TUNDE BRAIMOH: A SUDDEN DARKNESS OVERTAKE THE SUN.

It has been over 24 hours, yet I am still in search of the right words to portray how I feel currently. It did not come like a lightening. No. It hit like thunder. Maybe. Maybe worse than that. Or how best can one describe the blow death brought upon us with the sudden demise of Hon. Tunde Braimoh? How best can I understand that one backbone of the Lagos State House of Assembly has been expunged, not even like something taken away temporarily to be returned someday? How best can I pull myself together knowing that we will not see this scholarly politician whose meritorious service has added to the gains of Lagos?

As I sit quietly, ruminating about our journey on this earth, how we became close pals, the circumstances that brought us together, Briamoh’s unique voice, his brilliant arguments and postulations, his sequence and enviable use of words that sometimes got us bursting with laughter and respect, his gait, his carriage, then the reality that none of these would be heard or seen again, I melt with thick sweats on my forehead. Can our tears cease?

Two times I have tried to put something together within the last 24 hours. Yet, same two times I have been at a loss for what to say.
Tunde Braimoh was not just a lawmaker, he was an ally, he never had ‘no’ for an answer. He knew what to do even before such was brought to his attention. He had a ready answer for all questions. I remember the many times he would walk up to me to tell me about issues. A constant characteristic was that he solved most of them before I got to know.

Yes, he was not perfect; he was a human being like all of us, but who can judge him when his good deeds, which are unquantifiable, are there before everyone? There is no doubting the fact that he touched lives personally and on behalf of the House of Assembly. He had feelings for the downtrodden – they benefitted immensely. In everything he did, he always placed himself in the shoes of the other person.

He was neat, his dress sense was unique. He was always careful with life and he took his health as a priority. His laughter still rings. I can’t imagine – and do not even want to – that in our next sitting, we would all be greeted by an empty seat without that handsome, tall and gallant man, whose brilliance was never in doubt.

This is truly a blow to us.Hon. Braimoh had plans, great ones, for Lagos State. He had shared some with me. He also always had his constituents in mind constantly thinking of how best to reach them and give them reasons to be happy.

This year 2020 has shown its troubling uniqueness. Between June and July, we lost two strong pillars. We were still grappling with the reality of the demise of Senator Sikiru Oshinowo, whose valedictory session Braimoh played a role in as the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy.

We will be consoled by the fact that the late two-term lawmaker served his State and the Federation of Nigeria with his might and intelligence and contributed immensely to their advancements. But, again, our hearts will continue to grieve. Rest on, dear brother and friend.

Rt. Hon. Obasa is the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.

PRESS RELEASE Thursday, July 9th, 2020 LSHA URGES STATE GOVERNMENT TO INCLUDE PRIVATE HOSPITALS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 ***CONFIRMS GOVERNOR’S SECURITY AND EMPLOYMENT TRUST FUNDS NOMINEES.

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday during the Plenary Session called on Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, to direct the Commissioner, Ministry of Health to organize trainings for private hospitals in conjunction with Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Lagos chapter to help in the detection and treatment of COVID-19 patients with a view to reducing the spread of the virus.

Hon. Hakeem Sokunle who moved the motion noted that the Corona Virus is fast spreading and the non-inclusion of private hospitals with good medical facilities in testing and treatment of COVID-19 pandemic has limited the containment of the virus.

Hon. Sokunle added that if the State Government includes the services of private hospitals in the testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients and are given necessary training it would help to curtail the spread of the virus as well as reduce the pressure on over stretched government isolation centres and strengthen the synergy between the government and private health practitioners.

“There is need to be proactive ahead of more spread or another surge so as to avoid another total lockdown, this will also help the private professionals to join forces with the government hospitals. The facilities for private hospitals should be thoroughly screened, accredited and certified for treatment and testing of corona virus patients and when they become certified, patients should be referred to such hospitals.” He added.

Speaking, Hon. Noheem Adams stated that it was revealed that over 11 million people have been afflicted by this virus in the world while as at yesterday in Nigeria 30,249 are affected already, 684 people died from it, Lagos has 11,670 affected cases and 1,698 discharged but 133 died.

“We need to salute the Governor for his efforts in combatting this menace but it keeps spreading. It seems as if people don’t believe that COVID-19 does exist. There is need for us to look into herbal solutions, let us help our herbalist with fund to look for a solution. People are nonchalant about the wearing of mask and washing of hands with soap.” He added.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun stated that it is imperative for government to liaise with private hospitals and doctors that are competent and willing to help in curbing the virus because government cannot do this alone.

Hon. Lukman Olumoh explained that Lagos State Government has already approved 7 private laboratories to conduct COVID-19 test and 3 private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients therefore there is need for Government to approve more hospitals so that it can accommodate such menace.

“Our Governor and Commissioner for Health have been doing a great job in ensuring that they combat this virus. The three approved private hospitals is a welcome development but we need more.” Hon. Yishawu expressed.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa however urged the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria to support the Government because this surge is getting out of hand. He also implored the Local Government LG and Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs Chairmen to task landlords in their community to ensure that their tenants wear facemasks and all public transport passengers do same because this virus can easily be contacted.

In another development, the Lawmakers has confirmed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s nominees, Mrs. Bola Adesola as Chairman, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and Mr. Kehinde Durosimi-Etti as Chairman of Lagos State Security Trust Fund.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY PASSES Y2020 APPROPRIATION (AMENDMENT) BILL.

Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday, July 6th, 2020 passed the Y2020 appropriation (amendment) Bill of ₦920,468,589,337Bn.
Members of the House passed the re-ordering from Consolidated State Revenue, CSR during the Committee of Supply, following the report by the Joint Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, and Finance.

The Speaker of the House Rt. Hon.(Dr) Mudashiru Obasa indicated that the total budget size shrunk by ₦248.093Bn being 21% to ₦920.469Bn from ₦1.168Tn which made the proposed revised total, ₦920,468,589,337Bn with the Recurrent Expenditure of ₦411,608,499,249 and Capital Expenditure of ₦508,860,843,967 for the year ending 31st December, 2020.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman, House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget noted that the approval of the House for re-ordering of priorities under the Year 2020 Appropriation contained 120 findings and 120 amendments as recommended by the Joint Committees and approved by the House through a voice vote.

The reordering of the Bill was necessitated by the unforeseen pandemic (COVID-19) which has adversely affected the internal revenue projections of the State and also crippled the economic activities on a global scale.
Giving the breakdown of the re-ordering.

Rt. Hon. Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to forward a clean copy of the approved Y2020 appropriation (amendment) Bill to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his assent.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY CALLS FOR REVIEW ON STATE PROJECT AGREEMENTS.

Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Public Private Partnership in a fact finding meeting on Monday has admonished the Ministry of Housing and other ministries and agencies of government to always adhere strictly to the law on Public Private Partnership in the State.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Lukman Olumoh who made this disclosure while addressing top officials of the Ministry led by the Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Akinderu at the Assembly Complex also directed them to review the agreements made with private investors with the view to ensuring Lagosians benefit from government initiative on infrastructural development in the State.

In his words, ” there is a need to review all agreements and ensure that your ministry complies with the law establishing Public Private Partnership venture. It is also imperative to note that contract agreements with private organisation willing to engage the government in joint venture cannot be valid unless brought to the Assembly for ratification”.

He charged them to critically evaluate the agreements of projects being undertaken by the Ministry, promising to provide support by taking the agency through the PPP process in the State.

Olumoh further stated that the involvement of private sectors was aimed at providing infrastructure for the State, which according to him would be of public benefits in the form of management expertise and monetary contributions.

However, observed that prior to the current administration, the rate of project completion embarked by investors was very slow as they came up with different excuses for not completing the proposed projects after they have finally taken possession of the lands.

In his contribution, Hon. Abiodun Tobun noted that most of the projects are not in tandem with the Public Private Partnership Law.

“Any PPP project must be submitted to the House for proper ratification and when such is not done, the contract remains Invalid,” he said.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning ,urged the ministry to present all the PPP projects the Ministry is undertaking.

In his response, Commissioner for Housing Mr. Moruf Fatai Akinderu while appreciating the Committee for its prompt intervention assured them that Lagos State government’s effort is currently in line with the joint venture agreement to developers to provide housing units for the State to allieviate the challenges of acute housing shortage.

Others in attendance are; Mrs. Toke Benson Awoyinka Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola Permanent Secretary, Mr. AbdulHakeem Ayodeji, SSA on Housing and some Directors from the Ministry of Housing.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY CHARGES FINANCE MINISTRY ON STAMP DUTY FUND RECOVERY ESTIMATED AT N4.7 TRILLION.

Lagos State House of Assembly through its Committee on Finance on Wednesday has charged the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Rabiu Olowo to ensure Lagos State recovers the Stamp Duty remittance of over twenty years estimated at N4.7trillion from the Federal Government.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo, the House Committee Chairman on Finance made the statement during a meeting at the Assembly complex to make inquiries on the remittance of approved stamp duties to the State.

In his words, Hon. Olowo expressed that ”COVID-19 has messed up the budget process as a result there is need to explore other sources in a bid to move Lagos State forward”.

The presentation to explain the Stamp Duty recovery was done by Prof. Kola Adekoya, Rector and Project Consultant of School of Banking Honours who revealed that the Central Bank had at a time granted Lagos State Fifty Naira commission on every stamp duty transaction from a thousand Naira upward.

Upon inquiry from Nigeria Inter Bank Statement (NIBS) it was discovered that Lagos State had been cheated on for four years of this agreement and shut out of the stamp duty for twenty years. Recovery however became difficult due to the Federal Government reluctance and a case against the Federal Government instituted by former Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on stamp duties.

Prof. Adekoya sought for the support of the House of Assembly to gazette the research team so as to empower them to recover the money and direct the Attorney General of the State to withdraw the case instituted by former Governor Ambode which will allow the State access the stamp duty percentage backed up by the stamp duty act.

The existing report and documents from the research was given to the Lawmakers and the Commissioner for Finance who in turn promised to digest the information provided.

According to the Commissioner for Finance ” The truth here is obvious that there is a lot of money outside uncaught by the financial net. We will come back to the House of Assembly to relate our verdict on it. Monies are been owed to Lagos State that needs to be recovered”.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo submitted that “We need every money we can lay our hands on because the monies we borrowed are being repaid with interest while our money is out there which can transform Lagos to Dubai in two years”.

Hon. Olowo added that ” increase Revenue generation to enable the state perform its duties to its citizenry is the preoccupation of the committee” He therefore directed the Commissioner for Finance to report back to the House in fifteen days”.
Also present at the meeting was Hon. Lukman Olumoh, hon. Nurudeen Solaja, hon.David Setonji, hon.Moshood Oshun, hon.Gbolahan Yishawu and hon.Ibrahim Layode.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY BEGINS AUDIT OF Y2017 LGs PROJECTS.

The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Public Account Local has commenced the Y2017 audit exercise on Local Government projects in the State to consider the Auditor-General’s report on the inspection of Capital Projects of all the Councils for the period of January to December of 2017 on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Mojeed Fatai expressed that there is need to estimate the extent the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas performed in the area of projects in accordance to the recommendation and to establish those who really have the interest of their constituents in mind.

Some of the issues to be examined are; verification of projects, pictorial evidence, work orders, contravention of direct labour if any; if the capital projects were done in accordance to the capital budget of that year amongst others.

Those expected to appear before the Committee are the Council Chairmen, Managers, Treasurers, Engineer and Budget officers. They would be required to attend to issues raised by the Auditor General of the Local Government accordingly.

The Chairman added that the exercise is not a witch hunting exercise but rather to look at the queries raised by the Auditor General in the report and the exercise is to run for two weeks.

He however advised all the Council Officers to provide necessary information cum documents that would assist the Committee.

Members present at the meeting are Hon. Nurudeen Solaja, Hon. Sa’ad Olumoh, Hon. Sanni Okanlawon and Hon. Nureni Akinsanya.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY CALLS FOR RENAMING OF SITES, MONUMENTS NAMED AFTER COLONIAL MASTERS.

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture to liaise with the Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice to look at the listed sites (Prevention) Law, 2015 with a view to removing all vestiges of slave trade and colonialism.

This motion was moved by the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Noheem Adams representing Eti-Osa constituency 01 at the plenary session on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

In the Motion, the lawmaker recalled the gruesome killing of George Floyd, an American who was killed on Monday 25th May, 2020 at Minneapolis, Minnesota United States of America by a white man named Derek Chauvin.

“The Assembly further noted that this brutal and callous murder of Floyd triggered worldwide condemnations, demonstrations, and protests against the continue police violence and racism of blacks in US and Europe without provocation”.

“The House is aware that these protests further drew attention to the reality of systematic racism, oppression and domination of blacks by whites in spite of abolition of vexatious slave trade and related activities since the 18th century”.

“This House is further aware that the demonstration brought about the pulling down of status of Edward Colston, a notable slave trader into a river in Bristol, London, while the British authorities removed from her museum status of another prominent slave master and promised a review of history pertaining to slave trade monument and sites,” he said.

In his comment, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa stated that the intendment of the Motion was not about history, and that history could not be changed.

Obasa added that statues are not our history, and that Africans all over the world should give backing to the blacks that are fighting for the rights of blacks.

He added that the kind of treatments meted to George Floyd must be stopped and that we should support those who are protesting against such an act.

“South Africa got her independence much later than the rest African countries and they are not talking about ‘Black Lives Matters’ campaign.

“We must protect the interest of our people all over the world. So many statues in London and other places are being brought down. We should change the names of some of these buildings. We cannot bring down the buildings because they were once used by colonial masters.

“We can change the names of some of these buildings and streets. Some of the names remind us of these people that enslaved our people.”

“We need to change the names, but it does not affect our history. We should look at the history,” he said.

The Speaker further asked why anybody would ascribe the discovery of River Niger to Mungo Park and Richard Landers brothers.
“Does that mean people were not living there before the arrivals of the foreigners”? He asked.
Obasa went further to say that even the name Nigeria was given to us by our the colonial masters.

“It is what you believe that says who and what you are. It is about what you believe and what you can do on your own.

“You need to exhibit your own beliefs and culture. Most times, we speak like foreigners and some of our children cannot speak our mother tongues”.

“We are saying that our own language is inferior to their own language. We should let our children know that we are superior.

“The motion is about us, about Africans. We have to tell the world about our own civilization. The resolve is not broad enough. It is not about Lagos State alone. We have to tell African Union about reparation which was started by the late Chief M.K.O Abiola.”

“The President can issue an Executive Order that all over Nigeria we should change the names of streets named after beneficiaries of slave trade.

“Those who dehumanized Africans should not be celebrated. Our people who collaborated with the colonial masters should be made to apologise to us,” he said.

In his submission, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu representing Eti-Osa constituency II, who supported the motion said that history that makes the blacks to feel inferior to the whites should be changed.

“This is a right step in a right direction and we need to change our psyche and history that will not make to feel as human being. We need to change the narrative that connotes superiority in our history. I want my colleagues to support the motion,” he said.

LAGOS LAWMAKERS FROWNS AGAINST RAPE, DEFILEMENT OF MINORS, OTHERS. ***APPROPRIATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020 SCALES THROUGH SECOND READING.

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly during Plenary on Monday frowned at the alarming rate of domestic violence, rape, defilement of minor and other sexual abuses in the State; And therefore call on Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Executive Governor of Lagos State to direct the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command to ensure that offenders of domestic violence, including rape and defilement of minors are made to face the full weight of the law while the Judiciary should accelerate any rape or sexual assault cases against any gender.

The House also called on the Governor to direct the Commissioner for Information and Strategy to intensify efforts on the campaign against sexual abuses and sensitize members of the public to report any form of sexual assault to the appropriate authority in the State, and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to manage rape and sexual assault cases/victims.
The Speaker of the House Rt.hon.Mudashiru Obasa while condemning rape and its vices, urged parents to pay more attention to their minors to compliment the effort of the state which has provided laws to punish rapist and other sexual offenders.

Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, the prime mover of the motion expressed the need to curb incidences of rape, defilement of minors and other sexual abuses in the State, adding that some victims of sexual assault who were either minors, adult or aged female are left to the trauma and stigmatization of their fate in the society while the culprits move freely without fear of being apprehended and prosecuted.

She further stated that the weak enforcement of related laws, lack of education on how victims of the heinous act can seek redress, mistreatment of rape cases among others have created an environment where sexual abuse is perpetrated with impunity.

Hon.Macauley further said that only few offenders out of many reported cases were prosecuted and culprits convicted.

The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun speaking on this, said that “the rampancy of rape in the country is unnerving and there is need to recalibrate what rape is and what consent is”. He added that the mode of self defence should be taught in home, schools, and places of worship. Adding that there is a need to educate both genders on how to prevent oneself from being raped while victims should be encouraged to report and not be stigmatized.

Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the House emphasized the need to have a remedy through justice for rape victims thereby ensuring that the accused when proven guilty is publicly shamed and serve community sentencing with rapist logo boldly written on their uniform for some time before serving jail term. This will serve as a means of deterring future occurrences. He added that Lagos Assembly has amended the laws to make rape perpetrators serve a life sentence a long time ago but proper enforcement and quick prosecution is needed.

In his contribution, Hon. Adedamola Kasumu said that “it is only a man that is suffering from mental illness that would rape. So, it will not be out of place to call on the National Assembly to review the criminal code while Lagos State law reform should come up with stringent penalties for the perpetrators of the menace.”

In another development, a bill for a law to amend the Appropriation Law, 2020 has scaled through the second reading.

The amendment is to revise the budget size of ₦1,168,561,893,990 (One Trillion, One Hundred and Sixty-Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Sixty-One Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Naira) to be revised to ₦920,469,343,216 (Nine Hundred and Twenty Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-Nine Million, Three Hundred and Forty-Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixteen Naira) for the year ending 31st December, 2020.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa thereafter committed the bill to the joint Committee on Economic Planning and budget; and Finance committee.

HE IS A SHINNING STAR: LAGOS SPEAKER OBASA CONGRATULATES GBAJABIAMILA @58

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday described the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as a shining star, whose positive impact on Nigeria is being felt across nations.

Obasa, in a congratulatory statement to celebrate Gbajabiamila, who clocked 58, said there could not have been a better time for the Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve Nigeria other than now when his experience in legislative practice has put the country in the right stead.

Thanking him for his support and roles in the advancement of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Obasa noted that Gbajabiamila’s political journey is a perfect example of what loyalty should be.

“On many fronts, Gbajabiamila has proven to be in tune with the challenges facing Nigeria. He seems to have solutions and ideas at the tip of his finger.

“Despite being the fourth citizen of the country, Gbajabiamila has never forgotten his roots. He constantly reaches out to his constituents and gives them feedbacks on government policies and steps,” Obasa, who chairs the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, said.

He also noted that under Gbajabiamila’s leadership of the House, activities of the lower legislative chamber have been more open to Nigerians.

“On behalf of all the Speakers of state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria, I congratulate you on your birthday just as I thank you too for your role in ensuring that the legislative arm of the Federal Government remains thick.

“I also join every Lagosian, your constituents and our party in wishing you all the best in the days ahead. Continue to walk with your head high,” Obasa said.

LAGOS SPEAKER OBASA CONGRATULATES SANWO-OLU AT 55.

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, has felicitated with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on his 55th birthday saying the Governor has shown true leadership in his administration’s efforts to implement policies that put the state ahead in terms of growth and development.

Speaker Obasa, in a statement released by his media office on Thursday, noted that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s passion for the success of Lagos has reflected in the way the government works round the clock daily trying to tackle various challenges and sustain the tempo of progress in the state.

Obasa, who is the chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, specifically commended the Governor for ensuring a sustained cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of the state government.

“With joy in my heart, I join other Lagosians, our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Nigerians in celebrating you on this day.

“Your exemplary qualities, wisdom, prowess and love for Lagos state reflect daily in the bond we share. We are now more of brothers bound together by the need to keep Lagos, not just running, but flying, and you have constantly shown the zeal to achieve this.

“Your loyalty to a common course has seen infrastructural rejuvenation, security and peace enjoyed by Lagosians in the last one year.

“Backed by the state legislature, the way Lagos has handled the COVID-19 pandemic has become a reference in the fight against its spread,” the Speaker noted.

While urging the Governor to continue with the pace of progress in the state, Speaker Obasa promised that the House of Assembly, though a separate arm of government, will continue to support positive steps to place Lagos above the “Common Standards of Excellence.”