LAGOS ASSEMBLY SET TO AMEND CHILD RIGHT LAW TO ENCOMPASS ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN IN ALL SCHOOLS IN THE STATE

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, ruled that in consideration of the spate of drug abuse and alcohol consumption among students in primary and secondary schools in the State, the Child Rights Law should be amended to accommodate sensitisation campaign programmes on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco consumption among students and its resultant harmful effects.

He added that the Law needs to be amended judiciously for vigilance of unlawful trading and sales of drugs and alcohol as well as come up with pictorial campaigns that will convince the students especially those who have drowned in the pool of drug usage, the consequences of drugs.

He further said, “The school authority should also have committees to identify those who inculcate the habit of drug consumption as well as empower the committees in charge to carry out these assignments to avoid legal implications.”

“It is a motion that seeks to correct the attitude of our children towards drugs and alcohol.” However, the parents should not be left out, parents should be aware of the child’s attitudinal change, when they start taking drugs, any parent that fails in his or her responsibilities to train the child will also be charged with consequences. The parents have a vital role to play.” Obasa maintained.

Hon. Desmond Elliot, the prime mover of the Motion during Plenary drew the attention of the House, that experiment with drugs, alcohol and tobacco oftentimes starts from elementary schools and reaches the peak in high schools where its adverse effect is remarkably high on the students.

“The unrestrained abuse of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other prohibited drugs used by the students hinder the achievement of their educational attainment and steer them to vices such as gangsterism, gang rape and cultism.
Therefore we need to take punitive measures to ensure these vices are rooted out.” He said.

Members who commented on the issue extensively condemned the alarming rate of drug abuse and alcohol consumption amongst students;

Hon. Eshinlokun-Wasiu disclosed that the prevalence of drug abuse in Lagos is worrisome as 69% of the youth under the ages of 15 to 18 are drug abusers, “Drug is like a curse, until it is broken the addict usually remains under the shackles of bondage and we need to break this shackle.” He said.

Hon. Sanai Agunbiade expressed concerns on students especially with the resumption of schools from forced closure occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, “The impressions made on the young minds also causes adverse effects to these children and make drugs palatable to them. This motion could not have come at a better time.” He added.

The House further resolved amongst others; to call on Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State to direct the Commissioners; Ministries of Education; Information and Strategy; Youth and Social Development and other relevant agencies to embark on anti-drug campaign programmes for all primary and secondary schools in the State; the Chairman, Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit to carry out strict enforcement against the sale of drugs, alcohol and tobacco within and outside the school premises.

It was also mandated that the Commissioner of Police should have an eagle eye on school environment to ensure that vices are rooted out of schools; to encourage the schools to develop anti-drug societal clubs and identify students who can be ambassadors for anti-drug and alcohol consumption usage; as well as charge every parent and guardian to complement the effort of the government to carefully watch their children and ward to give them the right training.

Also at Plenary, Lagos State Legislative and Research Institute Bill, 2020; A Bill for a Law to establish the Lagos State Legislative and Research Institute scaled through first reading; as well as Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill, 2020; A Bill for a Law to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, CAP. A3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 scaled through its second reading.

Members also considered the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill, 2020 Bill, clause-by-clause and the Speaker committed the Bill to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Petitions & LASIEC to report to the House in three weeks.

OBASA, LAGOS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ASSURE TOKUNBO ABIRU OF THEIR SUPPORT

The Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr. ) Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa has assured Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, the consensus aspirant of APC, Lagos, for the Lagos East Senatorial bye-election coming up on Saturday, October 31, 2020, of their support to make he emerge winner on that day.

According to the Speaker, ” You have come to solicit for our support. I want to assure you that you have our support already. It is the responsibility of all of us in this House and not those from Lagos East alone to support you.

The Speaker, who is also the Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislature in Nigeria, gave this assurance to Mr. Tokunbo Abiru when he led his Tokunbo Abiru Campaign Team( TACT) on a courtesy visit to the House on Monday, August 31, 2020.

The Speaker also assured Abiru that he and other members will support him physically, morally, and in any other way to make sure he emerges victorious on that election day.

“It is not your election. It is our election because whatever the outcome, it has implications on all of us, our party in Lagos, and what will happen in the next election of 2023″.

” For us, we have no choice. We believe in our Commander-in-Chief. We listen to our Commander-in-Chief. Whenever he declared this is the way, we follow him. And whatever he says, we ensure it is follow to its logical conclusion. This is not going to be an exemption.” He said.

Obasa said he can attest to the integrity of Abiru because he had worked closely with him when he was the Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State while he was serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Economic Planning Budget.
“It is people like you that we need in the political terrain now. Somebody that will change the perspective of people about an average politician.”

The Speaker said Abiru is already on the path success through his action of bringing everybody together.

Mr. Tokunbo Abiru in his earlier opening speech said he had all his life in Lagos. That all his educational career were all done in Lagos. He said having benefitted so much from Lagos State throughout his educational career and served 32 years in the private sector, he deemed it fit to play a prominent role in the public sector again.

Members of the House who joined the speaker to welcome Mr. Tokunbo Abiru includes, Hon Sanai Agunbiade, Hon Nurudeen Saka Solaja, Hon Abiodun Tobun, Hon Sylvester Ogunkelu, Hon Sanni Okanlawon, Hon Rotimi Abiru, and Hon Mojeed Fatai.

In the Tokunbo Abiru’s team are Chief Bode Oyedele, Hon Segun Oyedele, Hon Adebimpe Akinsola, and Hon Olusesan Daini.

ILLEGAL DREDGING: LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO PROFFER MORE REGULATIONS FOR DREDGING ACTIVITIES

In a bid to proffer lasting solution to illegal dredging activities in the State, Lagos House of Assembly 7-Man Ad Hoc Committee held a stakeholders’ meeting at the Assembly complex recently.

Hon. Victor Akande, Chairman of the Committee stated that the plethora of petitions received by the House on the havoc caused by illegal dredging in many communities, demanded an immediate advent for solutions to the activities and its environmental effect on the State.

He added that establishing regulations will abate and alleviate the many issues caused by the dredging Industries. “Any Federal Law made must be domesticated in the State and in the process of domesticating the Laws, we have to make regulations to suit our environment. Private establishments cannot be left to operate on State lands and waters without paying dues and fees, especially while making use of the State’s resources.” He said.

In attendance were all essential Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDA’s, Associations, Community Heads and Companies involved in dredging matters in Lagos State.

Hon. Owolabi Ajani supplemented that Lagos State powers also covers the right to establish regulations for the operators on Lagos waterways, regardless of the Mineral Acts which states that Lagos State can only collect Haulage Fees, “We can still set regulations for mining participants on the waterways, as well as how they are mining, the proximity and parameters of the areas in which mining and dredging operates.” He said.

He further stated that many dredging companies are in direct contradiction of the Laws of Nigerian Inland Waterways, NIWA Act which made provisions for the State to have 250 meters from Nigerian Ports which many companies encroach on by having machineries on Lagos State land and dredging tools that goes into its waters.

“When dredging companies obtain Permits in dubious manners to further their goals, they hinder the progress and development of Lagos State and we need you the stakeholders to understand that as residents and members of businesses in Lagos State, there is a need to work closer with the government, in order to be properly guided on areas that requires dredging. With this, we can strengthen your businesses through our policies on dredging in the State.” He enjoined.

In his submission, Mr. Soji Olasunkanmi, who represented the Commissioner for Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, divulged to the Committee, that their role in dredging activities in the State is to perform environmental assessment and one of the many requirements of obtaining Dredging Permits is that dredging companies must undergo Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA before the Ministry of Water Front and Infrastructure can grant them Dredging Permit and same applies to Ministry of Mining before the operators can be granted Mining Permit.

He added that the purpose of the EIA is to identify the possible impacts of the proposed dredging sites to the environment and proffer solution to address those impacts. In the early stage, they had cooperation with the dredging companies until the intervention of NIWA and it was discovered that NIWA granted EIA and Federal Permits without notice to Lagos State.

Mr. Olasunkanmi, citing amended sections of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution highlighted that the State Legislative House is empowered to regulate Laws on environment; which consists of forests, waters, air and lands, within the State.

Arch. Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi, Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure stated that when the ministries involved take necessary actions in making sure dredgers do the right thing, there will be a change in the system.

Also contributing, Engr. Olalere Odusoye, Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, noted that Lagos State Government have the right to issue permits for sand sales and the association should work closely with the Government for lasting solutions.

Hon. Akande noted that the EIA is sacrosanct to the progress of the environment in the State and the Committee will give the Association and other operators a time lapse to ensure that they abide by the Laws and obtain EIA permits from the Ministry of the Environment, emphasizing that after the time elapses, the Ministry is free to go in and enforce penalties on any erring company.

Mr. Batare, Chairman, Lagos Dredgers’ Association assured the Committee that the Association is not aware of any illegal dredging nor practice any form of encroachment on land or on water. He noted that they are just involved in industrial mining, however, guarantee that all dredging operators will abide by the Laws of the State and are prepared to liaise with Lagos State for its progress.

Notable personalities present at the meeting are Hon. Ajani Owolabi (Chairman, House Committee on Youth & Social Development) other parties present include: Engr. Olalere Odusoye (Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources), Mr. Batare (Chairman, Lagos Dredging Association), Mr. Soji Olasunkanmi (representing Hon. Commissioner Ministry of Environment and Water Resources), Barr. Adejare (Legal Adviser, Lagos Dredgers’ Association), Engr. Mrs. Lawal Khadijat, (Chief Chemical Engineer, Ministry of Waterfront & Infrastructure) Members of Ministry of Waterfront and Infrastructure, Ministry of Energy and Resources, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Physical Planning, and Members of the Lagos Dredgers’ Association.

The report on the Stakeholders meeting would be submitted in two weeks for further deliberation.

PROTEST: GROUP IMPLORE LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO ENFORCE RESTRICTION ON MOVEMENT OF TRAILERS IN THE STATE

Members of the Lagos State House Assembly, on behalf of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, received a peaceful protest by the Profer Organization led by Miss. Oluwatodimu Bankole on Thursday at the Assembly complex, demanding for the enforcement of restricted movement hours of containers and other articulated vehicles in Lagos State to the hours between 11pm and 5am.

The protest was aligned with the death of one, Miss Chidinma who died in an accident on the 24th of July, 2020. The accident was said to have been caused by a 20 feet container which had fallen on the commercial bus she boarded and led to four people injured, including one other dead.

Miss Oluwatodimu Bankole while presenting the protest letter to the Lawmakers, expressed their pains over the loss of their loved ones, asking for enforcement on the restrictions of the movement of these vehicles so as to reduce the risk of losing more innocent Lagosians.

She explained that before the accident, Miss. Chidinma was a campaign activist on the need to restrict the movement hours of these Trailers (containers) in Lagos State; “It was almost as if she was asking for her life to be saved before she was killed by same”. She said

“The logistics behind creating new routes for these vehicles or their complete removal is understandable. Nonetheless, if such vehicles cannot be completely removed or rerouted, it is possible that their movement be restricted, ideally between the hours of 11p.m to 5a.m.”

She appealed on behalf of the self-driven, hardworking and tenacious people of Lagos that the House address the killings of innocent Lagosians by these containers, tankers, trailers and trucks in the State.

Hon. Victor Akande who addressed the protesters, condoled with them over the loss of their loved ones and went ahead to express his pleasure over their peaceful demonstration. He assured them that the Speaker would look deeply into the issue and treat it with most urgency and of topmost priority as the protection of lives and property is the sole aim of every government.

He added that the life of every Lagosian should be protected as best as possible through enabling Laws which is what the Lagos Assembly stands for.

They were received by Hon. Victor Akande, Hon. Rauf Age-Sulaimon and the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni.

COVID-19: LSHA COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION BEGINS INSPECTION OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

The Lagos State House Committee on Education has on Tuesday commenced inspection of both public and private schools across the State. The inspection is to ensure that authorities of the schools are adhering to the guidelines given by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 virus as the final year students write their exit examinations.

The Committee, led by the Chairman, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu visited Diary Farm Senior Secondary, Government Senior College, Girls Senior High School, Lagooz Schools International Orile Agege, Abibat Mogaji Millennium Senior Secondary School, Vetland Secondary School and Ifako Ijaye International Secondary School, all in Education District 1 of the State.

Hon. Ogundimu commended the authorities of the schools visited so far on the level of compliance they have set up with the facilities in their various schools, he said, “What we need to do is to encourage them more and call on the Ministry of Education to support and strengthen them whenever they need support.”

“What we have seen on ground is fair, the facilities we met on ground really shows that there are attempts by all of them to work against the spread of COVID-19, however, there is room for improvement”, he added.

Hon. Ogundimu said, “ the fight against the virus goes beyond just the schools only, we need the support of the School Management, Ministry of Education, Quality Assurance Unit of the Ministry of Education and ultimately, the support of parents. I know with these support we should be able to achieve a mileage.”

He noted that no case of COVID-19 has been recorded among the students writing examinations in Lagos State.

It would be recalled that the House resolved during Plenary on Monday, 17th August, 2020 to commit the inspection of public and private schools in Lagos State to the Committee on Education and report back in two weeks.

Other Members of the Committee who went on the inspection tour includes; Hon. Olawale Abdul-Sobur, Hon. Desmond Elliot, Hon. Raheem Adewale and Hon. Bisi Yusuf.

WE HAVE NO OTHER POLITICAL PARTY TO CALL OUR OWN, OBASA URGES FOR CONTINUED UNITY IN APC.

We must come together, work for the success of APC in 2023, Obasa urges party chiefs in Lagos.

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, has urged leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos to continue to maintain unity within the party.

According to Obasa, only through unity can the party sustain its leading roles and victories in elections in the state and Nigeria.

Speaking when he received APC chairmen in all the 57 local government and council development areas of the state at the Assembly complex in Lagos, Obasa, who is also the chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, appealed to the politicians to always maintain cordial relationships, work in the interest of the party and avoid deviation as a result of the quest for personal gains.

Speaking on behalf of the visiting party chairmen, Prince Abiodun Abu, commended the Speaker for the audience and for constantly thinking of the best ways to help the state progress.

Abu noted that the APC chairmen would be happier if they are given more roles to play in the development of the state, which, they agreed, had become of enviable standards as a result of the activities of the House of Assembly as well and its unity with the executive arm of government.

In his response, Speaker Obasa said the party, its elected and appointed officials are aware of the sacrifice the chairmen have made over time for the success of the APC.

While promising that the House would work with the executive arm on the requests made by the party chairmen, Obasa reminded the visiting chieftains that the Lagos State operates in line with legal and constitutional provisions which should also be looked at.

Lawmakers who were at the meeting include the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinloku.

Honourables Temitope Adewale, Sylvester Ogunkelu, Kehinde Joseph, and Sanni Okanlanwo were also at the meeting.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY SUMMONS SANWO-OLU’S CHIEF OF STAFF, OTHERS OVER USAGE OF SECURITY HELICOPTERS.

The Lagos State House of Assembly has summoned the Chief of Staff to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Commissioner For Special Duties and management of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) over the whereabouts of the three helicopters belonging to the state government.

Raising the issue under Matter of Urgent Public Importance during plenary on Monday 24th August, 2020, the Chief Whip of the Assembly, Hon. Mojisola Miranda stated that the offices and MDAs in-charge of the helicopters should be written to and that the Assembly should know the agreement between the state government and Caverton Helicopters who are managers of the helicopters.

“If you may recall, in 2007, the House of Assembly passed a bill for the establishment of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) for the state government to equip and strengthen the security agencies in the state.

“In 2015, three helicopters were bought under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to strengthen security in the state. But, the helicopters are nowhere to be found now.

“I will want us to look at it and get the concerned parties to tell the House the location of the three helicopters to see if they are just lying fallow or if the state government has entered into an agreement with an entity on the equipment and see to what extent the agreement has been working,” she said.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa pointed out that the helicopters were meant for dual purposes, and that they were meant to be used for security purposes and for commercial purposes.

Obasa emphasised that the House should just try to know what has accrued to the state from the helicopters so far, saying that this was the first time the Assembly would be talking about the equipment.

“What we have said so far has nothing to do with the image of the state or the Assembly. What the Chief Whip has done is not too much. We need to know what has happened to the helicopters,” he said.

 

In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) said that the House approved the purchase of two helicopters during the era of former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola,

Olowo added that a commissioner told the House then that they had an agreement with Caverton Nigeria Limited to operate the helicopters so that the state government would make some money from the operations.

He revealed that one helicopter was bought under former governor Akinwunmi Ambode making it three, and that it was important to know how they had been managed so far and where the money was.

Also speaking, Hon. Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki 1) said that the assets were purchased for security purposes and to generate money for the state government.

He added that the House needs to know what has happened to the helicopters and that a committee should be set up to look into the matter.

This was corroborated by Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe 1), who said that the helicopters should be at the reach of the state for security purposes, probity and accountability and that revenue from the equipment should reflect in the account books of the state.

Tobun stressed that whoever is in-charge should give account of what has been done with the helicopters, and there location/hangers.

On his part, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) said that the issue was very germaine, and that the money that is used to fund the operation of the helicopters goes through Special Duties.

Hon. Noheem Adams (Eti Osa 1), also spoke on the matter, he said that the helicopters were purchased for commercial purposes, while Hon. Rotimi Abiru (Shomolu 2) however said that the Assembly ought to have approached the office of the Chief of Staff on said matter.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Olawale AbdulSobur Olayiwola (Mushin 2) said that it was important to call the attention of the state government to the matter, saying that the House needs to know the whereabouts of the helicopters, adding that the vehicles that were donated for security purposes in the state were also not functioning very well.

Supporting the matter, Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja 1), said that security is not just about life, and that security of property is also necessary.

“I want to believe that Caverton Helicopters generate money from the helicopters.

“The helicopters should have been very useful for air transport to isolation centres during this period of COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The LSSTF gave out the helicopters for purposes of generating funds. The LSSTF should be invited, they have a Chairman and an Executive Secretary,” he said.

Hon. Nurudeen Akinsanya (Mushin 1), Hon. Nurudeen Saka-Solaja (Ikorodu 2) and Hon. Temitope Adewale (Ifako/Ijaiye 1) also contributed to the debate on the matter, which got the support of all the members of the Assembly.

PROTEST: WOMEN WING OF TRADE UNION PROTEST AGAINST RAPE.

The Lawmakers of Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday were greeted with a peaceful protest by the Trade Union Congress Women Commission who are bent on creating awareness on rape, with the theme; “Any gender can be a victim of rape”.

They were received by Hon. Victor Akande, Hon. Olayiwola Abdul-Subur and Hon. Nureni Akinsanya on behalf of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa.

The Chairman Lagos State chapter of the Trade Union Congress Women Commission, Mrs. Yemisi Oyedele while presenting their Protest letter to the Lawmakers, expressed their pains about rate of rape incidences in the society and stated that they want the lawmakers to legislate strong penalty on “rape criminals” and to facilitate a faster action on rape cases; ”Justice delayed is justice denied” in the Chairman’s words.

She went further to emphasise “the need for the House to facilitate a merger of the State criminal offenders database with that of the federal so the individuals will not move from one State to another committing rape or different criminal acts.”

In response to the request of the protesters, Hon. Akande said the House of Assembly will look deeply into the issue as it has become a national issue and lives are endangered. He promised that their Protest letter will be delivered to the Rt.hon Speaker of the House and it will receive due attention that it deserves.

They were however enjoined to continue to maintain peace in the society and avoid violence.

COVID19: LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO INSPECT PUBLIC, PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS ON COVID-19 COMPLIANCE.

In an effort to ensure compliance of the Covid-19 guidelines by public and private secondary schools in Lagos State, Rt Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa at plenary on Monday directed honorable members to visit public and private secondary schools in their various constituencies and report their findings to the House Committee on Education.

The Speaker made this known during the matter of urgent public importance raised by Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, the Chairman House Committee on Education who pointed out lapses noticed in some secondary schools across the State as regards to the compliance of the measures put in place by the State government to curb the spread of the pandemic in secondary schools as they resumed the examination classes.

Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader in his contribution opined that going by the statistics presented by the Chairman Committee on Education, over six hundred schools within the State are opened, and thus he advised that random visits on public and private schools should be done to ascertain if they are adhering to the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus.  He added, “While the Committee on Education is going round the State for inspection, other members in their various constituencies should also carry out inspections in schools in their jurisdictions”.

Other members who lent their voices, commended Ogundimu for the apt decision on curbing the spread among the school children as they resume to write their final examination.

In another development at the plenary, the Lawmakers paid tribute to the late Chief Lanre Razak, who until his death was a grassroot politician, a former Local Government Chairman and a former Commissioner for Transport in Lagos State.

Obasa directed that a condolence letter be written to the family and a delegation to pay a condolence visit on behalf of the House.

LANRE RAZAK: WE HAVE LOST A FORTHRIGHT POLITICIAN, OBASA MOURNS.

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has described the death of Lanre Razak, a prominent politician in Lagos, as a major loss to the state and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Obasa said the demise of the politician and chieftain of the APC has left a huge gap that will be difficult to fill in the polity of the state.

According to Obasa, who said he was shocked to hear of the demise of Chief Razak on Saturday, the late politician lived a life that is worthy of emulation.

“He was a marked example for politicians of true loyalty as a politician. He was always there putting in great efforts to the advancement of Lagos State.

“Chief Razak believed in our party, its leaders and Lagos State and he worked passionately to sustain the tempo of democracy and, for this, he earned the respect of all and sundry.

“It is painful that death decided to snatch him away at a time Lagos and our party needed his wisdom and experience more than before,” Obasa said.

He, however, said Razak’s friend, family and the state would take solace in the roles he played for the betterment of the State while he was alive.

“We will forever miss his calm nature, his wisdom, knowledge of the state and political experience.

“As we mourn at this time, my prayer is for God to grant him eternal rest and give us all, including the family and the state, the fortitude to bear this huge loss,” Obasa prayed.