Lagos State Government Cancels Monthly Environmental Sanitation

Lagos State Government Cancels Monthly Environmental Sanitation

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday terminated the monthly environmental sanitation exercise which hitherto held for three hours on the last Saturday of every month.

The State Government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the decision to cancel the monthly exercise followed a resolution arrived at Wednesday’s Executive Council meeting which approved the need for a robust review of the environmental laws and procedures in the state in order to meet the present day challenges and to promote a clean and healthy environment.

The Government noted that considering the present economic situation in the country, it was no longer appropriate to restrict movement of people for three hours in a mega city like Lagos at a time they should be pursuing commercial and entrepreneurial activities.

According to government, in the last two decades, Lagos has grown exponentially into a mega city with the attendant huge environmental problems associated with managing a population of over twenty million people.

But sadly, the environmental laws, policies and procedures being practiced in the State have not been able to match the phenomenal growth and the dream of a 24-hour economy, hence the need for the reform.

Ayorinde said the State Government was not unaware of a recent Court of Appeal judgment.

According to him, the thrust of the fresh initiatives, among others, is to promote holistic and modern solutions to the unique environmental challenges confronting the State, while encouraging citizens to voluntarily partner with government to achieve the desired goals.

The Statement said: “After a careful consideration, the State Executive Council has therefore resolved that the present economic climate can no longer support the continued lock down of a mega city like Lagos, when the citizens should be free to engage in commercial and entrepreneurial activities that can promote economic growth and prosperity.

“Furthermore, Government will also accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of the new harmonized environmental laws that will drive meaningful changes in areas of harmonized billing, waste management, modern Landfill sites, noise pollution, introduction of an Environmental Trust Fund and an Environmental Advisory Council.

“The Government wishes to reiterate its strong commitment to a clean and secure environment for the benefit of its citizens, and will continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of a mega city like Lagos. Lagosians and visitors alike are therefore urged to embrace these changes and imbibe a culture of voluntarily maintaining and preserving their environment to create a beautiful and healthy city that we all can be proud of.”

The statement added that the State Government would henceforth be tougher in ensuring expeditious enforcement against contraventions of its policies and regulations and as such, residents should voluntarily comply with the necessary laws and support government in its bid to have a clean and healthy environment.

Community Policing Will Help In Reducing Crime 

Community Policing Will Help In Reducing Crime 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday said that the fight against crime and all forms of criminality would be better enhanced if efforts are geared towards embracing community policing to complement the police and other law enforcement agencies.

Governor Ambode, who stated this at the swearing-in ceremony of the Chairman and members of the Board of the State’s Neighbourhood Safety Corp Agency, said community policing was needed to assist law enforcement agencies which, according to him, are already over stretched judging by the enormous task of securing the country.

Speaking at the ceremony held at Lagos House in Ikeja, Governor Ambode said right from the onset, the major thrust of his administration has always been the security of lives and properties of Lagosians, adding that the Neighborhood Agency, which was an initiative aimed at safe guarding the communities through community policing, was another testimony of the commitment of the State Government to the safety of lives and properties and a demonstration of a promise kept to all citizens.

The Governor recalled the provision of security at the State level with the massive provision of equipment such as patrol vehicles, motor bikes, boats and helicopter on several occasions to police and other security agencies, saying that such had aided law enforcement outfits in the State in effectively discharging their duties.

“You will agree with me that the Police and indeed all other security forces within the State and even the country at large are quite stretched, and some form of “community” or “local policing” is required to boost and support the great job the Nigeria Police is presently doing.

“The creation of this Agency marks another step towards ensuring the protection of lives and properties at the grass root level. Corp members recruited by the Agency are meant to interact with the people at the communities. It is expected that with the visible presence of the Corp members within a particular community, the likelihood of crime will be drastically reduced,” the Governor said.

He added that the Agency, which replaced the Neighbourhood Watch, has the responsibility of assisting the Police, and its mode of operation will essentially be in intelligence gathering, protection of lives and properties, maintaining law and Order amongst others.

The Governor also said the Agency has been empowered pursuant to its enabling law, to recruit eligible persons as Corp members in all Local Government Areas of the State.

He, however, emphasized that the Agency was not meant to compete, but to complement the efforts of the Police Force, adding that the State Government, through the Board, would develop clear policies and strategies for the implementation of the law.

While reiterating the determination of his administration to commit resources to ensure success of the objectives of the Agency, the Governor said its realization would make Lagos a place where residents and all intending foreign and local investors can do business in safety and comfort.

He also charged members of the newly inaugurated board to consider their appointments as call to duty, adding that the task making Lagos great and taking it to greater heights was that of all.

Besides, the Governor commended the foresight, efforts and industry of the Speaker and members of the Lagos State House of Assembly for initiating the bill that culminated in the enactment of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Agency Law 2016, saying their intellectualism in sponsoring the bill and the proactiveness in considering the passage of the law was admirable.

Members of the Board are Mr. Israel Ajao (Chairman), Alhaji Tajudeen Quadri, SP Yinka Egbeyemi, Mr. Razaq Balogun, Chief Tunde Aboyade, Mr. Ishola Laguda, Mrs Kofoworola Adegboye, Mr. Dengel Anifowoshe, Mrs. Ronke Ogabi, CSP Suleiman Lewi, Mr. O. Eziana and Mr Adegboyega Bajulaiye who will serve as Executive Secretary.

Responding, Ajao who was a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Ogun States and DIG in charge of Criminal Investigation, said he had no doubt as to the passion and commitment of Governor Ambode to safety and security, adding that members of the Agency would hit the ground running towards the set objectives.

He said considering the complexities of Lagos being home to Nigerians and foreigners from all works of life, the Agency would contribute its quota towards realization of the objectives of making Lagos a safe place for residents and investors.

The event was graced by the State’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs Idiat OIuranti Adebule; Deputy Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Wasiu Sanni Eshilokun and other principal officers of the House; members of the State Executive Council, party chieftains, among others.

1000 Housing Units Ready to be Delivered to Lagosians

1000 Housing Units Ready to be Delivered to Lagosians

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said his administration has so far injected over 1,000 additional housing units into the State and the schemes are now ready for occupation by interested residents.

Governor Ambode, who stated this during an extensive inspection tour of ongoing projects in the Eastern axis of the State, said the official flag off of the allocation of the housing units would commence on December 9, 2016, while interested residents of the State need not know anybody before applying.

At the Sir Micheal Otedeola Housing Estate in Odoragunshin, Epe, Governor Ambode was briefed by the State’s Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, who said the estate was part of the schemes earmarked for the rent-to-own policy of the State Government.

Lawal said the 336 Housing units comprised of 180 units of room and parlour; 90 units of one bedroom apartment and 80 units of two bedroom apartment.

He said 20 percent of the entire units had equally been earmarked for rental housing, adding that the social welfarism policy of the present administration in the face of the current economic downturn necessitated the need for the rent-to-own policy.

He added that as part of the people-friendly gesture of the Akinwunmi Ambode administration, the prices of the units have been reduced thus the two bedroom which was hitherto N7.2million has been reduced to N3.5 million, while the one bedroom which was N4.3 million has been reduced to N2.3 million. The room and parlour unit has also been reduced to N1.5 million.

Responding, Governor Ambode said due to the economic recession and as a responsive government, his administration felt the great need to review the housing policies which have always existed in the State, saying that such was what brought about the new policies to make housing affordable to Lagosians.

He said: “When you consider the economic recession and then the inability of our people to actually process mortgage, we think it is time for government to be more responsive and that is why we are adjusting the mortgage scheme to rent-to-own policy.

“We think it is better that people can just come in and pay one month rent and continue to pay their rent on a monthly basis. These housing units are for the people and we want the people to have access to them.

“If Lagosians are interested in owning, they don’t need to pay any down payment of mortgage, they should just approach us and apply. They don’t need to know anybody also. It will be open to everybody. This is more about the people. As we speak now, we have over a thousand units that are going up for rentage and as we proceed, we will add additional units some in partnership with the private sector.

“We are going to have new schemes coming up in Ajegunle, Badagry, Alimosho and other areas. The whole essence is to increase the purchasing power of Lagosians,” Governor Ambode said.

At the inspection of the expansion of network of roads in Epe, the State’s Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr Ganiyu Johnson briefed the Governor on the various road projects, saying that they were aimed at developing the Eastern axis of the State.

He said the network of roads in Epe consist of three segments. Segment one is Lagos Road which starts from Oke Osho to Femi Agbalajobi Junction. Segment two is from Femi Agbalajobi to Oloja Estate, while the third segment is the network of roads within Oloja Estate.

Johnson added that the Phase two of the project started from Femi Agbalajobi to Majoda, the boundary of Lagos and Ogun State and from Oke Osho to Poka Road.

While responding, Governor Ambode expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far, saying there had been improvement from the last time he inspected the projects.

He said: “We decided to open up this axis of the State to complement what we are doing at the Export Free Trade Zone and also all the things that are coming up at the Ibeju Lekki axis. We believe strongly that by opening up this road to the boundary of Ogun State, we would have brought accelerated development to the Eastern axis of Lagos. We want to ensure that even as we plan to put an Airport in the East axis, it is also important that we add a road network that can complement all the efforts we are trying to put up at the Lekki Free Trade Zone,” he said.

Besides, Governor Ambode directed the contractor handling the projects to work 24/7 to ensure the completion of Phase one before May 2017, and ordered that the second phase of the road network to Mojada should commence in January, as well as the connecting roads between Oke Osho and Poka axis.

The Governor also inspected the 20 Units Government Chalet in Epe which is currently being upgraded to 70 units with modern lawn tennis court, swimming pool, a five-aside football field, among others.

Lagos To Adopt Boston Model To Tackle Environmental Challenges

Lagos To Adopt Boston Model To Tackle Environmental Challenges

The Lagos State Government on Thursday unveiled plans to adopt the Boston model to clean up the State Waterways and tackle other environmental issues confronting the State.

State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode disclosed this shortly after series of meetings with the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh and the Executive Director of Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Mr Paul Levy in the United States of America.

At the meeting, Mr. Levy recalled the Boston Waterways and sewage crises and explained to the Governor and his team on how the government worked hard for years to clean up the harbour as well to provide clean portable water to the people of Boston.

Governor Ambode who was later hosted by the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, where he held discussions on a Sister-City Collaboration with Boston, equally discussed areas for mutual economic partnership between Lagos and Boston.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th right), with Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Abdul Mustapha; Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Dr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti; Chief of Economic Development, Office of the Mayor, Mr. John Barros; Mayor of Boston, Mr. Marty Walsh; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas and Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya during a meeting with the Mayor of Boston at the Boston City Hall, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th right), with Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Abdul Mustapha; Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Dr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti; Chief of Economic Development, Office of the Mayor, Mr. John Barros; Mayor of Boston, Mr. Marty Walsh; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas and Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya during a meeting with the Mayor of Boston at the Boston City Hall, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.

The Mayor described Governor Ambode’s visit as a homecoming recalling that the Governor was, earlier in his career, a Fulbright Scholar at the Boston University and also worked in the State Treasury Department.

The Mayor and his team identified areas of mutual interest with Lagos and pushed for collaboration with both cities considering the numerous similarities they share.

Governor Ambode, on his part, said that the knowledge and experience he gained from Boston helped shape his career and benefited him in his position as Governor.

He pledged to explore areas where Lagos could partner with Boston, especially in the clean-up of the Lagos waterways. Governor shared insights into the investment opportunities available in Lagos, stating that Lagos is the prime destination for investments in Nigeria.

In a related development, Governor Ambode in a meeting with senior officials of the MIT Faculty and the MIT Africa Initiative in Cambridge, Boston Massachusetts, confirmed that the State Government has entered into a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the use of innovation and technology to tackle the challenges facing Lagos State.

Governor Ambode informed the MIT Team that Lagos is the technology hub of Africa with Yaba now globally acclaimed as a hotspot for start-ups, assuring that the MIT that his government would continually work to create an environment where new businesses will thrive as well support more tech hubs in Lagos.

He said, “We are Africa’s largest market and we represent a huge opportunity for businesses with solutions that can match our ambitions. Lagos is open to new ideas. Lagos is open for business. Lagos is open for innovation. We welcome new and different perspectives. That is why we are here at MIT. We hope to gain more partners as we continue with the business of making sure that Nigeria and Africa succeeds.”

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with Faculty Director, Legatum Center & member of UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, Professor Fiona Murray and Associate Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester during a meeting between the MIT Africa Initiative and Lagos State Government in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with Faculty Director, Legatum Center & member of UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, Professor Fiona Murray and Associate Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester during a meeting between the MIT Africa Initiative and Lagos State Government in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A, on Thursday, November 17, 2016.

The Lagos State delegation to MIT including Governor Ambode, Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare and the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Engineer Ade Akinsanya, were received by the Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester, Faculty Director Legatum Center, Professor Fiona Murray and Executive Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World and Food Security (JWAFS), Renee Robins.

Governor Ambode and his team also met with the MIT Africa MD, Julia Reynolds-Cuellar and the Director MIT Regional Entrepreneurship and Acceleration Program (REAP) Team on Africa, Sarah-Jane Maxted.

The discussions centred around tapping into MIT’s expertise in technology and innovation to create solutions for Lagos State, where the MIT team expressed their commitment to support and partner with the State Government in its drive to change the face of the State.

Governor Ambode also discussed the possibility of extending the reach of the MIT REAP to Lagos and to positively affect the growth of entrepreneurship in Lagos, just as he directed his team to work out modalities to commence an Empowering Teachers and Global Start-Up Lab programmes in Lagos through the MIT Initiative.

The Governor also scheduled further discussions with the MIT REAP on how entrepreneurs in Lagos can be supported to grow their businesses, innovate and contribute to the Lagos GDP.

As part of the visit, the Governor also held an interactive session with some Nigerian students at MIT, where presentations by young start-ups founded by Nigerians were made, expressing his interest in supporting more young Nigerian entrepreneurs especially with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).