N224m NUPENG Claim: Lagos State Govt. Can’t be Blackmailed

N224m NUPENG Claim: Lagos State Govt. Can’t be Blackmailed

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde

…Lagos Sets Record Straight

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it would not succumb to the attempt by the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to blackmail it into paying a questionable N224 million debt.

While reacting to a purported protest carried out by members of the association, the State Government said though it was not against peaceful protest by aggrieved citizens but it would not be stampeded into taking any action without strictly following due process and rule of law.

NUPENG had alleged that the N224 million was for payment for the supply of diesel and kerosene to the State Government for execution of direct labour projects in Ojodu between October 2014 and May 2015.

South-West Chairman of NUPENG, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo had threatened that members of the association would embark on the protest with over 1, 000 tankers, and that Lagosians would be subjected to experience scarcity of fuel if the request was not acceded to by government.

But in statement signed on Tuesday by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the government recalled that the said transaction took place between an independent marketer and the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) before this present government assumed office.

Ayorinde said the company wrote the government about the transaction, and government replied that it wanted to investigate the claim.

According to Ayorinde, “The investigation proved that the claim by the company was fraudulent but while investigation was still ongoing, the company went to NUPENG, and the association agreed to demonstrate on behalf of the company.

“Our position is that the Lagos State Government cannot be stampeded or blackmailed into making payments that have not been verified for which investigation is still ongoing.

“While government is not against peaceful protest by aggrieved citizens, we would like to urge Lagosians to go about their businesses peacefully.

“No amount of blackmail will stop the government from strictly following due process and rule of law,” Ayorinde said.

The government also urged the national leadership of NUPENG to prevail on its Lagos State Chapter to stop using the union to pursue personal gains.

Besides, Ayorinde said the Lagos State Government never entered into any transaction with NUPENG on the issue but a private company, and as such it was strange that the union was now being used to blackmail government.

Address Presented By His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, on the Occassion of the Second Quarterly Town Hall Meeting Held on Tuesday January 19, 2016 at Lagos City Hall, Lagos Island

Address Presented By His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, on the Occassion of the Second Quarterly Town Hall Meeting Held on Tuesday January 19, 2016 at Lagos City Hall, Lagos Island

Today’s event is the second in the series of my administration’s quarterly interaction with Lagosians to render account of my stewardship as your elected Governor. This initiative of our government commenced with our people in the Lagos West Senatorial District on October 6, 2015 at Abesan.

We are in the Central Senatorial Zone, particularly in the City Hall, which is of historic importance to us.

At the First Town Hall meeting, I defined the strategic vision of our Administration which is to make Lagos a globally competitive City-State, a Lagos that works for all. I also stated that the first quarter was used to lay down the institutional framework and foundation on which the vision and programmes of this government will be built.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, since the last Town Hall Meeting, we have sworn in Commissioners and Special Advisers who have joined the Cabinet to steer the ship of our State. Together we have embarked on some landmark projects as well as taken some giant strides to reassure the citizenry of our commitment to deliver a Lagos that is safe, secure and prosperous.

 

LAST QUARTER REPORT (OCT 2015 – DEC 2015)

Our overall policy thrust remains the same. A Tripod of Security, Infrastructural Development and Job Creation. A safer Lagos will attract more investments from local and foreign interests which will in turn create more job opportunities for our people thereby generating more taxes and revenues for the government to improve on the infrastructure in various sectors.

SECURITY

In the last quarter we invested massively to reenergize and reinvigorate the State security infrastructure to bring it to a level comparable to what obtains in other modern City States.

I am happy to report that our State is a lot safer today as statistics show that crime rate reduced by 65% during the last quarter compared to Year 2014.

LIGHT UP LAGOS PROJECT

Crime thrives best in darkness. In response to this we initiated the “Light up Lagos” project to light up our major roads, highways and inner roads. In December 2015, we set up an Advisory Committee

…/ on Power chaired

on Power chaired by the Deputy Governor to work to fulfil our promise of lighting up every nook and cranny of the State.

In the past few months, we have fixed street lights from Berger in Ojodu to Lekki, Ikorodu to Lagos Island, the entire Ikeja axis, Victoria Island and Ikoyi. We are taking this project to every part of the State. If we are not yet in your neighbourhood, give us a little time; we will soon be there. As we light up the State, we expect crime to reduce as criminals will have nowhere to hide and operate.

I call on individuals and corporate bodies to join our “Light Up Lagos” project by adopting a street and lighting it up either by connecting it to your meter or your generator. In return, these individuals and institutions will receive special concessions on Land Use Charge and commendation from the State and Local Governments.

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In the last quarter of 2015, our government donated 49 transformers to communities that had been in total darkness for Five years. In addition, electricity has now been restored to 63 Communities starting from Eleko to Ode-Omi in Ibeju Lekki Local Government.

We also commissioned the 33kva Electrical Sub-Station in Gberigbe Community, Ikorodu. This is expected to improve the electricity situation in that axis.

INFRASTRUCTURAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

 

ROADS

As part of our efforts to improve road infrastructure, in the last quarter we embarked on massive reconstruction and rehabilitation of major roads and inner roads across the metropolis.

I am delighted to inform you that over 300 major road projects have been rehabilitated. 66 major road projects are at various stages of completion while 80 road grading and surface dressing projects will soon be completed in all the LGs & LCDAs of the State. These roads include:

  • Afa Nla Road, Agege
  • CIPM Road, Alausa
  • Ijegun-Ikotun Road
  • Mba Street, Ajegunle
  • 1st and 2nd Avenue, Festac Town
  • Afolabi Ege Street, Ojo
  • Thomson Road, Ikoyi
  • 2nd Avenue, Ikoyi
  • Queens Drive, Ikoyi
  • Ebutte Ero Road, Lagos Island and
  • Akin Adeshola Road, Victoria Island

In addition to this, the construction of two roads in each of the 20 Local Government and 37 Local Government Development Areas in the State was flagged off last week.  A total of 114 roads will be delivered through this intervention in the next six months at a cost of N17.5b.

Work has commenced on the construction of fly-overs in two of the State’s high traffic zones – Ajah roundabout in the Central Senatorial Zone and Abule – Egba Junction in the West Senatorial Zone.

 

TRANSPORTATION

This administration introduced 434 brand new Bus Rapid Transit buses and flagged off a direct BRT line from Ikorodu to CMS. This will bring comfort and convenience to Lagosians who ply that route. Our mission is to make connectivity and mobility of Lagosians more comfortable as the year progresses.

Work has restarted on the Blue Line Rail Project which is expected to be completed by December 2016. This will run from Mile 2 to CMS with Seven Stops within the route.

 

EDUCATION

We appointed Governing Councils for all our tertiary institutions. I have recently signed the amended Lagos State University bill and approved the appointment of a Vice Chancellor for the institution. A Provost has also been appointed for Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto Ijanikin. Our tertiary institutions will soon be centres of excellence in all ramifications.

We have undertaken the rehabilitation of schools, construction of new classroom blocks and provision of furniture to the tune of N2.5b. This was funded jointly with the Federal Government under the UBEC scheme with the State adding an additional N526m.

We are coming up with a new design of modern all-inclusive blocks of classrooms for the secondary schools to provide a conducive environment for learning. The Central Senatorial Zone stands to benefit from this tremendously.

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HEALTH

The State Government has stopped the contentious casualisation of Medical Doctors who were employed some years ago by regularizing their employment status in the State Civil Service.

In addition, we have also extended the Accident Insurance Policy for our entire workforce to cover accidents recorded outside working hours.

I must quickly add that we are seriously working to ensure that we contain the spread of Lassa Fever, just the same way as we conquered the Ebola virus. I appeal to all Lagosians to be vigilant and cooperate with our health officials in the various Local Governments and Communities.

The rehabilitation and re-equipping of the Ayinke House in the Ikeja General Hospital will be completed in the next quarter.

 

TOURISM

The Lagos Countdown was modified and upscaled to become “One Lagos Fiesta’’.

This time around, the show was held simultaneously in five locations across the State – Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu, Agege and Lagos Island. The show gave a platform to many new artistes to showcase their talents. Government will continue to support our artistes.

SOCIAL REORIENTATION

We have set up a channel whereby abused individuals can report cases to the government.

We have trained 190 officers to receive these reports on sexual and gender based violence in Lagos. All convicted offenders shall face the full wrath of the Law. Our battle against any form of domestic and sexual violence remains on course.

 

JOB CREATION

In fulfilment of our electoral promise to create an Employment Trust Fund, I have signed the Employment Trust Fund Bill into Law. The primary objective of the fund is to address issues of unemployment and promote wealth creation through entrepreneurial development. A board of Trustees has been nominated and awaiting approval by the House of Assembly. We have already set aside N6.25b in the 2016 budget to jump-start this initiative.

 

We have advertised for positions in LASTMA. We intend to employ 1,300 individuals in this agency.

We have actively engaged investors both locally and abroad to bring them to do business in Lagos.

We are confident that these efforts will translate to new businesses and jobs for Lagosians very soon.

PROJECTIONS FOR YEAR 2016 1ST QUARTER

I have signed the 2016 Appropriation Bill into law and implementation has already started. Its main focus is to build new infrastructure, maintain existing ones and give adequate attention to wealth and employment.

In this quarter;

  • We will kick-start the Employment Trust Fund
  • The State will employ new staff into some government agencies like the LASTMA, the State Fire Service and Hospitals.
  • We will continue to strengthen our security infrastructure to improve safety of lives and property.
  • The Light Up Lagos Project will go to more areas in this quarter.

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CONCLUSION

Ladies and Gentlemen, Lagos is working for all, no matter your tribe, creed or gender. Our government is listening and will do everything to address the challenges collectively confronting us.

As your Governor, I am resolute in my commitment to you; to serve and justify the trust you have reposed in me and work tirelessly to deliver good governance for the collective good of all Lagosians.

All we need is your support and cooperation. We thank you for your direct feedback to us. We take them on board but we also need you to always fulfil your side of the social contract by ensuring regular payment of your taxes and wilful compliance with the State Laws.

There are better days ahead. Together, we are building a Lagos that we are all proud of.

To all my people of Central Senatorial Zone, I say a big thank you.

God bless Lagos State

God bless Nigeria

God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je mi logun!  O je wa logun.

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State.

19th, January 2016.

Lagos LG Caretaker Committee: Court Declines Jurisdiction On NCP’s Suit

Lagos LG Caretaker Committee: Court Declines Jurisdiction On NCP’s Suit

State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere on Monday declined further jurisdiction in a suit filed by the National Conscience Party (NCP) challenging the appointment of Executive Secretaries to manage the affairs of the 57 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in the State.

Trial judge, Justice Abdulfatal Lawal had fixed the matter for hearing of the applications for stay of execution of the earlier judgment delivered by the court on October 23, 2015, but elected to decline further jurisdiction after confirming that the records of proceedings have been transmitted to the Court of Appeal.

In the said judgment, Justice Lawal had declared the appointment of caretaker committees over the administration of Local Government councils in Lagos State as illegal and unconstitutional, and ordered the State’s Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct election within 30 days.

Dissatisfied, Lagos State filed Notice of Appeal against the judgement and prayed the court to stay execution of the judgement pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.

At the resumed hearing, a counsel representing the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, informed the court that the records of appeal had been transmitted to the Appeal Court thereby ousting the jurisdiction of the High Court to continue with the matter in accordance with Order 4 Rule 10 and 11 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2011.

The trial judge, who agreed with the argument, held that indeed his court had become functus officio of the matter, and subsequently declined jurisdiction.

The records of proceedings transmitted to the Court of Appeal were dated November 17, 2015.

According to the matter, the Lagos State Government and LAISEC are contending that unless the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave voters register to LAISEC, election cannot be conducted in the State.

They argued further that the delay in the conduct of elections into Local Government could not be blamed on the Lagos State government, and thereby urged the court to dismiss the case.

The Court of Appeal is yet to give date for hearing of the appeal.

Wife Of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode at Winning Edge 2016 Conference At TBS, Lagos

Wife Of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode at Winning Edge 2016 Conference At TBS, Lagos

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (middle), with Wife of Minister for Power, Works & Housing, Dame Abimbola Fashola (left) and Group Managing Director, Rose of Sharon Group, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija (right), during the 2016 Women on the Winning Edge Conference organized by the Funke Felix-Adejumo Foundation, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

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Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (right), exchanging pleasantries with Wife of Minister for  Power, Works & Housing, Dame Abimbola Fashola, during the 2016 Women on the Winning Edge Conference organized by the Funke Felix-Adejumo Foundation, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

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Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (3rd right), Bishop Felix Adejumo; his Wife & Convener, Women on the Winning Edge, Pastor Funke Felix-Adejumo; Wife of Minister for  Power, Works & Housing, Dame Abimbola Fashola; Group Managing Director, Rose of Sharon Group, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Princess Adebisi Sosan, during the 2016 Women on the Winning Edge Conference organized by the Funke Felix-Adejumo Foundation, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, on Sunday, January 17, 2016.​

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Wife of Minister for Power, Works & Housing, Dame Abimbola Fashola; Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, Group Managing Director, Rose of Sharon Group, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija; former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Princess Adebisi Sosan and Mrs. Francina Norman, during the 2016 Women on the Winning Edge Conference organized by the Funke Felix-Adejumo Foundation, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, on Sunday, January 17, 2016.

Lagos Sensitizes 5000 Varsity Students On Sexual Assault Prevention

Lagos Sensitizes 5000 Varsity Students On Sexual Assault Prevention

In line with the mandate of Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, to embark on various sensitization and enlightenment campaigns, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) at the weekend engaged over 5000 students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Sexual Assault Prevention.

According to the Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, the Sexual Assault Prevention Drive for Higher Institutions organised in partnership with the Pastor Bimbo Odukoya Foundation was aimed at addressing issues of sexual harassment, date rape, safety on campus, the role of a bystander and prevention.

The first Drive, she said, kicked off on Wednesday, January 13 which coincided with the orientation session for new students.

“UNILAG Students were given tips of how to avoid being victims of sexual assault. They were also informed of how to stay safe in social settings, some of which include making a plan B for emergency exits from a place, protecting their drinks, avoiding clubs or parties that charge men but let women enter and drink for free”, Mrs. Vivour-Adeniyi said.

She said that students were also informed and educated on the legal implications of committing sexual assault offences, and they were surprised to hear that these crimes carry up to life imprisonment.

“Conversely, students were informed of their roles as bystanders, in intervening and assisting to prevent sexual assault. They were taught to CARE- Create a distraction, Ask directly, refer the matter to an authority and enlist others and for their fellow students.

“Students were also given tips on how to date smart, some of which include setting limits and being clear on them, being mindful of behaviours of their partners some of which include degrading mannerisms, extreme jokes or language, violent tendencies, and controlling or overbearing tendencies”.

She said most importantly, the males were charged to refrain from rape, thereby changing the narrative and shifting the responsibility on the male folk who statistics reveal are the perpetrators of these crimes.

The DSVRT Coordinator added that a Manual on Sexual Assault prevention which encapsulates all the issues raised at the interaction was prepared by her team and distributed to all the approximately 5,000 students present.

“The Guidance and Counselling Department of the University of Lagos assured the Team of their commitment to continue to partner with DSVRT in addressing these issues”, she said.