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Lagos Assembly Screens Six Governor’s Nominees

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Lagos Assembly Screens Six Governor's Nominees

By Dipo Olowookere

Six nominees of Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, for both the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency and the State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) have undergone screening. The exercise was conducted on Tuesday by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Nominated and screened for the position of General Manager, Lagos State Public Procurement Commission was Mr Onafowote Fatai Idowu, who was born on January 16, 1957.

He attended University of Ibadan and studied agriculture, biochemistry and nutrition. And started working at the Lagos State Agriculture Development Project. He later became Programme Secretary, State Food Security Programme

Mr Idowu also supported Lagos State Public Procurement as a Technical Adviser and he has been acting as General Manager of the commission since May 2016. He is a certified procurement manager, who has worked under World Bank project in the sector.

Speaking during his screening, the General Manager-designate agreed that insurance bond is important for procurement, adding that the fund given to any contractor ought to be protected.

“They could get bond from banks or insurance companies. I support the ongoing reform in the House of Assembly on public procurement.

“Initial payment for contracts could be between 20 and 40%. It could be low for projects that involved a lot of money. Financial capability is part of consideration. 20% could be low, but it should range between 20 and 40%,” he said.

Mr Idowu added that he started acting as the GM of the commission as a child of circumstance, when the immediate past General Manager resigned.

Also yesterday, the House also screened nominees for the Lagos State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM).

Nominated and screened for the position of the Chairman of the board of TESCOM was Mrs Elizabeth Olabisi Ariyo, who was born in 1956, and attended United Missionary College, where she obtained a Grade 2 Teachers Certificate and taught in Ilesha, Osun State.

She also went to the University of Lagos from 1982 to 1986 to study English Language and thereafter started working with the Lagos State School of Basic Studies in 1986, and later worked as an inspector, planning officer and state Primary Education Board.

Mrs Ariyo became a Permanent Secretary in 2015 and retired in 2016.

On pension, she said that she will monitor payment of pension of teachers, adding that there is presently no central body. It

Also screened to be a member of the commission was Mr Jacob Mahonu Ashaka, who was born in 1958 in Topo, Badagry.

In 1976, he proceeded to Government Teachers Training College, Badagry for Grade 2 Certificate and was employed as a teacher.

In 1981, he went to Lagos State College of Education and graduated in 1984. He went back to teaching in 1985 after his NYSC Programme.

He worked at Agboju Secondary School for nine years. He later gained admission to the Lagos State University for first degree and went back for Masters Degree programme in Education Science and Administration in 2001.

Another nominee screened for TESCOM was Mrs Sidikat Titilayo Smith, who was born in 1954 and attended the University of Lagos, where she studied Biology Education. She was also cleared by the House for the position.

Mr Adeleke Oluwaseun Kara was also screened to be a member of TESCOM. He went to the Federal College of Education, Okenne, and later taught at Teachers College, Ikorodu before going to the University of Ibadan to study Guidance and Counselling.

The fifth nominee screened for TESCOM was Mrs Hadijat Hassan Kuburat, who was born in 1965 and attended Lagos State University, where she studied Political Science and later got Masters degree and is undergoing Phd Programme at the University of Ilorin.

Meanwhile, a Bill for a Law to amend the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (2016) was read for the second time.

Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions, and Human Rights, Mr Tunde Buraimoh, stated that the bill needs overhauling and that the citizens must be made to know the importance of security.

He said that the House has a responsibility to ensure that the agency works well and made to achieve its aim.

The Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade also added his voice to the need to review the bill, which he said considered the issue of vigilante.

He said that members of the corps have power to conduct search or to arrest any erring member of the public.

Mr Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu Constituency 1) and Mr Yishawu Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) also spoke on the matter, while the bill was later committed to the House Committee on Information, Publicity and Strategy, headed by Mrs Adefunmilayo Tejuosho. The committee was ordered to report back to the House in two weeks.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Sea Piracy in Nigeria Drops 80%—NIMASA

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Sea Piracy

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed that sea piracy has declined drastically by 80 per cent on Nigeria’s territorial waters.

This was made known by the Director-General, Mr Bashir Jamoh, during a courtesy call by Executive Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, led by the Chairman, Mr Adeleye Ajayi to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

According to Mr Jamoh, $783 million had been lost to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

He said: “We have recorded a drastic reduction in piracy and this is enough for us to beat our chest and say that we are ready to return to the category ‘C’ of membership of International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

“However, the year 2021 has witnessed a significant turnaround under my leadership as insecurity on Nigerian waters had reduced by 80 per cent.”

Mr Jamoh said that the last time the country had a drop in piracy attack in the nation’s waterways was in 1994, saying that Nigerian waterways were one of the top 10 safest glasses of water in the world.

He noted that this achievement was enough reason to sensitise and inform the international community that the Nigerian waterways were now safe than ever before, as Nigeria must take its rightful position among the comity of nations globally.

“We want the cost of the insurance premium paid by Nigerians as a result of insecurity to be reconsidered as insecurity in the country’s waterways had drastically reduced,” Mr Jamoh said.

The NUJ chairman, in his remarks, assured NIMASA of regular publicity as well as a robust relationship between the Lagos Council of NUJ and NIMASA.

He lauded NIMASA for the giant strides it had achieved in the maritime sector, which included safeguarding of Nigeria’s waterways, collaboration with sister agencies of government as well as donations worth millions of naira to the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps and victims of the disaster in the country.

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LAWMA, Alliance Evacuate 75,000 Plastic Bottles from Ilashe Beach

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Plastic Bottles from Ilashe Beach

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) commemorated the 2021 World Clean-up Day by evacuating 75,000 plastic bottles from Ilashe Beach, Lagos.

The exercise was undertaken by Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FIBRA), an umbrella body for about 20 food and beverage manufacturing companies along the five kilometres Ilashe/Ibeshe beach area on the outskirts of Lagos.

Others were Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos Ferry Service, among others.

The World Clean-Up Day, celebrated every September 18, is an annual global social action programme aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, said at the event that his agency was using the opportunity of the World Clean-up Day to open up the entire Ilashe Island shoreline to proper cleanup.

Mr Odumboni urged residents and beach users to come together and make a difference by leaving an enduring legacy of a people-friendly environment for improved living and economic prosperity.

“The idea of the World Clean-up Day came up in 2018 when nearly two million volunteers, across individuals, corporate bodies, NGOs and government organizations, came together for massive clean-up activities in major cities across the world.

“We are setting the pace here in Ilashe Island of Lagos for our country. So, I enjoin all residents to sustain this effort.

“LAWMA is not leaving any stone unturned in our determined effort to rid Lagos State of all forms of solid waste.

“Our Marine Unit is effectively evacuating marine debris around the Lagos waterways and we will continue to increase the scope of our activities,” Mr Odumboni said.

Also speaking, the President of the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAN), Mr David Oriyomi, noted that it was important to educate residents of the aquatic environment on the effects of dumping rubbish into the water.

Mr Oriyomi said that the fishes feed on that rubbish while human beings fed on the fishes which was very dangerous to human health.

In his remark, the Chairman of Lagos Recyclers Association, Mr Femi Idowu, noted that what people see as trash, was actually money, suggesting that people should see the economic value in waste materials.

The programme was attended by Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Mr Solomon Bonu, General Manager of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, Executive Secretary of FIBRA, Ms Arase Aghareva, among others.

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SERAP Urges NASS to Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request

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Fresh Loan Request

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the National Assembly to reject the fresh loan request of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Last week, at the resumption of plenary on the Senate after a break, Mr Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, read a letter from Mr Buhari requesting to borrow $4 billion and €710 million.

But in a letter, SERAP said both chambers, the Senate and House of Representatives, should not grant this request until the publication of details of spending of all loans obtained since the Buhari-led administration took office on May 29, 2015.

In the open letter signed by SERAP deputy director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the group expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”

SERAP said: “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.”

According to SERAP, “Accumulation of excessive debts and unsustainable debt-servicing are inconsistent with the government’s international obligations to use the country’s maximum available resources to progressively achieve the realisation of economic and social rights, and access of Nigerians to basic public services.”

The letter read in part: “The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.

“SERAP urges you to urgently propose a resolution and push for a constitutional amendment on debt limit, with the intent of reducing national debt and deficits. This recommendation is entirely consistent with the constitutional oversight functions and spending powers of the National Assembly, and the country’s international anti-corruption and human rights obligations.

“Indiscriminate borrowing has an effect on the full enjoyment of Nigerians’ economic and social rights. Spending a large portion of the country’s yearly budget to service debts has limited the ability of the government to ensure access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to minimal health care, education, clean water, and other human needs.

“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.

“The National Assembly under your leadership has a constitutional responsibility to urgently address the country’s debt crisis, which is exacerbated by overspending on lavish allowances for high-ranking public officials, lack of transparency and accountability, as well as the absence of political will to recover trillions of naira reported to be missing or mismanaged by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

“The National Assembly should stop the government from borrowing behind the people’s backs. Lack of information about details of specific projects on which loans are spent, and on loan conditions creates incentives for corruption, and limits citizens’ ability to scrutinise the legality and consistency of loans with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), as well as to hold authorities to account.

“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35 trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679 trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31 trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.

“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education.”

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