Smiles as Lagos Assembly resolves ‘old boys’ association crisis.

The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, successfully intervened in the disagreement that had taken over the Birch Freeman High School Old Boys Association Lagos.

At the parley, Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Sanni Okanlawon, implored the parties involved to look inwards for the continued development of the school.

He also advised the warring parties to withdraw the cases they had in court so they can focus and channel their energy on making the association a force to reckon with.

After a resolution was reached, Hon. Okanlawon asked all parties of the Old Boys Association Exco members to come to the House by the end of October 2021 with documents to prove that they had kept to the resolutions as the courts are currently on recess.

Eid-el-Kabir: Let Peace Reign In Nigeria, Speaker Obasa Pleads

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has urged Nigerians to see peace as one of the major ingredients for democracy to thrive.

Obasa made this known in his Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians including residents of Lagos and politicians in the state, which is preparing for local government elections.

The Speaker, who noted that the yearnings of many well-meaning Nigerians were justified, however, added that going about such demands and requests through violent means would not help the citizens and the country.

“We complain about a dwindling economy today, but the truth is that restiveness, banditry, terrorism, kidnappings and general insecurity are some of the major causes.

“It is not difficult to know that no nation can thrive or succeed when it is violence-ridden.

“Just as citizens must begin to live in peace and neighbourliness, we, as leaders, must also not nap, we must not sleep on ideas to make the country great.

“We must show perfect examples of love for country and sacrifice to humanity as Islam teaches.

“In Lagos, we have remained a good example of a working democracy thanks to our hardworking leaders and faithful residents.

“Like I said earlier ahead of the local government council elections, it is very important that all parties shun violence. We must eschew violence; it is not going to do any of us any good and it is not going to do any party any good also.

“We must allow people of the state to decide and choose leaders that will serve their interests for the next four years. So, we must all come together to condemn anything that has to do with violence.

“We must do that, it is important because anything can become the outcome of violent actions. We don’t want that to happen,” the speaker said as he congratulated Muslims in the country for witnessing another holy celebration.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY MOVES TO CURB INCESSANT FIRE OUTBREAKS

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Friday organised a-day public hearing to give stakeholders an opportunity to make inputs and express their opinions on a bill to curb incessant fire outbreaks in the State.

The proposed bill entitled “Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services Bill 2021” seeks to establish and operate effective and proficient fire and rescue operations to intervene and prevent further outbreaks in the state.

In his welcome address, the Chairman, House Committee on Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, Hon. Kazeem Raheem, explained that the hearing is part of the tradition of the House to ensure public participation in the passage of bills.

According to him, the bill under consideration is aimed at allowing the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service to regulate and control fire disasters.

Hon. Kazeem explained that the bill intends to make available provision of rescue and first aid services; ensure the protection of lives and properties as well as other related humanitarian services within the State.

“It is my hope that the proposed legislation will further strengthen the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service process and also assist to prevent any fire related emergencies within the State,” he said.

Prevent spread of new COVID-19 variant, Lagos Assembly tells FG, State Govt

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday called on the federal and the Lagos State governments to ensure proper monitoring of immigrants into the country to prevent the spread of the third wave of COVID-19.

This was part of the motion raised by Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu) under ‘Matter of Urgent Public importance’ during plenary following reports on the third wave of virus.

Olowo, who doubles as the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, urged the federal government to ensure that people coming from other countries to Nigeria are quarantined for one week, and that they should go through mandatory COVID-19 test.

“The Lagos State government should embark on the enlightenment of members of the public on the need to observe COVID-19 protocols such as covering their nose, washing of hands and maintaining social distance.

“The Lagos State Governor should also direct the state Commissioner for Health to ensure proper COVID-19 tests across the state.

“There should be enlightenment in schools, churches, mosques, markets and clubs and COVID-19 vaccines must be made available to the people of the state,” he said.

The lawmaker added in the motion that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should be commended for raising the alarm on the new wave of the pandemic.

According to him, the government should have desks in the airports in the state to ensure proper register of immigrants and ensure that they are quarantined while their home addresses should be known.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, to inform Governor Sanwo-Olu of the motion through a letter, said that the current COVID-19 vaccines might not cover the new wave of the pandemic.

Obasa said there cannot be a lockeddown at this moment due to the economic downturn in the country, but that it was important that precautionary measures be taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the state.

Earlier in his contribution, Oluyinka Ogundimu (Agege 2) said that it was important to test the people coming into the country, but Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo1) urged that efforts be made to stop the spread of the disease in the state.

Also, Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe 1) pleaded with Nigerian leaders to be proactive concerning the virus.

Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu (Ikeja 2) urged for precautionary measures against the pandemic while Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) said that those coming from abroad should be quarantined.

“Religious centres should bring back COVID-19 protocols and the Lagos State government should create awareness about the pandemic so that the people could start observing the protocols,” he said.

On his part, Hon. Setonji David (Badagry 2) said COVID-19 vaccines should be made available to all the members of the public.

Increase number of Neighbourhood Corps officers, Lagos Assembly tells Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos House of Assembly on Monday called on the Governor of the state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to increase the number of officers in the Neighbourhood Safety Corps.

The lawmakers also urged Mr. Sanwo-Olu to equip the state’s security agency so that it can adequately protect the lives and property of residents.

The House further resolved that the Governor should call on the commissioner of police in the state to intensify efforts to secure the state.

The resolutions of the lawmakers resulted from the attempt on the life of Hon. Olawale Rauf Age-Sulaiman, the state’s legislator representing Amuwo Odofin 2 on July 8, during a political rally ahead of the forthcoming local government election.

While the lawmaker escaped death, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose name was given as Kayode Samuel and who stood beside him, was hit and later confirmed dead.

Raising the issue as a ‘matter of urgent public importance’, Hon. Age-Sulaiman narrated how he escaped death from gunshot adding that the incident occurred in Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA).

“I heard some people making noise while the campaign was on and I called for calm but I didn’t know that there were some elements who came with another intention.

“We were about going out when somebody told me not to go out and two persons stood beside me and right there I heard a gunshot sound and the next person beside me shouted my leg with blood-stains,” he said adding that he escaped by the whiskers.

Commenting on the incident, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, condemned the use of thugs to settle political matters. He also urged that security in the county be given more seriousness through the establishment of state police.

“The commissioner of police should investigate the issue,” he said adding that politicians and other Nigerians are not safe at this period.

While Hon. Yinka Ogundimu suggested that the Governor should be called upon to protect lives and property by asking the commissioner of police to intensify efforts, his colleague, Hon Tobun Abiodun, urged people to desist from crime.

“Killing one individual can cause a family enternal sorrow,” he said as he used the opportunity to call for the establishment of state police.

“I know our government is very responsible, but we want to use this opportunity to call on the Governor again,” he said.

Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu, noted that with the increasing crime rate in the society, the call for the establishment of state police for the protection of lives cannot be over-flogged.

He urged the other Houses of Assembly in the federation to start calling for state police so that the National Assembly would take it serious.

In his contribution, Hon. Setonji David said those against state police are enemies of the country.

Other lawmakers including Desmond Elliot, Kehinde Joseph, and Rotimi Abiru.

Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, who presided over the sitting on behalf of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, said the incident was shocking. He also commiserated with the family of the deceased.

Breaking: Lagos passes bill stopping parade of suspects

The Lagos House of Assembly on Monday passed an amended version of the Criminal Justice Law of the state barring the police from henceforth parading suspects before the media.

The bill was passed at a sitting presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, on behalf of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa.

Section 9(A) of the newly passed bill states: “As from the commencement of this law, the police shall refrain from parading any suspect before the media.”

The bill further stipulates conditions under which a policeman can arrest without warrant one of which is that a person must be reasonably suspected to unlawfully be in possession of firearms or other such dangerous instruments.

A subsection of the bill also barred the police or any other agency from arresting a person “in lieu of any other person in a criminal matter.”

The bill adds that a person who is arrested “shall be given reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, bail or making arrangements for defence or release.

The bill stipulates that a suspect should be “accorded humane treatment, with the right to dignity of person; not be subjected to any form of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment; be brought before the court as prescribed by this law or any other written law; or be released conditionally or unconditionally.”

After a voice vote, the Deputy Speaker directed the acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit the bill to the governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for assent.

Breaking: Desist from extorting Courier/Logistics Operators, Lagos Assembly orders LGs, LCDAs

The Lagos House of Assembly on Monday ordered Local Government councils and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state to desist from extorting and harrassing operators of courier and logistics services in the state.

This was as the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, emphasised that local government councils and LCDAs so not have the power to tax logistics and courier services. He said the power of the councils was limited to registration of bicycles as dictated by the constitution of the country.

Obasa said it was lamentable, especially as such acts affect ease of doing business “and it is very important that we do something about it.

“We have to make them understand that going out to disturb well-planned and organised businesses that stand to create employment for our youth especially with the rate at which students graduate with nothing much to do is not good at all.

“The services of courier services reduce poverty in the state and how much do they even charge?

“Local governments have nothing to do with the registration of motorcycles and tricycles. Operators of courier and logistics services should not be made to pay in all the local governments considering what they charge for their services.”

The House therefore resolved that local government councils should be aware of their limitations in this regard as well as stop using alleged touts and street urchins to collect revenues in other areas where they are legally empowered.

In the decision of the House which followed a motion earlier moved by Hon. Ganiu Sanni Okanlawon (Kosofe 1), the lawmakers further resolved to call on the Lagos State Government to direct the Commissioner for Transportation and other relevant agencies to ensure that operators of courier services and logistics are not harrassed by the local governments.

The House also directed the state Commissioner of Police to ensure that all extortionists in the state are apprehended.

“The House calls on Local Governments and LCDAs to desist from harrasing and extorting operators of courier and logistics services and restrain their traffic department from doing so.

“The Ministry of Information and Strategy should educate operators of Courier and Logistics Services and informed them about what is expected of them,” Okanlawon said.

Okanlawon stated that the laws and restriction orders on the ban of motorcycles in some areas in the state exempted the movement of motorcycles of courier and logistics services.

In his contribution, Hon. Bisi Yusuff said that the motion was timely and that the use of local government taskforce to deal with operators of courier services was an embarrassment to the state government.

According to Yusuff, some operators took some local governments to the court on the issue in the past and won.

Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said that courier and logistics services help people in different areas to interact with their customers.

Agunbiade added that the operation had a way of boosting the economy of the state and empowering the people through employment.

“The motion did not say they should not be regulated. A courier service should not pay from one local government to the other or else it would defeat the purpose of theur business.

“The revenue should be centralised among the local governments. The House once passed a law to regulate collection of fees by local governments. The law stated that whoever is collecting levies for the local governments must be identified,” he suggested.

Hon. Lukman Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1) accused some of the local government officials of issuing out fake documents. He suggested that consultants should be employed for such activities.

Hon. Fatai Mojeed (Ibeju Lekki 1) stated that some of the riders of the bikes are graduates who have no other jobs, and that there have been many cries concerning the harrasment of courier and logistics operators by local government officials.

On his part, Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe 1) lamented that some of the courier services organisations do not live up to expectations.

“Some local governments use consultants and we cannot stop them because of their excesses. We must not throw the local governments out totally as they have a role to play as an arm of government,” he said.

Also speaking, Hon. Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island 2) suggested that the collection of revenue for the local governments could be centralised and shared among them, adding that multiple taxation affects the profit of courier services companies.

In his view, Hon. Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland 2) said that most of the local governments and LCDAs have traffic sections and that they charge exorbitant fines.

He urged that the traffic sections of these councils be looked into because they sometimes go the extreme of arresting and harrassing people.

Hon. Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo 2), who said he had personally experienced the harrasment of the touts, supported the motion.

Also supporting the motion, Hon. Setonji David (Badagry 2) said that courier operators play major roles in the state but that the local governments do not see it from this angle.

“Most of the receipts issued by the local governments are fake. We must ensure that the local governments limit themselves to what they ought to do.

“We have to find a way to stop the local governments from bothering the courier services since they are recognised by law. They also help transportation in the state as they help in distributing items,” he said.

Speaker Obasa congratulates Sanwo-Olu at 56, hails Gbajabiamila

* Commends Governor for cordial relationship between executive and legislative arms

* Urges Governor to renew his zeal for a greater Lagos

* Says Gbajabiamila has shown true leadership as Reps Speaker

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, has congratulated Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on his 56th birthday describing him as one who continues to prove his belief in the development and prosperity of the state.

Speaker Obasa, in a message released by his media office on Thursday, said the Governor’s actions and activities have been such that have helped the State to maintain its enviable position in Nigeria.

Obasa further commended Sanwo-Olu for the cordial relationship enjoyed by the executive and the legislative arms adding that this has continued to reflect in the successes achieved by the government thus far.

“I heartily congratulate our amiable and hardworking Governor, who has, like many of us, continued to experience sleepless nights in his zeal to sustain the tempo of growth and development in Lagos.

“Our dear State is proud to have had leaders who are passionate about its progress and you remain one of them.

“Last year, I attested to a cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of the government of Lagos State and this has been sustained by you and your cabinet.

“I also spoke about some of your exemplary qualities, the wisdom and strength that God has blessed you with as well as how you have been able to effectively implement policies for the benefit of the people who you serve as Governor.

“I want to reaffirm that we have remained brothers, bonded by the need to continue to make Lagos one of the best places in Nigeria and where residents would live happily with their neighbours,” Obasa said.

While promising that the House of Assembly would continue to support and collaborate with the executive arm and its good courses, the Speaker urged the Governor to see his birthday as a fresh unction from God for more strength to lead the State through the path to more successes.

In a related development, Speaker Obasa has hailed the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as he clocks 59.

Obasa congratulated Gbajabiamila for ensuring a rancour-free House of Representatives.

“Your effective leadership of the House of Representatives has helped in no small measure to strengthen democracy in the country.

“I congratulate you and wish you many more years in good health,” the statement read.

Why Lagos Lawmakers Approved Sanwo-Olu’s Request For N85bn Bond

The Lagos State House of Assembly has approved Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s request of ₦ 85 billion special dispensation for bond redemption as well as ₦85 billion for bridge loan for a quarter.

This is in pursuant to the approval of Bonds, Loans and other Security Law of Lagos State 2015 and comes at 9.25% per annum to bond financing programme.

At a sitting on Monday, the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, stated that the terms of reference of the request received from the executive arm appraise the request for a special dispensation; enquire into the debt profile of the State and ascertain the source of the fund for repayment and refinancing.

According to Hon. Olowo, based on briefing and documents received, the redemption of bonds will allow for extension of maturity of the same with a two years moratorium in 2031 and the special dispensation approval will enable the State earmarks for capital projects.

Addressing journalists after the approval, Hon. Olowo explained that the request from the governor had two aspects.

The first was for an approval for Bond Brigde Loan which would allow the state to access bond market as soon as possible while the second aspect is a loan from a commercial bank at the interest rate of 9.25.

Olowo explained that as at February this year, the federal government went to bond market at coupon rate of 12% , saying that in june it had increased to 13.5%.

He also said comparing the rate with the bond secured by the state government in 2016 and 2017, the least of all was 16.6%, adding that the highest was around 17.25%.

Olowo explained that the opportunity the market provided was enough for the state to access it now, adding that the state would be able to get the rate cheaper and that the current bond of the state would mature in 2024.

“When you look at our Consolidation Debt Service Account (CDSA) we have about N22billion and we are talking N101.2billion in the next 2 or 3years. It will amount to a lot of pressure on our debt obligation, so what we thought that is necessary is that we should quickly access the bond market with the approval of the House so that we can get it at cheaper rate and it will be for 10years with 2years moratorium.

“What it means is that, in the next two years after securing the bond we will not pay any money. We will not pay the interest and the capital, it will be like tax holiday. It will relieve the state the burden of sourcing for money to pay the creditors.

“On the second aspect, if today we don’t access the commercial loan from one of the banks at a single digit of 9.25%, we will still be losing because what we will still access, we will pay the holders of the bond between now and the next one months. That means we have been able to save money worth an average of N1.5billion in form of seeking fund to be able to make up to 2023.

“So, if we don’t pay that in the next three years, what it means is that we have gotten a saving of about N75billion. It is obvious that there cannot be a better time for the state to go for the bond market which we called ‘ Special Dispensation Bond’ and the second is a loan from a commercial bank at the interest rate of 9.25 which is very cheap. That is the reason why the Assembly speedily supports the executive. We always want to support the executive when it comes to infrastructure,” Olowo said.

Lagos Assembly moves to criminalise illegal trade in human parts

* Bill scales second reading as lawmakers call for more sanctions

* Speaker Obasa wants ritualists punished by bill

A bill to criminalise illegal trading in human organs has scaled second reading at the Lagos State House of Assembly with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, describing it as one of the best things to happen to the state.

Before committing the bill to the House committee on Health, Obasa said it should also make provision for the criminalisation of the activities of the ritualists.

He directed that the administration of criminal justice law be studied so that the Organ Harvest and Transplantation bill being considered can be all-encompassing.

Earlier, the chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Hakeem Sokunle (Oshodi-Isolo 1), explained that the bill captures the legal framework for the regulation of organ transplantation from donors either living or dead to patients in need.

Sokunle said the bill has seven parts with 37 sub-sections and tries to curb illegal trade in human parts.

Under its offence and penalties clause, the bill states that a person who removes the organ of another person for a reason other than for therapeutic purposes commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years without an option of fine.

The bill also stipulates that a person or any hospital and “who, for the purposes of transplant, conducts, associates with, or helps in any manner in the removal of any organ without authority commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N5 million or a term of 10 years.

Contributing to the debate, Hon. Gbolahon Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2), said that the bill would help in putting a stop to organ trafficking. He called the attention of his colleagues to some grey areas in the bill.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 1) condemned the act of harvesting organs for monetary gain in some parts of Nigeria adding that the bill would put an end to such as well as protect minors and the mentally ill.

Olowo argued that the bill would bring about the sanctity of life and human dignity, adding that penalties for such acts should be stiffer than what was prescribed in the bill.

The lawmaker added that the bill provides for certified medical laboratories for the organs donated by donors and that this is aimed at stopping the involvement of quacks and the criminally minded.

Also, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, lamented the high rate of organ trafficking in the country, adding that the bill was all encompassing and that it should be supported by all members of the House.

The Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, described the bill as a product of deep reflection on the part of the state government.

Itemisinng the various processes of organ transplantation as prescribed by the bill, Agunbiade added that it would improve procedure and discourage the act of organ harvesting for financial gain.

“The bill will ensure that organ transplanting is not all-comers affair in the health sector in Lagos,” Agunbiade said.