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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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Lagos Univeils plans for Nigeria @60 Independence Celebrations

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By Timi Joshua

The Lagos State Government has set in motion,programmes to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

The state Commissioner for Tourism, Pharmacist Uzamat Yusuff, who unveiled the plans on Wednesday said the celebrations will open with a two-day event to be hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on the 30th of September and 1st of October.

According to her, the Day 1 of the event which is on the 30th of September, 2020 will be the parade of lead voices in Nigeria’s Entertainment scene. “On this day, the likes of Juju Maestro, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Sir Victor Uwaifo and Onyeka Onwenu would thrill Lagosians and indeed the entire world to lofty tunes which the celebration will be a mix of the old and up-coming musicians that will feature some Grade A Musical Artists, World famous Ali Baba, Kenny Blaq, DJ Neptune, DJ Kaywise, DJ Biggy, some Nollywood celebrities and Dance Groups are billed to perform at this event that will be a packed 12 hours entertainment, beginning from 12noon to 12midnight to usher in October 1st in a grand style.

“In addition to the above, the Ministry will also be extending invitation to renowned Social Clubs in Lagos State whose social gatherings had be interrupted since covid-19 pandemic some months ago.”
She added that “It is our belief that these musicians especially the very old names in the industry should be a part of this milestone celebrations. As a matter of fact, their songs have been very significant in promoting One and indivisible Nigeria for the past decades.

“Let me state categorically that we are mindful of the prevailing covid-19 among us and as such the event would be streamed live on Lagos State Government Social Media Platforms as well as on Television Stations for wider participation by members of the public while invitation would only be extended to a very few individuals in compliance with the State Government’s existing guidelines for social gatherings” she said.

Pharmacist Akinbile also said “The main Independence celebration on 1st of October will be held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere for wider participation by members of the public, that will lead a new narrative of an emergent Nigerian, inspired to taking positive action and achieving great feats.

“Hence, Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babjide Olusola Sanwo-Olu will graciously attend the two days event as a way of demonstrating his interest to the promotion of Entertainment being one of the pillars of his THEMES agenda.

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School building collapses in Ejigbo, no casualty recorded

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By Kareem Hassan, Ikotun

A three-storey building has collapsed in Ejigbo.

The building, located at 15 Ansarudeen Street, Ile-Epo Bus Stop, Ejigbo was housing a private school.

According to the Director General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu who confirmed the incident,  the building collapsed at about 8:15am.

Witnesses said prior to the collapse, the building had shown signs of distress and the school was planning to renovate and refortify the structure.

The three-storey building has two wings conjoined, the wing that collapsed has seriously affected the second wing as visible cracks can be seen on the walls, pillars and decking.

Dr Oke’-Osanyintolu saud: “Fortunately, nobody was trapped, no injuries and no fatality has been recorded. Responders to the incident scene are LASEMA, LASBCA, Police (Ejigbo Division),”

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Lagos, FG seek partnership for infrastructural development

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The Federal Government and Lagos State Government have found a common ground to address degeneration of infrastructure in Festac Town – a federal housing estate situated in Amuwo-Odofin area of the State.

The resolve by the two parties to jointly confront the inordinate property development and facility deficit in the housing estate was the outcome of a meeting, held on Wednesday, between Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Senator Gbenga Ashafa, signaling an end to the lingering disagreement between the State and the Federal Government over the matter.

Ashafa led top officials of FHA – a department in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing – on a courtesy visit to the Governor at the State House in Alausa. FHA’s Executive Director for Business Development, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, was in attendance.

The FHA team presented four partnership requests to the Lagos Government, among which include knowledge sharing and technology transfer, cooperation on infrastructure delivery and quick resolution of development crisis in Festac Town.

Sanwo-Olu said the State Government took land administration and property development as critical, stressing that his administration’s urban renewal project was being implemented with the objective to open up remote communities for healthy living and investment drive.

The Governor described development crisis in Festac Town as “unpleasant”, pointing out that the population growth and influx of people led to the degeneration of the neighbourhood. He also said failure of oversight on activities of property developers in Festac Town distorted the original master plan of the area.

He said: “Festac Town as it is today is not what it looked like from 1970s to 1990s, given the degeneration of infrastructure and the unpleasant development observed in the community. The original master plan did not consider population growth, which reflected in the calibre of allotees that got the property then. As a result of lack of monitoring and enforcement, people took advantage of this weakness to build indiscriminately on every available space.

“I think we can still correct this irregularity and regenerate the entire area for healthy living and business, now that the Federal Housing Authority is headed by a highly knowledgeable indigene of Lagos. Once the Federal Government is ready, Lagos State will cooperate fully and work through our Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development on agreed plan. We are ready to give waiver on statutory issues that may aid the progress of this move. Lagos is not the owner of the estate but we have a sense of duty to prevent the depreciation of the asset on that corridor.”

The Governor also conceded to FHA’s request to collaborate in the area of technology transfer, pledging to work with the federal housing agency to raise its capability by creating electronic solution that would further ease allocation of property, land administration and approval of survey plan.

He added that the State would be willing to work with the federal housing agency on estate property development in the Lagos East and West senatorial districts.

Sanwo-Olu praised President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, for the choice of Sen. Ashafa as the head of the federal housing agency, noting that the FHA boss’ tenure as Executive Secretary on Land Matters in Lagos boosted the value of land and property in the State.

The Governor said: “We want you to succeed in this new assignment you have taken up, because we believe that you have vast knowledge in land administration matters. Development is critical to us in Lagos, and we will be willing to cooperate with you for more development. We are convinced that your tenure will bring about solution to challenges the nation faces in land administration.”

Ashafa, a former Senator representing Lagos East, said FHA was ready to resolve all lingering crises delaying the re-modelling and regeneration of Festac Town, expressing confidence that the mid-way approach adopted by the agency would yield positive outcome for the both Governments and residents of the estate.

He described his meeting with the Governor as “productive and fruitful”, pledging to take the discussion further.

He said: “ All the four issues we presented were taken in by the Governor positively. With some of the relevant cabinet members in attendance at the meeting, we will be engaging in further discussions on how to go about our plan for urban regeneration in Lagos.”

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