Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has been commended for embarking on massive renovation of several schools and for his Midas touch in the education sector in the state.
Speaking to journalists after a tour of some of the renovated public schools in the state, Chairman of the Education Committee of the state assembly, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi stated that the projects were commendable.
Ogunyemi, who is representing Ojo Constituency 2, declared that he was convinced that the Governor was passionate about education having gone round some of the schools that were renovated and rehabilitated.
“I have seen schools that have been renovated and I give kudos to the Governor because he has done very well.
“This government must be commended for their efforts. The Governor has really done so much in the last two years, particularly in overhauling infrastructure in the education sector.
“What we have seen so far shows that there is so much hope for education in the state and I would say that the state of complete dilapidation of infrastructure in the schools has been turned around.
“I must commend the Governor and state the Ministry of Education ably led by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule for a job well done, and for monitoring the contractors to deliver a good job,” he said.
The lawmaker also gave kudos to the state’s House of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa.
He emphasised that the House should be praised for ensuring that the executive is closely monitored, for appropriating funds, for following up and monitoring to make sure that the fund expended is put into good use.
On the renovation works done at the Model College, Meiran, Ogunyemi stated that this was an aftermath of the observation of the committee during its visit to the school about a year ago.
He said: “We visited the school over one year ago and we complained about the state of facilities there.
“The hostel accommodation, the toilets, the classrooms, the water system has improved.
“The house of assembly is happy that our Governor is working and that the Ministry of Education is responsive to the observation of the House.
“I think on the whole, we are pleased that our oversight function is yielding the desired results. We came and we spoke, while the government has responded.”
The politician promised that the committee would not rest on its oars, saying that it would pay regular visits to the schools in the state to assess the facilities that have been put in place.
According to him, the committee would ensure that the facilities are used very well, adding that the principals of the schools have been told to ensure that the hostels masters and captains ensure that the students use the facilities very well.
The Committee Chairman explained that it is important for the state government to overhaul the facilities in the schools regularly.
Education, he said is an expensive venture, “because we are producing leaders of tomorrow there is no money that we spend on education that is too much.”
Ogunyemi used the opportunity to call on corporate organizations, well meaning members of the public and philantropists to support the state government on education as he said that the government could not do it alone.
“We need public spirited individuals, corporate organizations and philanthropists to come up and exhibit corporate social responsibility and support education.
“Education would always produce personnel that would go back to work in those organizations and due to competing demands on the government, we need the support of the state on education.
“I am happy that some organizations, individuals and corporate bodies are contributing to move education forward in the state. For example, House on The Rock that donated computer facilities to the Model College, Meiran
“Some others such as Daystar Church, Chief Kessinghton Adebutu, Mrs. Alakija, and GTB, which renovated some of our libraries have done a lot. We want to call on others to contribute to education in our state,” he said.
Some other schools visited by the committee included Millennium Junior and Senior Secondary School, Egbeda, Estate Junior High School, Ifako/Ijaiye, and Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School, Agege.
Other members of the committee on the visit were Hon. Akeem Shokunle (Oshodi/Isolo1) and Hon. Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo2).
Month: <span>August 2017</span>
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has been commended for embarking on massive renovation of several schools and for his Midas touch in the education sector in the state.
The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Education has urged contractors handling building projects at the model colleges in Awori College, Lagos City Model College and Angus Memorial College to speed up work in the schools.
Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi, who led other members of the committee to the project sites on Monday, stressed that the projects were important and ambitious.
Ogunyemi added that they were giant strides of the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
“The model colleges visited would have 26 classrooms each. They would have laboratories and other facilities. These are world class facilities that befit a model college.
“The essence of the visit is to assess the projects based on the desire of the government.
“We have visited the three model colleges that ought to be pilots for other model colleges in the state.
“We are pleased with what we saw at Angus and Lagos City Model College, Kings Country Project, but we are unhappy with what the contractor at Awori College, Eldorado Engineering, did after collecting 40% of the fund.”
The lawmaker, however, expressed optimism that if given the necessary back up, the contractors handling Angus and Lagos City Model College would do their best within the one year specified for the completion of the project.
He emphasised that the committee would get back to the assembly on the visit, adding that the projects would enable school children to learn under a conducive environment.
He said: “Given the passion the government has shown on the projects, we feel that we should see what the contractors have done so far.
“We are concerned about infrastructure in our schools and we believe that these are unique projects that should attract our attention”, he concluded.
L-R: Member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Oluyinka Ogundimu; father of the bride and Chairman, Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, Hon. Johnson Sunday Babatunde; the groom, Timi Okunoren; bride, former Miss Atinuke Babatunde; and Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa during the wedding ceremony of Timi and Atinuke in Agege on Saturday.
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has called on Nigerian youths to come up with innovations and new ideas to address the pangs of poverty and unemployment in the country.
The Speaker gave this charge while receiving an award of Exemplary Leadership conferred on him by the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) in his office, Alausa Ikeja.
Obasa explained that with what the llllastudents had demonstrated all hope was not lost, saying Nigerian youths were capable of taking over from the old generation by displaying good leadership qualities.
According to him, “I can say boldly, with what I’m seeing that our youths are ready to take over. We all want good leaders for Nigeria, we don’t want a country where only the rich will have their way and others do not.
“We want people with ideas, you must be innovative, you must have administrative ideas, you have to look inwards and bring out what others would have to embrace, with government’s support, we can eradicate unemployment and poverty,” the Speaker said.
He however urged the students to desist from tendencies that were encouraging factionalization in the students Union, saying that was the only way to build institutions.
While appreciating the association for conferring him with exemplary leadership award, Obasa maintained that it would be appropriate if the students continue to demonstrate sound leadership characters at all times.
The leader of the delegation, Luqman Salahudeen stated that NAPS decided to honour Lagos Speaker because of his style of leadership in the State.
Salahudeen who is the first Nigerian student to head the West African Polytechnic Union, explains that the Speaker had been piloting the affairs of Lagos Assembly without rancour or acrimony.
He noted that even though NAPS could not give the activities of the Lagos House in totality, the developments in some other legislative bodies in other state Houses of Assemblies where “speakers were being substituted like a football match,” members of the students Union were convinced with legislative duties in Lagos state.
“We appreciate your leadership, may be those (other Houses) who do not coordinate themselves can learn from you. Nigerian students are upcoming generation, we are very jealous of your achievements,” Salahudeen said.
Also speaking, the facilitator of the award, Abgabiaka Ahmed said the Speaker who is a fourth term member of the House had been part of the successes recorded in the House.
He argued that what was exceptional about Obasa was his belief in the youths, saying he had been supporting the youths in his constituency.
According to Ahmed, “If you say Lagos House of Assembly is worthy of emulation, the Speaker has been part of the team that makes it happens. Apart from the mighty edifice, I read in the news the kind of encouragement you give to the youths to grow politically.”
While giving the vote of thanks, the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh told the delegation that the Speaker run an open door policy, adding that the Speaker would create a special desk that would be in charge of attending to issues concerning youths.
He also expressed appreciation for the award conferred on the Speaker, adding that Lagos House of Assembly would continue to support the youths.
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa on Thursday said that the establishment of Lagos State Cooperative College would further enhance economic progress of the state.
Obasa spoke at a Public Hearing on a Bill for a Law to Establish the Lagos State Cooperative College and for Connected Matters organised by the House Committee on Commerce and Industry led by Hon. Oladele Adekanye.
The Speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, said that the bill, when passed into law, would afford cooperators with adequate skills for economic promotion.
Obasa said: “This bill is geared towards effective administration of cooperative societies and enhancing the economic progress of the state.
“If the bill is passed into law, it will ensure the qualitative training of cooperators who with their professional skills in turn promote the economic activities.
“The bill when passed into law also will empower the college to provide courses of instructions leading to the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates and other studies as prescribed by the college.
“This bill, which seeks to give statutory backing to the Lagos State Cooperative College, will go a long way in the production of seasoned and well-trained cooperators to enhance the cooperative movement in the state.”
Speaking with newsmen at the end of the event, Adekanye said: “It (Bill) is meant to afford cooperators especially book keepers and the trustees the opportunity of getting better training.
“Hitherto, we have had cases of fraud and misunderstanding among cooperators.
“It is not in every occasion that we have this problem that we can trace it to people having the mind to defraud the cooperative societies.
“Sometimes, it has been happening because necessary trainings have not been given to them.
“Many of them do not have a wherewithal in terms of training that would enhance their knowledge and that would promote the economic interest of members of such cooperatives.
“We can’t take that for granted, apart from people who have the mind to defraud cooperative societies, there are some people that are genuinely not armed and fortified with the needed training and expertise.”
According to him, this bill will afford such people that have good intention ordinary but who are deficient in term of acquisition of necessary skills to get trained.
Adekanye said that the bill would afford Lagos State to rub shoulders above its counterparts in the southwest region.
He said: “If I must say it, this is the only state that is left behind in terms of having this kind of college that is certified in the southwest.
One of the stakeholders, Mr Abdulwaheed Baruwa, President, Zero Interest Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Alausa advocated the inclusion of Islamic Finance Mechanism in the curriculum of the college.
Baruwa called for inclusion of experts in Islamic financial system in the governing council of the college.
Speaking on behalf of the Cooperative Movement in Lagos State, Mr Oriyomi Ayeola congratulated the state government and the Assembly for the move to provide legal status to cooperative college.
“Lagos State Cooperative is the most outstanding cooperative movement in Nigeria. By giving legal status to the college, it will strengthen the cooperative activities in the state.
“Very soon, we shall be talking of University of Cooperatives in Lagos,” Ayeola, the President of the Lagos State Cooperative Federation said.
Youths in Lagos State have been enjoined to avoid joining bad gangs. A lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, who doubles as the Chairman of the House Committee on Youth, Sports and Social Development, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu urged the youths to engage in positive activities.
Kasunmu, who is representing Ikeja Constituency 1 in the Assembly, believes that one of the ways of developing the country is to develop the youth.
He speaks more on these and other matters in this interview.
What does the theme of this year’s International Youth Day, ‘Youth Building Peace,’ connote for the youth of the state?
I would like to thank God for yet another successful International Youth Day, which we celebrate every 3rd August. This year’s edition was celebrated in Lagos and all over the country and the talents of the youth were being showcased. We tried to encourage them in various activities, programmes and symposia, which was celebrated in colourful manner in various regards. The youths were able to showcase their talents at this year’s event. I would say that this year’s edition gave us a lot of joy. There has been a lot of agitation for youth emancipation and having said that I would say that the “Not Too Young To Run Bill,” that was recently passed by the National Assembly would give room for a lot of our youth to get engaged in the leadership position of the country. It would give them a chance to build the nation because if you build the youth, you are building a nation. But if the youth are not happy, you cannot build a nation. The theme of this year’s edition, which is “Youth Building Peace,” is very important because if there is no peace and harmony we would not have the kind of leadership structure that we want for this nation judging by what has happened in the country over the years.
My message to the youth of the nation is for them to build peace themselves. How do you do this, we need to join the bandwagon of leaders or else we will not achieve much. I am also a youth and I know what it means to give ourselves recognition to rebuild this nation. Now, one thing is that the youths should avoid hate speeches. Let us move together, let us live in peace to create a better nation for ourselves.
Of course, Lagos State is a pacesetter in many aspects. It is my responsibility to get across to as many Lagosians as possible within the state most of whom are youths. My advice to them is to get positively engaged, we must have a focus, we have to create a conducive environment to carve a niche for ourselves for the development of our character. If we you something doing there is no way someone can engage you to get involved in negative activities to be a miscreant or a thug for one reason or the other. The Lagos State Government, under our amiable Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, whom Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has tagged ‘Wonder Boy,’ has created a forum that a lot of youth can benefit from, which is the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). This is where a lot of people, who have business ideas can have opportunity for loans. They can develop themselves and change the economic fortune of the state to be better than what we have currently, especially in the area of IGR.
Another way the youths can help themselves is in the area of information. They should get involved in volunteering and ensure that they perform their civic responsibilities, get yourself engaged. If one, two, hundreds, thousands and millions of youths do this, they would be creating a lot of wealth that would change this nation gradually. Having said that, a vital aspect of this is for them to take their education seriously, this would adequately prepare them for the future. Another aspect is that we find a lot of youth on the social media such as the Instagram, twitter, and Facebook, let us begin to use this positively and not negatively, let us use it to educate ourselves so that one way or the other if we are getting engaged and empowered, wilfully we will build peace and I can assure you it would be the beginning of securing our future as youths.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo once said that the youth have not taken their position in the scheme of things and that they should stop complaining. Do you think the Nigerian political system is accommodating the youth?
If we consider the education, empowerment, civic responsibilities engagement, all these would give the youth the opportunity to participate in the scheme of things.
In practical terms what programmes do the Lagos State Government have in place to take youths away from the streets as we have youth restiveness all over the country?
There are a lot of vocational education that the state Ministry of Youths and Social Development is providing for the youth. Even if those out of school youth have nothing to do, they are engaged in things they can use their hands to do and things they can do with their passions. If you don’t have the cognitive requirements for you to get to a particular level educationally, you still have the opportunity to get to where you want. The Ministry of Youth and Social Development works hand in hand with the House Committee on Youth and Social Development to achieve this.
We have put policies in place that the Lagos State Government would implement. We have had youth talent shows for the benefits of the youths. We will continue to put programmes in place to ensure that the youths of our time are fully engaged and fully prepared for the future.
One area the youth need do much is education, but now, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike. What message do you have for them and the Federal Government so that the time of the youth would not be wasted away?
I would not stop appealing to the Federal Government to get the youth back in school because they need the education and our co- operation and we would definitely do everything within our capacity to ensure that the strike does not last long. We would continue to work with the necessary ministries and the House Committee on Education to get our children back in schools.
What have been your achievements so far on sports development in the state?
There have been countless sporting activities in the state in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports, and the Sports Commission in the area of football, tennis, badminton and developing sports in schools in various localities in the five divisions in the state. We will continue to develop them as we know that stars can be produced through this.
While the National Assembly believes that the 1999 Constitution being operated by the country should be amended, the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade believes that what the nation needs is a brand new constitution.
In an interview he granted us recently, Agunbiade, who happens to be a lawyer and a representative of Ikorodu Constituency 1 in the assembly, added that even in amendment is desirable, a totally new constitution is more preferable to the people.
He addresses this and other matters in the interview.
Some sections of the Nigerian Constitution were recently amended by the National Assembly. Would you support this or you prefer a brand new constitution?
A lot of people have been advocating for a new constitution, where ethnic nationalities and interest groups would come together to determine how we should be governed. The constitution being the ground norm of every society should derive from the people. But what we have currently is a product of a decree during military dispensation.
Military dispensation is itself an abberation, which is preached against by Section 1 of the Constitution itself, which says that nobody shall take control of the government of the country except as provided for in the constitution. The constitution provided for democratically elected leaders in all spheres. So, for the military to have come to power and hijack democratic process is illegal.
For those illegal group of people to now try to impose a democratic arrangement on Nigeria through the constitution is what some Nigerians are now saying is wrong as you cannot build something on nothing. That is why they are saying that what we need now that the Nigerian democracy is becoming stable is to agree to sit together and come up with a new constitution that is derived from the people instead of the current constitution, which unfortunately was given birth to by the military. They started it by saying, ‘we the people of Nigeria.’ You cannot use a legal affirmation to bring out illegality. The foundation of every structure is important.
On whether we should have a complete amendment of the constitution or something evolving. I would want to say it depends on where you are coming from and how you are looking at it. Some people would say that the cost of coming up with a new constitution is enormous and because of that a new constitution would not be desirable. But if you want to look at how many constitutional amendments the country has had, the cost would have taken care of a new constitutional conference that would take care of the different ethnic nationality.
As it is, people are saying that there is nothing wrong with the current constitution, what we have problem with are the operators of the constitution. I mean those, who are making things difficult. When you do the necessary amendment and it is properly pursued, it would bring out sanity.
In the current amendment by the National Assembly, efforts are being made to thinker with the age prescription for different elective offices by reducing the ages to accommodate the youths. They reduced the ages for some elective offices from 35 to 30, from 30 to 25 and so on like that. It is only the one for the senate that is left at 35 because in the absence of the President and the Vice President of the country, the Senate President would come in. So, if the prescription for the office of the President is 35 years and that of the Senate is lower, it would be dangerous because anybody can be Senate President. So, if somebody is 30 years old and he assumes the office of the Senate President, if anything now happens to the president and his vice, then there would be a constitutional problem if the Senate President is to act as President. I know the issue of independent candidacy, accounts of the state and the federal governments and the issue of treating the local government as a government on its own and given more political offices to women were discussed. However, a critical area like fiscal federalism has not been touched. They actually tried to devolve power to the state by removing some powers from the exclusive list to the concurrent list. That is reducing the power of the Federal Government. What of fiscal federalism, where much money is given to the Federal Government and the federating states are given little money. We are saying that they should weaken the financial power of the federal government and give more fiscal power to the states that are closer to the people. The federal government should just be playing a kind of supervisory role. Fiscal federalism would allow the statea and the local governments to have more allocations. So, this would then weaken the federal and give more powers to the states and the local governments, which are closer to the people.
The problems of the people would be treated directly by these people. But for me as an individual Nigerian with what I have seen, I would go for a new constitution. There are still some problems with the current one. We can still manage the one we have now because you cannot throw the baby away with the birth water. We can continue to manage what we have and continue the advocacy for a brand new constitution.
But we had a constitutional conference in 2014 under former President Goodluck Jonathan, which your party did not support. Would you want us to go back to that report or organise another constitutional conference?
We are saying that a constitutional conference, where you give no go areas is not a constitutional conference. A constitutional conference should be so free to touch all areas that affect the people. When you talk of evolving a brand new constitution, the ground on which you predicate it, you would know that you are writing an entirely new constitution. Where is the report of the constitutional conference that you are talking about. Has it been effected. That which my party was against I am also against it as a loyal party member.
We should not play politics with the lives of the people. Whatever you do and you do not do well, you would come back to it. That which you do not do right you would want to come back to it to do it right. That is why our party is saying that let us do this thing in the right way. We should look at the real message. Why can’t you accommodate the views of everybody for a better and greater Nigeria that everybody can be proud of. Some people fought for independence, they have gone now, but we are all enjoying it. So if we postulate some positive things that bring results, we will all benefit from it.
The local government election was recently held in Lagos State and it followed the trend where the ruling party won virtually all the elective posts. How would you assess the election?
There was a climatic problem whereby rainfall affected the election in many areas. But we had a situation, where some councillorship seats were won by some other parties other than the APC. This showed that the election was free and fair. So, those who won councillorship seats but could not win the chairmanship seat, it shows that they did not have enough stamina to win the coveted seats. I saw a situation, where other parties won seats in some wards. It is different from what happens in some states, where the ruling party won all the chairmanship and councillorship seats. What we are saying is that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is doing well. The foundation was laid by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola complemented it. Now, Ambode is moving across the state with infrastructural development simultaneously and people call him ‘Mr. Wonder’ because of the way he has been working in the face of recession. So, everybody is happy with the administration of Governor Ambode. Don’t forget, the local government administration is an offshoot of the state government. So, there would be replication of all of these in the local governments, and who does not want development in his area.
People are saying that the local governments have not been living up to their expectations. What is your view on this?
Human beings are nor equal. The problem of countries different from one another so also the states and local governments. We have 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) chairmen in Lagos State. You cannot expect all of them to have the same administrative ability and capacity. You cannot expect all the students in a class to come first. So, you can have a class where everybody is good, but they would share positions. You cannot assess the local governments chairmen now, when election has just been done. Let us give them three months, six months or one year before we assess them. But, I am sure that those that were elected have the ability to do what they have been elected to do.
Two years down the line, your party, APC is yet to fulfil some of its critical electoral promises, especially at the federal level, in the areas of employment, free food for school children amongst others. What can you say about this?
The party has manifestoes and that is what they are working on. There is an intervening factor. Recession is around, we have not said we will not do them. We cannot run all the manifestoes at the same time. The Governor cannot tar all the roads in the local governments at the same time. Government is a continuum. The question should be that is the party doing well or not. It is doing well, it has not reneged on its promises. When the government was coming to power in 2015, nobody knew the extent of the rot in the country then. Nobody knew the extent of the decadence in the country. What we have been doing is to redeem the country.
People have said that your government does nor welcome opposition in any form. How would you react to this?
Are you saying there has been no opposition. Whoever is charged of something would whip up sentiment. The right of everybody is protected by the constitution. There is right to dignity of human life and right to freedom of speech and our government recognises that.
How have you been coping as the Majority Leader of the House?
We have been doing well that is why you see a lot of members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crossing to the APC.
How have you been meeting the needs of your people in Ikorodu as a lawmaker?
I have been representing them well here and at home. But it is better you go to my constituency to ask them what I have been doing for them since I got to office. We have tried our best to give the people the dividends of democracy as much as possible.