LAGOS ASSEMBLY MOVES TO ERADICATE DOMESTIC & SEXUAL VIOLENCE; BILL SCALES THROUGH SECOND READING

The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, at Plenary on Monday addressed the recent increase of domestic and sexual violence cases of all gender in the State.

Speaking at the second reading of “A Bill for a Law to provide for the Lagos State Domestic & Sexual Violence Agency, the Establishment of Sex Offenders Register and for other connected purposes.” He stated that victimization and stigmatization of victims of all forms of domestic and sexual assault is a matter that needs to be tackled by putting all necessary efforts, particularly the Law in curbing its widespread.

“This Bill is to examine the causes of violence and proffer lasting solutions; therefore we need to set all the laws to avoid repetition from the existing ones as well as ensure that the magistrate committee of the response team who are assigned in other duties does not affect the effectiveness of the agency when it is created.”

“Also, We already have Laws on domestic violence, child rights law etc, therefore, we will not be hasty in establishing new agencies to avoid increase in expenditure on the State government, but if the purpose of this bill demands creation of an agency then we will” The Speaker said.

 

Giving an overview of the Bill, Hon. Victor Akande expressed the timeliness and germane position of the Bill as it guarantees protection of rights and victims against sexual and gender based violence.

According to him, the Bill establishes provisions for victims to have rights to medical and legal counseling which is very paramount, conduction of preliminary investigations against offenders, partnership with public and private sectors, protection of victims against stigmatisation as well as the creation of avenue for database entry for sexual and violence offenders, whereby the offenders will be recorded into a sexual offence register.

Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who also contributed, noted that the Bill attempts to eradicate the impunity of violence that has penetrated into the society, he said this will serve as another point scored by the Lagos Government in the fight against sexual and domestic violence.

He added that the creation of life imprisonment for perpetrators of rape gave legal backings to various reforms made by the State in response to other legislations.

“The Judiciary is well represented in the proposed Committee as well as top tier representative of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, Health, Education, and Youth in order to ensure that they are able to discharge responsibilities assigned to them by the Law.”

Agunbiade explained that the amendment of the Bill will further reduce domestic and gender based sexual abuse.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo positioned that the Bill will ensure that justice is served, medical assistance is provided to the victims as well as provision of funds and the perpetrators are psychoanalysed.

Stating the advantages of the Bill, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu suggested that with the formation of the new agency, there will be database capturing of offenders and the incorporation of the Ministry of Justice response team.

Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay also threw her weight behind the passing of the Bill, stating that the Bill is sacrosanct as the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence agency will be able to perform optimally.

“It will create a one-stop centre for victims of sexual and gender based violence through the establishment of the agency, as it will also ensure that victims of violence will have access to medical, legal assistance and ensure justice is served; thereby protecting the victims from victimisation and stigmatisation. I support this Bill as it will reinstate sanity to our society.” She said.

The Speaker thereafter committed the Bill to House Committee on Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to report in a week time.

Earlier, the Speaker received grassroots organisation and women’s rights defenders consisting of 200 women from different organisations who held a peaceful protest and awareness walk to Lagos State House of Assembly to present a joint statement in commemoration of the 2020 16-days of activism, themed “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect”.

The Group expressed their concern about the prevalence of violence against women and girls in Lagos State thereby hoping that the oversight role of the State Assembly can help to support the eradication of any form of violence against women and girls.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY ADOPTS PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AND ANTI CORRUPTION COMMISSION BILL, 2020

Lagos State House of Assembly has adopted the recommendations of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC  on “A Bill for a Law to establish the Lagos State Public  complaints and Anti-corruption Commission and for other connected purposes”.

Hon. Victor Akande, Chairman of the Committee, while presenting the report stated that “The Bill which contains 53 sections seeks to address issues relating to public complaints bothering on accountability of public officers in the State by the proposed Commission”.

The Chairman noted that the intention of the Bill is aimed at correcting administrative anomalies in the discharge of public functions as they affect the citizens and residents of the State so as to mediate in disputes between person(s) to person(s), and government to person(s), especially on administrative procedures that can cause injustice within the administrative jurisdiction.

He highlighted the Interpretation section of the Bill, Appointment of members of the Commission, Tenure of office, Remuneration, Independence, Powers and Duties of the Commission,  all geared towards bringing sanity and probity into the activities of public officials in the discharge of their duties in the State.

After several deliberations at the Committee of the Whole, the House adopted the Bill as the resolution of the House.

FORTIFY ELECTORAL PROCESS – LSHA JUDICIARY C’MTTE TASK LASIEC

Lagos State House of Assembly through its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petition and LASIEC has charged Local governments in the State on the need to bolster the election processes, especially during the forthcoming election.

Chairman, Hon. Victor Akande who led the Committee on an Inspection to the State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC in various Local Governments, LG and Local Council Development Areas, LCDA of the State expressed that the tour was to examine the level of preparedness of the Commission towards the forthcoming elections as well as to understand the present challenges of LASIEC in their respective Councils and proffer solutions.

Hon. Akande noted that LASIEC may need more personnel and thus suggested the employment of support-staff to reduce work load and increase effectiveness. In his words “there is a need to provide LASIEC with Support-Staff as the present staff strength cannot bear the enormous work load and this could undermine the efficacy of the Commission.”

Mrs. Bakare Mariam, LASIEC Electoral Officer at Agege LGA attested to the major challenge which is the need for additional support- staff, but stated that LASIEC is prepared for the upcoming elections in the State; she also explained that some of the materials required are currently situated at the Commission until the day of election when the supplies will be distributed to approved centres for security reasons.

Hon. Egunjobi Ganiu, Chairman, Agege LGA, assured both the Committee and Commission of the continued support from Agege Local Government as well as a standard office and store for the electoral personnel assigned to the Area before the end of the year.

At the Orile Agege, LCDA Electoral Office; Electoral Officer, Mr. Akinsewe Oludotun confirmed a good working relationship with the Council Chairman and Staff which has bolstered LASIEC; implored the Council Chairman to expedite action on acquiring a secured store and other facilities that would assist the responsibilities of the Commission.

Chairman, Orile Agege LCDA, Hon. Johnson Babatunde who assured the Committee of their preparedness for the forthcoming elections enjoined their elected officials to ensure that things are done in excellent manner, also assured the Committee of a standard store and office for the Commission before the commencement of the elections.

While contributing, Hon. Mojisola Alli-Maculay, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation said “This is year 2020 and it is high time we raise the bar on our modus operandi especially our elections, we have to set the pace like Lagos State always does in all sectors.” she continued,
“We want to maintain that standard so our electoral process can have a dignifying pace, we can achieve that by empowering LASIEC in our Local Governments.’’

Furthering on the upgrade of electoral process in the State, Hon. Olayiwola Abdul-Sobur, Chairman, House Committee on Local Government & Administration, urged LASIEC not to rest on its oars as elections are approaching which is a sector of democracy that is important to Lagosians and the government.

Hon. Akande charged the Commission on exemplary processes in order to achieve good results.

Other Local Government and Local Council Development Areas during the tour presented identical challenges which was promised to be met by their respective Council Chairmen. The Councils visited includes Agege LGA, Orile Agege LCDA, Ikeja LGA, Onigbongbo LCDA, Ojodu LCDA, Bariga LCDA, Somolu LGA.

Religious Leaders Have A Major Role To Play

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Sunday admonished religious leaders in Nigeria to play positive roles that would help advance the country.

Obasa said this when he spoke at a service marking the 100th anniversary of the St. Peter’s African Church, Remo Iperu, Ogun state.

The Speaker noted that Nigeria currently requires and intellectual contributions from religious leaders for a desired change in the country’s polity and as a guide to the future generation.

“I therefore urge our Christian leaders not to relent in their efforts to cater for the spiritual needs of the Christian fold under their care and also use various platforms to encourage our people to support our various initiatives as government, that will make life easier for everybody,” Obasa admonished.

Obasa, who recently ended his tenure as the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, noted that Christianity, like every other religion, provides the enabling platform for the people’s spiritual edification and social needs as individual members of the society.

He further noted the role of the Christianity as a unifier of people and motivation to them irrespective of their race, culture, and education.

“You will all agree with me that religion generally serves as a veritable tool for social integration, and harmonious co-existence in the society, and remains one of the cords of unity that knit us together, especially in a multi religious society like ours in Nigeria.

“As such, in maintaining peace and social order, such basic principles and religious virtues as enunciated in the Holy Books must be imbued and placed into practical demonstrations.

“As we constantly show harmony and unity of intent in our service and dedication to our creator in our different places of adoration, I encourage you all to emulate the unity we frequently exhibit in the larger society in our place of worship,” Obasa urged.

The Speaker congratulated the church for reaching the feat of 100 years of service to God and humanity saying this is evident in what Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18: “Upon this rock I will build my church; (and this is the best part) and the gates of hell will not overpower it.”

Obasa To School Kids: Never Get Discouraged, I Grew Up Like You

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, has admonished children never to give up on their dreams no matter their background.

Obasa, gave the advice when he visited his alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas School, in the Mushin area of Lagos where he celebrated his 48th birthday with the pupils.

“I started off like you all and you are indeed the future we rely on. Do not let anything deter you.

“I am of a humble background; I struggled through life and today, I am the Speaker of Lagos State.

“You can be a governor, a Speaker, a doctor a lawyer, an engineer, a great footballer or anything you want to be in life,” he said while urging them not to allow anything discourage them.

The Speaker, who took a tour around the school, promised to assist in renovating the parts that I need facelift. He also promised to equip the school with the necessary furniture.

He thanked the teachers for their efforts in bringing up kids in the school despite the various challenges they face in the course of their jobs.

Obasa also visited the State Primary School in the Oyewole area of Agege, Lagos where he told the pupils parts of his story.

“When I was in this school as a child, I never had the opportunity of meeting a dignitary or had anyone from government visit us.

“Today, I chose to visit you so you will have your priority set right, and your dreams aligned.

“You all can be great. You all can be successful beyond my achievements as the Speaker of Lagos State,” he said.

How COVID-19, EndSARS Violence Hit Lagos Economy – Obasa Says As Sanwo-Olu Presents 2021 Budget

Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos House of Assembly on Tuesday said the economy of the state was badly hit in 2020 by COVID-19 pandemic and the recent violence that escalated from the EndSARS protest.

Obasa said this when he received the 2021 budget estimate of N1,155,022,413,005 from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the chamber of the state Assembly.
According to Obasa, the anarchy, burning, and looting of businesses in the state ‘hit the economy with a blow beneath the belt’.

“You will agree with me that the effects of COVID-19 on the world economy cannot be over-emphasised. Right now, many people have been made unemployed by COVID-19. Some companies are still counting their losses.
“At the backdrop of the destruction of public and private properties and businesses in the wake of the #EndSARS protests, businesses have been counting their losses while economy experts have listed the immediate challenges the crises will throw-up against Nigeria’s struggling economy.

“Also, the replacement cost to Lagos State Government, which is the worst hit by the crises, is put at N1 trillion. More so, the overall cost to the private businesses has been put at several billions of US Dollars,” Obasa said.

The speaker, while expressing the readiness of the House to work with the executive arm of government to rebuild Lagos, however, lamented that the protest, embarked upon by youths who meant well for the country, was hijacked by hoodlums.

Obasa also advised that social media should be tools adopted by Nigerians to support the development of the country just as he added that the House would continue to support freedom of expression and be willing to interact with everyone including youths.

“When social media is employed in a ruthless manner such that causes disharmony, disaffection, and disintegration among family, friends and ethnic groups, it can no longer be considered to be beneficial to the society as a whole.

“For those who lost their lives and property, particularly the gallant Nigerian police, those whose businesses were destroyed, City Hall, Lagos judiciary, the TVC family, all the petty traders and affected banks and the residents of our dear state, I identify with you all at this trying period,” he said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu had christened the estimate “Budget of Rekindled Hope”.
He also expressed the urgent need to rebuild the state and its economy.

LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY CHARGES PARKS AND GARDENS AGENCY AGAINST EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Lagos Assembly through its Committee on Environment has charged the Lagos State Parks and Gardens agency to protect the environment against the effect of climate change.

Speaking at a familiarization visit, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Desmond Olusola Elliot stated the importance of the agency in ensuring a safe climate, ” We are here to ensure that Lagos Parks and Gardens is living up to expectations. We want an indepth knowledge of what you do, to enable us advise, assist and promote the functions of the Agency for effective actualisation of a viable environment and a greener Lagos, thereby neutralising the effect of climate change that obviously threatens the world and Lagos State in particular.”

Hon.Ajani Owolabi commended the agency for the beautification of some highbrow part of Lagos, but urged them to replicate this effort around the entire State.

Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasumu a Member of the Committee while commending the agency for standing strong through the period of COVID-19 pandemic informed the gathering that a second wave of the dreaded disease is imminent with its attendant effect on the economy, he further enjoined the agency to ensure that Lagos Parks and Gardens adheres to the preventive measures put in place by the State Government.
He also, requested the General Manager of Lagos State Parks and Gardens agency, Mrs. Adetoun Popoola to clarify the issues raised recently by Arise News on closure of Gani Fawehmi Park at Ojota.

Mrs. Adetoun Popoola while appreciating the visit of the Legislators, expressed that LASPARK was established to ensure a sustainable, beautiful, safe and healthy State through establishment of functional parks, gardens and recreational centres which is in line with international standards and all these are geared towards achieving the green and healthier Lagos for all.

In response to the Arise News observation, she said, “With the approval of the Governor, Mr. Babatunde Sanwo- Olu, all the 10 parks in the State were shutdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic because most of the people who visit the parks are children or adult who were at risk of contracting the disease and were advised to stay at home”

“Months after the Governor announced the partial opening of public parks for business, we opened only four parks to save operating cost, these includes the Oregun park, Ndubusi park, Muri Okunola park and Ikorodu park. Sadly, during the End SARS protest, Hoodlums vandalised and looted the Ikorodu park and Oregun park was burnt down thereby causing social default and we had to shut down.” She explained.

Announcement of the closed parks were made on social media and new media. The only two parks in operation are the Ndubusi park and Muri Okunola Park.

She added that despite the parks being open for business, there are strict compliance of the COVID-19 protocols.

While noting some of the challenges faced by the agency, such as low budgetary allocations; as fund generated from the parks goes into operating cost, she lamented the shortage of enforcement team.

Mrs. Popoola further explained that LASPARK endeavors to create a serene environment for the purpose of relaxation and several measures have been put in place by the agency to ensure that communities enjoy the amenities; however, she emphasized that LASPARK is a revenue creating agency.

The Committee also visited the Lagos State Water Regulatory Comission, where the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Funke Adepoju took the Committee through the functions and obligations of LSWRC. She noted that the Agency have the mandate to ensure that water managent services are properly carried out in the State by ensuring the financial sustainability of the water service providers.

The Agency see to the economic regulation of the sector reform and rehabilitation of essential services.

The Agency also issue licencing permit to regulate the activities of drilling of borehole in order to avoid pollution and contamination.

“We depend largely on ground water and so many issues such as dumpsite and pollutions were affecting ground water in the State, hence the need to bring in experts to work on Innovation and Technology.” She said.

Mrs. Adepoju, however stated that the Agency is set to sensitize and organise a workshop for table water producers and borehole drillers on best sustainable practices considering the sedimentary area in the State.

Chairman of the Committe, Hon. Elliot Commended the Executive Secretary for passion dedicated to work. He acknowledged the many challenges faced by the Commission particularly the issue of work space.

It should be noted that in a bid to profer checks and balances in the Ministries, Departments and its Agencies, MDAs, the Lagos State House Committee on Environment is visited the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency LASPARK, Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission LSWRC, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency LASAA and Ministry of Environment in the State.

Hon. Members present were; Hon. Richard Adedamola kasumu, Hon. Ajani Owolabi and Hon. Sani Okanlawon.

Breaking: Conference of Speakers Gets New Chairman, Executive Members

The Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, has been elected as the new chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria.

The election of Suleiman followed the constitutional end of tenure of Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, whose executive committee was elected at a meeting of the conference held in Lagos in August 2018.

The constitution of the conference stipulates a two-year term of office for its elected leadership which rotates between the north and the southern part of Nigeria.

At a meeting held at Reiz Continental Hotel in Abuja late Thursday, Rt. Hon. Obasa, who, in 2018, took over from the Speaker of the Kebbi State House of Assembly, Ismail Kamba, formally handed over to Suleiman, who is now saddled with leading the conference for the next two years.

Other members of the committee include:

1. Deputy Chairman (Speaker Delta), Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori

2. Treasurer (Speaker Kogi) Rt Hon Matthew Kolawole

3. Financial Secretary (Speaker Enugu) Rt Hon Edward Ubosi

4. Vice Chair, North West (Speaker Katsina) Rt Hon Tasiu Musa Maigari

5. Vice Chair, North East (Speaker Gombe) Rt Hon Sadiq Ibrahim Abubakar

6. Vice Chair, North Central (Speaker Plateau) Rt Hon Abok Nuhu Ayuba

7. Vice Chair, South West (Speaker Ogun) Rt Hon Olakunle Oluomo

8. Vice Chair, South East (Speaker Ebonyi) Rt Hon Nwifuru Francis

009. Vice Chair, South South (Speaker Akwa Ibom) Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey

Speaker Obasa led what is acclaimed the most vibrant tenure of conference having inputs in matters of national interest.

His tenure also saw a push for financial autonomy for state legislatures and judiciary as well as cooperation with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve this.

Recall that President Buhari, on May 22, 2020, signed Executive Order 10 for the implementation of the financial autonomy after a committee report concerning the issue was handed over to him.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY COMMENDS THE EFFORT OF LAWMA, LWC ON SERVICE DELIVERY

Lagos State House of Assembly Assembly thru its Committee on The Environment has commended the Lagos Waste Management Authority,( LAWMA) and Lagos Water Corporation, (LWC) on the efforts geared towards quality service delivery in the State.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Desmond Olusola Elliot made this statement during the Committee’s oversight visit on Wednesday to Agencies under its purview.

The visitation which also served as a courtesy tour to survey the challenges faced by the Agencies has been the first since the inauguration of the 9th Assembly.

Addressing the Committee at their office, Engr. Mumeni Badmus, Director, Lagos Water Corporation, LWC highlighted that one of the goals of the corporation is to ensure that every household connects to safe, usable water supply in the State.

He, however noted that the challenges faced by the corporation includes consistent reduction of staff due to retirement, inadequate capacity development, aging work force. He also said that poor maintenance of equipments affects service delivery adversely.

Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, also part of the envoy, informed the agency of the complaint from some old staff of the agency who came to the House of Assembly to report about outstanding dues and pension. Ogundimu further announced that an Ad-hoc committee is already set up to look into these complaints.

At the Lagos Waste Management Authority, the Director, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni appealed to the state government to secure mechanical operational tools such as bulldozers and ground field equipment’s to aide the service of the agency.

He added that the Agency’s goal in service delivery is to improve the trip of each waste vehicle to 150 per day, however, there are numerous challenges that deters such hopes.

Mr. Odumboni noted that 3,000 tons of recyclable waste are been remitted daily, while 700 tons are been captured; therefore, government can ensure that any business idea that has to do with recycling promoted as long as they render their services at good rates while providing recycling machinery.

“Investors can also partner with the Agency, this will be of great value to the sector and state in general.

Heritage bank adopted the State recycling programme as a form of corporate social responsibility, we expect others to join also” He said.

Mr. Odumboni also broached the matter of LAWMA Academy which is a learning and awareness academy that educate people, staff and workers on how recycling and disposal is done.

“People looking for jobs can start a recycling business in the LAWMA Academy, and it is free for the public to educate themselves” He added.

Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu while commending the good conduct of the agencies, urged them to form a symbiotic relationship with the Committee.

Hon. Desmond Elliot lauded the agencies over the representation of their sectors during the tour and yearned for synergy with the Committee.

Members present are: Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu,Hon. Olawale Olayiwola,Hon. Richard Adedamola Kasumu, Hon. Sanni Okanlawon, Hon. Ajani Owolabi