Lagos-Badagry Expressway Expansion Ready 2019—Ambode
By Dipo Olowookere
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday assured residents that the ongoing Lagos-Badagry Expressway expansion project would be completed before the end of 2019.
The Governor, who spoke shortly after embarking on extensive inspection of ongoing projects across the state, said the project was a major economic catalyst for Lagos and therefore his administration was totally committed to seeing it through.
Recalling that his recent visit to Denmark was to finalise plans with APM Terminals to fast-track the commencement of work on the $2.6 billion Badagry Deep Sea Port, Mr Ambode said it was important for the road network to be completed within schedule to accommodate the anticipated increase in economic activities within the axis.
“On the part of government, it is imperative that the project is accelerated and completed on schedule. It is a 10-lane expansion project with a provision for rail,” he said.
Governor Ambode said that though the project was awarded to Okokomaiko, his administration was almost at financial close to give it to a concessionaire who is expected to extend the project from Okokomaiko to Seme Border.
“We believe strongly that the contractor has done a good job here. We have given him the right of way and it is our belief that the one that has been awarded should be completed on schedule. I am committed to this project; I am committed to the expansion of the economy of the East axis of Lagos. That is the surest way to go.
“By doing this project, we would also expand the real estate value of this axis and the tourism potentials of the Badagry axis. I am confident that in no time, we should have a complete project before the end of 2019,” he said.
Explaining the progress of work done so far, General Manager of Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), South West, Mr Guan Shuai, said extensive work had been done on three Flyovers and Interchange Bridges in Alaba, Agboju and Alakija.
He noted that the challenge of relocating pipes and cables belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which hitherto slowed down the project had been resolved through the intervention of Governor Ambode.
While inspecting the stretch of link road from Agbelekale off Ekoro Road to Abesan Estate via Church Street, Giwa and Aboru, Governor Ambode expressed satisfaction with the progress of the project so far, but charged the contractor and supervisors to ensure the delivery of the project within the first quarter of 2017.
The Governor, who was received amidst fanfare by residents who displayed placard of various inscriptions commending him for the project, said the bridge being constructed as part of the project had to be extended from 240meters to 360meters due to the nature of soil in the area.
He said: “Just about five months ago, we were here to see the progress of this project. This road is designed to connect all the people living in the Aboru area to Iyana-Ipaja and also to the LASU-Iba road and all the people living within the Ajasa Community. You will recall also that just about three months ago, we were here to open up the Ajasa Command road and this is another project to complement the opening up of the Alimosho community.
“Like the contractor has promised, we hope to finish this project by the end of January next year. We have also found out that we need to extend this bridge by an additional 120 meters because of the nature of the soil in this area. I had earlier promised that this project would be delivered by the end of this year but I’m pleased with the progress being made on this project. I want to urge the contractors and the supervisors to ensure that we meet the completion date and that within the first quarter of next year, all the people in Alimosho will enjoy this facility,” he said.
At Irede Road in Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Governor Ambode was briefed by the Commissioners for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson and Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, who narrated the inter-ministerial work being planned for the axis.
Mr Lawal said a 30 hectare land at Ado Trade Fair had already been designated for a 500 Housing Units which would be constructed in partnership with the private sector.
He said the project, which is a transit oriented development, would open up the area for economic activities and real estate, adding that it would complement the 13 stations of the Blue Line Rail Project and 10-lane Lagos-Badagry Express road.
In his response, Governor Ambode expressed displeasure with the state of Irede Road, assuring that work would start on the road within the next four weeks.
He said: “It is very clear that this Irede road is in a very deplorable condition. I have come personally to see it and I have received complaints from people of this community. I also see that the economic value that we stand to benefit from upgrading this road is unquantifiable.
“Beyond the fact that we will open up the road to the Lagos Badagry Expressway, we also intend to expand our housing policy and the rent-to-own scheme to this neighbourhood. So, I like to just clearly state that work would commence on Irede Road within the next four weeks,” he said.
Tinubu’s Vast Experience An Asset for Good, Effective Governance—Buhari
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Muhammadu Buhari has joined many Nigerians to celebrate the President-elect, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on his 71st birthday today, Wednesday, March 29, 2023, saying his vast experience as a politician will help achieve effective governance.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President joined “members of the President-elect’s family, especially his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, business partners and political associates in celebrating the recently elected president who is expected to lead the country from May 29.”
Full of praise, he said his successor, endeared as Asiwaju, is “heralded with many years of experience and achievements in the private and public sectors, which prepared him for the historic win on February 25, 2023.”
The statement noted that President Buhari believes, “Asiwaju’s warmth, friendliness and generosity has set the pace for a network of friends, home and abroad, that will shape his presidency with the requisite expertise to guide the economy and consolidate on the investments of past leaders, particularly in people-first development and infrastructure.
“As the President-Elect prepares to take over the mantle of leadership at 71, the President affirms that his political pedigree from the ’90s, active role in party politics, being elected Senator and later Governor of Lagos State, and diligent involvement in structure of leadership at the Executive and Legislative levels for many years, will serve as an asset for good and effective governance.
“President Buhari prays for the wellbeing of Asiwaju and his family,” the statement added.
On March 1, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that Mr Tinubu won the 2023 presidential elections as he scored 35 per cent of 24.97 million votes cast, beating Mr Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
The two main opposition parties had already rejected the results before the final count, saying the electoral commission failed to follow its own law in transmitting and announcing results.
Both parties have also filed separate cases in the courts.
Lagos, eTranzact Collaborate to Curb Unregulated Development
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with eTranzact, a foremost fintech company, to sanitise and regulate activities of setbacks and Incidental Open Spaces (IOS) and ensure physical orderliness in the state.
Signed by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the agreement will help curb unregulated development, manage setbacks and open spaces and improve the beautification of the environment in Lagos state.
The MoU will strengthen the partnership between Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Authority (LASPEMA) and eTranzact.
This collaboration will allow eTranzact to deploy an integrated technology solution for data collection, management, and digitization of revenue collection processes from the informal business players operating on the setbacks and Incidental Open Spaces (IOS) in Lagos State to regulate setbacks/IOS and enhance the State Internally Generated Revenue.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU held at the state secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, represented by the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on e-GIS and Planning Matters, Mr Olajide Babatunde, said the initiative was a public-private partnership that would yield a good result hence the need to take care of the environment.
He said the MoU is for accountability and in the interest of the general public in Lagos State, as well as improving the internally generated revenue (IGR) of Lagos State.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of eTranzact, Mr Niyi Toluwalope, said his organisation was partnering with Lagos State Government for social development, noting that the project would develop solutions on data, enumeration, reordering setbacks, putting incidental open spaces in an orderly manner, among other benefits.
He said: “eTranzact is a premier technology solutions company in Nigeria. Today we are partnering with the Lagos State Government and LASPEMA for the enumeration and data management of the occupants of the setbacks and incidental open spaces within the City. We are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide this service.
“The Lagos State Government has taken this laudable initiative to identify the setbacks, enumerate the people on these setbacks, do the necessary data capture, and manage the entire setback infrastructure in the State so that it is structured, following the proper model for setbacks, improves beautification, improves transparency within the environment and ensures that our critical urban infrastructure is well laid out properly to ensure Lagos functions as a major critical landmark with global recognition.
“We are committed to partnering with the State government to build a beautiful and prosperous Smart City for all. As Nigeria’s Super Fintech Choice, eTranzact is committed to providing payment technology support for all public and private stakeholders.”
Also speaking, the General Manager of LASPEMA, Mr Daisi Oso, said the agency was saddled with addressing challenges that were associated with managing and regulating all activities on setbacks so as to ensure orderliness while leveraging technology.
He said the agency is saddled with the deployment of drones for mappings, collaborating with other ministries, departments, and agencies on urban development to improve security and order in the use of land in tandem with the state’s developmental plans to enhance social and political sustainability of businesses.
Ayu Steps Down as PDP Chairman, Damagum Takes Over
By Dipo Olowookere
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Iyorchia Ayu, has stepped down from the position and has been replaced by the Deputy National Chairman of the party for the northern region of the country, Mr Umar Iliya Damagum.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Hon. Debo Ologunagba, confirmed this development.
It was disclosed that Mr Damagum would be the acting chairman of the country’s main opposition party, pending the determination of a case in court.
Recall that on Sunday, the executive of the PDP in Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State suspended Mr Ayu for alleged anti-party activities.
He was accused of working against the success of the party in Igyorov Council Ward, and failed to “pay his Annual Subscription Fees as provided under Section 8 (9) of the constitution of the PDP 2017 (As Amended).”
“Further investigation also revealed that he did not vote during the Governorship and State Assembly Elections held on March 18, 2023.
“It was also discovered that most of his closest allies worked for the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, and hence, the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby pass a Vote of No Confidence on Dr Iyorchia Ayu and suspend him as a member of our party with immediate effect. The suspension takes effect from March 24, 2023,” the Ward Chairman of the PDP, Mr Kachi Philip, and the secretary, Mr Vangeryina Dooyum, announced while addressing journalists.
Today, the national spokesman of the party said Mr Ayu stepped aside from the position during the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP on Tuesday in Abuja, after the NWC acknowledged “the order of the Benue State High Court dated March 27, 2023 with regards to the chairmanship position of our great party.”
“After a careful consideration of the court order and in line with Section 45 (2) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017), the NWC resolved that the Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Ililya Damagum, assumes the national chairmanship of our party in acting capacity with effect from today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders, teeming members and supporters of our great party to remain calm and united at this critical time,” the statement said.
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