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BUILDING COLLAPSE: SANWO-OLU SETS UP SIX-MAN PROBE PANEL

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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APPOINTS TOWN PLANNERS’ PRESIDENT AS CHAIRMAN

•Inquiry Team Has 30 Days to Submit Report

•Governor Cuts Short Official Trip to Rome to Attend to Emergency

The six-man independent investigation team set up by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to probe the remote and immediate cause of the collapse of a 21-storey building in Ikoyi has 30 days to submit its report.

Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, named members of the probe panel at the scene of the incident, with the list comprising professional builder, town planner, structural engineer and legal practitioners – all from the private sector.

President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Toyin Ayinde, is the chairman of the panel, while Ekundayo Onajobi, a lawyer in private law firm, is the Secretary.

Other panel members are a structural engineer, Dr. Akintilo Idris Adeleke; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; representative of Institute of Builders, Mr. Godfrey O. Godfrey, and Mrs. Bunmi Ibrahim, a property lawyer.

The panel’s terms of reference also include ascertaining whether there was a compromise of the building codes by the developer, his contractor and statutory regulatory agencies.

Already, General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Arc. Gbolahan Oki, has been suspended indefinitely by the Governor.

Sanwo-Olu was on an official visit to Rome in Italy for G-20 Summit when he learnt of the incident on Monday. The Governor cut short his trip and returned to Lagos on Tuesday to attend to the emergency.

Arriving at the scene, the Governor met with the victims’ family members, raising their hopes and showing compassion to calm them.

Describing the event as “a monumental disaster”, Sanwo-Olu hinted that mistakes must have been made in the process of developing the collapsed structure. The Governor promised a thorough inquiry into the matter, adding that the full wrath of the law would be brought on anyone found to have compromised.

The Governor charged the investigative team to explore all angles to determine the cause of the collapse.

Sanwo-Olu said: “We’ve promised to be open and thorough in investigating the cause of the collapse. In that regard, I have set up a high-powered professional investigative panel whose membership consists of professionals outside of the Government. The panel members have been given clear terms of reference and we are giving them 30-day assignment to tell us what has gone wrong at the site.

“The panel will be finding out who the culprits are. The investigation will start from the heads of regulatory agencies. Be rest assured that if there are other people that are found wanting in the course of investigation, everybody will face the full wrath of the law. Members of the panel are people of impeccable integrity and I will be signing an executive order to give the panel a legal backing.”

Other terms of reference of the panel include, determining whether there was full compliance with physical planning and building materials laws of the State; determining whether there was supervisory or oversight lapses on the part of regulatory agencies, and making necessary recommendations to guard against reoccurrence of similar incidents.

Sanwo-Olu maintained that it was difficult for the Government to know the exact number of people trapped, noting that none of the people linked to the housing project had come forward to offer information on the manifest.

As at Wednesday afternoon, the Governor put the figure of confirmed fatality to 21, while nine persons were evacuated alive from the rubbles.

“I express my deepest sympathy to the families of those that have been involved in this unfortunate incident. For the bodies recovered from the site, we are currently conducting systematic process of identifying them. Before the end of today or tomorrow, the process would have been completed and family members can come forward to identify them,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The State Government set up a medical base and information desk at the site of the building collapse, urging those whose family members were still missing to offer information on identity. There is also a website (www.lagosmind.org/help) and helpline number (09090006463) for the distress family.

The multi-sectoral search and rescue operation was ongoing at press time. The effort is being led by teams of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), with the support of construction giants, Julius Berger, Craneburg, HiTech
and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).

Those rescued from the rubbles are Oduntan Timilehin, 26; Sunday Monday, 21; Adeniran Mayowa, 37; Sholagbade Nurudeen, 33; Waliu Lateef, 32, and Ahmed Kanleku, a 19-year-old Beninoise.

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Achieving SDG Will End Poverty, Hunger, And Insecurity In Nigeria – Buhari 

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that Nigeria is accelerating efforts to achieve the SDG by 2030 to guarantee an end to poverty and hunger, protect the ecosystem and ensure Nigerians live in peace and prosperity by 2030.

Buhari made the declaration on Friday when he officially unveiled the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework (INIFF) report, a high-level event in collaboration with the UNDP and EU, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UNGA.

He expressed satisfaction that the process leading to the NIFF which started in 2020 finally crystalized into the launch, underpinning the importance placed by the present administration towards achieving the goals.

The President explained that the various developmental plans and programmes for the country have all been aligned with the SDG and are poised to advance the nation’s economy in spite of the challenges that have confronted the country.

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Atiku Copied Buhari’s Economic Blueprint – Lai Mohammed

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Lai Mohammed and Atiku Abubakar
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The Federal Government has tackled the People Democratic Party [PDP] Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar for allegedly copying President Muhammadu Buhari economic blueprint in his recently unveiled Economic programme.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed described Atiku Blueprint as a
“crude attempt at copying all that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has done’’.

Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, the Minister said the blueprint is a poor version of the present government’s economic strides.

“Let me say, straight away, that the so-called blueprint is a crude attempt at copying all that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has done, especially in the areas of job creation, infrastructure financing, relationship with the private sector, rejuvenation of the power sector, poverty reduction, debt management and the overall management of the economy,” Mohammed asserted.

The minister expressed shock that an opposition party that has on several occasions criticized its policies is currently adopting it for its campaign,

According to Him, the present administration has made giant strides through its economic blue print which has translated into the creation of over three hundred and two thousand jobs and over eight thousand kilometers of road across the country amongst others.

 

 

 

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I Will Leave Legacy Of Free-And-Fair Elections, Buhari Tells UNGA

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday promised to leave a legacy of free-and-fair elections as his eight-year tenure comes to an end in May 2023.

The President made this known in his last address before world leaders at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States.

“Indeed, we now are preparing for general elections in Nigeria next February. At the 78th UNGA, there will be a new face at this podium speaking for Nigeria.

“Ours is a vast country strengthened by its diversity and its common values of hard work, enduring faith and a sense of community. We have invested heavily to strengthen our framework for free and fair elections. I thank our partners for all the support that the have provided for our elections.

“As President, I have set the goal that one of the enduring legacies I will like to leave is to entrench a process of free, fair and transparent credible elections through which Nigerians elect their choice,” Buhari said.

The President, who reiterated his commitment to constitutional limit, said Nigeria has stood for democracy and the rule of law as a country and in the sub-region in countries such as The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and the Republic of Chad.

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