Lagos Launches New Buses With Free Service On Five Routes

Lagos Launches New Buses With Free Service On Five Routes

…As Residents Hail Ambode, Laud Bus Reform Initiative

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday launched the new buses under the Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) with free service on five routes, assuring that the development would redefine public transportation and make the State globally competitive.

Specifically, the free service was launched across five routes including Berger to Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Berger to Oshodi, Oshodi to TBS, Ikeja to Alausa and Ikeja to Oshodi to commemorate the Workers Days, after which normal service is to start on May 2, 2019.

Speaking at Ikeja Bus Terminal, one of the modern terminals constructed as part of the BRI, an official of the Lagos Bus Services Limited, the operator of the buses, Mr Timi Olajide said it was a good thing that the buses have now been finally launched for the use of the people.

He said out of the 5,000 buses planned for the initiative, the government was launching the scheme with 820 high and medium capacity buses, adding that aside the intelligent transport system component of the initiative which will aid Lagosians to plan their journeys, comfort and safety of the people have also been factored into the whole process.

“In each of the buses, we have six emergency exits and First Aid Box, while every seat has a dedicated USB port for charging of phones, free Wi-fi, television and CCTV cameras which are linked to our control centre to monitor everything going on in the buses, among other features.

“We have also taken the issue of people with disabilities specially and there are seats reserved for them in the buses,” Olajide said.

At the Oshodi Transport Interchange, a cross section of Lagos residents who enjoyed the free service, lauded the State Government especially Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the buses and the infrastructure provided to support the transport reforms, saying the development was commendable.

A resident, Adewusi Oluwatobi Emmanuel said: “I am very happy to enter this bus today because it is a thing of joy that something like this can happen in Nigeria. I am happy that I can enter a beautiful bus with free Wi-Fi, free USB port, free air-conditioning and so on.

“With this, I know that this country is going to greater heights. One thing I believe we should do is to work together, love ourselves and before we know it, Nigeria will be one of the best countries in the world.”

Another resident, Mr Demola Aleshinloye, said:” This is a lovely idea. I like this development and I want it to be sustained. God bless Nigeria.”

On her part, Mrs Olorunfemi Funmilayo, another resident, said: “I am very grateful to enter this type of bus. When I entered I saw the USB charging port and free Wi-Fi. I so much like this and I pray that Nigeria will be great.”

Also, Mr Adabayo David, said: “This is a great initiative and I believe that if Lagos can get it right, every other State can get it right and I must give kudos to the visionary Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for this wonderful initiative. Everything is working fine in the bus and as you can see, I’m charging my phone.

“I believe that God will take him (Governor Ambode) to greater heights. Something like this, if it’s well managed, it’s going to last us for a long time and so I must commend our exceptional Governor for this.”

Another commuter, who simply identified himself as Ifeoluwa, said: “Actually, I commend Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for doing a great job in Lagos State. Today, I can say Governor Ambode is still one of the best we have in this State. I love the Governor and the world loves him too. This Oshodi interchange is one of the greatest projects in Africa and I must commend the Governor and the contractor that handled the project.”

Governor Ambode Inaugurates 20-Man Transition Committee

Governor Ambode Inaugurates 20-Man Transition Committee

…Tasks Members To Ensure Smooth Take Off For Next Administration

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday inaugurated a 20-member Transition Committee that would be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a seamless transition to the next administration on May 29, 2019.

Inaugurating the Committee, Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said a smooth transition to the next administration was imperative to ensure that the machinery of government continues to run smoothly without any hitch, considering the economic importance of Lagos to Nigeria.

“In about seven weeks from now, the tenure of this administration will come to an end and a new administration will commence under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“A smooth transition to the next administration is imperative to ensure that the machinery of government continues to run smoothly. Our State is a delicate one with very significant importance in the economic and social stability to our nation.

“To maintain this stability, build on the solid status of our State and give the next administration a smooth take-off, it is imperative to quickly put in place a transition committee whose major responsibility will be to ensure a seamless transition to the next administration come May 29, 2019,” Governor Ambode said.

He commended Lagosians for keeping faith with the progressive ideals of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last two decades and also his administration, expressing optimism that the incoming administration would build on the achievements recorded so far.

‘Let me use this opportunity to once again express my profound appreciation to all Lagosians for keeping faith with this administration and the rare privilege to serve. Government is not a sprint or a short distance race. It is an unending race.

“For us in Lagos State, it has been a progressive race in which every successive administration builds upon the achievement of the past administration.

He charged the Committee, which would be co-chaired by the Deputy Governor-elect, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello to accord the assignment the diligence and commitment it deserves.

Members of the Committee include the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem; Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ade Akinsanya, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh and Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule.

Other members include Permanent Secretary, Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Jimi Hotonu; Accountant General and Permanent Secretary Treasury Office, Mr. Abimbola Umar; Permanent Secretary, Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Abayomi Kadiri, Ayo Gbeleyi; Sam Ngube; Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin; Engr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins; Mr. Bayo Sotade; Solape Hammond; Mrs. Bunmi Fabanwo; Mrs. Bukola Odoe and Mrs. Toke Benson Awoyinka.

In his vote of charge, the Deputy Governor-elect assured that the Committee would immediately commence its work and ensure that everything done is in the interest of the State, adding that it would be a transition of the same government as the incoming administration would build on the existing template to move the State forward.

“Lagos State has always been a pace setter in everything and that’s exactly what we would do here. Everyone on this table is a prominent Lagosian and everything would be in the interest of the State; it’s the same government and it should be pretty straightforward,” he said.

Lagos Will Be Delivered To Buhari, APC Candidates, Governor Ambode Vows

Lagos Will Be Delivered To Buhari, APC Candidates, Governor Ambode Vows

…Says President Has Set Nigeria On Path Of Growth

…As Lagos Gov, 8 State Govs, Others Grace APC Presidential Mega Rally

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode,  on Saturday assured President Muhammadu Buhari that residents in Lagos would troop out enmasse on February 16 and deliver the State to him and other National Assembly candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the APC Presidential Mega Rally, held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, said the President in the last three and half years fully supported the infrastructural growth in the State and would do more if given another mandate of four years.

According to him, the February 16 election was not about tribe or religion, but strictly about job creation, infrastructural development and economic growth, saying that President Buhari has shown total commitment to making life comfortable for residents.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari, with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole during PMB meets Organised Private Sector, at the Lagos House, Marina, on Saturday, February 9, 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari, with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole during PMB meets Organised Private Sector, at the Lagos House, Marina, on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

“In and outside of the stadium, you can see the crowd that has turned out here and we are very grateful that Lagos has been signed, sealed and delivered to APC already. The message is very clear.

“We appreciate Mr. President for his support to our State in the last three and half years. The achievements that we have recorded in Lagos were possible because of his support. This election is not about tribe or religion, it’s about infrastructure, jobs and the economy and the right path to go is to go to the APC.

“if you see what we are going in Lagos already, you will see that the Airport road is not for the Yorubas or the Igbos or the Hausas, its about making life comfortable for Nigerians and that is why Mr. President has continually supported all our projects by even refunding some of the funds we used for capital projects so that we can complete more projects,” Governor Ambode said.

He said it was important for Nigerians to entrust President Buhari with another four years in office to continue in the trajectory of growth, warning that the return of the opposition party would do nothing but alter the progress made by the Federal Government so far.

“If you remember, the first two years of this administration we were in recession caused by the PDP, but in the last two years, we have stabilized, we have created the groundwork for growth and that is where APC is different from the PDP. They will tell you that they want to make Nigeria work again, but ask them who destroyed Nigeria in the first place?

“Therefore, this election is about moving the economy forward and for this to be possible, we need to continue on the foundation that we have already made in the last four years. APC remains one party, we remain one nation and one family,” the Governor said.

Buhari, who made his entrance into the venue of the rally at about 2:45pm to a tumultuous welcome by the teeming crowd and party faithful, assured that Lagos as commercial capital of Nigeria would continue to receive greater attention in terms of infrastructural renewal and all round economic growth.

Speaking earlier at a session with members of the Organised Private Sector held at Lagos House, Marina, President Buhari said it was gratifying to note that the economic policies of his administration were already making the desired impact as evidenced by steady growth in the economy in the last three years.

ano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullai Ganduje; Oyo State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Senior Special Assistant to the President, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State during the President’s arrival for the APC Presidential Rally at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, on Saturday, February 9, 2019.
Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullai Ganduje; Oyo State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Senior Special Assistant to the President, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State during the President’s arrival for the APC Presidential Rally at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

He said the APC government had kept the promise to boost the economy through blocking leakages in government finances, increasing capital expenditure and inflows, and implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), among others.

“I firmly believe that our economic policies are beginning to make the desired impact. Economic growth has resumed and is continuing to improve. Growth was higher in 2017 than in 2016, data even from external sources shows that it was also higher in 2018 than in 2017. I am confident that as we stay the course, it will be better still at the end of 2019.

“Inflation is coming down steadily, there is stability in the exchange rate and foreign exchange is readily available for genuine business. Foreign reserves are adequate and growing; capital inflows have increased and the trade balance is positive.

“We are paying off debts that were not even publicly acknowledged before now, including those owed to States, the electricity sector, oil marketers, exporters, backlog of salaries of workers and pensioners, amongst others,’’ he said.

WhatsApp Image 2019-02-09 at 5.49.13 PM

Among the organizations which made presentations to the President at the session were Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), and Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME).

Aside Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Governors of Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi), Kebbi (Atiku Bagudu), Kano (Abdullahi Ganduje), Osun (Gboyega Oyetola), Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi) and Ministers, the session was also attended by many captains of industry including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Oba Otudeko, Jim Ovia, Bismarck Rewane, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, among others.

The rally was well attended by the who’s who in the APC including the Governors of Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, Kano, Kebbi, National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Mr. Babatunde Fashola, other serving and past Ministers, party chieftains, among many others.

 

Governor Ambode Presents N852.316bn Y2019 Budget To Lagos House Of Assembly

Governor Ambode Presents N852.316bn Y2019 Budget To Lagos House Of Assembly

…Earmarks 54% To Capital Expenditure, 46% For Recurrent

…Targets N775.2bn IGR, To Complete Major Ongoing Projects

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday presented the year 2019 budget proposal of N852.316billion to the House of Assembly, with a pledge that it had been carefully prepared to be all-encompassing and dedicated to complete major ongoing projects in the State.

The Governor said N462.757billion representing 54 percent of the total budget size had been earmarked for capital expenditure, while N389.560billion representing 46 percent had been dedicated to recurrent expenditure, saying that key projects such as the Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road and Oshodi Interchange Terminal, among others would be completed.

He said from inception of his administration, nine key areas were given priority after careful assessment of the needs of the citizens, adding that such had informed the massive investment in the said sectors which he listed to include security, transport / traffic management, economy -including tourism and agriculture, housing, education, health, infrastructure – social and physical, water, wealth creation – skill acquisition/microfinance, e-Governance and enhanced capacity building, sustainable environment and smart city projects.

Giving details of what informed the budget size, Governor Ambode said the performance of Y2018 budget of N1.046trn as at November 2018 stood at 60 percent owing to reduction in revenue projections, while the total revenue stood at N530.192billion.

According to him, “In the outgoing year, however, we experienced a reduction in our revenue projections, which affected our projected performance and our desired implementation of the Y2018 Budget. The overall Budget performance as at November 2018 stood at 60 per cent/N574,206billion with actual cumulative total revenue of N530,192billion/64 per cent, Capital Expenditure closed at N311,930billion/49 per cent and Recurrent Expenditure performed at N262,276billion/82 per cent.

“In preparing the Year 2019 Budget, therefore, we were very mindful of the out-going year performance, the yearnings of our people and the fact that we are going into an election year. Consequently, we are today presenting a Budget that will be all-encompassing, reflect the level of resources that will be available and with special consideration to the completion of major on-going projects in the State.”

While outlining the key components of the Y2019 budget and the sectoral allocations, the Governor said with priority given to completion of major infrastructure projects and smooth transition to the next administration, the government was proposing a total budget size of ‘N852,316,936,483,’ including a deficit financing of N77.086billion which is expected to be sourced from internal loans and other sources.

He added: “The projected total revenue for Year 2019 is ₦775.231billion, of which₦606.291billion is expected to be generated internally, ₦168.940billion is expected from Federal Transfers while a total of  ₦77.086billion will be sourced through deficit financing within our medium term expenditure framework.

“In 2019, as was with our previous budgets, Economic Affairs still dominates the sectoral allocation of the proposed budget. This is due to our continued focus on the completion of major on-going projects such as: Oshodi-Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road; Agege Pen Cinema Flyover; Phase II of Aradagun-Iworo -Epeme Road, Oshodi Interchange Terminal; completion of JK Randle Complex, Onikan Stadium; Imota Rice Mill; Renovation/Furnishing of Lagos Revenue House, amongst others in order to meet their specified deliverable outcomes without any bias or prejudice to others.”

Expressing optimism that the revenues of the State would improve in 2019, Governor Ambode said the government had begun consolidating on the already established public financial management and technology-driven revenue reforms through data integration and use of multi-payment channels, just as he said that every strata of the society would benefit from the budget.

“The Year 2019 Budget has been carefully planned to accommodate all and sundry; women, youth and physically challenged, young and old. We will continue to spread development to all part of our state even as we embark on effective transition knowing fully well that the implementation, failure or success of the Budget depend on all of us,” he said.

Besides, Governor Ambode commended the Speaker and members of the Assembly for the support accorded his administration in the last three and half years, while also acknowledging the role of Royal Fathers, Religious leaders, members of the Business Community, Professional Bodies, Development Partners, Non-Governmental Organisations, public servants and all residents as well as members of the fourth estate of the realm for their various support and contribution during the lifespan of his administration.

In his remarks, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Mudashiru Obasa expressed optimism that the budget would be of great benefit to the people of the State, just as he assured that the House would work with the executive to pass the budget.

Lagos, NIWA Begin Talks To End Age-Long Conflict On Waterways Regulation

Lagos, NIWA Begin Talks To End Age-Long Conflict On Waterways Regulation

…Resolution In Best Interest Of All Parties

…Posterity ‘ll Judge You Rightly, Mamora Tells Lagos Gov

 

The Lagos State Government and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Monday expressed readiness to go into talks to facilitate amicable resolution of the age-long tussle between the federal agency and the Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority (LASWA) over regulation and control of the waterways.

The State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who said this while receiving NIWA’s Managing Director, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and top management staff of the agency on courtesy visit at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said putting the perennial conflict between NIWA and LASWA behind was the most patriotic thing to do, and that it would also in the best interest of all, especially the economic prosperity of the people.

He said without prejudice to the matter currently before the Supreme Court on the issue, the State Government nonetheless was ready to implement strategies to engender peaceful resolution of the grey areas and points of conflict in the overall interest of the people.

The Governor said it was particularly instructive and beneficial that NIWA was being headed at this particular point in time by Mamora, just as he expressed optimism that the development would translate to the end of hostilities that had been going on for decades between the federal agency and LASWA.

According to him, “We are doing this not just for ourselves; we are doing it for Nigeria and Lagos. I believe strongly that the appointment of Senator Mamora is divine and even prior to his assumption as MD of NIWA and ever since he has taken over, there has not been any major complaints from the controversy between the State Government and NIWA and we are very happy for this.

“Let me reiterate here that I give my total support for the amicable resolution of the issue irrespective of the legal tussle that we have been having over the decades and we also respect the rule of law. We know that whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, it would still have to be implemented by the operators and so I give my commitment and total cooperation that anything that is outstanding, we would resolve amicably.”

While commending the NIWA management for championing mutual relationship, the Governor directed key officers of the State Government to dialogue with the NIWA team with the view of coming up with structured approach to solidify the partnership.

“I give the go ahead to all my management team and key officers to sit down with the management team of NIWA. Whatever grey areas should be resolved. I think in the areas that we have talked about, issues relating to right of way, revenue and so on, we can resolve and I can observe that things have been very peaceful in these areas but we can document and put in proper shape to let other people also understand that we have moved forward progressively.

“The approach the NIWA MD has taken is commendable because once we continue to dialogue, it is for the peace and prosperity of Nigerians and not about ourselves and once we are able to get that as the main objective, I think every other thing will just fall in place. We are one government and one nation and there is no reason why we should not create progress and prosperity for Nigerians and I think this is what the renewed relationship is out to achieve,” Governor Ambode said.

Earlier, Mamora said his team was at Lagos House to raise the bar for the good of the people by amicably resolving issues relating to waterways transportation, right of way of waterfront and sensitization of waterway users on the need to always fully comply with waterways transportation code.

Mamora, who is a former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly and Senator representing Lagos East at the Senate, also commended Governor Ambode for his achievements in office, saying posterity would be kind to him.

“With this reception, I want to highly commend your Excellency and this is highly appreciated because you have taken very bold step forward and we can always rely on your support. I also stand here to commend what you have done for Lagos State and for your achievements, I am sure posterity will judge you right,” Mamora said.