Year 2018 Budget Presentation At The Chambers Of Lagos State House Of Assembly, Alausa

Year 2018 Budget Presentation At The Chambers Of Lagos State House Of Assembly, Alausa

The Year 2017 remains a significant year in the history of Lagos State as we celebrated our Golden Jubilee anniversary colourfully and successfully. The year provided an opportunity not only for celebration but also for significant progress in our drive to becoming a globally competitive economy.

I want to sincerely thank all Lagosians, our leaders, statesmen and citizens for their superlative support thus far, most especially our tax payers throughout Year 2017.

In the outgoing year, we changed the face of Lagos for good in spite of the economic, social and security challenges as our investment in critical infrastructure development paid off and are visible across the length and breadth of the State.

Although the Nigeria economy is still fragile and just coming out of recession, commitment to our people made us work harder to deliver results as we continue our reforms to ensure a safer and more prosperous Lagos. Today, we are proud to say that our collective efforts and transformations have contributed immensely to the improvement of Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Global Index on the ease of doing business.

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To get a clear picture of the economic challenges that have confronted our government, it is necessary to restate some important indicators. Crude oil prices have been dwindling from $US100.40 in 2014, $US 52.65 in 2015, $US43.81in 2016 to $US46.39 in 2017. Exchange rate increased from N156.44 in 2014 to N305.24 in 2017. The impact of this has been a sharp reduction in the inflow from the (Federal Government) Federation account and a huge increase in the cost of project delivery.

Despite this situation, our government has been able to initiate and deliver more high quality and high impact projects; more than ever before. We have achieved this using a mix of astute financial management and prudency; increasing our internally generated revenues, adequate allocation of resources across all sectors and an all-inclusive governance approach.

It is significant to note that our administration has not contracted any new external loan to fund our projects since assumption of office. We have only completed transactions which were already in place before we assumed office. This administration inherited external loans from various past administrations which make up 60% of all our loans. This figure is made up of some loans that have been running since 1989, about 30 years ago; and were contracted at an average of N80 to $US1. Today these loans are being repaid at an average rate of N305 to $US1 translating to 205% increase in the loan repayment rate.

The State has incurred huge exchange losses on its external loans this year, 2017. The exchange loss represent 35% of the State external loans stock due to exchange rate slump of the Naira from N197.50 to $1 to N305 to $1. This is one of the side effects of an economy in recession.

Irrespective of these losses, it will be inappropriate to say that Lagos State has a high debt burden when situated with the level of development and infrastructural growth enjoyed presently by the State. We are certain that the loans have continually been used for the wellbeing of all Lagosians.

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Despite the additional burden arising from devaluation of the Naira, our debt service ratio remains very strong on the back of our impressive revenue performance. The State’s net debt stock of N874.38bn represents just about 3% of the State GDP, while the Debt service charge to Revenue ratio stood at 15.61% compared to 13.32% in 2016 and 12.45% in 2015. I am proud to report to you that, today, your State remains financially strong and the most vibrant economy in the Nigerian landspace.

As part of the State’s commitment to fiscal sustainability we have continued to ensure that our deficit financing of capital projects remain within global benchmarks and our ratings internationally and locally have reflected our prudent management of public finance.

The Year 2017 Golden Jubilee budget of N812.998billion was approved and signed into Law on January, 9th 2017 to fulfill the expectations and priorities of our people. As at November 2017, the 11 month period Revenue performed at N448.396bn/76% compared to full year’s performances in 2016 of N449.609bn/83% and N399.382bn/82% for 2015.

Suffice it to say that the overall budget performance stood at 74% as at November 2017 and it is projected to close at 80% by the end of the year 2017.

The State average contribution to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2015-2017 remains strong at about 30%.

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Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, despite our modest achievements in 2017, there is still much work ahead and we must not relent in our efforts to give our people the best by way of continuous and efficient service delivery. Lagos has always been a trailblazer and we must consolidate on the economic gains made so far by initiating people-friendly programmes and projects that will attract more economic improvement in Y2018.

It is our resolve in Y2018 to strive and complete all on-going projects in order to meet their specified completion period and embark on new strategic projects. We intend to improve on our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the face of the dwindling accruable revenue allocation from the Federal Government, sustain our vision on wealth creation and poverty alleviation.

The proposed Y2018 budget christened ‘Budget of Progress and Development’ has a size of N1, 046,121,181,680 (N1, 046tn). The budget will be used to consolidate on infrastructure, education, transportation/traffic management, security and health with an added emphasis on mandatory capacity building for civil servants, all teachers in public secondary / primary schools, officers in the health service sector and women & youth empowerment alongside our Medium and Small/Micro Size Entrepreneurs (MSMSE’s).

The proposed budget amount represents an increase of 28.67% over Y2017 budget with the following key components:

Recurrent Expenditure                            – N347.039bn

Capital Expenditure                                – N699.082bn

Capital/Recurrent Ratio                              – 67:33

 

The estimate of total revenue for year 2018 is N897.423billion of which N720.123billion will be generated internally. A total of N148.699billion will be sourced through deficit financing within our medium term expenditure framework.

Our investment in new technology and the reforms put in place will galvanize the efficiency of our revenue collection from our citizens.

The highlights of sectoral allocation for Y2018 include;

S/N COFOG Y2018 Proposed Budget
Total
Allocation
%
Allocation
1 General Public Services 171,623,009,348 16.41
2 Public Order and Safety 46,612,667,911 4.46
3 Economic Affairs 473,866,339,451 45.30
4 Environmental Protection 54,582,814,610 5.22
5 Housing and Community Amenities 59,904,562,576 5.73
6 Health 92,676,040,222 8.86
7 Recreation, Culture and Religion 12,511,216,257 1.20
8 Education 126,302,213,428 12.07
9 Social Protection 8,042,317,877 0.77
  Total 1,046,121,181,680 100

 

In 2018, economic affairs will continue to dominate and get the largest allocation of the budget as there is a lot to be achieved in the coming year.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, it is our desire to maintain the tempo of continuous construction, rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of network of roads throughout the length and breadth of the State including those within the boundaries of Lagos and Ogun States.

With the favourable weather conditions prevailing now, this year’s Local Government Roads totaling 181 will be commenced as contractors will be mobilized immediately.

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We have made provisions for continuous gridlock resolution, junction improvement, construction of more laybys and advancement of signalization that will improve traffic congestion especially along the Lekki-Epe corridor.

Other key projects that we have provided for include:

  • The Agege Pen Cinema flyover,
  • Alternative routes through Oke-Ira in Eti-Osa to Epe-Lekki expressway,
  • The 8km regional road to serve as alternative route to connect Victoria Garden City (VGC) with Freedom Road in Lekki Phase I.
  • Completion of the on-going reconstruction of Oshodi International Airport Road into a 10-lane road
  • The BRT Lane from Oshodi to Abule-Egba

We will consolidate on the Lagos bus reform project with the introduction of high and medium capacity buses, construction and completion of bus depots at Oshodi, Anthony, Yaba and many more.

In the area of job creation, we will construct an ICT Focus Incubator Centre in Yaba while the development of Imota and Igbonla Light Industrial Park as well as the provision of additional small scale industrial estate at Shala will commence. The State Employment Trust Fund will disburse more funds to Lagosians to support business and stimulate the economy.

From feedback of Lagosians, more emphasis will be placed on the successes already recorded by the Employment Trust Fund to get more of our unemployed youths into gainful employment.

The process leading to the movement of Mile 12 market to Imota which commenced in Y2016 has reached an advanced stage and we will complete the infrastructure in the new location in good time to pave way for relocation next year.

We will vigorously pursue our planned direct intervention in the power value chain towards generating 3,000MW Embedded Power Programme; a 3-year plan to achieving 24/7 power supply for the State. The challenge of inadequate power supply must be resolved for our economy to perform optimally and we believe the provision of this essential utility can no longer be left in the hands of the Federal Government alone to solve. We must complement each other for the overall development of our nation.

We will continue to rekindle our efforts in the area of Tourism, Sports, Arts and Culture by ensuring that our objective of making the State the tourism, sporting and entertainment hub of our nation is conscientiously pursued. In order to achieve this we will focus on these projects:

  • Completion of the 5 new Art Theatres in Alimosho, Ikorodu, Badagry, Epe and Ikeja.
  • Establish a Heritage Centre at the former Federal Presidential State House recently handed over to our government
  • Build a world class museum between the fomer Presidential Lodge and the State House, Marina.
  • Fast-track construction of the proposed 4 new stadia in Igbogbo, Epe, Badagry and Ajeromi Ifelodun(Ajegunle).
  • Complete the on-going Epe and Badagry Marina projects that will turn both areas into world class destination for tourists and adventure seekers.

We are mindful of the housing needs of the citizens that is why we are poised on completing all on-going housing projects especially those at Gbagada, Igbogbo, Iponri, Igando, Omole Phase I, Sangotedo and Ajara-Badagry for delivery to our subscribers under the Rent-to-Own policy of this administration.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, this budget has something for everyone, young and old, man or woman, including the physically challenged in line with our vision of making Lagos work for all. We shall also make massive investments in the area of Healthcare, Health Insurance, Education, Food Security and General Public Service.

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I want to use this opportunity to acknowledge the cooperation and support received from the citizens of Lagos, members of the Business Community, Professional Bodies, Non-governmental Organizations and the State Civil Servants in years past. We thank you all for the support while soliciting for your continuous collaboration.

Our modest achievements so far had been made possible by the citizens that have been paying their taxes willingly and faithfully. It is expedient for me therefore to appeal to all our citizens and corporate entities to perform their civic responsibility by paying their taxes as and when due.

As we commence our Cleaner Lagos Initiative Programme, I strongly appeal to all citizens to embrace the Public Utility Levy that will commence in January 2018 for a cleaner, healthier Lagos.

The success of the proposed 2018 budget will rest on our commitment to succeed, drive to be self -sustaining and accelerate growth in both infrastructural and economic reforms, through revenue enhancement especially on fiscalization of consumption taxes, re-enactment of Land Use Law and implementation of physical planning regulations amongst others. As a result, we all have a huge responsibility at ensuring that the 2018 budgetary estimates become a reality as we take another giant stride in the history of our sustainable fiscal responsibilities.

In line with our tradition, the Honourable Commissioner for Finance will provide further breakdown of the proposed Y2018 budgetary estimates to the public later today.

I have left my commendation and appreciation of the House of Assembly for last so that the message of dutiful and selfless work rendered by this Assembly is well delivered. I am yet to see any House of Assembly in the country that is as dynamic and robust as the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, we are grateful for your leadership and continuous cooperation with the other arms of government. Honourable Members, I thank you all for your support.

Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of this hallowed Chamber, our Royal Fathers, Distinguished Guests, gentlemen of the press, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish you all Merry Christmas and a prosperous Y2018 in advance. Thank you for listening.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko Lo Je wa Logun!!

Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State

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.

Lagos Targets 2Million Passengers On Water Daily

Lagos Targets 2Million Passengers On Water Daily

…We‘ll Explore Tourism, Economic Potential Of Waterways


Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday commissioned three newly acquired executive boats by the State Government, with a pledge to fully explore the tourism and economic potentials of the waterways in the State for the overall benefit of the people.

Speaking at the unveiling of the boats held at Caverton Jetty in Civic Centre area of Victoria Island, the Governor said the State Government was committed to the implementation of the integrated transport management system designed to scale up water, rail and land transportation, saying that the grand plan is to divert at least two million passengers on the waterways daily thereby reducing traffic on the road.

He said the boats and four Jet Skis recently acquired by the State Government to ensure safety and fight crime on the waterways were prelude to major plans to fully activate the potentials of water transportation, while in coming months, the State Government would take delivery of additional seven commercial ferries, among other plans for the sector.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), exiting from one of the new Executive Boats acquired by the State Government shortly after the commissioning at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), exiting from one of the new Executive Boats acquired by the State Government shortly after the commissioning at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

According to him, “This is a significant day for Lagos State as we commission three boats belonging to the Lagos State Government. We discovered that sometimes, we do not have the ability for our officials to go on the waterways to address issues relating to people and citizens that live alongside the waterways.

“As you aware, twenty-five per cent of Lagos is water and it is important that we put in the right initiatives that can actually make activities on our waterways to thrive and the also people living along the waterways to bring them into proper perspective.

“Sometimes when dignitaries come from other States or countries, they are not able to see the true side of Lagos from waterways perspective and that is one of the reasons the State Government decided that we would procure the boats that would help us to promote tourism in the State so that people can see the great potentials of Lagos State,” he said.

Newly commissioned Executive Boats by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
Newly commissioned Executive Boats by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Governor Ambode said as much was ongoing on road rehabilitation and construction, as well as the rail system, the water sector was also experiencing specific initiatives such as construction of terminals, channelization, construction of walkways, among others to encourage more people to key into the sector.

He said: “As people are well aware, we are committed to the integrated transport management system that we have promised Lagosians. As much as we are doing on the roads, we have decided that we would face the waterways. We have just ordered the procurement of seven ferries; we have also invited people from the private sector to take over terminals and also be able to procure their own boats and ferries.

“We are so particular about safety; we are so particular about the future of everyone and that is why we decided also that we would do a lot on channelization and dredging on waterways to make it motorable. People will begin to see all these at the end of the first quarter of 2018 and we believe strongly also that both the government boats and the ones from the private sector will start to berth the waterways of Lagos and we will use that to complement what it is that we have on our roads and also use it to complement the future of what we are trying to plan for the rail system.”

He added that over six million people walk every day on Lagos roads and that accounted for why walkways were being constructed across the State, while there are plans to create connectivity between water terminals and the roads, especially in Badore, Ajah, Mile 2, Badagry, Ikorodu and other places where there are terminals.

While stating that the maintenance and sustenance of the boats had been outsourced to specialists to ensure proper usage, Governor Ambode also invited more private sector stakeholders interested to invest in the waterways to partner with the State Government, saying his administration is liberal, transparent and willing to collaborate with interested investors.

In his opening remarks, Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Adebowale Akinsanya said about thirty commercial routes on the State waterways have been identified for dredging and channelization, while ten jetties spread across the State were being constructed, among other ongoing plans for the sector.

He also said that the Ministry was working in concert with the Ministry of Justice to enforce relevant laws guiding the waterways to ensure compliance with safety standards and checkmate any illegal activity by operators.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd left); Special Adviser on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu (2nd left); Special Adviser on Finance & Audit Control, Mr. Adeniji Popoola (left); Commissioner for Water Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (3rd right); his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (2nd right) and Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (right) during the commissioning of new Executive Boats acquired by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd left); Special Adviser on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu (2nd left); Special Adviser on Finance & Audit Control, Mr. Adeniji Popoola (left); Commissioner for Water Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (3rd right); his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (2nd right) and Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (right) during the commissioning of new Executive Boats acquired by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Also speaking on safety plans for the waterways, General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Tiamiyu Adeshina said the Jet Skis would be deployed across the State to aid rescue operation in case of emergency, and also help to fight crime.

“Each of the Jet Skis has the capacity to carry two divers and the idea behind this is that when an incident occurred on the water, there is a Jet Ski that will move divers fast to the incident scene while the rescue boats are coming behind and when they get there, divers are dropping into the waters and as soon as they rescue people, we put them into the rescue boat and take them to hospital,” Adeshina said, just as he revealed  that training to that effect was already ongoing.

Also, the Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, said the commissioning was the beginning of sustainable development for the waterways, adding that apart from efforts by the agency to enforce safety standards, the State Government has concluded plans to license 10 new operators who would provide better ferries.

The Governor also inspected ongoing projects on the waterways especially at Orange Island and Lekki Foreshore areas of the State.

Oshodi Interchange: Adhere To Safety Measures, Lagos Counsels Motorists, Residents

Oshodi Interchange: Adhere To Safety Measures, Lagos Counsels Motorists, Residents

…Says Project ‘ll Redefine Public Transportation, Engender Economic Growth

The Lagos State Government on Sunday urged motorists and other road users to strictly adhere to safety rules and measures already put in place to prevent any disaster as a result of the ongoing construction of Oshodi Transport Interchange.

The project, which is being executed on behalf of the State Government by Messrs Planet Projects, an indigenous firm, seeks to create a world class central business district with focus on transportation, security, environment and urban renewal. The interchange has 3-multi-storey bus terminals with waiting area, loading bays, ticketing stands, drivers lounge, parking areas, conveniences, surveillance tower and CCTV gadgets.

Other features include accessible walkways, pedestrian bridges/sky-walks to link the three terminals, shopping malls with street lighting and a dedicated security team on ground.

Upon completion, the project would bring about organised transport system, boost intra-tourism for Oshodi, bequeath iconic city gateway to the State, ensure secured and comfortable environment, as well as economic growth and job creation.

In a statement by the Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Olujimi Hotonu, the government said with the high level of construction work ongoing at the project site, it became expedient to advise drivers, commuters, road users and residents of the area to be vigilant and cautious of safety measures.

He particularly cautioned pedestrians to keep moving anytime they are in the axis, saying that the safety of residents is of paramount importance to the firm and the Lagos State Government.

Speaking on the safety measures, Hotonu said: “With the high level of construction at the Oshodi Transport Interchange, drivers, commuters and road users are advised to adhere strictly to safety rules and measures of certain risk around the zone.

“In view of the fact that the Lagos State Government places high premium on safety of lives and property of the people, we like to specifically urge road users along the corridor to avoid fallen object, deep holes, muddy road, dust, noise and heavy moving equipment crossing, among others.

“Furthermore, we like to counsel pedestrians to keep moving and stay safe when they are anywhere around the construction site in Oshodi. As a government, we are working hard to deliver the project on schedule and every effort needed to achieve it is being exerted,” he said.

Already, Hotonu said with the work on the project already at advanced stage, Oshodi was now experiencing free flow of traffic as a result of Traffic System Management (TSM) measures put in place, adding that upon completion, the project would redefine public transportation and foster economic growth and job creation.

Also speaking, Managing Director of Planet Projects, Mr Biodun Otunola said over 1,000 piles (22m) and pile caps have been installed, while the 3-multi-storey bus terminal buildings were at advanced stage of construction.

He said the cars and taxis parks were ongoing with massive walkway under construction, while lighting of the entire Oshodi area was ongoing, all of which were being done by over 500 workers on site.

Speaking further, Otunola said Oshodi lacked adequate pedestrian facilities, walkways, bus shelters and bus stations and the hub generally unorganized with the environment in a degraded state bringing about attendant poor transport facilities, overcrowding, huge traffic congestion and threat to security, a development he said necessitated the decision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode not only to redesign the traffic flow but also transform the aesthetics of the area with iconic infrastructure.

Oshodi, arguably, is the busiest transport hub in Nigeria with over 5,600 buses loading per day and spread over 13 different motor parks, as well as over 200,000 passengers boarding per day and about 1million pedestrians moving daily in the area, with about 76 per cent of the entire area dedicated to transport and related activities.