JUST IN: Lagos government terminates Badagry hotel project

The Lagos state government has terminated the contract for the construction of a 48-bedroom hotel at the VIP chalets in Badagry.

The administration of Babatunde Fashola, former governor of the state, awarded the contract to Messrs. Anatolia International Limited in 2013.

In a statement on Thursday, Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for information and strategy, said the decision to terminate the contract followed a resolution taken at the state executive council meeting which held on Wednesday.

The statement said the pace of work was not commensurate with the amount already released for the project.

It also cited “inefficiency and overall poor performance” by the contractor as reasons for the contract termination and the subsequent blacklisting of the company.

It maintained that one of the major policy thrusts of the Akinwunmi Ambode administration is tourism and hospitality sector development.

“The inability of Messrs. Anatolia International Limited to key into the vision of the present administration, as part of the efforts to fast-track the development of its tourism sector, necessitated the decision of the state executive council to terminate the contract,” the statement said.

Ayorinde added that the current administration has resolved to bring rapid infrastructural development to the state in a manner that gives zero-tolerance to insouciance and inefficiency.


Source: The Cable

WARNING: Militants, kidnappers now disguise as security guards – Lagos Police

The Lagos state police command has alerted residents of the new strategy deployed by militants and kidnappers.

According to Fatai Owoseni, commissioner of police in Lagos, kidnappers and militants have infiltrated private security companies, and use their jobs as security guards to spy on potential victims.

He advised estate managers and private guards to stop denying policemen and security agencies access to residential areas.

“Criminal elements and suspected militants/kidnappers have found themselves enlisted into services of private security companies where they choose the estates they want to go and work,” Owoseni said.

“It gives them platform to do monitoring and then give information to their cohorts outside. The command wants to advice Lagos residents on the need to profile domestic servants and drivers they employ.

“By doing that, they would be helping to secure themselves, protect valuables and assist the police in its quest to reduce crime to minimal level in Lagos.”

He said the police recently smashed a syndicate comprising of drivers who steal from their employers.

The police commissioner said four members of the syndicate have been arrested and they confessed that they have stolen five cars in that manner.

“They do so in connivance with guards in some of the houses they work as drivers. We got four members of the gang after a Hyundai jeep which was stolen from the owner’s home, was intercepted at Ondo state, en route Abuja,” he said.

“Through diligent investigation, kingpin James Jacob was arrested. During interrogation, three others were arrested. On a serial basis, they give out themselves as drivers. After working for the family for sometime, they steal the car or connive with guards.

“They have confessed that there are five other cars stolen in that manner. James Jacob has been paraded last year for a case of rape and stealing of vehicle. He raped his boss’ house help and stole the car. He was charged to court but unfortunately, he got bail and refused to learn his lessons.”

He said the gang also had government plate numbers which they use in selling stolen vehicles.


Source: The Cable

23 Nigerians deported from Britain arrive Lagos

The Government of the United Kingdom has deported 23 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences in the country. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA) Lagos at about 6.a.m on Friday.

The deportees,who are all males, were brought back in a chartered aircraft. DSP Joseph Alabi, the Spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development to NAN.

The deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and the Police.

Also on ground to receive them were officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). NAN gathered that the deportees were profiled by immigration authorities and given stipends to facilitate their transportation to their respective states.The Italian Government on March 8, deported 37 Nigerians from the country for similar reasons.


Source: NAN

BREAKING: Another Lagos lagoon suicide attempt averted by Police.

The alarming spike in the rate of attempted suicides along the Lagos lagoon in the last few days has left residents as well as other concerned bodies a cause for worry.

Few days ago, a textile dealer, Mz. Taiwo Momoh was prevented from committing suicide by the gallant officers of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) who stopped her from jumping into the lagoon.

This was shortly after Mrs. Abigael Ogunyinka was rescued by fishermen early Friday morning while attempting to plummet into the lagoon.

Shockingly, an unidentified man was prevented from plunging into the lagoon by the Nigeria Police yesterday, Sunday, March 26, 2017.

According to a source from the Police, Malik Nasir, who shared the information on social media, the man was rescued before he could plummet into the lagoon.

The officer shared the photo of the man with the caption “Yet Another Suicide Attempt At the Lagos Lagoon today. He was rescued before he could take the plunge. An Ifa Priest has said in a national daily that “the Lagoon is Angry. How do we appease the Lagoon Please.”

You would recall that late Dr. Allwell Orji became national topic after he ordered his driver to pull over before plunging into the lagoon from the Adekunle-Adeniji end of the Third Mainland Bridge.

Similarly, another woman attempted to take her own life at the Maza-Maza end of Mile 2, Lagos, when she dived into the lagoon. Luckily, she was rescued by fishermen and other residents who were close by.


Source: Inside Mainland

Several people injured as bloody gang clash erupts in Mushin area of Lagos.

Residents of Alamutu and Alaka end of Mushin were thrown into confusion after rival gangs from the area engaged in a free for all clash that left many injured.

It was learnt that the clash between the rival gangs started late Sunday night when scores of hoodlums stormed the axis wielding dangerous weapons and looting shops in the process.

Gunshots as well as a coordinated gang theft dominated the axis before operatives of the Nigerian Police stormed the area to restore normalcy.

The clash between the gang broke out after the Alamutu group embarked on a candlelight procession for a bus conductor who belonged to their gang. The conductor we gathered died after he fell off a moving vehicle and he was buried accordingly.

The candlelight procession was however organized to honour his passing before an argument ensued between the rival gangs on territorial supremacy. The fight escalated into a big one late Sunday and continued till the early hours of Monday morning before the Nigerian Police mobilized officers to the scene.

It was gathered that during the heavy shooting, some residents were hit by stray bullet fired by the gang members. This however led to confusion as residents scampered for safety to avoid being caught in the fracas.

A resident who craved anonymity said “rival gangs’ clashing in Mushin is not a new thing. They would fight now and in the next minute, everything returns to normal. Only those who are not familiar with the area get entangled in the fracas most times.”

“The fight started due to an argument between the Alaka and Alamutu boys. They laid siege around Idi-Oro market in Mushin burning tyres and shelling broken bottles. This led to a massive struggle among residents to avoid being hurt,” he added.

An unidentified truck driver suffered machete wounds on his head during the fracas. He was however rushed to a nearby hospital for urgent care.

Presently, parts of Idi-Oro market is littered with broken bottles while a RRS van is stationed close to the market to forestall another breakout of crime.

Commenting on the incident, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Olarinde Famous- Cole, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) disclosed the Police responded to a distress call of a clash between two gangs of area boys and that normalcy has returned to the area.



Source: Inside Mainland

Governor Ambode lauds Fashola’s achievements as Lagos Ex-Governor.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday lauded his predecessor in office and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola for his achievements during the eight years he spent as Governor of the State.

In a meeting at the governor’s office, Governor Ambode, who spoke when he received Fashola and some top officials of the Ministry on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja, described the visit as historic, adding that it was gratifying to receive the Minister for the first time at the Lagos House, Ikeja since he left office on May 29, 2015.

“We want to say that whatever it is that we have done in the last 22 months is just more or less a fall out of the great achievements the former governor had already put in place.

We have decided that we would carry on with a sense of continuity in all the things that have been done.

I had always said that what we wanted was this continuity of the last 18 years, but continuity with improvement and we are happy that all that has been done in the last 22 months is just a continuation of the template the former Governor left behind.”

“We are happy that the sense of collaboration that we have expressed here is what we believe can carry whatever it is that Lagos stands for, moving forward. As you may be aware, Lagos is celebrating its 50 years of existence this year.

“The last 18 years has been so dramatic and historic in terms of the growth and development that we have seen in Lagos, commencing from 1999 when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu came into office and the eight good years spent by you and the two years we have done. So, obviously, there is a remarkable change between 1999 and now,” Governor Ambode said.

Minister Fashola who described the visit as home-coming for him, said he had come with his team to Lagos as part of a nationwide project monitoring exercise to inspect the job done so far on Federal Government projects.

He assured that the Ministry had made representations to the Federal Executive Council on modalities to pay debts owed State Governments including Lagos State for rehabilitation of federal roads over the years, saying that the debts would be paid through bond instrument.

The Minister also expressed readiness to assist Lagos State power initiative, especially in the rural areas.

Bomb scare at US embassy in Lagos over abandoned bag

A mystery bag, which was allegedly abandoned in a vehicle on the premises of the United States Embassy in Lagos yesterday, triggered fear among visa seekers, visitors and embassy workers.

This is coming a day after London terror attack left four people dead and at least, 40 persons injured after an attacker drove a car along a pavement in Westminster, stabbed a policeman and was shot dead by police in the grounds of the Parliament.

News of an abandoned bomb immediately went viral soon after the bag was discovered by one of the security guards attached to the embassy. Visitors and visa applicants as well as employees of the embassy ran for their dear lives to avoid being caught up in the event of an explosion.

Immediately, a combined team of anti-riot policemen from the Anti-Bomb Unit of the state command and mobile policemen were drafted to the scene. Policemen cordoned off the area while detectives went in to ascertain the nature of the IED.

Minutes later, the police team along with some officials of the embassy left. Addressing newsmen on the development, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Fatai Owoseni, dismissed it as a bomb scare.

Owoseni insisted that there was no bomb planted at the American Embassy in the state. He disclosed that the suspected bag kept in one of the vehicles at the Consular General office, in Victoria Island, only contained medical equipment.

“We got a call around 7:40a.m. yesterday concerning the strange bag. I immediately dispatched the anti-bomb team, marine police and anti-terrorist personnel to the scene. The anti-bomb team professionally removed the bag from the vehicle. After scanning the bag, they discovered that all items inside were medical tools.

“We are, however, investigating the reason why the bag was left there and who the owner is. We don’t want to leave anything to chance.

We want to also allay the fears of people in Lagos and the diplomatic community that there is no cause for alarm. There is no bomb planted at the America Embassy in Lagos.

“The police in Lagos assure foreigners and citizens of their safety. We are ever ready to live up to our constitutional responsibilities. Since the bag was removed, normal activities have resumed,” he said.

Owoseni displayed the content of the bag before newsmen, which included bandages, scissors, plaster among others.


Source: The Guardian

Three more roundabouts to be removed in Lekki – Ambode

Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday said the government has concluded plans to remove three more roundabouts on Lekki-Ajah corridor to ease vehicular movement.

The governor assured that his administration will complete the ongoing construction of Ajah Flyover by the end of May 2017

Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he received the management of Chevron Nigeria Limited led by its Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Jeffrey Ewing, said the roundabouts would be removed starting from next week, adding that the action was in line with the resolve of government to totally eliminate traffic in the axis.

“I also like to use this opportunity to say that because of the impact that we have seen in the elimination of roundabouts in the Lekki axis, we have actually approved another exercise and starting from next week, we will commence the elimination of additional three roundabouts in the axis most especially Chevron, Igbo Efon and Third Roundabout. We believe doing that will totally eliminate traffic in that axis and we hope to also open the Ajah Flyover before the end of May,” Governor Ambode said.

He said since assumption of office, his administration had tried as much as possible to improve the business environment, and assured that government would continue to invest in security and infrastructure to make life comfortable for residents and investors.

“We have tried to improve services within the State and the area of operation of Chevron which is the Lekki axis is not left out. A few weeks back, we improved on the traffic management towards that axis and we believe that the move would also enhance the productivity of the people.

He noted that the essence of government is to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, assuring that he would continue to do his best to provide a safe and sound environment.

“Security will be improved upon; we don’t think we have gotten to the ideal state but we will continue to expend resources efficiently on security to ensure that the businesses that come to Lagos and the ones existing in Lagos will continue to thrive,” he said.

Besides, Ambode commended Chevron Nigeria for the provision of jobs for people in the State, sound Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as well as being dutiful in the payment of taxes, and expressed readiness to partner with the organisation in the interest of the people.


Source: The Guardian

Why we demolished houses in Otodo Gbame community – Lagos Government

The Lagos state government has defended its decision to demolish some houses in Otodo Gbame,a riverine community in the Lekki area of the state.

The houses were destroyed on Friday, leaving many residents homeless.

Amnesty International had condemned the act, describing it as an abuse of human rights. The group also criticised the government for not obeying a court order which restrained the action.

But Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for information, said the action was carried out in order to forestall an environmental disaster and another round of deadly brawls that led to the razing of the Otodo Gbame community in November.

Ayorinde said the current administration will not condone any act that amounts to a breach of its environmental and urban planning laws.

He said government’s position on clearing “illegal shacks and unwholesome habitation” was extended to Ilado and seafront areas beside Freedom Road in Lekki.

“Government would neither be stampeded nor blackmailed into abdicating its constitutional responsibilities to guard against a potential health and environmental hazard in the area by condoning what amounts to a breach of environmental and urban planning laws,” he said in a statement.

The government also denied violating any court judgment as “incorrectly alleged”, maintaining that it owes a duty to the larger population of the state to ensure that public health and safety is maintained.

According to the statement, the Otodo Gbame Community is one of the 39 claimant communities that had commenced action to enforce their fundamental rights pursuant to Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 before Onigbanjo. J of Lagos division of the High Court of Lagos state in Suit No. LD/4232MFHR/2016..AKAKPO & 38 ORS vs. AG L/S & 3 ORS.

Ayorinde said the judge however did not deliver judgment on the matter but referred the parties to multi-door court house for negotiation.

According to the commissioner, since the claimants had submitted the case for adjudication, it would be unacceptable for them to return to the area or to erect shanties and perpetuate unsanitary and environmentally dangerous conditions, hence, the need for the government to maintain order and public safety.

“The leave granted to enforce their rights was tantamount to an order of status quo ante bellum on the parties, which amongst other things, required that the claimants do not take any action within the area after it was destroyed by fire,” Ayorinde said.

“The undisputed fact is that Otodo Gbame was engulfed by fire that razed down the entire community in November 2016, which rendered the area uninhabitable.”

He maintained that the state government was mindful of the welfare of the affected citizens and had indeed expressed its concerns and willingness to explore an amicable resolution in so far that the demands of the claimants are reasonable and lawful.

Ayorinde said the government had no interest in the area, other than to ensure that the delicate ecosystem of the waterfront remains safe, clean and secure.

FG To Embark On Construction Of Four New Runways

The Federal Government says four new runways will soon be constructed at four international airports in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Lagos.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this on Tuesday when he led the Minister of Information around facilities at the Kaduna International Airport.

The Minister added that the expansion of the runways at the four airports would offer more direct local and international flights, as well as eliminate delays often experienced in the course of landing and taking off of aircraft.

“There will be a second runway in Abuja. Hopefully within the next 24 months, we would have a new runway.

“And then there is a second runway in Kano (the military runway), a second runway in Lagos and a second runway in Port Harcourt,” Mr Sirika said.

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, on his part briefed reporters on the Federal Government’s plan of a complete makeover on some of the airports across the country.

“As a government, we’ve put in place to the best of our ability, arrangements that will ensure security and also guarantee safety of operation both on tarmac and off tarmac, and on route,” he said.


Source: Channels TV

Lagos government bans live band at bars, restaurants over noise pollution.

The Lagos state government has banned live band music in bars and restaurants.

The state government has imposed a 500,000 fine on those who flout the directive.

General manager?, Lagos State Environment Protection Agency (LASEPA), Adebola Shabi, made this known on Monday.

He said the decision on noise pollution was necessitated by petitions made by residents who complained about the frequent disturbance from the bars, clubhouses and religious houses.

The government also warned religious houses to make their premises sound proof in order to reduce the effect of noise generated in the areas where they are situated.

He also said that most households in Lagos were ignorantly drinking water already contaminated by petrochemical substances.

He said that based on a research recently conducted in the state’s agency, the Alimosho area recorded the highest rate of water contaminated by petrochemical substance.

Shabi warned petrol stations in the state to install monitoring well in their filling stations or face serious sanction.

He said that the state would not fold its arms and allow residents continue to consume what could lead to cancer.


Source: The Cable

Lagos task force arrests 43 suspected bunkerers with fake diesel

Operatives of the Lagos State Task Force at the weekend nabbed 43 alleged oil thieves and sealed off a property with 2.5 million litres of adulterated diesel at Alausa, Ikeja.

Chairman of the task force, Olayinka Egbeyemi, a Superintendent of Police (SP), disclosed that the agency acted on a ‘Save our Soul (SOS) petition submitted to its office on illegal activities of oil thieves at Plot 8, Elephant Cement Way, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.

Egbeyemi disclosed further that the arrested 43 suspects were caught while mixing original diesel with kerosene and selling at a reduced price to members of the public.

The Guardian gathered that the adulterated diesel was responsible for series of engine issues experienced by private and commercial vehicles owners in the country.

According to Egbeyemi, investigation with available documents (reciepts) revealed that this illegal business has been going on for over seven years.

“These people have been selling adulterated diesel to members of the public, particularly big companies across the state and this has been responsible for engine breakdown often experienced by these companies. Adulterated diesels worth 2.5 million litres were fully loaded inside gallons and six different trucks with registration numbers FST 615 XR, EPE 672 XC, DKW 05 XA, KTU 750 XN, BDG 717 XA, FKJ 327 XH and XR 95 LSD”.

The task force boss enjoined members of the public to report to appropriate government authority any illegal activities around them through the Lagos Emergency Toll-free lines ‘112’ or ‘767’.

According to him, technicians around the area complained that activities of the illegal oil bunkerers were responsible for a fire outbreak that destroyed properties, including 18 vehicles around the area recently.

Mr. Anjorin Babalola, a mechanic, disclosed that they were afraid to make a report to government because the notorious oil thieves were threatening them.

However, in a swift reaction, diesel dealers in Alausa have accused the task force of lying to the public that they engage in adulterated diesel businesses, saying they are not bunkerers, but citizens engaged in legal business.

One of the diesel dealers, who spoke on behalf of other partners, Kehinde Alabi, said the task force invaded the storage facility illegally on Saturday and arrested 43 of their boys and later released 26 of them.

He said the taskforce earlier sealed up the yard and re-opened it on Saturday as the property belonged to former Military Governor of Lagos, Raji Rasaki, who happened to own an office in the premises.

According to him, one of the storage facilities being used was owned by Rasaki’s son, saying that “how could we engage in illegal business when the place is owned by Raji Rasaki?”

He added that they could not have been involved in such illicit act selling adulterated diesel considering the location of the business.

He debunked the allegations by the task force, noting that their activities at the location were certified by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).


Source: The Guardian

New environmental law is in the interest of everyone – Lagos government

The Lagos state government has assured all residents of the state that the new environmental protection and management law is in their interest.

Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for information and strategy, said this in a statement, saying it is in line with the reforms in the environment sector “to ensure cleaner environment and public health safety in the state”.

Some civil society organisations had told Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, to make public the law which he signed on March 1.

The groups said the inaccessibility of the document from the relevant ministries in the state government, two weeks after it was signed, fuels suspicion that its provisions are anti-people.

But Ayorinde said the law was aimed at charting a new direction in recognition of the fact that water, sanitation and hygiene are non-negotiable requisites.

He said the rapid growth of Lagos, its dream of 24-hour economy and government financial limitations, have made it pertinent to make investor-friendly laws that will attract the desired investment into the sector.

“With the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, the government reassures all and sundry of its determination to clean the environment in our state and we are already taking the necessary steps in that direction,” he said.

“The government is aware of the complaints by well-meaning citizens over delays being experience in the area of waste collection.”

The ministry of the environment, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and our “sanitation gangs” are on top of the situation and will not give in to the sabotage by those who are opposed to the reforms.

Ayorinde also denied that the government demands levies before boreholes were dug for domestic purposes.

He added that only boreholes dug for commercial purposes require licence or payment and this is not a new practice as it has been in existence since “meaning that if you dig or construct to sell or for industrial use, you need location permit”.

“The position of the law today as provided in sections 253 and 259 of the environmental management and protection law as it relates to construction of borehole or well has not changed from what it used to be,” the statement read.

“First, landlords are free to dig or construct boreholes in their houses without any permit or licence, provided that the regulation on location of such borehole is followed, that is the borehole, or well must not be sited near soak away or septic tank.”

Some civil society organisations (CSOs) had accused the government


Source: The Cable

Lagos State Government wants Queens College shut down

The Lagos State government has advised an indefinite shutdown of Queens College over the outbreak of water-borne disease in the school.

Addressing journalists in Lagos on Thursday, Jide Idris, the state’s Commissioner of Health, said the school’s resumption should be delayed until appropriate health measures are put in place for the safety of the students.

Two students have died since the outbreak of water-borne diseases in the school, with more than 50 others currently on admission in the school’s clinic after eating spaghetti and drinking water in the refectory.

Mr. Idris said water samples were collected from the school and analysed at the state’s Drug Quality Control Laboratory as well as the Microbiology Department of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

“The results from the two laboratories showed high bacteria content in the water samples from kitchen, behind dining hall and Queens Delight, the school water factory,” said Mr. Idris.

“The bacteria range from Coliforms, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella ozoana, and Aeromonas hydrophilia.”

The school, a federal government-owned institution, is billed to reopen from its midterm break on March 19, but Mr. Idris called for a postponement because, according to results from school’s sick bay, onset of the students’ illness began on January 16.

“The total number of students who presented at the clinic on account of abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea was 1,222 from the first date of presentation (11/01/17) to the last date of presentation (15/02/17),” Mr. Idris said.

“There were four different peak periods of infection namely 31st January 2017, 2nd, 8th, and 14th of February 2017.

“16 ill cases were admitted in various hospitals. Nine have been discharged, two died, while one is still on admission at the Intensive Care Unit of LASUTH and three at LUTH.


Source: Premium Times

Lagos generated N300Bn as IGR in one year, higher than 33 states combined – NEITI

The internally generated revenue (IGR) of Lagos state rose by approximately N33 billion from 2015 to 2016, beating 33 states put together.

According to a report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the state recorded an IGR of N301.19 billion, a rise of N32.99 billion in one year.

The total IGR from 33 states of the federation, excluding Delta, Ogun and Rivers states stood at N299 billion — over a billion less than Lagos IGR.

Delta, Ogun and Rivers raked in N44.89 billion, N56.30 billion and N82.10 billion respectively.

Like his predecessors, Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola, Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state,  has at various times committed himself to the generation of IGR in the state.

The NEITI report, which reviewed disbursements from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for the fourth quarter of 2016, also showed that Lagos received N109 billion in 2016.

The agency lamented low revenue generation across 34 states, citing Lagos and Ogun as the only states generating more than what they get from the central.

“IGR is very low in most states and it is only in two states – Lagos and Ogun – that IGR is higher than FAAC allocations. The figure shows that total revenue by itself cannot fund states budgets,” it said.

NEITI said the three tiers of government shared N5.121 trillion through 2016 — a decline from 2015 figures.

“Total disbursements fell by 14.8% from N6.011 trillion for the year 2015 to N5.121 trillion for the 2016. In Q1 2016, total disbursements were N1.132 trillion as against N1.648 trillion in Q1 2015, a decline of 31.2% in Q1 2016,” NEITI said.

“Total disbursements fell by 26.9% from N1.241 trillion in Q2 2015 to N906 billion in Q2 2016. There was a further decline in Q3 when total disbursements dropped by 7.8% from N1.887 trillion in 2015 to N1.738 trillion 2016.

“However, total disbursements increased in Q4 by 8.8% from N1.233 trillion in 2015 to N1.343 trillion in 2016.”

The report revealed that “the federal government received a total of N2.08 trillion from the federation account in 2016, which represents a drop of 19.9% of the total N2.6 trillion received in 2015.”

The 2016 budget was for N6.06 trillion, implying that at N2.08 trillion, total FAAC disbursements were only 34.3 percent of the budget.

“Thus, the federal government would have to resort to even higher debts to fund the budget. The implication of this is that debt service payments, which accounted for 24.3% of the 2016 budget, would increase.”


Source: The Cable

Minister Fashola Denies Frustrating Reconstruction Of Road In Lagos

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has debunked claims by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that the ministry is frustrating plans to reconstruct the road leading to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

Mr. Fashola said that the correct position on the airport road and presidential lodge issues, is that the process that would lead to their approval by the Federal Executive Council has not been completed.

Governor Ambode, during a press briefing, alleged that he approached the Ministry of Works on the matter but had not received permission to go ahead with the project.

He added that he had also been denied access to the Presidential Lodge in Lagos after President Muhammadu Buhari approved its handover to the state.

The Ministry of Works has also accused the Lagos state government of refusing to approve the ministry’s request for land, for the National Housing programme in the state.


Source: Channels TV

Weeks after Lagos took the decision, Bauchi also okays death penalty for kidnappers.

Bauchi state government has signed into law, a bill which makes kidnapping now punishable with death or life imprisonment.

Ibrahim Umar , the state attorney-general and commissioner for justice, made this known on Tuesday while briefing journalists in the state.

Umar said Mohammed Abdullahi, governor of the state, assented to the bill on Monday.

“Whoever is guilty of the offence of kidnapping shall be punished with life imprisonment,” Umar said.

“If the victim dies as a result of the kidnapping, the offender shall be punished with death.”

Umar said whoever “seizes, confines, tricks, abducts or carries away” anybody and holds to ransom or otherwise with or without a weapon, would be seen as commiting the offence of kidnapping.

He said the state government had also signed into law, a bill for provision of free emergency treatment to accident victims within 24 hours of occurrence.

Umar said the government would provide for each public hospital, an accident and emergency unit, intensive care unit and a blood bank equipped with personnel and effective communication gadgets.

“The law states that the state government shall provide funds and logistics for joint patrol of the hospital management board and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for rescuing accident victims in the three senatorial districts of the state,” Umar said.

“Any government hospital that fails to accept an accident victim shall have its officers on duty that day punished according to civil service rules, including reduction in rank.”

He said that the law applied to all accidents, including domestic fire, industrial fire, plane crash, flood disaster, snake bite, dog bite, rainstorm, bomb blasts and gunshot.

On the fisheries bill, Umar said the law is to regulate fisheries in order to promote a healthy lifestyle and ensure that fishes would be free from contamination.

On February 1, the Lagos state house of assembly approved death penalty for kidnappers whose victims die in their custody, and life imprisonment in situations where victims do not die.


Source: The Cable

“Nigeria Police is One of the Best in the World” – Lagos CP

For a megacity like Lagos, crime fighting is not done with kid gloves. The only reason Lagosians can go to sleep with both eyes closed, is because there is tough cop in town, who despite all the societal and systemic challenges, is not undaunted. Mrs. Onikepo Braithwaite, Jude Igbanoi and Tobi Soniyi, last Wednesday paid the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni a visit at the State Command Headquarters at Ikeja. His passion, enthusiasm, and love for Nigeria and the Police Force shone through refreshingly, as he spoke with candour about his vision of making Lagos State crime-free.

CP, it seems that crime is back on the rise in Lagos State. Even home invasions by armed robbers which seemed to have dwindled to an all time low, seems to be happening frequently again. What are the reasons for this?

I disagree with that assertion. Crime is not on the increase in Lagos, as you have asserted. I don’t know what data you have to back up that assertion, but I clearly disagree with you that crime is on the increase. We have not been having home invasions as you have put it, but the bottom line is that there is no society that is free from crime. What you hear people talking of when they talk of crimes, is that of one incident which may have happened and is continually discussed in the media for another 3 months, meanwhile people will think that it is just happening. But I can tell you that the Command has risen to meet its statutory responsibility to make sure that we manage crimes to a tolerable level in the Command.

The issue of kidnapping has become a serious problem not just in Lagos, but many parts of Nigeria. Why? Could it be that this heinous crime is becoming more attractive to criminals because the Police has not been effective in arresting kidnappers and bringing them to book, to make examples of them and discourage would-be criminals?

That is also a wrong assertion. For every kidnap case that has been recorded in this Command, criminals have been arrested, victims are being rescued or their releases are being facilitated. So it will be wrong to say that the Police is not effective and not been alive to its responsibility. Rather, we have risen to the occasion, and ensured that the ones that we are not able to prevent, when they occurred, that we have ensured that the criminals are brought to book and justice. For every one kidnap case that you have probably heard of, there must have been 50 to 80 that must have been prevented. We are not saying that they do not happen, but it is not as alarming as probably some people would want us to believe.

How challenging is the task of policing Lagos State? Is it more challenging than Oyo State, Akwa Ibom or other States?

Every State has its own peculiarities. The challenges that we face in Lagos with regards to policing may be special to us, but if you go to some other places, they will have their own challenges that are also special to them. We have talked of terrain, because of the pictorial nature of the state, the waterways, the swamp, the forest and everything. Policing challenges are almost the same everywhere. But most importantly, the one that we can really talk of which is not only peculiar to Lagos, is the tools available to discharge our responsibilities. The government is trying as much as possible, to make available these tools, the wherewithal, but policing and security do not come cheap. Very expensive. So the more we have improvement on those tools, the more effective the Police will be.

Another challenge in Lagos is the population. Research has shown that the more people that you have in a community, perhaps the higher the possibility of crimes that will be committed. In Lagos, we’ve tried as much as possible not to allow that theory to cloud whatever we are doing. We know that we are challenged with population increase, influx of people. The World Economic forum reported that an average of 85/86 persons enter Lagos per hour compared to what has been said of New York City, 9 persons per hour and the UK, 7 per hour. If you follow the research, you find that only 15 out of the 85 people per hour do not stay. So the remaining 70 stay put, and the big challenge facing the government is in terms of infrastructure, expansion of the infrastructure, and how to cater for them. The backlash of all this will come on to the Police. We have continuously looked at the pattern of crime and restrategised how we address the crimes as they emerge.

Back to the issue of kidnappers, there are certain areas, like Ikorodu, Epe that seem to be more prone to kidnapping. Obviously, your border States like Ogun, even seem worse hit with kidnapping. Are you cooperating with each other?

We have a strong synergy with Ogun State. The waterway stretches from Lagos to Ogun to Ondo, and the Police is the same one Police. So, we have been collaborating effectively with the neighbouring states to ensure that we handle this holistically. Plus the synergy we have with sister agencies.

One thing you should know is that criminals themselves, as tough as they may appear, they also look for places where it will be easier for them. That is to say the vulnerability of the area also matters. So, those areas you mentioned might have been considered by them to be vulnerable in terms of the terrain, vulnerable in terms of the practices and the level to which citizens in the area are alive to their civic obligations.

Added to that, is that if you look at the kidnapping thing that takes place in that area, it is tied to the terrain of that area. Most of these fellows that engage in this criminal act of kidnapping, are people that were hitherto pipeline vandals and bunkerers, and we have a pipeline taking oil from Atlas Cove to Mosimi. Ikorodu/Epe axis which are gateways to Mosimi, and of course, having found it difficult to earn a living criminally through pipeline vandalisation and bunkering, they now tend to look at other things that they can do. And that is where you have some of these pockets of kidnapping cases happening around these areas, which were the centre of activity for pipeline vandalism and bunkering due to their proximity to Arepo and so on, which used to be the landmark for such activities. Of course, it is also a gateway to enter Ogun State and Ondo State; even move further than that, and when you look at the nature of the water as well, shallow covered with forest, swampy, where they can easily use the creeks to hide and escape.

Notwithstanding, all these challenges have been put together and have been addressed holistically, visibility has increased to Police and other security agencies, enlightenment and advocacy with members of the public on the need for them to be vigilant. Some of the cases, you find greedy young people in the area serve as informants to some of these criminal elements.

I want to say with emphasis that we now have a reduction in these crimes. With the support of government, the Police jointly with other security agencies, have addressed these crimes with vigour. Where we are not able to prevent the crime, whenever it happens, our reaction has been swift, arrests have been quickly made and there is a good number of them awaiting trial, that are being kept in prison. So, that is working and we are not resting on our oars. Government is also trying to improve infrastructure, especially with regard to access to some of these areas, which plays a key role. We are also getting the people in these areas to be a part of our security architecture.

Is the Police adequately funded by Government? What effect does lack of adequate funding have on the Police Force in terms of carrying out its duties effectively and efficiently? What would be the ideal amount to be budgeted for the Police in a megacity like Lagos which is so densely populated, as opposed to one of the smaller states, to ensure better security in the State?

Hardly can you say that an institution is adequately funded. There will always be something that is left out. Of course, the government is the father of many children that have to be catered for. We are looking at security which is paramount, and also education, health, roads, catering for the old and the young people. So, in the midst of that, the government should also prioritise. Adequate funding of a government institution is a tall order. That should be an utopian thing. But government must cater for every institution to the extent to which its lean purse can support.

It is important for us to know that security, which is paramount, is the most expensive part of government expenditure. And that is why the government has also been saying that in addition to government funding, all hands must be on deck, together, in raising our Police to the standard that will make it perform effectively well.

The Nigerian Police Force seems to have a lot of catching up to do in terms of technology especially for crime detection. There is absolutely no comparison with crime detection techniques in Nigeria and that of foreign countries like the UK and USA. What are you doing to step up your game in terms of acquiring this modern technology and equipment, which would certainly make crime detection easier? Does the Police even have a finger print data base for criminals?

That is why it is good to have this kind of interaction. I think that the narrative has since changed. The Police that we have today in Nigeria will compare in terms of application of technology to investigation. You know that intelligence matters and that is why we have been doing a lot of intelligence led policing and getting to the grassroots to interact with people. We have this Police Community Relations Committee.The Inspector-General of Police also introduced the Eminent Persons Forum. It is in order to spread ourselves to the grassroots, to be able to get information from members of the public. Its starts from there. Even where you have the most advanced technology, you still need the people. The best CCTV you can think of is human beings. It is not the camera itself as people say.

We talk of finger prints, except you are not following, that is part of what we are doing with the tinted glass permit, which is being biometrically captured. There is a Central Criminal Registry where we keep data. That is why we have been telling members of the public that, if you want to employ domestic servants, come to us. We’ll take the finger prints, we’d be populating the data.

Beyond that do you think it is a herbalist we consult when kidnappers are arrested? We have done real rescue operations in the Command. We did it here when a medical doctor was kidnapped. Tracing where the doctor was kept, and liberating him. It was not by consulting a herbalist, that we knew where the victim was kept.

Take the ones that have made the headlines, like the Turkish International School, the kidnapping of the Oni Iba of Iba, we secured the release of these persons. Immediately thereafter, the suspects were being arrested, even with the share of whatever bait they must have collected. Its not through consulting an “Opele”. It is technology!

When you talk about technology, as per the hour, there is improvement. Even in those advanced countries, they still commit crimes and it takes time to solve. You talk of detection and investigation, we are just people that are always impatient. Here, we hardly recognise and follow processes. We just want to jump from one to ten. In some other places, they are painstaking, even with the advanced technology, investigation and detection may take years. But here, its cut and nail! You just want that, someone is killed now, in another one week the criminals must be got. In the course of rushing things, we make mistakes.

If you are talking of the challenges and what probably affects our detective abilities and investigations, it’s more of the people. You will hear the shout of “thief thief, ole ole”. You get there and they are about maltreating the suspect. By the time you pick the suspect up, sleep in that area for 24 hours, not a single person will come out to say that ‘this is what I saw the person doing’.

In those other places, you will see evidence of what crime that person has committed. You will also get witnesses who will come and say ‘I am the victim.’ So that affects our investigations a lot. People will come and tell you that they don’t have confidence in the police. How will you have confidence in the Police that have to also work within the ambit of the law?

If you have reported a case of theft or 419, the only thing they want to hear is, ‘I gave Mr. X the sum of N5m to do business. Or we agreed to do this business, and when the proceeds came out he cheated me. Or the N5m I borrowed him, he refused to pay me.’ The first thing you are asking the Police is, ‘help me to collect my money.’ The law doesn’t make provision for that.

The same thing in accident cases. Two people are involved in an accident on the road, in some other countries, you only exchange insurance papers. You won’t even need to go to the police station, maybe only for the records. But the person who feels that he is a victim of an accident is telling you ‘oga, tell him to repair my car!’ the law does not make provision for that. The law only says, ‘charge them to court,’ and the guy who wins the case can then file for damages. So, where you don’t do that, the police is a bad person, the institution is bad. But some of these types of duties are not the duties of Police.

In our own case as the Police, we are the losers. We carry the burden of the society. Once you are not able to satisfy the whims and caprices of one party, you are a bad person, even when you are acting within the ambit of the law. So, that explains what you are saying, its not that we are lacking in finger print technology.

Do you have a DNA facility for criminals?

How many countries have that as well? In the UK they have. Everybody talks about America. But you need to first talk about the basic things. If those basic things are not available you don’t jump from one place to another. Of course, you know the Lagos Sate Government is building a DNA laboratory. To some extent, we used to have a forensic lab at Oshodi. There are cases that have been done there, especially when that air crash took place. Some of our experts use them, but it’s the spread. You can say its not widespread.

Even in those advanced countries, they also still send samples to other places. So, its not as if one country or one state in the US or UK is all sufficient. Its what you have that you use. But I want to tell you that the Police that we have today can match any police anywhere. Its just the way we look at our police. Just like you see a constable or a corporal on the road, and you think he is nobody, No! some of these corporals and sergeants you see on the road, have a second degree. But unfortunately, members of the public always think that the policemen are from the dregs of the society, no, that narrative has changed.

The Police slogan is “Police is your Friend”. However, most people actually believe the opposite, that is, Police is your Enemy. Why do you think Nigerians have such a negative view of the Police? Some people even say that for example, if you see an accident victim on the road and try to rescue them, the Police can turn around, arrest you and say that you caused it. Why is there this distrust? What is the Lagos State Police doing about it?

Maybe I should ask you. Its not about doing anything. If people in this country don’t see police as friends and see police as enemy, it’s a reflection of who they are. If the police is bad, the society is bad. The Police is a mirror of the society. You can’t take that out.

We that are in uniform, are we recruited from Ghana? Or did we fall from heaven? We keep on challenging the senior citizens in this country, traditional institutions and religious leaders. If the police or any security institution is recruiting now, they will ask them to make an attestation. They will take the form to clerics, traditional rulers and political leaders. I wonder if there is anyone who has disrecommended any candidate to say ‘oh, this person is always making trouble.’ As we sit down here now, even if you have one stubborn boy in your family who brings his form to you, you will say he is the best boy we have in this family.

Look at the society, for every law that is made, the first thing that comes to people’s mind is not how to break that law, but how to circumvent it. For instance, the traffic lights, some people will want to drive past on red. Now someone is standing there to make you account for that omission and you’d probably give an excuse and say ‘oh, I am sorry. I am late for a meeting.’ Crime is such that even something as little as that.

Go to banks or places of business, and you have ordinary water dispenser, people as high ranking as managers and supervisors will bring empty bottles from their houses and put water there! That is stealing!

But if a security guard in the bank says ‘oga you cant go with this water o’, because the water dispenser is meant to be used with disposable cups there. Where we copied this water dispenser thing from, you can’t take the water home. You drink it there and throw the cup away. But here, after using the disposable cup, you will even put it in your bag. If the security guard challenges you, then you hate him.

Some of us when we were young the friction we had with our parents was if we sneak out and by the time you want to enter the house and your dad catches you, he will beat you. At that moment you’ll hate him. But when he is buying you things and giving you money for your wants, you’ll love him. That is how you can see the police too.

But the police remains that institution, whether you like it or not is not just a friend, but a helper. It starts from putting the police on the road to take children across the road, and it is only the police you can call at any time of the day that will respond. Most of the other public services, once it is closing time, they can even stitch off their phones. The Inspector-General of Police will never switch off his phone. I don’t switch off my phone either. Its only the police that you’ll go to anywhere they are, in the middle of the night, and even then you may find three men on duty even if one is dosing. Its only the police station that once you open, you throw the key away. So, you now think that we are enemies.

Its only the police that you’ll see on the Third Mainland Bridge and will ask you ‘Madam you have a flat tyre.’ You have been reading reports of police men helping people to change their flat tyres.

Its just that expectations of the people are more, not only on the police, but the government and on other agencies. That has been there. Its just like in the US, the taxman is never liked. Anything that will check and balance you, you’ll never like. But the police remain your helper and your friend.

You have institutions created, if anything happens, whether its LASTMA, FRSC its Police, Police, Police everybody will call. The Police is just a brand like Coca Cola. When people get thirsty and they want to drink Fanta of Sprite, they will still say ‘Give me Coke.’ What Police actually requires is more of sympathy and not condemnation.

Why are the Police Stations and Prisons in Lagos State in such a deplorable condition? Most Police Stations are so filthy that you can smell them a mile off, well before actually entering the facility. Why are they in such a bad condition? Is it a case of lack of funding or corruption? What advice can you give to Government to improve conditions?

By the time you entered this office did you smell anything? No! its in the minority.

This is not a police station and it is not a prison. Its the Commissioner of Police’s office. It is different.

You have touched a very good point. First, what is available for you to do a very good job is not there. Then two, the turnaround of the usage, is quite high. People will come out to say carelessly, that we are not good managers of resources. A vehicle that you will give to the police, if the police is working, the maximum lifespan shouldn’t be more that one year. Because that vehicle will be on the road 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. In the process as well, the driving changes hands, because you have different people on shift duty. Also the terrain on which we drive our vehicles, is different from the ones they drive in the US or UK, as people would always like to compare.

The police station is like a market, I must tell you. The same as if you go to a hospital. If the hospital is not properly kept, bad odour will come out of there. The police station is the reception area for everything, all kinds of people. Even people picked from the gutter, or accident victims who are dead. You are waiting for an ambulance you don’t see, so you put that corpse in the police van. You probably take the dead body to the hospital, and they tell you the mortuary is full, even government hospital. The police doesn’t operate a mortuary. You are left with the discretion and compelled to take that dead body to the police station, even if its already stinking.

So, all sorts of stench assemble at the police station and when you have such a situation, you could have that kind of problem. But that is not to say that we have not averted our minds to it, its individual efforts that will keep the place neat as much as possible. Don’t forget that its in that same police station that you’ll see all sorts of exhibits, some blood stained. Sometimes awaiting trail suspects are asked to be kept in the police cell and that cell may be next to the Charge Room, which is a confined area which also has facilities that are used as convenience.

If you go round, you’ll find that we are trying as much as possible to ensure that those things of the past are not there again. There have been expansions and there have been redesigning of police stations, so most of these things are being taken care of.

But we have the situation like Ikoyi Prisons for example, which was designed to accommodate about 800 persons, but it now has over 2,200 inmates. Most of them are said to be awaiting trial and they all practically lie on top of each other. What are you doing to decongest prisons?

I don’t work for the prisons service. They should be able answer that. But in terms of the administration of criminal justice, that you have facilities being overstretched and overcrowded, all of us involved in the administration of criminal justice are guilty of it. Look at the judiciary, the courts, what are the facilities available to dispense justice quickly? How sincere are people in your profession, legal practitioners? A case that is supposed to take maybe one year, they keep dragging it with all sorts of delays.

But the police arrest people for the flimsiest excuses, like wandering. They pick people up and keep them in detention for years, and they keep on languishing in detention.

Wandering is no longer a law. I can give you examples. When we raid, like over the weekend, a raid was carried over in search of criminal elements. One of the methods you can use to rid the society of criminals is to do constant raids.

There are places here in Lagos where you have all sorts of miscreants, street fights and others. When we raid, the first thing we do, is to do some kind of screening, in order to be able to identify some of them who may have a credible means of livelihood.

You said flimsy, but what you call flimsy may not be flimsy to the police. You can say people are out there, you round them up and you may find a wrap of Indian hemp. You may find an object that can be used to commit crime. I wonder if people know in this country that if you carry a dagger in your pocket, it is an offence. These are some of what people call flimsy excuses.

There are places in Lagos where the order of the day, is for cult groups to fight for supremacy as to who controls a street. You want to park your car, some boys will surface and say ‘this particular place belongs to our grandfather.’ As we are dealing with that, another group surfaces. As soon as the police gets there and makes arrests, people will ‘you just packed them because they are quarrelling over this?’ They call it flimsy. But in the process people can be injured.

Go around Lagos, and you will find instances when your car breaks down, some boys will emerge and they will demand that before you change your tyre, you must pay the some money. Its not as if they are going to help you change that tyre. When they are arrested, they will tell their parents that ‘aaah we didn’t do anything, we only asked for money.’ That is demanding with menace.

These are what some people term as flimsy.

I as a lawyer was called recently by someone, as if in an emergency, that he was arrested on his way to work. In fact I had to go and bail him from the police station. What was the reason for the arrest? That he had dada hair (dreadlocks) and the police said he must be gay! His Manager also narrated her own ordeal that ‘I was outside my house, escorting my visitor in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and the police wanted to arrest me for prostitution!’ These are flimsy excuses and there is a lot of that.

To be sincere with you, that maybe one out of about 200 cases, like that. What we have now is responsible policing. People do call senior officers. People call me on a daily basis.

For instance I have had people call me to say ‘there was go slow and took one-way.’ But what the person has told me is not what he will tell you. I am not saying there are not instances where you’ll have that. But when it gets to the attention of a senior officer, we quickly address such. All over the world such things happen.

You are a senior lawyer and you know that in the course of detection of a crime, the police can pick as many people as possible.

That is why the places you like to compare us with, like USA, ordinary car plate numbers are very important. The back plate number is more important. Mere riding behind a car, a police man will put the number on his computer and the driver of the car’s social security number will appear, and if they give a ticket, there is no way that person can escape.

But here the situation is different. You stop someone and ask him where he is coming from, he will tell you ‘I am coming from work. This is where I work’ and he will show you his identity card and give you his boss’s number. But if you call that number, I can bet you won’t get the person. It would then be a matter of discretion, and we are not a country that lives by the truth. When a crime is committed and you go with the suspect to his residence, you will discover a lot of different things. But most importantly, when it comes to signing sureties, you will see No.10 Ojuelegba and when you get there, it has turned to 20 Ijanikin Street.

That explains why you probably have such a situation. You’ll find out that most of these problems will still go back the level of development of our infrastructure. That is why it appears that for everything, even the lapses of every institution in this country, be in judiciary, legal profession and other minor security agencies, whatever they do wrong, it is the police that carries the brunt.

You have institutions created, if anything happens, whether its LASTMA, FRSC its police, police, police everybody will call. The police is just a brand like Coca Cola. When people get thirsty and they want to drink Fanta of Sprite, they will still say ‘Give me Coke.’ What police actually requires is more of sympathy and not condemnation

Would you agree that every State in Nigeria should have State Police?

I would not be in a position to answer that. It is for the people to decide. It may be necessary to mention also that the elders who worked on the Constitution, especially with regards to the police, a lot of things had been taken into consideration. I wonder how many Nigerians have read the Willink Commission Minorities Commission Report of 1958, which provided for how the police should be run.

It’s a classic one and we are not taking advantage of its provisions. Of course, you look at the Nigerian Federation, its not a loose federation like other countries. You can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand. If you don’t have loose federation, you cant say you want to create state police. That is one aspect of it.

That is why when a Commissioner of Police is posted to a state, it has to be on the recommendation of the Police Service Commission. That is also why you have the Police Council. Every State Governor in this country is a member of the Police Council. What is envisaged is that you cannot have a situation where all the Governors would be from the same party. It is to balance all those things. But beyond all that, it is not who has the ring that controls the police effectively. Even if you break the police to state police, local government police and so on, that will still not affect the performance of the police.

Even in countries where you say they have state police, it is only some duties that are assigned out. We already have that in Lagos. We have LASTMA controlling traffic. You may create all these agencies, but you’ll still come back to the police. Many people don’t know this; the Nigeria Police is one institution that has really unified this country. But most importantly, it is the tools available to do the job that matters. Its not who has the ring or who exercises control.

There has been complaint that the number of police escorts assigned to VIPs and Politicians is astronomically high, especially in Lagos. To what extent does this impact on manpower needs?

I will also say that that perception is wrong, when you say “especially in Lagos”, I sit here and I want to tell you that its not true. The issue is that even in some other countries, they do have body guards. You may not see them in uniforms.

But here, the Inspector General of Police has come out strongly to say that he does not want to see our policemen being used for such demeaning jobs.

You see that any person that is elected into any office in this country, the first thing they ask for is ‘give me police orderly to carry my bag, or carry my wife’s bag, or escort my children to school.’ Its not as if the country is so insecure, its just that they want to show that they control power.

But there are people who, because of the nature of their work and under the existing rule, are entitled to police escorts or orderlies, like the members of the judiciary. You cant deny them of that. Apart from that, there are instances and exemptions. Like if you take on the case of a kidnapper for instance, you may write to us to say that your life is in danger. That you need police escorts.

The Nigerian elite are the ones who complain about this the most, yet they are the worst offenders. Somebody will go and contest for Senate in his village and his people find him worthy and elect him. Immediately he is elected, he will ask for police escort and will carry mobile policemen to his village to go and scare the same people, who found him worthy to vote for him. But the police has been careful to ensure that its only those who are entitled that are so provided with escorts.

Apart from Governors and Judges, who are those entitled to police escorts?

Apart from those ones that I mentioned, there may be some people that are considered vulnerable. You may be a victim of crime and you may need police security on a short term basis. To give you confidence for some time, security can be built around you; it’s not for a long term. It may just be for a short period to enable you overcome the trauma. But these are reviewed from to time.

Does Lagos have enough manpower?

When you talk of manpower, can you say you are self sufficient. I don’t think so.

Everybody talks about the United Nations Policy of ratio 1-400. That might be enough. But in some places you can do 1-1,000. It depends of the infrastructure you have in place. If you have the appropriate tools and technology, one person can sit down here and police as far as Maryland. Inasmuch as Nigerians are clamouring for increase in manpower, what is needed most is technology backup and the willingness of members of the public to live up to their civic responsibility. Its about getting information to the police on time.

Policemen are becoming quite legendary for maltreating members of the public, extra-judicial killings and going scot-free. What are you doing to curtail these trigger-happy policemen? Do they undergo any psychological evaluation or assessments, anger management? There was the case of the Ekpo family in a Keke Napep which is open for all to see the occupants. The police opened fire and killed the wife with her husband four children present in the Keke Napep.

If I may ask you, throughout 2016, give me the number of extra-judicial killings that were recorded compared to the previous years. Everything has changed.

Now in the case of Godwin Ekpo, that happened in 2015. The following morning, the policeman who was involved in the incident, was charged to court. That is the provision of the law and the case is still ongoing. Its not the police that is dragging it or delaying it. Apart from that, in addition to doing what the law asked us to do, the police also gave scholarship to the children of Godwin Ekpo. The Lagos State Command took up the medical bills of Ekpo which ran up to more than a Million Naira. Being compassionate, the Command also looked at Godwin Ekpo, who prior to that time, was earning his living from a tricycle, and the Command bought him a commercial bus. We are not saying money is enough to compensate for a lost life.

We also paid for him to relocate from where he was living, to a more comfortable place, and paid two years rent for him, and many other things. That is how compassionate and responsible the police has been.

Its only the police that will quickly parade its personnel to say ‘these fellows were caught in extra-judicial killings.’ As far as Lagos is concerned, there was no extra-judicial killings throughout 2016.

Talking about psychological evaluation, every Nigerian must go through psychological evaluation. Let’s use Lagos as an example. In some other climes, you won’t see people yell at each other. You won’t see people removing their shirts to fight in public. The tension which is associated with megacity life, can cause that. We are all human beings. Within five minutes, everything can change.

But a higher standard of self-control is expected of a man who is armed with a weapon than a person who is unarmed.

No! it’s the same thing. but in this Command, we have done weapon handling trainings. Recently about 3,500 of our men were made to go through a one-week re-orientation programme. What we do in that programme, is to let them know what the rule of law is, how to relate with members of the public, how to relate with the press, what is ethical and unethical behaviour, and we get psychologists to talk to them.

Also, we have the X-Squad. That is like the ICPC of the police. The X-Squad goes round to check on policemen. The Inspector-General has strengthened it, and we now have the Complaint Response Unit. That if you see any act of misconduct by any policeman, you can quickly log in and you can call a number to say ‘this is what I have observed in this area by a policeman.’ That is how much we have made ourselves accountable.

The IG recently issued a directive to all Commands, that policemen should no longer stop people on the road to check vehicle particulars. To what extent has this Command complied with that? His predecessor in office also issued an order dismantling road blocks.

Let me quickly correct that. The IG did not issue a directive to stop checking for vehicle particulars. It was a statement made by a senior officer, which went viral. Then the issue of road blocks is something that has stopped. Every command is complying with that order of the IG. You cannot see road blocks anywhere in Lagos State again. But we have what we call ‘tactical operation point’ or Stop and Search.

If a car is snatched, one of the means of recovering that car could be stop and search. For instance, if a vehicle is searched, you the owner may know that you kept your particulars in the pigeon-hole, but the thief may not know. When they stop him and ask for his particulars, he may fidget and that is where the training of the police officer would come into play.

Remember the discovery made by Customs. If they had not done stop and search, that wouldn’t have been possible. Goods were cleared from the Port, the 612 pump action riffles that we recovered, was through stop and search by the vigilance of the Customs.

Where operational expediency comes, we’ll do stop and search. They are helpful.

Corruption, bribe taking, extortion, debt collection by Police officers, what are you doing to curb all that?

It is unfortunate that members of the public will still say this. As if we are not members of the same society. As if we are not seeing what is happening in the society. Its very unfortunate.

Nooo! The truth is that the police has the widest spread. That is number one. That is why it seems as if the police is a carrier for everyone. When you talk of corruption, the size of the police with the size of some other organisations, you will know that the police is not corrupt. It is wrong to make that general statement. Nigerians are seeing that now.

If very senior members of the judiciary are facing such a thing, will it right for anyone to come and say the police is corrupt? I may be selfish in what I am saying, but no organisation has the level of accountability like the police has today. The feedback has been quite encouraging.

When the Minister of Information launched the ‘Change Begins With Me’ slogan, its only the police which has keyed into that. Today, every state police command has launched it and abides with it. Tell me any other organisation which has done this.

There have been situations where people will come to you for one assistance or the other in a matter. They feel that thank you may not be enough and they want to drop something.

When you refuse, they will go and gossip and say ‘the man must be wicked. Its because it didn’t touch his mind.’

I saw on the ‘Change begins with Me’ notice board when I was entering your office something like ‘The Police is not a debt collector’.

I should probably hold you as the number one culprit. Lawyers always follow parties to the police station. Your client has reported or you have written a petition to the police on who is owing your client. Most of such petitions are often laced with lies. You will hear ‘I borrowed him some money and when I went there to demand it, he threatened my life’, to make it look criminal.

When we now call the parties and find out the truth, we try to apply alternative dispute resolution. You will hear ‘oga, let him enter into an undertaking.’ The police station is not a place you enter into undertakings. Such undertakings don’t hold water anywhere. When they don’t get what they want, they take the case to another police station. Its like those land cases, the police will tell you to go to court. The police as much as possible doesn’t want to get involved with land cases.

That is the essence of alternate dispute resolution, to see if parties can resolve disputes amicably. There are things I have seen in the course of this police work, I have been in investigation. I don’t know if most of our lawyers know that our criminal laws don’t have provision for restitution.

If you are given a free hand to make revolutionary changes or improvements in the police force what would be your top five changes?

I wonder what you mean by revolutionary changes. There is nothing revolutionary anywhere. We can have that police that is quintessential, if we all join hands to work together. We need to understand what the police is doing. We need to understand that the policeman is an endangered specie. We fight wars on a daily basis. We fight an asymmetrical war. That criminal that you have prosecuted won’t see you as a friend. He will find a way to harm you.

But we can help to win that war, not by pointing accusing fingers at the police. Because if you point accusing fingers at the police, you are pointing the fingers at yourself. The society dictates what the police is. Police work is the noblest job anybody can do and the Nigeria Police is one of the best in the world. I have seen police in many other countries and I can say this with confidence, the police are like angels of God, anywhere you turn, in hours of distress, it’s the police that you will see there, whether for bad or for good.

Are you saying there is no room for improvement?

In everyone’s life there is always room for improvement. Whatever happens today, there is always a lesson learned. Its not just about institutions. So, I would say the policeman is chosen by God to render help to humanity. Anyone who renders help to humanity is the best of humanity. Forget about some of the few negative things you hear.

You see policemen on the streets taking risks to provide safety to the members of the public. You see them go out there bare-chested to face criminals carrying superior weapons.

They lay down their lives on a daily basis, not just when there is a formal war. The police should be appreciated. You can’t change the police if the society is not changed. The public must change, and be prepared to live the truth. We are forging a new partnership with members of the public.

What kind of impact has the Lagos State Security Trust Fund had on policing in Lagos?

Not only in policing, but security generally. It has been taken as the best practice, which other states and even other countries, are trying to emulate now. That is a good example of how partnership between government and the society works. Yes, it’s the face of the government. It’s the face of the board members you’ll see, but its is more of everyone in Lagos. You will find out that children have contributed, school children contribute as little as N100 and N200.

When people see the money work and the way it is applied, it increases their confidence. Its like value added to the security of Lagos State, and for the past 10 years that the fund has been operated, it has been commendations and accolades throughout. Even the way the money is accounted for, it should be recommended to other states. We should thank the Lagos State Government and the people who came up with that initiative. For the past 10 years it has run, no one has faulted it.

Source: ThisDay

Lagos state police command loses 4 officers to auto crash.

Four policemen attached to X-squad of the Lagos state police command were killed in an auto crash along Imota – Ikorodu road in Lagos, on Sunday.

Olarinde Famous-Cole, the command’s spokesman, said this in a statement issued on Monday.

He said the policemen died during a head-on collision with a tipper lorry, and that driver of the vehicle fled.

“At about 1pm on March 5, a police truck which had five policemen on board in a Nissan frontier van with registration number NPF 409 D, was involved in a fatal accident with a 911 tipper lorry with no registration number,” he said.

“The driver, who could not be identified at the time of this report, fled the scene.

“It was disclosed that both vehicles were coming from opposite direction at a point near Isiwu town and they collided.”

He said three policemen died on the spot, while the fourth died in hospital.

Famous-Cole added that the copses have been deposited at Ikorodu General Hospital and LASUTH, Ikeja for autopsy.

He said investigation was ongoing to apprehend the fleeing suspect.

“As the Lagos state police command mourns the death of its finest officers who died in active duty, the we would not leave any stone unturned to bring the suspect to justice,” he said.

He called on the public to come forward with useful information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of the fleeing suspect.

How I fought corruption in Lagos Judiciary – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has given insight into how he successfully fought endemic corruption when he served as the Attorney general and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.

Mr. Osinbajo served as Lagos AG in 1999 under the administration of Bola Tinubu on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day national dialogue on corruption organised by his office in conjunction with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, at the Banquet Hall of Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday, Mr. Osinbajo said he knew there was problem in the Lagos state judiciary even before he assumed office.

He said when he assumed office, the first thing he did was to conduct a survey of about 200 lawyers “who were regular practitioners at the court” and asked them certain questions.

The acting president said one of the most fundamental questions in the questionnaire bordered on the “integrity of the judiciary”.

“89 per cent of the respondents said that the judiciary in Lagos state was notoriously corrupt,” he said.

He also said the corruption went beyond judges to include court clerks and lawyers. He also said the survey identified the causes of the corruption to include appointments based on favours and connection to the detriment of merit.

He also said no serious background checks were carried out on prospective appointees. He said the take home pay of magistrates and judges was also found to be inadequate.

“We therefore, put in place a system of tests and interviews that each prospective appointee must answer satisfactorily,” he said.

He also said he subsequently put in place a team of seven senior judges and reviewed the monthly salary of judges which was about N67,000 and compared it to their average expenditure and then came to the conclusion that the take home pay of judges was grossly inadequate.

Mr. Osinbajo also said most good judges had no home of their own even after retirement and decided to not only increase the pay but provided each judge with a House.

“Every judge is given a house to live in and it belongs to him even after retirement. We also increased remuneration considerably,” he said.

The acting VP said after doing that he insisted that any judge accused of infraction is investigated and punished accordingly. He said within one year of the reforms, 22 magistrates were sacked while three judges were recommended for disciplinary measures to the National Judicial Council.

“When we conducted the same survey again in 2006, the outcome showed that there was zero per cent corruption among judges in Lagos state,” he said.

Mr. Osinbajo said people naturally have to see the consequences of bad behaviour before they toe the line.

The acting president also used the occasion to ask for additional cooperation from the international community on the recovery of stolen assets hidden in various countries.

He said the process of recovering stolen assets is very cumbersome and may even take several years. He then called on the international community to work with the Nigerian government to ensure that the assets are returned to the country speedily.


Source: Premium Times

Increase in BRT fares will impoverish us – Lagos residents

Some residents of Ikorodu on Wednesday complained that the reviewed transport fares of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) would further impoverish the citizens of Lagos State.

The residents told explained that the increase in fares was untimely, considering the prevailing economic situation in the country.

They appealed to the Lagos State Government to review the transport fares of the various routes to ease the discomfort being experienced by commuters.

Transport fares from Ikorodu to TBS was increased from N200 to N300; Ikorodu to Fadeyi increased from N120 to N200; while Ikorodu to Mile 12 increased from N75 to N100. A trader, Mrs Adeola Adebiyi, complained that the increase in fares was astronomical.

She said that the increase would not serve the interest of the common man. “We actually expect the government to be humane in the reviewed price considering that the masses are presently facing a lot of challenges, ranging from increase in prices of food, electricity, house rent and school fees. “The burden upon us is much.

We can barely make ends meet because sales at the market had been low since the beginning of the year, due to low purchasing power of customers.

“We are living from ‘hand to mouth,’ government should help us. “We understand the concerns of the bus operators pertaining to increase in cost of diesel and maintenance of the buses.

“We appeal that Ikorodu to TBS route be reviewed to N250 instead of N300,” she said. A civil servant, Mr Kunle Aderogba, advised that transport fare should be subsidised by the government to alleviate the sufferings of the citizens.

“The transport fare of BRT bus is a solace to many low income earners but now that has changed with the reviewed transport fares. “For years, government has not reviewed the salaries of workers and it has taken a toll on our lifestyle as we have adjusted to our meagre income.

“We urge the government to consider the societal impact of the reviewed fares on the masses and emulate former Gov. Babatunde Fashola, who only reviewed BRT fares upward by N20,’’ he said.

Police rescue three-year-old girl sold to three buyers for N600,000

Operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos State Police Command have arrested a female apprentice, Grace John, who abducted her boss’ three-year-old daughter, a month ago in Alagbado area of Lagos. The little girl, Oluwasemilore Adebiyi, was found in Abia State, where she was sold for N600,000.

It would be recalled that her mother, Mrs. Oluwatobiloba Adebiyi, had allowed her baby to follow the newly engaged apprentice, Grace, who was going to buy snacks, after efforts to pacify the wailing child failed.

But apprehension set in moments later after an endless wait without any sight of Grace and her baby. Grace could not be reached on her phone as it was switched off.

According to a police source, “we used Grace as a bait to get the first buyer in Onitsha, Anambra State. Grace was arrested in Badagry area of Lagos. She led us to where the child was rescued unhurt in Onitsha.

“She called the woman she sold the baby to on phone, informing her that she had another child to sell. The woman came to meet her at a bus stop, where she was apprehended. The first suspect led us to another person she sold the child to for N500,000 in Awka, who in turn, led us to the third buyer whom they sold the child to for N600,000. The third buyer was also on the verge of selling the child to the forth buyer when she was rescued. So far three persons have been arrested.”

As at 5:00p.m. yesterday, Oluwasemilore’s elated parents were still at the Abia State Police Command. Speaking with newsmen, her father, Mr. Elesh Adebiyi, said: “We give God praise and also thank The Guardian for the assistance rendered. Our daughter is hale and hearty. Only that they cut her hair.

“Before she was abducted, she plaited her hair. Aside that, she is okay. We are grateful to the FSARS and the Nigeria Police in general. This feat has further reaffirmed my confidence in our police.”


Source: The Guardian

Lagos State Government criminalizes drilling boreholes without permit

A new Lagos State Environmental law is stipulating a prison term or fine for residents who drill boreholes without government authorisation, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The legislation specifically criminalises sale or distribution of water by container, tanker, or any other method without a valid license issued by the Department of Water Resources.

The bill, passed by the state House of Assembly, is yet to be signed into law by Governor Akinwumi Ambode.

The government says it targets commercial users, but activists fear the ban may affect private citizens, who struggle daily to get water through individual effort.

“The salt rubbed on the injury is the fact that as we speak, the public has not set eyes on the new bill to ascertain if our fears and objections raised at the Public Hearing were incorporated into what was eventually passed,” said Akinbode Oluwafemi, Deputy Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, during a press conference in Lagos on Monday.

On February 20, the Lagos House of Assembly passed “A Bill for a Law to Consolidate all Laws Relating to the Environment for the Management, Protection and Sustainable Development of the Environment in Lagos State and for Connected Purposes” into law.

The Bill was passed less than two weeks after activists and environmentalists challenged its key sections at a public hearing.

A section (7.2.a) in the draft Bill secured the “payment of contracted services and concessions for long term infrastructure investments with an irrevocable Service Payment Order as the first line charge on the State’s Internally Generated Revenue.

In section 7.2.b., it states that, “In the event that the state’s IGR is insufficient or unavailable to discharge its obligations, the state should apply monies due to it from the federal monthly allocation or any other source to secure its payment obligation to contractors and concessionaires under the law.”

Mr. Oluwafemi described both sections as anti-people and would tie the hands of Lagos citizens to ambiguous agreements.

“These clauses will make government, through taxpayers money, to pay corporate entities without fail even when there are other pressing issues requiring funding.

“Literally, it is saying if passed, the Lagos State government must pay these corporate entities before spending on salaries, healthcare, roads and so on.

“We also feel Lagosians should have a say on how the state’s federal allocation will be used. These provisions elevate government spending towards private concessions over all other government spending.”

The most controversial aspect of the draft Bill, however, is its provisions towards access to drinking water in the state.

Section 137(1)(a) stipulates that, “No person or group of persons shall sink or cause to be sunk boreholes, hydraulic and other structures connected with the supply of surface ground water or treated water without obtaining the necessary permit from the Office of Drainage Services.”

Section 141(1)(a) says no person or group of persons shall “Abstract water from any lake, river, stream or other natural resources forming part of state water except with the approval of department of water resources of the Office of Drainage Services.

In 141(1)(c), it states that no person or group of persons shall “Make, sell, distribute or cause to be made, sold, or distributed water by container, tanker or any other method whatsoever without a valid licence being issued by the Department of Water Resources of the Office of Drainage Services.”

An individual convicted under the law will pay a N100,000 fine or serve a six month jail term or both; for an organisation, it is N500,000 and confiscation of  its equipment.

Mr. Oluwafemi said the law does not mention how it will affect owners of existing boreholes in the state.

“We feel provisions in these sections should be clarified properly,” he said.

“Threatening imprisonment for distributing water to meet the needs of the disenfranchised unless this applies only to large corporations like the breweries and bottling companies.

“Or else, it would mean for instance, that a person who gathers water from a stream or tap in his apartment and gives it to family or neighbour in need with go to jail for six months.”

The law has been roundly condemned.

Agnes Sessi, the president of African Women Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Network, said the “draconian” law would cause untold hardship to the people.

“One of our rights as citizens is to live, to have good water to drink, good environment,” said Mrs. Sessi.

“If government has failed to provide water for us, they do not have the right to take away our efforts to provide for ourselves. Do they want us to die?”

Betty Abah, Executive Director of CEE-HOPE, said the very vulnerable in Lagos are currently under threat due to government policies.

“A government is supposed to provide for the people, protect their interests, but we have a government that seems to want to fight the people.”

Achike Chude, vice president of Joint Action Front, said Lagos is a pilot state and other states would soon begin criminalising sinking of boreholes.

“The issues are very clear and each time we are confronted with situations like these, we can’t help but ask why government subjects Nigerians to all kinds of misery and difficulties.”

Last week, activists criticised the Lagos lawmakers for a hasty passage of the Bill into law; Mr. Oluwafemi said the 190-page draft was made available to civil society groups on the day of the Public Hearing.

A UN expert had also raised “serious concerns” over the law.

But Tunde Braimoh, the Lagos House of Assembly committee chairman on Information, Strategy and Security, maintained that the Bill passed through due legislative process before its passage.

“There is a process for legislative proceedings, there is a process to pass a bill into law, and I want to say that to all intents and purposes the processes were fully and duly complied with by the Lagos State House of Assembly in the consideration and passage of the Environmental bill to law,” Mr. Braimoh told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.

Mr. Braimoh admitted that there were contentious provisions in the draft Bill but insisted they were removed before passage into law.

“Because we have to manage these things,” he said.

“Everywhere in the world, go to America, you cannot just start digging boreholes. Government has to certify these things. You cannot just say a water is good for you to drink, somebody will allow you to commit suicide. If everybody starts digging boreholes…maybe there’s a sewage tank very close to the borehole, it can contaminate it.

“The truth now is, that aspect has been removed from the bill, it’s not there anymore, you can dig your borehole. If it is for residential use, you are going to dig it for your own house, the government has allowed you. But if you are going to use it for any commercial purpose, maybe for sale or for public premises, then you have to get officials of the Water Corporation. They have to look at the location and approve it for you before you can do it.

“Most of the things that people submitted at the public hearing have been adhered to, most of what they said have been considered. Just that government is not run by sentiments, government is run by courage. Government has to think forward, to make changes, positive changes that can impact on the lives of the people, government cannot be stagnated.

“What we proposed before them was what was on ground, but later so many constructive criticisms, sterling ideas were brought up at the public hearing and we adjusted accordingly.”


Source: Premium Times

Barcelona Officially Launches Soccer Academy In Lagos.

The officials of FC Barcelona have lunched FCBEscola Soccer Academy in Lagos state, Nigeria.

The academy officially opened in the presence of FC Barcelona Director, Pau Vilanova and the Project Director of the FCBEscola, Franc Carbó.

The school which has been active since September 2016, is expected to enroll boys and girls between the ages 6 and 18.

It is the first of its kind in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa and would provide opportunities for potential footballers from all over the country as well as other parts of Africa, to receive first class training.

They would also receive training in English, Spanish, French and other Modern European languages, as well as General and Applied Mathematics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Creative, Technical and Vocational studies.

FCBEscola Lagos is modelled on FC Barcelona’s own youth system and students will be taught by the club’s coaches using its football methodology.


Source: Channels TV

Lagos Government to crush 4,000 impounded commercial motorcycles

Over 4,000 impounded commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada will be crushed and recycled, Fatai Owoseni, Lagos commissioner of police, has said.

According to Owoseni, the proposed action is in line with the provisions of the state Traffic Law 2012.

He made this known to journalists on Monday at the Olusosun refuse dump site in Ojota.

Owoseni said the recent clampdown on Okada across the state was necessitated by the government’s resolve to address the security concerns posed by their operations.

He noted that criminals often used Okada to successfully carry out illegal activities.

He said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had directed that the police and other security agencies to ensure the the Lagos traffic law is complied with.

“It would not be one off. So far, we have impounded about 500 motorcycles since we started our renewed efforts and we now have a total of about 4,000 bikes ready to be crushed,” he said.

“The law made provisions on how those motorcycles should be handled and the law also made provision on how to handle those that have flouted the law itself.”

Owoseni said officials would also arrest residents who patronise commercial motorcycles on restricted routes.

He said mobile courts would be set up to try the arrested offenders.


Source: The Cable

Air Peace aircraft suffers burst tyre at Lagos airport

A Boeing 737 aircraft belonging to Air Peace on Monday suffered a burst tyre while preparing for take-off at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that the incident occurred at about 11a.m. forcing the pilot to abort the flight.

The aircraft was to convey 105 passengers from Lagos to Abuja.

The airline’s spokesperson, Christian Iwarah, who confirmed the incident, said no serious damage was done to the aircraft and no passenger was injured.

He said:“The incident happened around 11a.m. as the aircraft was about to take off. The pilot immediately turned around and the passengers were disembarked.

“Another aircraft was provided for them and I can confirm to you that they arrived in Abuja safely a few hours ago.”

Reacting to the incident, the General Manager, Public Relations, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Sam Adurogboye, said he was yet to confirm if the incident had been filed with the regulatory authority.

He, however, noted that the pilot acted according to the standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.


Source: NAN

Guardian: Saying bye to the Danfo in Lagos.

The desire to give Lagos a world-class transportation system apparently informed the recent disclosure by Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode that he intends to remove the yellow mini-buses popularly called Danfo from the city’s roads by the end of the year. The Danfo experience in Lagos is a cocktail of sadness and joy. But there is no denying that the city deserves better and the government’s plan is in order.

Daily, commuters go through hell in the hands of miscreant Danfo drivers and their assistants who molest, assault and even rob at will. Ambode’s move should therefore be encouraged if only to curb hooliganism and touting, as well as sanitise intra-city transportation.

Although, Danfo has, over the years, become an integral part of Lagos city transport, phasing them out would create a more decent environment befitting of a modern city. But apart from the mini-buses, the menace of tricycles and motorcyclists should, at the same time, be looked into with a view to phasing them out too.

He explained the significance of the infrastructural projects his administration had been executing in strategic sectors of Lagos economy, noting that they were directed at up-scaling the status of the state.

According to him, the establishment of massive lay-bys, rehabilitation of inner-city roads and construction of flyovers in different parts of the state were designed to end the challenges of urbanisation.

He said the main objective of his administration is to make Lagos the third largest economy in Africa from the current fifth position. To realise this prime goal, he insisted that the yellow buses would be removed for a more efficient and well-structured world-class mass transportation system that would facilitate movement.

He decried the present connectivity mode in the state, which he said is not acceptable and befitting for a modern city of Lagos’ status. The solution, he stressed, is to banish yellow buses this year.

There is no doubt that for decades, Lagos has been battling with a chaotic transport system in which all manners of rickety vehicles operate. There are few cities in the world where such chaos exists as it does in Lagos.

But the state government wants to turn things around by modernising the transportation system and infrastructure. The bus-stops are being modernised. Roads are widened, among others. These are commendable efforts that should be stepped up.

From the colonial times up to the 60s, train services operated efficiently and movement was hassle-free in Lagos due to low population. But the situation has been chaotic since the 70s, when mini-lorries popularly called Bolekeja and Molue dominated intra-city transportation amid high influx of people into the city. Efforts to improve the situation have been on but hardly enough to catch up with an ever growing population.

Interestingly, while the old rickety Bolekeja has totally been phased out, Molue is also on the verge of extinction, having been banned from commuting into Lagos Island.

Over the time, the Lagos Municipal transport, which operated in the 70s and 80s, has been replaced with the Bus Rapid Transfer System with modern, clean buses which started in 2007.

The train service that practically came to a stop for some time is being revived. The Lagos Monorail track lines are being constructed in order to integrate train services the overall city’s overall mode of transport. The situation will definitely change when these plans are accomplished.

The focus at the moment is on the infrastructure. The infrastructure facilities in Lagos need up-grading given the teeming population in the city. Hopefully, the plan is part of the Lagos Master Plan to make for integrated urban re-development framework.

Ambode is working very hard. But a lot still needs to be done. The endemic traffic gridlock in Lagos shows the fundamental defects inherent in the city’s transportation system due to planlessness. Dilapidated inner city roads in particular. Lack of effective mass transit system in form of rail and water transport has contributed to making movement in Lagos a nightmare.

At the moment, some private operators are involved in water transportation with rickety and sub-standard boats that expose users to risk. That explains the frequent accidents on Lagos waterways. The state government should therefore integrate water transportation into its overall transport plan and private investors should be encouraged to come in.

Lagos is the fastest growing city in Africa with a growth spurt of 77 people per hour. That calls for long term planning which, happily, the current leadership seems to appreciate.


Source: Guardian

Lagos State Government set to commence construction of 4th Mainland Bridge.

The Lagos State Government has announced that the construction of the 38km Fourth Mainland Bridge would still begin this year.

The disclosure was made by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, who revealed that government was committed to the proposed project.

Although Ayorinde did not mention the specific time of the year for the commencement of the project, it should be noted that the construction of the bridge was accommodated in the state’s 2017 Golden Budget.

Checks in the budget indicate that the sum of N844bn was earmarked for the construction of the bridge.

When constructed, the bridge is expected to pass through Itamaga in the Ikorodu axis of Lagos linking Baiyeku, Langbasa and Lekki areas.

You would recall that in May 2015, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a consortium of firms and finance houses for the construction of the bridge.

The construction of the bridge will be coming 50 years after the state’s existence and 26 years after the delivery of the Third Mainland Bridge by the ex-military President Ibrahim Babangida.

Expected to have a four-land dual carriageway, the project when completed, will give birth to the longest of all the bridges connecting Lagos Mainland to the Island.

Source: Inside Mainland

No soldier was kidnapped in Lagos – Army

The Nigerian Army says a soldier widely reported to have been kidnapped in Lagos only got missing in action (MIA) during an ambush.

Lt.-Col. Olaolu Daudu, the spokesman of the 81 Division, made the clarification in a statement in Lagos.

Daudu said: “The officer got missing in action when troops came under heavy ambush during routine patrol of Lagos creeks.

“I will like to state that no officer was kidnapped.

“However, while on routine patrol of the creeks around Abule-Ado, Festac Town area in Lagos, troops came under heavy gunfire in an ambush.

“They were able to fight their way out of the ambush during which the said officer got missing-in-action.

“Efforts are ongoing in search of the missing personnel.

“Troops remain resilient and focused in search of their MIA colleague.’’

He urged members of the public to provide the army with useful information on the missing officer and assured residents of their continued safety.

JUST IN: Police, Kidnappers Exchange Fire In Epe Area of Lagos.

Residents of Igbodu community in the Epe area of Lagos State were in the early hours of Tuesday jolted by a gun duel between some suspected kidnappers and men of the Nigeria Police.

Confirming the incident, a source in the Lagos State Police Command told Channels Television that the suspects opened fire on a team of policemen who were on patrol along the Epe axis, and riddled their vehicle with bullets.

One of the farmers in the area also told Channels Television that the gun battle broke out after some of the kidnap victims escaped when they noticed that six of the gang members had left the camp, leaving only two of them, whom they later overpowered.

On arrival at the camp and learning that their victims had escaped, the gang members reportedly went on rampage, attacking everyone they came across.

The kidnappers had on February 14 abducted five farm assistants and two members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), who were guarding the farmers and requested for five million naira as ransom.


Source: Channels TV

We are ready to bring dilapidated National Stadium back to life – Ambode

Lagos State government has expressed its willingness to renovate the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode made the state’s intent known when he paid a condolence and courtesy visit to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, at his residence in Abuja at the weekend.

“I will like to bring the National Stadium to life. The last time a game was played there was in 2005. There is also the employment aspect of football and hosting of matches at the stadium. That includes the jerseys, branding, mama put, the sign writers, the supporters, merchandising, and so on. We want to bring back the football culture of Lagos State to the National Stadium after its renovation,” Ambode said.

Dalung thanked the governor for his visit and praised Lagos for its successful hosting of the second Lagos City Marathon. He called on the state government to add more entertainment and culture to the event in subsequent editions to get more youths involved and to ensure that Nigerians benefit more from the whooping prize money.


Source: Guardian

Fresh fire outbreak recorded at Makoko in Lagos.

A fire outbreak was recorded in Makoko, a slum in a neighborhood in Lagos, on Sunday evening.

A witness said the fire broke out around 5pm, but Adebayo Kehinde, spokesman of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), said he had not recieved any report on the incident.

“I am not aware of that. I have not recieved any report on it,” he told TheCable.

Dolapo Badmos, spokesperson of the Lagos state police command, is yet to respond to inquiries by TheCable.

But another witness, who drove along the third mainland bridge on Sunday evening, said she saw smoke billowing from Makoko axis.

This is not the first time that an outbreak of fire would be recorded in the area. In November, many were rendered homeless, while property were destroyed in a similar incident.


Source: The Cable

I was trapped for nearly 2 hours, says man who boarded bus that plunged into river.

One of the passengers of the bus which plunged into a river at Owode Elede around Mile 12 area of Lagos state, has revealed that rescue operations did not commence until about two hours after the accident happened.

Speaking with TheCable at Ajegunle police station, Owode Onirin, the victim, who simply identified himself as Nnamdi, said he felt the end had come.

Nnamdi said he boarded the ill-fated bus at Benin in Edo state, and that the journey was smooth until the incident at Owode Elede.

He explained that GUO Transport Service Co. LTD, owners of the bus, invited him to the station to write a statement on the accident.

“I joined the bus at a park in Benin last night. I heard it bus was coming from Aba,” he told TheCable.

“The journey was smooth. In fact some of us were even cracking jokes… The accident happened in the twinkle of an eye. We started crying for help, but no one came to us. After over one hour, I began to lose hope.

“Some of us were praying, some were just crying. I got confused and didn’t know what to do. It was when it almost got to two hours that some men came to rescue us. At that time, three people had died.”


Nnamdi, who revealed that he is a trader on Lagos Island, lacked words to express his feelings after surviving the terrible experience.

“I just don’t know what to say. Where would I have been by now? It’s still like a dream,” he told TheCable.

The police officers at the counter declined to speak with TheCable, saying only the public relations officer (PPRO) of the force in the state, was authorised to comment on such issues.

Dolapo Badmos, spokesperson of the Lagos police command, has yet to respond to inquiries by TheCable. The response to a text message sent is still being awaited.

However, a woman, who said her husband was also involved in the accident, was also at the station.

She refused to speak at length and declined to have her pictures taken, just like Nnamdi.

The woman said officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) had taken her husband to a hospital, but that she had not seen him.

She said she rushed to the office of the transportation company at Iddo in Lagos Mainland, when she heard about the accident, but was asked to come to the station.

The bus, with registration number Anambra GDD 386 YE, was parked around the station as of the time this report was filed.

According to LASEMA, three people died, while 23 sustained injuries in the accident.

TheCable learnt that the accident caused gridlock on the every-busy Ikorodu road in the early hours of Friday.

Three Die As Passenger Bus Plunges Into River In Lagos.

Three people have been reported dead as a luxury bus plunged into Majidun River in Mile 12 area of Lagos in the early hours of Friday.

The bus was said to have been travelling from the eastern part of Nigeria.

Onlookers at the accident scene as Emergency officials attempt to rescue victims

Officials of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), and Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), as well as other agencies made the confirmation as they brought out three dead bodies from the river.

Emergency officials attempting to rescue victims

More details soon.

PDP loses 6 lawmakers to APC in Lagos State.

Six of the eight Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members of the Lagos state house of assembly have announced their defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Azeez Sanni, acting clerk of the house, read a letter dated February 16, and signed by the defectors, indicating that they had decided to join the APC.

In the letter, the lawmakers said they were taking the step due to the division and infighting which had factionalised their party.

The lawmakers are Akeem Bello (Amuwo Odofin II), Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere II), Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo II), Dayo Famakinwa (Ajeromi Ifelodun II), Oluwa Fatai (Ajeromi/Ifelodun I) and Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I).

Speaking at plenary, Famakinwa said the achievements of Akinwunmu Ambode, governor of the state, inspired him to join APC.

On his part, Oluwa said he joined the ruling party in Lagos because of the feud between Ali-Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi factions of PDP.

Idimogu said: “APC is better. I don’t know how to appreciate the good work of the governor than to join his party to move the state forward.”

Sokunle said the decision to align with the ruling party was borne out of his desire to move his constituency forward.

Sangodara, the only woman among the defectors, said she took the step to serve her constituents better.

“We are all aware of what is happening in PDP,” she said.

Mudashiru Obasa, the speaker, welcomed the the lawmakers to APC and commended them for their decision.

Other APC lawmakers also received the defectors into the party.

Bode George praises Ambode’s performance as Lagos governor.

A leader of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George, has lavished praises on the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, for the infrastructural projects he has undertaken in some parts of the state.

Mr. George, a former deputy national chairman of the PDP, spoke with journalists at the Sheraton Hotel Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday, during the first Annual Lecture of Swaaya Limited, publishers of Freedom Online newspaper.

He said he was in awe of Mr. Ambode for the infrastructural development the governor had undertaken in Epe Local Government Area of the state. He urged the governor to replicate same in the former’s local government of Lagos Island.

“I have never met this young man, but I must say that I am impressed with his performance so far, especially in the area of infrastructural developments,” Mr George said.

“I don’t know everywhere in Lagos because I hardly go round, but I must sincerely commend him on what he is doing in Epe Local Government. I am very proud of what he is doing there.

“I passed through Epe recently and I thought I was in a different state. I want to appeal to him that when he is done with Epe, he should head back to my local government, which is Lagos Island, so that when he leaves office, not only will Epe people remember him for his performance, but the entire Lagos will remember him and say: ‘Yes, there was one Governor that passed through here and his name is Akinwunmi Ambode.”

Mr. George, a fierce critic of Mr. Ambode’s last two predecessors, Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola, said the incumbent has also done exceedingly well in the area of traffic management in the state.

“I also must commend him in the area of traffic management, especially in the area of traffic decongestion in the state,” he said.

He, however, quickly added that his party will outperform the governor if given a chance to govern the state.

“He is a Yoruba man and he is doing his best, but I know that we as opposition will do better when we get there,” he said.

Since the return of democratic rule in 1999, the PDP has tried but failed to get elected into government house in Alausa, Ikeja.

On Thursday, the opposition leader was, however, more concerned about advising the incumbent governor.

“My advice to him is that he should ensure that the standards of living of Lagosians are improved, especially in the areas of education and healthcare. I must commend him because it is not easy governing a state like Lagos. Lagos is like the New York of the United States,” he said.

Over 3,000 bus conductors to wear uniforms, badges in Lagos – Official

Israel Adeshola, the National President of Bus Conductors Association of Nigeria, BCAN, says that as from March it is mandatory for bus conductors in Lagos State to wear uniforms, name tags and badges.

Mr. Adeshola, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday, said that the Lagos State government has approved wearing of uniforms and badges.

He said that the use of badges and wearing of uniforms by over 3,000 members got the approval of the government on Monday.

“We are in collaboration with Lagos State government on the issue of badges and uniforms for commercial conductors, which was finalised on Monday.

“This is because we don’t want to start without the government’s approval. So by first week of March we will roll them out,” he said.

Adeshola explained that the introduction of uniforms, name tags and badges had become necessary to enforce decorum and ensure safety of duly registered members and members of the public.

According to him, with the vital information on the badge, any conductor involved in crime can easily be identified and apprehended.

The national president explained that the novel idea was being experimented in Lagos State before other states can take a cue.


Source: NAN

Lagos to achieve uninterrupted electricity by 2022 – Ambode

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday said there are plans by the state to attain 24-hour power supply through generation of 3000 megawatts of electricity by 2022.

Speaking at Lagos House in Ikeja after receiving the report of the Embedded Power Technical Committee constituted by the state government with representatives from the public and private sector, Governor Ambode said while the federal government continues in its efforts to resolve the power crisis, the sustainable solution going forward would be the pulling together of commitment and resources of all stakeholders in the power value chain.

While explaining the rationale behind the embedded power initiative of the state government, Mr. Ambode said the major bane of the power situation in the country has always been with transmission, adding that the initiative was designed to permanently resolve power crisis in the state and by extension in the country.

“The reason why we embarked on this initiative is that we believe strongly that if the power problem is solved in Lagos, it is technically solved in the whole of the country and so because Lagos has more or less tested a solution that works, we can scale this up and also address it on a national scale,” said Mr. Ambode.

“The problem of power in Nigeria is the problem of transmission and that is the truth. Yes, we have generating companies and we have distributing companies and they say power is in the hands of the private sector but we know technically that that is not totally true.

“We also know that transmission is hundred per cent owned by government but we have tested here in Lagos and we have been able to provide 48 kilowatts of power without transmitting it which means that we generate and then distribute.

“So, if that works for 48 kilowatts, can we put Lagos into clusters and actually use embedded power initiative to drive the business of Lagos? That is what this initiative is all about and I want to thank all the stakeholders for submitting their business template into what government sees as the right step to take so that we can join hands together to say in the next two to five years, we can actually power Lagos and then grow our GDP.”

Mr. Ambode said the target of the state government is to generate up to 3,000MW of power through accelerated deployment of various embedded power plants in strategic locations in the state within three to five years.

Out of the 3000MW, the governor said 350MW would be delivered by Q1 2018, additional 850MW by Q4 2018, and the balance of 1,800MW not later Q3 2022, while the state government will support the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to be signed between the distribution companies and the embedded power providers, to enhance bankability of the projects.

He said the embedded power will be distributed off-grid within Lagos State through the network of Eko and Ikeja distribution companies, while the state government will support the distribution companies in upgrading their distribution infrastructure and installation of smart prepaid meters in the areas where embedded power is deployed.

Other areas of collaboration, according to the governor, would include support for collection, appropriate legislation and enforcement of power theft laws.

Mr. Ambode said his administration would collaborate with operators of oil blocks in the Lagos area to accelerate the extraction of gas feedstocks for power generation, adding that alternative sources of fuel would be explored to sustain uninterrupted power supply in the medium to long term, including partnerships on investments in gas pipeline infrastructure through the state’s oil and gas firm – Ibile Oil and Gas.

While recalling the success of the Light Up Lagos Project with installation of over 47,000 poles of street lights, and connection of about 67 communities in the Ibeju Lekki axis to national grid after about six years off grid under the rural electrification project, Mr. Ambode said another 32 communities in Badagry which have not had access to electricity for over sixteen years would be connected to the grid within the next 21 days.

Responding on behalf of Distribution Companies (DISCOS), the Chairman of Eko Distribution Company, Charles Momoh, commended Governor Ambode for the embedded power initiative, saying it was the best thing that has happened to Lagos State in recent times.

He also expressed the confidence of DISCOS in the ability of the governor to see to the success of the initiative.

Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Wale Oluwo, said he was confident that the implementation of the report holistically would address electricity problem in the state.

Unknown gunmen in military camouflage abduct 7 in Lagos suburb

Barely 24 hours after the abducted secretary of Isheri North Landlord Association was released by his abductors, two members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and five farm workers of Eliasa Farm have been kidnapped in Igbodu area of Epe, Lagos State yesterday.

It was gathered that the gunmen, numbering about 15, dressed in military camouflage, stormed the farm situated along Ishiwo road around 7a.m. and abducted the OPC members, who work as security guards and the farm workers.

Investigation revealed that the two OPC members were employed by the farm owner to provide security at the farm when kidnapping in the community was on the increase in the area.

“The sound of strange voices woke me up early this morning,” said Isaac Ayuba, a farm worker who was lucky to escape. “Before I know what was going on, I saw a man ordering me to open the door to the room where I slept. I noticed there were other men in the premises. I counted six of them and they were all armed. They were ordering my colleagues to open their doors.

“One of the other men fired his weapon and the whole place was in commotion. Even the armed man standing at my door was confused. So I used the door to push him aside and ran towards the fence. He shot at me as I did but missed. That was how I escaped,” he said.

Isaac and a farm manager called the police who visited the facility and found no one. All the other workers had been kidnapped. “Marcus, James, Modiu, Alfred and three other farms workers are missing,” Isaac added.

A source in the area, who spoke on phone, said two weeks ago, the same gunmen invaded the community and abducted six farmers and one customer who came to buy farm produce.

The kidnappers also stormed the community on Friday, January 27, and abducted a 24-year-old Olabiyi Ifeoluwa, a graduate of Nutrients and Biotechnology from Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Oyo State and three other farm workers identified simply as Busuyi, Kposu, a Togolese national and John.

The four kidnapped victims were workers of Tanda Farm. Thereafter the abductors contacted the owner. It was gathered that N2 million ransom and two cartons of red label gin were eventually paid as ransom for their release.

The negotiator, Ayodeji Akinyemi, who is Ifeoluwa’s fiancé, was said to have dropped the ransom at a designated point, as directed by the abductors. He was said to have also been instructed on phone, the direction he would lead the released workers through in the forest after their release.

Akinyemi said the kidnappers also had a room where kidnapped babies are kept, as well as first aid box for treatment of injured victims. He also revealed that one of the victims, identified simply as John, who attempted to escape, was shot in the arm.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the incident, said “it is true seven farm workers were kidnapped at Igbodu area. The Lagos State Police command has commenced investigation following the report and we are working assiduously to rescue them.”

Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, told The Guardian that the picture was not clear yet on the reported kidnap.According to him, “we received a distress call that some farmers were kidnapped, but when the Divisional Police Officer and his men visited the scene, they discovered there was no such incident, but after sometime, I heard that it was some farmers who were off-loading chicken that was kidnapped. We are still investigating the matter to get a clearer picture.”

Danfo ban: Don’t panic, Lagos NURTW tells members

The National Union of Road Transport Workers, Lagos Chapter, on Tuesday advised its members not to panic over the proposed ban on operations of yellow commercial buses.

The state Chairman of the union, Mr. Tajudeen Agbede, on Tuesday said that the union was discussing the proposed ban with the government, adding that the union was ready to cooperate with the state government on its mega city project.

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had on February 6 announced a plan to stop operations of yellow commercial buses popularly known as ‘danfo’ for a more efficient, well-structured and world-class mass transport system.

Ambode said that the well-structured transport system would ease movement within the state and make Lagos cleaner without burdening the people in terms of taxes.

He said, “We are still discussing with the government on the proposed ban on yellow buses, but we believe it is going to yield a positive result.

“The union is ready to comply with the conditions of making the state a mega city.

“We are ready to change the colour of our buses and also comply with the directive to follow the service lanes.”

According to him, the union members are also ready to refurbish their vehicles to attain mega city standards.

Tragedy averted as petrol tanker spills content in Igbogbo Community

Tragedy almost struck in a residential area in Igbogbo axis of Ikorodu community in the early hours of this morning after a petrol tanker spilled its content in the area.


The unfortunate incident occurred at Odofin Street, Igbogbo, so early in the morning when residents were still in their homes while a few others make plans to leave for their respective work places.


According to Mr. Abiona who spoke to InsideMainland, he was informed of the incident by a cleric in his mosque before he alerted other residents.


In his words, “I live in the street opposite Odofin Street. I didn’t know of what happened until when I got to the mosque around 5:00am to offer my ‘fajr’ prayers. It was Alfa who told that the area had been cordoned off because rescue officers were trying to keep residents safe and also prevent a possible explosion.”


Meanwhile, the emergency response unit of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said it was “quick to the rescue as the officers towed the tanker to a safer place.”


Presently, the area is under the watch of rescue officers who are monitoring the place in order to prevent any occurrence that could lead to loss of lives and properties.




Tragedy averted as tyre of Doha-bound plane burst at Lagos airport

Hundreds of passengers on Thursday escaped death when one of the tyres of a Doha-bound Qatar Airways aircraft burst while it was attempting to take-off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

According to NAN, the incident occurred around 3pm.

One of the passengers, who spoke to reporters, said the pilot was already cleared for take-off by the air traffic controllers when they suddenly heard a loud sound.

According to her, this prompted the pilot to stop briefly before deciding to taxi the aircraft back to the terminal where it earlier departed.

She said the frightened passengers resorted to prayers.

“We were held in fear for some time. We thank God that the plane had not gathered the full speed for takeoff, we would have been saying something else,” she said.

The aircraft was later parked for repair, while the airline management embarked on alternative arrangement for the affected travellers.

Efforts to get the reaction of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) proved abortive as calls and text messages to its spokesman were not responded to.


Source: NAN

Lagos State Government tasks Police on Isheri Kidnapping.

The Lagos State Government has directed the State Police Command to ensure prompt arrest of the kidnappers who struck on Wednesday evening in the Isheri part of the state.


The kidnappers were said to have also abducted the Secretary of the Isheri North Residents Association, Mr. Dayo Adekoya.


According to eyewitness account, the three estate security were gunned down by the gunmen as they attempted to prevent them from escaping after they had abducted the estate secretary.


The Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has confirmed the incident. He also said that men of the Police Force has swung into action to unravel this crime.


The State Government however commiserates with the families of the security guards that lost their lives to the unfortunate incident and has also promised adequate response to the kidnap in order to secure the release of the kidnapped persons.

Why Lagos needs a new waste management policy- Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday underscored the need for the State to evolve a new waste management policy that would not only be befitting for a mega city State but ensure that the State remains clean and safe for healthy living.

The Governor, who spoke at a Annual Lecture of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) held at Muson Centre in Onikan with the theme: “Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge Of Africa’s Future Cities”, said government was embarking on massive reform in waste management system, expressing optimism that the plan will fully be actualized by July this year.

He said: “We are also embarking on massive reform in the waste and sanitation management system. I don’t like the way the city is and the Private Sector Participants (PSP) collectors are not having enough capacity to do it but again should I tax people to death, the answer is no. I don’t want to tax people and so we need this partnership with the private sector so that they can invest in the sanitation management of the city and in no time maybe by July, the city will change forever.”

Recently, Governor Ambode directed the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), to stop the collection of waste bills, while instructing that all payments should be remitted to the coffers of Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators, just as the government also canceled the monthly environmental sanitation exercise.

It would also be recalled that the State Government had last year signed a $135 million (N85 billion) agreement with a foreign firm as part of its new waste management policy, a partnership under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative expected to last for four years.

The State’s Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare who also explained the new drive said the investment, which would kick off next year involved the deployment of over 600 Mercedes Benz compactors and the engagement of street sweepers in all wards in the state, while private sector operators would be restricted to handle commercial waste.

Adejare also stated that the new policy would involve closure of existing landfill sites, creation of transfer loading stations in local councils and deployment of over one million ultra-modern waste bins with censors to monitor their movement against theft.

He said this was aimed at introducing new technology into waste management in the state.

He stressed that the decision to contract waste management under a Public Private Participation (PPP) arrangement was because of the high cost which he said the state could not afford because of limited resources.

Under the reform, Adejare said three colour coded waste bags would be distributed to homes for different kinds of waste.

“The result of this new arrangement is that waste disposal will no longer be a challenge as efficient system will be on ground for effective management which will eventually eradicate cart pushers in the process,” he said.

300 LASTMA officials deployed for Lagos City Marathon

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said over 300 officials would be deployed for the Lagos City Marathon coming up on Saturday to ensure free flow of traffic in the state.


The 42 kilometres marathon which will host world athletes will start from the National Stadium, Surelere and ends at the Eko Atlantic.


At a press briefing on preparation for the event, the State’s Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Olarenwaju Elegushi, called on residents to support the government for successful hosting of the event.


According to him, traffic will be restricted on the day of the event adding that alternative routes have been created for motorists.


“It is our plan to mount and deploy adequate traffic diversion signs and personnel to monitor and montage traffic. The routes will be open as soon the last runner leaves each point to ensure the traffic is not held for too long,” Elegushi said.


He assured Lagos residents that government is committed to ensure that their programmes are not impaired during the event.

No going back on Lagos waste management reforms – Ambode

The Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has said the state’s new waste management policy would be befitting a mega city and ensure the state remains clean and safe for healthy living.

According to a statement released by his office, Mr. Ambode spoke, Monday, at the annual lecture of the Centre for Values in Leadership, held at Muson Centre in Onikan with the theme: “Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge Of Africa’s Future Cities.”

The governor said government was embarking on massive reform in waste management system, expressing optimism that the plan would fully be actualized by July this year.

Mr. Ambode’s statement came one week after the private waste operators in the state instituted a suit before a court asking for a roll-back on some aspects of the new reform.

The Private Sector Participants (PSPs) said the government’s decision to replace them with a foreign investor was unfair.

But Mr. Ambode said the PSPs had not shown the capacity to deal with the enormous waste generated in the state.

“We are also embarking on massive reform in the waste and sanitation management system,” said Mr. Ambode.

“I don’t like the way the city is and the Private Sector Participants (PSP) collectors are not having enough capacity to do it. But again, should I tax people to death? The answer is no.

“I don’t want to tax people and so we need this partnership with the private sector so that they can invest in the sanitation management of the city and in no time maybe by July, the city will change forever.”

Recently, Governor Ambode directed the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), to stop the collection of waste bills, while instructing that all payments should be remitted to Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators, just as the government also cancelled the monthly environmental sanitation exercise.

It would also be recalled that the State Government had last year signed a $135 million (N85 billion) agreement with a foreign firm as part of its new waste management policy, a partnership under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative expected to last for four years.

The State’s Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Adejare, who also explained the new drive, said the investment, which would kick off next year involved the deployment of over 600 Mercedes Benz compactors and the engagement of street sweepers in all wards in the state, while private sector operators would be restricted to handle commercial waste.

Mr. Adejare also stated that the new policy would involve closure of existing landfill sites, creation of transfer loading stations in local councils and deployment of over one million ultra-modern waste bins with censors to monitor their movement against theft.

He said this was aimed at introducing new technology into waste management in the state.

He said the decision to contract out waste management under a Public Private Participation (PPP) arrangement was because of the high cost which he said the state could not afford because of limited resources.

Under the reform, Mr. Adejare said three colour coded waste bags would be distributed to homes for different kinds of waste.

“The result of this new arrangement is that waste disposal will no longer be a challenge as efficient system will be on ground for effective management which will eventually eradicate cart pushers in the process,” he said.

Again, Appeal Court strikes out move by Lagos govt to stop hijab in schools.

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, has hailed the striking out of a motion seeking an injunction to stop hijab usage in the state by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Tuesday heard the motion – stay of execution – filed by the Lagos State Government and struck it out.

The case, CA/L/135/15, is between Lagos State Government, Asiyat AbdulKareem (through her father), Moriam Oyeniyi and Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria.

The struck motion was asking the court to stop the use of hijab in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State pending the ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter.

After hearing from both parties, the presiding justice, Muhammad Garba, struck out the motion.

With the current ruling, students in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State can now wear hijab to school without harassment unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise.

Earlier, the Lagos State Government on Thursday, July 21, 2016 lost at the Court of Appeal when a full panel of the court gave approval to the Muslim students to use hijab to school.

The Amir (President) of MSSN Lagos State Area Unit, Saheed Ashafa, applauded the judgement, saying that the favourable outcome was expected.

According to him, the judgement will further strengthen fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.

He stated that the MSSN Lagos would not entertain any act or form of harassment after the current judgement.

He said, “We applaud the judgement as this is not unexpected. The position of the law is very clear on the subject matter. This matter once more assure us that all hope is not lost on having a redeemed society.

“It gladdens to see that the injunction which the LASG is using as a basis to deny the implementation of the Court of Appeal judgement has been struck out.

“We hereby urge all stakeholders to be law abiding for a peaceful implementation of the judgement. There should be no violation of human rights against our Students while we expect an immediate implementation of the judgement in all schools across the state.”

While congratulating and thanking Muslims on the recent victory, Mr. Ashafa said, “We congratulate the entire Muslim Ummah (community) and urge our Muslim students to uphold decency and cleanliness which are the hallmark of Islam while exercising their right.”

A special constituted panel of the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on July 21, 2016 unanimously set aside the judgment of a Lagos High Court which banned students in public primary and secondary schools in the state from putting on the hijab with their school uniforms.

The special panel of the court presided over by Justice A.B. Gumel held that the appeal was meritorious and should be allowed.

In his lead judgment, Justice Gumel held that the use of the hijab was an Islamic injunction and also an act of worship, hence it would constitute a violation of the appellants’ rights to stop them from wearing the hijab in public schools.

Resolving all the five issues raised in favour of the appellants, the appellate court held that the lower court erred in law when it held that the ban on hijabs was a policy of the Lagos State Government (respondent).

Other justices in the five-member panel were M. Fasanmi, A. Jauro, J.S. Ikyegh and I. Jombo Ofor.

Justice Modupe Onyeabor of an Ikeja High Court had on October 17, 2014, dismissed the suit instituted against the Lagos State Government by two 12-year-old girls under the aegis of the MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit.

Dissatisfied, the appellants urged the appellate court to set aside the judgment and protect their constitutional rights.

The government had banned the use of the hijab, arguing that it was not part of the approved school uniform for pupils.

Following the ban, the students filed the suit on May 27, 2015, seeking redress and asked the court to declare the ban as a violation of their rights to freedom of thought, religion and education.

In her judgment, Mrs. Onyeabor held that the prohibition of the wearing of hijabs over school uniforms within and outside the premises of public schools was not discriminatory.

According to her, the ban did not violate Sections 38 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution as claimed by the plaintiffs.

Police, NGO collaborate on ending sexual assault and rape in Lagos.

The Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a Non-Governmental Organization incorporated in 2016 by Dr Kemi Da-Silva Ibru, to address the spike in incidence of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking occurring among young girls and women across Nigeria recently staged an interactive session in conjunction with the Lagos State Police to advocate against the sexual violence.

The interactive session which involved the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni and his area commanders from across Lagos held at the Police Officers Mess in Ikeja.

During the event, Dr. Da-Silva spoke on the importance of a society where women are free from sexual assault, violence and rape encouraging the Nigerian Police to report cases to sexual assault and rape seen at the stations to government referral centres such as the WARIF Centre in Yaba, where adequate medical treatment and counselling can be given to victims.

In addition, other preventive measures against rape, human trafficking, and sexual assault were discussed at the interactive session with a link to the implementation of a Youth Based Awareness Program in secondary schools and higher institutions by WARIF.

It was learnt that the curriculum will create awareness on the importance of gender equality, a change in behavior and practices and the prevention of gender based violence in schools and communities.

Dr. Da-Silva who is also a member of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team emphasized that it is “important to create a society that speaks out against these acts, supports and protects the survivors and encourages the punishment of perpetrators”.

In his remarks, the Lagos Police Chief, CP Fatai Owoseni stated that “the Police is always willing and ready assist survivors with the care they need. All survivors will be encouraged to visit the government referral centers for adequate and urgent care.”


Source: Inside Mainland

#LagosMarathon: Lagos Government to close roads on 11th of February. [See List]

This year’s edition of the Lagos Marathon will hold on the 11th of February, 2017. The Lagos Marathon is a marathon held annually in Lagos, Nigeria. Sponsored by a collaboration of the Lagos State Government, Access Bank and others.


With respect to motorists and commuters, the Lagos State Government has made up plans to map out alternative routes as a result of the temporary closing of some major roads for use on the day of the marathon. This is in order to ensure that the possibility of accidents involving participants  and motorists are eliminated.


The starting point will be at the front of the National Stadium Surulere opposite Teslim Balogun Stadium. The finishing point will be at the sales office of Eko Atlantic on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island


However, National Stadium to Ojuelegba, Dormanlong Bridge, Onipanu, Obanikoro & Anthony will be closed from 6.45am to 9:00am


See picture below for information on the roads to be closed:



The Marathon Course


Start point – The Marathon Route will start at the National Stadium, Surulere


The runners go towards Ojuelegba Bridge, Ikorodu Road, (on top of Fela Bridge), towards Anthony under Anthony Bridge, under Maryland Bridge, move towards Ojota, pass by the Total Filling Station and turn right towards Alapere towards to Ogudu, go by Ogudu junction towards Oworosoki and head towards Third Mainland Bridge, after Adeniji Adele, turn right towards Ikoyi on the bridge, go through Osborne Road, turn left to Parkview and head towards Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge, at bottom of bridge, turn right to Admiralty Way, at the entrance of Lekki Phase 1, turn right towards Lekki Toll Gate, head to Ozumba Mbadiwe, go by 1004 and Radisson Blu Hotel towards Bonny Camp, turn left at the roundabout going towards Ahmadu Bello Way, go by Federal Palace Hotel, Silverbird Galleria, NTA and then Bar Beach


Finish point -Eko Atlantic

South African Airways to suspend Abuja operations during runway repair

South African Airways yesterday said it plans to suspend its Abuja operations during the six weeks period of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport runway repair.

The Guardian learnt that the airline, in a letter to the authorities, said the measure became imperative following its decision not to fly to Kaduna Airport, designated to serve all Abuja-bound aircraft during the closure.

The implication of the temporary suspension of operations is that passengers of the airline can only board in Lagos and contend with limited flight options, while paying more for travel expenses.

President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), Bernard Bankole, warned that allowing the airlines to suspend operations would be a bad omen for the sector, with effects lasting longer than the six weeks duration.

Bankole said instead of South African Airways and other foreign airlines suspending operations, the Federal Government should rather divert foreign traffic to Lagos, while domestic operators go to Kaduna airport.

South African Airways said its last flight into Abuja would be on March 6, while the Federal Government will close the airport on March 8.

It was gathered that the airline has already sent the notice of its position to the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika. The letter to Sirika, from South African Airways by its Acting Chief Commercial Officer, Aaron Munetsi, said the operations to Abuja would resume on April 18, 2017.

According to Munetsi, “SAA commends the Nigerian authorities concerning the planned repairs of the NAIA runway. However, due to network and fleet operations planning, SAA regrets to advise that the airline will suspend its Abuja operations with effect from 6th March until the 18th April, 2017,” the letter read in part.

The airline said it would be in constant touch with the Nigerian aviation authorities as the repair work progresses in order to establish its readiness for revised operations in accordance with its work schedule.

President of NANTA, Bankole said that the civil unrest in Kaduna worries the foreign airlines and their affiliated travel agencies, leaving none satisfied with the security provision of the Federal Government.

He said it would not augur well for the international carriers to divert to Kaduna. And to prevent them from suspending operations, the option of diverting foreign airlines to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, should be considered.

In his words, “The international carriers will not joke with the lives of their passengers. Most of the airlines arrive at night and will not risk night travel by road anywhere in the country.

“The danger of them leaving us for six weeks is much. With the way airlines run, they will not take off their plane and allow it idle for six weeks. Rather, the planes will be redeployed to other routes and they may just not come back to Nigeria.

“Instead of loosing the slots and carriers, it is better to allow them fly to Lagos in the interim, while domestic airlines partner with the foreign ones to redistribute their passengers to Kaduna and other places,” Bankole said.


Source: Guardian

Lagos will become Africa’s third largest economy by 2020 – Ambode

By 2020, Lagos State aspires to be the third largest economy in Africa. Towards this, investments in infrastructure and all other social economic efforts are geared towards making it ready to accommodate the new status.

Speaking yesterday at the 14th yearly lecture of the Centre for Value and Leadership, with the theme: Living well together, tomorrow: The challenge of Africa’s future cities, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said that connectivity was a critical element for a mega city to work, which requires having mass transit systems to move people from one point to another.

He maintained that the state has all it takes to be the third largest economy on the continent, as it has not just a huge population and market, but but also technology and human and material resources to drive it.

He said the daily inflow of migrants challenges the government to be on its toes to provide the facilities and infrastructure to accommodate the new residents.

The keynote speaker, Prof. Paul Collier, said that between now and 2050, the population of cities on the continent would triple and for any mega city to work, issues of energy, connectivity, housing and land are critical, which means investment in infrastructure is necessary.

In another development, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, has cautioned against use of ‘hate-speeches’ by Nigerians.

Kazeem spoke yesterday at a Price Media Moot Court Competition organised by the University of Lagos (UNILAG), in collaboration with the University of Oxford.

According to him, hate-speeches have the propensity to cause public disorder.

REPORT: What Went Down At The #IStandWithNigeria Protests

Today marks the somewhat beginning of the #IStandWithNigeria protests which has become one of the most publicized civil protests after #OccupyNigeria in 2012.


There were several stumbling blocks which made so many Nigerians doubt the eventual possibility of the protests. Recall that some days ago, Tuface Idibia who was the face of the protests backed out at the very last moment. However, that and the subtle threats by the Police did not deter Nigerians from trooping out in their hundreds to protest against bad governance.


People trooped out in the early hours of Monday morning in Lagos to converge at the National Stadium in Surulere while those in Abuja converged at the Unity Fountain to later move to the Aso Villa with placards, chanting anti-government songs and slogans.


Heavy police presence was seen at Gani Fawehimi park, Ojota, Lagos as protesters were prevented from gaining access to the park to gather and protest.


Despite the huge presence of security forces in strategic locations, Nigerians were not intimidated from carrying out their civic rights by making public their disdain for bad governance.


At the moment, protesters in Lagos have started leaving from National Theatre, Iganmu, after being addressed by Charly Boy, Seyi Law, others. Organizers thanke the police for providing security while it lasted. Protesters mill out and head their separate ways.


While in Abuja, the protesters are back to Unity Fountain, leaving behind the pro-Buhari group who also came out to show support and loyalty to the government.


Reports reaching us has it that Port Harcourt protesters were ‘not allowed’ to converge. According to Channels Television, police dispersed protesters in Port Harcourt, making it impossible for them to gather — or even protest.


While in Ibadan, Femi Aborisade, human rights activist and lawyer, addressed the crowd as protesters in Ibadan, Oyo state, started their march at the University gate and ended it in Bodija market.


Only time will tell how impacting the protests have been.


And from the outlook of today’s protests, according to Charlie Boy, “Nigerians will march again in March”.

Lassa fever: Lagos storms 465 markets to kill rats

The Lagos State Vector Control Programme is to employ more graduates of the state’s College of Health Technology (LASCOHET), Yaba, to eliminate Lassa Fever virus by killing rats from 465 markets in the state.

Mr Oluwasegun Benson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Phosgard Fumigants Nigeria Ltd., and the programme’s coordinator, disclosed this on Thursday in Lagos.

The state government established the programme to eliminate Lassa Fever virus transmitted to humans by killing rats especially in markets and public places in what is called ‘deratting’.

The coordinator spoke shortly after inspecting markets in Ijeh Barracks and Obalande in Eti-Osa Local Government and seven others in Ijora, Apapa Local Government.

Benson said that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State had given his approval for automatic employment of 233 graduates of the college from 2012/2013 academic session with effect from July 2, 2016.

He said the team’s planned employment of more graduates of LASCOHET would further enhance curbing the spread of Lassa fever in the state by ridding it of rats.

LASCOHET, formerly known as the School of Hygiene, was established by Dr Oladipo Oluwole, the first Nigerian Medical Officer of Health, in 1920.

Benson explained that under the programme, his members would cover over 465 markets, beginning from next month.

“The ‘deratisation’ of the markets will be done every month. We will visit all the markets in each local government in the state once a month.

Lagos and the open graves no one is talking about – By Philip Amiola

As a dewy-eyed boy growing up in the tranquil town of Ile-Ife, Osun state, I felt nothing but pity for the people who have willfully subjected themselves to the throes of living in a big city like Lagos when they could have had a much better quality of life in their village or perhaps a nearby town.


Why would anyone endure the notorious gridlocks, high population density and other challenges that are peculiar to Lagos? I simply couldn’t understand. “I can’t live in Lagos,” I would often say, without even thinking about it. I could live in Ibadan, Jos or even Kaduna but Lagos? No way!


Then came National Youth Service and I was posted to Anambra state where in the course of my primary assignment I stumbled upon my dream job at the time and alas, the company was in Lagos! After an unsuccessful attempt to initiate a remote work arrangement so I could work as a freelancer from Ile-Ife, I took up full-time employment with the company and relocated to Lagos. That was in September 2012.


It didn’t take me long to realise that Lagos is not just a centre of excellence; it is the centre of excellence. In a way that no other city or state does, Lagos represents the broad spectrum of the multifaceted entity called Nigeria.


Little wonder the state is bursting at the seams with a continuous influx of people from everywhere. Lagos has remained ever attractive to job seekers, businesspeople, foreign investors and virtually all ambitious Nigerians seeking to improve their lot.


Among other impressive things about Lagos, I am especially delighted at the speed with which the state’s emergency service responds to distress calls from ordinary people. I have had to make a few such calls, the latest being on December 1, 2016 when my brother and his fiancée (as she was then) were involved in a ghastly road accident just outside Lagos.


By the time we got to the scene of the incident around OPIC, after Berger, not less than four agencies were already on ground to rescue the victims and take them to the well-equipped Accident and Emergency Centre between Alausa and Ojota. That might not be a big deal in saner climes but in a nation like ours where very few states have a functional emergency response system, Lagos should be commended for setting the pace.


Coupled with the impetus provided by a forward-thinking and responsive government, one factor that has facilitated the development of Lagos is a prevailing attitude that does not put the entire burden of growth on the central administration at the state or local government levels but shares it with the body politic through private sector partnership and community development associations (CDAs).


It is not unusual to see communities building their own roads, providing streetlights and executing capital/labour intensive projects towards improving their living conditions. What baffles me however is how government and CDAs pay attention to apparently huge problems while totally losing sight of seemingly small, yet very important issues especially as regards health, safety and environment. One that I want to particularly highlight in this piece is the menace of uncovered drains and gutters.


On December 17, 2015, my colleague and I were returning from a business meeting in Ikeja GRA when we saw a motorcyclist lose consciousness and plunge into the wide drain that ran alongside the road. Apart from the physical impact which is enough to knock out anyone, the microbial load in that gutter is lethal. Good Samaritans gathered to get the victim out and give him the little help they could while my colleague and I called 767. The Lagos State Emergency Service responded swiftly but whether the man survived is left to be determined.


And that’s only one of several such instances. I have personally witnessed four which could have turned fatal to various degrees. The very first one would have been tragic for me as I jogged excitedly to the e-branch of Guaranty Trust Bank along CMD Road to withdraw my transitional stipend so I could take care of basic needs before receiving my first salary. The JJC that I was, little did I know that the pavement on which I was running was actually a huge drain that was only partly covered.


It was late in the evening and no one would have discovered me if I had not been providentially held back right at the edge of the last concrete slab that separated me from certain death. I still tremble each time I remember the incident. But not everyone would be so fortunate; hence my decision to write this piece in the hope of getting the message across to the right quarters. It’s a terrible thing to have people die needlessly or suffer permanent disability simply because we are not careful to keep our environment reasonably safe.


Amiola wrote from Lagos, Nigeria. You can connect with him at PhilipAmiola.org or engage him via his Twitter handle: @PhilipAmiola

Nigeria secures $1.5 billion Chinese loan for Lagos-Ibadan rail

The Federal Government has secured $1.5 billion (about N450 billion) counterpart funding from China for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project set to commence in March.

The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure on Wednesday when he appeared before the Gbenga Ashafa-led Senate committee on land transport to give report of his ministry’s 2016 budget and defend the proposal for 2017.

“In the first quarter of 2017, the foundation of the Lagos-Ibadan segment two of the Lagos-Kano rail project will be laid,” said Mr. Amaechi; adding that, “the implication here is that we will start the Lagos-Ibadan rail line before the end of March.

“Our target is to commence from the Apapa seaport down to Ogun and then to Ibadan.”

Lagos-Ibadan rail line is a segment of the Lagos-Kano railway project, one of the most important and ambitious infrastructural targets of the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress government.

In January, the government announced wholesale release of N72 billion as Nigeria’s counterpart funding for the Lagos-Ibadan railway.

Mr. Amaechi  explained to the senators that the $1.5 billion counterpart funding had been approved by China and was being processed by the China Exim Bank.

“The counterpart funding is ready, but don’t forget that we are borrowing the money from China. The China Exim Bank is processing it.

“Our 15 per cent is ready; so, we are waiting for China Exim Bank. They have managed to release and approve $1.5 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan line.

“It is also envisaged that segment three of the Lagos-Kano rail project, which is the Kano-Kaduna stretch, as well as the first phase of the coastal railway line Lagos-Calabar, commencing from Calabar to Port Harcourt with extension to the Onne Deep Seaport will commence after the conclusion of the negotiation of a financing loan agreement,” said Mr. Amaechi.

He then urged the National Assembly to approve the $30 billion national (rolling) borrowing plan of the government. He said the approval was essential for securing funds needed to finance rail projects in the country.

“The National Assembly needs to give us approval for the borrowing plan so that we can commence work. We can’t sign the loan agreement with China unless there is an approval from the National Assembly.

“What the National Assembly has approved is the counterpart funding, but we need the approval to borrow the remaining money. If you look at $6.1 billion in naira, and we are paying 15 per cent, you will know that the remaining amount is coming from China and until we have approval, we cannot do anything.

“Even now, the China Exim Bank has approved $1.5 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan line. We are not able to sign the loan agreement because we need the approval of the National Assembly.”

On the performance of the 2016 budget, the minister said uncompleted projects in the previous year had been included in the proposed 2017 budget.

Speaking for the Senate, Mr. Ashafa promised cooperation with the transportation ministry to ensure implementation of the infrastructural objectives.

JUST IN: Governor Ambode okays death penalty for kidnappers.

Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, has signed into law the anti-kidnapping bill recently passed by the state house of assembly.


The prohibition of the Act of kidnapping law imposes a penalty of life imprisonment on kidnapping for ransom.


The law also stipulates that where a victim dies in the course of kidnap, the suspect is liable on conviction to death.


More to follow…

BREAKING: Fire guts building at Balogun market in Lagos.

A morning inferno has engulfed a building where ankara cloths (traditional fabrics) are sold at the popular Balogun market in Lagos Island.


The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES that a generator explosion was heard shortly before the inferno.


No casualties have been recorded yet.


Fire fighters are currently trying to put out the fire.


More details soon.

Fallen Tanker Causes Traffic Along Lagos-Sagamu Expressway.

Tragedy was averted in the early hours of Tuesday, along the Lagos-Sagamu expressway, after a tanker laden with PMS lost control and crashed into the construction barriers.


Contents of the tanker spilled on the road before men of the fire service arrived at the accident scene.




A combined team of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) diverted traffic to the other side of the road to ease gridlock, while efforts are ongoing to remove the obstruction.




In a statement by the FRSC Sector Commander, Ogun State, Corps Commander, Clement Oladele, said there is slow movement of traffic from Mowe to Sagamu, and due to that he is advising travelers to resist the urge of driving against traffic, as normalcy would be restored shortly.

UPDATE: Officers held as Customs seize 661 rifles in Lagos.

The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, has intercepted a container loaded with 49 boxes of 661 pump-action rifles along the Mile 2 Apapa Road of Lagos State.

The 40-foot container, which was cleared at the Lagos port, was intercepted by Customs officials who were on patrol.

The officials were said to have discovered that although the manifest said the container had “steel doors and other merchandise goods,” boxes of the weapons were concealed deep in the container.

Our correspondent was told that the rifles, tagged, ‘JOJEFF made in Italy,’ could take up to 10 cartridges and could wreak a lot of havoc.

Other items found in the container were diapers, office cabinet, towels, mattresses, soft drinks, toiletries, among others.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), during a press conference on Monday at the FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, said the container came from China but was routed through Turkey to “cause confusion.”

He explained that three suspects, Oscar Okafor (importer), Mahmud Hassan (clearing agent) and Sadique Mustapha (escort) had been arrested.

He said the suspects were undergoing interrogations at the agency’s office and would not be paraded until their culpability was established.

He said, “On Sunday, January 22, 2017, the roving team of the NCS, Federal Operations Unit, while on information patrol intercepted a Mack truck with number plate, BDG 265 XG, conveying one by the 40-foot container with a number: PONU/825914/3 along Mile 2 Apapa Road.

“The truck was immediately taken to the premises of FOU Zone A, Ikeja, where physical examination revealed 49 boxes containing a total of 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed with steel doors and other merchandise goods. In the declaration of the items in the container, the importer concealed the weapons and declared them as still doors.

“These rifles are under absolute prohibition; therefore, their importation is illegal. The importation and transaction of pump-action are totally against the law of this nation.

“Such a deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country. We have kidnappers and armed robbers and there is an insurgency, it is more intense. There are also the cattle rustlers, who are also using the same weapon. So, they are deadly.”

Ali explained that investigations had commenced into how the truck escaped the vigilance of Customs officers at the port, adding that all officers involved in the clearance were in detention.

He noted that the importer, exporter, escort, officials of the agency and others, would be prosecuted at the end of investigations.

Ali called for vigilance among residents, saying it was important that people shared information with security agencies on the movement of suspicious items.

He said, “One of the important roles we play is the security of Nigerians. And the only way we can do this is to ensure that things like this don’t get into the country. Where they find their way in, we must ensure the importers don’t enjoy the illegality. This is why our men are all over the place.

“However, we need the assistance of the public because these things do happen. Imagine if this truck had escaped and had been offloaded by some people. They will be transferred and if we don’t get information, there is no way we can apprehend them. In the end, you and I will be affected by this. It could fall into the hand of an armed robber or a kidnapper and there will be a problem.

“This is why the security network of this country must involve everybody. We must ensure we give the prerequisite information. Without information, we won’t be able to do anything. This happened because we got information and our men acted promptly.”

Ali described the seizure as one of the biggest feats the agency had recorded in 2017, promising to reward the officials who carried out the operation.

While fielding questions from journalists, Ali admitted that there were problems with the nation’s scanners at the borders.

He said most of the scanners were faulty, adding that the agency was working towards resolving the problem.

He said, “We have problems with the scanners. Most of the scanners are not working. We realised that while a few of them can be repaired, the majority are bad. And I need not tell you that paucity of funds has been part of the problems. But you will start seeing changes as we are working hard to resolve the problem.”

Lagos Chairmanship aspirant, Mansur Obafemi Durosinmi, is dead.

A chairmanship aspirant for Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area in the coming local government elections in the state, Mansur Obafemi Durosinmi, is dead.


The deceased was the immediate pass chairman of the same local government.


The former lawmaker died on Monday, 30th Jamuary, 2017 after a brief illness.


He was a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly between 1999 and 2007.


The late Durosinmi was in his 60s.


He will be buried on Tuesday, 31 January, 2017 at Abari Cemetery, Lagos

UPDATE: Customs Intercept Container Carrying 661 Pieces of Pump Action Rifles.

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted 661 pieces of pump action rifles from China, concealed with steel doors and other merchandise goods, which came in through Lagos port.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Alli, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on Monday in Lagos.

Alli said that the Federal Operations Unit, while on patrol, intercepted a Mark truck with registration number BUG 265 XG conveying a 40ft container with number; PONU/825914/3 along Mile 2 Apapa Road, Lagos.

The comptroller-general said the truck was immediately taken to F.O.U. premises for physical examination and 49 boxes containing 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed with steel doors were revealed.

Alli said the rifles were under absolute prohibition, adding that its importation was illegal.

“Such deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country.

“Already three suspects have been arrested in connection with this illegal importation,’’ NAN quotes the comptroller-general as saying.

The suspects are: Mr Oscan Okafor (an importer), Mr Mahmud Haruna (a clearing agent), Mr Sadique Mustapha (accompanying the consignment to its destination).

Alli said initially the consignment was said to have originated from Turkey, adding that there was mixed-up in the document which finally revealed that the consignment originated from China.

“Investigation has already commenced and I have directed that the drag net should be wide enough to fish out all persons involved in the importation and clearing of the consignment, ‘’ NAN quotes Alli as saying.

He said Customs officers who were involved in the clearance of the containers were in the custody of Comptroller Mahmud Haruna of FOU Zone “A’’

Alli said that the seizure underscored the determination of the service to enforce all laws relating to importation and exportation of goods into and out the country thereby contributing to the economy, security and well-being of the country.

The comptroller-general said that the seizure was commendable and represented the new normal rule in the service “where most officers and men are on a daily basis ensuring that illegalities are not allowed unchecked’’.

He commended the Comptroller in charge of F.O.U. and officers and men who were involved in the seizure.

Alli, however, urged the media as well as meaningful Nigerians to help the service with information that would assist the service perform its statutory responsibilities in the interest of Nigeria.

He said the seizure would be handed over to the appropriate authority.

Lagos government launches mobile app for interaction with residents

The Lagos State Government on Thursday launched a mobile app to facilitate interaction and provision of services between government and the citizens from the comfort of their homes and offices without necessarily paying a visit to government establishments where such services are being provided.

The mobile app, otherwise known as Citizens Gate under the Citizens Relations Management (CRM) initiative, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, and would avail residents of the state the opportunity to make enquiry and suggestions on government services and getting faster responses.

Addressing a joint press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, the State’s Commissioner for Science and Technology, Olufemi Odubiyi, said the launch of the web platform was another initiative of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration aimed at bringing government closer to the people.

Mr. Odubiyi, who addressed the briefing alongside the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, and the Director General of Lagos State Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation, Toba Otusanya, described the Citizens Gate as an intuitive-based technology innovation designed to manage relationship between the citizens and government.

He said: “The Citizens Gate is an integrated web and mobile-based platform through which Lagos State’s citizens can lodge feedback to the State Government on various services provided, receive quick responses on services as well as interact with government officials via web and mobile phone.

“The platform is designed to promote communication and connectivity between citizens and government while it will also enable citizens to inform the government on problems and issues occurring in their areas, communities and beyond.”

The commissioner added that the platform would also afford citizens the opportunity to enquire about government services while also providing an avenue to make suggestions on government services for better confidence and trust in the present administration led by Governor Ambode.

According to Mr. Odubiyi, the platform can be accessed via citizensgate.lagosstate. gov.ng and a downloadable mobile app from Google play store and Apple store both on Android and iOS, while the platform would enable government to acknowledge problems and issues which would be investigated, worked on and resolved efficiently and timely.

He said apart from the fact that the development would improve the state budget thus making planning a lot easier and preventing waste and encouraging savings that will aid in provision of more services and development, the platform would further help government to determine which programme of the state is working and whether to replace or improve on any programme for efficient and effective service delivery to the people.

In his remarks, Otusanya said the platform has been designed initially to accommodate 22 MDAs of government and same will be scaled up to cover all MDAs in the near future.

He said government officials have been trained to be in charge of the platform in all the initial MDAs, while citizens with no access to internet can call the Command Centre on 767 and a ticket will be issued instantly on their behalf.

Terrible road crash on Ikorodu road leaves many injured – LASEMA

Reports coming in from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) indicates that an early morning accident occurred at Itawolo Ikorodu road.


LASEMA in its official Twitter account reports that the accident which involved a Toyota Camry and a commercial bus was caused by over speeding.


It was reported that officials of LASEMA responded swiftly and rescued the victims as well as tow both vehicles off the road to enable free flow of traffic. There was no life lost in the auto crash.


See photos below:









705 residents get cheap loans worth N1bn from Lagos state government

No fewer than 705 Lagos residents on Thursday, January 26, 2017, received various amounts of cheap loans almost N1bn from the Lagos State Educational Trust Fund, ETF.


The cheques of the loans, ranging from N50,000 to N5,000,000, were presented to some of the beneficiaries by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in Lagos on Thursday.


“The loans were provided at a very affordable rate of 5% per annum, cheaper than the prevailing bank interest,” this is according to a tweet on the official Twitter handle of Gov Ambode.


Speaking on the motive of giving out the cheap loans, the governor tweeted, “This is our modest way of reflating the Lagos economy, creating jobs and getting our youths gainfully occupied”.


The Governor urged all Lagos residents, irrespective of your tribe, religion or gender to apply for this scheme.


See all the tweets below:





Lagos BRT bus fares to increase from February

An operator of the Lagos State Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, scheme, Primero Transport Services, has announced plans to increase its fares on all routes in February.

The company’s Managing Director, Fola Tinubu, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ikorodu on Thursday.

Mr. Tinubu said that the increase was as result of its increasing operational cost.

The company has maintained a fare of N75, N120, and N195 from Ikorodu to Mile 12, Fadeyi, and CMS, respectively, since it started operations in November 2015.

According to him, the company will introduce new fares which will take effect between the end of February and early March.

Mr. Tinubu said: “we are going to increase our price because of the situation in the country, our cost has just gone through the roof.

“At this time last year, we bought 1.2 million litres of diesel monthly at N120 per litre, we are now buying at N260; tyres that cost N70,000 each now go for N140,000.

“All the parts used for the buses are imported so they’ve all doubled or tripled in price; and we have no choice but to continue to buy them.

“So, in doing that we have to find a way to make it work because you all know that the buses were bought in China; so, we have a foreign dollar component in our debt portfolio.

“When we bought the buses it was N168 to a US dollar and now we are talking of N470 and we still have to pay the dollar component back.

“So, our debt has increased and our cost of operation has gone through the roof, and we have managed to keep the pricing same for now.

“In fact, right now, we are subsidising every person we carry, and if you are running a business, you can only do that for so long.’’

He said though the company was aware of its social responsibility, but the increase in fares was inevitable if its bus services were to be kept on a sustainable footing.

“The airlines have increased theirs between 200 per cent and 300 per cent but we will not even do 100 per cent.

“So, it is going to be something manageable for people. I will try not to put a figure to that now because the governor still has to approve it, and I don’t want to pre-empt him.

“What I can say is that it’s going to be a marginal increase and not a drastic increase and still less than what the commercial bus operators are charging right now.

“We are not even going to be close to that; but there is no other solution to it because if we do not, it is going to be recipe for disaster down the road,” Mr. Tinubu, said.

NAN reports that operators of the yellow-painted commercial bus currently charge N150, N200, and N350 from Ikorodu to Mile 12, Fadeyi, and CMS, respectively.

On the issue of delays caused during drivers changeover, Mr. Tinubu said the company had introduced the Early Riser System to check the menace.

“We send a total of 75 buses out at 4.30 so that when majority of the busmen are changing over the early risers are still on the wheels.

“As time goes on, we may increase to 100 buses so that that way it would completely eliminate 1.30 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. delay issue.”


Source: NAN

Lagos records 115 tanker accidents in 2016 – Official

The Lagos State Fire Service recorded 115 petroleum tanker accidents in 2016, Nwanovim George, the former Chief Fire Officer in the state has disclosed.

Mr. George made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos at the ongoing national training for tanker drivers organised by Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of NUPENG.

Mr. George, who is currently the Personal Assistant to the Director, Lagos State Fire Service on Training Matters, said the service has already recorded six tanker in January 2017.

He urged tanker drivers to be careful on the highway, stressing that carelessness on the part of tanker drivers was the main cause of most of the accidents.

He also urged tanker drivers to always carry their 2x9k Dry Chemical Powder (DCP) fire extinguisher and ensure it is serviced and accessible in emergencies.

“We recorded 115 tanker accidents in Lagos alone in 2016 while we have six tanker accidents this January alone.

“This morning alone, we have recorded two tanker accidents; one in Magodo and another one in Gbagada which makes it six of such accidents this month alone.

“We are using this forum to advise our drivers to be careful on the road and to always make use of their fire extinguisher anytime there is fire,” he said.

In his remarks, Taiwo Adekanmbi, Health facilitator from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan advised tanker drivers to always go for routine medical checks.

According to Mr. Adekanmbi, medical check-up will enable the drivers know their health status before embarking on any journey.

He said that some of the accidents occurred due to poor vision and fatigue.

On his part, Tokunbo Korodo, South-West Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, urged the tanker drivers to be law abiding.

He also stressed the need for them to care for their life, as life had no duplicate.

Mr. Korodo urged tanker drivers not argue with armed operatives of government agencies deployed to the highways.

In his remarks, Salimon Oladiti, National Chairman of PTD, described the training of its members as “critical aspect” of the union’s goals.

NAN recalls that in its efforts to reduce the rate of accidents on the highways, PTD branch of NUPENG commenced training for no fewer than 4,500 members of the union on January17.


Source: NAN

Expect 9-hour power outage in parts of Lagos – EKEDC

There would be a nine-hour power outage in some parts of Lagos state on Monday, says the management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this was made known by the company in a statement on Saturday.


Areas expected to be affected by the outage are: Lagos Island, Victoria Island and Ikoyi.


Godwin Idemudia, head of corporate communications, said, “We which to inform our consumers that on Monday Jan.23, between 08:00-17:00 hrs, there will be an outage on the 132kv bus-bars (outdoor) at Alagbon S/T.


“This is to enable our maintenance crew to connect the new and old sections of the 132kV bus-bars together.


“With this outage, Lagos Island, Victoria Island and Ikoyi environs will be affected.


“EKEDC highly regrets any inconvenience caused by this nine-hour outage.


Most Lagos residents had in the past few weeks endured erratic power supply.

Lagos To Launch Community Policing To Tighten Security

In a bid to reduce crime and complement the efforts of security agencies, the Lagos state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has announced plans to strengthen community policing.


He disclosed that the government would recruit 5,700 personnel, with 100 in each of the 20 local government and local council development areas within the first quarter of 2017.


The governor also announced plans to extend its infrastructural renewal drive with the construction of 181 local government roads in 2017.


He made the revelation at the first quarterly town hall meeting in 2017.


He added that it is an improvement on the 114 road project which his administration promised to embark upon every year.


Source: Channels TV

We’ll use entertainment to increase Lagos GDP – Ambode

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday revealed the plans of his administration to leverage on the vast economic opportunities in entertainment, tourism and arts sectors, among others to grow the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of the state and promote talents in the state to compete globally.

Speaking at Lagos House, Ikeja when he received artistes who performed at the One Lagos Fiesta, OLF, who were on a thank-you-visit, Governor Ambode said the creative industry remained a veritable platform to grow the economy, and that government would tap into it and use it to positively engage the bulging youths in the State.

The OLF, which is an annual end of the year event put together by the state government, held simultaneously in five different locations across the state from December 24, 2016 to January 1, 2017, and was adjudged to be very successful with participation of a-list artistes from different genres of music.

The governor, who thanked the artistes for their partnership with the state government, said the OLF was a platform put together by his administration to majorly create awareness about the potentials inherent in the entertainment industry, especially in using it to grow the economy and positively develop talents that abound in the country.

He said according to statistics, the state recorded the lowest crime rate during the period of the OLF, saying that the artists contributed significantly in keeping the city secured and scale up the international rating of the state as a safe place.

He recalled the Project T.H.E.S.E (Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sports for Excellence) which was part of campaign promises to Lagosians, saying that his administration remained committed to using the initiative as well as the OLF to grow the economy of the State.

He said: “We have a bulging youth population dynamics in Lagos. 66 per cent of our population are below the age of 35 and if two third are of below 35, it means there is an economy in that age bracket that government is not seeing. The OLF was used to test run how to bring people together.

“The issue now is beyond OLF, how do we now take that opportunity to become a catalyst for this partnership? On my part, I want to reiterate my commitment. This is an area I love which is underutilised for the societal development of the country.

“Government is now willing to use your industry to grow its GDP because so far entertainers are working, we would have more visitors coming to Lagos; they will stay in our hotels; they will buy clothes; they will go out in the night and buy our drinks and the ultimate thing is that more taxes come in for the state.

“So, there is a concentric cycle around the energy of entertainers and so what I want is a structured framework. What is it that we should do as government to grow the industry? Why should we go and be doing video shoot in South Africa for instance? I want a win-win partnership not just to use artistes and dump them till another December. I want a year-round partnership that is built around a framework,” he said.

Going forward, Governor Ambode tasked artistes to come up with a structured framework to grow the economy, while government will provide infrastructure and initiatives to help the sector.

“The challenge for our artistes now is to come up with a framework of how government can intervene. We are willing to support and we are willing to draw up a programme to support you but how do you want to fuse into that to make Lagos the entertainment hub in Africa? That is the challenge but I want to thank you for honouring us,” the Governor said.

Many of the big names in the entertainment industry including Queen Salawa Abeni, Adewale Ayuba, Tiwa Savage, Adekunle Gold, Sir Shina Peters, Sound Sultan among others, lauded Governor Ambode for the OLF initiative and his commitment to grow the industry.

Other notable names who were part of the delegation included Folarin Falana (Falz), M.I Abaga, Patoranking, Obesere, Tony Tetuila, Dr Sid, Idris Abdulkareem, Aramide, CDQ, Sulaimon ‘Atawewe’ Adio, Reekado Banks, Humblesmith, Dammy Krane among others.

Lagos to install 13,000 CCTVs for emergency response

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Tuesday said it would install 13,000 Closed Circuit Television cameras at major flashpoints across the state to boost its operations.

According to a statement issued by Adebayo Kehinde, LASEMA’s head of Public Affairs Unit, the move is part of efforts by the state government to improve the impact of emergency and disaster management in the state through effective and efficient response system.

The government also plans to step up a Monitoring and Surveillance Unit and establish additional dispatch centres across the state, the statement added.

Adesina Tiamiyu, General Manager of LASEMA, said the 13,000 CCTV cameras would complement the emergency call numbers as analysts could adequately monitor activities from the Command and Control Centres across the State.

“These combined efforts can only make Lagos safer,” Mr. Tiamiyu said.

The LASEMA boss disclosed further that Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the establishment of three dispatch centres at Lekki, Ikorodu Road and Badagry, noting that it would complement the existing dispatch points located at the LASEMA Response Unit, Cappa, Oshodi, and the Command and Control Centre, Alausa.

Mr. Adesina said the agency is stepping up the activities of its Monitoring and Surveillance Unit in preventing unnecessary loss of lives and properties in the State.

“The operation will include monitoring and surveillance activities in domestic, industrial and public facilities in the State which is a paradigm shift from the orthodox strategy of waiting for emergency to occur and then respond,” he said.

Mr. Tiamiyu, however, reiterated the need for the public to partner with the government in mitigating, preventing and consequently reducing hazards, risks and vulnerability in the state.

He added that distress calls on emerging hazards and risks be relayed to the agency through the toll free line 112/767, for prompt intervention.

272 touts, thieves, others prosecuted in Lagos Airport in 2016 – Police

The Police Command, Lagos Airport, says that no fewer than 272 persons were prosecuted for various offences at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, between January and December 2016.


The spokesperson of the command, Joseph Alabi, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos on Tuesday that the command also made 417 arrests within the period under review.


Mr. Alabi said that some of the suspects were charged with assault, stealing, obtaining by false pretences as well as unlawful entry and touting.


He said the crimes contravened Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria bye-laws.


“The command was able to secure 105 convictions for the period under review while 203 cases were still under investigation and trial,” he said.


Alabi pledged the determination of the command to intensify security at the airport and its environs to guarantee safety of passengers, airline operators and other users.


He appealed to members of the public to abide by the rules and regulations of the airport, especially on the issue of restricted areas.

REPORT: Sambisa is massive. It’s 18 times the size of Lagos – Oby Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili, co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls group, says Sambisa Forest, the hideout of the Boko Haram, is 18 times the size of Lagos state, Nigeria’s commercial capital.


Ezekwesili, who went on a tour of Sambisa with the Nigerian Airforce (NAF), said the forest is a vast expanse of land, and more has to be done to capturing the whole forest.


“Dreaded Sambisa is massive. Sixty thousand square kilometers. Eighteen times the size of Lagos State! All of Lagos is 3,345 square km,” she wrote on Twitter.


“Apparently, the Sambisa ‘general area’ as it’s called is some 85% of entire size of Borno State.”



She said the military had succeeded in capturing the capital spot of Boko Haram, but the search must continue.


“The famous Camp Zero in Sambisa? Well, it turns out that capturing Camp Zero is NOT equal to capturing Sambisa. It is just a spot in there.


“Capture of Camp Zero in Sambisa is akin to capturing the Capital City of a country. Camp Zero was the Capital SPOT of Boko Haram in Sambisa


“Capture of Camp Zero is significant but not cos of its SIZE. It is SIGNIFICANT because it USED TO BE the STRONGHOLD of the enemy in there.


“So, could our Chibok girls and other abducted citizens still [be] within the vast field of Sambisa other than Camp Zero? Yes. So, NAF searches on.”


Regarding the entire trip, she said “We came. We learned. Now we return. To stand! To demand!! ! Thanks everyone at Nigerian Air Force for all we learned”.


Good NEWS: LASTMA will no longer impound broken down vehicles

Motorists in Lagos can now heave a sigh of relief following the new directive announced by the management of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).

The new development as announced by the Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Nofiu Elegushi, stipulates that traffic officers attached to LASTMA can no longer impound broken down vehicles on Lagos roads.

According to Elegushi, who gave the directive, LASTMA officers should “immediately stop impounding and towing broken down vehicles.” Rather, the Commissioner said “LASTMA officials should lend a helping hand to owners of broken down vehicles.”

Elegushi, who charged officials to give the LASTMA a new lease of life, disclosed that “broken down vehicles should be towed to owners’ mechanic workshops and not LASTMA yards, which used to be the practice.”

Furthermore, he said owners of such vehicles should no longer be fined as was the usual practice. According to him, vehicle owners based on understanding should pay towing charges.

Elegushi explained that this feat would not only assist motorists out of a difficult situation, it would aid free flow of traffic by the prompt action of LASTMA operatives.

The commissioner urged the public to see LASTMA officials as friends and treat them as such. According to him, the LASTMA officials would be better appreciated, when owners of broken down vehicles are quickly assisted.

He, however, warned that broken down vehicles should not be repaired on the road. “Before enforcement is carried out in any area of the state, LASTMA officials should strategize for a better service delivery,” the Commissioner added.

Elegushi urged LASTMA officials to be acquainted with the state traffic law and properly supervise BRT lanes, which, according to him, are often use by other road users, especially commercial bus drivers.


Source: Inside Mainland

Lagos lawyer want Court to stop Magu from parading himself as EFCC chairman

A Lagos based lawyer and activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa on Monday filed a suit at the court which seek to stop Ibrahim Magu from parading himself as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

In the suit which was filed at a Federal High Court in Lagos, Adegboruwa is also asking the Senate not to entertain any further request for the confirmation of Magu as Chairman since the Senate has declined to confirm his nomination as Chairman of the Commission.

Aside from Magu, other defendants in the suit are the Senate and the Attorney-General of the Federation(AGF).

The human right lawyer asked the court to restrain the Federal Government of Nigeria, the EFCC and all other authorities, from recognizing, treating or in any other manner dealing with Magu as the Chairman of EFCC, either in acting or substantive capacity.

Adegboruwa also sought for a declaration of the court that given his conduct in office so far, that Magu is not fit and proper person to function in office as chairman of EFCC.

The lawyer asked the court to give an order forthwith directing Magu to vacate and relinquish his office as EFCC Chairman, whether in acting or substantive capacity.

He also contends in the suit that all actions taken by the EFCC under the ‘illegal’ tenure of Magu, especially charges and information filed in court, are illegal, null and void.

In a 39 paragraphs affidavit deposed by Adegboruwa in support of the suit, he traced the appointment of Magu back to November 9, 2015, contending that he has been functioning in acting capacity as EFCC Chairman, beyond the six months allowed by law.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

Source: Daily Trust

Lagos CP Ordered To Place Convicted Ontario Oil MD Under Watch

The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni to keep a close watch on the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas, Adaoha Ugo-Nadagi, who collapsed on Friday after she was convicted of a 744 million naira fuel subsidy scam.

Presiding judge, Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court, on Monday, ordered the medical directors of Havana Hospital, Surulere and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), to both swear to an affidavit of means, clearly stating the status of her health.

At Monday’s proceedings, counsel to Ndagi, told the court that after she collapsed on Friday she was rushed to Havana Hospital where she was placed on life support and oxygen.

She was then transferred to LUTH where she has been receiving treatment.

EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, however asked the court to pronounce the sentence in the absence of the convicts.

In her ruling, Justice Okunnu noted that there seems to be a lacuna in the law as to the sentencing of the convicts in absentia. She however reserved the sentencing till Wednesday, January 18 2017.

Ndagi, oil mogul, Walter Wagbasoma and their company, Ontario Oil and Gas were convicted by the court for their roles in a N744m subsidy fraud brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

BREAKING: Lagos secures order to re-open Kudirat’s murder case against Al-Mustapha

Lagos State government yesterday secured an order of the Supreme Court to re-open the murder case of the late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, against Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd), former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Military Head of State, Sani Abacha.Kudirat was the wife of the late businessman and politician, Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election that was annulled by former President Ibrahim Babangida.

Supreme Court in its brief ruling on the application filed by Lagos State for permission to re-open the case out of time granted the request for the state to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision of July 12, 2013, which discharged and acquitted Al-Mustapha from the murder case.

Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, in the ruling of a panel of seven justices, ordered Lagos State to file its notice of appeal within 30 days.The decision of Justice Onnoghen on the Lagos application argued by Osunsanya Oluwayemisi, a senior state counsel in the Lagos Ministry of Justice followed the consent of Al-Mustapha’s counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), not to oppose the application.

The acting CJN stated that by the decision of the apex court, the time for Lagos to appeal against the findings of the court of appeal on the celebrated murder case has been extended from July 12, 2013 when the appeal court judgment was delivered till yesterday.

By granting the permission, the coast is now clear for Lagos State to challenge the ‘not guilty’ verdict granted in favour of the ex-military officer by the court of appeal almost in 2013.

In the new move to re-open the case, Lagos State government had sought to file a notice of appeal out of the time at the Supreme Court, asking for the permission of the court to allow it to challenge the appeal court findings of Justices Amina Adamu Augie, Rita Nosakhare Pemu and Fatimo Omoro Akinbami on ground of miscarriage of justice in the matter.

The state had in the application, prayed the apex court to allow it to exercise its constitutional right to test the validity and correctness of the decision of the appeal court.

It claimed that it wanted to raise its ground of appeal on arguable legal and factual issues, especially the question of whether there was any direct or circumstantial evidence establishing the guilt passed on Al-Mustapha in the murder case.

It also justified its lateness in filing the appeal on the ground that it set up two legal teams to review the circumstances of the case and the verdict of the court of appeal.

It added that it took a long time for the two legal teams to present their findings and recommend that an appeal case can be filed and sustained.Lagos State Government said that it will ask the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the court of appeal, which on July 12, 2013 discharged and acquitted Major Al-Mustapha in the murder case of late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola.

In place of the Appeal Court decision, Lagos State government said it would plead with the apex court to uphold and restore the death by hanging sentence placed on Al-Mustapha.

In the judgment of the high court delivered on January 30, 2012 by Justice Moji Dada, the accused persons were found culpable as charged and sentenced them to death by hanging.

However at the Court of Appeal approached by Al-Mustapha on April 27, 2012, for the review of the trial and the conviction, the three-member appellate court justices in a unanimous judgment of July 12, 2013 voided the decision of the high court, set it aside and discharged and acquitted the accused.

Work to start on dilapidated road leading to Ladipo Market soon – Ambode

Succour has come the way of traders and residents alike in the biggest auto mobile market in West Africa, Ladipo Market, after Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode announced plans to commence the construction of the delapidated road Alhaji Akinwunmi Street in the market.
The development was announced during Ambode’s visit to the auto mobile and spare parts market yesterday, Wednesday, January 11, 2016.
Speaking during the visit, Ambode promised the construction of the street to ease the flow of traffic in the axis.
ladipo market4
Furthermore, the Governor promised to build a multi – story car park building for vehicles in the market to avoid parking on the road side.
It was also disclosed that only articulated vehicles such as trailers, container trucks and other delivery vehicles would be allowed to use the road side parking.
You would recall that InsideMainland earlier reported the deplorable state of roads in the Ladipo Market such as Five Star road, Alhaji Akinwunmi Street, among others.

Luggage handling process at Lagos airport as “very problematic” – Minister

The luggage handling process at the departure hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, has been described as “very problematic.”

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said this on Tuesday during a one-day tour of the airport by officials of the Ministry of Budget and the Budget office.

Mrs. Ahmed, who expressed satisfaction with the state of the arrival hall of the airport frowned at the condition of the departure hall, noting that the hall needs to be upgraded.

“We need to do a lot of work to upgrade the departure area of the airport. The luggage handling process is very problematic.

“It is largely manual and as a result of that, customers spend hours before getting their luggage. That needs to be addressed.”

Commenting on the purpose of the visit, the minister said the team members were on ground to look at the challenges the airport is facing and check how funds are expended, in order to facilitate further allocation of resources.

“The reason why we are here is to inspect the projects under FAAN. The essence of this is to see how well government’s resources are utilised; to also see and understand the challenges that the airport is facing so that when resources are to be allocated or disbursed, we will do it with the understanding of how they are to be used.”

On the level of on-going projects at the airport, the minister said the team has seen a number of projects at different levels of completion.

“We have seen a lot of good work that has been done. There are some projects that are suffering as a result of number of different challenges. We have also seen the upgrade of the airport that shows an improvement in users experience, especially on the arrival of the

The minister however expressed her disappointment at the progress of some projects.

“On the inspection, we found out that some of the information provided tallies with what we have but some do not.

“We are asking the authority to re-assess them and submit to us the correct state of completion. The completion rate of some of the projects were lower than what was reported in the reports,” she said.

Tears as Oshodi curtain market goes down

Just like last year when traders at Mosafejo Market in Oshodi began the year with tears, 2017 is starting on a gloomy note for some traders in Oshodi as the Lagos State government, at the weekend brought down the Olorunsogo market. The demolition of the popular curtain and interior decoration material market commenced around 12:00pm.

Traders stared in grief and disbelief as the 14-building plazas housing 368 units of shops, 144 open stores and 129 small units stores for meat sellers, household items traders among others, became rubbles in a hail of dust. Destroyed commodities varied from curtain materials to hanging poles, sewing machines, electrical appliances, beauty kits, etc.

The police and Lagos Task Force officials were heavily deployed to the area to prevent the area boys from fomenting trouble and looting the goods.

Furthermore, the demolition was still in progress yesterday with the Access Bank building and the shopping complex giving way under the roar of the bulldozers.

Some of the affected traders expressed displeasure with government’s action. According to one of the traders, “those that carried out the demolition came at midnight on Saturday, especially at a time when many of the traders have travelled to the village for Christmas and were yet to return.

“Most of their goods were inside the shops as at the time the demolition was carried out. I could not pick anything from my shop because it was at dawn before I could come here. The value of items destroyed is several millions of naira, as I just stocked for the New Year. Though we were served notice to vacate the place, we were, however, not told the specific time the demolition would be carried out.”

To prevent a similar fate, traders at the Ojodu Market yesterday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly over an alleged plan to demolish their market.

The panic-stricken traders passionately appealed to the Speaker of the Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, to intervene so that the state government will not execute the demolition.

Leader of the protesters and treasurer ofthe Market Men and Women, Ojodu Retail Market Branch, Alhaja Fadeke Bello, said the traders were surprised, when some officials of the state government gave them only one day notice to move out.

“They called us for an emergency meeting yesterday that they were coming today to demolish the market and we told them that we could not accept that because of the short notice. This was why we decided to come and inform the governor, Speaker of the Assembly and our Iyaloja General, Alhaja Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.”

Addressing the protesters, the Speaker urged them to be peaceful with their protests, promising to get across to the executive on the matter and report to the market leaders in due course.

BREAKING: Governor Ambode appoints New Head for LASTMA

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has appointed a new General Manager for the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).


In a statement released by the media aide of the governor and obtained by Omojuwa.Com, Ambode announced the appointment of Mr. Babatunde Olawale Musa as the new Head of the body.


According to Ambode, the appointment of Musa comes with immediate effect.


Prior to his appointment as the General Manager of LASTMA, Musa was formerly the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Governor Ambode signs Lagos N812 billion budget into law

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday signed the N812.998 billion 2017 Appropriation Bill into Law, with a promise that it would be judiciously implemented to consolidate on the modest milestones recorded in the last 18 months and propel the State to a path of prosperity.

The Governor, who spoke at a brief ceremony held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said the 2017 budget, christened, “Golden Jubilee Budget” was his administration’s contract with Lagosians to continue to build an all-inclusive economy throughout the year.

He thanked the Speaker and members of the House of Assembly for their forthrightness and speedy consideration and approval of the Appropriation Bill, which he presented to the House on November 29, 2016 and was passed to Law on January 3, 2017.

He said the N812.998bn 2017 budget was in line with the State Development Plan 2012-2025, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2017-2019, based on the state’s four pillars of development which include: Infrastructure Development, Economic Development, Social Development and Security as well as Sustainable Environment.

Governor Ambode, while assuring that his administration would immediately hit the ground running to implement the budget, expressed optimism that the national economy would begin a path of recovery this year.

“We are encouraged by the budget performance of last year (2016) which stood at 78 per cent. Our total Capital Expenditure in 2017 will be N507.816 billion while Recurrent Expenditure is estimated at N305.182 billion.

“Our government is committed to prudent financial management and equitable allocation of resources for the general good and will ensure proper fiscal discipline in the implementation of this Appropriation Law,” Mr. Ambode said.

While alluding to the fact that obligations and duties of citizens like tax payments have become noticeably better, self-induced and encouraging, Governor Ambode sought the cooperation and understanding of all taxpayers to successfully implement the budget, saying that government would continue to strive harder to improve service-delivery in all sectors.

“We encourage all tax payers to continue in this spirit and also take advantage of available multi-pay channels in fulfilling their civic obligations. Do not pay to touts or illegal channels. Make sure your tax payments count. We are doing everything to eliminate poor services to you,” he said.

In his goodwill message, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said the judicious implementation of the 2016 Budget by Governor Ambode, against all odds, has gone a long way to confirm his financial expertise.

The Speaker, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Rotimi Olowo, said many laudable projects including the construction of 114 Roads across all the local governments in the state within a year was a first in the history of Nigeria.

“That means by 2023, just in eight years, he would have done over 1,000 roads in addition to what the Ministry of Works and Public Works Corporation is doing.

“Another area that is unbeatable is the ‘Light up Lagos’, which no doubt increases the economy of our mothers and fathers. That is in tandem with article of faith as entrenched in the 1999 Constitution, which summarily explains that the Governor is determined and committed,” the Speaker said.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, who gave a breakdown of the budget, said a total of N507.816billion has been earmarked for capital expenditure, while N305.182billion is for recurrent expenditure making up a total expenditure of N812.998billion and an aggregate capital to recurrent ratio of 62:38.

Mr. Ashade, who is also the Commissioner overseeing the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, said the 2017 budget which would largely be driven by Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) made up of taxes, rates, levies and others, would be focused on continuous promotion of massive investments in security, infrastructure, transport/traffic management, physical and social infrastructural development, environment, health, housing, tourism, power, e-governance, education, agriculture and skill acquisition.

While explaining the sectoral breakdown of the budget, Mr. Ashade said a total of N141.692billion was earmarked for roads and other infrastructure, while Agriculture and Food Security got N4.795 billion with Tourism and Environment getting N20.247 billion and N24.031 billion respectively.

A further breakdown of the budget showed that Water got N20.082billion; Housing, N50.344billion; Health, N51.447billion; Sports Development, N9.457billion; Education, N92.445billion; Commerce and Industry, N1.500billion, Wealth and Employment Creation, N6.250billion; Women Affairs, N2.193billion; Youth and Social Development, N2.698billion; Governance, N11.193billion; Science and Technology, N11.000billion; Security, Law and Order, N39.722billion, while N3.800billion was set aside for the 7.5 percent Government Share to Pension Contribution and N7.150billion for Pension Redemption Bond Fund-Shortfall.

On Transportation, Mr. Ashade said N49.077 billion was earmarked for the Blue Rail Line, advancement of the 10-Lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway, construction of jetties and terminals especially for the Epe and Marina Shoreline Protection and procurement of ferries to improve on water transportation and encourage tourism, while also disclosing that attention would be paid to the expansion of BRT corridors in Oshodi-Abule-Egba, and other corridors.

Lagos State Government approves death sentence for kidnappers.

Following the spike in the rate of kidnapping across parts if Lagos State, the Lagos State House of Assembly has approved death sentence for kidnappers, whose victims died in their custody. This development was announced after the end of plenary session by the House yesterday, Thursday, January 5, 2016.

The approval which criminalizes kidnapping in the State followed the adoption of a report presented by Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Petitions, Human Rights and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC.

Furthermore, the Kidnapping Prohibition Bill 2016 prescribed life sentence to kidnappers, whose victims did not die in their custody.

The law as passed states that any person, who kidnaps, abducts, detains, captures or takes another person by any means or tricks with intent to demand ransom or do anything against his/her will, commits an offence, and liable on conviction to death sentence.

The law, which criminalised attempt to kidnap, also stipulated life imprisonment for anyone who makes attempt to kidnap another person.

Also, the bill is against false representation to release a kidnapped or abducted person. This attracts seven years imprisonment.

The lawmakers also approved 25 years imprisonment to whoever threatens to kidnap another person through phone call, e-mail, text message or any other means of communication.

This development as however led to mixed feelings among Mainlanders following the increased rate of kidnapping in the State.

This is due the recent happening on Wednesday, January 4, 2016, in Owode end of Ikorodu Road after gunmen stormed the area where commuters and other residents were kidnapped in the process.

Similarly, a little girl was kidnapped around the Iyana Ipaja end of Lagos same day. According to the relative who shared the information on social media, the little girl was abducted by a “light skinned man”.

As a result residents have resorted to the use of local vigilante groups to ensure the protection of their area from kidnappers.

While commenting on this, a resident of Owode told InsideMainland that “we need to protect ourselves from the kidnappers who are bent on causing havoc anywhere they go.”

Fayose’s Empty Stomach Infrastructure! – By Tope Michael

As usual Governor Ayo Fayose has condemned President Mohammadu Buhari for the rate of hunger in the land including Ekiti state. Does this guy think at all before blaming President Buhari for the problems that other governors are solving?

Ekiti state was once a proud producer of Igbemo Rice. Incidentally, Igbemo Ekiti is the next town to Fayose’s village, Afao Ekiti. So he should tell Nigerians why his government of stomach infrastructure has failed to revitalize the Igbemo rice factory which was once a pride of the Ekiti people.


Has the governor of Ebonyi state not increased rice production to the extent that the state is selling rice to other states right now?  Is the lousy governor of Ekiti state not aware that the government of Governor Akin Ambode of Lagos State decided to partner with Governor Bagudu of Kebbi state for the production of rice? Is Mr. Fayose not aware that the partnership has created opportunities for Lagosians to buy a bag of rice in Lagos at N12,000 while it is sold at N20,000 in Fayose’s  land of empty stomach infrastructure?


Incidentally, Mr. Fayose is one of the governors who have been campaigning for true federalism. Can we have true federalism when an agrarian state like Ekiti has to depend on the federal government to feed its people? Simply because  Governor Fayose is bereft of ideas of good governance? In any case,  if Mr. Fayose seriously wants the federal government to feed the Ekiti people let him refund the N2.5 billion traced to him through the ex-minister of defense, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro.


From that sum, the federal government can invest N1 billion in agriculture in Ekiti state.

Suspected Militant who planned to bomb 3rd Mainland Bridge arrested.

While residents across Lagos were celebrating the festive season, little did they know that militants in the Lagos and Ogun creeks were plotting to bomb Third Mainland Bridge – one of the longest bridges in Africa.

Security operatives arrested one of the leaders of a notorious militant group operating in Ikorodu and Arepo areas of Lagos and Ogun states on November, 2, 2016. The suspect, Abiodun Amos also known by his moniker as Senti was arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, at a river bank in Majidun, Ikorodu.

Upon his arrest, the suspect confessed that his group planned to bomb the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos on Boxing Day, December 26, 2016, because the Federal Government failed to consider its members for amnesty.

What was also shocking during his confession was that he claimed his militant group had planned to bomb the bridge towards end of November 2016 before the Special Intelligence Response Team of the Police frustrated the group’s efforts.

One of the items found with the suspect
One of the items found with the suspect

Speaking when paraded by security operatives, the suspect said “if we don’t blow up the Third Mainland Bridge, government will not listen to us. We had concluded plans to carry out the attack by November ending. ‘’I am the group’s explosives expert and before I was arrested we were going into the creeks to conclude plans on how to carry out the attack.”

He added that “we went into bank robberies and kidnapping because we wanted to get government’s attention and all we wanted was for them to grant us amnesty and also offer us pipeline protection contract. We have made several appeals but government is not listening to us.”

The Police said that two AK-47 rifles hidden inside a bag, detonators, and two additional cartons of explosives with the words Gelatine Dynamite inscribed on them were found in a saloon car driven by a member of the gang who escaped upon sighting the Police on his trail.

Confirming the development, Force Public Relations Officer, Don Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police said “on sighting the policemen, the second suspect jumped out of his car and escaped into the bush, abandoning the operational vehicle. After searching the vehicle, two cartons of Gelatine dynamite explosives and hundreds of detonators were recovered in the boot of the car. Efforts to arrest the remaining gang members are in progress.”

“Abuja is filled with insurgents”, says arrested Boko Haram suspect.

Usman, a Boko Haram suspect arrested in Utako market in Abuja, has warned of pending attacks in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, saying a lot of “colleagues are out there in the city to unleash mayhem”.


According to a statement by Kinglsey Madaki, spokesperson of the AMAC Marshal, the security agency that “arrested” Usman, the suspect was found at Utako market with a “Qur’an and a chaplet on his neck while trying to lobby people in the market.”

Madaki said AMAC Marshal was recently established by the Abuja Municipal Area Council.


He said the suspect had been handed over to the army at the Mabila Barracks. He called on residents to be watchful every time and report suspicious movements to security agencies to ensure the safety of live and property.


Insurgents have been reported to have fled Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram stronghold, following an invasion by the Nigerian army. One suspect was also arrested in Lagos.

BokoHaram commander arrested in Ikorodu, Lagos – Buratai

A top member of the Boko Haram sect has been arrested in the Ikorodu area of Lagos state on Saturday.

This was revealed by Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff.

Buratai said this during the reopening of two major roads in the state.

The roads – Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak and Maiduguri-Monguno-Baga – were closed during the height of the activities of the insurgents in 2013.

He charged his men to arrest fleeing members of the sect.

“You must maintain the momentum of the operation. We must pursue the terrorists wherever they are. We must not allow them to regroup,” he said.

He said in spite of the takeover of the insurgents’ last strong hold in Sambisa forest, “we have no time to waste”.

Buratai described the seven-year fight against the Boko Haram insurgents as “quite sober and touchy”, saying that a number of officers and soldiers had lost their lives in the war.

He prayed for the repose of their souls and vowed that the army would recommit itself to the fight until “remnants’’ of the terrorists were cleared.

Lucky Irabor, theatre commander, operation Lafiya Dole, had earlier said that the north east had been secured.

He also said insurgency had brought untold hardship on the people of Borno and the entire north-east zone.

Buhari Commends Lagos, Kebbi over Lake Rice

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday commended Lagos and Kebbi States for the successful partnership that gave rise to the local production of LAKE Rice (Lagos-Kebbi Rice).

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President lauded the commitment of Governors Akinwunmi Ambode and Atiku Bagudu in bringing to fruition the Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2016 on substantially meeting  the country’s rice requirement.

He also expressed delight at the relatively cheaper price of LAKE Rice especially at this period of recession.

“It  gladdens my heart to get reports of our citizens rushing to purchase this cheaper local rice to enable them and their families enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” the President said.

Buhari described what the two states have done as “evidence of a new base being laid for the Nigerian economy, founded and propelled by agriculture, away from substantial dependence on oil and gas for national revenue.”

He recalled that in his 2017 Budget presentation before the National Assembly, he said that “a new era is rising in which we must grow what we eat and consume what we make,” adding that the LAKE Rice achievement is in furtherance of the above goal.

He urged other state governments to replicate the laudable example of LAKE Rice in other staple crops and dairy products.

The President also pledged the Federal Government’s readiness to continue to support such initiatives by providing the enabling environment, policies and incentives for agriculture to thrive in order for the nation to achieve food security.

He said he remained optimistic that going forward, Nigeria will attain rice sufficiency by 2019.

Buhari: I’m happy Nigerians can buy cheap rice in this recession.

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is happy that Nigerians can buy relatively cheap Lake Rice (Lagos-Kebbi Rice) in this recession.

In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, on Friday, Buhari commended Lagos and Kebbi states for the successful partnership that gave rise to the local production of the commodity.

He saluted the commitment of Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos governor, and Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi governor, in bringing to fruition the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in March 2016 on substantially meeting the country’s rice requirement.

He also expressed delight “at the relatively cheaper price of Lake Rice especially at this period of recession”.

“It gladdens my heart to get reports of our citizens rushing to purchase this cheaper local rice to enable them and their families enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations,” the president said.

According to him, what the two states have done is “evidence of a new base being laid for the Nigerian economy, founded and propelled by agriculture, away from substantial dependence on oil and gas for national revenue”.

He recalled that in his 2017 budget presentation before the national assembly, he said that “a new era is rising in which we must grow what we eat and consume what we make”, adding that the Lake Rice achievement was in furtherance of the above goal.

While urging other state governments to replicate the laudable example of Lake Rice in other staple crops and dairy products, Buhari pledged the federal government’s readiness to continue to support such initiatives by providing the enabling environment, policies and incentives for agriculture to thrive in order for the nation to achieve food security.

He added that he remained optimistic that Nigeria would attain rice sufficiency by 2019.

Lagos and America are birds of the same arrogance – By Fu’ad Lawal

Secondary School geography says America is the name of two continents, North and South America. In real life, it’s the United States of America.

We know Lagos is doing fine, compared to the rest of Nigeria. The GDP of Lagos alone is Kenya’s sugar daddy goals. We are the rich uncle of West Africa, and clearly, an African culture powerhouse. Heck, there is a thing as ‘Nigerian accent’, ask Sauti Sol.

Let’s play a little game of Compare.

Some guys in The Abroad did a poll; they were asking if America should go bomb Agrabah. 57% weren’t sure, but 30% were like BOMMBBB THEM!

Here’s the fun part. No real person lives in Agrabah. That’s because Agrabah it’s where Disney’s Aladdin lives. Duh-uh.

The Lagos arrogance is not that different and looks like this tweet.


But it’s a free world, so this person has the right to their opinion. Never mind that Prof. Umar Maryah of the University of Maiduguri has tried to get it into our thick skulls that Sambisa is sixty times the size of Lagos.

Yes, we forget, but Lagos really is a claustrophobic one-thousand-square-kilometre piece of land.

This is the arrogance that makes you forget that Nigeria doesn’t begin and end in the smallest state in Nigeria, or the type that makes you forget that Ibadan is only 11% of Oyo State. Or the one that makes you think everybody after Ore in Ondo State is Igbo. Or the type that makes you forget that the North is not Hausaria.

There are talented people outside Lagos too, and not all of them come to Lagos to blow. There are designers, artists musicians, programmers, and everyone else you can imagine.

Ah, the immigration part.

America is the land of opportunity, like Lagos. Donald Trump, whose ancestors are German, thinks some people like him have more right to America than he does. How familiar.

Remember in 2015 when some people thought it was a great idea to throw people in the Lagoon if they worked against what they perceived to be the “best interests of Lagos”?

Remember when some people thought hawkers should be kicked out of Lagos because they can’t follow all of Lagos’ rules and because they “aren’t really Lagosians”?

Here’s the fun fact,

Most of you are as Lagosian as Trump is American. Most of your grand-daddies and mummies came from their little villages looking for greener pastures in Lagos, like a huge chunk of those hawkers, who were probably born in Lagos.

And if you think being Yoruba gives you some right to Lagos, you better be Awori, because they were here long before you got here. Back when they still had to pay taxes to the Oba of Benin, who sent his son down to rule Lagos as the first Oba.

Ah, you didn’t know that, did you?

While this arrogance is not so with all Lagosians, it is ingrained in its culture. It’s in how you look at JJCs, how you think it can’t be good if it’s not Lagos-certified.

Lagos, like America, was built by all types of people, from all types of places, including those places we think less off. So yes, maybe Lagos really is the Centre of Excellence where all the greatness is Nigeria is born and bred.

My people beyond that Berger bus stop, there’s a whole new world out there, and while you might be shocked to know this, it’s not all bush.

LSETF N25Bn Loan Scheme: First batch of beneficiaries receive disbursement letters

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has now reached an advanced stage in the selection of a minimum of 1,000 beneficiaries in the pilot stage of its loan scheme.

The Fund launched a pilot of its much awaited loan schemes to support businesses in Lagos earlier in the month by sourcing applications from organizations like Fate Foundation, LEAP Africa, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Women in Management, Business & Public Service (WIMBIZ), National Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) and the general public.

In addition, the Fund also partnered with successful technology businesses like Paga, Konga and Max.ng, in addition to sourcing applications via its social media platforms. These applications were evaluated by the globally recognized consulting firm, to ensure the integrity of the process. The first batch of beneficiaries have now been selected and has begun receiving their offer letters from December 22nd 2016.

Commenting on the ongoing pilot process, LSETF’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Akin Oyebode said, “it is critical for us to test our processes ahead of a full roll out next year. This will ensure we identify any flaws in our process and fix them before a full launch across the state. We are also in the process of setting up liaison offices in 20 LGAs, to bring the Fund’s activities closer to the people, and increase our points of representation to serve Lagos residents.”

The Fund is poised to provide support to at least 100,000 MSMEs; create at least 300,000 direct and up to 600,000 indirect jobs within the next 3 years. In addition, LSETF will also provide training and job placements for the unemployed; training and mentorship for SME owners; and make policy recommendations to improve the business environment in Lagos State.

Once the pilot phase is completed and reviewed, LSETF will roll out the loan schemes across Lagos State. This will be complemented with stakeholder sessions across 20 LGAs, where LSETF staff will educate applicants on the application process, and the eligibility criteria for its various schemes.

Tales of Joy, pain as Lagosians troop out to buy LAKE rice

Thousands of Lagos residents, Thursday, besieged various centres across the state to buy LAKE rice, a locally produced rice borne out of a partnership between Lagos and Kebbi states.

The governors of the two states, Akinwunmi Ambode and Atiku Bagudu, had launched the rice on Wednesday with the aim of ensuring food security as well as show Nigeria’s ability as a producing nation.

20161222_123407According to the Lagos State government, the rice would be sold at N12,000, N6,000, and N2,500 for 50 kilogramme, 25kg, and 10kg bags respectively.



One man, one bag

PREMIUM TIMES? correspondents who monitored the sales of the rice across the three Senatorial district?s in the state reported a mix of elation and disappointment from the residents.

At the Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi, almost 400 people had gathered at the centre by 1020161222_124108a.m. while the truck conveying the bags of rice arrived at 12:30 p.m. An intending buyer was issued a slip to go make payment at a Zenith Bank branch at Bolade, some metres away, and return with the slips and a bank teller before receiving a bag of rice.

It was observed that the government’s policy of “one man, one bag” was strictly adhered to.?

At the St. Agnes Nursery/Primary School, Maryland, intending buyers? turned up as early as 7 a.m. to await the sales of the rice which began three hours later. Accreditation was done and people were issued bank tellers to go make payment at a nearby Zenith Bank branch.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that some of the almost 300 buyers had already put down their names on Wednesday and got a head start ahead of the others.

Olalekan Adekoya, a resident, said the payment system was “shambolic.”

“As you can see, there is no POS, no ATM for payment. Bank officials are not even here,” Mr. Adekoya said.

“The stress is just too much?. Government should make this thing work better with better logistic plans.”

20161222_123232Abiola Bashorun, another resident, said the rice would go a long way in helping Lagosians out of the current economic recession, adding that it would help those who can’t afford the commodity in the market.

“But government should make the payment system less stressful,” Miss Bashorun added.

At the Teslim Balogun stadium in Surulere, some buyers who arrived early said they would love to see the bags of rice before making any kind of payment.

?Adekunle Olutayo, who owns a shop near the stadium, said he would confirm the quality of the rice before parting with his money.

“I am surprised that people are rushing to pay for an item they have not even seen,” Mr. Olutayo said, just before a consignment of the rice arrived.

“?What if it does not meet the quality they expected? Will they be asking for refunds?”

But another trader, Ajoke Badmus, said she had no reason to believe that the state government would deal in sub-standard products.

“I have paid already,” Mrs. Badmus said.

“I know it can’t be sub-standard, the government knows the implication of that, they will rather not sell at all than sell something bad.”

Happy people

20161222_095843It was, however, not all tales of glooms at the centres where the rice was sold.

Muyideen Alanran said he was glad to be among the first to purchase the rice at the Ikeja Grammar School, Oshodi.

“I thank the State Government for giving us the opportunity because when we go outside,we know the cost of rice, but we thank the Lagos State Governor for this opportunity and we hope that more would be made available so that the process of purchasing would be easier,” he said.

“With the issue of plastic rice flooding the market, this is a safer option because we can trust the source.”

A resident, Alebiousu Olufunmilayo, said the cost of the LAKE RICE was “pocket-friendly.”

“I will like to tell Lagosains that this is for real. If they get to any of the centres, they should queue orderly and they will get the ?rice,” she said.

At Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre (Rowe Park) in Yaba, residents were seen queuing orderly to buy the commodity at government approved prices.

Another resident, Alabi Aminat, who spoke to journalists after buying the product, said the development was a thing of joy, as there ?was no discrimination in the sale of the commodity.

“I got here this morning and I was told I could pay through the POS and I did,” she said.

“The process was free and fair and the most commendable aspect is that the people in charge of selling the rice are not particular about whether you work with Lagos State Government or you belong to any tribe or creed, as long as you are a resident of the state, you are entitled to buy.

“I was allowed to buy one bag and I got 50kg at the N12, 000 price earlier announced by the government. They just told us to stay on the queue and when it is your turn, you will be asked to pay and take away your rice. It’s as simple as that.”

LASG plans policy implementation against child abuse

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has announced ratification of Executive Order establishing a Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy as a catalyst for driving awareness and commitment of all stakeholders towards protection of children.

The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that the Programme was developed to prescribe management systems in place to create and maintain a safe environment for children, adding that the policy also articulates procedures to be adopted when disclosures of abuse are made.

Kazeem said the Executive Order which was signed by the Governor on December 16, 2016 highlighted emphasis which present administration placed on protecting lives of all children in the State.

The Commissioner for Justice, who said the order applies to state government organisations, public and private schools, child-centred institutions, and orphanages in the state, stressed that the policy also provides steps that must be followed in case of a disclosure, role of Designated Child Protection and Safeguarding Officer, and process of reporting and dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff.

He said the Executive Order now makes it mandatory for Child Protection policy to be integrated into the induction programme of newly recruited staff into child-centred institutions.

“As regards employment of staff, it is now mandatory for all child-centred institutions to conduct detailed background checks.

“Ultimately, the ratification of this Executive Order, would reduce and possibly eliminate incidences of child abuse, establish a culture of early identification of trends and effective intervention to limit the occurrence of cases,” he said.

The Attorney General added that in the next coming months, the state government would drive adoption of the policy to ensure that all child-centred institutions adopt and adhere strictly to provisions of the Order, while electronic copies would be made available on the State’s Website and other relevant social media platforms to ensure proper dissemination.

“The State Government therefore uses this medium to sound a very clear warning to all child-centred institutions both public and private, that it would no longer tolerate negligence in ensuring safety of children under their supervision.

“Failure to adhere to the content of the policy would warrant significant repercussions varying from withdrawal of licenses to filing of criminal charges due to negligence,” Kazeem warned.

Inland Waterways comes to the rescue of Lagos boat operators.

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has deployed three swamp devils to break and unlock the blockage of navigational routes in Lagos state.

Form Epe to Badagry and Ikorodu, water weeds have affected transportation, and has brought untold hardship to both commuters and boat operators.

At Ikorodu jetty, where NIWA officials have been stationed to stem the weed tide and growth, boat operators applauded the round the clock presence of the swamp devils and called for an effective solution to the seasonal presence of water hyacinth in the state.

Ganiyu Balogun, president Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATION), lauded NIWA.

He said without the presence of swamp devil machines, water transportation would have been grounded in the state.

He promised that his association will partner with the agency to ensure free flow of movement throughout the festive period and beyond.

Mauzu Sambo, Lagos area manager of NIWA, disclosed that NIWA will soon deploy its massive and giant water weeds harvester in addition to the swamp devils as part of the strategy to stem the menace of water hyacinth on Lagos waterways.

“NIWA as eye of the federal government will find a solution to this development,” he said.

“We are not satisfied with any palliative arrangement and that is why our team is stationed here until we eradicate and provide solution to end users, particularly at a period like this when Lagosians and their families would want to visit friends and others heading to beaches.

Lagos Government to commence sale of Lake Rice on Thursday.

The Lagos State says it will begin the sale of Lake Rice in 15 centres across the Senatorial districts.


Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who unveiled the rice at the official launch on Thursday, alongside his Kebbi counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu, said the initiative is geared towards making life easy for Lagosians.


Ambode said, “The focus of our govt has been to make life easier for our people. With this in mind, we entered into a collaboration with Kebbi State to ensure food security. Today we officially unveiled the first product of this collaboration – the Lake Rice.


“Our aim is to deliver rice at reduced prices to Lagosians. Sales of Lake Rice will commence tomorrow in 15 centres across the State.”


Lake Rice will be sold at N13,000.


The Lagos State Government has also put out a list for Lagosians to procure LAKE Rice at the Following Locations Below:



  • Ikorodu – Odogunyan Farm Service Centre
  • Epe – Temu Farm Service Centre
  • Eredo – Noforija Town Hall
  • Ibeju – Magbon Alade High School
  • Maryland – Subeb Premises


  • Agege – LSADA Complex/Farm Service Centre
  • Ojo – LAISA Office Agric Bus Stop
  • Mowo – Coconut House
  • Badagry – Town Farm Service Centre, Marina
  • Oshodi – Ikeja Grammar School, Bolade


  • Ajah – Ministry of Agric Area Office
  • Lagos Island – Lastma Office Adeniji/Freeman
  • Ajegunle – Alakoto Senior High School, Tolu
  • Surulere – TESLIM Balogun stadium
  • Yaba – Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park

Lists of projects targeted at Ikorodu residents captured in Ambode’s 2017 Budget

Lagosians were taken by surprise on November 29, 2016, when Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode announced his mind-boggling N813BN 2017 budget for the state – the largest budget ever proposed by a single state in Nigeria’s history.


The budget tagged as ‘The Golden Jubilee Budget’ – coinciding with Lagos state’s 50th anniversary – is over 150billion Naira more than that of 2016 and has been distributed equitably across several sectors including Education, Health and – of course – Transport, with Health sector getting the ‘Lion share.’


However grandiose the budget might appear, it leaves in mind a question of whether in Ambode’s pursuit to urbanize Lagos state, pressing issues on the grassroots level will receive any attention.


Shortly after Ambode proposed the budget to the Lagos House of Assembly, Honorable Sanai O. Agunbiade, representative for Ikorodu constituency, carved out from the budget the provision made specifically for the people Ikorodu.


In a document titled ‘Highlights of Ikorodu’s gains in the 2017 budget as presented by Gov. Ambode,’ he listed six (6) communal projects the budget proposes to embark on in Ikorodu.

  1. Agric-Isawo-Owotu-Arepo Road in Ikorodu
  2. Igbe-Igbogbo Phase II- Bola Tinubu Way in Ikorodu.
  3. Ikorodu-Agbowa-Itoikin-Ijebu Ode Road Project in Ikorodu axis
  4. 114 Local Government Roads project
  5. The Fourth Mainland Bridge in 2017
  6. Art theatre in Ikorodu with a 400-seater hall

Although Ambode laid emphasis on projects in the Health sector saying it will receive the ‘lion share’ of the budget, no project in that regard has been made known.


More importantly, Hon. Agunbiade also promised his constituents that the much awaited Ikorodu Stadium would be ‘physically and financially ignited in year 2017.’


Depending on how you look at the Golden Jubilee Budget, Ambode’s effort is either history in the making – or a disaster waiting to happen.

LAKE Rice Unveiling: The Focus of my Government is to make Life easier for people – Ambode

The Lagos State Government will start rolling out Lake Rice for sale to Lagosians towards the Yuletide celebrations. The sale came as succour for millions of Lagosians who like their counterparts in most parts of the country have had to pay over N20,000 for a bag of rice, mostly imported.



The Lagos State Governor at the official unveiling of LAKE Rice today, stated that; “The focus of our government has been to make life easier for our people. With this in mind, we entered into a collaboration with Kebbi State. Also to ensure food security. Today we officially unveiled the first product of this collaboration – the Lake Rice.”


Our aim is to deliver rice at reduced prices to Lagosians. Sales of Lake Rice will commence tomorrow in 15 centres across the State.”



The rice, however will be on sale as from the 22nd of December and will be sold at the 57 LGAs and LCDAs for easy accessibility and to guard against unwanted persons diverting the product.


Check the List of Designated Locations to procure LAKE Rice.

NGO names Akinwunmi Ambode Best Transparency Governor.

The Citizen Anti Corruption Volunteer Corps, CACVC, a non-governmental organisation, has honoured Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State for distinguishing himself in the fight against corruption, bribery and fraud in the state and Nigeria at large. The group also honoured Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly and Monday Onyekachi Ubani, second vice president, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA.

Others recognised by the anti-corruption group are Chris Nwaokobia, director general, Change Ambassadors of Nigeria; Great Imo Jonathan, human rights activist, and Jude Akagbusum, president, Institute of Good Governance of Nigeria.

Harris Chuma, executive director, CACVC, said Governor Ambode was honoured as the best governor on transparency and good governance after a painstaking exit survey conducted by the group. He said the honour was in recognition of his sterling performance in office since the inception of his administration in 2015.

“Transparency and good governance merit award, TGMA, has become a meeting point where anti corruptionists converge to brainstorm and lead discussions on varied strategies in curbing the menace of the scourge called corruption. This year marks the observance of CACVC anti corruption, bribery and fraud awareness campaigners’ day, which is set aside to raise awareness about the impact of corruption upon our society.

“We are dedicated to the mission of reducing the incidence of corruption in Nigeria, estimates that a typical governmental ministry loses more than five percent of its revenue each year to corruption. States, local, and federal governments are frequent targets of fraud and corruption. An instance of fraud in government undermines the good work and reputation of all state employees who complete their assigned duties with integrity and honesty, and decreases confidence in public officials,” Chuma said.

The CACVC director said the passionate resolve of his group to encourage and celebrate personalities that had exhibited utmost good faith in the renewed campaign against corruption would continue to occupy a place of interest in the overall configuration of the organisation’s annual anti corruption lecture series.

Nwaokobia, who delivered a keynote address on ‘The Quest for Good Governance, the Lagos Experience’ said the country could achieve the desired good governance if it understudied Lagos State. He said Lagos under the current administration was very transparent in ensuring that it published its monthly revenue generation in the state.

According to him, Governor Ambode’s engagement of the citizenry on a quarterly basis has made him to interact and understand the primary needs of the people. “This has made Lagos the best state in the country. Lagos is a state without land but it has gone into agreement with Kebbi State to produce rice for the state consumption,” he said.

Kidnapping: Lagos recruits military-trained guards for schools.

Lagos— in a bid to tackle kidnapping in schools, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has disclosed that the state government is recruiting military trained personnel as guards for public schools in the state.
The move, according to Ambode yesterday, was to strengthen security in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State. Vanguard gathered that 5, 000 youths from the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, LCDA, have been trained in military tactics and formations.
The governor disclosed this while reacting to the plea by the Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Colonel Fola Akande (retd) at the launching of the 2017 Armed Forces remembrance emblem Appeal, themed ‘Appreciating the resilience of the Armed Forces,’ held at the banquet hall of the Lagos House, Ikeja.
Though he didn’t disclose the number of personnels to be employed, but said “As part of keeping the public schools safe, we will engage majority of these trained young men.”
Within this year, two kidnap cases were recorded in schools located in eastern part of the state. Ambode noted that the state government would also increase the donation to the Nigerian legion, which was often used to cater for widows of falling soldiers, aged military officers and others, to N5 million and that two Hilux Van, will be donated to the legion for surveillance.
The governor, however, urged residents of Lagos to donate generously in the remembrance of the fallen and for the welfare of their widows, especially during this Yuletide season. Earlier, Akande disclosed to Vanguard that 5, 000 youths have been trained on military formations, to provide adequate security within the state.
He said: “We have trained able-bodied young men and women for six months on security duties. The training is completed and the trainees are waiting for deployment to schools across the state.”
On the fund, the chairman explained that the money donated last year by the state government was used to procure bags of rice, textile materials and others items for the widows and aged military officers in the state

JUST IN: Tin-Can Port Customs intercept arms, ammunition from US.

The Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted arms and ammunition as well as military equipment hidden in two cars imported from U.S.

The Customs Area Comptroller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar, made the disclosure on Monday in Lagos.

“We got a hint that there is a magazine in a used Toyota car 2004 model with Chassis No 2T1BR32E54C309841.

“Customs officers isolated the vehicle to give it a thorough checking. We discovered 10 pieces of life rounds called Hornady ammunition with the magazine,’’ the controller said.

Bashar said that no suspect had yet been arrested because the seizures were just coming out of the vehicle.

He said that the seizures were isolated, adding that the command would conduct further investigation to discover the owner of the consignments.

“We will hand over the items to the Department of State Security (DSS) for custody of the ammunition because they are too dangerous to be with unauthorised persons,“ NAN quotes Bashar as saying.

The command also intercepted another container of used Nissan Armada , 2007 model, with container No- NSCEU718443\6 and Chassis No 5NIAA08A69N709779.

Bashar said that the vehicle contained one Omini American Tactical Riffle No AR48634 and another one Moasberg American Pump Action with No U648018.

He said that in addition to these two riffles, it was discovered on examination, in the same container, 3,500 pieces of Premier Hollow point (Air Gun Pellets), and 4,000 pieces of Premier Hollow point (Air gun pellets).

“We also discovered nine pieces of military bullets proof vests; one piece of helmet with rain proof, one pistol Punch, one Riffle Punch, a set of military gas masks, 26 packs of military already made foods and two pairs of military booths.

“This is why we called reporters to inform them because it is about reporting the nation’ security.

“We must do everything we can to safeguard Nigeria.

“ If an individual is given Nigerian passports to travel abroad, while coming back home, some come back with unauthorised consignments, which will cause pains and havoc to the citizens.

“ Instead of such persons bringing machines and other valuable things.

“These items were found in a container of personal effects which government graciously says you should not pay duties and now, can you perceive the way some Nigerians reciprocate the gesture? “ NAN quotes Bashar as saying.

The comptroller said that a suspect was arrested in connection with the consignments containing military ammunition, adding that Customs officers had intercepted the container since Nov. 29 and examined it in Nov. 30.

He said that investigation of the container was ongoing to get more details and that was why the news conference was delayed.

Bashar warned travelers who usually used the opportunity of personal effects to bring ammunition and unwanted items to desist, adding that it was endangering the society.

He advised Nigerians who had the opportunity to travel to always bring what would add value to the country.

“Nigerians should educate themselves more on newspapers and Customs portal on prohibited items “because every importer is a suspect’’.

“We urged the media to keep educating the citizens and whoever leaves under the protection of the entity called Nigeria to do everything to safeguard lives and properties in this country.

“These will be about the fifth interception of ammunitions since I resumed office in January 2016.

“We have discovered 900 pieces of live ammunitions, 200 pieces of cocaine worth N2 billion, which we handed over to appropriate agency because we believe in inter-agency collaboration.

“We have discovered some riffles with or without bullets, 300 pieces of military caps, some military camouflage and so many other equipment,“ Bashar told NAN.

Despite recession, Lagos generated N287bn revenue in 2016 – Ambode

Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday said the State recorded N287bn IGR in 2016 more than it got in 2015.


He said this at a special evening of music and camaraderie held at the Lagos House, Ikeja to celebrate this Christmas season.


Ambode praised tax payers, while stating that taxes paid by the people had been judiciously utilised to upgrade infrastructures and provide various services.


As of December 16, 2016 the State had raked in N287bn IGR for the year under review as against N268.2bn generated in 2015.


He said, “You wonder what it is that we are doing? We said it is an evening with the Governor but the truth is I just set this up to appreciate all of you and to say a big thank you. Yes, people have been saying that Lagos is working but Lagos is only working because of the people who are seated here.


“The tax payers are the ones giving us the little energy that we have and even when they say Nigeria is in recession, but somehow Lagos has been able to do it and it is because people are paying their taxes.


“The truth is that the people have been carrying out their civic obligations and somehow we have been returning those obligations with the services that we have provided and you found out that this year; we have actually made more IGR than last year under a recession.”

Lagos State Government launches new platform to verify authenticity of number plates

As part of the plans to curb unnecessary harassment of motorists and also ensure the proper verification of the authenticity of number plates issued by the State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, the government has launched a dedicated platform through which motorists and law enforcement agencies can henceforth confirm the issued by the Agency. This development is in line with the Smart City initiative of the Lagos State Government.


According to General Manager of MVAA, Lagos, Lateef Lawal, who spoke on the new development, the platform, www.lsmvaapvs.org, was launched in order to eradicate the unnecessary harassment of licensees by officials of the Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corps and other security agencies.


Lawal stressed that the situation became worrisome and embarrassing to the State Government and its clients when incessant reports, calls, SMS, e-mails and visits from licensees became rampant that vehicles duly registered with Lagos State number plates were being impounded by FRSC and other security officials.


He however enjoined residents, particularly car owners, FRSC and security agencies to visit the MVAA’s website at www.lsmvaapvs.org to verify the authenticity of number plates issued by the MVAA.


In his words, “the site is easy to navigate, once logged in, type in the number plate and wait for the confirmation of the details of the vehicle.”


Lawal however enjoined motorists to comply with driving rules and make sure that their vehicle particulars are up-to-date in order to avoid being penalized by the authorities.

784, 413 children victims of sexual abuse every year in Lagos – Mrs. Bola Tinubu

Stakeholders in child protection have called for a synergy to tackle the increase in child sexual abuse and violence in Lagos State, menace.

They also urged the Police, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Public Defender (OPD), human rights and non-governmental organisations to ensure a reduction in the alarming rate of cases.

At a stakeholder’s forum organised by the Cece Yara Foundation, its Founder, Mrs. Bola Tinubu, said official statistics show that one in four girls would be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18.

“We have calculated that 784,413 children in Lagos state alone experience sexual abuse every year, meaning 65, 367 children a month and 2,149 children a day.”

She further noted that children could not seek help and suffer in silence due to threat, confusion, fear or shame, adding: “We have families who shy away from exposing their child to the investigation and prosecution process due to stigma and trauma involved. We need to assure them as they embark on this journey.

“So, I commend the Lagos State government for being in the forefront of the multidisciplinary approach and support for victims through the domestic and sexual violence response team, among other activities by NGOs.”

Mrs. Tinubu called for safe platforms to encourage children to speak out about their experiences, support their access to justice throughout their case and provision of community based psychosocial support to children who have experienced violence and their caregivers.

While harping on the need for more shelters to accommodate abused children and their families, she encouraged law enforcement agencies to seek the assistance of NGOs to ensure total rehabilitation of victims.

Lagos Government condemns murder of LASTMA official

The Lagos State Government on Friday condemned the murder of an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) , Surajudeen Bakare on Thursday in Apapa area of the state.

The Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Adebayo Anofiu Eleguishi, said at a news conference that Bakare was a victim of jungle justice.

“The late Bakare was killed by some people who have forcefully taken over the roads to flout rules and regulations and take laws into their own hands, “he said.

Bakare, who was the Zonal Head of LASTMA in Apapa, was beaten to death by suspected commercial motorcycle riders and touts while trying to control traffic.

According to Eleguishi, contrary to reports, eyewitness accounts revealed that no LASTMA vehicle killed anyone before the incident; rather it was the driver of a tanker that killed his motor boy who was asleep under the vehicle.

Elegushi, who reiterated that Lagos was a law and order society, urged the Police to do a thorough investigation and bring the perpetrators to book.

“It is authoritative that the mob action is by tanker drivers, Okada riders and other persons who live around them.

“We must emphasise that LASTMA remains a routine activity designed to ensure free flow of traffic.

“Our officers must be accorded respect they very much deserve and in case of an infraction by any of them, there are due processes and mechanisms that redress those infractions,” Eleguishi said.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive officer of LASTMA, Mr Chris Olakpe, urged members of the public to support officials in ensuring free flow of traffic.

He said that that the authority had embarked on training and retraining of officers, and if there was any complaint, they could call the LASTMA Complaint Response Unit on 08129928646.

BREAKING: Uncompleted 2-storey building collapses in Ikeja area of Lagos.

An uncompleted two storey building in Makinde Street, Ikeja Area just collapsed. Reports reaching us has it that the building has since been cordoned off for rescue operation as a team of RRS officers are providing security against hoodlums who might want to use the situation as a cover to carry out nefarious activities.


As at the time of compiling this report, rescue operations was already in progress at the site of the uncompleted two storey building.



RRS operatives, officials of Lagos State Building Control Agency and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency are already on ground to ensure the rescue of people who may be trapped under the rubbles and forestall any further escalation of the current situation.


The officials on ground are yet to ascertain if there are any casualties. We shall bring you more details as they come in.


More pictures of the collapse can be seen below:




Ketu pedestrian bridge traffic forces commuters beg KAI to allow them use expressway

Weeks after InsideMainland exclusively reported the overcrowding and looming danger at the Ketu pedestrian bridge, commuters still use the foot bridge with fear of being hurt in the process.


When InsideMainland visited the spot during the rush hour earlier today, commuters were seen in numbers using the bridge to access other parts of Ketu to avoid crossing the expressway due to the ban by the government.


InsideMainland learnt that due to the current state of the bridge, residents have resorted to begging KAI officers stationed at strategic points on the expressway to arrest offenders to allow them cross the expressway. This development was as a result of how the bridge vibrates and terrifies commuters when used.


However, checks on the pedestrian bridge showed that the government is currently involved in repair works there.




Presently, the rust railings commuters can use to gain balance when using the pedestrian bridge are currently been replaced with new ones while the usual directional signs on parts of the bridge has been removed.


Speaking to a resident who simply identified himself as Mukhtar, “the rehabilitation work on the bridge commenced few days ago but it has stopped. At first, I was impressed by the swift action to put the bridge in shape but I don’t understand why work stopped here.”


When asked when the workers were last seen on site, he swiftly replied that “it’s been three days since they last came here. I hope they finish what they started so we can use the bridge without fear.”


It was also discovered during checks around the bridge that the newly installed railings were only effected on both sides of the foot bridge as construction workers stopped at a portion connecting the railings to the steps on the pedestrian bridge.




The railings preventing commuters from failing off the steps connecting the pedestrian bridge are still in a bad state and needs to be changed.


The Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Communities and Communications, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan, told InsideMainland that “the Ministry of Works and Infrastructures is evaluating the bridge and will recommend immediate and long term solutions.”


Furthermore, InsideMainland learnt that there are plans by the government to cover the pedestrian bridge during the ongoing rehabilitation work there.

President Buhari In Lagos To Commission Naval Ships

President Muhammadu Buhari, has arrived the Nigerian Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos, to commission three war ships and 27 patrol boats.


The president who touched down at the presidential wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport just before noon on Thursday, was received by the state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.


One of the war ships to be commissioned was said to be imported while the two others were built locally.


Buhari was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and army chiefs as well as the Police.

The president’s visit is coming 24 hours after presenting a 7.298 trillion Naira 2017 budget to the joint session of the national assembly in Abuja.

BREAKING: Bird flu hits Kano, Lagos State again

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday announced that there had been unusual high mortality in two poultry farms and live bird markets in Kano and Lagos states.

The ministry said the bird’s blood samples forwarded to the National Veterinary Research Institute tested positive for H5 Strain of Avian Influenza virus, otherwise known as bird flu, adding that another confirmatory samples were sent to the International Reference Laboratory in Padova, Italy for further characterization.

Avian influenza, known informally as Avian flu or bird flu, refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds. Influenza, commonly known as ‘flu’ is an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus.

The ministry, in a statement, noted that it had taken some measures in the affected sites to contain the reported outbreaks.

FMARD said it had quarantined the infected premises and placed restriction of movement on poultry and poultry products into and out of areas around infected premises.

It said, “All state Directors of Veterinary Services and the Federal Capital Territory, Poultry Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders have been informed and advised to be on alert with intensified bio-security measures to avert possible spread of the disease to other states.

“The World Organisation for Animal Health and Inter African Bureau for Animal Resource and development partners have been appropriately notified in compliance with our statutory international obligations.”

It added that it had ensured immediate reactivation of all animal health components of the Emergency Preparedness Plan on bird flu for Nigeria, adding that the conduct of surveillance activities around infected areas to determine the level of spread of the disease were being undertaken.

FMARD said, “All stakeholders in the poultry industry are urged to enhance hygienic practices (bio-security measures) which include but not limited to regular disinfection, proper disposal of dead carcasses and poultry products and timely reporting of mortalities in poultry and other bird species to veterinary authorities.

“We wish to assure the public that given our experiences in handling previous outbreaks and with your full cooperation in the implementation of containment measures, we are determined to contain this disease again within a short time. We will keep you informed as events unfold.”

UPDATE: PENGASSAN shuts down Lagos Exxonmobil Office, promises to shutdown more.

As reported by Omojuwa.Com yesterday, the Lagos office of Oil & Gas giant, ExxonMobil was shutdown by PENGASSAN members over arbitrary sack of its employees who are Nigerian citizens.


Further investigations carried out by Omojuwa.Com revealed that the feud has actually just begun as the PENGASSAN in a statement made available by the Lagos Branch Secretary, Abel Nwobodo revealed that plans are underway to withdraw their services totally from all operating locations by Midday Thursday (15 Dec).


In his statement, Mr Abel Nwobodo thanked his comrades for a successful shutdown of the ExxonMobil Lagos office and also promised more necessary and justified actions will be taken to drive home their points.


Below is the full statement issued to all PENGASSAN members by the Branch Secretary:


Comrades, We thank you for your camaraderie today from all our locations. We have started very well. The plan is to increase the tempo from tomorrow morning -15 Dec. 2016.


The plan is to withdraw our services totally from all our operating locations by Midday tomorrow (15 Dec). The secretariat will keep you informed and updated as we arrive at that threshold.


Please, all should endeavor to be at the office early tomorrow morning. Injury to one, is an injury to all!


Esteemed Regards


Abel Nwobodo

Branch Secretary


Lagos Midwives Protest Non-payment Of 11-month Salaries

Many medical workers in Lagos are angry. The aggrieved workers, who claimed they were engaged by the state government under the auspices of the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS), Lagos State chapter, recently held a peaceful demonstration at the Governor’s Office, Alausa, Ikeja, to protest the non-payment of 11-month salary arrears by the authorities.
The midwives, who marched around the Governor’s Office and the House of Assembly complex, sang songs and pleaded with the authorities to quickly come to their aid.
They expressed displeasure over the manner in which they were being treated after they had wholeheartedly rendered services to patients, especially in remote areas of the state. According to the protesters, the state government’s refusal to pay them in the past 11 months had brought them untold hardship. They lamented that it was now difficult for them to feed their families, even as meeting other pressing needs had become impossible.
Even though they had not been paid a kobo since the beginning of the year, the midwives told the reporter that not for one day were they found wanting at their duty posts. The passion to save lives, they asserted, was the sole reason they had always remained on duty, and they wanted to always play their part in seeing to the development of Lagos.
The protesters expressed the fear that, if their salaries continued to accumulate, they and their families would be unable to participate in the coming Christmas and New Year celebrations. They said many of their children were out of school, having been sent back from school for not paying tuition.
Their placards had different inscriptions, including “Akinwunmi Ambode, please help pay MSS midwives salaries;” “Midwives are dying but patients are living;” “We reduce maternal and child mortality;” “Ambode, please hear us and intervene now;” “What have we done to deserve this punishment?” “We deserve to be paid promptly,” and many others.
Spokesperson for MSS, Mrs. Beatrice Adunola Ajayi, told Daily Sun that her colleagues could no longer endure the suffering, which was why the midwives decided to picket the Governor’s Office to express their grievances. She said several appeals had been made to the state government before the protest, but that none yielded the desired fruits. She said the situation had become worrisome and embarrassing. She recalled that the last time government paid them outstanding salaries was after a similar protest in 2015.
“We have been pleading with government to pay our salaries, but our demands have not been met. So, that is the reason we came out today to let Governor Ambode know what we have been passing through since January. We are not supposed to be begging the state government to pay us the money we actually worked for, but government has turned us to beggars,” said.
Ajayi told the reporter that the midwives were employed by the Federal Government and seconded to state governments in 2010, to help in reducing maternal mortality rate in the country, especially in the rural areas.
“Lagos then posted us to the various local government areas. We are the ones taking care of pregnant women, nursing mothers and babies there because there are not enough staff at the state primary health care centres. Some of the areas are so rural that some of the state staff avoid going there. That is why people were dying in such areas before we came on board,” she said.

Read More:


MMM Crash: Lagos Emergency Agency Issues Suicide Prevention Notice

Following the announcement by the Nigerian handlers of the popular Ponzi scheme, MMM, that the mavro accounts of its participants which includes Mainlanders and a myriad of citizens from other parts of the country will be frozen until the new year, the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) has issued a public notice for residents across the state.

The news of the frozen accounts is coming few days after handlers of MMM which thrives on providing and getting help within a community promised its participants in Nigeria a 50% bonus for any help provided during the yuletide season.

Before now, participants of the Ponzi scheme are only entitled to a 30% bonus on mavro and 10% interest on any referral.

According to LASEMA who responded to a tweet by a concerned Nigerian who predicted that suicide rates in the country will spike due to the panic and effect the MMM crash will have on its participant, the agency disclosed that residents should quickly dial the dedicated 112 emergency line if cases of such is noticed in any part of Lagos.

You will recall that participants of the Ponzi scheme were thrown into panic in the early hours of this morning after its administrators announced via a statement obtained by the press that as a result of “the New Year season, the system is experiencing heavy workload.”

The statement further explains the freezing of accounts that “moreover, it has to deal with the constant frenzy provoked by the authorities in the mass media. The things are still going well; the participants feel calm; everyone gets paid – as you can see, there haven’t been any payment delays or other problems yet – but!.. it is better to avoid taking risk. Hence, on the basis of the above mentioned, from now on all confirmed Mavro will be frozen for a month.”

“The reason for this measure is evident. We need to prevent any problems during the New Year season, and then, when everything calms down, this measure will be cancelled,” the statement reads.

Since the news of the frozen accounts broke online, the fear of participants losing their money has increased. Also, it should be noted that the scheme crashed in other parts of Africa such as Zimbabwe and South Africa with participant’s accounts wiped clean when something of this nature occurred.

RRS arrests 2 Chinese running fake Trinidad and Tobago embassy in Lagos.

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command has discovered fake embassy operating in Lagos, and arrested two Chinese men who have swindled a number of Nigerians.

Working on intelligence, the squad raided the phony office located at Golden Point and Suite, an hotel on Duduyemi Street, Ejigbo.

Liu Honyang, 47, and Sun Xinai, 49, were arrested alongside their Nigerian collaborators, Oriyomi Olawale and Desmond Chinedu, who are 47 and 25 years of age, respectively.

Adekunle Adefuye, one of the victims, narrated his ordeal to the RRS, stating that he paid N1.3 million for a travels to Trinidad and Tobago.

“I met these people (suspects) through one of their agents, Dorcas Slyver. She is a daughter to my brother’s pastor in Abeokuta. I told her my intentions and zeal to travel to United States of America,” he said.

“After a while, she told me to come to Lagos, that she could procure the American visa for me. On getting to Lagos, she took me to these Chinese where I was told that I should go to Trinidad and Tobago. They persuaded me to go Trinidad and Tobago, that it was easier to secure employment with at least $3,000 as salary.


The arrested suspects

“Initially, I declined to take their bait, insisting that I preferred America to Trinidad and Tobago. But in the long run, they brainwashed me into agreeing to go to Trinidad and Tobago.

“It was at this point, I was told that I would pay N1.3 million for the whole process, including visa processing and flight fare. The payment was made in installment: N376,000 for Visa, ticket N850,000, accommodation N39,000 and Visa Fee N33,000, which I obliged and paid all the monies into Dorcas’ GTB Accounts: 0130671906.”

He revealed that he and another person were rounded up immediately they got to Trinidad and Tobago by the country’s immigration officers for coming into the country with fake visas.

“We left Lagos en route Lome on October 19th, 2016. From Lome to Sao Paulo in Brazil. From there, we moved to Panama where we boarded another plane to Trinidad and Tobago. On getting to the country, we were arrested by their security operatives accusing us of entering their country with fake visa and documents.

“We were locked up for 48 hours before we were deported on October 22nd, 2016, and we arrived Nigeria the following day.”

In his reaction, Liu Hongyag, one of the arrested suspects, said that he only helped her boss do the paperwork and documents.

“We operated as separate entity as travel agency under the company’s name, Golden Point Hotel and Tour, but our office is located inside the hotel. Sun Xinai is my sister, and she is the director of the travel agency.

The mastermind

The mastermind

“I only do paper works and documents for visa procurement…. I don’t know how she secures visa for people. All what I know is that she travels to Abuja and comes back with that stamped visa. I am a phone repairer.”

A source told TheCable that the Trinidad and Tobago Embassy had confirmed the Visa as fake and the two Chinese agents unknown.

But Sun Xinai, the major suspect, said that she was unaware that stamped visa for Trindad and Tobago was no longer tenable in that country anymore.

Responding to RRS’s visa enquiry, the high commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in its letter dated December 7, 2016, referenced ABJ: 6/2/3/14, read in part:

“The mission can categorically confirm that the individual SUN XINAI who is claiming to be an agent of this Mission is unknown to us.

“Furthermore, this Mission does not use the services of an ‘agent’ in any capacity whatsoever and has never done so in the past either. With regard to the authenticity of the attached visas, the Mission can also categorically confirm that those visas were not issued at this High Commission and are clearly fraudulent.

“Noteworthy too is the fact that in June 2015, this Mission stopped the practice of issuing stamped visas in passports in favour of individual electronic visas issued from our country’s capital Port of Spain.”

Atiku’s presidential ambition responsible for our crisis, says Lagos PDP

Segun Adewale, factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, says the ongoing crisis in the party is due to Atiku Abubakar’s 2019 presidential ambition.

In a statement, Adewale said there were external forces working to install Abubakar, a former vice president, as the party’s 2019 presidential candidate.

He accused the Ahmed Markafi faction of the party if working against the interest and progress of the party ahead of 2019 presidential election.

“These agents are working towards the nomination Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as our presidential flag bearer in the 2019 general election,” he said.

“They have resorted to cheap blackmail as it is becoming obvious that the efforts of Ali Modu Sheriff at frustrating every attempt to impose a non party member as our presidential nominee is beginning to gain the attention of well-meaning members.

“If you x-ray recent activities in the party and comments of the Markafi led illegal faction, it’s obvious who is working against the general interest of our party. Everything is about Abubakar Atiku’s ambition to be President in 2019. There is no point going through the back door as there is room within the party for every genuine member seeking elective office.”

He said the factions within the PDP had failed to reconcile because “Markafi reneged on the proposal that two of them step down and for former President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan to head the committee”.

“It is unfortunate that it seems while Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is all about rebuilding PDP to a formidable opposition party that can stand against the current charade and  political ineptitude of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the other faction is busy negotiating a mega party deal with some aggrieved members of the ruling APC,” he added.

Lagos launches ‘Cleaner Lagos Initiative’ to tackle waste issues, set to transform Olusosun from landfill to buspark

New realities are rising with the dawn of innovative technologies in solid waste management, with the Lagos authorities wielding the ‘big stick’ in surprise moves to rescue the state from the inefficiency of the Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators.

In this latest intervention, the Lagos government has launched ‘Cleaner Lagos Initiative’ to addressing the existing challenges and create enabling environment for the private sector to harness international best practice. Lagos generates between 9,000-10,000 metric tons of waste per day.

The initiative is expected to addressing the lacunae in the existing legislation to expand the scope of the State’s Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to enable it enforce, regulate and generate revenue from the waste management process as well as protect the environment, human health and social living standards of Lagos residents.

Dr. Adejare, who was in the company of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said: “The PSP and LAWMA partnership was quite effective, but is no longer applicable, considering the fact that the population of Lagos has increased several fold (and still increasing) and the over 300 compactors in use are old and in a state of dis-use.

“ Wastes should not bring us hardship and shame, but rather we should make money from it. Emphasis will be on zero-dumping, recycling and generation of power from wastes.”

Under the proposed reform, government will carry out a re-certification of all the 350 PSP operators, relicense them and audit the state of their compactors.

Government will also transform the existing Transfer Loading Station (TLS) and introduce about of 25 Material Revolving Facility (MRF) where wastes will be sorted, 600 new compactor vehicles will be acquired, and waste dumpsites will be closed and replaced with engineered sanitary landfill sites.

He said that in the present system, regular waste collection is hindered by a vicious cycle between clients and operators as poor collection service delivery leads to irregular and poor payments.

Adejare noted that LAWMA in its role as regulator is overwhelmed by the responsibilities of having to coordinate the activities of 350 individual companies and still carry out its own collection services; billing system is unduly complicated due to differences and inconsistencies in charges and collection routes.

The reform will include establishment of five new power stations – one in each division in the state, which will be built to generate power from wastes, and closure of the Olusosun and Solus dumpsites next year.

“We plan to regenerate Olusosun and turn it into a park, where intercity buses will end their journey and would no longer be allowed to enter into the city. Passengers will from here now take taxis and intra-city buses to their destinations in town.

“Also, we will have about 25,000 community sanitation workers who will be engaged mostly as street sweepers. They will be well kitted with decent uniforms, gloves, boots, pickers, brushes, carts as well as mobile phones with which to communicate with the control centre. And they will be well paid.

“Every sanitation worker will reside in the Ward they operate for convenience and to curb high cost of transport to work. They will be well trained and given an attractive welfare package. In all, we hope to generate a total of 46,000 new jobs,” he said.

‘We Didn’t Appoint Consultants To Collect Money From You’ – LASG to Table Water Producers

Following the controversies generated over the collection of water related revenues in the State, the Lagos State Government (LASG) has clarified its position saying that at no time did it authorize any consultant to collect such revenues on its behalf.

This development was as a result of the petition published by the Concerned Members of Association of Water Producers of Lagos State on Monday, December 5, 2016.

In the petition, the body accused the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission and the Association of Table Water producers of Lagos State of alleged harassment, intimidation, and financial deprivation. As a result, the body called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to look into the matter.

In a response to the allegations, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde in a statement, disclosed that investigation into the petition revealed some commercial/industrial consumers of Lagos State’s water resources under the aegis of the Lagos State Chapter of the Association of Table Water Producers of Nigeria (ATWAP), have been making payments due in respect of fees chargeable on their water production/packaging operations into a bank account not authorized by the State Government.

Ayorinde said that however well-intentioned the Association’s recourse to the use of a Consultant in facilitating the payment of government revenue by its members might be, it remained a procedural error, which according to him must be discontinued with immediate effect.

In his words, “consequently, it has become imperative for LASG to clarify that it has not appointed any Consultant to collect revenues on its behalf.” He added that “all water abstraction related revenues should be paid by individual water service providers into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the following relevant codes: Ministry/Agency Code: 4360013; Licensing Fee: 4030022; Permits: 4030023; Regulatory Charges: 4020173 (5% Water Consumption Surcharge).”

The Commissioner however stressed that “members of ATWAP and the general public should be apprised of the best wishes and intention of Governor Ambode to continually serve the good people of Lagos State with the highest quality of human, infrastructural, and social capital development in an atmosphere of transparency and accountability.”

Christmas: Lagos to sell bag of rice for N13,000 from December 15

The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it was ready to roll out Lake Rice on December 15 to Lagosians at N13,000 per 50 kg towards the Yuletide celebrations.

The sale will come as succour for millions of Lagosians who like their counterparts in most parts of the country have had to pay over N20,000 for a bag of rice, mostly imported.

Sanni Okanlawan, Special Adviser on Food Security to Governor Akinwumi Ambode, made the disclosure in Lagos during the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) National Agriculture Stakeholders Summit.

Mr. Okanlawan said that sales of the rice would be made at all the 57 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state to ensure proper distribution.

“Lake Rice is the acronym of both Lagos and Kebbi States joint product which will be out to the public on December 15 at the rate of N13,000 per 50kg bag as it is already subsidised by the government.

“To make it more available, the rice will be sold at the 57 LGAs and LCDAs for easy accessibility and to guard against unwanted persons diverting the product.

“The state government has put in place a committee that will ensure that Lagosians have the best Christmas celebration, that is why we are offering the wholesome and well packaged rice,” Mr. Okanlawan said.

The special adviser also said that the state had established a Department of Agribusiness, an Agriculture Trust Fund and Commodity Exchange Market to be set up soon.

Boat accident in Lagos; father, mother, son missing.

The Police in Lagos on Thursday declared missing a father, mother and son after two boats collided in Badagry area of the state.


A statement by the police spokesperson in Lagos State, Dolapo Badmos, said the actual number of passengers aboard the ill-fated boats was yet to be ascertained.


“At about 8: 30 pm on Dec. 7, a canoe with passengers that took off from Pathfinder Jetty on Badagry Marina heading to Gberefu Beach collided with another fibre boat coming from Iyafin area in Badagry.


“The two boats capsized; while the two operators were safe but the passengers are yet to be recovered.


“Effort is ongoing with local divers to recover the passengers.


“While the case is under investigation, three persons suspected to be father, mother and son are suspected to be among the missing passengers,“ Mr. Badmos said.

Uber responds to threat by Lagos government to clamp down on cabs

Uber, a U.S. online transportation company, has said the recent threat by the Lagos State government to clamp down on its cabs was due to the government’s erroneous classification of the vehicles under its platform as taxis.

Ebi Atawodi, General Manager of Uber West Africa, said Wednesday that the company operates Cab Hire Services; and not taxis which the Lagos State Traffic Law seeks to regulate.

“A taxi driver negotiates fares off the road but a car hire service must be pre-booked,” said Ms. Atawodi, responding to a PREMIUM TIMES question during a meeting with the media in Lagos.

“This is a global definition across the world. So in normal cities, in London, in Dubai, New York, France, you always have taxi with what you call the sputnik, which is the light on the top, probably markings and the numbers and so on. And you will have your car hire service, in the UK and other places it’s called mini-cab, where it’s unmarked, you call you pre-book.

“The fundamental difference is that you’re pre-booking by app, as opposed to calling. A car hire service cannot go on the road and flag people down. Why is that? The pre-booked service shows that somebody has taken responsibility of checking certain requirements: this person is who they said they are, this is the licence plate number, this is the driver’s phone number. Otherwise, people will just pick people off the road and you can imagine what will happen to them.”

The Lagos State government recently threatened to begin a crackdown on cabs under the Uber platform, accusing the drivers of failing to pay for taxi licences.

Anofiu Elegushi, Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said Uber drivers were required to pay N100,000 per car for a franchise license, and an annual renewal fee of N30,000 per car.

He said the company owed the state government about N600 million for not properly registering its business.

“We have started clamping down on the vehicles that operate under the Uber app without registration,” Mr. Elegushi had told CNNMoney last September.

The Lagos State House of Assembly in 2015 passed the Road Traffic Regulations on Taxi Operations in Lagos State to regulate commercial transportation in the state. The regulations stipulate that in addition to meeting the provisions of Section 40 of the Road Traffic Law, all taxi operators must register their details with the Ministry of Transportation and be issued with a licence. Drivers must also have a third party insurance; hackney permit; and a vehicle not older than 12 years at the time of registration.

“The objective of that bill was to sanitise the taxi industry and make sure you document who is who, so when you enter a taxi you can call someone and say this is the number of the taxi I got. There is actually somebody you can go to, it is not somebody who just painted his car yellow and black,” Ms. Atawodi said.

“When that bill first came out, the assumption was that it was a taxi bill to regulate taxis. And that’s where the mismatch came in, because, actually, it wasn’t very clear what taxi was being defined as because by the federal government basis, taxi is something picked off the road.”

Ms. Atawodi said Uber is “100 percent” behind government regulations and had begun an active engagement with several Lagos government ministries and parastatals.

Lagos will start prosecuting all tax defaulters in 8 days – LIRS

The Lagos state Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has given all taxpayers in the state a 16-day grace period to pay their taxes, after which prosecution will begin.

In a statement signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of coporate affairs of the agency, tax defaulters were encouraged to remit all overdue taxes/levies due in December to avoid prosecution.

The grace period, which began on December 1, would lapse on December 16 — eights days from Wednesday.

“In spite of the significant decline in the allocation from the federation accounts, the Lagos State government is still embarking on massive infrastructural development and renewal,” the statement read.

“These cannot be achieved if tax payers deliberately refuse to discharge their civic responsibility to the state.

“Taxpayers are hereby advised to clear all outstanding payments on or before December 16, failing which the Lagos state government will commence criminal prosecution of offenders, with full enforcement through distrain activities in line with relevant provisions of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 (As amended).

The taxes and levies expected to remitted during the grace period are: Tax audit liability of back years, Personal income tax (PAYE, Direct assessment, self-assessment), Withholding Tax, Hotel occupancy and restaurants consumption tax and Land use charge and Ground rent.

“LIRS has put all the necessary machineries in place to ensure the enforcement of the tax laws with effect from December 17, 2016 when the grace period lapses,”Ayodele Subair (pictured next to Babtunde Fowler), the executive chairman of LIRS, said.

“Taxpayers are advised to comply, the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on any taxable persons or corporations who fail to remit all taxes/levies due.”

“The LIRS appreciates and thanks the good people of Lagos State who have continually supported the government by voluntarily paying their taxes promptly and correctly and promises to continue to act within the ambit of the law to prosecute tax evaders.”

LASU approves 50 per cent rebate on fees payable for staff undergoing study

The Governing Council, Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, has approved 50 per cent rebate on all fees payable for its staff undergoing courses in the institution.

?According to the university’s official bulletin, the council took the decision at its meeting held on November 15 where the requests by some members of staff for an encompassing education rebate were considered.

?The council said that other sundry fees such as acceptance fee, medical fee, Identity Card, among others were included in the fees payable for academic programmes at the university.?

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the council had at its 111th Statutory Meeting on May 31 approved 50 per cent education rebate for only tuition fees.

?“The council, thereafter, reviewed its earlier decision that the 50 per cent education rebate should apply to all fees payable,” it said.

Also, at the meeting, the council confirmed the appointment of eight academic staff in line with the recommendations of the Appointments and Promotions (Academic) Committee on Confirmation of Appointments.

They are Salami Lukman- Lecturer II ?Chemical and Polymer Engineering Department; ?Haruna Musa- Lecturer II, Department of ?Foreign Languages; ??Akinjogbin Adekunle- Lecturer I, Department of ?Public Relations and Advertising.?

?Others are ?Atofojomo Atinuke – Lecturer II, ?School of Communication; Alaska Sanusi – Lecturer II, Department of ?Business Administration; ?and Thomas Rasaq – Lecturer II, Department of ?Foreign Languages?.

They included Shonaike Obafemi, Department of ?Chemical and Polymer Engineering and ?Uche Ifeyinwa – Lecturer I, department of ?Haematology and Blood Transfusion/Basic Medical Sciences.?

Governor Ambode Donates Another 45 Power Bikes, 3 Cars To RRS.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday announced an increment to the death insurance benefit for police officers who die in active service to the State to N10 million, saying that his administration would stop at nothing to ensure the safety of all citizens in the State.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja, after he was presented with two awards recently won in South Africa by the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the State Police Command, said security and safety of the people remains one of the focal objectives of his administration, and that Government would continually embrace measures to motivate and encourage officers of the Command to perform their duties diligently.

The RRS, at the awards presented by Security Watch Africa (SWA), had emerged as the best anti-crime police squad in West Africa, while the RRS Commander, Olatunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, won the award of most outstanding police operational officer in Africa.

he State Government also bagged award as the best security and most safety conscious state in Africa.

Speaking after receiving the awards, Governor Ambode congratulated the Commander and men of the RRS for the feat, saying that the people of the State were appreciative of the gallant efforts of the unit at bringing down crime rate in the State, especially in the last one year.

The Governor also commended the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni for his purposeful leadership of the Command, saying that it was evident that the Police in Lagos was performing creditably well.

While alluding to the need for increment in the death insurance benefit of officers, Governor Ambode recalled the recent lost of some officers in active service, adding that while government was not praying for the re-occurrence of such, it was appropriate to reasonably reward the family of any officer in the event of eventual death.

The Governor therefore said his administration was raising the stake of death insurance policy from N1million to rank and file and N2million to senior officers to N10 million.

He said: “Recently, we lost some police officer due to no fault of theirs and then some form of accidental incidences across the State.

“I have directed the State’s Pension Office and the Office of the Chief of Staff that we are going to increase the payment that we make to officers that die in active service and then we are increasing that irrespective of whether you are a junior or senior office, if you die in active service, the payment that will be made by the State Government is being increased to N10million from this moment onward,” he said.

As one of the ways of appreciating and motivating the Command, Governor Ambode also presented additional three patrol vehicles and 45 power bikes to the RRS.

The Governor, while reiterating the commitment of the State Government to the security and wellbeing of residents, also directed the police to ensure hitch-free yuletide celebration across the State.

He said the government, by the donation, was also sending a strong signal to those who are always willing to disturb the peace that there is no room for them in the State.

Responding to the gesture, the RRS Commander, Mr. Olatunji Disu said the equipment given to them by the State Government would further spur them to give their best towards protecting the lives and property of residents

Ambode also used the opportunity to donate 3 patrol vehicles and 45 power bikes to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS.