Lagos Assembly Passes Budget of N1.046 Trillion Into Law

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the state’s 2018 Appropriation bill of N1, 046 trillion into law.

This followed the adoption of the report and recommendations of the House Adhoc Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, headed by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu as the resolution of the House.

The House approved the sum of N347, 038, 938, 872 billion as total recurrent expenditure from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and N699, 082, 242, 808 billion as the total capital expenditure from the Development Revenue Fund for the year ending Dec. 31, 2018.

While presenting the committee report, Yishawu said that effort should be made to reduce total overhead cost of the state.

The lawmakers, who commended the ad hoc committee for a job well done, however called for quick modification of the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) policy of the state government.

The Acting Chairman, House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Setonji David said: “There are so many arrangement going on in PPP that the House does not know about.”

The Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh said that PPP should be on its own and should not operate under any ministry.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa also commended Hon Yishawu and members of the committee for its thorough scrutiny of the budget within a short time frame.

The House passed the appropriation bill after the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa conducted a voice vote on each of the sectorial allocations for Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Obasa directed the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni to send a clean copy of the bill to Gov. Akinwnmi Ambode for his assent.

It will be recalled that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Dec. 11, 2017 presented the proposed “Budget of Progress and Development’’ to the Assembly.

Governor Ambode’s Nominees Invited For Clearance

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday invited Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s four commissioner nominees and one Special Adviser for clearance on Thursday.

The invitation followed the House adoption of the report of the 16-man ad hoc committee for the screening of Gov. Ambode’s nominees to the Lagos State Executive Council.

Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, the Chairman of the Screening Committee and Deputy Speaker of the House, had earlier submitted and presented the committee’s reports.

According to Eshinlokun-Sanni, the commissioner and special adviser designates have been screened and passed for the House confirmation.

He said that Mr. Akeem Fahm, was screened as the Commissioner Designate, Ministry of Science and Technology.

According to him, Mr. Ladi Lawanson-Akinwale, the Commissioner Designate, Ministry of Transportation was also screened and passed by the committee.

Also, the committee screened Mr Segun Banjo as the Commissioner Designate, Ministry of Economic Panning and Budget.

Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, Commissioner Designate, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Coopratives was also passed by the house.

Mr. Hakeem Sulaiman, Special Adviser, Community and Communication was likewise screened.

Eshinokun Sanni said the nominees were screened by the committee and they promised to move the state forward.

In the debate, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, the Acting Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy and Security commended the committee for its retrospection during the screening of the nominees.

Braimoh said: “There is a need to, as soon as possible, fill the vacancies in the state Executive Council for optimal performance and for the benefit of Lagos.

” I move that the resolution of the 16-man ad hoc committee for the screening of the nominees be adopted as the resolution of the House.

“I want to implore the House to adopt the recommendations of the committee as our resolution.”

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, after passing the resolution, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni to invite the nominees for clearance.

Lagos Assembly Passes Land Use Charge, Embedded Power Supply Bills Into Law

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed into law two bills covering land use charge and embedded power supply during plenary on Monday.
On electricity, the bill is entitled; “A law to improve electricity supply, power generation, distribution and evacuation through an embedded power scheme in Lagos State and the enforcement of consumer rights and obligation and for connected purposes would lead to constant supply of power.
It would be observed that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has been emphasising the need to have regular power supply across the state.
The new law, which has 78 sections, would provide for the development and management of sustainable power supply in the state.
It would also facilitate the development and management of electricity infrastructure and facilities within the state.
It would also promote and support the provision of an efficient and effective power generation and evacuation infrastructure in the state.
The Bill, which the House has since directed should be sent to the Governor for his ascent, will ensure the availability of a cost effective electric supply.
It will also “ensure collaboration with the Federal and state energy and electric power related agencies to promote and support investment in electric power projects within the state.
In like manner, it will “ensure that the state has constant electric power generation and distribution; develop and facilitate an enabling environment for embedded power sector investment in the state,” as stated in the bill.
It also provides support in the collection of tariffs and revenue from embedded power end users and ensures the protection of electric power generation, evacuation infrastructure and prescribe appropriate sanctions.
The bill on land use charge is entitled “A Bill for a law to provide for the consolidation of property and land based charges and make provisions for the levying and collection of land use charge in Lagos State and for connected purposes.”
The law provides that each local government area in the state shall be the collecting authority and is shall be the only body empowered to levy and collect tenement rates for its area of jurisdiction.
Land Use Charge, the law states, shall be payable in respect of property that is not exempted under Section 12 of the law.
Some of the properties exempted from the law include property owned and occupied by a religious body and used exclusively as a place of worship or religious education.
Also exempted are public cemeteries and burial grounds as well as property used as a registered educational institution certified by the Commissioner to be nonprofit making.
In addition, the law exempts any property specifically exempted by the Executive Governor by notice published in the State Official Gazette and all palaces of recognized Obas and Chiefs in the state.
However, the law made it clear that an exempted property shall become liable for Land Use Charge if the use of such property changes to one that does not qualify for exemption.
According to the law, the Commissioner shall cause to be issued in each financial year a Land Use Charge Demand Notice with respect to every chargeable property that has been assessed in accordance with the provisions of the law.
“The Land Use Charge Demand Notice may be delivered to the Owner or Occupier and can also be requested for by either the Owner, Occupied or authorized agent of the Property at any of the Land Use Charge offices or via electronic platform,” the law read.
The law emphasised that the amount of the Land Use Charge payable on any Property shall be arrived at, by multiplying the Market Value of the Property by the applicable Relief Rate and Annual Charge Rate using the prescribed formulae.

Meanwhile, the House has urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to immortalise its late Special Adviser on Commerce, Industry and Ci-Operative.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has raised the issue and stated that it was painful that the late SA died, while playing football, which he has passion for.
“We heard the news of the death of Mr. Deji Tinubu. It was a tragic one and a sad news. We could not revive him or bring him back to life. But we surrendered to the will of God. He died, while doing what he knows how to do best. We will write a condolence letter to the family,” the Speaker said.
This was corroborated by Hon. Tunde Buraimoh, Hon. SOB Agunbiade and Hon. Oladele Adekanye.
It will be recalled that the late Mr. Deji Tinubu died last week Thursday in Epe, while playing football with his colleagues during a retreat organised for the state executive members and senior government officials.

Tobun Urges NASU To End Strike -Distributes 250 UTME Forms To Constituents

A Lagos lawmaker, Hon. Abiodun Tobun on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government to dialogue with the striking Non Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) in the interest of Nigerian students.

Tobun made the appeal in an interview with the newsmen on the sideline of his annual distribution of Free Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) forms to secondary school leavers in Epe, who are seeking admission into tertiary institutions.

The lawmaker, representing Epe Constituency I at the Lagos State House of Assembly, distributed 250 forms to students.

NASU strike, which commenced on December 10, 2017, has lingered for over a month now.

“When there is a dispute, it should be resolved, it is my prayer that the Federal Government and all those in charge of the educational sector will listen to the demands of NASU.

“Their request should be addressed and they should resolve it so that the schools will be reopened for full academic activities, ” he said.

On the Free UTME forms distribution, Tobun said: “We need to come back and impact on the lives of our people .

“Today, we are distributing 250 forms to secondary school leavers and I don’t think I know more than or two of them.

“We have done it in the past impacting directing in the lives of our young ones.

“This is a give back mechanism to the society because education is the bedrock of development.

“Some parents can afford to buy the forms, while some cannot, but I feel I should encourage the students and add values to the society.

“This is also a way to complement the good job of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode in the area of education.

“Many of those who enjoyed this annual gesture in the past have gained admission into tertiary institutions,” he said.

The lawmaker revealed that the performance of those who enjoyed previous gestures has kept encouraging him, adding that many of them have moved forward and that he felt elated and motivated.

He stressed that he had been giving out free GCE forms to students annually to help indigent constituents.

Tobun, however urged the beneficiaries to be determined and remained focussed saying that they will be the one to help other indigent students in the future.

The lawmaker said that he would also organise Pre-UTME coaching programme in core subjects for the students so that they could succeed in the examination.

“If we get better results, we are going to increase the number of the beneficiaries next year,” he said.

According to him, 25 other students were sponsored to Government Technical College, Odomola Epe for three- year courses in 2016 and they would soon graduate, while a new set would go in.

In his goodwill message, Hon. Bola Gbabijo, a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, said that many parents in the area were unable to sponsor the education of their children, which he said was why Hon. Tobun came to their rescue.

Gbabijo, who urged the parents to assist their children to ensure they pass the examination, advised the beneficiaries to work hard to justify the magnanimity of the lawmaker.

Also speaking, Hon. Faliu Arebi, a former lawmaker from the area, said that the gesture would increase the number of Epe ambassadors in Nigerian universities.

Arebi, who called for a declaration of a state of emergency in Epe public schools, urged Tobun to work with Ambode on the proposed International Airport and the Sea Port in the area.

The former parliamentarian urged the Lagos State House of Assembly to get prepared and raise its voice against the rampaging activities of herdsmen and farmers.

One of the beneficiaries, Master Ahmed Olufowobi, a 16- year old student described Tobun as “a good man” saying that the gesture would help his resolve to study Medicine and Surgery.

Another student, Miss Damilola Balogun, said: “I have my O’level results but my parents do not have money for UTME form.

“I thank our lawmaker for this gesture which will help me pursue Business Administration in the university.”

Mater Ibrahim Adeleke, one of the students sponsored to the Technical College studying Electrical Electronic also appreciated the lawmaker for his kindness.

Master Lasisi Idris, an undergraduate student of LASU studying Medicine and Surgery, who benefited from Tobun’s free UTME form in 2017, lauded the lawmaker for his magnanimity.

INEC Should Be Prepared For New Challenges In 2019- Bisi Yusuff

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been advised to be ready to face new challenges as the 2019 General Elections are fast approaching.

Making this call is a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adebisi Yusuff, who added that efforts should be made to make the elections free and fair.

“INEC should be prepared to face new challenges. The elections would be interesting and memorable. Talking about card readers, I don’t think there is an alternative to them, but they should be updated regularly,” he said.

Yusuff, representing Alimosho Constituency 1 in the Assembly, however spoke against the registration of new political parties by INEC.

According to him, some parties that were registered in the past could not produce even a councilor, adding that if they register 1000 political parties, some of them would be dead on arrival.

The lawmaker, who is the Acting Chairman of the Adhoc Committee on Public Accounts (Local) said that the electorates would identify the real parties, when the time comes.

On the various issues in Nigeria that could pose challenges to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the politician stated that the party would survive them.

He added that the current government is better than the past, and that the government has achieved much within three years that they got to office.

“The Federal Government cannot be taken in isolation, you have to consider the state governments. it is when you add all these together that you can now judge.

“Look at the monumental achievements of the government of Lagos and Osun States. People don’t appreciate it, when you are there.

“Look at their achievements in the area of employment creation, agriculture and infrastructural development.

“Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has achieved a lot in Lagos State, same goes for Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State.

“It is when people are using a negative side of propaganda to attack you that you will have the kind of reports coming out about Osun State.

“If you go to Oshogbo, even by 3am you would still see people in the Freedom Park. It is almost 24 hour economy.

“Go to the rural areas in Osun State and see what is happening in both agriculture and the education sectors, you would marvel,” he said.

Bisi Yusuff added that it is normal to see different kinds of rat race as the 2019 elections are fast approaching.

He stressed that there would be a lot of blackmailing, backstabbing creation of a lot of stories, where there are no stories.

He said: “They would create make-believe stories to tarnish the image of their rivals. Instead of issue based campaign, it would now be campaign against one another. I want to advise the people that they should not attack one another.

“Those who want to re-contest elections should not abandon their responsibilities for campaigns.

“This is the best time for them to work and serve the people that gave them the mandate to serve. If they do otherwise, it is worse than armed robbery.”

Yusuff said further that it would be wrong for public office holders to abandon the people, when they have not finished what they were voted to do.

He emphasised that people were becoming wiser, and that it is now one would see members of the National Assembly that would be going back home to deceive people.

While advising against money politics, the lawmaker explained that Nigerians were getting wiser and sophisticated, saying that if anyone gives them money they would collect it and they would not vote for him or her.

On the menace of Fulani herdsmen in the country, he advised the security agencies to use their intelligence network to unravel the problem.

“It is not about the President, we have different departments. We have structures, I believe that it is another penetration of Book Haram into the system.

“I saw a video, where they were maltreating people in such a way that animals could not bite themselves like that.

“The kind of arms they carry cannot be carried by Fulani herdsmen. My advice is that the Federal Government should wake up.

“The security agents such as DSS, Police, Army and others should so something quickly.

“The most ridiculous is the statement by Ghanian President urging his people to kill stray cows and that Ghana is not Nigeria,” he stated.

Lagos Assembly Moves To Re-introduce TESCOM

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday said that its move to reintroduce the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) in the state was borne out of the need to further strengthen education sector.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa disclosed this at A-Day Stakeholders’ Meeting on a Bill for a Law to Provide for the

Establishment of the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission for the Control and Management of the Teaching Service Matters and for

Connected Purposes.

Obasa, who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun Sanni said: “this all important bill tries to encapsulate all the things

needed to make the transfer of knowledge in our schools seamless.

The speaker, however, said that all the suggestions of stakeholders

would be factored in the final bill that would be passed by the House.

Doing an overview of the bill, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the House said that the bill seeks to repeal the Lagos State

Post-Primary Teaching Service Law Cap. L54, Laws of Lagos State of

Nigeria, 2015.

According to Agunbiade, the bill will strength education institution

and take care of the teaching and non-teaching staff as well as

protecting members of the commission.

“The bill has 56 sections and 5 schedules and the intendment is to

strengthen educational institutions especially the post primary.

“It is also to take care of teachers and ensure that only

professionally qualified teachers will be teaching in Lagos State.

This is noble and will prevent infiltration in the teaching

profession,’’ he said.

Agunbiade said that the bill properly validated the creation of the

six Education Districts in the state.

He said that the bill also provided for the establishment of the Lagos

State Teaching Service Commission Board consisting of five full-time

members who shall be appointed by the Governor.

The bill empowers the commission to exercise control over all the education districts by coordinating the management of districts.

The section 10 of the bill spelt out the functions of the commission

to include: “maintenance of comprehensive and up-to-date personal

records for the teaching service and ensure staff welfare and

training.

“Supervise the activities of the six (6) Education Districts

established within the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) among others.

Meanwhile, the section 11 of the bill highlighted the powers of the

commission to include: “employ all categories of teaching and

non-teaching staff for placement in all Education Districts, subject

to the approval of the Governor’’.

The stakeholders took turns to commend the bill but expressed some

reservation on composition of the boards, creation of State Registration of Teachers Unit among others.

In his contribution, Mrs Oyefunke Adepoju , the First Vice President

of the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools

(ANCOPSS) called for representation of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and ANCOPSS on the board.

Comrade Segun Raheem, the Lagos State Chairman of NUT, who noted that the bill was important, however said that the five-member board of the commission was inadequate to cater for the large population of the teachers.

Raheem also cautioned against tendencies to make Tutor

Generals/Permanent Secretaries (TG/PS)of the six Education Districts subservient to their counterparts in the commission and Ministry of Education.

On the establishment of the Teachers Registration Unit, the union

leader said that this was unnecessary as the teachers in the state had registered with the Teacher Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).

“If we want to put things right, the TGs/PS for the education

districts should be appointed from the serving principals in the state

rather than choosing officers from the ministry,’’ he said.

Mr Gbolahan Enilolobo, the Coordinator, Lagos Chapter of TRCN, who

noted that teaching profession has to be professionalised, added that

the state Teachers Registration Unit was not necessary.

“Almost 96 per cent of teachers of both public and private schools in

the state had been certified by TRCN and the certificates are

internationally recognized,’’ Enilolobo said.

Speaking with newsmen, Hon. Olanrewaju Ogunyemi, the Chairman, House Ad hoc Committee on Education said: “It is the wisdom the state government to harmonise two laws.

“By the time we look at the observations and comments, we will come out with a clean bill that would strengthen the education sector’’.

According to him, the state will now have a commission to look at

promotion, transfer of teachers, discipline and others.

“We want to assure the parents that public schools would be properly operated and they can be sure that their children are in safe hands.

“There would be more discipline on the part of the teachers and that

would translate to discipline on the part of the students and the

education sector,’’ Ogunyemi said.

New Land Use Charge’ll be beneficial to property owners -Lagos Assembly

Lagos State House of Assembly has given assurance that the proposed harmonized Bill on Land Use Charge in the State would be based on market value, noting that it would be beneficial to property owners.

The Law seeks to harmonized Land Rates Law, Neighbourhood Improvement Charge Law and Tenement Rates Law.

When passed into law, all other rates on land cease to operate except the Land Use Charge.

According to the Acting Chairman of the Adhoc Committee on Finance in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Oluyinlka Ogundimu, the new law would correct some wrongs in the system.

Ogundimu stated during a stakeholders meeting on the Land Use Charge (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Law, 2017 on Tuesday that a situation, where some houses still pay N1,500 as land use charge is not palatable.

The event held at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium in the Assembly premises.

“We have to harmonise some bills to form this new one. With the new law, the local government will not come with a bill, while the state government would come with another one on property.

“We want everything to be harmonised and make it convenient for the people. We have ensured that we will consider the market value of the houses,” he said.

The lawmaker added that some of the houses are close to the market value, while others are far from it.

According to him, “what would be given out would be the value of the land and the building and the rate would be determined by the government.

“What we will have will be the market value and this has been reduced by 40%. We called the public hearing to hear the opinions of the people. We will look at their position papers.

While commenting on those exempted from the charge, Ogundimu noted “Religious bodies would not be affected, but if you go commercial like running a school, you would not be exempted.

He added that the law was enacted in 2001 and that there is a need to look at grey areas and harmonise the laws.

“The enactment of the law cannot be completed without a public hearing to get responses from stakeholders,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the new law would make life easy for the people of the state and that the House was passionate about anything that would affect the people positively.

Obasa, who was represented at the event by his Deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni urged the stakeholders to express their minds at the public hearing.

While giving the overview of the Bill, the Majority Leader, Hon Sanai Agunbiade stated that the proposed law differs from the old payment charge as the new charges would be based on market value.

It is stated in the Bill in section 6, “As from the commencement of the law, the annual amount of the Land Use Charge payable for any Property shall be arrived at by multiplying the Market Value of the Property by the applicable Relief Rate and Annual Charge Rate using the prescribed formulae outlined below and more particularly described in the Schedule to this law.

The Bill went further to explain the formulae as Land Value + Building Developments Value * Relief Rate * Charge Rate.

According section 6 (2) of the Bill, “the land value and building value rates constituting the market value of the property shall be reviewed at least once every five years on the basis of information available to professional valuers, and may vary from area to area.”

Some of the stakeholders who attended the hearing commended the state government for coming up with a Bill that would harmonize charges on properties but cautioned it not to over burden the owners and occupiers.

The Chairman of Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria, Mr. Lawrence Nnoli said that the law usurped some constitutional provisions, saying that “I will implore the House not to be against the federation.”

He urged the House to exempt some Non-Governmental Organisations from payment of charges as accordng to him they are not profit oriented.

Also, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Mr. Rasak Balogun observed that educational institutions should not be exempted from the payment of land use charge as he said that some of them are being operated as commercial organisations.

Balogun also advised that there should be proper identification and notification so that those coming for valuation would be identified by property owners.

He suggested that estate valuers, architects and others should be part of the tribunal to be set up for the bill, when it becomes a law.

Another stakeholder, Mr. Thompson Akpabio, who spoke for the organised private sector said that the new bill would increase the burden of property owners in the state.

Mr. Akinbajo Adekunle from Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry, in his opinion, stated that summary conviction is not well spelt out in the Bill, and that it would increase the pain of property owners in the state.

However, the Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors, Mr. Olurogba Orimolade suggested that at least three estate surveyors should be appointed as members of the tribunal.

“Estate surveyors should be part of the tribunal as they know much about valuation. We should be seen as partners in progress.

“The formula should have more engagements of the institution and I would say that the Lagos State Government is losing money by neglecting us,” he said.

New Year: Lagos Speaker Obasa Praises Nigerians’ Support, Understanding; Assures Of Greater Achievements In 2018

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has commended Nigerians for their courage, resilience and support in the past year, assuring that 2018 will bring in greater achievements by all tiers of government.

The Speaker’s commedation was contained in his New Year message released in Lagos on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Rasak.

According to him, in spite of the challenges facing the country, the past year witnessed lots of achievements particularly in Lagos State which have contributed to improved standard of living for the citizens and enhance their welfare.

Rt. Hon. Obasa acknowledged the fact that while the country is still facing some challenges, government at all levels will not relent in putting in place measures and programmes that will enhance the welfare of the people.

“We recorded some great achievemnts in 2017 particularly in Lagos State where the Akinwunmi Ambode administration has done a lot to improve the standard of living of the people through massive construction and implementation of people-oriented programmes.

“There are still challenges but I want to assure you that government at all levels will not relent in putting in place measures, programmes, projects and policies that will enhance the welfare of our people in our aim to continue to improve their standard of living,” the Lagos Assembly Speaker said.

Rt. Hon. Obasa stated further that despite the challenges faced by the country, Nigerians have remained resilient, courageous, supportive and united in their resolve to cooperate with government at all levels to surmount the challenges noting that Nigerians, particularly Lagosians deserve commendation and praises.

“While we remain united in our resolve to make Nigeria attain greater heights, we will continue to seek for your support, prayers, cooperation and understanding for the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration at all levels.

“I want to assure you that 2018 will bring in greater achievements which will enhance the welfare of our people. I wish you all a prosperous and fulfilling year,” Rt. Hon. Obasa said.