Lagos Assembly Set To Strengthen Use of Yoruba Language With New Bill

The Lagos State House of Assembly is set to strengthen the use of Yoruba Language in all the schools in the state and across the state generally.
This was revealed during plenary on Thursday by the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi as he read the committee’s report on a proposed law
The Bill is entitled, “A Bill for a Law To Provide for the Preservation and Promotion of the Use of Yoruba Language and for Connected Purposes.”
According to the Bill, which has passed second reading, it would be compulsory for all primary and secondary schools in the state to include teaching of Yoruba Language as a core subject at all levels.
The bill also provides that all the laws in the state would be translated into Yoruba Language.
Moreso, all state- owned tertiary institutions are to incorporate the use of Yoruba Language in the General Studies (GNS) courses.
According to the bill, “The use of Yoruba Language shall be an acceptable means of communication between individuals, establishment, corporate entities and government in the state if so desired by the concerned.
“It shall not be an offence for a person to speak Yoruba Language by the state government.”
It was added that any school that fails to comply with the provisions of Section 2 of the law commits an offence and is liable on first violation to issuance of warning and on subsequent violation be closed down and also pay a fine of N500,000.
Ogunyemi added in an interview with journalists later that the committee might change a provision in the bill that it would take effect after two years of its passage as most of the members wanted it to start immediately after it is signed into law by the Governor.
The lawmaker added that the Lagos State House of Assembly is passionate about Yoruba Language, which is why it adopted the language for plenary on Thursdays.
According to him, “the National Policy on Education provides that the language of an environment should be spoken in schools, which is why Yoruba Language is being adopted in Lagos schools.
“After the passage of the bill into law, it would become compelling for schools to speak Yoruba Language. We want to preserve the language for generations yet unborn.”
On private schools, the lawmaker stated that they were part of the foundation of the bill and that they were at meetings the committee held across the education districts in the state.
He added that the private schools would have no choice than to key into the project as the school owners have been properly mobilised and that the state Ministry of Education would ensure compliance.
On the translation of the laws into Yoruba Language, Ogunyemi said that this was to ensure that illiterates were taking along in the scheme of things in the state.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa in his remarks observed grey area in the new section of the Bill which gives necessary implementation of the provisions of the law and recommended that it should be deleted.
In his response, Hon. Ogunyemi stated that “the recommendation arose from the stakeholders who had pleaded for more time due to lack of teachers and to provide necessary facilities to aid its teachings”.
Members thereafter adopted the recommendations as a resolution of the House.

Constitutional Amendment: Lagos Speaker Expresses Reservation Over No-Go Areas For State Assemblies

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa on Monday expressed reservation on the ongoing 1999 constitution amendments by the National Assembly, saying failure to include devolution of powers on the areas to be discussed by state assemblies would render the exercise as worthless.

Obasa made the remarks while reacting during plenary to a report presented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun over the just concluded Conference of Speakers’ Forum in Yola, Adamawa State.

The Speaker also debunked the rumour that the conference of speakers had adopted local government autonomy as part of the proposed amendments of the constitution.

The Vice Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria and Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Uchenna Ubosi, was reported to have said that the Conference of Speakers had resolved to support the autonomy for Local Governments and State Assemblies.

Obasa however disclosed that the forum did not pass such resolution on autonomy of local local government as reported in some media, adding there was not such discussion during the meeting.

“We did not discuss anything relating to autonomy to local government. We were only given the privilege to go back homes and get the feelings of our people,” the Speaker said.

While reiterating on the general amendments to the constitution, Obasa maintained that the proposals would ve only favour the National Assembly and not the interest of the people.

“The States have nothing to rejoice without devolution of powers. It is not something we should be cheerful about especially now that people are clamouring for restructuring.

“The National Assembly should do something meaningful; something that will be acceptable to Nigerians. The amendments proposed so far are not something we should be talking about now. We will register our grievances,” the Speaker noted.

e Deputy Speaker, Sanni-Eshinlokun had earlier disclosed that the conference started last week Thursday and was concluded on Saturday.

The Deputy Speaker also added that only 22 out of the 33 items that were proposed for amendment would be transmitted to the state Houses of Assembles for debate.

Review of Auditor General’s Report: Lagos Assembly Assures Residents of Fairness

The Lagos State House of Assembly has assured residents of the state that their interest would be protected in the on- going review of Auditor General’s report on Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies (MDAs).
Speaking to journalists after the opening of the review exercise for year 2016 on Monday, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts (State), Hon. Moshood Oshun said that the committee would be fair in it’s reports.
The exercise is being held at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium within the Assembly premises.
Oshun stressed that the House, under the leadership of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa does not cut corners or hide under one finger.
“We would guide the interest of the people of Lagos State and ensure that tax payers money is judiciously spent.
“The House would give the people the best and we will make sure that Lagos State continues to be the best.
“All hands must be on deck for the state to continue to excel. So, it is not something that can be done alone, we must all work together,” he said.
According to him, the House Committee on PAC (State) goes through the books of MDAs on an annual basis based on Auditor General’s report with the MDAs, and that their books containing income/expenditure and other variables would be properly scrutinised during the exercise.
On what the committee has observed so far, Oshun said that It was too early to make assessment, but that the MDAs have done well on the average.
He explained that there was no perfection in anything, but that everybody was just trying to reach perfection.
“You know Lagos State is above other states. We expect certain level of perfection in the state. We have asked the MDAs some information and they have been answering us.
“The Auditor General has done her job with her team, but we need to verify the report. There is something called fair hearing, we don’t want to be prejudiced, we want to hear from everybody.
“We will ask them questions, where we need clarifications, and we will applaud them where they have done well.
“However, I can say they have done well generally. The Auditors have done a good job and they have made sure that everything we need on that report is included in it.
“I want to commend the Auditor General and her team for doing a good job, they have shown that Lagos State is better than others. We are still going to work on the reports and make them available to the entire house.
The committee Chairman said further that the issue of handling technicality in the reports is being handled effectively, saying that the committee has the support of the House, which he said had employed consultants from different fields to assist them in the areas that we don’t know.
The reports, he said, are for January to December, 2016, adding that the exercise is done once in a year.
He stated that all the MDAs have full budgets, and that the committee wants to make sure that the budgets were followed to the letter and make sure that those things that should be done are done properly in accordance with financial rules.
Considering the reports of the state Number Plates Production Authority and the Deputy Governor’s office earlier, the committee directed the officials to go back to perfect their papers, which he said did not tally with the Auditors’ reports.

Ambode Writes Lagos Assembly On 2017 Budget Re-Ordering

The Lagos State Government has written a letter to the state House of Assembly seeking its support for the re-ordering of the 2017 Budget.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state made the request in a letter he personally signed, and which was read on the floor of the House by the Clerk, Mr. Azeez Sanni during plenary on Monday.
According to the request, a total sum of N42.028 Billion made up of N31. 105 Billion from capital expenditure and N10.922 Billion from recurrent expenditure would be re-ordered if the proposal is approved by the Assembly.
It was stated in the letter that the re-ordering would help in upscaling of road construction and rehabilitation to improve connectivity.
In addition, Ambode revealed in the letter that the re-ordering would be spent on purchasing 700 buses for Lagbus in line with state transportation reforms, upgrading of equipment for the state emergency authority and improving security equipment for better surveillance.
This will however, not affect the total budget of N813 Billion passed for 2017.
The Governor stated in the letter that the 2017 budget has performed 64% by the middle of the year, adding that the re-ordering was necessitated by the review of the priority of the state government.
“It is now expedient to re-order the budget to address some of the critical expenditures to enhance efficient delivery of services.
“We want to provide world class infrastructure to the people of the state.
“The proposed re-ordering is expected to increase the tempo of good services and address the priority of the state government.
“It will address main fiscal strategy and sustain expenditure profile, it will drive capital expenditure by improving the capital recurrent ratio,” he said.
The proposal was however, not discussed by the lawmakers before the House adjourned sitting to Tuesday, 26th September, 2017.

Photos: Lagos Speaker, Obasa, Consul, German & Chinese Embassies Lagos At China 68th Anniversary

L-R: Consul-General, Chinese Embassy Lagos, H.E. Chao Xiaoliang; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; members LSHA, Hon. Moshood Oshun; Hon. Tunde Braimoh; and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Fariudeen Akodu, during 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos on Sunday.

 R-L: Consul-General, Chinese Embassy Lagos, H.E. Chao Xiaoliang; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; Consul-General, German Embassy in Lagos, Mr. Ingo Herbert; member LSHA, Hon. Tunde Braimoh; and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Fariudeen Akodu, during 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos on Sunday
R-L: Consul, Chinese Embassy Lagos, H.E. Chao Xiaoliang; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; Consul-General, German Embassy in Lagos, Mr. Ingo Herbert; member LSHA, Hon. Tunde Braimoh; and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Fariudeen Akodu, during 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos on Sunday

 L-R: Consul-General, Chinese Embassy Lagos, H.E. Chao Xiaoliang; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; members LSHA, Hon. Moshood Oshun; and Hon. Tunde Braimoh
L-R: Consul-General, Chinese Embassy Lagos, H.E. Chao Xiaoliang; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; members LSHA, Hon. Moshood Oshun; and Hon. Tunde Braimoh

Lagos Speaker Obasa Mourns Late Imam, Says He Stood For Truth All His Life

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has described the late Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Ibrahim Akinola as a honest cleric who stood for nothing but the truth in his entire life.

Rt. Hon. Obasa, in a message by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Rasak, mourning the passage of the late Chief Imam, stated that the state in particular and Nigeria as a whole will miss his honesty and commitment to national development.

“He was an unbiased man of God who stood for the truth all his entire life and the nation in general and Lagos State in particular will surely miss him,” the Lagos Assembly Speaker said.

According to him, though the late Islamic cleric died at 79, his words of advice, prayers and wisdom are still needed as contribution to the development of the country. “But we can’t question Almighty Allah who has deemed it for to call our father back to Him,” he said.

Rt. Hon. Obasa however, stated that despite the fact that the state, the country and the entire Muslim Ummah is sad that the cleric is no more, “we’re take solace in the fact that the late Chief Imam lived a life of service to Allah and humanity and I pray that he finds peace with his Creator and that Almighty Allah forgive him all his sins”.

The Easterners Have No Reason To Leave Nigeria – Makinde

The South Easterners have been cautioned to jettison the idea of leaving Nigeria to form Biafra.

Hon. Rasheed Makinde insisted in this interview he granted us recently that the Igbos are not being marginalised.

Makinde, who is from Ifako/Ijaiye Constituency 2, advised the Igbos to retrace their steps and give peace a chance.

He speaks on other matters of interest in the interview.

The agitations by the South Easterners have been on the rise, especially by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Federal Government is resisting them. What is your view on this?

The agitation of the Easterners to break away from Nigeria is uncalled for. What is happening in Nigeria is not peculiar to a particular state, region or religion, it is all over. If you check your statistics, you would see that the South Easterners are spread all over the country. There is no state or local government that you would not find them. If they are calling for secession, I don’t know what they want to achieve. It means all their people would have to relocate to their States and in the states, will those there accept them. By nature, the Igbos are entrepreneurs, they are enterprising in nature. You would find them everywhere. I don’t really know the cause of their agitation for secession because since the enthronement of this democracy, the Igbos have been the most beneficial. At least, they have produced more senate presidents than other regions. You have Evans Enwerem, Chuba Okadigbo and Ken Nnamani. Today, they have the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and they have others serving in this government. May be when they come out with the reason they want to go, we might agree with them.

Also, by saying they should not go, we are giving them undue recognition, we should allow them to go and give them just six months, they would want to come back to Nigeria. Our problem in Nigeria is that only a few people are sharing our resources. The most backward region in Nigeria are the northerners. The Easterners are still better off, I would rank them second among the six geo- political zones in Nigeria coming after whoever we say comes first in terms of welfare. I mean standard of living, development and their placement.

People have criticised Operation Python Dance, and they are saying that the government should dialogue with IPOB?

Operation Python Dance is really strategic to calm down the agitation of the Easterners. We Nigerians enjoy the civilian government, if it were to be under the military, they would have run away because you cannot dare them. That would have resorted to casualties. The government could not fold its arms and allow the IPOB to have a field day, they would find a way to destabilize them and their organization. If the Igbos really want to go on their own way, it should be in a civilised way. What Nigeria signed is to be together for 100 years and we have surpassed that. So, they should be civilised if they want to go.

We have tried to organise a constitutional conference in 2014. Should this government go back to that or come up with another constitutional conference to sort out some of these issues?

The constitutional conference is for us to have a better basis for issues in the country. A sovereign national conference is not a law. It is just an avenue for memoranda, it is not binding. All the ones we have been having could be basis for the present government. What we need is economic restructuring. We should dwell more on our economy and not politics. If this government could work more on economy and agriculture, Nigeria would be better for it. The steps they are taking now by linking the country together through rail lines is commendable. If we are well linked, it would ease mobility. People can live in Abia State and work in Lagos State, it would not take them more than two or three hours to get here from there. This would open up a lot of opportunities across the country. A lot of people are going into that. If the Easterners could take advantage of their fertile land and dwell more on that, it would be better. If their people are gainfully employed, they would not be interested in a revolution. Sovereign National Conference is just an advisory body. All of us know our problems, only that we are good in theory and not practical in this country.

The issue of economy comes to mind, do you think we should continue with our strategy or change it?

I cannot talk more on what is happening at the national level, those at that level can talk on that. The major issue is that we have a lot of saboteurs, but this is being handled by the current government. You would see that electricity has improved and fuel scarcity is out of our memory now. What we are really battling with is a global phenomenon in form of recession, but Nigeria is getting out of it. I think more powers should be given to the states so that individual states can empower their people. The government is really performing at the state level in Lagos State. We have enabling laws and our executive is doing their best, we work more and talk less in Lagos State.

People believe that the state assemblies tilt towards the executives in the states since they are mostly in the same party, what is your experience like?

I would tow your line if you say that because the manifestoes of the party are the same and that is what we are following. If we are following this, there is no room for unnecessary rancour.

How do you see the intervention of party leaders in political affairs as this usually affect projects?

If it happened, it might be in the past. This current government has no room for that.

Former governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State once said that the state government was working on the master plan of the state. How did the state derail from the master plan and what are they doing to restore it?

The worst civilian government is better than the best military government. In 1980, when Alhaji Lateef Jakande was the governor, they had a 30-year master plan amongst which was the metro line that cut across the state. At that time, he identified 15 areas that covered all the spheres of life. But unfortunately, when the military came in, all these were jetissoned and the plans were affected. In 1999, when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinu became the governor of the state, he thought of what to do to restore the master plan of the state and, we started having component plans instead of master plan. This varies from one local government to another, then Badagry and others had master plans. This current government has Ikorodu masterplan, Oshodi/Isolo masterplan and Epe Model plan. All these can now form a composite plan, which we can now call a regional plan.

Lagos Assembly Calls For Relocation of Apapa Tank Farms

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC) to relocate the tank farms in Apapa to a less congested area, saying that it is causing traffic logjam and endangering the lives of the residents.

Hon. Mojisola Miranda, who raised the issue under matter of urgent public importance on Thursday during plenary, said that the activities of the trailer drivers in Apapa are not only affecting traffic in the area, but that it has extended to other parts of the state.

Miranda, who is representing Apapa Constituency 1 in the assembly, added that the traffic jam is making life difficult for workers and school children in the area.

She urged the Assembly to invite the state’s acting Commissioner for Transport and the Managing Director of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to brief the house on how they would handle the matter.

This was supported by the lawmaker representing Apapa Constituency 2, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh.

Jimoh, who said that he had been having sleepless night on the matter, stressed that residents of the area have been coming to him on the issue and that it should be resolved once and for all.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, emphasized that the House should not wait until the necessary officials were invited to brief them, but that necessary steps should be taken urgently to handle the situation.

“It is better we caution the trailer drivers to stop parking on the roads and bridges in the area. We will definitely call on the officials of LASTMA and Lagos State Safety Commission on the matter.

“We also have to call on the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to provide alternative roads to motorists, while the roads in Tin Can Island were being repaired,” he said.

Obasa stated that the tank farms should be relocated from the area because, according to him, they were located in the area before the place became a densely populated area.

In his comment, Hon. Rotimi Olowo from Shomolu Constituency 1 stated that the activities of the trailer drivers were affecting the economy of the state.

He said that the House had invited the people in charge of the road in the past and that the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) was a powerful union and that the House should meet the trailer drivers on the issue.

Also commenting, Hon. Abiodun Tobun from Epe Constituency 1 wondered why the Federal Government that he said is collecting money in the ports was not doing the necessary things about the roads there.

Tobun added that the government could get a location close to Tin Can Island Port to park the trailers and that Lagos State should be allowed to control the ports.

Hon. Rasheed Makinde, in his contribution said that some of the trailers come from the eastern and northern parts of the country and that they disobey the laws of the state.

These views were supported by other lawmakers, who urged the House to urgently handle the matter, and the House adjourned sitting to Monday 25th September, 2017.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY PAYS TRIBUTE TO LATE HON. ALIMI

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday paid tribute to the Late Hon. Ademola Kazeem Alimi, a two-term member who represented Eti-Osa Constituency I.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade who moved the motion to formally inform the members of the demise of their colleague described Late Hon. Alimi as a reserved and a dedicated Member. It would be recalled that the House was on recess when the incident occurred. Alimi died on Tuesday July 18th two weeks after his 50th birthday.
“With sense of grieve, I wish to formally inform this House that Lagos Assembly lost one of its dedicated members, Late Hon. Ademola Kazeem Alimi who until his death was a dedicated member, punctual and a reserved fellow. I wish his soul rest in perfect peace” He said
Hon. Omotayo Oduntan who had known him as a quiet fellow stated that “ It was a sad thing, my only consolation is that during his burial, his constituents spoke well about him and what he had done to them. I commiserate with his family, his constituency and Lagos State Assembly.”
“He was a dedicated member, a very religious man and a committed family man who lived for public good. He was always smiling which shows he cared for everybody. He touched lives in a unique way; it’s unfortunate that good people die young”. Hon Segun Olulade Stated.

Hon. Tunde Braimoh stated that his demise was an ominous one and very unfortunate. He suggested that “we must see what we can do to assist his immediate family both officially and personally”.
In addition, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa described the deceased as a dedicated, dutiful and loyal lawmaker.
“His demise was a painful one and difficult to believe; we remember his good deeds, he was aptly described as an embodiment of humility. In every circumstance, he always put on a smile. I pray to Almighty Allah to strengthen and give the family fortitude to bear the loss
The Speaker while also appreciating all personalities and institutions that extended their condolences to the House during its grieved period advised his colleagues on the importance of thinking about the end. He enjoined his colleagues start looking inward to adjust their relationship with God, family, friends and the society at large.
In another development, the Lagos Lawmakers has pledged their full support on the cause of the Senate to restructure the defective parts of the constitution.
The Members recalled that in the course of restructuring, Lagos State Government has been championing the call for amendment of the constitution to allow certain areas that are very defective to Lagosian whereas the National Assembly has itemised areas of the constitution to be amended but the listed items exclude some items that are pertinent and germane to the people of Lagos State.
Meanwhile, Members have moved a motion in itemizing, collecting and presenting it to the NASS since those areas are very important to the economy, safety and progress of Lagosian.