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LASTMA Officers get extra allowance; as Sanwo-Olu insists no-going back on traffic laws

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Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced one hundred percent increase in the allowances of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA officials to encourage and motivate the workers in the performance of their duties and also in fulfilment of his vision to make traffic management and transportation number one priority in his administration.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made this announcement on Friday during an interactive session with staff of the agency when he paid an official visit to the operation’s Headquarters at Oshodi, Lagos.

Speaking on the need to motivate the workforce, the Governor said LASTMA officials will start to earn new allowances by the end of the end of July, this year. According to him, the gesture is to encourage the officers to improve on their performances as they go out day and night to rid the State of traffic gridlocks.

“As from the end of the month of July, we shall increase your allowances by 100 per cent. That means if you are collecting N5,000 as your allowance , it would be increased to N10, 000. Those collecting N10,000 before would now be getting N20,000. This would enable you perform optimally. To whom much is given, much is expected”, Sanwo-Olu said.  

In the same vein, the Governor warned the officers to desist from any act of corruption or corrupt tendencies, urging the operatives to imbibe civility as a major guiding principle in their operations.

He reminded LASTMA officials that Lagosians want a decent and corrupt free LASTMA, and as such they should be respectful when arresting an offender.

“Lagosians expect a corrupt free LASTMA that will not go about to collect bribes from motorists. Be respectful and courteous even when you are going to arrest an offender. Lagosians want LASTMA that is decent, they want neatness. We don’t want laziness and lateness to work. Be my advocates,” the governor said.

Some LASTMA officials who spoke during the session appealed to the Governor to assist the agency in some areas such as equipment, medical treatment and insurance for them to deliver more efficiently.

In response, Governor Sanwo-Olu announced free treatment for every LASTMA official in the State. He also promised a more conducive working environment for the staff such as repair of damaged vehicles and motorbikes, provision of raincoats, and other tools.

On operation of commercial motorcycles (okada) on highways, tricycles and indiscriminate parking of imported vehicles by the roadside, Governor Sanwo-Olu said he will have a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and other security operatives to look at the existing laws and better way for their enforcement for the benefit of every Lagosian.

“There are rules that guide operation of commercial motorcycles. The Lagos State law has stated okada should not operate on some roads. We will have a meeting with security operatives on what we should do.”

”We are not going to condone people obstructing our roads. I am now taking it as warning to all those parking their vehicles on the road such as importers of tokunbo vehicles to comply by removing them from the road because we will come one day and take all the vehicles off the road. People should provide space for their businesses,” Sanwo-Olu warned.

The governor also warned members of his cabinet, their family members and friends against not to contravene traffic rules. He said ”I will tell my cabinet members that if you are caught or apprehended violating my traffic rules, you will pay.”                          

The staff also used the opportunity to seek the governor’s support for the provision of adequate security for those whose operations have been extended to 11pm, improvement in their welfare packages, rehabilitation of roads, trainings, and enforcement of existing regulations, to aid their operations.

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METRO

Boy dies in Lagos building collapse, six others injured

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A three-storey building which collapsed Saturday morning at Freeman Street, Lagos Island has killed a child while about six other persons rescued from the rubble are receiving treatment at the hospital.

According to the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, body of the boy has been deposited at the morgue.

“The Agency responded to emergency calls on the collapsed building at Freeman Street, in the Lagos Island area of Lagos State. Upon arrival at the incident scene at 4am, a three-storey building was discovered to have totally collapsed on people asleep inside. Six victims have been extricated from the rubble alive while a single male child was recovered dead.” Osanyintolu said.

Residents of the area claimed that the building caved in at about 4.05 am while occupants were still asleep.

They said the building was said to have suffered total collapse leaving its occupants trapped as they were fast asleep due.

Meanwhile search and rescue operation continue at the scene, by the joint rescue team of the Lagos State government

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Jimmy Johnson: A life of fulfillment

“Until his death this week, Jimmy Johnson or Jimi J as he was known by his peers spent his time in semi-retirement in Abuja contributing occasionally to various artistic productions.”

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The family of Jimmy Johnson, better known as “Okoro” in the popular but rested TV drama ‘The Village Headmaster’ who died on July 8 in a hospital at Abuja has released a comprehensive profile of the veteran art enthusiast, hinting on the burial arrangements for the late actor.

In a statement issued by the family, “Jimmy J” was instrumental to the evolvement of the Nigerian entertainment industry over the years.

The statement reads: 

“Jimmy Johnson’s involvement in drama and theatre arts began in Ibadan in the early 60’s working with Professor Wole Soyinka in the Orisun Theatre Company and the Mbari Artistes and Writers Club a diverse group of University lecturers, writers, visual artists, musicians and actors that also included Soyinka, Ulli Beier, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Mabel Segun, J.P Clark, Christopher Kolade, Lindsay Barrett, Demas Nwoko, Tunji Oyelana, Jimi Solanke and Bruce Onobrakpeya amongst others.  Mbari was described as a magnet for artistes and writers of African descent from all over Africa, America’s and the Caribbean.

“The Nigeria Biafra civil war of 1967-70 disrupted Mbari with many members opposing the war, but some forced into different sides by circumstance.

“After the war Jimmy Johnson threw himself into reconstruction of the country as an Information and Culture Officer in the Civil Service – working first from Enugu, capital of the then East Central State, then in Lagos Nigeria’s former capital – while also working alongside colleagues to rebuild a national identity for radio, television, film and theatre.

“Alongside his day job in government in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s he worked with colleagues in Radio Nigeria, Nigerian Television, former associates from Mbari Club and a new crop of film makers and dramatists to build the bedrock of todays entertainment industry in Nigeria. His generation saw FESTAC 77 – The Second World, Black & African Festival of Arts & Culture – as an opportunity to try and rekindle the spirit of Mbari, and invited Black artistes from across Africa, North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean to Nigeria. However some associates, most prominent being Fela Anikulapo Kuti fell out with the Obasanjo government over what was described as military intervention in FESTAC.

“While still working as a Senior Civil Servant he was later best known for the role of “Okoro” which he played for about a decade in NTA’s longest running TV drama The Village Headmaster.

“In 1984 along with many politicians, and senior civil servants he was locked up in Ikoyi Prison and tried, but acquitted by the Buhari/Idiagbon military regime after the overthrow of President Shagari’s government.

“In twist of fate, President Buhari said of him decades later on a recent birthday that “As one of the pioneers of TV drama in Nigeria and a respected thespian” his “contribution to the movie industry, which ranks second in the world, remains indelible” commending his “sacrifice, patriotism and loyalty to his country and his calling, starting out early on stage and the screen when rewards were very minimal, but pursuing his career with relentless passion and vigour”.

“Until his death this week, Jimmy Johnson or Jimi J as he was known by his peers spent his time in semi-retirement in Abuja contributing occasionally to various artistic productions.

“He is survived by his spouse, children, and grand-children including his second child journalist, development and policy expert Rotimi Sankore. His first son Tunde Johnson passed away two years before his death.

“Burial arrangements will be announced soon in line with COVID19 Protocols.”

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Lawmakers call on Sanwo-Olu to investigate viral video on LAWMA sweepers protest

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state to investigate those behind a viral video, where some sweepers working the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) were protesting the non-payment of their salaries.

This was contained in the Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 22 moved by Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere Constituency 1) along with other lawmakers during plenary on Monday 6th July.

The motion was entitled; “Need to Enhance Waste Management In Lagos State.”

Hon. Desmond Elliot stated that the House resolved to commend the efforts of the Lagos State government on waste management in the state.

Elliot stressed that the House condemned those behind the videos that went viral on the issue of non-payment of the salaries of sweepers by LAWMA and that the House called on the Governor and the Ministry of the Environment to look into it and bring the people behind it to book.

The House then called on Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of the state to direct the Commissioner, Ministry of Finance, Accountant General, State Treasury Office, the Commissioner, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the Acting Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority and other relevant Agencies to expedite action on the payment of all outstanding allowances of the sweepers.

“Governor Sanwo-Olu should direct the Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Strategy in conjunction with the relevant agencies to sensitize members of the public on the need to dispose their refuse properly and the importance of having waste bin in their respective houses; and mandate the Committee on the Environment to investigate the immediate and remote causes of these irregularities in LAWMA with a view to finding a lasting solution to the matter,” he said.

While stating that the House was mindful of the modern technology means deployed by the state government to ensure a cleaner Lagos, he said that the Governor should mandate the Committee on the Environment to investigate the activities of LAWMA to make their job more effective.

Elliot added that everything was going smoothly before COVID-19, and that with COVID-19, the state suffered a lot over IGRs.

In his comment, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa stated that there was need to address the issues raised by the staff of LAWMA.

Obasa stated sweepers were employed to sweep Lagos State roads based on humanitarian gesture of the state government, which he said had the alternative of using mechanized ways of removing wastes in the state.

“The state can come up with mechanized ways of removing wastes. We also want to reduce crime, which was why we are doing the job manually.

“We should condemn those behind the video because there are many ways of making their grievances known. The issue started during the break out of COVID-19 and everybody was affected. Those behind the video should be brought to book. We should condemn those going to the media to embarrass the government.

“For those who played roles in the delay of the salaries of the sweepers, the committee could see how they could be held responsible,” he said.

In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) said that policing the canals and primary drainages in the state required more attention, and that the motion should be supported.

Hon. Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2), in his comment, said that the matter should be investigated, but that the government should not stop the salaries of the sweepers in the process.

Also Speaking, Hon. Ajani Owolabi (Lagos Mainland 1) said that Coronavirus pandemic restricted the efforts of the state government to deal with some issues.

Ajani said that the major challenge with wastes in the state had to do with plastic wastes.

“The roads are usually being flooded. We can monetize the plastic waste, and we can call on the Governor to look at this in a way that we can monetize plastic wastes,” he said.

Also contributing, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) said that the viral video could not be ignored.

Yishawu then supported the resolve that the money of the staff should be paid.

He added that the sweepers were front line officials that worked during the lockdown, and that the matter should be investigated as suggested in the third leg of the resolve.

Some other lawmakers, who contributed to the motion included Hon. Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo 2), Hon. Olayiwola Sobur (Mushin 2), Hon. Temitope Adewale (Ifako/Ijaiye 1), Hon. Saka Solaja (Ikorodu 2) and Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja 1).

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