Lagos Flags Off Reconstruction Of 10-Lane Oshodi-Int’l Airport Road

Lagos Flags Off Reconstruction Of 10-Lane Oshodi-Int’l Airport Road

The Lagos State Government on Monday flagged off the reconstruction of the Oshodi-International Airport Road, with a pledge to complete the project within the next fifteen months.

The State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode had last month at the quarterly Town Hall Meeting held in Badore area of Ajah, announced that the reconstruction of the road, which is a major gateway to the country, would commence in September, and that the construction would facilitate the transformation of the road to a world class standard.

Specifically, the design of the project include the reconstruction and expansion of the existing carriage to three-lane Expressway on both directions, construction of two-lane Service Road in both directions, construction of Ramp Bridge to provide a U-turn from Ajao Estate to Airport, construction of a flyover at NAHCO/Toll Gate and drainage works.

Others include the removal of existing Pedestrian Bridge at Ajao Estate and construction of Pedestrian Bridges at Ajao Estate and NAHCO/Hajj Camp, construction of Slip Road to provide access to Ajao Estate, construction of Lay-bys and installation of Street Lights, among others.

Speaking while flagging off the project, the State’s Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr Adebowale Akinsanya said the commencement of the project was in line with the commitment of the present administration to transform the entire axis, being the major gateway to the country’s commercial nerve centre.

He said the State Government took it upon itself to undertake the reconstruction of the road being one of the busiest roads in the State with vehicular volumes averaging 50,000 vehicles daily, and that its poor state was not acceptable for the status of the State as the fifth largest economy in Africa and the nation’s commercial hub.

He said some of the fences along the corridor have been identified to be within the right of way, but that government would minimize the impact of the project on property owners.

He said in order to properly carry along people of the area, a stakeholders’ meeting will hold on Thursday to sensitize the people whereby they will have an opportunity to ask the necessary questions.

He said to fast-track the project, three group of workers will work on the project and they would work day and night, while upon completion, the project will be linked to the Oworonshoki reclamation project, which is also ongoing and is aimed at transforming the corridor to a major entertainment and tourism hub.

The Commissioner, however, urged residents and motorists to cooperate with government while the construction will last, saying that the intention was to transform the area.

“There will be some minor inconveniences but we are going to try to mitigate the impact. The work will be accelerated. The project is to make life easier for everybody. We just want to appeal to people to cooperate with us. We will be here to talk to the people in case of any issue and we are also working with our partner, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN),” the Commissioner said.

Also speaking, Managing Director of Planet Projects, the firm that designed the project, Mr. Biodun Otunola said prior to the commencement of the construction, adequate feasibility studies were carried out, and that the project, upon completion, would facilitate total transformation of Oshodi and International Airport corridor.

He said in as much as there would not be alternative roads created specifically for the project, adequate measures have been put in place to educate the public on the staging that would be developed, saying that the project would be executed in phases, while motorists will make use of other sections of the road during construction work on a particular section.

Otunola, whose company is also handling the construction of the Oshodi Transport Interchange, said by the time the road project and the interchange are completed, the whole axis would have been transformed to world class standard.

“The desire of the State Government under Governor Ambode is to ensure that this whole corridor is turned into an international corridor so that investors and the people can be proud that we have an international gateway that we all can be proud of.

“We are not just building roads, we are thinking of the transportation implication and so there is a bus reform project that is ongoing and every part of Lagos will be connected by bus and that is why this road project will be linked to the Oshodi interchange. So, there will be about 20 lay-bys, bus terminals and so on which are all flowing from the same Master plan for this area,” he said.

My Random Thoughts: On Lagos, and Accelerating Development Across Nigeria

My Random Thoughts: On Lagos, and Accelerating Development Across Nigeria

I am sharing my thoughts in this article, not necessarily as the governor of Lagos State but as a Nigerian; a Nigerian who wants to see progress and sustainable growth in our country.

I am lucky to be administering a State that has been put on the right track by my two predecessors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). I do not think I have done anything special except to bring to this my own style of leadership, my own experience and my vision.

Lagos, as it is, has not reached its peak but we can see signs of progress and positive transition to the Lagos of our dreams. What bothers me personally is that I do not see the same level of progress elsewhere in the country. I am not happy that most states in our country are not advancing like Lagos is. It will be unfair of me to think that because Lagos is functioning, then I can go to bed and assume all is well. If only one man is prospering in a village, then it is not progress. Rather, that man is in danger.

According to the statistics released by the United Nations, by 2050, Nigeria is projected to have the third largest population in the world, with two-thirds of the population today below the age of 35. What are we doing today about this? What are we planning to feed them with? How are we going to provide them with jobs, housing and infrastructure? How are we planning to make the country self-sufficient and self-reliant for the future?

One of the key instruments to the permanent prosperity of Nigeria lies in the hands of the 109 senators and 360 representatives in the National Assembly. I just want to plead that we should be open-minded and forward-thinking; we should think about the teeming millions of youth, from Kano to Ibadan, Zungeru to Warri, Jalingo to Yobe, Umuahia to Calabar, and then back to Lagos. We must give serious consideration to what we intend to bequeath to them.

In my opinion, the prosperity of this nation lies with the states. We need to get the states and regions working again and the only way we can unleash the potential of the state is for our representatives at the National Assembly to help their individual states take the next step and move to the next level. In the past, there used to be positive rivalry and competition among the regions prior to the entrance of the military into the national governance. The military split the nation into states and moved the control of all the resources to the centre for their own administrative convenience. Now that we have experienced democracy, I think it is time for us to sit back and think, for the sake of those who are older than us and for the sake of our children, and even those yet to be born.

We need to raise our voice in support of the demand for devolution of power to states and fiscal federalism, especially the review of the current revenue sharing formula. These, in my view, are fundamental and critical to creating an enabling environment that will accelerate development in all parts of the country. The ongoing process towards the review of the 1999 Constitution presents a golden opportunity for us to redress all the aberrations created by the interjection of the military that have stunted growth and inhibited the capacity of states to harness the huge potentials of our nation.

Even with the kind of resources we have in Lagos, it is very clear that there is a huge infrastructural deficit in the State. In addition, the resources are not so huge as to make Lagos globally competitive and deliver the social infrastructure we all crave. So where will the money to drive the Lagos of our dreams come from?

The economy is not doing as well as we want it to. We cannot tax the people any more than we are doing presently, but we have to become more efficient in tax collection because that is the major source of revenue with which we can protect the future, as well as improve the welfare and well-being of all Lagosians.

This takes me to the kind of reforms that we have embarked upon in the last two years. We made security a priority. Our goal has always been to deliver a clean, safe and prosperous Lagos. I want to use this platform to thank the private sector and the corporate Lagos who have been wonderful and have been silently supporting us in the provision of security equipment and infrastructure to our security agencies. Because of them we have been able to improve the performance of our security agencies but we will not take them for granted.

On Cleaner Lagos Initiative. In the last two years, we have found out that Lagos generates one of the highest waste in the world. At the last count, documented waste in Lagos was estimated at 13,000 tonnes per day. Considering undocumented statistics, we can add an additional 4,000 tonnes per day to that figure.

Now, if we want to be revolutionary, if we want to be globally competitive, if we want to deliver on the promise that I made to accomplish a clean, safe, and prosperous Lagos, we cannot use the same template that has been in use from the past. Cleaning Lagos and keeping the environment clean has nothing to do with environmental sanitation and putting your economic productivity at a standstill for three hours every month. That will not clean Lagos.

Cleaning Lagos means we should give Lagosians scientifically treated land fill sites, transfer loading stations, functional dyno-bins, functional compactors, brand new materials and also be able to employ more people. That is why I extended my hand to the private sector for a partnership that will lead to the introduction of 500 brand new compactors, employ more than 27,000 street sweepers across the various wards in Lagos and create 200,000 indirect jobs. And we are commencing this in another few weeks.

I fully appreciate the concerns of the people who have been cleaning Lagos in the past years. I do not take them for granted, neither am I going to ignore them. The new model is a win-win for all of us; I have offered them a 100 percent income from the commercial enterprise, so that our private sector participants (PSPs) can gain capacity and also get more capital to do more work. There are over 5,000 companies in Lagos – enough to go around all the PSP operators, with a minimum of 15 companies to each PSP. The government can support them to make their contract with those companies bankable.

So, while we are using the Cleaner Lagos Initiative to clean private residences and domestic refuse, our original PSP operators are compensated by dealing with companies and getting 100 percent revenues with just one percent administrative charges to Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). In the past, LAWMA collected 40 percent in charges. This reform is a product of deep thought and serious human consideration for the environment and all stakeholders. We promise Lagosians that effective from September – within six months – they will see the difference. All they need to do to help us achieve this goal is to cooperate with the government and pay the annual public utility levy in accordance with the law. This is what will fund the project. Our bins will be cleared systematically on a daily basis. The same way the refuse on Adeola Odeku is cleared is the same way refuse in Badagry, Ayobo, Agege and other parts of Lagos will be cleared.

In the transport sector, we have decided that to integrate our rail, road and water transportation systems, it will take time; but I believe in the philosophy of Think It, Plan It and then Act It. Sometimes, people can be impatient and say we are not responsive, but the issue is that when you run a government, you cannot run a reactionary government. We are running a responsive government which is one of the tenets of good governance. We must and are expected to think through all our policies properly and to the end before planning and executing. The difference between the thinking time, planning time, the execution time and the action time demanded by the populace is what makes people cry out.

There are a lot of things coming up under the bus reforms initiative. We are introducing new bus terminals; there are already new terminals at Tafawa Balewa Square and in Ikeja. We are constructing more in Yaba, Oyingbo, Mile 2, Ojodu Berger, Ogba and Agege. All these things will be in place before our new buses come in February 2018.

We are doing a lot on water transportation also. We want to make sure that everyone is able to move from one place to another.

Like the transport sector, we are doing new things in the health sector. We do not have enough General and Specialist hospitals. From Lekki to Epe, there is no General Hospital along that axis and we need to do something about it. More Specialist Hospitals are coming up but the government cannot do it alone. My take is that the private sector needs to come on board. The private sector is at the front burner of what we are doing and we have a management team made up of experts from the private sector. We welcome ideas and projects that can bring value to the majority of Lagosians. We believe strongly that value is driven by its impact on humanity and that is what all our story is all about.

We love the criticism that Lagos is the second least livable city. It is a challenge to us and we are working on disproving the fasle basis of this ranking, but people forget that the major considerations for this classification are terrorism and crime, which I believe we do not have in Lagos. I am passionate about Lagos. But I will not compare Lagos with Melbourne. What is important is that we are making some giant strides, positively affecting the lives of our people and even receiving accolades for what we have been doing. There is still a lot more to come and in another one year, I believe that people will see that Lagos has taken proper shape. I am a good listener and I appreciate objective criticism. I read and listen even though I often do not respond.

Lagos is the most thriving cosmopolitan city right now in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our goal is to expand capital expenditure such that in another two to three years, Lagos State will become the third largest economy in Africa.

These are just some of my random thoughts…

FG Hands Over Presidential Lodge, Marina To LASG

FG Hands Over Presidential Lodge, Marina To LASG

…State Promises To Preserve Architectural Finesse, Beauty

The Federal Government on Thursday handed over the Presidential Lodge, Marina to the Lagos State Government in fulfillment of the promise of President Muhammadu Buhari to entrust the edifice to the State for tourism development.

In a brief but impressive ceremony held at the main conference room of the Lodge, also known as State House, Marina, the Federal and Lagos State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding formally transferring ownership of the edifice to the State Government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello who led the State officials including members of the State Executive Council, promised that the State Government would not compromise its structural integrity while preserving the architectural finesse and beauty.

Bello said the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would ensure the edifice becomes a tourist destination.

He stressed that the edifice will become one which residents of Lagos and Nigerians in general would not only be proud of but which compares to similar ones in distant locations, assuring Lagosians that the State will put the edifice to the best and most judicious use.

He added that the State Government would ensure that it is perfectly transformed without compromising its structural integrity and preserving its architectural finesse and beauty.

“The successful handover of the structure represents one of the landmarks of the City of Lagos and an eloquent testimony to the new dawn of politics of tolerance and inclusiveness which the All Progressives Congress (APC) has brought to the Nigerian landscape”, Bello said.

The SSG, on behalf of the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the Government and people of the State, expressed deepest appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his statesman-like gesture in the approval of the release of the edifice to the Lagos State Government.

He also applauded the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for ensuring that the handover process became realizable  and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for his untiring assistance to ensure the success of the transfer.

“The list of appreciation will be incomplete without mentioning the Permanent Secretary in the State House, Abuja, Mr Jalal Arabi with whom I co-chaired the committee that midwifed the handover process for the painstaking job. Same goes for all the directors and top staffers in the Presidency with whom officials of the State Government worked. Mr Arabi and his team have been very supportive forthcoming and painstaking in the last couple of months since we commenced this exercise by ensuring that nothing is left out. We are indeed very grateful to you and your team”, he said.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, Mr. Jalal Arabi who described the occasion as a solemn one because of the emotional attachment that most of the staff have towards the complex, said they are happy it was a smooth transition process.

He said the several months of perfecting the transfer of the ownership was a family discussion which was devoid of any bitter feelings expressing delight that he and his team carried out the directives of Mr. President concerning the handover of the edifice and ensuring that all the equipments and properties were not removed.

He described President Muhammadu Buhari as a statesman who believes that his word should always be his bond, hence his insistence that his promise to the State Government must be kept.

The event featured a ceremonial handover of the keys to the building and the symbolic takeover by the State Government officials led by the SSG.

Also part of the Lagos State team are the Commissioners for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Seye Oladejo; Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal; Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon Lola Akande; Special Adviser on Tourism and Culture, Hon Adebimpe Akinsola; Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs Yewande Onabule and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Engineer Olujimi Hotonu.

Remarks Delivered At The Water Technology And Environmental Control (WATEC) Event

Remarks Delivered At The Water Technology And Environmental Control (WATEC) Event

It gives me a great pleasure to address this gathering on the theme of Water technology and Environmental Control. As you are all aware, access to and management of water resources, as well as environmental control, remains one of the greatest challenges facing most parts of the developing world.

There is hardly a better or more poignant time for a sensitization workshop, such as we are holding today, which looks into the issue of water management and environmental control.

For the past few days, the State, and indeed most parts of Nigeria, have witnessed torrential rainfalls which are quite unprecedented. We have witnessed our most prime estates flooded with water, we have seen our roads taken over by floods, and we have painfully watched how many homesteads have literally become pools.

These indeed are trying times for any government, especially our own administration which has determinedly pursued massive infrastructural development to improve standards of living of our citizenry.

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However, if we have leant anything in the on-going flooding of some parts of the State, it is that there is an immediate, even urgent need for us to embark upon a review and reengineering of our canals and drainage systems. This must be pursued hand-in-hand with a clear and crystal re-envisioning of our water management system. So, in effect, what we should immediately pursue is a holistic solution to what is certain to be a recurring problem. It must be a sincere collaboration between government and the citizenry.

Here then lies the importance of today’s gathering. Israel, which Lagos State has decided to partner with in developing water technology and environmental control, is one of the first countries to successfully overcome its limitations in water resources. Our intention is to explore a wide array of technological advancements and possibilities to ensure that we obtain the best solution to a rather nagging problem.

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WATEC is a regular conference hosted by Israel and it is our hope that as a State we will be present at the forthcoming WATEC conference in Israel later in the year to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies in the industry.

Ladies and gentlemen, the incidence of flooding is not circumscribed to our country alone, nor is it a peculiarity of the Third World. We may wish to recall that the United Kingdom was heavily flooded this year and, indeed, witnessed some of its worst flooding since records started in 1901.

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Japan, a country that is equally technologically savvy has also not been spared heavy flooding this year. No matter how well a society may be prepared, we can never rule out the element of the natural or if you like, the supernatural. This is why Lagos State, and indeed Nigeria fully subscribes to the tenets of Climate Change Solutions by the United Nations.

While all the aforementioned examples enjoin us to put our experience and pains into perspective, they also impress on us as a state and a government that we must learn from all these examples in order to better prepare for the future. To that extent, we will reinvigorate our campaign against the dumping of refuse by citizens into canals. We will be stronger in enforcing our physical planning laws especially those building illegally on canals and blocking the free flow of water across the state.

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No matter how much a government may try, if its citizens do not do their part, the efforts will amount to futility. If we desire a new-look Lagos that will be globally competitive, we as residents of Lagos must bear new attitude towards our civic obligations at all times.

I use this medium to call on all of you here today, as critical stakeholders in the water and environment sectors, to join hands with the government in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of water shortages and flooding in Lagos State.

I thank you for listening.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko loje wa logun

Akinwunmi Ambode,
Governor of Lagos State
July 10, 2017

Address Delivered At The Commissioning Of The Upgraded And Redesigned Land Registry In The Lands Bureau

Address Delivered At The Commissioning Of The Upgraded And Redesigned Land Registry In The Lands Bureau

Today, we have moved one step closer to the ideal situation in land administration and management in Lagos State. The issue of land administration has always been contentious and still remains contentious even after it was formalised under the Land Registry system almost Fifty years ago.

 

All over the world, land is a key economic resource. In Lagos State especially, land is very critical owing to its limited quantity vis-à-vis the demand for residential and commercial purposes.

When we assumed office, one of the major challenges negatively affecting the rating of our State was the bottleneck hampering the ease of doing business. A recurring point when the issue of doing business in our State was discussed is land administration.

 

In the last two years, we have embarked on a massive reform in land administration and management which has seen us deploy cutting-edge technology to drive efficiency in the Land Registry, Administration and Management System to enhance the ease of doing business in the State.

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I am happy to report that in the last two years, I have signed and issued 4,602 Certificates of Occupancy, 6,118 Governors Consent and 314 Deemed Grant Consent. The whole essence of the land reforms is to unleash private enterprise as land is a very vital asset with which our people can access capital and thereby increase economic activity in our State which will contribute to our growing Gross Domestic Product.

 

Our newly upgraded and redesigned Lands Registry is another initiative to improve the ease of doing business in Lagos. This new registry is equipped with a Thomson Reuters suite of technology modules designed to conduct rapid inventory of actual/existing land rights, automate and manage land records and ensure integration of geographic data/Survey. This solution also comes with online consummation of all levels of services rendered by the Lands Bureau.

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With this new registry, we will streamline the process of registering title and remove the bottlenecks previously associated with the process. The redesigned layout of the registry makes it more service friendly to all who have land transactions to process.

 

In addition to the new registry, we have introduced the concept of the Land Administration Campus by bringing all agencies and Ministries involved in Land Administration to one location to further ease the process of land registration and titling. With this, the Office of the State Surveyor General will move to this quadrangle and occupy the office of the Ministry of Environment.

 

The idea is to create a One Stop-Shop where the Office of the State Surveyor General, Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development and the Lands Bureau are located within the same complex. 

I am confident that with this new arrangement, the deployment of the new Integrated Land Administration and Automation System and the Geographical Information System, we will achieve a combined effect of making the process of securing land titles seamless and also engender the highest level of security and integrity of title documents.

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We shall continue to fine-tune the processes to meet changing times and ensure the process yields positive dividends for the benefit of all.

 

I want to use this opportunity to restate the commitment of our administration to stamp out land grabbing. We will arrest and prosecute any identified land grabber. We assure all investors of the safety of their property and urge you to take advantage of our task force on land grabbing if you encounter any challenges.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, our government is very deliberate and strategic. Our policy thrust is built on a Tripod of Security, Infrastructure and Job/Wealth Creation. We are working constantly to provide security for our residents and investors.

 

We have invested massively on infrastructure especially road infrastructure to open up areas, increase the value of land and give our people access to their properties. With the land administration reforms, entrepreneurs and individuals will now be able to register their titles faster and have access to capital. This will in turn create opportunities for job and wealth creation.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Lagos is open for business. There is no better time to be in Lagos than now and I urge you all to take full advantage of the reforms our government is putting in place to create prosperity for all.

 

I commend the staff and management of the Lands Bureau for a job well done. To all our stakeholders, I commend this new project to you all as we strive to improve on our ease of doing business in Lagos State.

 

Thank you.

 

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!!!

His Excellency,

Akinwunmi Ambode,

Governor of Lagos State,

Alausa.