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BIG STORY

Finally Buhari signs 2016 Budget into law

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Buhari Budget

Finally, President Mohammadu Buhari has assented to the 2016 Appropriation Bill, giving way for full implementation of the budget. The signing took place just a moment ago at the presidential Villa, Abuja.

Recall that the budget was laid before a joint session of the National Assembly on December 22, 2015.

Work on the document began shortly after the Christmas break upon the resumption of the National Assembly for legislative duties. But a plethora of arguments and counter-arguements later ensued between the presidency and the national assembly following the controversial “padding” of the budget against the wishes of President Buhari.

The came after the national assembly had unanimously approved the budget estimates of N6.06 trillion from the initial N6.08 trillion and transmitted to the presidency with the highlight, but failed to attached the details.

Reacting, the president declined to give his assent, insisting on seeing the details. But the details made available later proved to be incredibly padded, prompting the Executive arm to return the budget for a rework.

This unfortunately had taken almost 5 months, causing untold hardship on citizenry. But apparently satisfied with the corrections made on the document, the president on Friday put ink on paper, signing the dotted lines. More details later.

BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Delivers 216 Lagos Homes In Eti-Osa, Surulere, Names Iponri Scheme After Fashola [PHOTOS]

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• New Housing Project Takes Off In Ikoyi-Obalende

• Lagos Builds, Hands Over Research Lab To FG

 

In line with his administration’s effort to close the deficit in the provision of a comfortable housing scheme in Lagos State, the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday formally opened two housing projects in Surulere and Eti Osa axes, which were revived and completed by his administration.

They are 132-unit LagosHOMS projects at Iponri in the Surulere area, and an 84-unit Lekki Phase II housing project in Ikota, along the Ajah corridor.

The inauguration of the projects came four days after the Governor commissioned another 252-unit flat in Idale, Badagry. The Iponri and Ajah housing schemes were delivered through a joint venture between the Ministry of Housing, STB Mortgage Bank, and Lekki Ultimate Company Limited.

Sanwo-Olu named the 132-unit Iponri Housing Scheme after former Lagos State Governor and now Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, who conceived the project.

Besides, the Governor also inaugurated and handed over a laboratory and new office complex which Lagos State Government built for the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI).

Sanwo-Olu said the resuscitation and completion of the two housing projects further testified to his Government’s commitment to improving the lives of Lagosians through service delivery in the area of infrastructure.

The Governor observed that the quality of the projects delivered indicated that his administration’s promises to raise the bar of good governance were not a fluke, stressing that implementation of his development blueprint – Project T.H.E.M.E.S – would continue to be done in line with the needs of the residents.

Sanwo-Olu said the LagosHOMS projects, being supervised by his administration, were being packaged to give citizens comfort through a stress-free ownership structure and mortgage scheme.

He said: “Today, we are gathered to mark yet another fulfillment of our promises in the housing sector. At the inception of this administration, we pledged to provide decent shelter for the people. This promise was made out of the conviction that housing is one of the basic needs of humans and a critical factor that determines the quality of life.

“In the past months, a lot of efforts had gone into completing many of the housing schemes inherited from the past administration. While some of these projects are funded through budgetary allocations, others are being financed through a joint venture with our development partners.

“It is with great pleasure that I perform the commissioning of LagosHOMS Iponri by which we are adding 132 homes to the housing stock in this area. Through the same joint venture, we have delivered another 84-unit Lekki Phase-II Housing Scheme in Ikota, Ajah. These feats mark successful collaborative effort geared towards bridging the housing deficit in the State.”

As his administration builds and delivers quality homes across Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said his Government is also generating ideas on how it would increase affordability and access for low and middle-income families.

Comfortable houses, the Governor said, should not only be for the affluent. He said more convenient ownership packages would be introduced to make more people come on the homeownership ladder, regardless of the socio-economic bracket.

Sanwo-Olu charged more private investors to partner with the State Government in addressing the housing deficit, while also reiterating his administration’s willingness to make unencumbered land available for housing development by private investors on the basis of mutually agreed terms.

He said: “As we commission these housing projects today, I wish to express my appreciation for the invaluable support this administration has enjoyed from the good people of Lagos. We will not take this support and goodwill for granted. In spite of the hurdles, our commitment towards actualizing the Greater Lagos of our dream is irrevocable. Things can and will only get better.”

Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai assured that the Government would leave no stone unturned in providing decent and affordable shelters to all categories of residents in the State.

The scheme delivered 44 units of single-bedroom, 44 units of two-bedroom, and 44 units of three-bedroom flats in Iponri, while the Lekki Phase II scheme consists of 28 units each of single-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments.

The comforting features in the two schemes include a water reticulation plant, central sewage treatment plant, street light, and leisure facilities, among others.

The NVRI edifice and research laboratory situated on Keffi Street, Ikoyi was built by the Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSDPC) in fulfillment of a partnership agreement entered into by Lagos and the Federal Government to end a protracted dispute over land ownership.

The two-storey complex will now be the new regional headquarters of the Institute founded in 1924.

NVRI Governing Board chairman, Mr. Marlin Daniel, praised Governor Sanwo-Olu for fulfilling his pledge to make the project becomes reality. He said the laboratory would raise the nation’s capacity to bring about cutting-edge research on controlling and providing surveillance on communicable animal-borne diseases.

Sanwo-Olu assured the Institute that the State Government would immediately issue title documents on the facility to NVRI to further strengthen the agreement. The Governor also promised to raise funds for the laboratory equipment required to make the Institute functional.

He said: “The NVRI laboratory will boost our capability in the diagnostic aspect of animal health surveillance, while the block of flats is to complement the complex and serve as staff quarters for its workers. We will be supporting the Institute by raising funds to equip the complex with modern and world-class facilities because we believe in excellence and this has to reflect in all aspects including care for our pets and animals in the State.”

Sanwo-Olu also formally kicked off the construction of Keffi Suite, a housing scheme being jointly developed by LSDPC and Rindsan Nigeria Limited. The project will be completed in 24 months.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Buhari Signs Executive Order Over Compulsory Use Of Face Masks For Nigerians

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has signed the Coronavirus Disease Health Protection 2021 which made the use of face masks in public places mandatory among other measures to curtail further spread of COVID-19.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the President signed the document on Tuesday.

He said the President signed the document in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.

Part 2 of the regulation stipulates that no person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks, fitness centre or any other similar establishment “except he is wearing a face covering that covers the nose and mouth, he washes his hands or cleaned the hands using hand sanitiser approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and his body temperature has been checked. Any person found to have a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius shall be denied entry and advised to immediately seek medical attention.”

Part 1 which deals with restrictions on gatherings stipulates that at all gatherings, a physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons.

It added, “No gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.

“All persons in public gatherings, whether in enclosed or open spaces, shall adhere to the provisions of Part 2 of these Regulations.

“The provisions of these regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.”

Details later…

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79-Year-Old Chief Slams N100m Suit Against Lawyer For Exposing His Will

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A 79-year old man, Chief Gaskin Egede Sobrasuaipiki, has dragged a lawyer, Prince Gbogboade Akintoye, before a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, for allegedly disclosing the content of his Will without his consent.

In suit number PHC/2518/CS/2020, the claimant urged the Court to order the defendant to return the file copy of the Will in his possession, saying the Will has been revoked.

He demanded the sum of N100 million as general damages for the defendant’s negligence as well as for the trauma he has suffered as a result of the unprofessional handling of his Will by the defendant.

When the matter came up on Wednesday, the presiding judge, Hon. Justice Okogbule Gbasam adjourned the hearing on the case to February 10, 2021.

Gbasam directed parties involved in the matter to file necessary pre-trial documents to enable the Court to give it a speedy hearing.

Speaking with newsmen outside the courtroom, counsel to the claimant, Erasmus Dike, expressed the optimism that the Court will give them justice.

“My client came to Court against a lawyer, Prince Akintoye. His claim is that the Will he prepared for him was exposed. That is why we are in Court.

“We are pressing for damages to the tune of N100million for his negligence in exposing the Will,” Dike stated.

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