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Lagos inaugurates Post-COVID-19 Review Committee for tourism, entertainment industry

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The Lagos State Government on Thursday inaugurated the State Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Review Committee, aimed at reactivating the Tourism, Arts and Culture sector.

Inaugurating the committee in Ikeja, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, said that the state’s creative industry had remained dormant, following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Akinbile-Yusuf said in a statement that the six-member committee, chaired by Mrs Joke Silva, was expected to draw out suggestions and recommendations on ways to re-activate the industry.

She said that members were expected to make recommendations to the state government on ways to rejuvenate its economy, particularly the Tourism and Entertainment industry.

”The situation in the world today was not pre-determined. This is where we are and this is what we have seen happening to us.

”The tourism sector is one of the worst-hit sectors by this pandemic because, on a daily basis, Lagos records new cases and we must not shy away from the fact that COVID-19 is still with us.

”Everywhere is shut down. The airline operators are not operating, there is nothing like Art exhibitions, and hospitality businesses have been put on hold.

”So, we want to find a way to sustain our economy and the industry, even with the pandemic, and see how best we can continue to improve on the creative sector,” the commissioner said.

Akinbile-Yusuf said that the committee was expected to submit its reports in two weeks.

She said that some of the terms of reference for the committee include conducting a holistic assessment of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.

According to her, the committee is to come up with recommendations on the short and long term palliatives with respect to soft loans and grants to assuage the negative impact of the scourge on the industry.

She said that the committee was also expected to refocus attention toward the development of domestic tourism as an immediate measure to revitalise the industry.

Akinbile-Yusuf said that the expectations of government include advice on strategic measures that would ensure postCOVID-19 sustainability of the industry.

She assured that the state government would not abandon the industry in such a precarious situation, but provide support and encouragement to sustain tourism and ensure it thrived beyond COVID-19.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Arts and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu, said that those in the committee were very knowledgeable about the industry.

Bonu said that the state was looking at revitalising the tourism business, hence, the need for the committee.

He, therefore, implored the committee members to bring their professionalism and expertise to bear on boosting the state’s tourism sector beyond the COVID-19 era.

The Chairman of the Committee, Silva, thanked the state government for the opportunity given to come up with recommendations to reposition the creative and tourism industry in the state.

Silva, a veteran actress, said that all the appointees would work together to achieve the expected results.

”I am very lucky to have intelligent people as members of the committee because they are men and women who are very knowledgeable and passionate about the industry.

”I know that our collaboration will result in good recommendations. The creative industry has been greatly affected by COVID-19, but we will get through it,” she said.

Other members of the committee are Mr Atunyota Akpobome (a.k.a Ali Baba), Mr Patrick Donald Lee, Dr Adun Okupe, Mrs Oyenike Okundaye and Mr Gbenga Sunmonu.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

Florence Onuegbu: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Politics

We will make Lagos 4th Mainland Bridge a reality — Sanwo-Olu’s Aide

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Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, says his administration will make the Lagos 4th Mainland Bridge a reality.

The governor’s aide said this during an online CovInspiration Show organised to mark the first year in office of Gov. Sanwo-Olu.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the social media show, moderated by UN Youth Ambassador, Dayo Israel, was stream on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram in compliance with physical distancing rules occasioned by COVID-19.

Adeyoye said: “I can tell you we have begun to see the projects that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr Obafemi Hamzat are putting together – projects like Fourth Mainland Bridge.

“I pray that it comes up alive! In December, we opened up bids and after evaluation, 31 people came up.

“It will be my greatest joy when I see that project come alive even if it is not finished in this first four years.”

The special adviser said that the preferred bidder for the project would be made known soon.

According to her, the government is in the process of awarding contract for the regional road project that will be a relieve to the residents along the Lekki Epe Expressway.

Speaking on Sanwo-Olu’s achievements in the last one year in works and infrastructure, Adeyoye said that the governor had done a lot through the Public Works Corporation (PWC).

“The Ojota Road is under construction, four roads will be commissioned in Shomolu, Ladipo and Akinwunmi in Mushin.

“Epeme in Badagry, which is a six kilometer road; this is a road that will boost the tourism potential in Lagos State.

“Also, 31 networks of roads in Ojokoro, all these roads were in the last one year either being commissioned or to be commissioned,” she said.

According to her, work is ongoing on Ijede road in Ikorodu, while the Pen Cinema Bridge and Lagos Badagry Expressway will be completed by July/September, respectively.

Adeyoye, however, urged residents to desist from throwing refuse in drainages and burning tyres on the road, saying it affects the durability of the roads.

Adeyoye also noted that burning of tyres on road did not only affect the durability of road infrastructure, but also led to pollution and environmental hazards.

“It behoves on all to keep the road in good condition and we should all be responsible and take ownership of those assets.

“When drainages are cleaned regularly, the roads are likely to last longer,” she said

On Abule-Egba-Oshodi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) road, the special adviser said that contractors were working and that the project would be completed.

LAMATA is up and doing on the supervision of the project and it will be completed soon. l assure you that all projects will be completed, government is a continuum,” she said.

Earlier, the host, Israel, said that the decision to host the cabinet members on CovInspiration (Online) show was to ensure sustenance during COVID-19 partial lockdown.

Israel, who is a Board Member of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said that the show afforded cabinet members opportunity to stay in their comfort zones and speak with viewers.

Gov. Sanwo-Olu has announced plans to commission some projects in the state to commemorate his first year anniversary on Friday.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Economy

Invoke laws to discharge empty containers from Lagos ports – NIS President

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National President, Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS), Capt.Anthony Onoharigho, has called on the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) to invoke laws that would ensure empty containers were discharged from the ports.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday, the president said the measure  would reduce the nuisance caused by empty containers that flooded the Lagos Ports.

“These containers are meant for individuals who are shippers. The vessels that bring them, come in with goods and are supposed to take them back with goods.”

“But if there are no goods to carry, the containers should be removed from the ports immediately so, as not to constitute nuisance.

“The NPA has a constitutional way of handling cargo with the understanding, arrangement and agreement between them and port terminal operators.

“They can also invoke that part of the law to discharge the containers from the port,” Onoharigho said.

He pointed out that there were also other alternative means of removing the containers, if owners did not want to do so.

He explained that it could be by auctioning, giving out to individuals who wished to make use of them or any other means government deemed fit to dispose of them.

The NIS president said that as regards holding bays, if ship owners wanted to have stacking spots for the containers, NPA should release the containers for them and reduce the nuisance it was causing in the port.

“This issue of empty container has been on for a long time and the shippers council and the NPA are responsible for goods and containers’ transit from one place to another.

“There is a stacking place in Apapa and if individual ship owners who export cargoes want to get a stacking place of their own, they can do that in Apapa,” he said.

NAN reports that in November 2019, the Presidential Task Team (PTT) on the Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa called on the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on empty containers handling at the Lagos ports.

The team urged the Federal Government to give 30 to 60 days moratorium to ease the pressure and nuisance caused by empty containers at the ports.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare (NAN)

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Environment

3-storey building collapses in Lagos, says LASEMA

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Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the Director-General,  Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA),  on Monday confirmed the partial collapse of a three-storey building situated at No.6 Olonode Str., Ebute Metta in Lagos.

Oke-Osanyintolu told News Agency of Nigeria that after evacuating all the residents, preliminary report on the collapsed building showed that it had been “severely distressed with the reinforcement’’.

He said that the building having corroded had visible cracks on the walls and pillars due to lack of maintenance.

Oke-Osanyintolu further revealed that all the slabs of the building were weak, making part of it to collapse at about 9 a.m. on Monday.

He said that there was neither loss of life nor injury.

Oke-Osanyintolu said that LASEMA experts and LAGOS State Building Control Agency (LASBCA),  officials were at the scene of the incident.

According to him, all the occupants have been evacuated from the premises, while the entire building has been cordoned off to prevent any secondary incident.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho//Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Defence/Security

46 die, 387 injured in accidents on Abeokuta-Lagos expressway in 6 years-FRSC

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said on Monday that 46 persons died in road accidents at the  Old Toll-Gate corridor on the Abeokuta-Lagos expressway between January 2014 and May 2020.

The FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun, Mr Clement Oladele,  told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ota that 387 others also sustained injuries.

Oladele said that the deaths and injuries were recorded in 158 road traffic accidents during the period.

He attributed the accidents to black spots at the axis around the old toll gate on the expressway.

“The incessant road traffic accidents within the axis of the old toll gate at Ota, along the Abeokuta – Lagos expressway, is not only disturbing but worrisome.

“Within the same period, a total of 457 vehicles were involved in accidents. A total of 1, 381 persons were involved, while 387 injured victims were rescued from the road traffic crashes.

“From the FRSC’s routine road audits of the Lagos-Abeokuta corridor, a re-engineering of areas notorious for frequent crashes was recommended to eliminate the sloppy gradient, ” he said.

Oladele said that a comprehensive audit report was prepared by the FRSC and deposited with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, FERMA, the Ogun State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and other relevant stakeholders.

This, he said, was to aid decisions on the suggestion that the slope in the area should be filled.

He also suggested the construction of an overhead interchange bridge that could allow vehicles in transit to connect the various exit points at the old toll gate intersection without interfering with traffic flow.

According to Oladele, all the market permits issued by the local authorities should be revoked, while markets located beside the intersection should be relocated.

“Illegal bus stops beside the road should be dismantled and standard bus stops erected far away where passengers cannot interfere with the flow of traffic,’’ he said.

He said the FRSC audit report partly informed the Federal Government’s decision to award contracts for the rehabilitation of the entire stretch of the corridor from Abeokuta to Lagos.

The sector commander noted that road accidents associated with that stretch of the corridor would be eliminated when the road project was completed.

(
Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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General news

1 dies as 2 accidents occur on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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One person was confirmed dead and several others injured in two separate accidents on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Sunday.

Mr Clement Oladele,  the Sector Commander,  Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incidents in a statement on Monday in Abeokuta.

Oladele said that the  first crash occurred at about 7 am around Isaara, near Ogere  on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, involving a Toyota bus marked AG 346 XV.

According to the FRSC boss, the accident involved two male adults and one female adult.

He said that the driver drove under the influence of alcohol in excessive speed, which led to loss of control.

Oladele said that two injured victims were rescued and taken to Victory Hospital, Ogere for medical attention.

He said that the second crash occurred at about  11:50am on Sunday, around Fidiwo, near Ogunmakin on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The sector commander said that the crash involved a Mazda E2200 bus  marked WWD 89 XB and was also caused by excessive speed and loss of control.

He said that eight people were involved in the accident when the bus hit the barrier after it lost control.

“Five male adults,  one female adult and one male child sustained injuries, while one male adult died in the accident,” he said.

According to him, five injured victims were rescued and taken to Victory Hospital, Ogere and two others to Idera Hospital, Sagamu.

He said that the deceased was deposited at Idera Hospital  morgue.

Oladele  cautioned motorists to drive cautiously as vehicular movement was  increasing due to gradual easing of the lockdown  orders.

He urged motorists to exercise  restraint when travelling, especially along the Lagos-Ibadan  and Sagamu-Ijebuode expressways, around the portions where traffic was diverted.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Metro

Lagos to close Marine Beach Bridge for 5 months

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The Lagos State Government on Sunday   announced a plan to effect partial closure of  the Marine Beach Bridge, Apapa, to vehicular movement,  from May 27 to Oct. 21.

The state Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde,  made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.

He said that  the closure would be to enable repair of the bridge which, he said, was long overdue.

“The repair by the Federal Ministry of Works is long overdue and is vital for the safety of the people of Lagos State, especially motorists that ply the bridge to access different parts of the state.

“Necessary palliative works have been carried out on all alternative routes around the construction site to make them to be in good condition to ease movement during the construction period.

“The repair work, which comprise bearing and expansion joint replacement, is planned to be executed in two phases, with each phase focusing on one lane of the bridge at a time.

” The first phase will be handling the lane inbound Apapa while the second phase will be designated to work on the lane that conveys vehicles outside the axis,” he said.

Oladeinde said that the partial closure of the bridge by Total Gas, inward Apapa, would  last for  five months.

The commissioner said that  the repair was in line with the vision of providing a seamless transportation system in  the metropolis.

According to him, motorists inward Wharf Road  would be diverted to the other section of the bridge outward Apapa.

Oladeinde said that a contraflow of 200 metres had been designed  for vehicles to realign with a proper direction inward Ajegunle or Wharf Road, Apapa.

He said that motorists descending to Total Gas would drive without any hindrance.

The commissioner said that operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority would be stationed at the construction locations to  ease traffic.

Oladeinde appealed to motorists and residents of the area to cooperate with traffic management agencies deployed to the areas.

“The state government expresses its commitment to providing a transportation system that will meet the needs of a larger population in an emerging smart city,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Public Affairs Unit of the State Ministry of Transportation (MOT) had on March 27 announced the closure of the Marine Bridge, partially from March 28 to Aug. 15 for repair.

However, on March 28, the ministry suspended the plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited /Ijeoma Popoola

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Politics

COVID-19: Lagos discharges 12 females, 19 males

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Lagos State Government has announced the recovery and discharge of 31 more novel coronavirus patients, comprising 12 females and 19 males.

Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure in a statement.

He said that  the patients were discharged from isolation centres after  testing negative for COVID-19  two consecutive times.

”Good people of Lagos, I have more great news from our isolation facilities. Today, 31 fully recovered COVID-19 Lagos patients – 12 females and 19 males – all Nigerians, were discharged to join the society.

”The patients – one from the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba; 13 from Onikan, 11 from Gbagada, five from Agidingbi and one from Lagos University Teaching Hospital Isolation Centre – were discharged having fully recovered and tested negative for COVID-19.

”With this, the number of patients successfully managed and discharged from our isolation facilities has risen to 738,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that the discharge of COVID-19 patients was encouraging.

The governor thanked frontline health workers for progress being made.

The COVID-19 Incident Commander urged the state residents not to relent in the battle against the global pandemic.

He said that they should continue to practice hand hygiene, wear masks and observe physical distance.

”If we continue to do the right things and obey the stipulated public health safety guidelines, the chain of COVID-19 transmission will be broken in our state,” he said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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General news

Eid-el-Fitr: Lagos Dep Gov urges Muslims to celebrate responsibly

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The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, has urged Muslim Ummah to celebrate responsibly while maintaining social distancing rule.

Hamzat gave the advice in his sallah message through his Instagram page on Sunday.

The deputy governor prayed for all those battling the COVID-19 virus everywhere in the world to experience complete healing.

He advised everyone to observe all the measures so far introduced, like social distancing, hand washing, use of face masks and hygiene, among others

“I implore us to please celebrate responsibly with our loved ones
in the confines of our homes while maintaining the social distancing rule.

“As we celebrate the end of Ramadan fast, may all our supplication be accepted and our lives renewed.

“May Almighty Allah accept our Ibadah and His favour be bestowed upon us.

“Happy Eid Mubarak to my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters,” he said.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

Lagos lawmaker distributes food items to 2000 widows, indigents in Badagry

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Mr David Setonji,  lawmaker representing Badagry Constituency 2 in Lagos State House of Assembly, has distributed food items to 2,000 widows and indigents in the area to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown.

The Lagos Lawmaker said in a statement on Saturday that each of the beneficiaries received packages including wheat meal, Spaghetti, Semolina, Macaroni and noodles.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lawmaker had on April 9, distributed 1,000 packages of food items to Badagry residents to reduce effects of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

The lawmaker added that the second batch of the food palliative, which he had just distributed, was for the Eid-el-Fitr celebration and COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Setonji said that he had gone extra mile to get over 2,000 branded food items from a reputable organisation for his constituents.

“The food items are mainly for the less privileged such as widows, the aged and handicapped in my constituency.

“The items will also be given to those who did not  received any in the first phase.

“The food items in the package are wheat meal, Spaghetti, Semolina, Macaroni and noodles.

“I implore everyone in my constituency to take the food relief with love and bear in mind that the food items, no matter the amount, could not still feed everyone.

“I’m very sure that this token wouldn’t reach you all enough, but I implore our people to bear with me because of the insufficient amount.

“The spirit wills but the financial capacity does not measure up to that, as I still have other people-oriented constituency projects, that I need to complete,” he said

Setonji reassured members of his constituency of good representation, adding that he would continue to serve his constituents with passion and vigour.

“Be rest assured, I will continue to do my best for my constituency and Badagry at large, God willing,” he assured.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Politics

Lagos discharges 45 more COVID-19 patients

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The Lagos State Government has announced the recovery and discharge of 45 more coronavirus patients, after they tested negative twice to the virus.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said in a statement on Saturday that 707 patients had now been discharged from the isolation centres.

”Good people of Lagos, I bring you great news from our isolation facilities.

“Today, 45 fully recovered COVID-19 Lagos patients; 22 females and 23 males, all Nigerians were discharged to join the society.

”The patients, 19 from the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, 3 from Onikan, 8 from Agidingbi, 7 from Lekki, 1 from Eti-Osa (LandMark) and 7 from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Isolation Centres, were discharged having fully recovered and tested negative to COVID-19.

”With this, the number of patients successfully managed and discharged from our Isolation facilities has risen to 707.

”As we look forward to more great news in the coming days, I urge you all to take responsibility and play your part for a COVID-19 free Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Metro

Eid-el-Fitr: FRSC deploys 1,300 personnel in Lagos, vows to curb combat overloading

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos State Command says it has deployed 1,300 of its personnel to ensure safety on the roads during the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

The Sector Commander, Mr Hyginus Omeje, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday, said that the corps would not tolerate overloading by commute

Omeje said: “In all, we are deploying 1,300 officers and men in the three main corridors in Lagos-Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lekki-Epe Expressway and Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

“A total of 25 patrol vehicles, two ambulances and four heavy-duty tow trucks and two light duty tow trucks shall be deployed along these corridors.

“We have our ambulances positioned at strategic points for prompt rescue services should there be any crash. Our tow trucks are equally deployed for quick removal of obstructions.”

The FRSC boss, who expressed the corps’ commitment to ensure hitch-free traffic flow, said that corps would monitor and ensure enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.

He urged motorists to steer clear of impatience and disregard to traffic regulations.

He advised motorists to observe safety precautions while using the road, saying that “the road does not forgive abusers”.

According to him, all Lagos residents must adhere strictly to all precautionary measures to combat spread of COVID-19, especially the physical distancing in their vehicles and use of face masks.

“We are simply appealing to people to observe social distancing as they commute during the Eid-el-Fitr. Overloading with passengers or goods shall be our primary focus of enforcement.

“The presidential partial lockdown order is still in force; hence we advise that people should remain in their state of residence and avoid interstate movements except for those vehicles on essential services.

“Commuters should equally remember to put on their face masks,” Omeje said.

Omeje said that officers and men of the corps would be visible on all the highways to ensure strict enforcement of overloading and physical distancing among commuters.

The FRSC boss, who urged road users to drive with care, added that the corps would be available to respond to distress calls that might arise.

According to him, FRSC operatives will be collaborating with other sister agencies in manning the Interstate borders to checkmate unwarranted travels.

“As it has always been our strategy,  collaboration with other services and responder agencies such as the Nigeria Police, NSCDC, LASTMA, LASEMA, Fire Service shall be sustained during this period.

“No agency can do it alone in Lagos,” Omeje said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

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Health

Lagos records 4 more COVID-19 related deaths

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has announced four more COVID-19 related deaths, increasing the infection mortality in Lagos to 46.

Abayomi made the disclosure through his Twitter account on Friday night.

He, however, did not give additional information about the sex, age, nationality or medical conditions of the deceased.

He added that 139 new cases of COVID-19 infection was confirmed in Lagos on May 21, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 3,109.

The commissioner noted that on the same day, 13 COVID-19 patients; four females and nine males were discharged at the state’s isolation facilities following their full recovery.

“This brings the total number of #COVID-19 discharged patients in Lagos to 662,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Lagos has 2,383 active cases, two evacuated from Nigeria, while 16 were transferred to Ogun and Ondo States.

—————

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Politics

Lagos govt. finalises Register-To-Open guidelines, ahead restart of economy

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The Lagos State Government says it has set the process of re-opening its economy in motion, with the rollout of ”Register-to-Open” guidelines.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this at a webinar organised by First Securities Discount House (FSDH) Group, with the theme: ”A Global Pandemic: Local Realities and Peculiarities – A View from the Frontlines”.

Sanwo-Olu was a panelist in the online discussion that also featured Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, with about 1,200 people participating from across the globe.

He said that the state government was daily battling the reality of balancing reactivation of economic activities and the continuation of the state’s response to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor said that the battle to stop the ravaging virus in Lagos had subjected the state to a delicate situation.

He said it was a situation of having to manage hunger resulting from weeks of slowdown in economic activities and also the movement of consumer goods to keep the economy afloat.

Sanwo-Olu said that the four-page Register-to-Open guidelines were the major part of the measures initiated to achieve phased re-opening of the state economy.

According to him, the government has offered incentives that will affect its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), in order to prevent job loss in critical industries that provide employment for a large number of people.

Sanwo-Olu said that the state government remained committed to tackling COVID-19 and breaking the cycle of its transmission.

He, however, said that there was need to address hunger and job loss that could arise from prolonged lockdown of the economy.

”We have been caught in a very delicate situation between managing COVID-19 on one hand and managing hunger and sustaining an economy that is not only dependent on commercial activities in Lagos alone, but also other states across the federation.

”We have had weeks of engagement with players in fast-moving consumer goods sector and part of the measures we are taking is that, we are giving them additional clearance to work for longer hours.

”Besides, we initiated what we called Register-to-Open, which is a thorough guideline to help the residents ahead of the full re-opening.

”Some of the things we will be seeing in the four-page guideline is, how we want to manage space at various places of business and what numbers of personnel and clients we expect at a given period, which must be based on the sizes of the facilities.

”As we prepare for this phased re-opening, we are giving priority to sectors that have higher number of labour,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor, however, maintained that the re-opening would not be done in haste.

He said that the construction and manufacturing sectors would be accorded high priority for full re-opening, given the high level of employment they generate.

According to him, the entertainment, hospitality and aviation industries will be considered in the second phase of intervention.

Sanwo-Olu said that the weeks of inertia in the economy also had significant impact on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), that millions of small-scale businesses operating in the state could completely fold up if the economy was not fully reactivated.

He said that the state government was granting three-month moratorium to MSMEs that applied for loan facilities at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

Sanwo-Olu also said that the government had started to compile data of registered MSMEs in the state for operational support that would cushion the effect of economic slowdown on their businesses.

”The other part of our intervention is our conversation with big corporations in various sectors on the requirements they may want from us to ensure that they do not retrench their staff in this emergency period. This conversation is very important.

”The companies have given us a retinue of incentives they want us to give and these are the things that will affect the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

”We are willing to make this sacrifice to prevent loss of livelihood for millions of our citizens,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu said that in the course of the lockdown, the state government provided palliatives for over 800,000 households, as there was the need to bring succour to residents that lived on daily wage.

He said that people must trust the government on the management of the coronavirus and data being churned out.

”Lagos has been affected both on the healthcare and economy sides. We have had to take a deep dive into our budget and have about 25 per cent cut, which is not very good number for us.

”This is the time we need to continue to spend to stave off pressure on our citizens. However, we need to be prudent at this time and cut unimportant expenditures. Salary is one thing we cannot even touch.

”In terms of direct economy, entertainment industry, hospitality, land transportation and aviation businesses have been affected significantly.

”These sectors are large employers of labour. We are thinking through on how to reset these sectors in a graduated manner and bring back the economy on the full swing,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Defence/Security

64th anniversary: Navy to inaugurate COVID-19 isolation centre in Lagos

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The Nigerian Navy says it will inaugurate an Isolation Centre in Lagos State to support the Federal Government’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic, during its 64th anniversary.
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, disclosed this during a news conference on Friday in Abuja, to outline activities lined-up to mark the service’s 64th anniversary.
The anniversary activities are scheduled to take place from Monday, May 25, to Monday June 1.
The CNS said that all Ships would be dressed in overalls until the event lasted
Ibas, who was represented by Rear Adm. Ifeola Mohammed, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Naval Headquarters, said that due to the pandemic the celebration would be low-key to reflect the mood of the nation.
“I, therefore, use this opportunity to extend our condolences to all Nigerians that lost their loved ones amidst this pandemic. May their gentle souls Rest in Peace.
“It is pertinent to state that this period will also witness the distribution of palliatives and donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), by the navy.
“In this regard, the naval headquarters and all commands will further engage with designated authorities in host communities for distribution of palliatives and PPE from Thursday May 28, to Friday May 29,” he said.
He further said that a modified and highly restricted Ceremonial Sunset would be held at command levels on June 1, to mark the end of the week-long activities of the anniversary.
Ibas, while giving the operational achievements of the service from 2015 to 2020, noted that the Nigerian navy had within five years conducted and also participated in more than 60 exercises and operations.
The CNS said that 35 major exercises and operations were game changers.
On operational availability of ships, Ibas said the Federal Government had assisted the navy to take delivery of numerous ships.
He said they included recent acquisitions of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), Seaward Defence Boats, Patrol Craft and Training Ships as well as Helicopter.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Metro

Lagos BRT buses may withdraw services next week -Source

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Primero Transport Services Ltd., operator of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) may withdraw its services on May 25, due to logistics problems and other issues, an authoritative source disclosed on Friday.

The source told the News Agency of Nigeria that the company might likely run out of diesel and other supplies that would likely disrupt BRT operations.

“Primero is planning to withdraw all its buses from the road from May 25. The company is running out of diesel.

“Suppliers have not been supplying diesel fully because the firm is owing them. The company is currently running at a loss.

“Primero will run out of supply of diesel and other supplies by Monday. So it is not likely the buses will run,” the source re-stated.

Efforts to talk with the Managing Director of the company, Mr Fola Tinubu, on the development was not successful.

On May 15, NAN reported shortage of BRT buses across various routes, presence of long queues and an increase in awaiting time at BRT stations in Lagos.

BRT users have been complaining over the shortage of buses since the easing of the current lockdown on May 4.

On May 15, Tinubu said: “the way we are operating now is as if we are just running a social service for the people.

“Twenty passengers in the bus on the same old fare is not sustainable. We are piling up losses that we need to address urgently.

“Creditors are calling us. We need to address that urgently. The way it is right now is not sustainable.

“That was why we have limited buses on the roads. Every bus that is going up and down now is incurring so much loss.”

The Lagos State Government had directed the 70-capacity buses to carry only 21 passengers.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Entertainment

Lagos-based real estate practitioner drums support for creative industry

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A Real Estate practitioner, Mr Olabisi Akanbi, has urged private sectors to partner governments at all levels to reposition the creative industry in Nigeria.

Akanbi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Labor Groups (Real estate and automobile company) Lagos, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.

He said that governments alone cannot do everything hence the need for the private sectors also to intervene with more strategic private investment as a solid buffer to boost Nigerian creative industry.

“I read a report in foreign journal that explained how foreign investors are rushing into the Nigerian business environment in spite of the COVID19 pandemic.

“This is due to the low risk perception of our country, if Nigerian business owners fail to see what these foreigners are seeing then it will be to our loss and their gain.

“The main reason I am investing in the creative industry space and other private business owners can plug into creative industry because there are a lot of untapped talents on the streets.

“More fresh injection of funds is needed in the industry and I encourage my colleagues in the private sector to tap the huge human resource goldmine,” Akanbi said.

Akanbi added that the private sectors need to know that creative industry was a major contributor to the gross domestic product in Nigeria.

“Creative industry is not an entirely hopeless situation because the industry has proven that it is a key contributor to the Nigerian digital economy.

“The evident is the increase in revenue from online audio and visual content streaming, the pandemic has only tasked us to be more creative and strategic.

“As a real estate player, I also borrow some principles from my business to apply in my intervention in the creative industry by aligning ourselves with a talented and creative artiste such as “Dotman,” Akanbi said.

NAN reports that Labo Group which has primary interests in real estate and automobile last month signed talented singer, Dotman whose real name is Olatunji Oladotun Alade to help reposition his career under its subsidiary, Labo Entertainment.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Politics

Lagos govt seeks solution to incessant tanker accidents

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The Lagos State Government says it is set to stop the incessant truck accidents that have taken many lives of innocent citizens in the state.

The state government on Thursday convened a stakeholders meeting with the key representatives of the Downstream Energy Sector to discuss the issue.

Speaking at a virtual meeting, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olalere Odusote, said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was determined to end incessant tanker accidents in the state.

Odusote said in a statement that the meeting was to deepen safety awareness of operators, given the spate of fire incidents involving petroleum tankers in recent times.

“Mr Governor is keen to see the downstream sector continues to flourish, but operators must stay within the framework of safety provided by the regulators and the laws of the state,” he said.

Odusote said that the meeting was to address the recurrence of such hazardous incidents, and to seek effective and lasting solutions that align the interests of all stakeholders.

The forum deliberated on the hazardous incidents involving petroleum tankers in the state and explored solutions to the overloading of petroleum tankers.

It also discussed the enforcement of the roadworthiness of trucks conveying petroleum products and ways to halt the indiscriminate parking of petroleum tankers along roads in the state.

The commissioner said that Lagos State had commenced the process of creating fully equipped truck transit parks and terminals to eliminate the indiscriminate parking of trucks in the state.

He said that a technology-based Integrated Terminal Management System, where tickets were issued prior to proceeding to the loading bays would be introduced, in addition to the enforcement of the annual certification for tanker drivers and trucks that ply Lagos roads.

Odusote said that the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources would work closely with all stakeholders to implement an optimal framework to curb the menace of tankers.

He said that it would also partner with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to monitor the loading of petroleum products at the various loading bays in the state.

Contributing, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, said that relevant infrastructure to facilitate vehicle testing would be made available at mutually agreed designated points to support the downstream sector.

Oladeinde said that the transportation ministry had scheduled visits of all stakeholders to relevant facilities in the coming weeks to ensure an alignment of requirements that would guarantee prevention of accidents and safety of tankers across all facilities and roads within Lagos.

Also speaking at the meeting, National Chairman of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Association, Salimon Oladiti, said that Lagos State Government was always leading positive change, but to ensure the solutions were sustainable, similar actions must also be taken nationwide.

Officials of the Lagos State Government who also attended the event were Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins and Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, among others.

All participants, including representatives of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG); Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA); National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Federal Road Safety Corps, promised to abide by the regulations set by Lagos State.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Politics

COVID-19: Lagos discharges 13 more patients

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The Lagos State Government has announced the recovery and discharge of 13 more novel coronavirus patients.

The patients were discharged after  testing  negative  for the virus two consecutive times.

The state Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday.

The governor confirmed that a total  662 patients had so far been discharged from isolation centres in the state.

”Today, 13 more COVID-19 Lagos patients –  nine males and four females – all Nigerians, have been discharged from the Onikan, Eti-Osa (LandMark), Lekki and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) isolation facilities to reunite with the society.

”The patients, one from Onikan, four  from Eti-Osa (LandMark), three from Lekki and five from LUTH isolation centres were discharged having fully recovered.

”With this, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos has risen to 662,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

 

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Economy

Customs intercept N1.2b cannabis on Lagos waters

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Operatives of the Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) have intercepted drugs suspected to be Cannabis Sativa valued at N1,002,050,000 during a seagoing patrol on Lagos waters.

The Controller of the command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, revealed this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

Peters described the seizure as the “largest single seizure” of such drug on the waters in the history of the Nigeria Customs.

He said that his men relied on intelligence and carried out round the clock surveillance for a period of three days before swooping on the target area where the seizure was made.

According to him, the suspected smugglers seen from afar with the drugs dived into water to escape upon sighting customs officers approaching to make the seizure.

“The drugs were suspected to be coming from Ghana and had passed other countries by water before getting to Shashi area of Lagos where it was seized.

“Since no suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure, it will be liable to destruction in collaboration with relevant government agencies like National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Nigeria Police,” he said.

Peters said that the command had achieved 39 seizures within the first four months of the year, which is higher than 12 seizures made within the same period of 2019.

He said that the command made seizures with a total duty paid value of N1,063,427,800 which was higher than DPV of N36,420,481.46 achieved within the same period of last year.

He listed the breakdown of the 2020 seizures made so far as 1,816 bags of rice valued at N38,134,375; 733 cartons of poultry products worth N7,421,625; and 104 bales of second hand clothing worth N4,393,400.

The also include 665 bales of textile materials worth N2,094,400 and 112 kegs of 25 litre petroleum products valued at N112,000.

Other seizures listed are, 25 bales of second hand shoes and belts worth N8,019,000; 25 cartons of chewing gum worth N1,203,000 and the unprecedented seizure of cannabis

The Comptroller attributed the seizure recorded to the renewed spirit of work amongst officers and men of the command to achieve the Comptroller General of Customs strategic plan of zero tolerance to smuggling.

He also attributed it to high level of intelligence gathering and enhanced customs community relations.

Peters said this was in addition to close collaboration with other government agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, among others.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Politics

Lagos says Pen-Cinema Brigde will soon be completed

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The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, has assured residents that  ongoing construction of the Pen-Cinema Bridge in Agege would soon be completed.

Hamzat gave the assurance through his Instagram page on Thursday.

The deputy governor said that he paid an unscheduled visit/inspection to the ongoing construction of the Pen-Cinema Bridge.

According to Hamzat, the engineers still have a long way to go.

He, however, expressed optimism about work done and assured that the bridge would be completed soon.

“Work is ongoing and l am impressed with the progress made so far.

“Though we still have a long way to go,  but l am optimistic that the construction work will soon be completed and residents can make use of the bridge,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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