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APAPA GRIDLOCK: LAGOS GOVT, NPA TALK TOUGH, TO IMPOUND TRUCKS PARKING ON HIGHWAYS

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•Sanwo-Olu Meets Hadiza Bala Usman Ahead of The Launch Of Digital Call-Up System In Ports

Lagos State Government and the leadership of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) have recorded a major progress in an effort to proffer lasting solution to the menace of trucks causing gridlocks in Apapa.

From next Saturday on, movement of trucks in and out of the Lagos seaports will now be organised through a transparent electronic call-up system that will be based on first-come-first-serve basis.

 

With the new system, no container-laden truck is expected to go on Apapa corridor without clearance from the call-up platform. Any truck that flouts the electronic roster and park along Apapa corridor will be impounded by the Taskforce already set up by the Lagos State Government.

The development was disclosed, on Tuesday, when Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu received the NPA Managing Director, Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman, in audience at the State House, Alausa.

 

Sanwo-Olu expressed optimism on the transparent electronic call-up system, saying the move was the beginning of the end of Apapa gridlock. He said the call-up platform would be complemented with virtual dashboards that will be placed in strategic locations around the seaports, where all stakeholders will monitor scheduling of container movement.

The Governor praised NPA for the innovative approach towards tackling the truck menace around ports, pledging that the State Government would sustain the effort with strict enforcement of traffic regulations along the Apapa corridor.

 

He said: “This is the beginning of a better journey time for our citizens within the Apapa seaports and environ. This electronic system has limited interface with security operatives and unions, which usually cause the gridlock problem. It will be a simple case of possessing electronic clearance. If you don’t have it, you don’t have any reason to be around the seaports.

 

“In enforcing the new regulations, we are deploying more than enough towing vehicles to impound erring trucks. The huge amount to be paid as fine for flouting the call-up system will be a deterrent for drivers not to repeat it. The stakeholders need to understand we are serious about ridding Apapa of the menace that has brought pains to our citizens living and doing businesses along the corridor.”

 

Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be deploying 500 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to work collaboratively with NPA and enforce the new call-up regulation, directing the State’s agency not to spare any effort in achieving free flow of traffic in Apapa.

 

The Governor said the State was working out a collaboration between the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) and NPA to ascertain the road worthiness of trucks before leaving their stations to the seaports. This, he said, is to check truck accidents on the highways.

 

Sanwo-Olu said there would be regular review of the call-up system for sustenance of the progress and optimised performance.

 

He said: “We can bring back a better living experience for Apapa residents through the new system and have better traffic movement on routes in the area. Lagos Government is fully committed to ensuring all points we have agreed on will be implemented and get all relevant support.”

 

Ms. Bala Usman said the visit to the State House was to brief the Governor on the status of the electronic call-up platform before it would be fully launched. She said the development underscored NPA’s commitment towards ending the menace of trucks around the seaports.

 

She said part of the advantages of the new system was the creation of eight approved parks where all trucks must first be stationed before being electronically called into the seaports.

 

The NPA boss said the electronic system had addressed the excuses usually given by truck drivers for parking their vehicles on the highways, stressing that any truck found around the ports without electronic clearance would be impounded.

 

She said: “The deadline for the commencement of the electronic call-up system is February 27, 2021 and we are here to strengthen collaboration with the Lagos State Government on implementation and compliance as we commence the process. The new system will be done in collaboration with the State. We have worked seamlessly to ensure Apapa is rid of the menace of trucks.

 

“All truck owners and stakeholders have been briefed about the new development over the past months. Any truck found in Apapa corridor without call-up clearance will be impounded and Lagos Government will provide the platform with which any fine payment will be collected.”

 

Ms Bala Usman said the era of individuals depositing empty containers in the seaports was over. She said empty containers must now be deposited with the shipping companies, which are expected to keep the containers in their holding bays at no cost to individuals who own the shipment.

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Nasa’s Perseverance Rover Safely Lands On MARS

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Nasa’s science rover Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology laboratory ever sent to another world, streaked through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday and landed safely on the floor of a vast crater, its first stop on a search for traces of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet.

Mission managers at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as radio signals confirmed that the six-wheeled rover had survived its perilous descent and arrived within its target zone inside Jezero crater, site of a long-vanished Martian lake bed.

The robotic vehicle sailed through space for nearly seven months, covering 293m miles (472m km) before piercing the Martian atmosphere at 12,000mph (19,000km/h) to begin its approach to touchdown on the planet’s surface.

The spacecraft’s self-guided descent and landing during a complex series of maneuvers that Nasa dubbed “the seven minutes of terror” stands as the most elaborate and challenging feat in the annals of robotic spaceflight.

 

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SANWO-OLU PLEDGES TO DOUBLE INVESTMENT IN YOUTH, AS EHINGBETI SUMMIT CLOSES

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• Investors, Business Leaders Chart New Course for Lagos, Transmit Resolutions To Govt

• ‘Lagos Is Fortunate To Be Led By Visionary Governors’ – El-Rufai

The 8th Lagos State Economic Summit (Ehingbeti) has drawn to a close today, with the organisers and participants departing with actionable resolutions to chart a new course of physical development and economic growth for the State.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu pledged that the learnings and recommendations emanating from the summit would be developed into a policy framework to forge a new action plan and implementation that would bring the envisioned future of Lagos to reality.

The three-day event with the theme: “Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade”, was largely held on a virtual platform, but some sessions were held physically at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.

Over 11,000 people in 10 countries participated in the event, with an average record of 5,500 participants globally attending sessions daily.

Sanwo-Olu, in his closing address read virtually from Abuja, said the State Government had started to look into the future and was ready to implement resolutions that would make Lagos adaptable to the new culture of business interactions occasioned by technology and unpredictable pandemic.

The Governor said Lagos took lessons from the disruption of economic activities created by the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), stressing that the experience would make the State Government deepen its scenario planning capabilities to bolster its resilience against such emergency.

He said: “As we have now successfully come to the end of this eighth edition of the summit, it is imperative to emphasise that the conversation must not end here. We must take the learnings and the conclusions from this Summit and use them to forge a plan of action and implementation that will ensure that the future we are envisioning for Lagos State comes to fruition.

“We have learnt, from the emergence and spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, that we can never be too prepared. So much has changed in the past year, humbling our confidence in the ability to predict and forecast what the future holds. The big lesson is that, we must deepen our scenario planning capabilities, as national and subnational governments, and as corporations and business entities. We must plan for every eventuality, including the next pandemic, which will eventually happen in the near or distant future.”

Sanwo-Olu said Ehingbeti, since year 2000 when it was first introduced during the administration of the visionary former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had become a tool to re-invent Lagos. He said the summit had become a platform for conversations about where Lagosians want the city to be headed, and how to fast-track the journey.

He said the development blueprint of his administration was designed as a road-map to guide the Government on the journey to deliver Lagos of residents’ dreams.

The Governor pledged to strengthen the economic potential of the youth, whom he described as critical stakeholders in delivering development programmes of the next decade.

Sanwo-Olu said the State Government’s investments in youth-focused initiatives, such as Lagos Excel Project, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSSTF), Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), were pointers to the readiness of the State to improve youth inclusion in governance and raise their entrepreneurial skills.

He said: “We must now begin to plan for the next summit, even as we also take action on the resolutions of this one. I call on the private sector to be aggressive in seeking out opportunities to partner with and support the Lagos State Government. Ehingbeti speaks to what Governments, the private sector and civil society can come together to accomplish through deliberate bilateral and multilateral partnerships.”

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, described Lagos as “the engine room” of the nation, stressing that the State was fortunate to have been governed by visionary leaders, starting from the administration of ex-Governor Tinubu.

El-Rufai said he looked forward to more reforms that would further simplify Ease of Doing Business in Lagos, noting the better the economy of Lagos performed, the better for Nigeria.

He said: “For us in Kaduna State, Lagos is a model that we follow. We look at Lagos as competitive advantage in many areas and try to implement reforms that will bring us closer to what Lagos has been able to achieve. Lagos has been blessed with very good Governors. The reforms initiated by Governor Tinubu are still bringing prosperity to the State.”

There were 146 speakers and panelists who facilitated six plenaries and 20 deep discussion sessions held during the event, which focused on six thematic areas, including making Lagos investment destination, strengthening governance and institutions, Fourth Industrial Revolution opportunities, funding growth and ensuring inclusive human capital development and sustainability, resilience and impacts.

At the end of the summit, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, outlined 11 key highlights that encompasses the resolutions to be implemented by the State Government before the next summit.

Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, represented by Hon. Gbolahan Yishau, pledged to support the resolutions with necessary legislative framework to make the Government implement the resolutions.

#EhingbetiSummit2021

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SANWO-OLU UNVEILS 10-YEAR INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN FOR LAGOS, AS EHINGBETI SUMMIT BEGINS

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…President Buhari, WTO’s Okonjo-Iweala Support Lagos’ Growth Plan

…‘It’s Time To Create Youth-Focused Economy’ – AFDB President

Lagos State has set off an ambitious plan for its development over the next decade. By 2030, the State, which has the 5th largest economy in Africa, will have a running city-wide network of colour-coded Metro Lines that will move over 34.5 million people monthly and cut travel time in the metropolis drastically.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, outlined key infrastructural deliverables being undertaken by the State at the 8th Lagos Economic Summit, otherwise known as Ehingbeti. The three-day event with the theme: “Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade”, is facilitated by the organised private sector in support by the State Government.

The summit is largely virtual, but some sessions are to be held physically at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.

Ehingbeti Summit, co-chaired by chairman of Citi Bank, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, is an initiative introduced in 2000 as a biennial event aimed at creating a credible forum to discuss and formulate policies for accelerating infrastructural development and stimulating economic growth for Lagos.

The event was virtually attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, newly appointed Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and President of Africa Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, and founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, among others.

Sanwo-Olu, in his address, disclosed that the race to digitise every community in Lagos had begun with the ongoing laying of 6,000-kilometre fibre optic infrastructure across the city, stressing that the Smart City agenda of the Government would fully materialise by 2030 when the entire landscape of Lagos would have been covered by a network of several thousands of kilometres of fibre optic carrying broadband internet into all homes, offices and schools.

The move, the Governor said, is to leverage technology to revolutionise business culture in Lagos by energising Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that form the backbone of the State economy.

He said: “I invite every well-meaning Nigerian to join me to look ahead at the next decade, and the possibilities that lie ahead for Lagos. What will Lagos State look like by 2030? There will be a city-wide network of colour-coded Metro Lines, the first two of which – Red and Blue lines – will move over 34.5 million people monthly, cutting travel time by over 250 per cent. In 2030, Lagos will proudly stand beside every other megacity in the world, in terms of its capacity to transport its people efficiently and responsively.

“Water transportation infrastructure being put in place will make waterway transport systems a central element of life in the metropolis. The Fourth Mainland Bridge will come to define the cityscape of the 2020s in the same way the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge defined it a decade earlier. By 2030, Lagos will be a Smart City, fully covered by a network of several thousands of kilometers of fibre optic infrastructure that will carry broadband internet into homes, offices and schools

“The Smart City that is unfolding will also be home to a network of intelligent cameras that will support not only security and policing across the State, but also traffic management and data collection for urban planning. By 2030, Lagos will be home to one of the largest Rice Mills in the world, after we deliver our 32 metric tons per hour rice factory in Imota, which will produce 2.8 million bags of 50kg bags of rice per annum.”

The Governor said the implementation of the plan would not only create millions of direct jobs for skilled youths, it would also empower women, who own substantial MSMEs in Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu said plans were underway in Lagos to reverse the tide of billions lost nationally to medical tourism. He disclosed that Lagos was pushing ahead with a move to develop a Medical Park in Ikoyi in partnership with the private sector, which is expected to offer world-class medical and diagnostic services.

He said his administration’s development blueprint, known as Project THEMES, was designed to build on the achievements of previous administrations and lay foundations for future growth.

Sanwo-Olu, having reviewed the progress recorded within the past decade, said there was so much to be celebrated in the State, but added that so much was needed to be done in expanding the frontiers of growth in Lagos.

President Muhammadu Buhari pledged the Federal Government would continue to bring massive investments into Lagos in order to boost the State’s economic potential as one of the world’s fastest growing megacities.

The President said Lagos had demonstrated how understanding between national and subnational governments could be leveraged for accelerated growth, alluding to concession granted the State Government to rebuild the federal highway leading to Murtala International Airport in Ikeja.

Buhari said: “The Federal Government is today completing the Standard Gauge Railway Line that links Lagos to Ibadan in the first instance, and from there connects to Abuja and Kano, and brings ease and efficiency to what is Nigeria’s busiest transportation corridor.

“Just last month, this new Rail Line achieved a milestone extension into the Port Complex in Apapa, setting the stage for a long overdue decongestion in that area.”

The WTO Director General made a case for the creation of massive industrial hubs to harness the potential of the youth and women in artificial intelligence and digital economy.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala commended the Lagos Government’s action to build digital infrastructure around the city, noting that the fibre optic programme makes the State a new manufacturing hub of digital products that will shape the global economy in the next decade.

On his part, Dr. Adesina believed the increasing youth population in Lagos must not be seen as a problem, but rather as an asset that should be harnessed for growth.

The Africa apex bank chief said it was time for the State Government to create a youth based economy that specifically targets skilled young population. He applauded Lagos’ Digital Skill Empowerment for the youth, and the rollout of broadband Internet infrastructure across the State.

“The future of Lagos must be knowledge based and the State Government must sustain its investment in education to produce knowledgeable, skilled young people for the jobs of the future,” the AFDB President said.

The event also featured discussion panel sessions that focused on how Lagos could harness its human capital to accelerate its development and bring the State closer to developed mega cities.

Ehingbeti Summit has led Lagos, in the last two decades, to achieve the delivery of five Independent Power Projects (IPPs) on the Mainland and Island. Other notable infrastructure conceived from the summit include Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, Pen Cinema Bridge, Agric Isawo Road, International Airport Road, opening of Regional Road and rehabilitation of Ibeju Lekki-Epe road network, among others.

#Ehingbeti2021
#ForAGreaterLagos

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