rehabilitate Roads, Drainage Channel To Address Flooding

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday evening visited the popular Maracana football stadium in Ajegunle, assuring that the plan to transform the facility to a world class multi-purpose sports complex, that would help teeming youths harness their natural talents in a positive way would commence soon.

Governor Ambode, who spoke to scores of residents, especially youths who came out to listen to him, said though his administration had planned to embark on the transformation of the arena before now, the design was now ready while the contractor was set to move to site.

“The last time I came here, I promised that I was going to do something in this arena. I am not happy that after three years of my administration, the reconstruction of the Maracana stadium is yet to commence.

“However, the design is ready, the contractor is here, and they will start the work and as you have also promised to cooperate. If you go to Onikan stadium, you would see that we are rebuilding it to world class standard, by January it would be completed. The same contractor working on Onikan stadium is the same that would handle the Maracana Stadium,” he said.

The Governor, who was also received by the dancehall music artiste, Daddy Showkey, also promised that aside the standard football pitch, the new complex would have a Volleyball Court, Tennis Court, Swimming Pool, Track and Field area, Events Centre and facilities for other sports and recreational activities.

He said the contractor had also been given the mandate to address the challenge of flooding, which was posing serious challenge for children going to school due to the waterlogged area.

“I have also told the contractor that because of the children in this area, there would be an event centre here so that social activities can also hold here. All the schools around here, we know that there is a challenge of flood disturbing them and we are not happy about it, so, the same contractor would do the whole drainage in this area and because of the road, we would do a jetty behind so that we can use the ferry to bring athletes and sports people to this place.

Governor Ambode, however, appealed to residents to cooperate with the State Government on the plans to transform the area, adding that when the facility is in place and handed over to them, they must go all out to protect it from vandalisation.

Earlier, giving an insight to the plan of work for the Maracana football ground, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Adebowale Akinsanya, said the new multi-purpose sports complex would accommodate all kinds of sports, including an administrative building, and a bus terminal to bring athletes to and fro the complex.

Akinsanya explained that work would also be carried out on the access road leading to the stadium, while the drainage system would be improved upon to permanently address the issue of flooding.

“There would be administrative building and other complex here. In addition to these, we would do rehabilitation of the access roads because it is very key to getting into the stadium. What we want to do is to discourage people driving in, instead they would take buses to come in. So, there would be a small terminal for buses to come in. In addition as well, we are doing a jetty across, a shoreline protection and the jetty would be functional 24 hours.

“One of the key things is the school itself, where we are is very swampy and the school side is always waterlogged, so one of the things we are looking at is to improve the ground there and provide drainage so that children can go to school without worrying about flood.

Akinsanya said they were also in talks with the Ministry of Education to improve on the facilities in the 58 schools located within the area.

“Part of your mandate is that we need to do something to accommodate the children, so we would do it and other additional things we need to do, we would get input from the community. We have engaged them before, but we would continue to engage them and get this going quickly,” he said.

Also speaking, Chairman of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, Mr. Ayoola Fatai, thanked the Governor for visiting and promising to commence the transformation of the Stadium and the infrastructure within the area, assuring that residents would cooperate to make the project a reality.

Reconstruction Of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway Begins In Two Weeks

Reconstruction Of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway Begins In Two Weeks

…As LASG Shuts Down Illegal Terminal In Ajegunle

…Directs Removal Of Trucks From Area Within 24 Hours

…VP, Gov Meet Stakeholders, Resolve To Find Permanent Solution To Gridlock

 

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday assured that the anticipated reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway would commence within the next two weeks as part of the Federal Government’s resolve to finding lasting solution to the chaos in the Apapa axis.

 

Osinbajo, who spoke at a dialogue with stakeholders on the Apapa traffic congestion in company of the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, among others, held at the Officers Mess of the Western Naval Command in Apapa, said the Federal Government was already looking into the issue of infrastructural renewal, especially with the state of roads in Apapa, adding that approvals for the reconstruction of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and other major roads linking the Apapa Tincan Ports and tank farms would be concluded within the next two weeks.

 

The VP, who also led others to inspect the Apapa axis, said there was no excuse on the part of the Federal Government on the state of affairs in the area, noting that aside the economic implications, it was also an important residential community that must be allowed to thrive.

 

“We have been working quite hard now to get approval for road construction. Among the roads are the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and Mile 2- Liverpool roundabout are important roads but they have been delayed but I am personally working to ensure that we could get that through and we are trying to look at immediate solutions that can be done and how the process could be expedited to achieve results.

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“I can guarantee that we will get all the approvals done. I don’t think that it should take us more than two weeks to get the approval so that we can begin the work. There are so many other bad areas, especially the coconut area in front of Tincan Port, the Leventis to Wharf Road is also another area we are looking at, the rehabilitation of the Creek Road so that we can have a two lane access into the ports and all of those are important roads and all of them are Federal roads, so we have a responsibility to ensure that these things are done,” Osinbajo said.

 

On the situation with Ports across the country and the need to decongest the Apapa Tincan Ports, the Vice President listed insecurity as one of the major issues preventing the Ports in Port Harcourt, Warri, Onne, Calabar and others from operating, however, adding that the Federal Executive Council had recently approved a security arrangement in the Ports to enable them function optimally.

 

“A few weeks ago, the Federal Executive Council approved a maritime security arrangement for all of those areas and that has already been deployed. So we expect that as soon as the security architecture is laid out, we should be able to use those Ports frequently and that would of course decongest the Apapa Tincan Ports,” Osinbajo said.

 

Addressing other issues involving the movement of cargo from the Apapa Ports, the Vice President said the Federal Government was in talks with a concessionaire to rehabilitate the narrow gauge rail, which according to him, will aid the quick movement of goods pending the construction of a standard gauge.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (3rd left); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); Commander, NNS Beecroft Apapa, Commodore Okon Edet (left); Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiya Hadiza Bala Usman (3rd right); Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (2nd right) and Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abah (right) during an inspection on the state of Apapa shortly after a meeting with Maritime Unions and stakeholders, on Thursday, July 26, 2018.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (3rd left); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left); Commander, NNS Beecroft Apapa, Commodore Okon Edet (left); Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiya Hadiza Bala Usman (3rd right); Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (2nd right) and Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abah (right) during an inspection on the state of Apapa shortly after a meeting with Maritime Unions and stakeholders, on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

“As Mr. President had directed, what I intend to do, is that we should meet as frequently as possible. We have already drawn up some roadmap and a check list of the various things that we need to do in the next couple of weeks to ensure that we are able to ease the situation around here and make it more decent for people to live in this community and work in this axis. It is important for us as a country and commercially also and we are definitely committed to making sure that it works,” Osinbajo said.

 

Speaking shortly after an on-the-spot assessment in the Agejunle area, Governor Ambode wielded the big stick and ordered the immediate shutting down of Climax Bonded Terminal in Ajegunle, saying that their operation was not only illegal but also causing untold hardship to residents in the area.

 

Governor Ambode, who was saddened by the situation in the area shortly after an on-the-spot assessment, directed that the terminal and other adjoining areas be closed, while the trucks parked around the terminal be evacuated within the next 24 hours.

 

He said that there was no record from the State Government showing that the operators of the terminal were authorised to convert the property for such purpose, warning that the State Government would not fold its arms and allow flagrant abuse of its building laws to the detriment and safety of residents.

 

He said the decision to shut down the place was in furtherance to the need to protect residents from imminent dangers which such building portends, saying that the primary responsibility of the Government was to protect lives and property.

 

“You guys are causing me a lot of havoc. So, as far as the Lagos State Government is concerned, Ajegunle remains a residential area. I have crosschecked from all the ministries and officials, there is no approval from the Physical Planning for you to use this neighbourhood which is residential as a bonded terminal and then I understand that you are extending to Awodiora.

 

“I don’t want to do too much problem with your owner, but whoever is the owner would have to come to the Ministry of Physical Planning. I have the duty to protect all the citizens of Lagos State, I will not allow anything you have called Bonded Terminal to reside in a residential area and I need to protect my people,” Governor Ambode said.

 

Speaking further, the Governor said the presence of trucks parked on the single lane road in the Ajegunle axis was subjecting residents to long hours in traffic and other attendant menace to the environment.

 

“It’s bad enough that the roads here are single lanes and then I’ve gone round the whole Ajegunle axis and I’ve seen all the trucks all over the place, so I take over all the places called bonded terminals in Ajegunle from this moment, I shut this place down and all the agencies concerned should take my instructions, I do not no want to ever see this place opened again including all the other places that they have put the terminals and other places they have procured, I would not authorize any place that is residential as a Bonded Terminal.

 

“Tell the Commissioner of Police, tell others, every person here must evacuate in the next 30 minutes and in all the other locations that they have put in place, they remain under lock and key until I say otherwise. Including Customs, including everybody, tell the CP and the Naval people, I don’t ever want to see it open again. All the trucks that I’ve seen across this axis, in the next 24 hours, I don’t want to ever see it here again and all the other places they have placed them, the Government Monitoring Unit and tell the Director DSS, I don’t want to see anybody here again. Whatever it is that they have put here, I would only open it when they are willing to take all these trucks away from here and that’s my instruction,” Governor Ambode said.

 

Also in his remarks at the dialogue with stakeholders, Governor Ambode said the meeting was critical as the situation had become a national emergency that required all levels of government to work together to save the economy of the nation and also restore the glory of Apapa axis.

 

“I want to reiterate my commitment to say that whatever it is that is assigned to me as part of the resolutions that Lagos State should do, we are committed to doing it and we would also cooperate with the Federal Government and every other stakeholder to make sure that we have a permanent solution to this Apapa crisis,” the Governor said.

 

Apapa: FG Must Revive Ports In Other States, Oil Pipelines To Save Lagos From Gridlock

Apapa: FG Must Revive Ports In Other States, Oil Pipelines To Save Lagos From Gridlock

…Calls For Redistribution Of Tank Farms To Outer Borders

…Approves Employment of 1000 Teachers

…Holds 12th Town Hall Meeting In Ibeju Lekki

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday tasked the Federal Government to do everything within its powers to revive existing Ports in other States of the federation so as to bring about permanent solution to the perennial traffic congestion in Apapa axis of the State.

 

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Third Quarter Town Hall Meeting, the 12th in the Series, held at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo in Ibeju Lekki Local Government, said the recent chaos witnessed in the area was beyond traffic issues, saying that concerted efforts must be made to revamp moribund ports.

 

According to him,  beyond getting other ports up and running,  the issue of tankers queuing up to lift petroleum products from Tank Farms in Apapa was also a major issue causing gridlock and damaging road infrastructure in the area,  which according to him was inimical to the economic growth of not just the State,  but Nigeria in general.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (left), acknowledging cheers from residents at the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), held at Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. With him is the Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (right).
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (left), acknowledging cheers from residents at the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), held at Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. With him is the Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (right).

“It would be very unfair to Lagosians if I don’t talk about issues relating to traffic management and integrated transport management most especially what we have witnessed in the last one week in Apapa, but again I would like to tell Lagosians that every stakeholder that is ‎relevant to resolving the Apapa crisis, we have gone to work and you can see that there is a major improvement.

 

“But again, this issue has become perennial and in the last six years, it’s always been there, it comes and goes, but the challenge is to be able to find a permanent solution and in that reason Mr. President had directed the Vice President to come and see what the situation is and to actually give us a permanent solution. We are grateful Mr. President, we believe strongly that every layer of government should collaborate to be able to resolve this Apapa crisis.

 

“But we all must know that Apapa crisis is more than traffic issues. That is where all States depend on for revenue through Customs because the revenue is shared at FAAC. If anything goes wrong in the Port, whatever they get from Federal Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) could reduce,” Governor Ambode said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun (left);onitedo Oke Odo Iwerekun, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro (2nd left); Onibeju of Ibeju, Oba Rafiu Salami (3rd left) and Ojomu of Ajiranland, Oba Adetunji Akinloye (2nd right) during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun (left);onitedo Oke Odo Iwerekun, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro (2nd left); Onibeju of Ibeju, Oba Rafiu Salami (3rd left) and Ojomu of Ajiranland, Oba Adetunji Akinloye (2nd right) during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

Stressing that the Apapa congestion was a national issue that required urgent attention, the Governor also noted that oil pipelines should be revived to discourage the trend of thousands of trucks coming from other parts of the country to lift petroleum products from Apapa.

 

“It is bad that we still use truck to lift petroleum products from Apapa to other parts of the country. As it is now, other ports in Nigeria must begin to work immediately to decongest gridlock in Lagos.‎ Whatever has led to continual use of trucks to lift fuel, which is, vandalism of pipeline should be addressed immediately.

 

“We believe that this will allow the roads to become free.  We don’t need to continuously use tax payers’ money to build road that were destroyed by tankers.  We call on the Minister of Petroleum and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to work towards reviving the pipelines,” he said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, addressing residents, traditional rulers, party chieftains and other dignitaries while Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (right) and members of the State Executive Council watch with admiration during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series) at Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, addressing residents, traditional rulers, party chieftains and other dignitaries while Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (right) and members of the State Executive Council watch with admiration during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series) at Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

The Governor also expressed concern about the approval for the development of tank farms in Ijegun area of Lagos, saying that as much as the State supports redistribution of tank farms, such should be located in areas that are not populated.

 

“We don’t need tank farms within Lagos metropolis anymore. There are 68 tank farms in Apapa alone. That is a serious danger waiting to happen. Beyond Apapa, they have approved tank farms in Ijegun axis and that is where we have huge population.

 

“We need to redistribute tank farm establishment to outer borders and other parts. This is what we believe should be done at this moment to free Lagos roads,” he said.

 

Speaking on the efforts of his administration to develop the economy of the State, Governor Ambode said his administration has continued to keep faith with its mandate to ensure that the future of Lagos remains on a sound pedestal.

 

He said the Town Hall meeting, which had moved round the three senatorial districts in the State from its first edition held in October 6, 2015 has continued to provide the Government with first hand information on the needs of the people and how best to solve them.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Senator Gbenga Ashafa; Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun Sanni and Party Chietain, Dr. Tola Kasali during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Senator Gbenga Ashafa; Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun Sanni and Party Chietain, Dr. Tola Kasali during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

“Our promise from the very beginning was that we are going to give you a government of inclusion and it’s very clear that we are on track. When we look at our scorecard, which is to keep Lagos on a trajectory of growth and development, we are on that track.

 

“We are happy to be here. We are everywhere meeting the needs of our people, asking them what the issues are and wanting to respond positively to those issues. Yes, we are not perfect, we would try our best but our people know that we are doing things that would create prosperity for their future,” Governor Ambode said.

 

Besides, the Governor said that his administration was not oblivious of the fact that the Eastern and Western axis of the State were pivotal to the future prosperity of Lagos.

 

Giving an insight on the next plan of action for the Ibeju Lekki axis,  Governor Ambode also said the construction of the Epe Airport and reconstruction of the Coastal Road were very much on course, adding that the dualization of the Eleko Junction to the T-Junction would commence in January 2019, while the 27 network of roads in Ojokoro, Ayinke House, among others would be completed before the next quarter.

 

The Governor, while thanking traditional rulers, community heads and residents of Ibeju Lekki for their unflinching support towards the advancement of the multibillion dollar projects ongoing in the Lekki Free Trade Zone assured that all issues relating to compensation would be resolved before the end of the week.

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (left) and State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos, Alhaji Tunde Balogun (right) during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (left) and State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos, Alhaji Tunde Balogun (right) during the 3rd Quarter 2018 Town Hall meeting (12th in the Series), at the Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Ibeju-Lekki, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

Governor Ambode also announced the commencement of recruitment of 1,000 teachers in the State, adding that more would be recruited as the need arises.

 

Taking questions from residents, Governor Ambode said his administration would go back to the drawing board and respond accordingly to issues raised, appealing to residents to be patient as the Government would continue to deliver more life changing projects to make life more comfortable for the people.

 

A physically challenged resident and graduate of Computer Studies, Micheal Ogunyemi who said he had been jobless for five years could not hold back his joy as the Governor directed the Civil Service Commission to grant him immediate employment from August 1, while relevant agencies were directed to address various issues raised by residents.

 

Community Policing, Strong Intelligence Way To Solve Nigeria’s Security Challenges

Community Policing, Strong Intelligence Way To Solve Nigeria’s Security Challenges

…Says Nigeria Stands To Benefit From Lagos Model Of Fighting Crime

…Delivers Lecture At Institute For Security Studies In Abuja

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said the fight against crime and all forms of criminality in Nigeria can only be better enhanced if concerted efforts are geared toward embracing community policing to complement the police and other law enforcement agencies.

 

The Governor also said in view of the critical national security issues confronting the country at the point in time, paramount importance must now be attached to strong intelligence gathering even over and above the provision of physical security apparatuses, to rescue Nigeria from the myriad of security challenges.

 

Governor Ambode, who said this while addressing participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course II of the Institute for Security Studies, Abuja, noted that the security issues the country was grappling with such as international terrorism and insecure borders, local terrorism including lone wolf terrorists, proliferation of small arms into big cities, cyber warfare, drug trafficking, human trafficking and the regular misdemeanors among and other petty crimes, all pointed to the need for strong intelligence gathering framework to be put in place to nip potential crime in the bud.

 

According to him, if policy makers such as the participants at the course who were drawn from 21 security and government agencies could not understand such security issues from the point of first-rate intelligence, then it would difficult for effective policies to be made and implemented to combat them.

 

“In the pursuit of the primus inter pares of all governance challenges, we have identified that the gathering and utilisation of intelligence is of paramount importance, even ahead of the provision of physical security apparatuses.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (left), being presented with a plaque by the Director of Institute for Security Studies, Mr. Matthew Seiyfa during the 2018 Executive Management Course of the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (left), being presented with a plaque by the Director of Institute for Security Studies, Mr. Matthew Seiyfa during the 2018 Executive Management Course of the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

 

“As is well known, I am a huge proponent of community policing. Indeed, I strongly believe that the fight against crime and all forms of criminality would be better enhanced if efforts are geared towards embracing community policing to complement the police and other law enforcement agencies,” the Governor said, adding that it was for such reason that his administration established the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corp Agency (LNSC) to enhance intelligence gathering in the communities.

 

The Governor, who specifically spoke on the theme: “Cultural Values, National Security and Challenges of Contemporary Governance: Perspective from Lagos State Experience,” said being the melting pot of diverse cultures, as well as major economic hub as the fifth largest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $131billion, Lagos had been able to appropriate its cultural values, especially the multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan nature, to confront its security and governance challenges, adding that the country stand to gain from the model which the State had adopted in fighting crime and administering governance.

 

Recalling security challenges faced by his administration at the initial stage especially kidnapping, the Governor said in fighting the menace, the government garnered the support of the security agencies to set up military bases and security operations that resulted in the rescue of kidnap victims  and arrest of kidnap kingpins, while further steps were taken on intelligence gathering, community partnership and huge investment in security, such that today, the State was now one of the safest cities in Africa.

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with Director of Institute for Security Studies, Mr. Matthew Seiyfa (right) and Deputy Director of Studies, Institute for Security Studies, Dr. Abdulwahab Wali (left) during the 2018 Executive Management Course of the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with Director of Institute for Security Studies, Mr. Matthew Seiyfa (right) and Deputy Director of Studies, Institute for Security Studies, Dr. Abdulwahab Wali (left) during the 2018 Executive Management Course of the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

Besides, the Governor listed core cultural values which are essential to ensure security and development to include truth, justice, hard work and character, which according to him, have been effectively deployed in Lagos State in the creation of agencies such as LNSC, the Security Trust Fund under the Public-private partnership model to enhance transparency, among others.

 

“In Lagos State, we are resolved to continue to review and revise our policies with the aim of maintaining, at every point in time, a sustainable security framework that will stand the test of time and enable every stakeholder in Lagos to participate. So far, we have been encouraged by the massive contributions of many corporate organizations to the Security Trust Fund and by the participation of our communities in the work of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps,” he said.

 

He said though a lot had been achieved, but that the State Government was nonetheless not oblivious of the fact that more needed to be done, assuring that his administration would continue to prioritise the security of the people.

 

Going forward with regards to preserving the culture of the people with focus on security, the Governor said from the home front, parents should now attach importance to their culture, saying the State Government had already led the way in placing paramount importance on the continuous learning of indigenous languages.

According to him, “Many parents are not training their kids to know and understand the realities of life and cultural values. Parents should go back to the teaching and promotion of our core cultural values. The abandonment of these cultural values has led many children to take to drugs and bad vices with the attendant challenges to national security.

 

“Beyond the efforts to sustain and, as the case may be, to resuscitate cultural values as a veritable means for ensuring cohesiveness in the society and promoting security, I also advocate a collective vigilance mentality whereby all stakeholders in security management have properly defined roles and relationships to stay ahead of all forms of violent crimes such as terrorism, cyber and transnational organised crimes while utilizing processed intelligence made possible as a result of our cultural values,” Governor Ambode said.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (seated middle), with participants of the 2018 Executive Management Course of the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (seated middle), with participants of the 2018 Executive Management Course of the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

In his opening remarks, Director of the Institute, Matthew Seiyfa commended Governor Ambode for the various projects and initiatives implemented to make life better for the people, saying the projects have also contributed immensely to enhance security.

 

He also commended the initiative of the Security Trust Fund, saying the fact that many States have now copied it from Lagos attests to its vitality and effectiveness in security management.

 

“Since 2015 when Governor Ambode took hold on the reigns of office as the Executive Governor, he has not only continued but revitalized this visionary path. He (The Governor) has sought to consolidate and deepen the status of Lagos as a mega city and a hub for regional transportation, tourism, entertainment, finance, industry, among others.

 

“The Governor’s projects have not only been world class in standard and quality but also inclusive,” Seiyfa said.