- Gov: ‘Improved Safety Measures Coming On Rail Corridors’
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has visited the site of the Monday fatal accident involving a commuter train and two vehicles.
Two persons reportedly died in the accident, which occurred along the driveways into the Nigerian Army Shopping Arena in Oshodi.
Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was in company of the Governor during the on-the-spot assessment of the site.
The victims, a father and son, were said to be driving into the shopping arena when they were caught up by the speeding train. Their Highlander Jeep got stuck on the rail track.
All the six persons in the other vehicle – a passenger bus – escaped with different degrees of injuries after the train dragged the commercial bus 800 meters away from the point of collision.
Sanwo-Olu sympathised with the families of the victims, while noting that the accident was regrettable. The Governor said the incident happened on the day the State Government and the Federal Government reached an agreement to close down the shopping complex’s gates at the railway line because of safety concern.
He said: “This incident is regrettable because it happened on the day all stakeholders reached a consensus to close down the gates into the shopping arena. And this is part of the concerns we have been raising about commuters’ safety on this axis. We need to act fast. This fatal accident should strengthen our resolve to do the needful and prevent a repeat of the sad incident in the future.
“It is also a clarion call on our people to be safety conscious whenever they need to drive across rail track. If there is slow movement of vehicles at any railway bypass, then there is need to keep a safe distance from the rail tracks. We have been rolling out advocacy on this and we will intensify efforts on it. Safety of the people is paramount and we will do all required to ensure we put a stop to this kind of accident.”
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that State Government and the Federal Government were on the move to create alternative entry and exit driveways for the shopping arena and other vulnerable points along the railway corridor.
This effort, the Governor believed, will strengthen safety of commuters and motorists along rail corridors.
Prior to the visit by the Governor and the Minister, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) had evacuated the mangled vehicles from the rail track.
Those injured had been treated and discharged by medical personnel deployed to the site of the accident.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
SEPTEMBER 14, 2020
Pres. Buhari Prevented Nigeria From Becoming Failed State – FG
President Muhammadu Buhari’s assumption of office in 2015 prevented Nigeria from becoming a failed state, after a long stretch of rapacious and rudderless leadership, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister said President Buhari came into office at a time that a swathe of the country’s territory was under occupation, a period when many Nigerian towns and cities, including the capital city of Abuja, were a playground for insurgents and a moment that the nation’s wealth had been looted dry, with little or nothing to show for the nation’s huge earnings, especially in the area of infrastructure.
He said it is therefore a cruel irony that those who frittered away a great opportunity to put Nigeria on a sound socio-economic footing, at a time of financial buoyancy, and those who planted the seed of the insecurity in some parts of the country today, are the same ones pointing an accusing finger at a reformist government.
”Nigeria today faces a lot of challenges. But whatever situation the country has found itself in, things would have been much worse but for the deft management of resources, unprecedented fight against corruption, determined battle against insurgency and banditry as well as the abiding courage of Mr. President in piloting the ship of state,
”Nigeria today is not a failed state, but a nation that is courageously tackling its challenges and building a solid infrastructure that will serve as the basis for socio-economic development, a nation that is unrelenting in battling insecurity and working hard to ensure greatest prosperity for the greatest number of people,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said no government in the history of the country has done so much with so little, as the Buhari Administration is doing presently, adding that with 60% less national income, the Administration is making progress on all fronts and setting the country on the path of sustainable growth and development.
The Minister said while naysayers are hyping the instances of insecurity in the country, they have conveniently forgotten that the country could have been overrun by insurgents and bandits if President Buhari had not rallied regional and international allies to tackle, headlong, the Boko Haram insurgency that saw bombs going off like firecrackers before his assumption of office, and an estimated 20,000 square miles of the nation’s territory occupied by insurgents
”They tout the downturn in economic fortunes without putting things in context. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a global shutdown and a drastic fall in global oil demand, Nigeria lost 60% of its earnings, yet the Administration has ensured that not a single worker has been retrenched, has paid salaries as and when due and has continued to build infrastructures like roads, rails, bridges and power, among others, that will serve many generations.
”They aggravate the national fault lines with their angry and unguarded actions and rhetoric, forgetting that while national fissures are amplified at a time of dwindling economic fortunes, what is needed to foster peace and unity is not reckless elocution but responsible and responsive leadership, the kind being offered by President Buhari,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said Nigeria is on the road to greatness, despite the challenges confronting the nation, citing the hard push towards food sufficiency; the modernization of the rail system; the nationwide construction of roads and bridges; the reform in the oil and gas sector; the unprecedented anti-corruption battle, the diversification of the economy and the renewed effort to ensure a steady power supply, anchored on a three-phase project that is expected to deliver 25,000MW of electricity in the next few years.
The Minister thanked Nigerians for their perseverance and understanding, especially against the backdrop of the stifling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, and appealed to them to continue to support the Administration, as it seeks to lift 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years.
”In one of the most difficult moments in the nation’s history, Nigeria is fortunate to have at the helm a leader who is not only dedicated, selfless and patriotic, but one who is globally acknowledged for his discipline, integrity and vision. Those who genuinely love Nigeria will support, rather than subvert, this committed leadership,” he said.
Special Assistant To The President (Media)
Office of The Minister of Information and Culture
13 Sept. 2020
FG Hails Pearlena Igbokwe on Promotion To Chair of Universal Studio
The Federal Government has congratulated Nigerian-born Pearlena Igbokwe on her recent promotion to Chairman of the Universal Studio Group, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government is very delighted at the news of the promotion, which is the latest in a string of successes that have been recorded by Igbokwe.
”The fact that, in her new role, Igbokwe will lead the American company’s growing global television studio business, which includes Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP) and NBCUniversal International Studios, is a pointer to the huge responsibility that comes with the promotion and a testimony to her capability.
”Igbokwe is an inspiration to millions of youths around the world and, in particular, those in our country’s burgeoning Creative Industry. We wish her success in her new role,” he said.
Special Assistant To The President (Media)
Office of The Minister of Information and Culture
14 Sept. 2020
Niger Delta leaders, ICPC set for showdown over NDDC staff
The Niger Delta leaders and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) may be heading for showdown over the interrogation of senior management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Notable leaders in the region, under the aegis of the Niger Delta Leaders Forum (NDLF) on Friday described the action of ICPC as a distraction.
Addressing journalists in Port-Harcourt, the spokesperson of the NDLF, Chief John Harry, described the invitation of NDDC officials by ICPC as unnecessary and ill-motivated.
Chief Harry, who was flanked by Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Abia, Rivers, Imo, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Ondo representatives, condemned the interrogation of the Commission’s workers.
The leaders praised the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio for redefining leadership in the region, sanitizing NDDC, decentralizing the functions of NDDC, finding solutions to the problems confronting the region and bringing the Commission closer to the ideals for which it was established.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio is the most positive Minister in the Niger Delta region’’
Specifically, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of independence in the interventionist agency.
‘’The approach of ICPC is bound to result in conflict with the mandate of the Interim Management Committee and the Act setting up the Commission. It is in every sense witch hunting’’
The leaders accused ICPC of disrupting the progress of the region.
‘What ICPC has done now is sabotage of the forensic agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. The Interim Management Committee is a panacea for the region’s problem, IMC’s problem is understandable. Some politicians want to control the Commission. The idea of a minister who is not controlled by them is unthinkable’’
They urged President Buhari to ignore the antics of mischief makers and pecuniary seeking elements that are all out to bring down the minister and the IMC.
‘’There has been well oiled machinery by enemies of progress and failed politicians to bring down Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee. Those frustrated by the achievements recorded by the IMC are using ICPC against the Commission’’ the leaders said.
ELEGUSHI HOSTS NEW ONIRU, PLEDGES DEVELOPMENTAL COLLABORATION
The Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi has reiterated his commitment to the development of Eti-Osa area of Lagos, pledging to work with all stakeholders towards ensuring that the fasted growing real estate corridor in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be liveable and likeable.
Oba Elegushi who made this pledge when he received in his palace, the new Oniru of Iru kingdom, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, said the task of having peaceful and prosperous communities is the responsibility of all, and as kings and custodian of the culture and tradition, they will be leading from the front on this crusade.
The monarch said with the ascension and coronation of Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, there would be even development of both Iru and Elegushi kingdoms and this will be replicated across other territories making up the local government, as he is excited at the prospects of working with an experience public official and development expert as the new Oniru.
In his remarks, the Oniru of Iru, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal said he was at the Elegushi’s palace to thank Oba Elegushi and the people of Ikate Kingdom for the love and support shown to him during the process of his ascension and eventual coronation as the 15th Oniru, reminding that their support during the period helped in simplifying the process.
Oba Lawal said his visit to the palace of the Elegushi is also historic as his late father, former Ojora of Lagos, Chief Taoreed Akanni Lawal-Akapo had joined the last Elegushi of Ikate, Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi in a welcome dance during the former Elegushi’s coronation over two decades ago and fate has now made himself and Oba Saheed Elegushi kings over their respective kingdoms, having worked together for many years in the services of the Lagos State Government.
He stressed that for them to achieve their plans for a prosperous kingdom, they require the support of all sons and daughters of Eti-Osa, reminding the audience that little can be achieved in an atmosphere of lawlessness and disregard for authorities. He added that between the two kingdoms would be shared vision, mutual respect and understanding as well as support for each other.
Special Assistant, Public Affairs to Oba Elegushi
SPN WARNS OGUN POLICE TO STOP INTIMIDATING NIGERIAN STUDENTS
PROTEST IS AN INALIENABLE DEMOCRATIC AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) warns the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun and the Ogun State Force Public Relations Officers, Abimbola Oyeyemi to stop intimidating and harassing Nigerian students who wish to protest the wicked and anti-people increase in petrol price from N145 to N162 and also the over 100% hike in electricity tariff. The threat of the Nigerian Police is not only unlawful but also an attack on democratic rights. According to news reports, the South-West Zone of the National Association of Nigerian Students has planned a peaceful protest on Monday, September 14, 2020, to which Abimbola Oyeyemi has responded in a brutish manner with aim of intimidating Nigerian students by stating that the protest will be repressed vehemently for not securing a permit from the police. We want to remind the Police that police permit is not legally required for any peaceful protest.
The Nigeria police should stop behaving like armed uniformed thugs. We know that the Police take orders from the Buhari-led repressive regime like also obtained in the past governments but they do not have the constitutional mandate to intimidate, harass and brutalize peaceful protesters. We call on Nigerian students and Nigerians in general not to be intimidated by the Nigerian Police and should be prepared to resist all anti-people policies including deregulation and privatisation.
In the same vein, the Lagos State Police Command brutalized SPN members and other peaceful protesters on September 10, 2020, who were protesting against petrol price and electricity price hikes and in the process had 14 protesters and 4 journalists arrested and detained.
SPN condemns the repressive and oppressive character of the police and demands they obey Section 39, 40 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution. Section 39 (1) of 1999 Constitution states that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference” while Section 40 states that “every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests.” Section 41 states that “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom.”
It was on the strength of Section 39, 40and 41 of 1999 Constitution that Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court gave a judgement in 2004 in a matter between All Nigeria Peoples Party & Ors Vs Inspector General Police that declared the Public order Act as illegal and unconstitutional and that peaceful protesters do not need to secure police permit before embarking on the protest. The Court of Appeal in 2007 by its Lordships (Rabiu Danlami Mohammed JSC, Olufunlola Oyelola Adekeye JSC and Abdu Aboki JSC) upheld the judgement of the Federal High court and stated that “…the Police Order Act, relating to the issuance of police permit cannot be used as a camouflage to stifle citizens’ fundamental rights in the course of maintaining law and order…”
We as a Party call on the working people and youth to remain undaunted and committed to the struggle to resist all anti-poor capitalist policies. However, we demand that the police and other security agencies desist from attacking protests and lawful procession. We demand the reversal of petrol price to N87 per litre and electricity tariff to N13 kwh; We demand the repair and building of new oil refineries as well as reversal of the power privatization and place the major sectors of the economy (oil and gas, banks, maritime, aviation etc) under democratic management of workers and consumers aimed at planning production and services to meet the needs of all as against the profit of a few as we presently have it under the iniquitous capitalist system.
We reiterate our earlier call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to mobilize for a 48-hour warning general strike as part of sustained mass actions to resist the hike in electricity tariff, increase in petrol price and other anti-poor capitalist policies.
Abiodun Bamigboye Chinedu Bosah
Acting National Chairperson National Secretary
LAWMA’s Waste Management Academy takes off in Lagos
Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has established an academy to provide quality education, proper engagement and adequate sensitisation in helping people to make informed and strategic decisions about waste management in the State.
The LAWMA Academy, which is first of its kind by any waste management authority in Nigeria would provide knowledge hub for credible hands on tutelage and certification in solid waste management.
LAWMA Academy is an educational arm of LAWMA that engages innovative approach to support corporate and personal development and drive social responsibility among citizens. The Academy renders several programmes and services with the goal to improve waste literacy and promote good waste management practices to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The Academy, which was established to raise next generations of scholars and entrepreneurs in waste management, is charged with the responsibility of implementing first-class educational programme in waste management aimed at changing the social order, promote care and respect for the environment and open up business opportunities for people in the waste management sector.
It would also develop a platform for collaborative partnership in waste management geared towards knowledge acquisition and career and business development for individual, organisations and institutions whilst promoting adoption and implementation of sustainable waste management practices to general public.
It would also provide structured trainings and workshops on waste management for all stakeholders which include; public and private entities and individuals involved in generation, collection, transportation, utilisation, recycling and disposal of waste in Lagos State and beyond with trainings and courses that promote standard ethics, integrity and compliances to waste management and environmental regulations.
LAWMA is an agency of Lagos State Government statutorily charged with management of solid waste in the state and it remains the pace setter for waste management in Nigeria. LAWMA since its inception has adopted several programmes and strategies to manage waste in Lagos State, most of which did not suffice to bring about the desired change.
Lagos State based on its special status as the economic hub of Nigeria, rapid population growth, urbanization and industrialization, has a direct impact on the volume of waste being generated on daily basis in the State, and the social disposition of the populace towards waste management is highly unsatisfactory and most corporate organisations and businesses still lack the basic information and technical know how on proper waste handling.
To address issues of waste management in Lagos State, LAWMA has been up to the task in ensuring that all the nooks and crannies of Lagos are clean and safe to prevent communicable diseases and ensures no stone is left unturned in managing waste in the Centre of Excellence.
Having come to the realization that provision of quality education, proper engagement and adequate sensitisation on waste management practices are required to promote acceptability and conformity to laws and regulations in its sector, LAWMA was propelled to come up with the LAWMA Academy in a time like this.
LAWMA through the Academy will partner and work collaboratively with other sectors of the economy to promote the concept of a sustainable environment and achieve objectives of the Academy, which is to raise the next generation of Solid Waste Management scholars and entrepreneurs; connect the government, academia and institutions for a workable reform in the waste sector; create a hub for people to network, share ideas and espouse practices that will increase awareness and knowledge in waste management and train participants in skills and knowledge required to be competitive in the waste global economy. It will also groom responsible citizens that are capable of changing the social order in waste management and provide children with a variety of individualized and creative summer learning experience in waste management.
LAWMA Academy is in partnership with some academic institutions, research institutes, professional bodies in the environmental sector and identified stakeholders in other sectors including private, government and NGOs for a workable implementation the various programs and activities.
It will also promote the adoption of waste management into school curriculums from primary to tertiary level and work closely with higher institutions of learning to facilitate certification trainings in waste management and inclusion of waste management as one of the courses for Bachelor, Masters and P.hD degrees.
The Academy will also provide an experience forum for participants to gain practical skills and unique opportunities to learn, exchange existing practices, discuss challenges and develop a better informed decision-making process in waste management.
The Academy is offering key services, which are Internship programme, Organisational Training, Specialty Training in Waste Management, Summer School for students, Waste Summit and Waste Competition. All the services are geared toward promoting standard ethics, integrity and compliances to waste management and Environmentally regulations by individuals, corporations, professionals, and businesses in Lagos State.
The Internship Programme is an intensive training platform that will engage individuals on sustainable waste practices and also improve their employability skills. This programme will enroll applicants between age of 18 and 28 for internship experience with LAWMA through different learning processes and the interns will have the opportunity to be trained on execution of waste management tasks as well as data gathering and research.
The organisational trainings is certiﬁcation training for professionals, business owners, other waste management agencies and waste handlers in corporate environment and industries. The training will introduce corporate organisations and others to the fundamentals of public and corporate waste handling focusing on best practices to reduce, reuse, recycle and manage the resultant waste.
The Specialised Training will be designed for interested applicants in special area of interest in waste management and trainings on special area of interest like waste fleet management, waste business, waste to wealth and forensic waste analysis, among others will be offered based on individual interests.
The Summer School is for students in primary and secondary schools. At the summer school, students would be exposed to the concept of waste management through some students Educational programmes in waste management at LAWMA’s facilities for about two to four weeks.
For the LAWMA Waste Challenge Competition, the Academy would organise periodic quiz and essay competitions on waste management and schools and individuals would apply to participate online, and prizes and awards will be presented to winners.
The Annual Waste Management Summit would focus on addressing contemporary waste management and environmental issues. During the summit, professionals, academia, policy makers and other stakeholders are would apply to participate.
Certificate on completion of waste management training with LAWMA will be issued to trainees at the end of the programme and it will be displayed in offices and corporations. It is expected that after completion of services offered by the LAWMA Academy, the trainees would be well informed and trained to adopt good waste management practices, develop a Solid Waste Management plan for their facilities and support government’s eﬀorts to increase awareness on a cleaner environment, instill behavioral change and prevent indiscriminate waste disposal. The participants would also be exposed to business opportunities embedded in the waste management sector, enhance understanding of standards tools for waste minimization via reduce, reuse and recycle concept.
The Project Partners and sponsors of the LAWMA Academy would comprise private business owners, corporate entities, government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs). It would also include academia, institutions, waste management and recycling companies, environmental friendly organisations, NGOs and other executives who share common value and passion for empowering the younger generations and promoting a cleaner and better environment.
SERAP sues Lawan, Gbajabiamila over ‘failure to publish details of corruption probes’
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila over “their failure to publish reports of all completed public hearings and corruption probes by the National Assembly since 1999, and failure to disclose the number of probes that have resulted in any indictment of suspects, and to name such suspects.”
The suit followed recent public hearings by the National Assembly on corruption allegations in ministries, departments and agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). Reports of several public hearings and corruption probes have remained secret, and the allegations unresolved.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1065/2020 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Dr Lawal and Mr Gbajabiamila to send all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes to appropriate anti-corruption agencies to consider if there is sufficient admissible evidence to pursue prosecution.”
SERAP is also seeking: “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel Dr Lawal and Mr Gbajabiamila to widely publish all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and to disclose the number and names of any indicted suspects since 1999.”
SERAP is asking the court for “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Dr Lawal and Mr Gbajabiamila to sponsor a resolution to stop lawmakers from directly getting involved in the execution of projects by MDAs, and to ensure the proper and effective exercise of their oversight functions over corruption allegations including in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).”
The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 25 July, 2020, stating that: “The most effective way to deter corruption is to make the cost of engaging in these types of acts higher than the rewards. This end can only be accomplished by making public the reports and pursuing public accountability for corrupt acts.”
In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “The court ought to compel Dr Lawal and Mr Gbajabiamila to publish the reports of hearings and probes and to send the reports to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution. Granting the reliefs sought would bolster public trust and confidence in the lawmakers’ oversight functions, and dispel the perception that many of the hearings and probes are politically motivated and serve personal interest, rather than the general public interests.”
SERAP is also arguing that: “Nigerians have the right to information, as guaranteed under Section 39(1) of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which the country has ratified and domesticated as part of its national laws.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “There is no legally justifiable reason why the information should not be made widely available to Nigerians, and why the prosecution of indicted suspects should not be pursued, where there is relevant admissible evidence.”
“Public officers are mere custodians of public records. There is legitimate public interest in the publication of the reports of these public hearings and probes. The public hearings and probes can only serve as effective mechanisms to prevent and combat corruption if their reports are widely published.”
“The exercise of oversight functions and powers by the National Assembly to conduct public hearings and corruption probes in MDAs should be regarded as a public trust. The National Assembly has a unique opportunity to enhance the integrity of its oversight functions on corruption matters in particular, and other constitutional roles, in general.”
“Both the Senate and House of Representatives have over the years conducted several public hearings and corruption probes to expose pervasive problem of corruption in MDAs. Publishing the reports and pursuing prosecution would give Nigerians greater confidence that their lawmakers can use their constitutional oversight functions to address corruption in Nigeria.”
“Lack of transparency and accountability about the systemic and widespread corruption allegations in MDAs and among high-ranking public officials has continued to create a culture of impunity, and to have negative impacts on socio-economic development, as well as access of Nigerians to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water and regular electricity supply.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
SERAP Deputy Director
Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Kolawole Oluwadare on: +2348160537202