President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday pledged that the Federal Government will support more massive investments in Lagos State to boost its economic potential as one of the world’s fastest growing megacities.
The President spoke in a video goodwill message to the Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit, themed ‘‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.’’
President Buhari said his administration recognises Lagos as central to the economic fortunes of Nigeria and has in the last few years demonstrated commitment to supporting it unleash its full socio-economic potential.
”One of the significant ways in which our support has manifested to Lagos State is in the special federal funding that we approved in 2020 in acknowledgement of the State being an epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic.
”The challenges of Lagos must therefore be very clearly seen as part of the challenges of Nigeria, and the Federal Government will support Lagos to overcome its challenges and to thrive socially and economically.
”The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) is investing in the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, while the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway is a flagship project of our Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, also known as Executive Order 7 of 2019.
”It was also this administration which granted approval to the Lagos State Government to rebuild the International Airport Road, a major road that links the busiest airport in Sub-Saharan Africa to the continent’s fifth largest economy.
”The Federal Government is today completing the Standard Gauge Railway Line that will link Lagos to Ibadan in the first instance, and from there connect to Abuja and Kano, and bring 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,” he said.
On the investment plan to revamp the National Theatre, the President told the 8th Economic Summit that his government had granted approval for the temporary transfer of the iconic federal asset on the Lagos landscape, to the Bankers Committee, which will invest in upgrading it and developing it into a world-class creative hub.
President Buhari expressed confidence that enterprising young people in Lagos will be the biggest beneficiaries of the National Theatre, when fully upgraded into a world-class hub.
”Speaking of young people, we are aware of just how central they are to the Lagos economy, and to Nigeria as a whole.
”In the creative arts, culture and technology sectors, we are determined to continue to open up opportunities by which they can achieve their dreams and aspirations; as well as thrive in a safe, secure and increasingly prosperous country,” he said.
The President highlighted various other initiatives of the Federal Government being implemented in Lagos, including the National Social Investment Programme, the Energizing Economies Programme, the Economic Sustainability Plan, among others.
Commending the Lagos State Government for its partnership and collaboration with the Federal Government on the human development programmes, President Buhari stressed the importance of understanding between national and subnational governments.
”Let me also acknowledge and salute the fact that we have a forward-looking administration in Lagos that is focused on infrastructure and improving the ease of doing business and the overall quality of life of Lagosians.
”The theme of this year’s Lagos Economic Summit invites us all to share our aspirations for a Megacity that boldly occupies its place in the global standing of Megacities.
”A Lagos that can keep up with its growing population in terms of housing, education, healthcare, security and jobs. A Lagos that is innovative and productive, and that ensures that its economic prosperity leaves no one behind.
”I enjoin all speakers and participants to go all out in the course of the next few days to think and contribute along these lines, and to come up with a practical masterplan for achieving this Lagos of our dreams,” he said.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 16, 2021
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The Lagos State Government has completed more than 1,097 school projects covering 970 schools across the State, just as it has also ensured the upgrade and rehabilitation of 322 dilapidated public schools and the furnishing of Primary Schools with 87,000 dual composite unit of chairs and desks in two years.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed this while representing the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the commissioning of the completed school infrastructure projects at Ogudu Junior Grammar School, Ogudu on Friday.
According to him, the project being commissioned is inline with the “Education and Technology” pillar of the present administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, saying that “If we must actualise our Greater Lagos vision, quality education must remain one of our most solid building blocks”.
While commenting on the vital role of education in the growth and development of a megacity like Lagos, Mr. Omotoso stated that it has become imperative for the government to ensure that the children have access to quality education and an enabling environment for excellent learning.
His words: “In order to accelerate our children’s access to world-class pedagogical learning, we have aggressively embarked on the provision of blocks of classrooms, administrative offices, school furniture, laboratories, modern toilet facilities and security across the six Education Districts and Local Government Councils. Therefore, our children have access to quality education irrespective of their location”.
The Commissioner averred that the Lagos State Government was convinced that teaching and learning could only take place effectively in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, hence the government’s commitment to the provision of new infrastructure and the rehabilitation of existing ones.
“I am glad to note that our investment in the education sector has been yielding positive results. Our students’ performance has improved tremendously in examinations, national and international competitions. They have also improved in morals, etiquette and confidence in public speaking”, he said.
Omotoso further noted that other gains of the investment in the education sector by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration include the Lagos State team emergence as winners at the 2021 National Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientist (JETS) competition, which took place at the National Mathematical Centre, Kwali between February 21 and 27, 2021.
The Commissioner, therefore, urged community leaders, school administrators, staff and students of Ogudu Junior Grammar School to take ownership of the project and ensure that miscreants do not destroy or cart away the property of the school.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, represented by Mrs. Oluranti Olagbaju, stated that the school infrastructure projects were evenly distributed across the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas.
“There is hardly any school in the State that was not touched by either a new school building, new classroom block, hostels, security structures, school fence, toilets, furniture and boreholes among others”, she said.
The vision for the actualisation of the education sector was made possible through the effective collaboration of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Lagos State Universal Basic Education (LASUBEB), the Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), and the Lagos State Infrastructure and Assets Management Agency (LASIAMA).
Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce) has dislodged squatters, removed shanties and evacuated the abandoned vehicles under Iganmu Bridge after expiration of the three-day notice served on the illegal occupiers of the area on Monday.
The Chairman of the Task Force, CSP Shola Jejeloye, speaking after the exercise on Thursday, disclosed that the State Government intends to put the location to good use immediately in order to ensure illegal squatters do not return to the place.
He recalled that during a visit by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu it was agreed that the location should be decongested as part of efforts to remove the traffic gridlock in Apapa.
Jejeloye explained that the occupants of the Iganmu Underbridge had been informed to leave the area six months ago before they were served the 72-hour removal notice on Monday.
He noted that relevant Government agencies including the Ministry of The Environment and Water Resources, Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), LASPARK and security agencies have been mandated to take possession of the area for clean up and management.
The Chairman envisaged that clearing of the location and dislodgement of squatters would bring to an end the incessant traffic robberies, indiscriminate parking of trucks, environmental nuisance and sale of hard drugs prevalent in the area.
“The State Government would adequately maintain this place. This will discourage the squatters from returning, especially those who use the area for illegal activities and hideouts”, he stated.
•Says It’s Ploy to Distract LASG, Sanwo-Olu
•Ndigbo Are Not Agents of Destruction
•We’ll Continue on The Path of Progress, Security – Sanwo-Olu
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has advised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ignore the rumour that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are plotting to attack Lagos, noting that it is a ploy to distract the State Governor and his administration from providing good governance for all residents of the State.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina on Thursday, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor, said the “dangerous rumour or statement is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.”
Obiozor in his address titled “Violence in any part of Lagos State is violence on all of us” said Ndigbo cannot indulge in any act that will harm the harmonious peace and cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba, especially Lagos, which he described as second home of several Ndigbo.
The leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organization also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Nigeria, especially in Lagos State, adding that the Governor deserved commendation for controlling and restricting the speed of coronavirus with his quick response.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, during a Security Townhall Meeting at the Lagos State secretariat, attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu, and other principal officials in Lagos State on Monday, said there were plans by some groups, which include IPOB to attack ‘soft spots’ in the state.
But responding to the statement, Prof. Obiazor said Igbo nation was renowned for being agents of development and not destruction.
“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Governor Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live.
“The constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land; we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief,” he said.
Prof. Obiozor also reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s total support for Lagos State Government and the security agencies’ patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in the State and throughout the country.
“I am aware that the Government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo through this medium reiterates total support to the state government and the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country. The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary,” he said.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership of continuous good governance, security of lives and properties of all residents in Lagos State.
The Governor said he had no doubt that the Ndigbo are great people, noting that his administration would continue to foster harmonious relationships with all the different tribes and ethnic nationalities in the State.
The courtesy visit was at the instance of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, to clear the air on the rumoured attacks on Lagos by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
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