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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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SANWO-OLU HAS COMPLETED MORE THAN 1097 SCHOOL PROJECTS IN LAGOS SO FAR – OMOTOSO

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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).

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LASG DISLODGES SQUATTERS BENEATH IGANMU BRIDGE

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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.

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[IPOB THREAT]: OHANAEZE NDIGBO ASKS SANWO-OLU TO IGNORE RUMOURED ATTACKS IN LAGOS

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•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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