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The Governor of Lagos State Promise to Fulfil all Commitment Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

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Sanwo Olu

Sanwo-Olu expresses commitment to fulfilling promises to Lagosians, says COVID-19 won’t be an excuse

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday assured Lagosians that his administration is committed to fulfilling all his promises despite disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that were not envisaged.

The Governor said fulfilling the promises in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’ would be delivered by the incumbent administration, despite reduction in the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to the residents of the State.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the first Lagos State two-day Ministerial Performance Review retreat being held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government is determined to step up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies.

He said: “I want to assure you that despite disruption occasioned by COVID-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we are still committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.

“We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu also implored members of the state executive council and other public office holders to be committed to the incumbent administration’s effort to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Lagosians, especially the electorates who elected him to govern the affairs of the state.

He said: “Let me emphasise that our yardstick for performance assessment will not be based majorly on the amount of money expended or Budget but the outcome of our various interventions that we have had; what measures the impact that touched the lives of citizens that we swore to serve.

“One of the promises we made at the inception of our administration and in line with the principle of continuity was to ensure the completion of projects that were inherited from the last administration. A significant part of our efforts and resources was devoted towards fulfilling this promise and taking government to another level.”

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in his address enumerated all the government achievements in the last one year and four months in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration promised the people of Lagos State.

The THEMES development agenda are; Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economic, Entertainment and Tourism, and Security and Governance.

Hamzat said: “We should understand that our focus should be Lagosians, Lagosians and Lagosians because ultimately, they will define what we do and they will grade us. So, we are like in an examination now and examiners don’t have deep knowledge into the operations of how we actually do things but they only measure it by perception and of course by what they see.

“And as such, our job is to make sure that we set that perception right and then we give quality things in dimension; that at the end of the day our integrity will be intact and then they can say the party has done very well and this government has done very well,” he advised the participants at the retreat.

Also speaking, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, said the COVID -19 pandemic has adversely affected governments and institutions globally bringing in its wake, a new normal, adding that Lagos State, which is not left out, was the epicentre of cases in Nigeria for a long.

She therefore commended the State Incident Commander, Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as well as the entire health sector family in Lagos State for the outstanding management of the pandemic, which was acknowledged statewide, nationally and internationally.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the health sector, but also the economic sector and how we work. Therefore, our trajectory for implementation of the THEMES agenda to achieve ‘A Greater Lagos’ is going to change as we operate within the new-normal to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State.

“I believe in the capability of the Executive Council members, to prolifically deliver as political heads in our various MDAs and of course with the support of all others present for this retreat. I also believe that when objective feedback is given and taken in good faith, it can only lead to improved performance,” she advised.

In his address, the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola stressed the importance of a harmonious and effective working relationship between Permanent Secretaries who are Accounting Officers of Ministries and the Political Heads who are members of the State Executive Council.

He said: “While the Permanent Secretary has overall responsibility for the day to day administration of the Ministry as Accounting Officer and in addition to advising the Commissioner on public service processes and procedures, it is critically important that the responsibility of the political Head for the implementation of Government policies is duly recognised and the right balance and conducive atmosphere for a cordial and productive working relationship is established.”

The Head of Service also disclosed that “the core objective of this two-day retreat is to conduct a forensic review of the present administration’s scorecard along the five Pillars of our strategic development plans in the last one year. We are here to provide a honest and unemotional review of how have we fared sector by sector. Have we achieved our set targets in different sectors? If yes, what are the enabling factors that have been instrumental in the successes recorded? If we have failed to achieve set targets, what have been the factors that militated against attainment of set targets?”

He said the main thrust of the present administration is to make the Lagos economy a 21st-century economy, adding that “In this regard, the State Government has invested heavily in infrastructure renewal and roads rehabilitation across the five divisions of Lagos, not forgetting invitation for expression of interest in the 4th Mainland Bridge.”

 

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Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

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President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

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Kenya Prepares for More Protests Over Unresolved Political Crisis

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Kenya is on the brink of another wave of anti-government protests as efforts to resolve the nation’s escalating political crisis appear to have stalled.

President William Ruto’s proposal for a national dialogue has yet to take off, leaving the nation in a state of heightened tension.

Activists have called for demonstrations across the East African nation on Tuesday, protesting the government’s failure to hold security forces accountable for the deaths of at least 41 people.

These casualties occurred during protests against Ruto’s contentious plan to raise taxes over the past month.

Despite the president’s announcement last week that national dialogue would commence on Monday to defuse the situation, progress has been elusive.

The main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), expressed uncertainty regarding the proposed talks.

“We haven’t received any invitation,” ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna stated. “When called, we’ll go because we are keen on getting broad-based reforms.”

A spokesperson for the presidency indicated that parliamentary leaders were managing the planned talks, but National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah did not respond to requests for comment.

Protests initially erupted in mid-June over Ruto’s plans to increase taxes on essential goods, including bread and diapers, aiming to raise over $2 billion to reduce the government’s budget shortfall.

The public outcry forced Ruto to abandon the proposal, but dissatisfaction remains high.

Last week, in a dramatic move to quell public anger, Ruto fired almost all his cabinet members, underscoring the severity of the discontent.

The scrapping of the tax measures is expected to widen the government’s budget deficit to 3.6% of GDP in the current fiscal year, up from a previous projection of 3.3%.

This financial strain has not gone unnoticed; Moody’s Ratings downgraded Kenya’s rating by a step to Caa1, plunging it deeper into junk status, highlighting the country’s deteriorating fiscal condition.

On Saturday, Ruto vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the recent killings. However, his efforts to address public concerns seem insufficient to stem the tide of unrest.

On Monday, he called on the Ford Foundation, an organization promoting civic engagement, to clarify its role in the protests, though the foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

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Rishi Sunak Announces Resignation Amid Labour’s Sweeping Victory

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Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced his resignation as the leader of the Conservative Party following a historic victory by Labour in the general election.

Addressing the nation from the steps of 10 Downing Street, Sunak expressed his deep regret and took full responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” Sunak began, visibly moved.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters. I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

The Conservatives experienced a staggering loss, with more seats taken by Labour than in any previous election.

This shift marked a dramatic change in the political landscape, as large swathes of the country turned red. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, claimed victory early Friday morning, addressing a jubilant crowd of supporters.

“The UK has the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back,” Starmer proclaimed.

Sunak, who retained his seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, described the night as “sobering.”

In his concession, he stated, “The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight; there is much to learn, and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Following his resignation speech, Sunak and his wife, Akshata, departed from Downing Street for Buckingham Palace to formally tender his resignation to King Charles III.

A spokesperson for the King confirmed, “His Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Sunak said, “I am honoured to have been your prime minister. This is the best country in the world.”

He also acknowledged the many Conservative MPs who lost their seats, stating, “It pains me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and our country will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service.”

As the Conservative Party faces a period of introspection and rebuilding, Sunak emphasized the importance of the party’s role in opposition.

“It is important that the Conservative Party now rebuilds and also takes up its crucial role in opposition, professionally and effectively,” he noted.

The leadership race within the Conservative Party is expected to commence shortly, as the party seeks to navigate its path forward after this significant electoral defeat.

For now, the UK braces for a new political era under Labour’s leadership, with the promise of significant changes on the horizon.

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