BE PRAYERFUL AND HOPEFUL FOR A BETTER LIFE IN NEW YEAR

The Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has called on Lagosians to be prayerful and hopeful for a better life in the New Year.

Obasa also saluted Lagosians for their resourcefulness, courage, resilience and prayers which have seen them through the last two decades of our nascent democracy.

Rt. Hon Obasa made this statement in his New Year message via a press release on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Tolani Abati.

” I know you are very hardworking, resourceful, resilient and prayerful, all of which have seen you through the harsh economic realities of the last two decades of our democracy, ” he said.

He urged Lagosians not to relent in their hard work and resiliency since these are the sure bet of living the life of their dreams.

He said the State Government of which the Lagos House of Assembly is an integral part is doing everything within it’s power to make them achieve the best.

” We will continue to seek your support and prayers in this onerous task of providing you the necessary infrastructure and enabling environment.

“As we step into 2020, in a matter of hours, I pray that we shall have sweeter stories to tell in our personal lives and national life. Have a wonderful 2020.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY APPROVES ₦1.168.5 TRN FOR Y2020 BUDGET

Lagos Lawmakers have passed the Y2020 Budget estimates presented by Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu into Law.

The total Budget stood at ₦1, 168, 561, 893, 990 (One Trillion, One Hundred and Sixty Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Ninety Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Naira) only, making a breakdown of ₦457, 528, 918, 805 (Four Hundred and Fifty Seven Billion, Five Hundred and Twenty Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Eighteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Five Naira) as Recurrent, and a Capital Expenditure of ₦711, 032, 979, 185, (Seven Hundred and Eleven Billion, Thirty Two Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Nine Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty Five Naira).

Works and Infrastructure got the highest sectoral allocation of ₦128 Billion, Education ₦47Billion, Environment ₦38Billion and Health Sector ₦33Billion.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, a co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance while presenting the report of the Committee emphasized that the cumulative Budget performance of the Y2019 Budget stood at 71%, while the total revenue performance stood at ₦524,774Billion representing 101% for the period under review.

Hon. Yishawu reminded Members at the presentation of the Y2020 Appropriation by Mr. Governor, which according to him highlighted the THEMES agenda of the Governor Sanwo-Olu led administration, which he said are critical vehicles in driving the Y2020 Budget; the agenda includes, Transport and Traffic Management, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos 21st Century City, Entertainment and Tourism and Security and Governance.

However, the three weeks period of engagement with the MDA’s according to him was revealing and tasking, with incisive discussions, explanations, between the Committee and Government agencies which hitherto led to observation and recommendations presented to the Lawmakers for consideration and approval.

The Lawmakers had intense debate over the presentation, which was consequently adopted as resolution of the House before the Speaker; Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa took the sectoral allocation after the third reading of the bill.

The Budget was thereafter passed into Law by the House, while the Speaker, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to send a clean copy to the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY MOVES TO ENSURE DUE DILIGENCE IN AWARDS OF CONTRACTS IN THE STATE

The Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have resolved to call on the Governor of the State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to direct the State Treasury Office (STO) to ensure that contractors are not paid mobilization fee without properly executing Contract Agreement and valid Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) at all stages of payment.

The House further resolved to call on the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure and the General Manager Public Procurement Agency (PPA) to ensure that only contractors with requisite expertise, equipment, man power and experience should be awarded road construction contracts and those who fail to meet up with project execution as contained in the contract agreement are sanctioned and blacklisted.

The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure and the General Mananger PPA is equally enjoined to ensure that Right of Way is secured and project sites are free from any encumbrance before money is released to contractors while also ensuring that identified companies such as Dangote Group of Companies whose vehicles are responsible for excessive pressure on roads meant for lighter freight in the state should be made to bring their Cooperate Social Responsibility on such roads and the Special Adviser of that Ministry should ensure that project engineers maintain quality supervision. Also, defaulting contractors will be l appropriately sanctioned henceforth.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun representing Epe Constituency I who moved the motion observed the negligence of some corporate entities whose trucks damage othe roads without any sign of concern by the companies as well as lack of Corporate Social Responsibilities – CSR “ government cannot do it alone”.

Hon. Bisi Yusuf opined that there must be quality, value for money. He reminded the Speaker Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa that one of the roads he commissioned, Kudirat Abiola Road, 14 years ago has no single pothole . He suggested that weigh bridges to measure weight of loaded articulated vehicles should be resuscitated.

Hon. Olowo who also contributed suggested that at every stage of mobilization and other payments, the Advance Payment Guarantee (APG) should be alive.

Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu also in his view observed that some contractors move to site without Contract Agreement. He suggested that the Ministry of Justice should ensure that contract agreement is in place before any work commences.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu Constituency I added that trailers with containers on Oba Sekuwole road in Ikorodu are still plying the hazardous road, “ it is a daily harrowing experience for people that pass through the area”.

The House therefore resolved to call on the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to take necessary action by directing concerned government agencies on issues raised by the lawmakers.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY ENJOINS LASG TO RETURN UNCOMPENSATED LAND TO OWNERS

Lagos State House of Assembly has called on Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State to ensure that where lands and property acquired for overriding public interests are not used for the intended purposes and compensations were not paid, such land should be returned to the original owners from whom they were acquired.

This is sequel to the petition titled, “Unlawful encroachment on Andoyi Alashe Chieftaincy Family Land Measuring approximately 16,867.766 Square Metre at Obanikoro: Re:Appeal for release of the land”

The Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, saddled with the responsibility observed that the petition alleged a portion of land measuring 16,857.766 square metre out of the vast land in Obanikoro, Lagos belonging to Andoyi Alashe Chieftaincy family was being encroached upon by the Lagos State Government despite the Supreme Court Judgment in 1951 in favor of the family.

The Committee therefore, in its bid to confirm the veracity of the allegation invited the petitioner and respondents to meetings; including the necessary Ministries, Department and Agencies of Government and embarked on on-the-spot assessment to the site in dispute.

Based on oral and written submissions by the concerned parties, the Committee observed that there was a valid Supreme Court Judgment of 1951 on the vast land in Obanikoro in favor of Andoyi Alashe Chieftaincy family and a High Court Judgment of 1997 in favor of Andoyi Alashe Chieftaincy family against registered Trustee of Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM).

It was also discovered that the Lagos State Government invited and sought the consent of Andoyi Alashe Chieftaincy family in 1995 for dredging and drainage construction in recognition of the fact that the family owned the land.

Further findings by the Committee showed that the ₦143, 125.00 (One Hundred and Forty-Three Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Five Naira) only purported to have been paid by the Government as compensation represented half of the total compensation due to the family as ordered by the Lagos State Land Tribunal Judgment of 1981, which further represented 114.5 acres of land and there was no proof or document from Lands Bureau to show that any other compensation was paid to the family.

Barr. Bamidele Ogundele, solicitor to Andoyi Alashe Chieftaincy family, informed the Committee that his client had been the beneficial owner and in lawful possession of a vast land at Obanikoro, Lagos out of which a portion measuring 16, 857.766 square metre suddenly became contentious between the family and Lagos State Government.

He stated further that the 25 plots of land in question had been fenced by the family for the past 25 years before the Lagos State Government later came on board to acquire same and despite all the documents afore-mentioned, the Office of Surveyor General refused to grant survey approval on the property to the family.

He enjoined the House through the Committee to prevail on the Office of Surveyor General to expeditiously grant survey approval for the family in view of the fact that all other necessary documents on the said land had been obtained.

In the view of the above, the Committee recommended that Andoyi Alashe Chieftaincy family should take permanent possession of the 25 plots of land in contention; the Office of Surveyor General should as a matter of urgency approve the survey plan by Andoyi Alahse Chieftaincy family on the 25 plots of land; and all necessary documents in respect of the 25 plots of land in contention be approved to Andoyi Alashe Family by the relevant Agencies of Government including Lands Bureau.

The recommendations as amended were therefore adopted to be the resolutions of the House.

LAGOS LAWMAKERS HONOUR FORMER MEMBER, HON. YAHAYA DOSUNMU AT 80.

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly celebrated Hon. Yahaya Adeniyi Atanda Dosunmu, a former Member, representing Victoria-Island/Eti-Osa Constituency in the 1st and 2nd Assembly on his approaching 80th Birthday celebration at the Plenary Session on Monday.

Hon. Noheem Adams, representing Eti-Osa Constituency 1, moved that “today serves as a day to commemorate Hon. Dosunmu for his achievements during his tenure as a Legislator in the 1st and 2nd Assembly.”

While running through the profile of the celebrant, Hon. Adams highlighted the various accomplishments of the former Lawmaker; He stated that, “He was born on December 25th, 1939 into Dosunmu and Shitta Oloyede Families of Adomu in Lagos State. He commenced his life journey by practical demonstration of the words of the 35th President of the United States of America (USA), John F Kennedy that, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”.

“Hon. Dosunmu also made his mark in the main stream South-West progressive politics, when he became the first elected Member from Eti-Osa Community representing Victoria Island and Eti-Osa in Lagos State House of Assembly between 1979 to 1983. His achievements earned him a re-election in 1983 for another 4 year term before the Military struck and became the beginning of the good things to happen to Eti-Osa Community”.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa Constituency 11, described the former Lawmaker as a sagacious political leader, who was a two-term Honourable Member in the House and chaired various Committees such as Committee on House Services, Sports, Works, Housing, and Home Affairs.

He added that, Hon. Yahaya moved major motions on “the need to stop landing rates for canoes; the need to introduce mobile health services programme in all rural areas; that Commissioner for Health direct Santos builders to complete the abandoned health clinic at Ogoyo in Eti-Osa; that the Commissioner for Trade establish small scale industries in the rural areas of the State.

In his submission, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, appreciated the leadership of the House for honouring the celebrant as it serve as the easiest way to celebrate former Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

He further said that the celebrant, who is a communist, moved the Law that set Land feuds to an end and was very active during debates on bill presentations, as he seconded many motions and also tabled many procedural motions.

Hon. Dosunmu, in his response, appreciated the Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the House, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, other Principal Officers and other Honourable Members of the Assembly.

While recognizing the presence of the invited dignitaries who were received into the hallowed chamber and those who facilitated the Special Parliamentary Session in his honour, Hon. Dosunmu expressed gratitude to his Creator for sparing his life to witness the occasion.

He described the Legislative Arm of Government as the most powerful, based on the functions in the Constitution and that those functions were not been well exploited by all the State Houses in Nigeria.

He added that the Legislative Houses are not following the welfare packages for Ex- Honourable Members as there should be an enabling Law for whoever passes through any parliament in Nigeria.

He implored the State House that this should be a birthday gift for him, “Lagos State should cater for the health care and basic needs of past Lawmakers; a monthly stipend should be allocated to their care. If Lagos moves this Law, other States would emulate” He said.

The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, who presided over the Plenary Session, celebrated the former Lawmaker, who has contributed to the development of Lagos State. “He has spent his entire life towards the attainment of success, and left indelible marks for all his successors to succeed with ease. The next generation would hear of an erudite pathfinder. We are proud to count his age by smiles and not by tears.”

REMARK BY THE SPEAKER, LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, RT HON. MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA, AT THE 12TH ANNUAL HIJRAH LECTURE ORGANISED BY THE ASSEMBLY’S MUSLIM COMMUNITY AT THE ASSEMBLY COMPLEX ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2019.

PROTOCOLS

As Salam alaikun warahama tu Lahi,
Wabaraka tuhu

All praises are due to Almighty Allah, the Giver and Taker of life. It is because of His pleasure, approval and mercy that we are still humans. We are therefore grateful to Him, for giving us the opportunity to be alive and in good health and for giving us the opportunity to be here today. Alihamudu li Lahi, robili alamin.

The theme for this year’s event – “Poverty  Alleviation: Challenges and Islamic Strategies” is appropriate, particularly as we battle increasing serious societal decay. This topic is especially needed to re-awaken our consciousness on the place of Islam as a religion in addressing societal issues as well as the need for us to re-examine ourselves on how we relate to the people around us as Muslims.

Over the years, Poverty alleviation programs and policies have evolved, including a succession of policies and plans by Government, Non-Governmental Organizations and International Donor Agencies. The Nigerian Government at different times introduced policies and plans with a view to addressing the problem of poverty but the problem still persists. In spite of these various efforts as intensified by both internal and external systems, poverty has become not only more complicated but almost impossible due largely to a number of challenges notable among which are both individual and institutional. This amplifies that the efforts have proven too inadequate to reduce poverty, hence persistence of the scourge in the country.

It is interesting to note that poverty is one of the calamities that Allah has decreed should happen, either to a specific person or a family or a society. On material ground, Islam defines poverty based on individual failure to fulfil basic human requirements of religion, physical self, knowledge, dignity and wealth. Islam, being a religion of balance, views poverty as social and ideological problem. It is considered as social problem because the effects are felt in the society as a whole. It is viewed as ideological problem because it affects one’s performance of religious obligation towards community and Islam, and may even lead to kufr (disbelief).

However, Islam encourages lawful earnings and abhors laziness and indolence. It allows mankind to move from place to place in search of viable and reasonable livelihood and there is no room for unwise decision to live in poverty or under persecution and oppression.

Islam enjoins man to struggle to earn his living through lawful means while it renounces earning through sinful means like looting, plundering, extortion, gambling and robbery. It equally condemns begging as a means of sustenance.

Ladies and gentlemen, today’s developmental challenges of unemployment, exclusion, inequality, economic shocks and corruption in Nigeria oblige us to rethink the way out of these problems since successive efforts have failed as stated earlier. Nevertheless, this has been taken care of by Islam 1400 years ago through institutions of Zakat, Awqaf, Sadaqat etc.

The means that have been prescribed by Islam to solve the problem of poverty and combat it are numerous. One of them is teaching people to believe truly that provision comes from Allaah and that He is the Provider (al-Razzaaq), and every calamity that Allaah decrees is for a reason, and that the poor Muslim should be patient in bearing his calamity and strive to relieve himself and his family of poverty.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allaah is the All‑Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:58]

“Who is he that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision? Nay, but they continue to be in pride, and (they) flee (from the truth)” [al-Mulk 67:21]

It is because of these beliefs that a man should bear with patience whatever befalls him of the calamity of poverty, and turn to Allaah alone in seeking provision, and accept the decree of Allaah, and strive to earn a living.

The Islamic approach in addressing poverty alleviations involves three distinct sets of measures in alleviating poverty: positive measures, preventive measures, and corrective measures.

Islam engages different positive measures in alleviating poverty such as income growth,  functional distribution of income, and equal opportunity.

Islamic economy also ensures preventive measures be taken so that wealth is not concentrated in a specific section of a population; such as control over ownership, and  prevention of malpractices.

The “corrective measures” fosters wealth transfers so that wealth is not concentrated among the wealthy through compulsory transfers (Zakat), recommended transfers (charity), and state responsibility (enforcement and basic needs).

Allah Almighty, in the Holy Qur’an, praises the faithful followers by saying that they, for love of God, give their food to the needy, orphans, and captives. (86:8)

Allah is here explaining the characteristic feature of the believers. The sincere and devout followers offer help and assistance to the deprived members of the society. “Sadqa” is the term used for giving charity in the way of God to help fellow human beings.

The Prophet (SAW) has explained the advantages and benefits of Sadqa. Likewise, Allah, in many places in the Holy Qur’aan has instructed the financially capable to give “Sadqa”.

In Surah Ba’qara, Allah says, “O believers, whatever you have been given by God, spend from it.” (2:254)

In the same Surah, He further says, “Those people who spend money in the way of God in a hidden or explicit manner will receive great reward from their Creator.” (2:247)

In the light of the above mentioned Qur’aanic verses and the words of the Prophet (SAW), it is clear that Islam aims and aspires to create a certain ideology which dictates that a person should not just live focusing only on his own needs and wants. On the contrary, a person should think as a member of a society where many needy, homeless, and poor people may require his/her help. In this way, Islam promotes feelings of brotherhood and societal collective thinking.

Overall, distinguished guests, the Islamic approach for poverty alleviation is based on the premise that poverty is a historical phenomenon bearing multiple dimensions and causal roots. It is defined as a situation of non-satisfaction of material and socio-political ingredients that provide well-being. The absence of these ingredients causes human deprivation and decrease in the required level of human well-being consistent with the lofty status of man. A satisfactory solution of the poverty problem needs implementing a comprehensive policy package that realises accelerated growth favouring poor people. The Islamic social security system, by providing adequate safeguards against risky conditions, enables poor people to live a relatively stable and peaceful life.

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, all I have done was to give a brief overview of the topic of discussion.  However, the organisers have brought competent Islamic scholars to discuss fully this subject and I want to hand over to them to do what they know how to do best. Let us listen to them and learn from their lecture and use it to improve our lives and our relationship with our Creator.

I thank you all for listening and once again, I say as-Salam alaikun warahamatu Lahi wabaraka tuhu.

Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly