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Babajide Sanwo-Olu(@JideSanwoolu) Unveils “THEME”, His 5 Pillars of Development #ForAGreater Lagos

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APC Lagos Gubernatorial Candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a series of television interviews and special events unveiled “THEME”, the 5 Pillars of Development agenda for a greater Lagos, while calling on his opponents to make the campaign season about issues that affect the people.

The 3-time Lagos Commissioner, who is a graduate of University of Lagos and an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School of Government, was the brain behind many reforms that birthed key transformational initiatives in Lagos such as the private sector-led Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Lagos State Pension Commission, Lagos Bus Management (LAGBUS) among others.

As an Advisor to the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on privatization, concession and commercialization of a number of public assets under the Federal Government privatization programme, Sanwo-Olu had the privilege of working on some landmark deals that resulted in the optimization of public assets including the Aluminum Smelter Company (ALSCON), National Arts Theatre, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Ikoyi Hotels Limited. Sanwo-Olu also worked on the Federal Government Debt Conversion Programme.

Sanwo-Olu was at Television Continental, Channels Television, Lagos Television, Nigeria info FM, Wazobia FM and the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in a very busy week of agenda setting and stakeholders engagement.  

Sanwo-Olu unveiled the acronym, ‘THEME’’ for his policy initiatives, which he detailed as follows:   

T- Traffic Management & Transportation.

“Our plan is to integrate road, rail and water transportation in Lagos to solve the problem of commuting within the metropolis. We will fix all bad roads and expand our road infrastructure. We will complete existing road projects and fix inner city roads.  We will improve navigation on our waterways to facilitate water transportation and promote private investment. Part of our plan is to complete the ongoing Blue Line rail project from Okokomaiko-Marina and kick-start the Red line from Agbado to Marina.

On traffic management, we have identified over 60 gridlock points as the major causes of traffic around Lagos. We are going to work with the federal government to complete the Lagos-Apapa road, build a 5000-capacity trailer park and also work with the Nigerian Port Authority for a strict on-call system that notifies trailers when to pick-up containers to avoid the indefinite waiting period. This is a very important part of our plan.  We have a comprehensive strategy for achieving set goals”. We are particularly committed to reducing travel time within Lagos.

H- Health & Environment

Our healthcare plan will be anchored on comprehensive health insurance scheme for Lagosians to improve access and affordability. We will improve primary and complete many secondary health facilities. We will work with private investors as well to ensure that Lagos is the health care destination for Nigerians. I am meeting with different health care stakeholders, and was a guest at the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria end of the year event, where we discussed ways to improve health care delivery in Lagos.

To keep our environment clean and healthy, we will rejig the waste management system by getting LAWMA to deliver better on its mandate as the regulator, while the PSP model will be made to respond better in collection of waste in Lagos. On the advocacy, we have plan to turn waste to wealth. This we will do by incentivizing waste sorting by our people. We must begin to separate organic waste from other household waste and put them in separate waste bags for recycling companies that will turning waste to primary and secondary raw materials. Those who properly sort their waste can make money.  

E- Education & Technology.

“Our plan is to increase access to public education in Lagos, especially public primary and secondary schools. We will immediately embark on renovation of our schools and make them conducive for learning. Teachers will be trained for capacity enhancement in modern teaching methodology. We want to make teaching a more lucrative field of interest and attract the best of teachers to Lagos schools. We want to work with our educational institutions to improve curriculum and include entrepreneurial studies in our educational programmes.   

We also want to create a smart economy on the back of technology. We will create incubation hubs in Lagos for technology startups to flourish, while also ensuring that we introduce coding into our public school curriculum.

I understand the transformative power of Technology. Technology will improve the rule of law, education, ease of doing business and government processes. Technology will reduce approval process circle in public-private sector dealings. It will improve government efficiency. Giving Entrepreneurs and SMEs the opportunity to thrive will lead to more jobs and more public-private sector partnerships”.

M- Making Lagos a 21st century economy

“We will support the private sector by creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. We will simplify access to government services to make the private sector blossom. We are going to work with the Power Distribution and Power Generating companies to solve the problem of power in Lagos. By this, we will have enough power in Lagos to drive the economy and improve the lives of the citizens. We provide more infrastructure and improve the existing ones to support private businesses and increase productivity of Lagosians. Lagos should be a 24-hour economy.  Security will be very key item on our policy agenda. We will strengthen security agencies in Lagos and equip them to do better.

E- Entertainment & Tourism

“Lagos is the centre of culture and entertainment capital of Africa. We will boost our creative economy with tourism, culture and entertainment. We will develop all our tourism assets in Lagos and create tourism calendar around our important events, like the Eyo festival –  such that it will attract local and international tourists. We will work with the music, film and fashion industries to make Lagos an international tourist destination.

Again, security and infrastructure are key to tourism and entertainment economy because people must feel safe to go out anytime of the day and visit tourist centres.

According to Sanwo-Olu, specific details of the THEME initiatives will be unveiled to the public  

Supporting the 5 main pillars, he has also listed the following as areas of focus;

  • Infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Ease of doing business
  • Land reform
  • Power

Every Sunday on a twitter chat, Babajide Sanwo-Olu(@JideSanwoolu) engages with the electorate, directly answering questions about his plans for a greater Lagos.

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Federal Government Plans Petrol Alternative, To Crash Fuel Price To N97

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The Federal Government on Thursday said it would crash the price of petrol by providing Compressed Natural Gas as an alternative source of fuel for vehicles nationwide.

The CNG is a fuel that can be used in the place of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol. It can also be used in the place of diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

Speaking on what the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources would work on this year during a press conference in Abuja, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, stated that the Federal Government was working for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill before May.

He further stated that moves by the Federal Government to recover $62bn from international oil companies were seemingly impossible, as no such money was sitting anywhere to be harvested by the country.

Sylva further declared that the Nigerian oil and gas sector was retrogressing, particularly when compared to the oil sector of other nations.

He stated that the use of petrol had caused a serious drain on the finances of the Federal Government as a result of the continued subsidy on the commodity.

Explaining how the government intends to crash petrol prices, Sylva said, “When you say we are thinking about reducing the pump price of petrol, I could easily say yes. Why I could say yes is because we are looking at giving the masses an alternative.

“Today, we are using the PMS but what we want to do, going forward is to see that we are able to move the masses to the CNG. If we take all transport vehicles to the use of the CNG, you would have impacted the poor positively.”

Sylva said findings by the government showed that the CNG cost less than the subsidized PMS and that once the CNG was fully deployed, the price of fuel would crash.

“The subsidized rate of the PMS per litre is N145 but the CNG cost between N95 to N97 per litre and that is why I said that we want to reduce the cost of fuel,” he stated.

He said Nigeria had abundant gas and that deploying the CNG would not be tough for the country.

“Nigeria’s gas reserve is significant. Nigeria currently has estimated 202TCF (trillion standard cubic feet) of gas, with a projection of 600TCF,” Sylva said.

On the PIB, the minister said, “We are optimistic that both the Petroleum Industry Governance Administration and Host Communities Bill, on the one hand, and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill, on the other hand, will be passed within the first anniversary of the second tenure of this administration.”

Commenting on moves by the Federal Government to recover $62bn from international oil companies based on an October 17 judgment of the Supreme Court, Sylva stated that it was practically impossible to recoup such funds from the IOCs.

He declared that no $62bn was anywhere for release by the IOCs and explained that it was best for the government to sit and discuss with the oil firms on how to go about the issue.

The Federal Government had through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation written to the IOCs, demanding various sums of money on the basis of the Supreme Court judgment.

The court had ordered the Federal Government to recoup all revenues lost to oil-exploring and exploiting companies due to the wrong profit-sharing formula since August 2003.

Sylva said, “Yes there was a provision in the amended Deep Offshore Act, but when we had crude oil prices above $20 per barrel, the Federal Government should have asked for some form of an increase in its take.

“Unfortunately we didn’t activate that aspect. You will not blame the Federal Government or the oil companies for not activating that aspect of the Act. You will agree that $62bn could not have been sitting somewhere for us to harvest; it is not possible.”

The minister stated that Nigeria was retrogressing in the oil sector, particularly when compared to other nations that started at similar times with Nigeria in the oil and gas business.

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Ghana Emerges 3rd Most Corrupt Country In The World

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Ghana has emerged as the third most corrupt country in the world in the most recent version of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

The West African country scored 67 points in the rankings released earlier this week.

Another African country, Kenya, also made the top 10, occupying the 8th position with 53 points.

Colombia is perceived to be the most corrupt country in the world, according to U.S. News’ 2020 Best Countries rankings, a characterization of 73 countries based on a survey of more than 20,000 global citizens.

In the survey, respondents answered how closely they related each of the countries to the term “corrupt”, the exact meaning of which was left to their own interpretation. The attribute is factored into the Best Countries rankings for transparency, as well as the best countries to invest in and headquarter a corporation.

Colombia, which sees an estimated $14 billion a year in corruption-related costs, experienced a wave of anti-government protests starting at the end of November. A new set of strikes could ensue after protest leaders meet with government officials later this month.

While the country is known for its decades of political scandals, voters recently elected Claudia López, a member of Colombia’s green party and a prominent activist, as the mayor of Bogota. López is the first woman and openly gay individual to become mayor of Colombia’s capital city.

Mexico, known for its deadly drug cartels, follows Colombia as the No. 2 most corrupt country in the 2020 ranking. Myanmar, Guatemala, Saudia Arabia, Brazil, and Bolivia also made the top 10.

Russia, which has been accused of election meddling and Olympic doping, joins the top 10 list this year after placing No. 12 in 2019.

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Catholic Church May Bar Fr. Mbaka From Preaching Over His Partisanship Prophecies —- Archbishop

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The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Adewale Martins, says the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, could be banned from preaching if he continues to deviate from the doctrines and tenets of the Catholic Church.

Martins, who was appointed Archbishop of Lagos by the Pope in 2012, said this during an interview with the BBC Igbo while reacting to Mbaka’s prophecy that Hope Uzodinma would emerge as governor of Imo State.

Mbaka had on New Year’s Eve prophesied that Uzodinma would emerge as governor in 2020, a prophecy which came to pass on Tuesday when the Supreme Court sacked Emeka Ihedioha and named Uzodinma as the duly elected governor.

Reacting to the prophecy, which has stirred heated debate, the archbishop said Mbaka was under the Diocese of Enugu and did not report to him.

He, however, said if Mbaka continued in the manner he was doing things, the Catholic Church may bar him from ministering.

Martins said, “Fr. Mbaka falls under the authority of the Bishop of Enugu Diocese and therefore he has the responsibility of cautioning him. I can imagine that this must be giving the bishop some challenges.

“It must be giving him a bit of a headache and I feel sorry for him and I hope he will find some way of dealing with this matter that has been recurring. Of course, what could be done in the end is either to say, ok you receive the sanction of being stopped from public ministry. That is a possibility. If it is not done, there must be a reason.”

Martins, who was ordained a priest in 1983, said the Catholic Church does not engage in partisan politics.

He said even if Mbaka received a prophecy from God, he ought to ensure that his conduct corresponds with the scriptures and the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

The archbishop added, “It is utterly surprising that Fr Mbaka would go as far as naming one person as governor against another. It is embarrassing when you hear of priests or people in a position of authority making statements that are clearly partisan.

“The position of the Catholic Church on matters that have to do with politics is not to be partisan. Of course, we as a church cannot be oblivious to political events and happenings in the country or the world at large and therefore we must speak from the point of view of principles.

“The priest who believes he has a gift of prophecy has to test whatever has been told to him in the light of the scriptures, in the light of the teachings of the church and in terms of the authority that has been given to leaders in the church.”

Martins said Mbaka’s behaviour was at variance with the teachings of the Catholic Church and he had fallen below the standard expected of priests.

Mbaka, who was ordained a Catholic priest in 1995, has been known to give many controversial prophecies.

In 2002, he prophesied that the then Governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, would not return to office in the election but the governor won a second term.

In 2015, Mbaka prophesied that President Goodluck Jonathan would lose to the current President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), which came true.

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