NIWA Hinders Lagos Light Rail Project – Mojeed

The Nigerian Waterways Authority (NIWA) has been identified as one of the obstacles to the completion of the Lagos Light Rail Project that takes off from Mile 2 and terminates at Marina area of the state.

According to the Chairman of the state House of Assembly Committee on Transport, Hon. Fatai Mojeed, who spoke to journalists during a visit to the National Theartre Station of the project by the committee, the project contractors are having issues with NIWA over the waterways, where the project would pass through.
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“We all know that the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) is having a running battle with NIWA over the control of our waterways. I have said it severally that the issues could be solved politically.
“The supervisory agency, Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) has to go through the state Governor to get across to NIWA on the issue.

“Funding is another challenge and I believe that the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) has utilised the money given to them for the project judiciously. It is a project I want to witness as the Chairman, House Committee on Transport,” he said.
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He added that the Lagos State Government has challenged the case won by NIWA over the control of waterways at the high court at the Appeal Court, and that the state government has invested so much on the project, which he said has to be completed in time.

The lawmaker commended the initiators of the rail line project, and described it as the best in West Africa if not in the whole of Africa.

Fatai said further that while the BRT Project is sponsored by the World Bank, the light rail project is being financed by the state government.

He said; “I must commend LAMATA for a job well done. I am okay with what they have done so far on the bus depot, BRT bus stops and the light rail project. If not for funding, I am sure the bus depot in Ketu would have been completed. The BRT corridor along Ikorodu axis would be completed before the end of the year.

“We asked the contractors of the bus depot if they had other challenges, they said the whole thing revolves around funding. We will speak with the appropriate committees to release the fund to them, and we will go through Mr. Speaker to the Governor.”

Also speaking at the National Theatre Station, the LAMATA Project Manager, Olaseni Akinwunmi stated that their main challenge on the project is the buildings that would be demolished for the project to be constructed.
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He explained that efforts are being made to ensure that the owners of the buildings allow for relocation, adding that it would be difficult to give a date for completion of the project if the issues surrounding them were not resolved.

The resident engineer at the Ketu-Ojota construction of New Bus Depot & Rehabilitation of Existing Bus Depot, Engr Toyin Akilapa-Eda told the members of the Committee that the contractor was mobilized in December, 2015 but that the work could not commence until March this year due to certain challenges.

The site which was taken over from the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and is currently being handled by LAMATA was designed to maintain the BRT buses operated by Primero under the supervision of LAMATA.
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According to Akilapa-Eda, the work which was being handled by Strabic Construction Company, were divided into three lots with a duration of 12 months, adding that “if the state government provides fund as at when due, the project will be completed as scheduled.”

The representative of LAMATA, Engineer Yemi Adeniji said that funds could not be released anyhow as approvals are always given by the Governor for each release.
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Adeniji added that though it is a project funded by the World Bank, money would be needed to fast-track the work.

Lagos Assembly Passes Law Against Illegal Land Occupation; Grabbers Face 21-yr Jail Term

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, passed a bill to prohibit forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed properties in the state.
According to the provisions of the bill, land grabbers can now face a maximum and minimum of 21 and five year imprisonment respectively if convicted. There are also various fine impositions for individuals or groups convicted of the offence.
The bill provides for prohibition of forceful land take over, entry by force, illegal occupation of property, use of land agents, illegal use of Law enforcement agents, encroaching with a weapon, sales of property without authority and professional misconduct among others with their attendant punishments as regards the particular offence.
The law was read a third time on plenary through a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade.
The passage of this bill into law in Lagos State is a huge step towards a lasting solution to the activities of the land grabbers, popularly known as Omo Oniles or Ajagungbales which have become an age long menace in the state.
The law prohibits the incessant forceful entry and illegal occupation of landed properties, violent and fraudulent conducts in relation to landed properties in Lagos State and for connected purposes.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, after the Bill had gone through the Third Reading and finally passed by a voice vote of all members present at plenary session, directed the acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to forward a clean copy of the bill to the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for his assent.
The Speaker further urged Governor Ambode to sign the bill into law for immediate enforcement.

Lagos Assembly Passes Regulation On Stamp Duty

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday. July 19, 2016 passed a regulation to claim 30 percent revenue accrueable to Nigeria Postal Service (NPS) through N50.00 stamp duty deduction by commercial banks.
The Federal Government had directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since January this year to impose stamp duty of N50 on bank customers for money received into their accounts.
Bank customers would henceforth pay N50 stamp duty for money received into their accounts via electronic transfer, cash and cheques.
The order was contained in a circular to all Deposit Money Banks and Other Financial institutions titled, Collection and Remittance of statutory charges on receipts of Nigeria Postal Service under the Stamp Duties Act.
In a report titled, “Stamp Duties Recovery and Collection Regulation, 2016,” which was read at the Committee of the whole by a member of the House, Hon. Kazeem Alimi, it was stated that one of the objectives of the regulation is to “empower the state government to access its entitlement at least 30 percent monthly deduction by Nigeria Postal Service.”
Alimi, who read the report on behalf of the House committee Chairman on Finance, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, added that the report was in line with the executive briefing, which members had with the state Attorney-General and commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem.
He maintained that the state government needs a legal backing from the House to claim all the revenue from January till date and for subsequent deductions.
While supporting the recommendations of the report as presented by Alimi, Rotimi Olowo said, “we must use all the legal means as required by Stamp Duties Act to get the deductions. That means we have access to collect the money collected from January to July. The regulation is apt.
“If we get the deduction, it represents 15 percent of year 2016 budget,” Olowo concluded.
Also speaking on the report, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade explained that the legal backing as required by the executive was not to contemplate legal tussle but rather a need to do our responsibility as legislators in the state.

Kidnap of Oniba Monarch: Lagos Assembly Calls For More Security

The Federal Government of Nigeria has been called upon once again by the Lagos State House of Assembly to provide better security for the people of Lagos State.

Commenting on the kidnap of Oniba of Iba, Oba Yishau Goriola Oseni in his palace on Saturday July 16th after the matter was raised by Hon. Victor Akande from Ojo Constituency 1 on Monday, the lawmakers in the state Assembly stated that the kidnapping of the monarch was shameful.

Akande, who raised the issue under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state to sign the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Bill passed by the House into law as well as mobilise the state police command to man all the strategic joints in the state and ensure the effective use of the current dedicated lines for better security in the state.

In his contribution, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the efforts of the state government on security should be recognised, while further stressing that it is surprising the security of the people cannot be guaranteed despite this.

“The state government spent a lot of money to provide equipment for the state police command; yet all these are happening. It means what we have done is futile.

“It is shameful and disgraceful if a monarch could be kidnapped in his palace. It is so sad that we lose people to kidnapping and killings everyday. People now take to self help on security in the state,” he said, adding that the state government has the constitutional power to provide security for its people.

Another lawmaker, Hon. David Setonji described the incident as an unfortunate one, which should not happen in Lagos State, and called on the Federal Government to rise to the occasion.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun, in his comments, said that the kidnapping was an aberration, and that it shows that there is a breakdown of law and order in the country, and an indication that ordinary citizens are not safe.

Also speaking, Hon. Rotimi Olowo pointed out that the incident could spell doom for the country if a re-occurrence is not prevented, while advising that there should be security surveillance across the state.

He advised other lawmakers that the laws of the state should be adjusted to sentencing kidnappers to life jail or death.

The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated that the incident was an assault on the traditional institution of the state, while also observing that the state government has spent a lot on security through the police.

“The state police command is working with the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) for security purposes, but the police doesn’t have enough men to work with. The government should be encouraged to pass the Neighbourhood Safety Corps Bill into law,” he said.

Also, Hon. Tunde Braimoh told the lawmakers that the wife of the monarch, who was shot during the incident has also reportedly died, and that the incident was a reaction to an action by the Federal Government.

He said that the Federal Government cancelled the Amnesty Programme initiated by the government of the late president Umar Musa Yar’Adua and sustained by the government of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

Braimoh added that the FG should consider the consequence of its actions on the people of Lagos State, and that nobody was sure if the monarch was still alive, saying that it could even lead to ethnic crisis as those who allegedly kidnapped the monarch were from another tribe.

Dino Melaiye Must Be Disciplined Over Assault on Remi Tinubu -Lagos Assembly Tells APC Leaders

The Lagos State House of Assembly at plenary on Monday called on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be bold enough to take disciplinary action against any erring member of the party that has brought insult and dishonour to the party by their misdemeanour.

This was part of the resolutions of the House, while reacting to a protest to the Assembly by a group, the Concern Group comprising of Lagosians from the three senatorial districts in the state earlier in the day over attacks on Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) by Senator Dino Melaiye (Kogi West) last week.

The House also resolved to write and attach its letter to the petition submitted to the House by the protesters for onward transmission to President Muhammadu Buhari and also further same letters to the Senate, calling on it to investigate the matter and the APC, the party Melaye belongs for necessary disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Eshilokun Sanni, who received the protesters earlier in the day on behalf of the speaker raised the issue at plenary under matter of urgent public importance, calling on his colleagues to take the necessary action to call Melaye to order.

While commending the protesters over the way they conducted themselves, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa said the protest shows that Lagosians are very sophisticated, advanced and so much concerned about the mandate given to their representatives.

“The protesters are sending a message in strong terms through that protest that we have not abandoned our representative; that we are behind her and that Melaye must not molest or assault her and to warn him to desist from such action,” Obasa said.

All the members who contributed to the debate condemned Melaye’s behaviour calling it a shame on the highest legislative institution in the country and that Melaye should tender a public apology on the floor of the senate to Senator Tinubu, the Senate, APC and Nigerians as a whole.

Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said the assault is a deliberate affront on the husband of Senator Remi Tinubu, the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as everybody who believes in his leadership.

“It is a desecration of the sanctity of the highest legislative institution in the country where people with the highest impeccable character should operate and which should not permit disgusting behaviour,” Agunbiade said.

Concerned Group Protests Against Dino Melaiye Over Assault On Remi Tinubu

A group, the Concern Group of Lagos, made up of Lagosians from the three Senatorial Districts in the state protested at the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday, July 18, 2016 to register their displeasure over the disrespect of Senator Dino Melaiye to Senator Oluremi Tinubu at an executive session of the senate on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

The group presented a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari on the attack and derogatory statements of Melaiye to Tinubu to the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Eshilokun Sanni, who represented the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa for onward transmission to the President. The letter was signed by Mrs. Eunice Ogunleye.

Tinubu represents Lagos Central at the senate while Melaiye represents Kogi West.

The protesters carried varied placards with inscriptions like, “Melaiye, senate is not your father’s house”, “Dino, leave Tinubu alone,” “Senate should investigate Dino Melaye,” “Remi Tinubu is our choice,” etc.

The group expressed sadness and concern over what it described as “the shocking event of Tuesday 12 July, 2016” when Melaiye launched a “derogatory attack” against Tinubu, saying “we condemn in totality Dino Melaye’s attacks on our distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu.”

The group described Melaiye’s action at the executive session as “condemnable, disgraceful, disgusting, irritating, shameful, and most embarrassing to the collective psyche of not only the women folk but to the entire nation as evidenced from the avalanche of reactions this disgraceful act has generated.”

According to the spokesperson of the group, Mrs. Eunice Ogunleye, by Melaiye’s action at the executive session, “he has exhibited convincingly that he lacks the poise, panache, fineness and minimum character to occupy a seat among sane, revered and distinguished men and women in the hallow chamber of the sacrosanct Nigeria Senate”.

She stated further that Melaye’s “uncouth and unguarded vituperations against Tinubu have not only brought unquantifiable shame to himself, Kogi West, but also to the senate and the entire country”.

Condemning Melaye’s ‘assault’ on Tinubu, the group called on him to tender unreserved public apology to the hallowed chamber of the senate and more importantly to Tinubu and the entire country which he has brought great shame.

Failure to do that within an acceptable frame of time, the group called on relevant authorities to expedite measures within the legal system against Melaye “not only to serve as deterrent to others, but also send strong signal to young people, so as not to see Melaye’s character as an ideal conduct in a sane and civilised society”.

Receiving the letter on behalf of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, Eshilokun commended the protesters for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner and promised that the letter would be delivered to the appropriate quarter.

He also promised that the issue would be discussed on the floor of the House.

Lagos Assembly Calls For More Security For Coastal Areas

As suspected hoodlums are reportedly invading coastal areas of Lagos
State, the state House of Assembly has called for more protection of
the coastal areas in the state by the police.

This became a resolution of the House after it was raised as a matter
of urgent public importance by the Chairman of the House Committee on
Information, Publicity, Strategy and Security, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, who
called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state to sign the
Neighbourhood Protection Safety Bill recently passed by the House into
law.

The lawmaker also used the opportunity to call on President Muhammadu
Buhari to increase the number of security men in the coastal areas in
the state to forestall the upsurge of hoodlums in the areas. The
motion was subsequently seconded by Hon. Tobun Abiodun.

Braimoh recalled an incident in Igbo Olomu area of Ikorodu area of the
state, where alleged illegal bunkers reportedly invaded the community,
killing, kidnapping and raping the residents.

“The Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule was driven
out of the place by the hoodlums, when she went there for inspection,
while one of her security aides was wounded. Crime has now become a
recurring decimal in the place.

“The people of the area are apprehensive as the mobile policemen
deployed to the place cannot match the number of criminals in the
area. We need to do something quickly to avert further damage,” he said.

The incident was confirmed by the lawmaker representing Ikorodu
Constituency 1, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who said that though peace has
since returned to the area, the residents are still apprehensive.

Agunbiade, who is the Majority Leader of the House, called for a
reinforcement of the policemen in the area as well as constant
surveillance and monitoring of coastal lines in the state as he said
that they have become porous in the area of security.

In his contribution, Hon. Abiodun Tobun from Epe Constituency 1,
observed that the attack on people living in coastal areas in the
state is becoming rampant, adding that it has extended to Epe area of
the state.

Tobun revealed that a daughter of a monarch in Epe area, Alara of
Ilara was recently kidnapped, and was only released after ransom was
paid.

He added that an expatriate was also kidnapped at a project site in
Epe, and called on President Buhari to fortify coastal areas in the
state to drive away the invading Niger Deltans.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu said that the success of Lagos
has become an attraction to criminals, while Hon. Jude Idimogu also
supported the protection of the coastal areas in the state.

In his own view, Hon. Victor Akande, who commended the efforts of the
state government on security, called on the Federal Government to
consider the issue of state police.

Akande stressed that if there is state police, the security situation
of the state would improve due to its large population.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, in summarising the
matter, stated that the state government is doing much to protect
lives and property of the residents of the state.

According to him, security is an important matter, which he said was
why the issue of state police and restructuring was important.

“We need to assure investors that Lagos State is safe for investment
and investors. We will continue to support the Federal Police, but we
want the Governor to sign the Neighbouhood Protection Safety Bill
recently passed by the House into law,” he said.

BILL ON ESTABLISHMENT OF LAGOS STATE CANCER INSTITUTE PASSES SECOND READING

A Bill for a law to establish Lagos State Cancer Research Institute went through second reading in the Lagos State House of assembly on Monday July 11, 2016.

The private member bill was sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and is titled; “A Bill For A Law To establish The Lagos State Cancer Institute, To Provide For The Promotion, Aid and Co-ordination Of Researches Relating To Cancer And Cancer Related Illness And For Connected Purposes.”

The bill, which has since been committed to the House Committee on Health with a mandate to submit a report on it in one month’s time, recommended that the Institute would provide affordable and subsidized medical care for cancer patients; and carry out research on terminal diseases especially, among others.

The Bill further recommended a Governing Board that shall consist three medical professionals who shall be professors of medicine or consultants; a member of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA); and three members of proven integrity from the public.

According to the Bill, which is divided into 20 sections, members of the Board are to be appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Commissioner, and they would be in office for a period of five years.

It was also recommended that a General Manager, who shall be the Chief Executive Officer, shall be appointed for the institute by the Governor.

The functions of the Institute, according to the Bill, shall also include provision of medical assistance to cancer patients that cannot afford the cost of treatment in the State; ensuring that cancer patients are fairly treated and
provided for; and provide palliative supports for cancer patients amongst others.

In his comment on the Bill, the Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Hon. Segun Olulade said that a lot of people had lost their lives to the disease.

He said that the institute on cancer would provide medical assistance to patients who could not afford treatment.

According to him, if the Bill is passed by the assembly, the state would save a lot of lives.

Also commenting, the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh said that cancer is not only the terminal disease in the world, and advised that the scope of the Bill should be expanded to accommodate other terminal diseases.

He also recommended that the institute should be under the control of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospiatal (LASUTH).

Another lawmaker, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu supported the position of Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh that the institute needed to incorporate other terminal diseases.

“The bill is key and appropriate for any nation that cares for the welfare of its citizens,” he said.

Hon. Sola Giwa, who also contributed to the discussion stated that cancer is very difficult for anybody to manage, and congratulated the Speaker for coming up with such a Bill.

Also, another member of the House, Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi said, ” it is something that will make a change in the lives of average of Lagosians. It will provide relief and succour to most of the cancer patients in the state. Cancer is common now. The institute will provide a veritable source of employment for the people.”

He however urged the House to give the institute targets as it is done all over the world to see if it would meet the expectations of the people.

In his comment, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said that the institute should be funded by the philanthropists and the government to take care of cases of indigent cancer patients.

The Bill was also supported by Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi, who said that it is a bill that “we all must support not only for passage but with our resources. Cancer can be very expensive to treat by the poor masses.”

The sponsor of the Bill, Speaker Obasa, who rounded off the discussion said that, “we have a lot of NGOs that are dealing with this disease but there is no coordinating centres for them. I am sure a lot of people will contribute to its survival, even the foreign bodies will want to lend their support.” He also added that efforts are being made to do the needful as he said that it will help a lot of indigent cancer patients.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY CALLS FOR SUSPENSION OF TEACHERS OVER PHYSICAL COMBAT

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called for the suspension of the head teacher and some teaching staff of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) International Staff School, Ijanikin.

This followed the presentation of a report by the House Committee on Education, which investigated the physical combats among the Head Teacher of the School, Mr. Ogunmade and some teachers in the school including Mrs. Adekoya, Mr. Agboola, and Mr. Shittu.

It was alleged that the Head Teacher was beaten by members of staff outside his office and was rescued by the Chief Security Officer (CSO).

The House at its plenary session on March 10, mandated its Committee on Education to investigate the matter and submit it’s report findings to the House.

The fracas, which occurred on March 8, between the Head Teacher and the teachers was said to have been caused by the non-payment of February salary of 74 out of 84 teachers of the school following their refusal to perform an audit exercise.

The incident was said to have led to the alleged stabbing of Mr. Agboola with household knife by the head teacher, Mr Ogunmade while other teachers allegedly joined hands to beat up the head teacher.

The Committee observed in the report presented on the floor of the House on Monday by its Chairman, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi that the investigative panel set up by the school management was not independently constituted because it consisted only members of management.

“The testimony of the Medical Director of Badagry General Hospital is indicative of Mr. Agboola as having been stabbed with a knife. There was a brawl in the office of the Headteacher due to an attempt by some members of staff to ground all academic and administrative activities.”

The committee said in its recommendation that all the teachers involved in the brawl on Tuesday, 8th March, 2016 should be ordered to pass through disciplinary action.

It was recommended further that the Headteacher, Mr. Ogunnmade involved in the brawl, who was alleged to have stabbed Mr. Agboola should also face disciplinary action in line with extant rules guiding the conduct of teachers in the school.

“The management team should ensure peace and tranquility in the schools. The management should also ensure that a cordial relationship exist between them and the teachers,” the committee added in the recommendation.

EID-L-FITRI: IMBIBE SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS, BE PEACE AMBASSADORS, LAGOS SPEAKER OBASA ADVISES NIGERIANS

2The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has congratulated Nigerians, particularly Muslims for the successful completion of the Ramadan fasting, urging them to imbibe spirit of forgiveness and be ambassadors of peace to their fellow Nigerians.
Obasa, in his Ed-el-Fitri message, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Razak, also praised the sacrifice and spiritual commitment of all Nigerians, with particular reference to Muslims throughout the fasting period .
‘‘I congratulate all Nigerians, especially my Muslim brothers and sisters for their perseverance, sacrifice and spiritual commitment during the fasting. It is hoped that sacrifices made will transform to making us ambassadors of peace in our individual and collective endeavours to others and Nigeria as a country,’’ he said.
The significance of the fasting, according to him, thrives on the ‘‘threshold of sacrifice, assisting the less privileged, feeding the poor and forgiveness’’. He went further to assert that ‘‘Ramadan fasting is a time of forgiveness from Almighty Allah.’
‘‘If we are forgiven by God, we also hold it as a responsibility to forgive one another. This is when our prayers and fasting can be accepted by Allah, the Lord of forgiveness”.
While calling all Muslims to remain steadfast to the ideals of Islam and purpose of Ramadan fasting, the Speaker asked Nigerians to shun all forms of violence and embrace activities that promote peace and development in the society.
He further explained that being law abiding, and living together in peace with neighbours, engenders growth and development.
Obasa therefore admonished that at this point of decline in our economy; good believers of Allah (SWT) should employ the lessons of Ramadan in their daily dealings and stay benevolent even after this season.
He also advised that they neglect all and every negative calls to trigger trouble in our country, through religious extremism. He said Islam preaches peace and anything contrary is not of Allah (swt).