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200 Days: Lagos Govt Unveils Plans For 4th Mainland Bridge, Other Projects

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Lagos State Government, on Sunday, gave an account of the progress recorded in the last 200 days of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, during an interactive session with journalists, said the State Government will be hosting a live ceremony on Wednesday, to announce prospective firms that meet up deadlines for the Expression of Interest, which will lead to the selection of preferred bidders, for the construction of Fourth Mainland Bridge.

Omotoso added that “the Government will be announcing the Expressionaires at the ceremony, which will officially set a process in motion to realize the project.”

The Commissioner said the current administration had beamed a special focus on infrastructure, traffic management, and transportation, with the aim to reduce the pain residents go through due to gridlocks.

He said Lagos Government had sustained its “aggressive response” to rehabilitating bad roads across the metropolis to ease vehicular movement, noting that about 116 deplorable highways were currently being reconstructed by eight multi-national construction firms deployed by the Government.

The Sanwo-Olu administration, Omotoso said, introduced Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) as a strategy to improve the state of infrastructure by signing agreements with banks and other private financial institutions to embark on rehabilitation of adopted roads as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

He said: “I boldly state, here, that the THEMES Agenda of the Sanwo-Olu Government is on course and will be achieved. The speed of project implementation has now increased, especially since the first 100 days. The intensity is going according to the plan, which is to apply the right treatment at the right time to achieve the desired level of service.

“The government is leveraging the private sector, which controls about 80 percent of the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as crucial in the government’s drive to bridging the infrastructure gap and building the smart city of our dream. Access Bank is partnering with the State Government in the upgrading of a network of roads in Oniru under PIIP arrangement.

“To further bring relief to our people, we will be setting the process in place for the construction of Fourth Mainland Bridge. Next Wednesday is the final day for the submission of Expression of Interest; we will be unveiling the process that will lead to the realization of the project on the day.”

Omotoso said the Government had doubled the resources committed to education and healthcare to boost human capital.

Apart from the 149-bed space Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) completed in Alimosho, the Commissioner said the Sanwo-Olu administration would be delivering two additional MCCs in Badagry and Epe in the coming weeks.

Omotoso said the Government remained committed to using skill acquisition as a tool of empowerment, stressing that 4,885 youths had graduated from the State’s 17 Skill Acquisition Centres located in all the five divisions of Lagos.

The Commissioner said the State Government had increased funding for schools across level, disclosing that the administration had deployed technology to strengthen the output from the State-owned schools.

He said: “In line with our promise, the rehabilitation of public schools has begun, following the inauguration of a Special Committee for the purpose. No fewer than 5,000 primary school teachers will be trained to complete the three-pronged education strategy of fixing the infrastructure, fixing the curriculum and fixing the manpower through recruitment, training and development of teachers.

“Giving credence to our policy to promote a Smart City with technology, this administration organized the Art of Technology Lagos where Governor Sanwo-Olu announced a N250m grant for tech start-ups to encourage our young ones to build their fantastic ideas.”

In the last 200 days, Omotoso said the Sanwo-Olu administration had kept its promise not to discontinue projects inherited from the immediate past administration. He said the Government had revived a number of unfinished and abandoned projects, listing completion of Alhaji Lateef Jakande Housing Estate in Igando and reconstruction of Adiyan Waterworks Phase II and Imota Rice Mill as some of the State-owned projects being revived by the current administration.

On security, Omotoso said the Sanwo-Olu administration had kept its pledge to holding the yearly Town Hall Meeting on Security. The improvement in the support received by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), the Commissioner said, had strengthened the capacity of the State to respond to security breaches on time.

While admitting the Government was working hard to fulfill its campaign promises, Omotoso said the next 100 days would be eventful for the administration, as more welfare projects would be delivered.

“The summary of achievements so far is by no means exhaustive and we shall continue to engage with stakeholders to inform the public of developments in our dear State,” Omotoso said.

In his own part, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Fredric Oladehinde, said there would be strict enforcement of the State’s Traffic Law, which banned commercial motorcycles from major roads. He added that payment of toll at tollgates on Ikoyi and Lekki axes would be electronic from January 4, 2020.

Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai said the state would be completing more housing scheme in the coming weeks

Others State Executive Council members at the event included the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Idris Salako, his counterpart in Special Duties, Hon. Wale Ahmed, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, and Special Adviser on Transportation, Hon. Toyin Fayinka.

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Only God Can Give Victory Over Insecurity —– Femi Adesina

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The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says Nigerians who fail to commit the security situation into the hands of God could be guilty of indirectly prolonging the war against insurgency.

Adesina said this in an article on Thursday titled, ‘The Decent for the Indecent, the Just for the Unjust’.

The President’s aide noted that a short viral video showed a soldier and four others singing that victory is from God alone.

Adesina, however, said many Nigerians had failed to understand that only God gives victory.

He wrote, “But victory is from God alone. That is what we must realize as Nigerians. Do we ever pray for our troops in the frontlines? Do we remember those youths, our pride, and strength, faced by death daily, as we sleep in the comfort of our homes, ensconced in the tender bosom of our wives?

“As we pray; God give me money. Give me a car. Give me a promotion. Kill my enemies. Do it now. Do we ever remember our soldiers? Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray…did you pray for our soldiers? Victory comes from God alone. If you don’t pray, you may be guilty of prolonging the war in North-East, North-west, North-central, and all over Nigeria.”

The President’s spokesman said rather than understand the fact that only God can give victory, some Nigerians had become wailers.

“Yes, victory is from God alone. But do some people know? Does it ever enter into their consciousness? They only wail: ‘this insurgency war has lasted too long. The banditry has demystified our military. They are cowards. The top guns don’t even want the battle to end.

“They are making money in billions.’ Okay. Making money in billions and wasting our soldiers, our youths, our future, and hope, in their hundreds and thousands because of blood money. That is all some people see; permanent cynics and sceptics, who know nothing of altruism, and whose God is their belly. They think only of pecuniary gain, nothing else,” Adesina said.

He said as the nation marks this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Nigerians should seize the opportunity to pray for the military and encourage them and not run them down.

 

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JUST IN: Lagos Okays School Reopening January 18

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The Lagos State Government has affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in Lagos State below tertiary level should resume on Monday, January 18, 2021, for the second term 2020/2021 academic session.

This affirmation was made today by the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo while noting that this is in line with the Federal Government’s resolution after reaching a consensus with relevant stakeholders.

Details later…

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Drama As Pigeons Released By Buhari Refuse To Fly At Armed Forces Remembrance [VIDEO]

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The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President thereby sparking a debate on social media on Friday.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

Studies show that domesticated doves that are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying.

The Vatican stopped the ritual in 2014 when Pope Francis released two birds that would not fly out of the window of the papal apartment and required several attempts to get the birds to fly out over a crowd of spectators.

A similar incident occurred just the year prior at an event where Pope Benedict XVI released doves during a Holocaust remembrance event. The doves were attacked by a gull, with one dove being singled out and injured, according to Wikipedia.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.

The refusal of the birds to fly on Friday, however, sparked thousands of comments on social media.

A former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Adamu Garba, said the birds should be eaten if they cannot do what they were trained to do.

“The pigeons are tired and overtime became lazy, they don’t want to fly the spirit of The Nigerian Flag. We should roast them at Suya joint and deploy Crowwe for action,” he said.

Social media personality, Morris Monye, said the Department of State Services would have arrested the pigeons for embarrassing the President if they could.

“I guarantee you… If it was possible, the DSS would arrest the pigeons for such an affront on the President. But really, is there peace, harmony, and security in the land?” he asked.

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, who is a known critique of the President, also tweeted, “Hmmm. Even the pigeons in Nigeria.”

 

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