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“ENDING 2020 WITH AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUTDE” – Sijibomi Ogundele’s Message To Nigerians

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Dear Nigerians,

Corona was a blessing and also a curse. A blessing because it reminded us of the importance of life and how the slightest negligence can result in a worse accident.

It is also a reminder, of how the greatest asset of ANY government is their Human Resources and not their Physical Resources! From Dubai to Denmark, Cairo to Cape Town, and Los Angeles to Lagos, Covid 19 has disrupted our LONG-anticipated 2020, which was POPULARLY referred to as the golden year. Having said that, to move into a new era of 2021, our first attitude must be that of gratitude.

 

COVID 19 like a joke, came FASTER than a tsunami, crippled economies; stole the lives of many loved ones – without regards for political status, nationality or qualification. Some, who felt like gods, were REDUCED 6-feet down, but I repeat again, our first attitude must be that of gratitude.

As we keep extending our condolences to families of those that have lost their loved ones, WE USE THIS opportunity to remind us that COVID is real and the fear of Corona is the beginning of wisdom.

THIS YEAR, we’ve had to fight lotS of battles…from the Black Lives Matters, where discrimination and racism held the breath of our brothers in America, to the death of the Iconic sports entrepreneur – Kobe Bryant.

THE WHOLE WORLD, was held in SHOCK, when we woke up to the death of our Wakanda brother – Chadwick Boseman; we can’t still get over the death of radio personality – Dan Foster;

The explosion that erupted in the small city of Beirut, which was SO LOUD that the whole world felt the cry of our Lebanese brothers. History will never forget the controversies surrounding the American election, where one man almost DISRUPTED the democratic foundation that has held a nation for over 200 years.

 

It goes on and on! Our fine pilot leader Jerry John Rawlins, one of the champions of African nation! No other man has captivated the world in mental and physical dribblings like Diego Armando ‘Maradona’!. We at Sujimoto extend our deepest condolences to thw family and the people of Argentina! Ladies and gentlemen, we shall not move into a new era, without first making our attitude be that of gratitude!

While still recovering from this HORRENDOUS pandemic, the EndSARS protest happened! The EndSars agitation was not only about the brutality of the Special Armed Robbery Squad, but a way to put an end to the historical and institutional looting of our educational palliative, infrastructural, economical and medical palliatives.

The EndSARS protest was to put an end to the injustice and institutional looting of the common wealth of our nation! And my first attitude is that of gratitude to my brothers and sisters, for lending our voice, knowing that one tweet can travel and start a conversation, that can change the narrative of our generation.

From the corners of Kastina to the borders of Borno, INSECURITY has become the bedrock of our nation. Inflation has skyrocketed, causing food insecurities, making life difficult for the COMMON MAN. EVEN Onions has become the local man’s diamond!

Economic chaos, job losses and Inflation, has made people commit suicide and many carring their bags seeking for opportunities in Canada.

In spite of COVID 19, the tension of #EndSars and the face of recession, we were FACED with two options; we had a CHOICE to give up or find opportunities where others saw calamity.

At Sujimoto, we made the choice to CONVERT our fears into fortunes, WE created NEW iconic projects, that will not only compete with the best locally but stand among giants globally!

The Leonardo – the most sophisticated residential building in Banana Island, WHERE every inch from foundation to finishing will elaborate the true essence of luxury. We took Abuja by storm and created Queen Amina -a luxury twin tower in the HEART of Maitama, designed to disrupt any form of mediocrity in the real estate industry.

We didn’t stop there! We are creating the Sujimoto Diamond City, where we would have about 1200 apartments, 98,000sqm of office spaces, 2 five star hotels, 20,000 seater conference hall, 10,000 car parks, hospitals, sport centre, independent power centre and many more…CREATING a mini Dubai in the centre of Lagos!.

What we couldn’t achieve in 5 years, we’ve achieved in 5 months! THIS WAS only made possible because we made a CAUTIOUS decision to turn our problems into opportunities and our fears into fortunes. YOU TOO can do the same but first, we MUST NOT enter into a new era, without attitude be that of gratitude.

From Kaduna to Calabar, Awka to Ikeja and Ikorodu to Ikoyi, I USE this opportunity to call on ALL NIGERIANS, to unite against the DISEASE of tribalism and enter the new era of 2021 with the attitude of gratitude.

Opportunity has no tribe or religion, but SHE ONLY understands entrepreneurship! I have travelled all over the world and trust me, Nigeria is the BIGGEST ground for uncommon Opportunities!

The Nigeria of the Adenugas, Dangotes and the Coscharis, IS THE SAME Nigeria where a Lebanese man can come as a Trader and become an industrialist; an Indian comes as a Storekeeper and end up a Manufacturer!

This can only happen because while many realist and pessimist are discussing, these guys are taking optimistic advantages that is changing the narratives of their destiny. We too can do the same by making a CONSCIOUS decision to turn our Lemon into Lemonade and produce diamonds from our coal.

To Nigerians home and abroad, and everyone who has made 2020 beautiful for us, we say may the odds be in our favour as we enter a new era!

Once again, let’s not forget the essence of making our attitude that of gratitude. BE a source of HOPE to the hopeless, because 2020 has shown us all that when your neighbour is hungry, your chicken is not safe!

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Pyrates warns against extra-judicial killing, insecurity, harassment in S’East, S’South

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The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), has warned security agencies against extra-judicial killing and harassment of innocent Nigerians in the course of fishing out those responsible for the killings of security personnel and attacks on security formations and those fuelling insecurity in the South- East and South-South.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday during deliberations of the Security Council meeting approved undisclosed new security measures for the two regions aftermath of multiple attacks on security formations.

The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje, in a statement titled ‘The Growing Tempest in East & South’   said it is important “that the security services do not engage in presumption group-blame, collective punishment, and extra-judicial killings in the course of investigating these crimes”.

Owoaje pointed out that such “unbridled illegalities and high-handedness will only go to further alienate local communities, and deepen the antipathy that already characterizes the relationship between them and law enforcement agencies.”

The association while strongly condemning the attacks and killing of security personnel condoled with families that lost loved ones and urged the government to do all within the confines of the law to get the perpetrators and make them face the fall wrath of the law.

According to him, NAS is disturbed that the insecurity in the two regions has further exacerbated the deteriorating security situation in the country.

Owoaje called on the government to move swiftly, and with unaccustomed competence and diligence, to arrest the current climate of insecurity across the two regions.

The statement read in part “This gradual slide into anarchy in the South-East and South-South regions has the potential to expand the number of ungoverned spaces in Nigeria, further, stretch our security apparatus, and engender devastating social and economic consequences for the country as a whole.

“We urge the security agencies in the two regions to resist the temptation of seeing themselves as a force of occupation out to subjugate the people and unleash terror among the teeming law-abiding citizens. They should approach their task with a sincerity of purpose, and rein in the criminal elements intent on foisting terror and bloodletting. Evidence abounds of previous overzealous interventions by security agencies that have aggravated insecurity in the two regions rather than contain the same. Unprofessional conduct and prejudice from those entrusted with such operations must not be tolerated.

“The government and security agencies have a constitutional duty to protect the lives and property of the peace-loving residents of the two regions from harm. No innocent Nigerian should be harassed, intimidated, or made to suffer under any guise of combing for suspected criminal elements in the South-East and South-South regions.”

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LASG Okays Science-Based Quiz Competition For Secondary Schools, Targets Inventors

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As part of efforts to develop manpower that can address future challenges in Nigeria, the Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSBL) has established a science-based educational quiz competition that would aid young inventors towards achieving their goals of producing technologies that could proffer solution to human needs across the country.

The science-based quiz competition, LSBL said, is Eko S.T.E.M Quiz, would prepare the students for science and technology and bridge the invention gap between Nigeria particularly in Lagos and other major cities globally.

According to the lotteries board, the EKO STEM competition was designed for the public and low-cost private secondary school students in Senior Secondary School (SSS) 2 to boost their passion for science and technology.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the lotteries board, Bashir Are, while addressing pressmen yesterday in Ikeja, added that the aim was to further sustain the ongoing development in the education sector embarked upon by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to take education to next level in Lagos.

Are noted that the intervention was part of the board’s functions, saying, we are allowed by section 33 of Lagos State Lotteries Board (amended) law of 2008 to give some interventions in Education, infrastructure, environment, social, and health in the state.

He added that the intervention in education development would ensure that the state has a skilled workforce that could address its challenges in science and technology which had continued to alter previous workforce arrangements globally.

Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Lotteries, Olufunmilola Olotu, stressed that to prepare the students for the future, “it is important to proactively promote the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum”.

Olotu stated that quiz competition is a form of education, just as she described education as a process of acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

Olotu explained that this competition would provide the ground for the state government to achieve its goal in technology, preparing the mind of the students for the future, adding, the contents could be re-used for teaching.

The senior special assistant explained that the competition was essential for the children and that it would not only educate but also entertain the students in the country particularly Lagos.

She argued that the EKO STEM quiz competition would afford the students an opportunity to choose their career path and understand importance of teamwork.

Olotu, who emphasized that the year-long competition would be broadcast on Television for viewers that would watch from home, hinted that the ultimate prize for winners is a Scholarship award to study anywhere globally and a visit to the Silicon Valley.

“lt is our belief that in any educational system, academic competition is of utmost importance because it contributes to a child’s development and learning process. A healthy competition among academic institutions nurtures various values and opportunities, including but not limited to prestige, media exposure, monetary donations, and research grants,” she added.

Explaining modalities for the competition that is set to provide a platform for over 1,500 students to achieve their dream, the governor’s aide explained that preliminary examination would hold May 15th for both public and private schools across the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Area (LCDA).

According to her, all results will be collated and input into the online system, and with the system cut-off mark, those that had better scores will proceed to the Computer-Based examination stage and other stages.

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SANWO-OLU DELIVERS 14 HOUSING SCHEMES IN TWO YEARS

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… 21 Schemes In The Works, Says Commissioner

By the end of 2023, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would have delivered 35 housing schemes to close the huge deficit in the sector, Commissioner for Housing Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai has said on Tuesday.

Of the schemes, 14 have been delivered within the first two years of the Sanwo-Olu administration, adding over 7,000 affordable housing units to the market.

Akinderu-Fatai spoke on the achievements of the Ministry of Housing during the ongoing inter-ministerial briefing to commemorate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s second year in office.

He said the Government was committed to reducing the housing deficit and providing affordable homes for the greater number of residents, stressing that the Sanwo-Olu administration would be delivering 21 housing schemes before the end of 2023.

The Commissioner was optimistic that the administration would realise its mass housing programmes, despite the prevailing economic situation in the country, adding that policies initiated had enhanced access for low- and high-income families.

He said: “The last two years have been eventful in the Ministry of Housing, as we have strengthened our efforts to realise the housing programmes of the current administration. We have completed and delivered various schemes across Lagos, including Lateef Jakande Gardens in Igando, Lagos State Affordable Public Housing Scheme in Idale Badagry, LagosHOMS Lekki Phase 2 and Babatunde Raji Fashola Estate, Courtland Villas, Igbokushu, among others.

“We have four housing schemes recently completed and are due for commissioning in the coming days. They are located in Odo Onosa Ayandelu, Agbowa, Magodo/Omole, Gbagada and Ibeshe. In all, a total of 14 schemes have been completed and these added over 7,000 affordable housing units to the market. We have other ongoing housing projects, totalling 21 schemes, which are being developed through budgetary allocation and joint ventures.”

Speaking on affordability and accessibility of the schemes, Akinderu-Fatai said the homes are for both low and high net worth individuals in highbrow and low-income settlements, including Igando, Igbokusu, Lekki, Badagry, Igbogbo, Odo-Onosa/Ayandelu, Agbowa, Sangotedo, Epe, Ilubirin, Epe and Egan-Igando.

On the strategies to tackle the housing deficit, Akinderu-Fatai hinted that the State Government was partnering multinational development partners for the construction of mass housing estates. He said henceforth, housing provision would be in the realm of thousands of homes to drastically reduce the burden.

The Commissioner praised Sanwo-Olu for his commitment and passion at ensuring that greater number of residents achieve their dream of becoming homeowners, adding that the State Government needed the support of all stakeholders towards providing decent and stable shelter for residents.

He said: “The task of bridging the housing gap in Lagos is demanding and we are extending our willingness to private sector participants to come in and invest in the housing sector to reduce the hardship faced by the people in their quest for decent shelter.”

Akinderu-Fatai said that the Lagos Mortgage Board had strengthened the “Rent-to-Own” policy, putting many residents on the homeownership ladder. He pointed out that the scheme targeted first-time homeowners, saying: “It has given a good opportunity to both to the low and middle-income citizens to become home owners.”

In the housing development projects, the Commissioner said the State Government had boosted the local economy by hundreds of local workers, artisans, suppliers and contractors for the scheme.

“There are intense construction activities on many housing schemes all over the State revitalising the housing delivery value chain. The fact that the construction sites are active means economic engagement for hundreds of workers, artisans, suppliers and contractors. This brings vibrancy that increases the economic resilience of our people,” Akinderu-Fatai said.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Awoyinka-Benson, said the Government made efforts to make Lagos an investor-friendly State, given its housing development laws, and establishment of the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA).

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