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Ambode Inaugurates 114 Roads in Local Govt Areas

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Akinwunmi Ambode

Lagos State has injected N19.4 billion into the construction of 114 inner roads, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said yesterday.

The roads are spread across the 20 local governments and the 37 local council development areas (LCDAs).

Ambode, who spoke at the inauguration of the roads held simultaneously in 10 local governments, said residents must guard the infrastructure provided by his administration jealously.

The governor was represented by his commissioners, monarchs and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders at the inauguration of the projects.

He assured the people that more projects would follow those already completed.

At the inauguration of Etal Memunat and Omolanke roads in Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area yesterday, Ambode was represented by the Head of Service, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Central Business District, Mr. Agbola Dabiri.

He said the projects provided direct employment for over 5,000 construction professionals and artisans and indirectly to over 10,000 others.

The governor said the road projects were completed to fulfil his electoral promise to the people.

He added that the administration remain committed to the concept of inclusive governance, where government policies, projects and programmes would be driven by the needs of the community.”

He said the roads span across 56.1 kilometres with 112 kilometres walkways and drainages and 56 kilometres of independently powered street lights that would help enhance the security and elevate the state mega city status.

“We started this journey by asking our Community Development Associations (CDAs) to identify the roads in need of improvement in their areas. We received hundreds of requests and picked two per each local government to make 114 roads across the state.”

The governor explained that to ensure transparency and accountability, the government established a bidding process in line with international best practices that produced 89 indigenous contractors that handled the construction.

He hailed the contractors for living up to expectations and delivering the project on time.

“I want to thank our local contractors for delivering on this project and demonstrating the capacity of the construction industry in Lagos. I thanked the community leaders and officers, who monitored the project and the CDA members that persuaded their members to shift fences to allow roads to be expanded and resolve issues that might have stalled the projects.”

The Sole Administrators of the LDA, Mr. Shamsideen Oloyede, said the construction of the roads would ease the challenges of gridlock and help improve the security in the area.

Oloyode appealed to residents to take advantage of the opportunity by maintaining the infrastructure so as to attract other projects.

“We should let our maintenance culture be rife to preserve the highly capital intensive projects being commissioned statewide,” he said.

A member of the residents association, Mr. Ibukunoluwa, thanked the governor for ending what he described as eight years of pain.

He said the deplorable state of the road has been a big challenge to residents, adding that what they could not achieve within the last eight years had been fixed by the governor in just six months.

He assured the governor that the infrastructure would be protected, pledging support for the administration.

Twenty roads from 10 local governments were inaugurated yesterday.

They include Temidire and Molade Streets in Ajeromi, Erejuwa and Omitogun/Igbosere Street, Yaba; Matthew and Famuyiwa Street, Agege; Ademola Abiola and Bioyin Street, Ojokoro; Adeniji Oluwakemi and Bolaji Benson, Ikorodu central among others.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Netanyahu Stands Firm as US Halts Bomb Shipment Over Rafah Invasion Warning

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Netanyahu

Amidst escalating tensions between Israel and the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has adopted a defiant stance following the US decision to halt a shipment of bombs and warned against Israel’s potential invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

In a bold statement, Netanyahu declared, “If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone,” emphasizing Israel’s resolve to pursue its objectives despite opposition.

The Prime Minister’s comments, delivered via social media and a subsequent interview with American talk show host Dr. Phil, underscore Israel’s determination to address security threats posed by the Gaza Strip, particularly by Hamas militants operating in Rafah.

Netanyahu reiterated the necessity of military action in Rafah to eliminate the remaining Hamas battalions, condemned Hamas’s history of violence and reiterated Israel’s commitment to achieving victory and ensuring the safety of its citizens.

The US administration, led by President Joe Biden, expressed concerns over the potential humanitarian impact of an Israeli invasion of Rafah, prompting the decision to withhold additional offensive weapons shipments to Israel.

Biden’s statement echoed broader international apprehensions about the escalation of violence and civilian casualties in the conflict-stricken region.

However, Netanyahu remained resolute in Israel’s approach, asserting the country’s right to defend itself against security threats. He emphasized Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties and facilitate the evacuation of civilians from Rafah before any military action.

Despite the US’s decision to pause the bomb shipment, Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s commitment to its longstanding alliance with the US. He acknowledged past disagreements between the two nations but expressed optimism about resolving current tensions through dialogue and cooperation.

In response, White House officials reiterated the US’s support for Israel’s security while urging restraint and emphasizing the need to avoid actions that could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The administration clarified that the decision to halt the bomb shipment was aimed at preventing potential civilian casualties in Rafah.

The confrontation between Israel and the US underscores the complexity of navigating regional conflicts and balancing strategic interests. As tensions persist, both nations face the challenge of reconciling their respective security imperatives with broader humanitarian concerns, seeking to avert further escalation while addressing the root causes of the conflict in the Middle East.

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EFCC Declares Former Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, Wanted Over N80.2 Billion Money Laundering Allegations

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Yahaya Bello

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has escalated its pursuit of justice by declaring former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, wanted over alleged money laundering amounting to N80.2 billion.

In a first-of-its-kind action, the EFCC announced Bello’s wanted status in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds during his tenure as governor.

The commission, armed with a 19-count criminal charge, accused Bello and his cohorts of conspiring to launder the hefty sum, which was purportedly diverted from state coffers for personal gain.

The declaration of Bello as a wanted fugitive came after a series of failed attempts by the EFCC to effect his arrest.

Despite an ex-parte order from Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, mandating the EFCC to apprehend and produce Bello in court for arraignment, the former governor managed to evade capture with the reported assistance of his successor, Governor Usman Ododo.

This latest development shows the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in holding powerful individuals accountable for their actions.

However, it also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the EFCC to uphold the rule of law and ensure that justice is served, irrespective of the status or influence of the accused.

In response to the EFCC’s declaration, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, issued a stern warning to Bello, stating that fleeing from the law would not resolve the allegations against him.

Fagbemi urged Bello to honor the EFCC’s invitation and cooperate with the investigation process, saying it is important to uphold the rule of law and respect the authority of law enforcement agencies.

The EFCC’s pursuit of Bello underscores the agency’s mandate to combat corruption and financial crimes, sending a strong message that individuals implicated in corrupt practices will be held accountable for their actions.

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Concerns Mount Over Security as National Identity Card Issuance Shifts to Banks

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NIMC enrolment

Amidst the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) recent announcement that the issuance of the proposed new national identity card will be facilitated through applicants’ respective banks, concerns are escalating regarding the security implications of involving financial institutions in the distribution process.

The federal government, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), introduced a new identity card with payment functionality, aimed at streamlining access to social and financial services.

However, the decision to utilize banks as distribution channels has sparked apprehension among industry stakeholders.

Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, clarified that applicants would request the card by providing their National Identification Number (NIN) through various channels, including online portals, NIMC offices, or their respective banks.

Adegoke emphasized that the new National ID Card would serve as a single, multipurpose card, encompassing payment functionality, government services, and travel documentation.

Despite NIMC’s assurances, concerns have been raised regarding the necessity and security implications of introducing a new identity card system when an operational one already exists.

Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, questioned the rationale behind the new General Multipurpose Card (GMPC), citing NIMC’s existing mandate to issue such cards under Act No. 23 of 2007.

Ogunbanjo highlighted the successful implementation of MobileID by NIMC, which has provided identity verification for over 15 million individuals.

He expressed apprehension about integrating the new ID card with existing MobileID systems and raised concerns about data privacy and unauthorized duplication of ID cards.

Moreover, stakeholders are seeking clarification on the responsibilities for card blocking, replacement, and delivery in case of loss or theft, given the involvement of multiple parties, including banks, in the issuance process.

The shift towards utilizing banks for identity card issuance raises fundamental questions about data security, privacy, and the integrity of the identification process.

With financial institutions playing a pivotal role in distributing sensitive government documents, there are valid concerns about potential vulnerabilities and risks associated with this approach.

As the debate surrounding the security implications of the new national identity card continues to intensify, stakeholders are calling for greater transparency, accountability, and collaboration between government agencies and financial institutions to address these concerns effectively.

The paramount importance of safeguarding citizens’ personal information and ensuring the integrity of the identity verification process cannot be overstated, especially in an era of increasing digital interconnectedness and heightened cybersecurity threats.

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