Lagos to Strengthen Arbitration Law to Boost Economy

Lagos to Strengthen Arbitration Law to Boost Economy

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has reiterated the commitment of his administration to build on the successes recorded in the past in the area of Arbitration practice for economic gains that would benefit the people of the State.

Governor Ambode stated this in his remarks at the opening plenary session of the Annual Conference of the United Kingdom Chartered Institute of Arbitration (Nigerian Branch) at Abuja on Tuesday.

He said Lagos has the most modern Arbitration Law in Nigeria that conforms with any Arbitration statute in the world, and that his administration is very much prepared to consolidate and strengthen the efforts of the previous administration to create Lagos as a preferred seat of Arbitration in Nigeria and the West African Sub-Region.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, reiterated that Lagos State, being a commercial hub, is the leading destination for foreign investment having accounted for over 99 percent direct foreign investment in the country by the second quarter of year 2015.

Pledging his support to the Institute in its drive to encourage direct foreign investment through development of Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, the Governor stressed that Lagos is open for business, adding, “In order to show full commitment, Lagos is one of the first states in Nigeria to establish an Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment – Lagos Global.”

He also explained that as the name suggests, the office is designed to attract foreign direct investment into Lagos through creation of a one stop-shop where investors can seamlessly obtain regulatory approvals and other incentives in order to drive further investment to create jobs.

He disclosed that this initiative has been rewarding with a steady flow of prospective investors since his administration took off on 29 May, 2015.

Ambode Swears in New Head of Service, Perm Secs

Ambode Swears in New Head of Service, Perm Secs

…Says No Excuses For Non-Performance

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday swore in the newly appointed Head of Service (HOS), Mrs. Olabowale Toluwatope Ademola with a charge on her to see the appointment as a call to duty and immediately get to work, prove herself and justify the responsibility placed on her.

The Governor also elevated three substantive Directors; Mr. Tunde Tairu Ogunleye, Mr. Taofik Adeyemi Fashola and Mr. Fola Padonu as Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Finance, Audit Service Commission and Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment respectively.

Governor Ambode who spoke at the Executive Council Chambers, Lagos House, Ikeja, said the appointments was in line with the practice of his administration to continually select and appoint experienced, dedicated and tested professionals to key positions in the government.

He charged the HOS to build on the achievements of her predecessor and work to take the state to the highest level in the delivery of good governance for the benefit of all residents and investors in Lagos State.

“The Lagos State Public Service is the reference point in public administration in Nigeria and is the engine room of the State government. The dynamism of the Lagos State Public Service lies in the pedigree of its leadership which has charted the course of proactive interpretation and implementation of government policies and programmes over the years”.

He told Mrs. Ademola that the immediate responsibility before her is to build on the gains of the recent reforms and re-alignment the current administration has undertaken in the civil service and ensure that the overall objectives of prompt, efficient and effective service delivery are achieved.

 “The watchword is lean government, quality service”.

“As the number One civil servant in Lagos State, you must show leadership and inspire the over 100,000 Civil/Public servants to be united in their commitment to discharge their responsibilities in line with global best practices”.

“The goal of this administration is to strategically position Lagos State to be globally competitive in all sectors, the public service inclusive. A globally competitive public service must be proactive, knowledgeable, courteous, transparent, law abiding, accountable and selfless”

He expressed confidence in the ability of the HOS to rise up to the challenge before her considering her years of experience and knowledge of the dynamics, peculiarities and strengths of the Lagos State Public Service.

“It is my expectation that in discharging your responsibilities, all sectors of the public service including the Body of Permanent Secretaries will be carried along and given a sense of belonging as active stakeholders”, he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Ambode, while swearing-in the three newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, charged the appointees to see their appointment as a reward for dedication, urging them to promptly attend to all matters always.

The Governor reminded the appointees that they were chosen from a pool of equally qualified and competent officers, adding that they must uphold the tradition of excellence which the Lagos State Public Service is known for.

“I have confidence in your ability to meet this expectation given your pedigree and sufficient understanding of the goals of this administration to re-position the State Public Service. No excuse will be acceptable for non-performance,” the Governor stated.

Earlier, the Head of Service, in what was her first official duty, introduced the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, saying that their appointment, apart from being in line with the tradition of excellence which Governor Ambode is known for, was also in accordance with the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 208 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Responding on behalf of the appointees, Ogunleye, who is a Chartered Accountant and a Lawyer, thanked the Governor for the opportunity given to himself and his colleagues to serve the State.

“We will do our best to ensure that Lagos excels. Your excellence has come with lofty ideas and we are ready to key into the ideas and serve,” Ogunleye said.

Lagos State Government Moves To Intensify Security Surveillance Across Metropolis

Lagos State Government Moves To Intensify Security Surveillance Across Metropolis

…Police Raid Major Hideouts Of Criminals, Hoodlums

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday presided over the State Security Council meeting with an assurance to the people of the state that the government will increase security surveillance across the metropolis and continuously raid identified hideouts of criminals.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, who spoke to Government House Correspondents shortly after the meeting which lasted for over three hours, said the Council deliberated on the margin of security challenges and trends confronting the state and the strategies to address them especially as the festive period approaches.

He added that the Council also reviewed the security architecture of the state and resolved to improve on the strategies and techniques to wage war against all forms of criminal activities, especially traffic robberies.

“We looked again at the margin of security challenges and trends that we are facing in Lagos and the need to rededicate ourselves.”

“The Council also came up with the need for us to re-commit our personnel to addressing these challenges with a view to ensuring that as we approach the yuletide, the Christmas period, we would be able to at least reduce the crimes and criminalities in the state to the bearest minimum and to reassure our people in Lagos that the government is committed to their safety,” he said.

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 The Police boss said the Council also appraised the activities of the security agencies and came to a conclusion that within the past few days, there has been a reduction in some of these incidents.

He, however, said security agencies will not rest on their oars, just as he pledged that they would recommit themselves and make the visibility more pronounced on the roads and ensure that enforcement is decisively carried out.

Owoseni, who briefed journalists alongside other heads of some security agencies in the state, added, “If you go to Falomo now, that is one of the areas that were identified; the place has been raided of the miscreants that have been occupying the place and it’s been freed.”

“Some other areas have been raided and have been freed. Some uncompleted buildings in Ebute Metta have been freed of miscreants while the government is working on getting the owners of some of these abandoned properties and is considering whether the approvals that have been given to them should be revoked,” he said.

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Asked if the security agencies in the state have been overwhelmed by the pockets of criminal activities reported in some areas, Owoseni said: “The police is not overwhelmed. You would have seen increased presence of police on the roads. If we are overwhelmed, you will not see those personnel on the roads; if you go on the Eko Bridge now, go on third Mainland Bridge, you will find out that we have increased police presence there.”

Those at the meeting include the Commander Nigeria Navy Ship Beecroft Apapa, Navy Commodore Abraham Adaji, Commander, 9th Mechanised Brigade, Major General Mohammed Sabo, Commander 435 Base Service Group, Ikeja, Air Commodore Danladi Santa Bausa, and Director, State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Adekunle Ajanaku and the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello.

Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State on the Security Situation in the State on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015

Address Delivered By His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State on the Security Situation in the State on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015

Protocol

We have just concluded our Security Council Meeting wherefar-reaching decisions have been made.

It has become evident that traffic crimes and robbery are easily traced to the menace of

commercial motorcycle riders (Okada) and street hawkers. As we proceed to implement our plans to actualize other modes of transportation, commercial motorcycles remain a stop-gap remedy. And only a stop gap.

In addition to Okadas being used for crime, commercial buses are a menace on our roads. They have become very lawless and reckless. Many road users, especially those who should know better, seem to have also joined them in breaking traffic laws.

This government is totally committed to the security of lives and property as well as enforcing the Rule of Law. We will not allow a few notorious elements in our midst to cause a breakdown in law and order and upset the peace that we are used to in the State.

To curtail these challenges, we have decided on the full enforcement of the Lagos State Traffic Laws:

  1. For the avoidance of doubt, no person shall ride, drive or propel a cart, wheel barrow, motorcycle or tricycle on any of the routes specified in Schedule II of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law of 2012. The routes on this schedule are:

 

  1. Lagos – Ibadan Expressway
  2. Apapa – Oshodi Expressway
  3. Oworonshoki – Oshodi Expressway
  4. Lagos – Ikorodu Expressway
  5. Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway
  6. Third Mainland Bridge
  7. Eti–Osa/Lekki – Epe Expressway
  8. Lagos – Badagry Expressway
  9. Funsho Williams Avenue
  10. Agege Motor Road
  11. Eti-Osa/Lekki Coastal Road
  12. Any person who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction as stipulated in the law.
  13. Henceforth, all commercial vehicles, except Bus Rapid Transport buses,must use only the service lanes in accordance with existing traffic laws.
  14. All conductors of Commercial buses must sit down in their buses and keep the doors closed at all times while in motion. It is against the Law for

conductors to hang on the bus doors and leave the doors open. Any bus contravention will be met with severe punitive measures.

  1. Commercial buses can only drop and pick passengers at officially designated bus stops henceforth. Any illegal and indiscriminate picking and dropping of passengers is against the law.
  2. Other road users who break traffic laws will pay a compulsory traffic fine in accordance with the law. Mobile Traffic courts are being introduced to prosecute offenders promptly.

On the traffic situation especially in the Apapa axis, the Tank farms and the petrol tankers are the major cause of traffic. There are 42 Tank Farms in Lagos and more are in the process of being approved. Lagos alone accounts for 80% of the cargo that come into the country through the Ports. 80-90% of the fuel used in Nigeria is loaded in Lagos.

I met with Tank farm and petroleum tanker owners more than 3 months ago and asked them to come up with a solution for the traffic gridlock which is caused by the tankers queuing up our roads and bridges to load petroleum products. Till date, they have not come back to me with any solution. One of the areas of concern we looked into is the non-conformity with requisite conditions on the use of the Sea Ports by the various Elements operating in and out of the Ports. These conditions include:

  1. Lack of due diligence in granting approval for the construction of tank farms, such that areas dedicated for truck holding bays are being used for other purposes
  2. Refusal by tank farm owners to construct holding bays for tankers, leading to spilling over of tankers to the highways and bridges.

 

  1. Selling by importers of cargos on board vessels rather than transporting the cargos to the warehouses, from where up-country trucks would have loaded them instead of the Ports.
  2. Sale of products by marketers above available stock holding, making retailers put more tankers on the road than can be accommodated.

 

  1. Insufficient or lack of cargo handling equipment and other operating equipment by Terminal Operators, such that all Port activities are slowed down.

 

This state of affairs that has accentuated traffic gridlock in Apapa and its environs is no longer tolerable to the State Government. All necessary arrangements have been made with the relevant Regulatory Institutions to sanction defaulting Port Users – Importers, Tank Farm Owners, Terminal Operators, Shipping Companies, etc.

Based on this, the Security Council has decided as follows:

  1. All Tank Farms are hereby given a 90-day grace period to build loading bays for their tank farms.
  2. Any Tank Farm that fails to provide a Loading Bay after this grace period, would be shut down by the State government.
  3. In addition, tank farms owners must desist from allocating pick-up papers to trucks beyond and above their daily capacity as is the case presently.

 

I wish to reiterate the commitment of this government to making life easier for our people As much as we want to

be civil, everybody should know that this will only apply to law abiding citizens.

This administration has promised Continuity with Improvement. To achieve this Improvement there has to be a Change in the way we carry out our businesses. Change is a process. I plead with everyone to be part of this Change.

In order to assure the commercial motor cyclists and bus owners of our joint resolve, the Chairmen of the related unions are here with me as a sign of their readiness to comply with these new set of actions.

Fellow citizens, as we enter into the last 2 months of the year, we must all be vigilant and prepared to have a changed attitude towards the issues relating to crime and terrorism. We must be ready to cooperate with the government at all times. NOBODY, I repeat, Nobody should patronize street hawkers in traffic henceforth. The next hawker could be a robber or terrorist. You are now well-advised.

If we all cooperate and decide not to buy, gradually and collectively, the hawkers will not come to the highways and streets anymore. Our roads will definitely become safer.

Our security agencies have been directed to increase their presence on the roads and highways to ensure greater safety.

Once again, I am committed to a safer, cleaner and more prosperous Lagos. “A Lagos that Works for All”.

Thank you.

Itesiwaju Ilu Eko lo je wa l’ogun!!!

 

Ambode Appoints Ex-AIG, Olakpe As New LASTMA CEO

Ambode Appoints Ex-AIG, Olakpe As New LASTMA CEO

In a bid to revamp the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) for improved performance and better relations with the public, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday approved the appointment of retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Christian Akioja Olakpe as the new Chief Executive Officer of the agency.

The Appointment of Olakpe, according to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Habib Aruna, is in strong response to the consistent complaints by the public on the situation of traffic on the streets of Lagos.

Olakpe’s wealth of experience was said to have situated him for the new appointment.

Governor Ambode, it would be recalled, had approved the appointment of a new General Manager for the Authority, but the decision to appoint a seasoned former AIG as the CEO of LASTMA was further said to have been necessitated owing to the fact that the impetus expected with the previous appointment was not fully actualized due to the docile nature of the headship of the Authority.

Olakpe is a graduate of Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.

Retired AIG Olakpe joined the Nigeria Police Force in 1982 and traversed various commands including Bayelsa and Plateau where he served as Commissioner of Police.

He was also the Deputy Commandant of the Police Academy, Kano and Commissioner of Police of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, Lagos.

A Member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians (IABT) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (ICAP), Olakpe rose to become Assistant Inspector General of Police before his retirement in 2014.