LASG Woos Investors To Undertake Okokomaiko-Seme Border Road Project 

LASG Woos Investors To Undertake Okokomaiko-Seme Border Road Project 

…Says Work Ongoing To Give Lagosians 24/7 Power Supply By 2018

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has expressed the readiness of the State Government to partner with any investor willing to key into his administration’s massive infrastructural renewal drive in critical sectors, saying such would be a win-win situation for the overall benefit of the people.

Speaking recently at an interactive session with members of the business community and informal sector, the Governor said public private partnership was critical to accelerate development, and that the government is open to collaborate with interested investors.

For instance, Governor Ambode said the State Government would be willing to partner with any investor interested in taking up the second phase of the Mile 2 to Seme Border ten-lane road project.

He said: “At the moment, work is already ongoing from Eric More to Okokomaiko but we are willing to partner with any investor interested in taking up the construction of the second phase which is ten-lane road from Okokomaiko to Seme Border.

“If we are able to achieve that, it will open up and transform the western axis, especially Badagry forever, and the project will also complement the massive projects being undertaken in the axis,” the Governor said.

Besides, Governor Ambode said plans were already at advanced stages to bring about constant power supply to all homes and businesses in the State by the end of 2018.

He said though the political geography of the country was affecting the visionary strategy to solve the power challenges being essentially in the control of the Federal Government, but the State Government had devised policies and strategies to short-circuit power generation, transmission and distribution to ensure constant power supply to the people of the State.

Likewise, the Governor said the State Government is also in talks with electricity distribution companies operating in the State to see possibility of supplying 24/7 power to residents at a bit higher tariff than what currently obtains subject to agreement of all stakeholders, while government would be the guarantor of the people.

The Governor also revealed that the legal framework to prevent power theft and also legitimize the concept of power generation had already been sent to the State House of Assembly for approval.

He said: “Presently, we have less than 1,000MW in Lagos and the fundamental issues remain with generation, transmission and then distribution. Who is transmitting? It is still owned primary by the Federal Government but in Lagos State, we have become creative and we have done Independent Power Project (IPP) before through which we were able to generate 47.5MW which was distributed short-circuiting transmission.

“So, if it works, does it look like a template we can now use to get power freedom or what we call power security? If we say we are the fifth largest economy in Africa and we are not in control of how power is generated in an economy that wants to move from fifth to third, then something is wrong. So, what we are saying is let’s find a way to short-circuit them within the ambit of the law.

“If the law allows you to have independent power and going through the regulatory commission then you are smart enough to do that. The only thing we have done is to get permission from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to create clusters of embedded power in our State and if we are able to do it, we become a test case for the rest of the economy.”

On the collaboration with electricity distribution companies, Governor Ambode said the State Government was willing to stand as the guarantor for the people to get 24/7 power supply.

“The idea is that look can we have a mid-point on how to get 24/7 power? The generator that people are using is extremely expensive and what we are saying is that can we work with all these stakeholders and push the tariff for example from N20 to maybe N40 but guarantee the people of 24/7 power? So, if I am able to do that and I get the confidence, I will just stand on behalf of Lagosians to say that the new tariff as agreed by all of us, if we can provide it for the people 24/7, they are likely to pay. In case they don’t pay, I get financially exposed. That is what we are trying to do; we become the guarantor on behalf of Lagosians and then if all those things work out, by this time next year, people will have constant power supply. As a government, we are strongly committed to power freedom; we want to free ourselves from darkness and we want to open up the sector for more investors,” he said.

Seamless Port Operations Critical To End Apapa Gridlock

Seamless Port Operations Critical To End Apapa Gridlock

…Says Oshodi Transport Interchange, Airport Road’ll Positively Transform City

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday identified seamless port operations as a condition that will enable permanent resolution of the Apapa gridlock.

Speaking at the second edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged ‘A+ Meets Business’, a forum organized by the State Government to interact with members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as well as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, held at Lagos House in Ikeja, the Governor said while the move to repair the major roads in Apapa was laudable, concerted efforts must equally be put in place to address the issues that gave rise to the crisis which were more about port management.

While responding to concerns raised by the business community on the negative effects the chaotic situation in Apapa was having on their business, the Governor said call-up system for tankers and containerized trucks must be structured to eliminate the present chaos, while issuance of licenses for more tank farms in the axis must be put on hold.
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He said: “Beyond the roads, the fundamental issues have more to do about the concession and also the fact that the basic capacities of the Ports not meeting what is presently going on there and then maybe in the loading bay inside the ports you only have capacity to accommodate maybe about 50 trucks and then there is no organised exit and entrance system.

“So, someone who does not have any permit drives all the way from other states without any focus and then pack on the bridge; he does not even have any business inside the ports, the ports maybe can only take 50 trucks and then you have almost like 500 trucks so everything is just totally disorganized and because Lagos is a sub-national, there are limitations of political power play and the conflict of personalities and so those things affect your organizational drive. So, sometimes, Governors sometimes get frustrated and out of frustration you keep quiet.

“The truth is that those issues are more germane than the roads. So, if Akin Ambode goes and repair the roads but the planning process and logistics to enter the ports are not in my hand and should I now go to the long bridge at the toll gate and stop those trucks, they will say I am being sectional and so I must allow free movement as a cosmopolitan state and so people come in and go out and we are just in a fix.
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“So, on other part of repairing the roads, the Federal Government has taken charge but one thing is to say what you want to do, the other thing is to quickly go and do it and so in the process of planning, speaking and delivery, it could take years but within our own limit as a State Government, we have set up a Joint Task Force of all the security agencies to ensure that at least there is still free movement within the structured chaos that we have in Apapa,” he said.

While expressing optimism that the intervention of Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo would go a long way in addressing the crisis, the Governor also condemned the recent granting of approval for another tank farm to be situated in Apapa, saying such would only aggravate the chaotic situation already on hand.

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On international trade fair complex, the Governor said while awaiting the process to issue out another concession by the Federal Government and development which may take years, the State Government, in the medium term, would look into the possibility of getting an investor to build a large convention/exhibition centre in the State.

Speaking on the Oshodi Transport Interchange and Airport Road currently under construction, Governor Ambode said the projects were conceived and being implemented to create massive jobs for the people, and also transform the face of Lagos forever.

He said in a bid to scale up infrastructure, a summit on Infrastructure Financing would hold early next year, while the State Government is also willing and ready to partner with any investor interested in investing in provision of critical infrastructures.

On efforts made so far to enhance the ease of doing business, the Governor said an industrial park had been approved for location in Imota, while another industrial development centre was approved, aside the fact that over N10billion had been released to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (ETF) to grant loans to members of the informal sector.

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He said the State Government also approved business clinic for the Micro and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), while the Public Private Partnership Office had also been reactivated, in addition to harmonization of inspection of work places.

Earlier, President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Nike Akande; Chairman, Ikeja Branch of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Otunba Francis Meshioye; and Chairman, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Lagos State Chapter, Dr Solomon Aderoju commended Governor Ambode for the various laudable initiatives such as massive infrastructural renewal, rail infrastructure, investment in security, traffic management, power sector development, Light Up Lagos project, the N25billion ETF, among others, saying the projects were important enablers to the private sector.

They also commended the Governor for addressing all the complaints raised by them at the last year edition of the meeting.

 

Apapa Gridlock: LASG Reconstitutes Joint Security Task Force To Ensure Sanity

Apapa Gridlock: LASG Reconstitutes Joint Security Task Force To Ensure Sanity

Orders Police, Other Security Agencies To Strictly Enforce Traffic Law, Okada Ban
…Restates Ban On Industrial Fireworks, Assures Residents Of Peaceful Yuletide Celebration

The Lagos State Government has reconstituted the Joint Security Task Force established to tackle Apapa gridlock and other security threats within the axis brought about by the blockade of major roads in the area by tankers and containerized trucks.

The Apapa gridlock, in the past few weeks, had worsened due to breakdown of operations at the ports located in the axis.

Rising from the monthly Security Council meeting held at the Lagos House in Ikeja chaired by the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and attended by heads of security formations in the State, the State Government said the Task Force comprising of police, military, officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) would immediately be deployed to the axis to ensure sanity and contain any potential security threat.

While briefing Government House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal said while the issues that gave rise to the gridlock were being addressed, the Task Force would ensure that the roads in the axis were not totally locked down, and also prevent criminal elements from taking advantage of the gridlock to perpetrate their nefarious activities.

Edgal, who addressed the briefing alongside commanders of security formations in the State, said: “We deliberated extensively on the Apapa gridlock and the Governor has approved with immediate effect the reconstitution of a Joint Task Force made up of police, the military, LASTMA and FRSC officials to ensure that whilst the major problems that gave rise to that situation in the first instance are being tackled, we on our part as security agencies, will ensure that we have a good semblance of decency on our roads.

“We will ensure that we create a corridor for smaller vehicles and ensure that there is no complete blockade to free flow of traffic. We will also have plain cloth and uniformed security agencies ensuring that there is no crime in the axis due to the traffic gridlock.”

The CP, who assured residents that every necessary arrangement had been made to ensure peaceful yuletide season, said the Council also approved increased visibility and patrol in all parts of the State, especially in areas there are traffic gridlock as a result of construction activities.

Already, Edgal said due to increased patrol, about 35 notorious traffic robbers were recently arrested in Ilupeju and Oshodi axis, many of whom he said are ex-convicts and would soon be charged to court at the end of investigation.

He added that as a result of the community policing and community safety partnership strategy adopted by the Lagos Police Command, there had been about 35 per cent drop in issues of residential robberies, while more boats had been handed over to Marine Police by the State Government to secure the waterways and riverine areas especially to checkmate incursions by militants and secure schools in such areas, in addition to the Tactic Guards already formed.

Speaking on ongoing clampdown on commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada on restricted routes, Edgal said security agencies in the State have been given marching orders to strictly enforce the traffic law, and that no lawlessly or breakdown of law and order would be condoned.

He particularly admonished motorists and transport unions to impress it on their members to obey traffic laws, just as he said Okada riders must not only refrain from restricted routes, but also use helmets both for rider and passenger and not carry more than one person at a time, among other rules of engagement.

“We have the Lagos State Traffic Law and it is our responsibility to enforce the law. Motorists, motorcyclists and other form of road users must obey the law. Our men have been mandated to enforce all aspects of the law not only prohibition along some routes but also those aspects that have to do with safety. We don’t want officers and men to be challenged unduly when they are enforcing the law and I want to use this opportunity to call on the unions, especially the Okada unions to call their members to cooperate with the police. They should not form themselves into pressure and riotous groups to challenge the police and other security agencies,” Edgal said.

He said aside the security measures already put in place for residents and visitors to experience a peaceful yuletide season, any resident who sell, distribute or use industrial fireworks would be arrested and charged to court, saying that the ban on such is still very much in force.

Besides, Edgal thanked Lagosians for their cooperation with security agencies so far and urged people to continue to volunteer useful information that would help arrest potential security threat.

 

Governor Ambode Commissions Multiple Layby, Slip Road In Ketu

Governor Ambode Commissions Multiple Layby, Slip Road In Ketu

…To Inject 800 New BRT Buses In Two Months, 5,000 In 24 Months

…Launches E-Ticketing, Intelligence Transport System

As part of measures to find a lasting solution to the perennial traffic gridlock along Ikorodu Road, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commissioned multiple Layby and Slip Road in Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area of the State.

Governor Ambode, who also launched the Intelligence Transport System (ITS), the e-ticketing for commuters using the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the Ojota BRT Depot and the new complex for the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority known as LAMATA Place, said the initiatives were critical components of the ground plan to scale up the integrated transport management system.

Speaking while commissioning the slip road and multiple lay-by in Ketu, the Governor said the project was a significant milestone in drastically reducing the traffic along the corridor, adding that its completion would no doubt impact directly on travel time as the targeted reduction of traffic along the length of the Third Mainland Bridge to the entire stretch of the axis, moving towards Old Toll Gate and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would be accomplished.

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“This project is one of the major interventions in recent time by this administration. There is the multiple lay-by at Oworonshoki, the car wash Layby, slip road at Olopomeji, the several see through fence and the recently launched lay-by at Alapere bus stop.

“Without doubt, this administration has dedicated considerable resources to the fulfillment of its initiatives of providing basic elements or roads and transport infrastructure. This obviously is in tandem with the fact that the importance of transportation tom our economy cannot be over emphasized,” he said.

The Governor said as part of the Bus Reform Initiative (BRI), additional new 800 buses would be provided in the next two months, while a total of 5,000 would be provided within 24 months.

He said another multiple lay-by and slip road with car park and market with big stores would be constructed in Ikosi Isheri, while 27,500 sanitation workers employed in line with the Cleaner Lagos Initiative designed to make all parts of the State clean, would commence work in the next three weeks.

He, however, urged residents to cooperate with government, especially by not plying commercial motorcycle, popularly known as Okada in restricted routes, saying such was why the government was providing enough buses.

Speaking at Ojota while launching the e-ticketing and ITS, Governor Ambode said the move was another initiative geared to allow proper transport planning, saying that the technology had been designed to indicate where each bus is; how the driver is behaving; the arrival time of a bus and space inside, among others.

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Giving details, the Governor said: “When you look at the city generally, I get so unhappy when I see people standing in the bus stops not knowing when the next bus will arrive. The ITS is designed to solve such problem and our people can become more productive and then more comfortable in the way they commute across the city.

“We are starting this from the Ikorodu axis to CMS on the BRT lane and then we will scale it up as we get our new buses in few months away from here. In addition to that, the e-ticketing allows you to plan your little disposable income. So, if you are going to budget just N500 for transport in a week, the e-ticketing allows you rather than not being able to plan your transport movement.

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“The truth is this, there are more Lagosians using buses; there are more Lagosians walking on the road than those of us that have cars and so we need to take proper care of them and that is the step we are taking here and the reforms we are doing in the transport sector ultimately to create an integrated transport management system in the city combining water, road, rail, air and those walking.”

Responding on behalf of the community, Oba of Ketu, HRM Isiaka Balogun commended Governor Ambode for the massive infrastructural projects effected in the axis so far, saying they were unprecedented.

He said it was also gratifying that the present administration was developing all parts of the State simultaneously, just as he made allusion to several projects such as the 141 and 181 inner roads, among others.