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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)

Entertainment

Actress Toyin Abraham seeks justice for murder of teenager in Lagos

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Actress Toyin Abraham has called on the police and judiciary to ensure that the killer of late Tina Ezekwe was made to face the wrath of the law.

Abraham took to her instagram page (toyin_abraham) to also call for proper compensation for the family of the deceased who was shot dead by policemen.

The actress, who spoke with the parents of the deceased, expressed sadness over the development, urging Nigerians to extend their love and generousity toward the family.

“I spoke to Tina’s mum yesterday and today, it was the most heartbreaking moments of 2020; I am sad, very very sad.

“Being a parent doesn’t have to be this hard in Nigeria, Federal Government, Nigeria Police, we need justice.

“This should not go like any other case, life truly needs to matter.

“Please let’s support the family as much as we can and keep them in our prayers. I am so sad, so heartbroken,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that policemen who were trying to enforce curfew at the end of the Third Mainland Bridge shot at the driver of a commercial bus.

Tina Ezekwe was hit by a bullet and was rushed to the hospital but didn’t survive.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Politics

Lagos govt hosts drive-in concert to reinvigorate entertainment sector

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The Lagos State Government said it hosted a premier and innovative drive-in concert to reinvigorate the entertainment sector in the state.

Dr Dolapo Fasawe, General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), said in a statement on Sunday that the agency supervised the drive-in concert to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The innovative drive-in concert was organised by Lapazio Lifestyles and Entertainment Group at the Bay Lounge, Admiralty Way, Lekki.

Fasawe said that the concert was given the greenlight by the state government and was adequately supervised for total compliance with all stipulated safety guidelines.

According to her, the state government is beginning to ease the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and safely reinvigorate the entertainment landscape after a long break.

”The drive-in concert event is globally accepted as a new model for hosting safe entertainment events.

”Lagos, being a prime destination for entertainment and leisure events in Africa, should not be left behind in this new trend that ensures that fans connect with their favourite musicians or idols without breaking COVID-19 safety and environmental regulations.

”Society benefits from entertainment; it adds structure to our social lives. Our goal is to ensure that the entertainment world can operate in a safe and healthy environment to create lasting positive memories, as we adjust to the post COVID-19 lifestyle,” she said.

The General Manager said that though the event was successful, there was still room for improvement.

She said that the agency intended to do a thorough evaluation of the event and subsequently come up with a more robust plan for the future, while extending the scheme to other relevant sectors.

”Our goal is to support the entertainment sector in tandem with outlined social distancing and environmental protocols which will attract heavy sanction if violated or defaulted flagrantly to serve as a deterrent to others,” Fasawe said.

She said that the event was a test run for the new normal and the success recorded was a win for all and a guide for future events in the state.

The General Manager said that Lagos placed a high premium on the lives of all its residents, thus, the need to adopt new approaches that safeguarded the citizenry.

The event had about 50 vehicles in attendance parked in line with physical distancing guidelines recommended by the government.

The attendees were safely seated in their vehicles enjoying the tunes of popular musician Mayokun within the marked spaces.

It was supervised by officers of LASEPA, Lekki Zonal Office, led by Yetunde Atoyebi, in line with the monitoring guidelines and mandate of the agency.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

FG begins 2020 systematic maintenance of all Lagos bridges, drains evacuation

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The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Kayode Popoola, on Sunday said the  government had begun a “systematic maintenance of all bridges in Lagos’’ to ensure smooth rides and safety.

Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone that government had a schedule to fix all bridges in Lagos State in batches this year as funds were made available.

“We have plans for maintenance of all bridges in Lagos state this year, our prayer is that the COVID-19 pandemic should come to an end so that we can swing into action.

“There is going to be systematic maintenance, we will change the rubbers of the expansion joints and any one that the metal is bad.

“We are going to replace bearings on expansion joints that are worn out, that is the systematic programme that we have this year.

“We say systematic because we cannot take all the bridges at once; for instance, we are to maintain Third Mainland Bridge, Marine Beach Bridge, Eko Bridge, Ijora 7Up Bridge, so, we are taking them one after another, ’’ he said.

He explained that funding and traffic congestion were some of the reasons why the bridges could not be shut for repairs at the same time.

“We want to schedule the maintenance,’’ he said.

He explained that contracts for repairs of the Third Mainland, Ijora 7Up and Marine Beach Bridges had been awarded while that of Eko Bridge was undergoing procurement for award.

Speaking on the Marine Beach Bridge in Apapa which was supposed to be closed for repairs, Popoola said that the closure for rehabilitation was still being delayed because of rainfall.

He explained that the rains was slowing down ongoing patching of all adjoining roads to the bridge to avert gridlock, adding that, repair works were being washed off by flood.

“We will complete the repairs  and close the bridge anytime this week to begin work on it, I cannot tell you if it is Monday or Tuesday but I am sure it will be this week.

“We have to ensure the adjoining roads are in good condition to take traffic before we close any part of the bridge,’’ he said.

Popoola explained that drains on highways and bridges were also being cleaned to avert flooding.

“The cleaning of weep holes on Long Bridge (Lagos-Ibadan Expressway) is ongoing. Desilting of weep holes is a regular thing, that is, we open them up and clean if not, they will have all been silted up by now, silted up means that they will have been blocked by sand.

“We are also removing garbage from  manholes so that all our drainages will function very well.

“We are currently cleaning manholes on Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Road, Globatek (contractor) is working on it  to address major problems of flooding on that road,’’ he said.

The controller appealed to Lagos residents to stop indiscriminate disposal of refuse in drains and open manholes to avert flooding.

“Lagosians should please stop dropping garbage inside the manholes. When you go there you will see used tyres, planks and all manners of rubbish. It will be difficult for flood waters to pass through to go into the canals.

“Manhole is not meant to collect garbage, people should not drop refuse in gutters and all drainage paths to allow free flow of water,’’ he said.

He lamented that vandals were stealing manhole covers but that plans were on to replace the covers with concrete that could not be easily removed.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Environment

Lagos Govt. moves toward reopening of economy — Official

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The Lagos State Government would soon embark on the ‘Register-to-Open Initiative’ toward gradual reopening of the economy in the state.

Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, told journalists in Ikeja on Sunday that the exercise was in compliance with Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directives toward reopening of the economy, especially religious and social centres.

He said that consultations were ongoing with all stakeholders in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

He noted that upon registration, a verification process would be carried out to ensure adequate space management was put in place across the various centres.

Mojola said that the processes would also guarantee that social distancing, hygiene and safety measures were maintained across all religious and social centres.

“A committee has been set up by Gov. Sanwo-Olu, headed by the Hon. Commissioner for Special Duties and intergovernmental Relations, Mr Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, consisting of other ministries including, Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Home Affairs.

“The other ministries are Physical Planning and Urban Renewal,  Economic Planning and Budget to ensure that the process of reopening was done effortlessly.

“The commission has met with various stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism sectors and will be engaging more stakeholders in the coming week on the best approach to the gradual reopening of the economy and registration of entities within the various sectors.

“The process is not tedious and time consuming, it takes into account all religious centres, event centres, gyms, night clubs, bars, lounges, spars, cinemas, restaurants, etc,” Mojola said.

He appealed for collective effort by all stakeholders to beat the COVID-19 pandemic and urged residents to cooperate with the government in adhering to all safety guidelines. .

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Lagos govt. unfolds strategies toward resilient city evolution

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The Lagos State Government on Saturday said that it had evolved strategies through inter-agency collaboration to deal with shocks of rapid urbanisation toward evolving a resilient safe and healthy city.

Mr Gbolahan Oki, Chief Resilience Officer, Lagos State Resilience Office, made this known during a zoom meeting organised by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) with the theme `Cities beyond Pandemic’.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that resilience includes the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within the city to survive, adapt and grow; in spite of acute shocks or chronic stresses.

He listed sharp shocks that threatened Lagos State in recent times to include fire outbreak, building collapse, COVID-19 outbreak, flooding, traffic congestion, bloated population, among others.

Oki explained that the state government was returning to a vertical settlement template started by the Babatunde Fashola’s regime, which offered opportunity for building affordable mass housing in small land areas.

He added that high rise buildings were an important strategy for dealing with the problem of urban slums and overcrowding, which could trigger and increase disease outbreak and spread.

“Resilience is all about being all inclusive with the agencies working together to bounce back and look good,’’ he said.

Oki said that the state government was adopting intermodal transportation to deal with some of the problems.

He added that the state launched a strategy about five months ago to implement the city resilience framework which included health and well-being as well as the infrastructure and environment.

Oki further explained that the state was discussing with communities, local governments and its leadership on ways to evolve workable inclusive strategies to curb stresses and shocks of urbanisation.

He said that the resilience office was working on health, security, environment strategy in line with the global resilience standards while carrying other agencies along.

He noted that a letter had been sent to local governments through its permanent secretary to ensure communities and the third tier of government got involved in urban slum upgrading processes.

Dr Idris Salako, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, represented by his aide, Mr Niyi Osinaike, said the COVID-19 pandemic increased cost of building materials and other items across board.

Salako said that the ministry was interfacing with the ministry of health and other agencies to evolve “robust strategies for disaster management” and curb spread of coronavirus.

He added that the ministry’s monitoring surveillance mechanisms had been upgraded by its agencies to implement the model city plan of the state government.

Other speakers at the event stressed the need to encourage mixed land use to reduce migration, upgrade slums, address infrastructure and housing needs, tackle the effects of climate change for the health and welfare of the people.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19 mortality rises to 50 in Lagos

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says three another COVID-19 related deaths were recorded, increasing the infection mortality in the state to 50.

Abayomi made the disclosure through his Twitter account on Saturday evening.

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

Abayomi added that 254 new cases of COVID-19 infection were confirmed in Lagos on May 29, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 4,393.

The commissioner noted that on the same day, 29 COVID-19 patients- five females and 24 males, including two Indians, 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 854,” he said.

Abayomi said that COVID-19 was real, advising residents to ensure regular handwashing and physical distancing to make Lagos disease free.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Lagos has 3, 471 active cases, two evacuated from Nigeria, while 16 were transferred to Ogun and Ondo.

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Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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General news

Experts call for inclusive slums upgrade in Lagos,other cities

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Some experts on Saturday called  for the upgrade  of slums in Nigeria through sustained efforts to build resilient cities that would enhance good health and welfare of  the residents.

 

The experts who made the calls  at a zoom meeting organised by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP),also said that such upgrade would protect the environment.

 

The theme of the meeting was: `’Cities beyond Pandemic’’.

 

They urged leaders in Lagos State and across the country to plan for  inclusive urban settlements that would reduce migration,tackle infrastructure problems,  and avert spread of diseases from overcrowding.

 

The experts also called for sustained slums upgrade plans for local communities that would make electricity, education, transportation, security, employment and mass housing availalable to the residents.

 

In her presentation, Chiara Tomaselli, the Urban Resilience Project Manager, Resilience, Sixense Engineering, Paris, stressed the need for knowledge to face the uncertainties of COVID-19.

 

Tomaselli ,who spoke on:  “Managing Cities Development Need in Post Pandemic’’, said that ignorance and limited resources were some  of the challenges facing  African cities in preventing outbreak of  diseases.

 

She called on African  leaders to  immediately begin to address underlying issue of infrastructure deficit that had given rise to urban slums.

 

Tomaselli commended the Lagos State  Government’s response to COVID-19,adding that it was important for the state to build urban resilience that would  provide good transportation,health and other needs for her citizens.

 

“We need to increase mobility without compromising health issues. Mobility shouldn’t ignore climate change.

 

“Also public health capturing in urban metropolitan area is important to curb the transmission of the virus. Improper water and sanitation also lead to outbreaks, ” she said.

 

She, however, warned that realistic planning should capture the most vulnerable people through adequate provision of affordable food, shelter and other basic needs.

 

“We have to know  that cities are places of opportunities and they will keep growing,” she said.

 

According to her, technology can be used to tackle the problem of overpopulation citing Japan and Korea as examples of countries leveraging on technology to deal with congestion.

 

Also,  Mr Nelson De Lamare, a climate change expert, emphasised the importance of the local government in driving clean climate agenda  that would have direct impact on a healthy environment.

 

Lamare said  that carbon emissions had reduced in several countries due to the COVID-19  pandemic as  there had been less industrial activities and vehicular movement.

 

He, however, noted that the difference in carbon emissions was not so visible in Lagos because of inadequate power supply which had  increased the use of generators inspite of the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

“Fighting climate change does not only require behavioural changes but also systemic changes,” he said.

 

Lamare listed other causes of climate change linked to human action, and called for a need to  reduce both the COVID-19 curve and that of global warming  for more resilient cities.

 

He said that the global warming curve could only be flattened if local authorities take swift political decisions to safeguard both health and the environment.

 

Lamare said that town planners should be at the forefront of driving resilient cities agenda while calling for political will on the part of leaders to evolve and implement policies.

 

“Post pandemic recovery plans must tackle the climate crisis by improving how cities are built, organised and used, by adjusting policies towards greener and cleaner economies and increasing resilience to future crisis.

 

“Mainstream climate mitigation and adaptation properties in stimulus packages and investments to recover from the crisis, while setting accompanying measures for the most vulnerable groups who may be disproportionately affected,’’ he said.

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Also,  Mr Paul Okunlola, the Program Officer of UN Habitat in Abuja ,said that  COVID-19 had shut down economic and social activities in several countries including Nigeria.

 

Okunlola said that the crisis had presented opportunities for town planners to drive the agenda of tackling challenges of urbanisation and urban slums.

 

He gave statistics of COVID-19 incidences and fatalities in countries and compared the figures with Ebola crisis, and called for focus on how cities develop and  enforce planning to remove pressure on infrastructure.

 

“Urban planning will need  a new Central role in the post COVID-19 recovery era. The stimulation presents a unique opportunity to rethink the way cities are planned, built and managed,’’ he said.

 

He called for a new city plan that  would capture the informal sector and the poor to accommodate changing travel, shopping and work lifestyles of urban dwellers.

 

An architect,Mr Jorgen Andersen, who spoke  on “Pandemics and Planning in African Cities’’ also noted the  huge infrastructure deficit due to lack of sustained planning.

 

Andersen, an associate professor at the  Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Denmark, made slide presentations of poor living densities of various African communities including Mokoko in Lagos State, vunerable to  COVID-19 infection.

 

According to him, most of the inhabitants lived and worked in the informal economy in compact settlements and houses which make social distancing impossible.

 

“How can you have social distancing when we live in settings like this, how can you go into self isolation if you are living in a condition like this. This is a challenge for regional and urban planners.

 

“In order to build better cities  preparing for future pandemics, communities should be carried along to become involved, upgrade slums.

 

“Planning is governance and governance is about interest ,and it should capture the ordinary people,’’ he said.

Edited /Peter Dada

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Politics

COVID-19: Lagos discharges 27 Nigerians, 2 Indians

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The Lagos State Government says 29 additional coronavirus patients, comprising two Indians and 27 Nigerians have been discharged from its isolation centres.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the announcement in a statement on Friday.

He said that a total of 854 patients had now been discharged in the state.

Today (Friday) 29 COVID-19 Lagos patients; 24 males and 5 females, including two Indians were discharged from our Gbagada, Lekki and Agidingbi isolation facilities to reunite with the society.

”The patients, 20 from Gbagada, 6 from Lekki and 3 from Agidingbi Isolation Centres were discharged, having fully recovered and tested negative to COVID-19.

”With this, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos is now 854,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

 

 

 

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Politics

1st Anniversary: Sanwo-Olu virtually inaugurates 18 projects across Lagos

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday inaugurated 18 projects in commemoration of his first year in office.

The inauguration was held virtually in line with the demands of COVID-19 in which the state remained the epicentre in the country.

The projects inaugurated included a concrete jetty with shoreline protection at Ikorodu, rehabilitation, upgrading and construction of road projects at Somolu, Mushin and Badagry.

Also, over 500 houses and apartments in various parts of the state and construction of classroom blocks in both primary and secondary schools in various local government areas and local council development areas of the state.

Sanwo-Olu said that the cardinal part of his ‘Greater Lagos’ vision was infrastructure development and his government had worked assiduously to achieve the numerous of infrastructure inaugurated.

If Lagos is to sustain its Centre of Excellence status in the country, vital infrastructure must be carefully built across all sectors.

”Universally, infrastructure development is critical to achieving human capital development. The economic impact that infrastructure improvement has on nation-building cannot be over-emphasised.

”Without doubt, the growth of any country’s economy hugely depends on the status of its infrastructure. The dearth of needed infrastructure in a given society places serious limitation on human capital development.

”It is in view of its crucial role to achieving rapid economic growth that advanced nations of the world commit huge investment to infrastructural development.

”Essentially, the prosperity of a nation depends on the state of its infrastructure

“From the ancient Roman Empire to the super economic powers of the 21st century, it has been clearly demonstrated that no nation can accomplish true greatness without evolving pragmatic strategies for long-term infrastructural development.

”Therefore, the virtual commissioning of some vital projects on the occasion of the 1st year of our administration clearly amplifies our resolve to build first-class infrastructure across the state,” he said.

The governor urged Lagos residents to take proper ownership of the projects in their respective communities, as the projects were collective heritage.

According to him, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic challenges, the government will not stop work on all road projects across the state.

Similarly, Sanwo-Olu also unveiled two major publications, ‘Towards a Greater Lagos’ and ‘Testimonies: Indisputable Proofs of Dividends of Democracy’, which had been specially produced to highlight the major strides of the administration in the last one year.

He said that the two anniversary publications were veritable sources of information about the policies, programmes and projects of the administration in the past one year.

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

 

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