Connect with us

General

Lagosians Blast Ambode Over Public Holiday Declared for Buhari’s Visit

Published

on

Lagosians Blast Ambode Over Public Holiday Declared for Buhari’s Visit

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

On Tuesday, the Lagos State government declared Thursday, March 29, 2018 as work free day in the state to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on a two-day working visit to the metropolis.

A statement issued by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, explained that the holiday was to allow residents of the ‘Aquatic State’ come out enmasse to welcome the President.

In the statement, Mr Bamigbetan urged residents to adhere to the security guidance earlier announced to make the visit as peaceful and orderly.

While in Lagos, Mr Buhari will commission the new Ikeja Bus Terminal, attend a colloquium in honour of national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of the state, Mr Bola Tinubu, and as well as embark on tour of the Eko Atlantic City, among others.

During the visit, traffic would be diverted in some routes and Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Imohimi Edgal, during a press briefing yesterday at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said adequate preparations have been made to mitigate the impact of the road diversions on residents, while access would be given to any emergency situation.

Mr Edgal, who addressed the briefing alongside heads of security and emergency agencies in the state, said, “To ensure smooth, security-free visit of the President, we would need to do some diversions.

“Some certain roads will be closed at certain times; some diversions will be made but I want to use this opportunity to appeal for the support and understanding of Lagosians that this temporary road closures and diversions might cause a little inconvenience.

“We want the people to bear with us to ensure that we all join hands together to make the visit of Mr. President not only hitch-free but also very memorable.

“The road closures and diversions will be very temporary and immediately the President leaves a certain location, that area will be opened very quickly for the general public. We have also made adequate arrangements to mitigate the impact of the closures on residents.”

He listed the areas to be affected to include Bank Anthony Way in Ikeja, Agege Motor Road, a section of Eko Hotel Road in Victoria Island and Old Marina in Ikoyi axis.

Besides, Mr Edgal said security arrangement was already in top gear and that people would see a lot of deployment of personal of both military and civil logistics adding that it is nothing to worry about.

“We have done the necessary threat assessments; we have reached out to all stakeholders in areas that we believe we should reach out to them to ensure their full cooperation. We are using this opportunity to call again on the Okada Unions and the National Union of Road Transport Workers that they must abide with the terms of agreement we reached during meetings with them regarding the visit.

“We will not want to see commercial motorcycles plying the prohibited routes of Agege Motor Road, Bank Anthony Way and anywhere on the Island. Should that order be disobeyed, we would be constrained to ensure that you are arrested with your motorcycles impounded.

“Whoever is also found as a passenger will also be arrested and prosecuted so do not patronize these Okadas on these prohibited routes not only for the purpose of the visit but also to ensure that Lagos State Laws on the regulation of commercial motorbikes are obeyed at all times,” Mr Edgal warned.

He added that three locations have been designated for all first emergency responders to station their equipment and officials including the Police, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), LASAMBUS, Civil Defence, Fire Brigade, among others at Ikeja, Victoria Island and Free Trade Zone at Lekki-Akodo axis.

On the Apapa gridlock which has spilled over to other parts of the state, the police chief said while the Joint Task Force set up by the state government was already working to ensure free-flow of traffic, the government nonetheless has commenced the construction of a new Trailer Park in Ijora axis that can conveniently accommodate 2,800 trucks and tanker at a time.

“The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, in collaboration with stakeholders, has identified a location known as the White Sand in Ijora axis and we have done an assessment of the place with my colleagues in other agencies and all shanties there have been destroyed.

“Now, the state government has given out the contract to a firm and they are now smoothening up the place. It has the capacity to take well over 2,800 trucks and tankers at the same time. Work is ongoing there at a very fast pace and I can assure Lagosians that very soon, the place will be completed and we intend to move all trucks, tankers to that location and as soon as that is done, we would have permanently take care of this trucks and tankers,” he said.

But reactions have trailed this announcement by the state government with some residents castigating Mr Ambode for declaring a public holiday to welcome the President.

They argued that it was wrong to shut down economy of a ‘mega city’ just because the President was commissioning a ‘mere’ bus terminal that has minute effect on the economy at large.

Furthermore, the critics said it was insensitive to declared Thursday a work free day when Friday and Monday have already been declared as public holidays by Federal Government to mark Easter break.

A journalist with Bloomberg, Mr Paul Wallace, who wrote on his Twitter page, “#Nigeria’s President #Buhari is going to be in #Lagos on Thursday for the first time in a while and Lagos State government has declared it a “work free day,” had many Nigerian lambasting Lagos Governor for the move.

“Senseless set of leaders, declaring work free day for failed president…Lagos is (an emoji showing a face with medical mask),” one of the commenters said.

Another said, “Declare a work-free day, just like that; this doesn’t add up as many businesses especially banks will be adversely affected with Friday and Monday already public holidays.”

“Grounding To A Halt Businesses On A Thursday For The Commissioning Of A “BUS TERMINAL” ??? Outright Rubbish!!!..” a commenter also wrote.

“Arrant nonsense! How does this even make sense to our government? Shutting down a state for a whole day just to commission a bus station! Gutted!” another person said.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

General

Senate Threatens to Withhold 2023 Capital Budget of State House, Others

Published

on

State House 2023 capital budget

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Senate has threatened to withhold the 2023 capital budget of 100 federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) until they answer the queries raised against them by the Auditor General for the Federation.

Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan, issued this threat on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday while ruling on a point of order.

The threat followed a point of order raised by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Matthew Urhoghide, who informed his colleagues that some agencies refused to appear before the team despite invitations sent to them.

Some of the MDAs include the State House, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Interior, Transportation, Mines and Solid Mineral Development, Information, Communication, Petroleum, Defence, Police Affairs, and Sports.

Others are Works and Housing, Women Affairs, the State House, Presidential Fleet, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Independent National Electoral Commission, North East Development Commission, Nigerian Intelligence Agency, and the Nigerian Air Force, among others.

The queries covered in the auditor general’s report are from 2015-2018.

Speaking, Mr Lawan upheld Mr Urhoghide’s point of order and insisted that the public officers who utilised funds appropriated to their MDAs must give account.

He said, “Your point of order is sustained fully and completely, totally sustained; you are right on the dot to bring to the plenary your grievances.

“Secondly, I once served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee for eight years. My only problem is when you write agencies, and they refuse to honour the invite, you’d many times be forced to bring them through a warrant of arrest.

“Reading this list at plenary gives the agencies the opportunity to know now if they were not aware before for those that may claim ignorance.”

The Senate then gave the agencies a one-week deadline to communicate with the committee and set a date to appear before them or have their capital budgets withheld.

“I am taking the opportunity here to advise that in the next one week, if the name of any agency is here, that agency should reach the Committee on Public Accounts of the Senate to sort out when the agency would appear before the committee.

“If there is no communication whatsoever and no cogent and verifiable reason are given, we will slash the agencies’ budget.”

Continue Reading

General

EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos]

Published

on

auctions 435 cars

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

About 435 cars will be auctioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos between Wednesday, December 7 and Thursday, December 8, 2022.

A statement issued by the commission said this is in line with the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004, Public Procurement Act 2007, and the Proceeds of Crimes (Recovery and Management) Act 2022.

The vehicles are among those forfeited by corrupt persons, and the courts have given the agency the authority to seize them.

The cars, which pictures were conspicuously displayed with allocated lot numbers for public inspection, were allocated to auctioneers based on assessed values and an open ballot system.

The display was to provide an opportunity for interested bidders to view and indicate interest in any car of their choice.

In the statement released today, the EFCC said Nigerians would be able to acquire the cars through auction at 40 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 14 Cameroon Road, Ikoyi Lagos and CVU Obalende, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The nine auctioneers who were allocated to the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC to dispose of the 435 cars at the designated Centre on 14 Cameron Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, are Rihanna Auction Limited; Kamyus Consult Limited; Areogun Resources  Limited; BIS N JEG; Integrated Services Nigeria Ltd; Mau & Sons Ltd; Langar Aghaji & Co; Fagobe Company Ltd and Musa Kira and Co.

At the inspection of the items for sale on Tuesday in Lagos, the Secretary to the Commission and Chairman of EFCC Asset Disposal Committee (ADC), Mr George Ekpungu, said, “the exercise, which is the first of the planned auction of forfeited properties across EFCC Zonal Commands and EFCC headquarters, is being carried out in accordance with the (Establishment) Act, 2004, Public Procurement Act, 2007 and Proceeds of Crimes (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022.

“It is being conducted in conjunction with the Bureau of Public Procurement to ensure compliance with all extant laws.”

While welcoming the auctioneers to the centre, he expressed his gratitude to sister agencies, including the Nigerian Army, who were invited to provide adequate security and ensure orderliness.

Mr Ekpungu also appealed to the members of the public present at the auction to listen carefully to the auctioneers and comply with all stipulated guidelines.

EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos] EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos] EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos] EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos] EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos] EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos] EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos] EFCC Auctions 435 Cars in Lagos [Photos]

Continue Reading

General

ICPC Confirms Arrest of D’Banj Over N-Power Funds Fraud

Published

on

D'Banj N-Power funds fraud

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has confirmed the arrest and detention of Mr Oladipo Daniel Oyebanjo, otherwise known by his stage name D’Banj, over an alleged diversion of funds for the N-Power programme.

On Wednesday, it was reported by Premium Times that the entertainer was in the custody of the agency over his link with the inclusion of ghost beneficiaries in the scheme designed by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to reduce the unemployment rate in Nigeria.

In a statement issued today, ICPC said it began to investigate the musician after receiving “numerous petitions” from concerned persons, alleging D’Banj and some compromised government officials of embezzling “N-Power funds running into billions of naira following the approval and release of such funds to the beneficiaries by the federal government.”

“Many N-Power beneficiaries had complained over the non-receipt of the monthly funds in spite of payment by the government,” another part of the statement released this afternoon said.

According to the commission, it swung into action in line with its mandate of looking into matters of corruption in government initiatives.

“About 10 persons have been invited by the ICPC over the last few months in connection with the N-Power fraud and have been granted administrative bail after their detention.

“Several invitations to Mr Oladipo Daniel Oyebanjo to appear before a team of investigators (over the alleged N-Power funds fraud) were ignored and not honoured,” it further said.

Recall that the N-Power scheme was established by Mr Buhari on June 8, 2016, to address the issues of youth unemployment and empowerment and help increase social development.

Continue Reading
%d bloggers like this: