…Says no going back on 2023 first quarter deadline
…LASG’ll acquire additional two sets of four train coaches in September – Governor
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday reassured the residents that the State Government is on track with its efforts to complete works on both the Blue and Red lines rail projects, which are intra-city, to strengthen the intermodal transportation system.
He said work on the Blue Line rail project was at 90 per cent completion as contractors were working seven days a week so that Lagosians would ride a train on the rail by the first quarter of 2023.
The Governor gave the reassurance on Sunday while speaking to journalists at the Marina Train Station after about three hours of inspection of ongoing works on the Blue Line rail project and stations at the National Theatre Iganmu, Orile, Suru Alaba, Mile 2 and Marina axis of the state.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who inspected the Blue line rail project alongside some of his cabinet members, top officials of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and contractors handling the project, moved from the National Arts Theatre rail station on a construction track to Orile Iganmu, Alaba and Mile 2 stations to inspect the four train stations on the Blue line rail.
He said the blue line rail would be running on electric tracks with Electric Motor Vehicle (EMV) and therefore warned citizens to keep off the train lines and ensure they don’t walk on it.
The Governor after riding back to the National Arts Theatre station on a construction track also inspected a new four-coach train, which according to him, is a typical train that will be used on the blue line.
He also disclosed the Lagos State Government’s plan to bringing additional two sets of four-train coaches from China between September and October, adding that adequate security would be put in place at every train station and platform with the use of CCTV.
“This is the first time I am taking you on the blue line to see where we are. The first phase of the Blue line rail project starts from Mile 2 and terminates at Marina. Marina Station is an elevated station and it stretches out to outer Marina and terminates where the Governor’s residence is. At the end of the station, you could see that the track is broken into two bridges. The backtrack is for parking.
“We are happy that the contractors are working seven days a week. The major aspect apart from the Marina Station is a sea crossing from Eko Bridge to join the outer Marina. They would finish it in about three months. And by the time we will be coming back in July, the concrete construction should have been completed.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu while condemning the level of vandalism along the rail corridors warned perpetrators to desist from such evil acts. He said the government would go after companies that purchased vandalised rail tracks infrastructure, adding that culprits will be traced and made to face the wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday issued a three days ultimatum to traders under the Apogbon Bridge in Lagos Island to vacate or risk demolition of the space by Wednesday this week.
He gave the warning while driving on the bridge during his inspection of the blue line rail project and saw that traders were back under the bridge with their goods displayed after they were driven away in the aftermath of the fire outbreak under the Apogbon bridge about six weeks ago.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who frowned at the unlawful return of the traders under Apongbon bridge said the enforcement team would be deployed to the bridge after the three days ultimatum issued
SANWO-OLU URGES RESIDENTS TO STAY CALM OVER CASH SCARCITY
The Lagos State Government has observed the tension caused by the slow release of cash through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and within banking halls.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu today joined a delegation that met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to deliberate on measures to remove the hardship caused by the scarcity of the new currency.
In a statement signed by the Hon. Commissioner for information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Mr. Sanwo-Olu urges residents to remain calm as the government is doing everything possible to normalise the situation. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to put measures in place to ensure residents have access to currency notes released to banks.
Buhari inaugurates new MOFI Board
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.
The president gave the charge at the launch of the new MOFI and inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Directors of the body shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The president also tasked the new board to “be the clearing house for the management of Federal Government’s investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”
He also called on the new MOFI to work with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to create a consolidated national assets register with a view to converting them into cash-flow-generating entities.
This, he said, would support the government’s revenue drive.
Buhari urged members of the board to work with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.
He, therefore, directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to further institutionalize this reform.
According to him, the amendments when carried out, would ensure that MOFI was restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government’s investments and assets.
Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI would help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.
According to the president, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004, explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government in its own name.
He said that MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years, adding that MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning thanked Buhari for his support and approvals that had made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible.
According to the minister, the council members and board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.
The governing council is chaired by the President, with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, as Vice Chair.
It’s members include: The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo.
Others are: Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele and three experts appointed by the President, namely: Prof. Muhammad Sagagi, Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Ken Ife.
The board members include: Former Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Usman as Chairman, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum Resources and acting Accountant-General of the Federation.
Others are; Olawale Edun, Fatima Mede, Ike Chioke, Muhammad Nda, Alheri Nyako and an executive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are also members of the board
Members of the Executive Management Team are: Dr Armstrong Takang, Managing Director, Eric solo, Executive Director, Chief Portfolio Officer, Sani Yakubu Chief Investment Officer and Oluwakemi Owonubi, Chief Risk Officer.
Polls: NBC warns broadcasters against compromising national unity
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has cautioned all broadcasters against compromising national unity while covering forthcoming general election.
The Director-General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah issued the warning in a statement, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: ”The National Broadcasting Commission wish to again, remind all broadcasters covering the forthcoming general elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.
”The commission has observed, with deep concerns, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by politicians using broadcast media platforms.
”This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which provides that in using materials for news and current affairs programmes, the broadcaster shall avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.
”The commission notes that some station now glamorise these situations on their platforms. The NBC reiterates that such stations shall pay for their professional misdemeanor.”
Ilelah said for the avoidance of doubt, broadcasters were advised to note the sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides that the broadcaster shall promote human dignity.
He added: “Therefore, hate speech is prohibited. Section 3.11.1 (a) states that all broadcasters should ensure that language or a scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast.
“Also, section 3.11.1 (b) advice broadcaster to ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Similarly, section 5.4.1 (f) prohibit broadcasters from transmitting divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Ilelah said that section 5.3.3 (g) urged broadcasters to ensure that a political broadcast was clearly identified as such, and not presented in a manner that would mislead the audience to believe that the programme was of any other type.
“Also, section 5.3.3 (j) enjoin broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement and any form of partisan political party identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.
“The NBC ACT CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, also prescribes, in the Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station’s Broadcast.
”The commission enjoins all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and or sympathisers, for the broadcast of contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order,” Ilelah
He said that broadcasters were therefore expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.
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