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

LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO CREATE A PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AND ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION; CONSIDERS BILL TO ADDRESS ISSUES RELATING TO PUBLIC COMPLAINT ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS

Lagos State House of Assembly has proposed a legislation that will address the dealings of public officers in the State.
This was fostered by the elements of accountability and transparency for a sustainable democracy and lack of which will effectuate chaos and enkindle the fabrics of democratic practices.

The Bill titled, “A Bill for a Law to establish the Lagos State public complaints and anti-corruption commission and for connected purposes” went through Public Hearing on Friday, October 30th, 2020 at the Assembly Pavilion.

The Law calls for creation of a commission which shall have the power to investigate either on its own initiative or following complaints lodged before it by any other person on any administrative action taken by a public official.

The Bill shall ensure that administrative actions by any person(s) mentioned under the Law will not result in act of injustice against any indigene of the State or any other person resident in the State and for that purpose the Commission shall investigate with special care any administrative act, which is or appears to be; contrary to any Law or negation, improper, unfair, oppressive or inconsistent with the general institution of administrative organs.

It also buttressed the quest for gratifications committed by an officer and their penalties which include amongst others; corrupt offers to public officers, corrupt demand by person, obstruction of investigation, making false statements or return, bribery for giving assistance in regards to contracts, and prosecution of offences under the Law.

In addition, the commission will be charged with the power to examine persons, invitation to an accused person, detention of person refusing to acknowledge service, failure to appear after receipt of invitation, forcible entry into premises, custody of seized property, legal obligation to give information, obstruction of inspection and search.

However, the commission’s function will be curtailed and limited to issues that were pending to the State House of Assembly, Executive Order, and the Court of Law; as well as issues concerning members of the Armed, Police, Navy and Air Forces except where such actions affect the right of citizens and organization.

The Bill also encourages persons arrested of the right to remain silent, confidentiality, immunity of the officers of the commission, and right to appeal.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Hon. Victor Akande said that the Bill intends to conform to the modern day reality.

“It is my hope that the proposed legislation will bring sanity into our dealings as public officers of the State. I therefore enjoin the participants to make meaningful contributions on the Bill in order to stand the test of time.” He said.

In his keynote address, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinloklun-Sanni, said that public hearing and stakeholders’ consultations are essential features of a good legislative process that can engender progressive governance.

“One lesson from the recent Endsars riot is that we must not levitate off from the state’s sustained efforts at earning more public trust by improving public transparency and accountability in all the spheres of our public governance.”
“This underscores the stature of this Bill as not just germane towards ensuring further public accountability and trust, but also further enhances our security, because, where there is public trust in the leadership, public satisfaction will increase and conversely decreases crime rate.”

He added that it is sacrosanct to hear from and incorporate the conscience and thoughts of the public to make a good law.

The leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who did the overview of the Bill, said that the establishment of the Bill is to prevent any administrative actions that can cause injustice to persons within that administrative jurisdiction.

Highlighting that the Law consist of 53 sections, Hon. Agunbiade added that “to ensure diligence, the bill creates  a clear administrative  structure; offences  under the scope  of the commission; the jurisdiction; modus operandi  of the commission; funds  management and disciplinary procedures of the commission.”

One of the stakeholders, Comrade Babatunde Ashafa opined that responsiveness is key to achieving success. “When responsiveness is not addressed, the beauty of this bill may not be achieved.”

Mrs. Rotimi Odutola a representative from Citizenship and Mediation Centre suggested that the commission should be linked to the human right department of the police so that the commission can easily obtain a warrant of arrest.

Mr. Olayiwola Ibrahim while asking the criteria for the appointment of members into the commission suggested that considerations should be given to those who are of good behavior.

In response, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinloklun-Sanni commended the stakeholders for their contributions and assured them that their contributions will be favourably considered by the Committee.

We Will Never Take You For Granted – Obasa Tells Lagosians, Commends Sanwo-Olu’s Strides

The Lagos State House of Assembly will never shirk in its responsibly to bring government closer to the people of the state, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, its Speaker, has said.

Obasa, who is also the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, made the promise on Thursday at a constituency stakeholders’ meeting where he had the opportunity to reel out some of the achievements of the House in 2020.

Obasa, who represents Agege constituency 1, commended the residents of Lagos for their resilience despite the economic challenges brought about by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Speaker recalled that the first case of the pandemic was recorded in the state on February 27, 2020 and that the House immediately met, commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team for their prompt response in addressing the outbreak.

“The House approved the sum of N20 billion COVID-19 Intervention Fund aimed at containing and managing the spread of the virus in the State as well as mitigate its effect on Lagosians.

“This legislative support, coupled with individual palliative efforts of honourable members in their various constituencies has had a great impact on the successes recorded so far in the fight to effectively contain the ravaging disease.

“The economic headwind generated by the COVID-19 pandemic also necessitated the approval of the House for the reordering of the Y2020 budget to provide necessary support for business owners, the vulnerable members of the society and improvement in healthcare facilities, Obasa said.

The Speaker further noted that prior to the reopening of schools, a committee of the House went round schools to be sure of their preparedness.

Obasa also noted how the Lagos Assembly made moves to ease the recent EndSARS protest in the state that later resulted a carnage.

He recalled how he and other members of the House met with the protesters at 12 midnight on October 8, and “immediately convened an emergency session to consider their demands.”

It could be recalled that the House, during the sitting, came up with demands to President Muhammadu Buhari, who promptly adopted almost all the resolutions.

Obasa, however, lamented that all efforts by the state and federal governments were thwarted by suspected criminals who hijacked the protests to cause mayhem and attack public and private investments and interests.

While commending his constituents for protecting public infrastructure while the carnage lasted, he urged the youths in the state to be conscious of the fact that Lagos is a state that has achieved enviable heights. Thus, its standard and peace must be maintained and sustained.

The Speaker thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for the various projects that his constituency has enjoyed over time. These include roads and the ongoing bridge at the Pen Cinema area of Agege.

Many of those who spoke at the meeting, commended the Speaker for helping youths with employment and attracting projects to the constituency.

They, however, urged him not to relent as some of the areas in the constituency still need be touched.

The Igbos in the area thanked the Speaker for constantly assisting them and ensuring they live in peace with their host community. They also dissociated themselves from Nnamdi Kanu of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and his agitation for breakup.