Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday rendered an account of stewardship of his administration in the last two years, saying that his administration has delivered on the THEMES developmental agenda as promised the electorate.
He said the totality of his administration’s efforts was geared towards ensuring a safe and secure society, where youth employment is guaranteed.
Speaking at the “2021 State of the State Address” held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, which was attended by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, members of his cabinet, traditional rulers, political gladiators, captains of industries and media executives, Sanwo-Olu said the Greater Lagos collectively envisioned by Lagosians is closer now than ever before.
“We are exceedingly happy with the progress we have made in the last two years. Our accomplishments have placed us at a vantage position from where we can now catch a glimpse of the Greater Lagos we envisioned together.
“As a government, we have consistently matched our word with action and worked tirelessly to transform into reality our shared aspiration of making Lagos one of the most functional and habitable cities in the world. We can do it; we will do it. We have laid a very solid foundation for the transformation of our State through strategic interventions and meaningful executions beyond this period,” he said.
The Governor said his administration is working tirelessly to deliver the Fourth Mainland Bridge, Imota Rice mill, Integrated Mass Transit System, which includes the blue and red line rail projects, water transportation, Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) as well as other infrastructure to Lagosians within next two years.
He said completing the projects within the next 24 months will bring absolute transformation to the livelihoods and the economy of our dear State, noting that his administration spent the last 729 days laying the foundation for all these to happen seamlessly.
Speaking on his Government’s plan for Lagos State, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagosians should expect to see the first passenger movement on the rail transportation before the end of his administration, adding that the incumbent government will build and complete intermodal bus terminals at Ajah, Abule Egba, Iju, Ojota and Anthony Village before the end of his tenure.
He said: “As a government, we have undertaken several innovative means of ensuring that citizens’ travel experiences are palatable. We, therefore, believe that the construction of the 37km 4th Mainland Bridge will significantly change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos State.
“The ground-breaking for the construction and building of the Bridge will happen before the end of this year. Our PPP concessionaires appear committed as they enter the final stage of the qualification process.
“From this day on, we are certainly heading in the direction that our city will become so connected by an Integrated Mass Transit System that a trip to the farthest part of the state will be reduced by half of the current travel time. We are focused on activating an intermodal transport system that gives Lagosians the options of commuting by Water, Road and Rail.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also assured Lagosians that the Imota Rice mill is scheduled for completion this year. “Upon completion, the production capacity of the Mill will be among the largest in the world and largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, producing 2.5million bags of 50kg rice annually. At full capacity, the Rice Mills will provide a steady supply of 2.4million bags of 50kg rice to Lagosians and create more than 250,000 jobs,” he said
The Governor also noted that: “The totality of our efforts is geared towards ensuring a safe and secure society, where youth employment is guaranteed. With more than two-thirds of Lagos State’s population falling below age 30, it is indisputable that the future of our State is the empowerment of our youth and the security of their future. Our administration is committed to working with the youth and providing a safe environment for all to thrive.
“On Security, we are currently working with the various state security operatives to determine additional operational and infrastructure needs that the state can support. In this regard, I shall, in the coming week, be handing over operational vehicles, communication gadgets, ballistic vests and helmets, anti-riot water cannon vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to our various security operatives to further enhance and improve their operations which will ultimately have a positive impact on the security status in the state.
“We will also be recruiting additional men in the coming weeks, into our Neighbourhood Security Watch to complement the efforts of our existing security personnel.”
Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.
The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.
Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.
The statement in full:
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.
The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.
With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;
Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;
- applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
- a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
- upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
- that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
- that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
- applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
- a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.
Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″
INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).
He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.
He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities
He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.
“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.
“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.
“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.
He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.
“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”
Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.
According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.
“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission
“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.
Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.
“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.
“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria
“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.
He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.
Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.
“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.
“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.
“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said
Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.
Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.
Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.
The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.
The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.
The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.
He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”
“You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.
Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.
Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.
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