Democracy Day: Speaker Obasa Urges Nigerians To Be Hopeful, Says Nigeria On Way To Recovery

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has urged Nigerians to remain hopeful assuring that the country is on the way to recovery from the maladministration of the past.

Speaker Obasa stated this in his Democracy Day message released in Lagos on Sunday, 29th May, 2016, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Rasak.

The Lagos Assembly Speaker commended Nigerians for their patience over the past one year noting that they should not lose hope as there are clear signs that the country is on the way to recovery.

“It was obvious that the country has suffered serious maladministration in the 16 year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and in correcting this, there is the need to put in place enduring structures that will assist in reviving the economy.

“The past one year has seen the laying of solid foundation on which the resurrected economy will rest. Without this solid foundation, the economy will be groping in the dark. This is what the All Progressives Congress (APC) government at the centre has been doing and we will soon start to see the benefits and gains,” Speaker Obasa said.

He assured Nigerians that the APC administration at both state and national level is committed to putting in place solid structures that will ensure that Nigerians enjoy full dividends of democracy even at their doorsteps.

Speaker Obasa commennded the Lagos Srare Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode who he said, has built on the solid foundation of his predecessors to put smiles on the face of Lagosians.

“The case of Lagos should be a role model for other states in the federation. The state has been under the rule of the progressives for the past 16 years and the result has been that the state continues to grow in leaps and boumds.

The Akinwunmi Ambode administation has built on the foundations laid by his predecessors and he has achieved tremendous success in just 12 months.

“Lagos is growing, developing and making astronomical progress under Ambode, our Governor deserves commendation,” he said.

Speaker Obasa urged Nigerians not to relent in their support, cooperation and prayers for the APC government at both state and national level assuring that, “we’ve indeed got out of the dark tunnel, the light is here”.

OBASA: LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO INTRODUCE LOBBY LAW

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has disclosed of the intention of the House to introduce a Lobby Law aimed at legalising lobbying to influence government policies.

Rt. Hon. Obasa stated this at the awards night organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to reward corporate organisations which have excelled in different sectors of the economy in the country. The event took place at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan Lagos.

According to the Lagos Assembly Speaker, the legislature is essential to providing conducive environment for business to thrive becasue, “without resonable and enduring law with human face coupled with policy regulations subjected to the approval of the parliament, there cannot be an enabling and viable investment climate”.

Rt. Hon. Obasa stated further that thus there is the need for corporate investors to collaborate with the parliament, which is saddled with the task of providing the laws for creating conducive environment for investors to operate.

“Furthermore, to make things easy, the Lagos State House of ASsembly is also contemplating introducing a Lobby Law where investors can engage professional lobbyists and engage in the profession of lobbyism to influence government policies,” he said.

Rt. Hon. Obasa commended LCCI for initiating the awards which he noted will continue to create healthy rivalry among corporate organisations in the country. He also urged individuals and corporate bodies to support the LCCI initiative saying “it is a means of recognising, promoting and celebrating private and public institutions in the country for best business practices, growth through innovations, business sustainabllity and positive impact on the people and the society”.

Speaking earlier, the President of LCCI, Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande, stated that the awards night was instituted by the organisation to reward excellent practices in business. “The awards are also meant to encourage winners not to rest on their oars as well as gear up others to emulate the award winners and put in place conducive business practices for the general benefit of the people,” Akande, a former Minster in Nigeria, said.

Also speaking, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Idiat Oluranti Adebule, commended LCCI for putting up a grand and successful outing.

He also congratulated the various winners urging them not to relent in putting place good business practices for the general benefit of the people.

Twenty corporate organisations won awards in different categories at the event chaired by former presidential aspirant, Chief Phillip Asiodu.

Among award recipients are: Skye Bank, Bank of Industry, DSTV, Startimes, Verdic Lifecare Hospital, Nestle, Olam, Unilever, May and Baker, Alpha Morgan Capital Managers, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and Mainone Cable among others.LCCI 2LCCI 3

LAGOS ASSEMBLY CALLS ON BUHARI TO END FUEL SCARCITY

Lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to find a solution to the perennial fuel scarcity in the country.

Raising the matter on the floor of the House during plenary on Tuesday 5th April, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade urged the House to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct all the necessary Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that have direct connections with the distribution of fuel to proffer solution to the scarcity immediately.

Agunbiade added that the President should identify those that are responsible for the scarcity and punish whoever is found culpable and that a special attention should be given to Lagos State so that the fuel scarcity could be abated in the state.

The Majority Leader said further that the House should call upon Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state to direct the necessary agencies in the state to effectively control traffic around all the filling stations in the state, and this was eventually adopted by the whole lawmakers.

In his contribution, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa‎ said that it was not necessary to start apportioning blames or identifying scapegoats, but that the Federal Government should find a lasting solution to the problem.

“I saw people carrying kegs all over the city and I understand that some of them sleep at filling stations. This could lead to another danger because what happened in North Africa then started like this. The roads from my house were deserted as I was coming to the office, and this is a bad signal.

“Mr. President should look for a solution, we should not look at the past or blame the Petroleum Minister for what he said recently since he has apologised. We must take action now,” he said.

The Speaker subsequently directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Ganiu Abiru to write a letter to the President to find a lasting solution to the problem and make fuel available in Lagos State, which he said is like a nation within the country.

He added that the president should address the people and ‎tell them to be calm, while using the occasion to appeal to the people of Lagos State to be calm until a solution is found to the problem.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun, in his comments,‎ explained that the problem was not unexpected due to the issue of subsidy, which he said was characterised by corruption and extortion.

Eshinlokun however, stated that the effect of fuel shortages should be dealt with and that the state Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Dayo Mobereola and LASTMA should be called upon to control traffic in areas, where there are filling stations, and that the Petroleum Minister should tell Nigerians what is really happening on the issue.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY PASSES 2016 APPROPRIATION BILL INTO LAW

The 2016 Budget proposal of N662,588 Billion presented to the Lagos State House of Assembly by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state on Thursday 17th December, 2015 has been passed into law by the House.

In presenting the budget, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode  pledged that his administration will not only implement the budget faithfully, but also ensure that it works in the best interest of Lagosians.

The Governor who christened the 2016 budget “The Peoples Budget” said it was an improvement of 26 percent over the budgets of 2014 and 2015 respectively which stood at N489.6 Billion individually.

“The increase will enable our government to focus on the present challenges of security, traffic gridlock resolution including physical and social infrastructural development which has thrown up new challenges quite different from what we used to experience and have always known”, he said.

He said the 2016 budget which is the first full budget of the present administration will promote massive investment in Security, Transport and Traffic management, Physical and Social Infrastructural development and enhance job creation.

He said the intention of his government is to use the 2016 budget to strategically build new infrastructure, as well as maintain existing ones, adding that wealth and employment creation will also receive adequate attention in the course of the year.

Giving a breakdown of the budget figures, Governor Ambode put the Recurrent Expenditure at N278,909bn while Capital Expenditure stands at N383,678bn, explaining that the Capital to Recurrent ratio is 58:42 as against 51:49 in 2014 and 2015.

Governor Ambode also put the total revenue estimate for 2016 fiscal year at N542.873Billion saying the balance of N119.714billion will be funded through deficit financing constituting 0.41 percent of the state GDP based on 2016 budget alone and a cumulative debt to GDP ratio of about 3 percent.

It will be recalled that the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa subsequently committed the budget  into the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, which is chaired by Hon. Rotimi Olowo with a directive that the report should be submitted to the House on Thursday 31st December.

Presenting the report of the Budget and Economic Planning Committee to the House on Thursday 31st, December, 2015, Hon. Rotimi Olowo thanked the Speaker of the House, members of the committee, other lawmakers as well support staff of the House, who he said worked tirelessly to ensure that the process of scrutinising the budget was accelerated.

 

Also speaking, Speaker Obasa thanked all the members of the Budget and Economic Planning Committee for their efforts, while also thanking other lawmakers and the staff of the Assembly.

Meanwhile, the House has passed into law a Bill for a law to amend the Lagos State University (LASU) Law 2004. Part of the amendment of the law is the recommendation of a 5-year tenure for the Vice Chancellor and other principal officers of the school such as the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Registrar, Bursar and the Librarian. The House also passed into law a Bill for a law to provide for the Establishment of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and for An Agency to Manage the Fund and for Other Connected Purposes.

The House however went on recess and adjourned sitting to 4th February, 2016.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY PARDONS FEMI PEDRO

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday invalidated the impeachment of former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr.. Femi Pedro. This resolution followed the adoption of the recommendation of the eight member Ad Hoc Committee constituted on July 2, to review the circumstances that led to impeachment of Pedro. The House, which passed a vote of confidence on Pedro, said that the allegations of his impeachment were not connected to criminal charges.

The committee, headed by the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, in its report said: “In line with Rule 51 (6) of the Business, Rules and Standing Orders of the Lagos State House of Assembly, the committee recommends that this House should by a substantive motion review the impeachment passed on Otunba Femi Pedro on Thursday May 10, 2007 by the 5th Assembly.

“Pardon him and pass a vote of confidence on him as a fit and proper person that can be entrusted with political and administrative responsibilities.” 36 members of the House were in support of the pardon while only one lawmaker voted against it and another abstained.

It will be recalled that Pedro was impeached towards the end the tenure of Bola Tinubu as Governor for gross misconducts on May 10, 2007. The ex-deputy governor had urged the House to revisit his impeachment in a letter sent to the 8th Assembly on a compassionate manner.

In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, the Chairman House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, urged the Assembly to reverse the impeachment for the ex-deputy governor to live a normal life. Hon. Olowo said that Pedro has shown a remorse and needed to be forgiven. He said, ” to err is human, to forgive is Divine. Pedro has shown much remorse and obedience, let’s pardon him to have his sanity back.

“Pedro has passed through much psychological trauma.” He said the purpose of the impeachment then was not based on fraud or criminal tendencies. Hon. Segun Olulade, the Chairman, House Committee on Health commended the adhoc committee for the recommendation for reverting the impeachment.

Hon. Olulade also commended Pedro for withdrawing court cases challenging his removal to allow the Assembly wade into the matter. According to the lawmaker, Pedro should be forgiven and be allowed to further contribute to the society.

Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho (APC- Mushin I) said, “I am in agreement with the report of the committee, all the allegations against Pedro were not criminal.

“The former deputy governor has displayed a lot of maturity and honourable behaviour. His name has to be clear. He is a man of integrity and we should clear him of the allegations.”

However, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, Hon. Tunde Braimoh urged the House to direct the Executive to invalidate documents against Pedro.

Responding, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the House was not absorbing Pedro of the allegation but decided to pardon him for his remorsefulness.

Hon.Obasa said  since Pedro was not convicted of any crime by any court of law, the Assembly had decided to pardon him and undo the impeachment served on him in 2007.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY, NURTW, FRSC SENSITISE MOTORISTS ON SAFE DRIVING

In a bid to prevent road accident and create more awareness on safe driving, the Lagos State House of Assembly Transport Committee, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the state sector of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) organised a sensitisation programme for motorists in the state on safe driving during the New Year celebration.

The sensitization programme took place on Wednesday 30th December, 2015 at the old Lagos/Ibadan Expressway toll gate with the participants, comprising members of the assembly committee, NURTW and FRSC officials, distributing fliers and campaign materials on road safety to motorists.

In an interview, Chairman of the House Committee on Transport, Hon. Fatai Mojeed said that the programme was an annual event by the House, adding that they decided to involve officials of the NURTW in the process this year.

“We expect sanity on our roads because of the high rate of accidents being recorded on our highways from October to December every year.

“Many people don’t abide by traffic rules and regulations of the state. The Special Marshal unit of the assembly started in the 7th Assembly and I am part of those that started it,” he said.

Hon. Mojeed said further that the sensitization programme is a continuous exercise, and advised the NURTW to assist in educating their members on road usage.

He added that he wished that members of the NURTW in the state would be different from the rest and that nobody is above the law in the state. He cited instances, where Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state arrested some motorists that plied BRT lane. In his contribution, the state Chairman of the NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede stated that the purpose of the sensitization was to educate motorists on road usage, and that it was important for the people to know road signs. “We are doing our best to educate our members on traffic rules everyday and I will advise our people to reduce their speed because of their families and the passengers,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Lagos Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr. Hygenius Omeje thanked the LSHA and the NURTW for being part of the programme. Omeje emphasised that everybody must work together to solve the problems of traffic in Lagos State, and advised special corps marshals to emulate such gesture.

He advised motorists to be more careful, while driving during festive periods, and warned residents of the state not to drink and drive as he said that those who indulge in such would be arrested and prosecuted. “We test motorists randomly and once you are caught, you would be off the road. Many commercial bus drivers overload their vehicles, but this would no longer be tolerated,” he said. The sector commander also used the occasion to warn motorists not to use their phones, while driving and added that children of 12 years of age and below should always sit at the back of the vehicle.

He maintained that over-speeding would not be tolerated and that there is need to obey traffic rules and laws in the state.