The Lagos State Government on Sunday reiterated its commitment to achieving the objectives the renewed Ikeja Model City Master Plan originally conceived to address infrastructural challenges in the capital city.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, reiterated that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is desirous of making Ikeja a model city and would leave no stone unturned in actualizing the relocation of the Computer Village to the new site in Katangowa, Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area in line with the reviewed Master Plan.
According to the Commissioner, the Ikeja Model City Master Plan designated the present Computer Village for residential use and that the government will adhere to the plans to make the area more organized, serene and habitable.
Ayorinde explained that the State Government has not issued any permit to any individual or organization for the construction of an ICT specialized mall directly beside the newly built Ikeja Bus Terminal, adding that such move is not in sync with the state government’s regeneration plan for the capital city.
The Commissioner said that as a sign of the state government’s genuine commitment to the relocation of the Computer Village from Ikeja to Katangowa, the take-off of the Katangowa project is already in its final stage of implementation, even as the government is working round the clock towards ensuring its speedy completion.
He disclosed that the government had met with the executive members of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) where it (the government) reiterated its commitment to the relocation plan.
While urging the general public to disregard any insinuation that might be suggesting the possibility of a spurious ICT mall, the Commissioner stated that the current administration in the state acknowledges the entrepreneurial spirit of hardworking Lagosians who are contributing their quota to the growth and development of both the formal and informal sectors and would, therefore, continue to do its best to support their endeavours.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday evening said the State Government spent over N15billion last year to beef up security and ensure the safety of lives and property.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at a dinner held at the Lagos House in Ikeja, in honour of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, who was on a two-day working visit to the State, said security, being one of the tripods upon which he administration is built, has improved drastically since he assumed office.
He attributed the development to the sustainability of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), a template, he said has helped to champion funding of security agencies to carry out effective policing across the State.
“Like the IGP said yesterday, the template of which we are using to run the Security Trust Fund is worthy of emulation and he has also averred that they would like to replicate it in other parts of the country and also for men of the Nigeria Police Force,” the Governor said.
Recommending the LSSTF model to other States, Governor Ambode said the initiative has gotten serious buy-in by the public, revealing that out of the N15billion spent on security last year, the private sector contributed over N5billion.
The Governor particularly commended the efforts of former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Musiliu Smith, who was the pioneer Chairman of the LSSTF, saying that the model he midwifed in 2007 has changed the face of security in the State.
“That same template that he (Smith) brought to Lagos that we have continued to use in the last 14 years and it’s been working and in different forums, he has shared how he started it and how we have also improved on it.
“For us to be having the private sector, just to give you a very clear example, as at last year, we have spent as a government close to the region of N10billion, but the private sector has actually contributed more than N5billion of their own money into the Security Trust Fund.
“There is no way the private sector would do that if they don’t believe in the cause of our Security Trust Fund. So I want to recommend it also to others, it is something that could work in other States. Like you said, funding is a major issue for security in this country and then we can have partnerships with the private and public sector to also help in securing the country,” Governor Ambode said.
Stressing that security remains fundamental to the development of the nation’s economy, the Governor assured that the State Government would continue to support the Police and other security agencies.
Besides, Governor Ambode also commended the IGP for his commitment to ensure effective policing across the country and especially in Lagos, however urging him to continue to do more in that regard.
“What we are doing tonight is in honour of the IGP as a testimony of our affection and acceptance to the quality of service he has continued to render to this country and most especially Lagos State.
“I would like to say a big thank you for having that deep interest in Lagos and that you should never set your eyes off all the activities of Lagos.
“We believe strongly that if Lagos is peaceful, here would be life in other parts of the country. I believe the task ahead is greater than the things that you have achieved in just a few months that you have been there and I believe you would make your own mark just like your predecessors,” the Governor said.
Earlier, IGP Ibrahim Idris said that despite the cosmopolitan nature of the State that makes policing difficult, officers posted to Lagos were enjoying the very best in terms of equipment and welfare.
He said the visit afforded him the opportunity to learn more strategies adopted by the State Government in the business of securing lives and property.
“Like I said, Lagos has been a sort of pace setting State for us, it has given some areas that we are tapping from.
“What I want to say is that possibly by the time we want to implement the Security Trust Fund, we are still going to tap from one of the Lagosians here, a retired Inspector General, for us to gain from his wisdom in that area,” he said.
The IGP said he was highly honoured by the reception given to him since he arrived, saying that the hospitality of Lagosians was second to none.
“I have been overwhelmed since I came to this State. I doubt if there is any other State that has this kind of hospitality that we have seen since yesterday (Thursday). Honestly, I am overwhelmed and I appreciate all the attention that we have received both from the royal fathers and from your office.
“Virtually everybody in Lagos is very enterprising, you can feel the friendliness in the atmosphere, I want to thank all of you for the support you have given our police force and obviously for the support you are giving our officers on the ground,” the IGP said.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday sought a no objection letter from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the State Government’s Embedded Power Programme.
Governor Ambode, who led some members of the State Executive Council, lawmakers and other critical stakeholders to a meeting at the NERC’s headquarters in Abuja, said the embedded power project was designed as his administration’s flagship programme for direct intervention in the power value chain towards achieving a 24-hour power for Lagos.
He said the proposed power programme would generate up to 3,000MW of power through accelerated deployment of various power plants in strategic locations across the State by private sector power providers within three to six years.
He noted that Nigerians’ aspiration to create a secured and prosperous nation that is globally competitive will be difficult to achieve without stable power supply.
Governor Ambode posited that while efforts are ongoing to resolve the power crisis, it had become increasingly clear that the problems in the energy sector could no longer be left to the Federal Government alone to solve.
“Embedded power was designed as our flagship programme for direct intervention in the power value chain towards achieving a 24-hour power for Lagos. Lagos State has always demonstrated its capacity and willingness to play a leading role in resolving the power sector challenges in the state, subject to the limit of the federal authority allowed regulations.
“Having succeeded in powering government facilities, the next level of intervention for our government is to collaborate with other stakeholders in the power sector to design and implement a roadmap for uninterrupted power supply to homes and businesses in Lagos State.
“The draft of the Lagos State Embedded Power Bill was finalised in May 2017 and submitted to the National Electricity Regulatory Commission for clearance before same can be forwarded to the State House of Assembly.
“The stakeholders meeting holding today is a continuation of the ongoing engagement between NERC and the Lagos State Government on the Lagos State Embedded Power Programme.
“We are convinced that the offer by our government to deploy the state’s balance sheet in support of power generation, transmission, distribution, gas supply, metering, collection and enforcement in Lagos State will significantly relieve the national grid and free more energy for distribution to other parts of Nigeria.
“The proposed power programme will generate up to 3,000MW of power through accelerated deployment of various power plants in strategic locations across the state by private sector power providers within three to six years.”
He said the State Government would issue guarantees in support of the Power Purchase Agreements that will be signed between the distribution companies and the private sector embedded power providers to enhance bankability of the projects.
He added that the power generated under the programme will be distributed through the networks of Eko and Ikeja Distribution Companies while the state would support the distribution companies in upgrading their distribution infrastructure for embedded power areas in line with NERC guidelines.
“The State Government will support the distribution companies in installation of smart prepaid meters in the areas where embedded power is deployed. We will institute a cost-reflective tariff regime that is fair to all stakeholders, sustainable and capable of attracting private capital to the sector on a continuous basis.
“Other areas of collaboration include support for revenue collection, legislation and establishment of an agency for enforcement of power theft laws in Lagos.
“Our prayer today is to seek the commission’s no objection letter for the Lagos State Embedded Power Programme, based on cost reflective tariff regime that is fair to all parties and capable of unlocking private sector investments into the power sector on a sustainable basis,â€ the Governor said.
Responding, the NERC’s Commissioner in charge of Legal License and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, who stood in for the Commission’s Vice Chairman, promised that the NERC would work with the Lagos State Government to ensure the success of the programme.
“Within the ambit of the law and existing regulations, you have our unflinching support in this project.
“So in response to what you said in your prayers to us, Your Excellency, I reaffirm the support of NERC towards this project. Our commitment is to create a viable electricity industry that works for Nigeria and Nigerians
“As the laws and regulations permit us, we will work with you on this project to ensure that it does see the light of the day,” Akpaneye promised.
Akpeneye however called the Governor’s attention to some safety issues that concern the state.
He spoke about the right of way, standards and designs, electricity theft as well as customers’ enumeration.
He noted that a situation where the Commission’s record indicates that there are only 1.2million registered electricity customers in Lagos State is not tidy enough when almost all the houses in the state are connected to national grid.
Representatives of both Eko and Ikeja Distribution Companies at the meeting declared their support for the project, saying that it would be detrimental to the progress of Nigeria if they opposed it.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday requested for two additional Police Area Commands, saying that it would go a long way in tackling the nefarious activities of criminally minded persons once and for all.
Governor Ambode, who made the request when the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said the additional Area Commands, if granted, would be set up in Ikorodu and Badagry, assuring that the State Government was ready to provide the funds to set up the Commands.
Funding is key to security, but security also is fundamental to the growth of Lagos and the prosperity of Lagos, so we are ready and we are committed to support all our security agencies, the Navy, the Police to make sure that we have a safe city where we can be investor friendly and also grow the economy of Nigeria.
“I am ready to fund additional area commands in Lagos, so I am requesting that we should do two additional commands in Lagos, one in Ikorodu and another one in Badagry. There is a need for us to pay more attention to the Ikorodu axis because of the kind of reports that we are getting from there,” the Governor said.
Alluding to the multi-billion dollar investments coming up in the Lekki corridor and the need to secure the area, the Governor also requested that the Mobile Police Command in Ibeju Lekki be relocated to Epe.
“We already have some kind of Command in Ibeju Lekki which is the Mobile Police, but I also request that because of the kind of economic activities that is coming up in the Lekki Free Trade Zone and the road expansion that we are doing in the Epe axis, we would like to request that the Mobile Command should be relocated to Epe itself,” he said.
Governor Ambode, while thanking the IGP and the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for their interventions in securing the release of the six kidnapped Igbonla Model College students, said the incident clearly showed the need to beef up security in the riverine borders between Ondo, Ogun and Lagos States.
He said the South West Governor’s Forum in a recent meeting had resolved to set up a Joint Task Force on security to stop criminals using the waterways as an escape route, just as he sought the support of the IGP towards ensuring the success of the initiative.
While pledging the commitment of the State Government to provide additional gun boats and equipment to safeguard the waterways, Governor Ambode also revealed that his administration has already concluded plans to procure a surveillance aircraft with the capacity to deal with all forms of crimes on the waterways, assuring that the Government would spare nothing to ensure that the State remains safe and secured for residents and investors.
“In addition to that, we commit ourselves also to provide additional Hilux vehicles and personnel also so that with the joint task force, we can actually clean up our waterways. I’ll like to also let you know that we are also in the process of procuring a surveillance aircraft that can actually deal with issues that relate to our waterways.
“I am in total agreement with the IGP that there is a need for us to create a marine post along our waterways which you are already looking at, we must create some kind of outpost between Ondo, Ogun and Lagos so that these criminals cannot come into Lagos. The peace of Lagosians is of paramount to us so that we can checkmate them before they enter into Lagos we are also ready to fund that and then make sure that we train all our personnel and then seek the support of the Navy.
“All these that I have requested, I know that it comes with additional personnel and it comes with additional financing, but I give my commitment; the safety of citizens of Lagos is paramount to me and I am ready to fund it,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor also commended the IGP for his efforts in improving security across the country, especially in Lagos, noting that since he came on board, security in the State has greatly improved.
Earlier, IGP Idris Ibrahim commended the Governor for his tremendous support to the Police Command in the State especially in providing equipment and welfare for officers, saying that Lagos was leading the way in matters pertaining to security, especially through its innovative Security Trust Fund which had become a national model.
“Lagos has been a pacesetter in various areas. You have been very dynamic. First you are the first government to introduce the Security Trust Fund and this is a concept we are trying to introduce nationally. We have the Police Trust Fund bill before the National Assembly, a public hearing has been heard on this bill and we believe it will be one of those instruments to change the face of policing in Nigeria,” Ibrahim said.
He said the Police was working out modalities to enhance their activities in the State especially in the coastal areas, saying that about 10 additional gun boats would be procured, while the Nigeria Police Marine would be enhanced to man the boats along the waterways.
“I believe with these enhancements and with the capacity to provide these gun boats, the Nigeria Police Force will effectively check these criminal activities and ensure security in Lagos and other areas,” the IGP said.
On the request of the Governor to set up two additional Police Area Commands, the IGP said the plan was already ongoing to increase Area Commands across the country to improve security surveillance and adequately address crime.