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LASG set to reduce malnutrition indices

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The Lagos State Government {LASG} on Wednesday expressed its readiness to work with nutrition partners to reduce the malnutrition indices in the state.

 

Mrs Yewande Falugba, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Youth and Social Development, said this during an advocacy visit by the Civil Society-Scaling Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) team to the ministry.

 

She said that enhancing nutrition among children, women and the elderly was crucial to the government.

 

She said that the ministry would set up a committee to work on improving nutrition among the groups listed above.

 

According to her, Lagos state has various homes being overseen by the ministry, adding that nutritionists were employed to ensure that meals with nutritional benefits were served in those homes.

 

“Babies in orphanages cannot be breastfed but there are alternatives to ensure that they get the required nutritional benefits,’’ she said.

 

She said that the ministry, saddled with the responsibility of providing succour to the vulnerable, would ensure that it serves their interests by promoting their inclusion and welfare.

 

Earlier, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, the Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, said that the state had to take urgent actions to reduce its malnutrition indices.

 

She said that that stunting rate in the state which she said was standing at 17.3 per cent was high.

 

She added that the state’s wasting rate at 6.6 per cent was also above the five per cent specified by the World Health Organisation.

 

Eluaka advised the state government to embark on actions that would reduce the rate.

 

She , however,  commended the state government for approving nutrition budget lines across key line ministries in the state’s 2020 budget.

 

She called for cash backing and timely release of funds to facilitate the full implementation of the State Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition.

 

Eluaka said that the CS-SUNN would continue to advocate and improve capacity building of relevant stakeholders until Nigeria is transformed into a country where every citizen has food and nutrition secured.

 

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Peter Dada

Metro

Lockdown: Market leaders urge LASG to allow daily operations

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Some foodstuff traders at Agboju Market, Festac Town in Lagos on Thursday called on the state government to further ease the lockdown to allow daily markets in the state.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria, in separate interviews in Lagos that they were incurring losses opening markets on alternate days.

The Market Leader, Mrs Osinatu Adebayo, said government’s directive to alternate market days in the state to curtail the spread of Coronavirus pandemic came with some challenges, particularly for the foodstuff traders.

“We know the government bears us in mind when taking decisions and because of that, we have been obeying the directives.

“We wash our hands, we use face masks and we only operate the market as directed.

“The people, who sell foods like fish, meat, tomatoes, pepper and vegetables are really suffering; when they have leftovers, it goes bad before the next market day,” she said.

Adebayo urged the LASG to consider allowing the market operate daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Also, Mrs Rebecca Udeh, a trader, said it has been quite challenging for those of them who sell perishable foods, particularly on wet days, when sales are low.

Udeh, who is also a member of the market task force said: “These three days don’t work for us; if we don’t finish selling today, by next tomorrow, they’ve spoilt.

“We’ve been observing the state’s directives of wearing face masks, washing hands and trying to maintain social distancing; we even have a drum outside for water and soap.

The LASG can give more restrictions, we’ll obey them, but they should please allow us sell daily.”

She commended the Nigeria Police and members of the Man-O-War, who collaborate with the market task force to enforce the directives.

Udeh further commended the residents of Festac Town for complying with the use of face masks when shopping at the market.

Another trader, Mrs Sikiratu Ajao, urged the LASG to further ease the directives on markets.

According to her, some of the traders are the breadwinners of the families and depend on daily sales to meet their responsibilities.

“Anything they want us to do, we will do but let them adjust it a little more by allowing us to sell daily,” she said.


Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Computer Village: Community seeks LASG intervention over looming crisis

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The Ogunbiyi Community Development Association (CDA) in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State has urged the state government to intervene over an alleged constant harassment by hoodlums at Ikeja Computer Village market.

Mr Timi Davies, Vice Chairman, Ogunbiyi CDA, who also doubled as the chairman of coalition of associations in Computer Village, told newsmen on Wednesday that his people were tired of constant harassment on residents by thugs.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the traders shutdown the biggest ICT market on Saturday in protest against constant assault on the people by some hoodlums.

Trouble started on Saturday when the CDA erected a gate at Idowu Lane in the market which was allegedly removed and carted away on the order of the Iyaloja who also ordered the arrest of t two men, including the CDA Chairman.

Davis urged the state government to come to their aid and intervene before the matter degenerated into major crisis in the community.

He said, “This is an ICT business hub, this is not a market where they sell pepper and tomatoes, therefore, installing Babaloja and Iyaloja here is a misnomer. Computer Village do not belong to the market women association for Christ’s sake.

“We have made our position clear that we do not want these people, they do not represent us because we have our own different associations to which we belong.

“Moreover, they have continued to harass and assault people here to the extent that customers are already running away from the business environment for fear of being harassed.

What happened Saturday is that the CDA erected a gate at Idowu lane to protect the market from burglars which was witnessed during the lockdown.

“We approached the local government, being our supervising body, and we were given the approval, but in the evening, Iyaloja sent hoodlums to remove the gate while she also ordered the arrest of the CDA chairman and others.

“Their offence for being arrested was that they didn’t take permission from Iyaloja and Babaloja before erecting the  gate to protect their goods from being stolen.”

Davis said that the traditional title of Iyaloja or Babaloja did not give them the permission to govern the community which was under the CDA created by law of the state.

He called on the state government to intervene to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the area.

Reacting, the Iyaoloja of Computer Village market, Mrs Abimbola Azeez-Isokpehi said “the Idowu Lane where the gate was erected had always been part of Computer Village.”

Azeez-Isokpehi said there were archs built by TECNO mobile with sign boards of Iyaloja which was erected at all the entrances of Computer Village.

“Suddenly, some people just thought they can cordon off Idowu Lane, claiming it is not part of Computer Village and they want to be alone.

“These unscrupulous elements wanted to try my authority by removing Idowu Lane as part of Computer Village.

“That was why they went to erect the gate there without my knowledge and I cannot be looking for people who hold the keys to the market when I am in charge,” she said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Politics

LASG confiscates 2 houses allegedly used for fraud

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The Lagos State government, on Tuesday, says it has confiscated two houses allegedly used in defrauding unsuspected residents in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, made this known during the 2020 ministerial press briefing to commemorate the first year of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.
Benson-Awoyinka said that henceforth, any fraudsters caught would be prosecuted.
She said that government had resolved to take such strong measures to stop developers and agents from defrauding members of the public in the state.
The governor’s aide, who is also in charge of the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD), said that the agency was currently prosecuting two developers who allegedly duped people in Ketu and Mafoluku areas.
She said that government had also seized their properties and that her office was working on ways of selling them, adding that the proceeds from the sale would be used to settle those who were defrauded.
Benson-Awoyinka, however, appealed to members of the public to always patronise agents and developers, who were registered with the agency.
”We have successfully reviewed the Estate Agency Regulatory Law, Cap L28, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 presently in operation in the state, which provides for the establishment of the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority.
”The
essence of this law is to regulate real estate transactions in Lagos State by identifying persons eligible to be licensed as real estate practitioners and provide for the issuance or renewal of annual permits,” the special adviser said.
According to her, the agency has the responsibility of maintaining a register of licensed real estate practitioners and sanctioning of unlicensed ones in the state.
”However, there is the need to sanitise real estate transactions in the state. In achieving this, the state must have a data base of persons dealing in real estate transactions for it to control their activities.
”Thus government must amend the law to reflect its efforts in monitoring the transactions of real estate in a way that is proactive so as to protect its citizens and rid the state of fraudsters,” she said.


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Agriculture

Imota rice mill ready by end of 2020-LASG

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The Lagos State Government,  says its multi billion Naira 32-metric tonnes per hour rice mill at Imota, will be completed and delivered on or before the end of the year.

The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal disclosed this on Sunday, while highlighting activities to commemorate one-year anniversary of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Lawal said that the rice mill had attained 80 per cent completion level compared to 35 per cent when the administration assumed office in May 2019.

According to the commissioner, the mill when operational will ensure steady supply of freshly processed rice of about 2.4 million bags of 50kg per annum to Lagosians, in addition to over 250,000 jobs to be created in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the rice value chain.

Lawal said  that effective efforts had  been put into backward integration along the rice value chain to ensure adequate supply of paddy to the mill for smooth operations.

He said that the backward integration included the identification of farmers’ groups in conjunction with other states to cultivate the required amount of paddy and the provision of inputs such as seeds, fertiliser and irrigation facilities where applicable to the farmers.

“To meet the paddy requirement of the mill, we have undertaken a backward integration in form of collaboration with other states like Southwestern states, Kwara, Sokoto, Benue, Borno and Kebbi.

“This will be done leveraging on the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the rice mill as the off taker of the products,” Lawal said.

The commissioner explained that the Agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme (Agric-YES) had been revamped within the past one year in such way that a total of 15,000 youth and women would be trained and empowered.

He said beneficiaries would be trained in various agricultural value chain such as poultry, aquaculture, rice, piggery and vegetable production by the year 2023.

The Agric-YES is an initiative of the Lagos state government which targets to encourage youth and women who are interested in agriculture to embrace the sector.

“One of its major objectives is to achieve a significant reduction in unemployment, create more jobs and wealth, and significantly enhance food security in Lagos state by year 2023.

“It also seeks to promote the state’s target of producing at least 25 per cent of the food consumed by residents of the state before the end of year 2025,” the commissioner said.

Lawal said the need to meet the challenges of up scaling food production in the state made the ministry to treat agriculture as both a business and development platforms by using strategic partners to stimulate investment in the state.

“The increasing population of the state put pressure on the state’s food security, supply mechanism and available infrastructure, hence the need to prepare adequately to meet the challenges to upscale food production cannot be over emphasised.

“The ministry has, therefore, treated agriculture as both a business and development platforms with a plan to using strategic partners to stimulate investment in the state,” he said.

The commissioner explained that his ministry’s roles in the (T.H.E.M.E.S) developmental agenda are to ensure food security and improved nutrition for Lagosians; wealth and employment generation with inclusive participation of youth and women.

He listed other roles as to create enabling environment for private sector investment and institution of policies that supported sustainable agri-business practices.

“It is important to reiterate that the vision of making Lagos a 21st century economy through Agri-business transformation would result in the attainment of four goals.

“To contribute to job and wealth creation by training 15,000 people, ensure food security and improved nutrition, move to the top of key agricultural value chain and increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the state government,” Lawal added.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma (NAN)

 

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Environment

LASG to decamp Abule-Egba pipeline explosion victims from Igando relief camp

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The Lagos State Government says it set to decamp the Abule-Egba pipeline explosion victims from the Igando Relief camp on June 30.

Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday.

Oke-Osanyintolu said the state government had been supporting the rehabilitation of victims since January when the explosion occurred.

He said that the government would be closing the camp effective June 30.

According to him, LASEMA had worked with multiple agencies to ensure the safety and security of the 300 victims, including 40 infants and 30 children in many ways.

He said the government has been feeding and accommodating victims and providing transport and educational support for school-aged children prior to the spread of the COVID-19 into the country.

According to him, the people have also been enjoying the full medical treatment, including secondary care where required, and antenatal care for pregnant women in partnership with the Alimosho General Hospital.

“Other support being rendered to the victims include psychosocial support and counselling, financial assistance to facilitate re-entry into society and COVID-19 safety awareness among others.

“In particular, we appreciate all the corporate bodies that supported in cash and kind,’’ Oke-Osanyintolu said.

He wished all the victims success as they return home, urging them to stay safe and alert. .

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Metro

Hike in BRT fares unfair, commuters cry to LASG

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Some commuters in Lagos State on Friday expressed dissatisfaction over the hike in fares by the Primero Transport Services Limited, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the BRT operator on Thursday announced an upward review of transport fares across all routes with effect for Friday to meet up with current challenges.

The Managing Director of the firm, Mr Fola Tinubu, had told NAN that a trip that cost commuters N200 had been increased to N300, and  that of N300 had risen to N500.

Tinubu said that the firm understood the plight of the people and the economic situation, but that the step became imperative to keep serving the commuters diligently and to provide a world-class service for them.

According to him, cost of operating the buses had increased so much that the firm is finding it difficult to survive and sustain operations, and had been piling up losses.

Some commuters plying Ikorodu-CMS axis, however, told NAN that the increase in fares at such a trying time for the masses would further increase hardship and financial burdens.

“Why are they doing this to the masses at a time when government is supposed to be doing things that will make people survive this difficult time?

“Even if the hike is truly necessary, it should not be now. More so, there is no increase in pump price. This action is ill-timed.

“The government is encouraging yellow buses to push up their fares, then life will be more difficult. It should not be now. This will bring hardship, “Mr Gift Wejem, a furniture maker, told NAN.

Mrs Ade Adesiyan, a media expert, said that the best the government could have done at such a time was to provide bailout funds for the BRT operators if they were finding it difficult to operate.

Adesiyan, who said that though some people would not be affected by the increase in fares, government authorities should have considered the poor whose burden would be heavier.

“This is not a good time, but for some of us, we are interested in smart, effective and efficient services. We will be glad to witness reformed services. It will be disappointing if the services remain the same.

“The time we lose at bus stations waiting for buses is too much. We will be happy if this is addressed now that the fares have been increased.”

A welder, Mr Titus Oyedeji, who was Lekki-bound, from Ikorodu, said the hike potrayed insensitivity on the part of government.

Oyedeji asked: “How can government-controlled buses be thinking of profit making at a time when the poor masses are fighting hard to survive? I am not happy at all.”

According to him, the hike will affect so many people who, because of their pockets, always wait for long on queues to use the BRT buses.

The BRT operator had earlier withdrawn its services since Monday over losses occasioned by COVID-19 new transport guidelines that mandated it to commute only 20 passengers per trip instead of 70.

The firm resumed operation on Friday morning with a new fare regime, saying it had received the government’s nod for an upward review.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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General news

LASG seeks professional bodies’ collaboration to stop building collapse

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Planning

and Florence Onuegbu

Lagos, May 29, the 2020 The Lagos State Government has appealed to professional bodies in the building industry to help the state stem the tide of building collapse in built-up environments.

Dr Idris Salako, state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, made the appeal while fielding questions from journalists during the annual ministerial press briefing to mark Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s first-year administration.

Salako said the professionals could achieve this by holding its members liable for construction failures.

He noted that the state has strong regulatory agencies and committees on collapse buildings but needed the support of professional associations who could apply sanctions to serve as a deterrent.

He said that the ministry monitored developments and even went to the extent of prosecuting some builders over sharp practices.

The commissioner added that participation of professional associations was important for success against the menace.

“It is difficult for the ministry to look into the professional qualifications and competence of the people engaged for some of the collapsed structures.

“Government may not be able to have that power to deal with them professionally but the Building Control Appeals Committee can help deal with them by relating with the professional bodies involved to look at the competencies of those who are doing it.

“We can only appeal to professional bodies that when we refer these matters to them, they can help us deal with their members professionally.

“That will also help to reduce incidences of building collapse,’’ Salako said.

The commissioner said that an existing law, which made owners of collapsed buildings forfeit the property to the state government, was one of the measures adopted to stem the tide of building collapse.

On new settlements, Salako said that 11 model city master plans have been prepared.

He added that two others, located in Kosofe and Lagos Island model city plans, were in the process of being awarded.

He listed locations of village plans to open up new settlements alongside several reforms in some local governments in the state to ensure ease of doing business, using technology.

“The importance of planning in the built environment cannot be overemphasised as planning is the pathway to improved standard of living, economic prosperity, orderly, liveable and suitable environment.’’

The commissioner said that the ministry would continue to sustain its zero-tolerance policy against illegal constructions.

He urged residents to seek approval from relevant agencies of the state government before building.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Business

LASG grants three-month moratorium to MSMEs

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The Lagos State Government has approved a three-month moratorium to operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) who borrowed from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, made this known on Thursday, during the Year 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing, to commemorate one year of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

Akande said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu granted the moratorium as part of concessions to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the MSMEs.

”The moratorium will serve as a palliative, encourage entrepreneurship and sustain the confidence of small scale industrialists and MSME operators in the state,” she said.

Akande urged all Captains of Industry across the state to continue supporting the state government, in order to fully deliver the gains of democracy to the people.

She said that the ministry would continue to render its support to members of all business organisations, toward boosting their businesses.

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

 

 

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General news

LASG moves to criminalize infrastructure vandalism

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The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said that it would enforce laws to stop damage to public infrastructure, especially roads.

Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, said this while taking questions from newsmen during the 2020 ministerial press briefing.

The briefing was also to commemorate first anniversary of the Sanwo-Olu administration.

Adeyoye, who lamented excess loading, indiscriminate road cutting and burning, as well as theft of manholes covers, appealed to residents to support the protection of government assets.

She explained that the office of the Civic Engagement would soon embark on massive enlightenment campaign to change attitude of residents towards public assets in the state.

“We are trying to promulgate laws and enforce existing laws to make people liable for vandalizing public assets.

“For open manholes covers, I keep saying this, anything we do not take ownership of is like no man’s property.

When I see people burn tyres on the road, manhole covers removed by scavengers, I say we should not be so destructive because this is your money, our money, tax payer’s money.

“Mechanics stay on the road and want to repair cars there, one thing we say in the Ministry of Works is, ‘stop vadalisation of those property take ownership of them.’

She urged residents to assist the government to safeguard the public facilities by educating themselves on the dangers their actions posed to others.

Adeyoye said that the state government was trying to harmonize its rules with a Federal Government law which criminalizes anyone carrying excess load beyond roads capacity in order to ensure the long lasting of the roads.

“It becomes like an offense when you do excess loading on those road pavements, you pay a charge or penalty. I am sure by the time we do that, these roads will last longer,’’ she said.

She said that the state government was also reviewing its Public Private Partnership (PPP) laws to encourage private sector participation to address the huge road infrastructure deficit in the state which government alone could not handle.

“We will definitely encourage PPP participation but we also need to amend our PPP laws so that it becomes attractive to investors.

“And also, our arbitration laws must be made to be investors friendly. So we are looking at those laws, so that we can get the best from investors.

“That is why we have called in investors for the 4th Mainland Bridge, we are looking for investors to see who has money and to see that they deliver value for the money,” she said.

Speaking on abandoned Federal Government buildings in the state, she said state government was planning to collaborate with the Federal Government on how to take over the management of the assets.

On inner roads and interconnectivity, she said that the state government had embarked on massive rehabilitation and reconstruction across the state to reduce travel time and remove gridlock.

The Special Adviser said that the state government had completed and commissioned 31 network of roads in Ojokoro LCDA within its one year period in office.

“The completion of these network of roads has offered traffic relief to the area, improved socio-economic activities and interconnectivity to the neighboring Ogun State.

The 20.2km length of network of road executed in two phases also creates easy access and reliefs the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway,’’ she said.

Adeyoye said that the Ijedodo road neglected for several years had been awarded by the state government and would be handled by Messers Oceanic.

“In furtherance of the priority given to road rehabilitation and construction in Lagos State, the people of the flood prone areas of Ijegun, Ijagemo and Ijedodo will soon put harrowing experience behind them as the state government prepares to construct the phase I of the project situated in Ojo Local Government Area,’’ she said.

She said that the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Agric-Isawo road into a four-lane dual carriageway, conceived to link Ikorodu axis with Lagos-Ibadan expressway through Arepo in Ogun State, was about 20 per cent completed.

She added that the reconstruction and upgrade Of Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe road, Ikorodu, another project to link several communities was about 12 per cent completed.

She listed road under various completion stages to include, Samuel Ekundayo/Toga road in Badagry, Samuel Ekundayo road/Toga road, Intersection-Samuel Ekundayo/Aradagun-Iworo-Ajido-Epeme road Intersection and Ishefun -Camp Davies- Ijon road Network in Alimosho.

She also listed various interstate link roads to Ogun as well as car parks, jetties and other public buildings under construction to make life comfortable for Lagos residents.

Edited By: JaneFrances Oraka/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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