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LAGOS HAS A SPECIAL PLACE FOR YOUTHS – OMOTOSO  

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Gbenga Omotoso, Information Commissioner
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“Lagos State has a special place for young people, who are doing great things.” Those were the words of the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, when he appeared on Real Talk With Kike, a Silverbird Television talk show.

Omotoso recalled Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s visit to some Tech Hubs, saying he accompanied Mr. Governor and discovered how youths are using technology to resolve everyday challenges. He said it is an indication that quite a large number of jobs can be created in the Education and Technology pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda.

His words: “The Government will do everything possible to support these youths to achieve their dreams in Lagos State.”

“As part of strengthening this sector, the State Government is poised to establish a Technology Cluster in Yaba. The cluster – Knowledge, Innovative Technology and Entrepreneurship (K.I.T.E), will be sited on 2,200 square metres of land.”

“As part of its Smart City Project, the Lagos State Government is laying a six-kilometre fibre optic cable around the State. Of the first-phase 3000 kilometres, 1,800 kilometres have been completed. With this, 100 schools and 12 hospitals have been connected for faster internet. Service providers are queuing up to take advantage of the system.”

According to Omotoso, the Fibre Optic Cable project is a major component of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the administration and it is the key infrastructure that will drive the strategic policy document, particularly the Third Pillar ‘E’, which stands for Education and Technology. It will also drive the ‘M’ Pillar – Making Lagos A 21st Century Economy.

While stating that 150 CCTV cameras have been installed and activated to test-run the Fibre Optic initiative, Omotoso said that the Smart City Project will further enhance the penetration of technology and empower youths in their activities.

Speaking on the operations of commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada, the Commissioner asserted that Okada is not part of the “Greater Lagos Journey”, but the riders will not be sent out without the provision of alternatives, which include the First Mile and Last Mile buses to take people to their final destinations. He noted that there is planned upskilling of youths willing to drop Okada riding, to embrace other vocations, including being part of the new bus initiative.

He affirmed that the personnel of the Lagos State Taskforce are still enforcing the law, which prohibits Okada and tricycle (Keke) operators from plying certain routes, highways and bridges but the impact is yet to be felt due to the huge number of Okada riders flooding the State daily.

The Commissioner said, “We have seen how Okada has led to accidents while the police have released statistics that affirmed Okada is being used for crimes, which should not be allowed to continue.”

On street begging, Omotoso acknowledged that it is an organised business, adding that the Government is doing a lot to discourage the practice along with others such as street trading, hawking and child labour.

“Lagos, as a sub-national, cannot stop citizens of other States from coming into this State, but our emphasis is that they must obey the law and desist from illegal activities,” he said.

The Lagos State Government, he noted, frowns at the negative practices of using children to beg and revealed that the administration initiated Project Zero to ensure no child is left behind in basic education by going after out-of-school children and those on the streets to bring them back into schools.

In response to the recent suspension of Twitter operations by the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Omotoso affirmed that he is an absolute believer in free speech and would not support the stifling of the press, but there is no right without responsibility.

According to the Commissioner, Sanwo-Olu’s administration has good relationships with media organisations and would never take media freedom for granted or do anything that will hinder free flow of information to Lagosians.

He said, “As an editor, I don’t agree with the broadcast of contents that are not fit for public consumption, including sourcing for contents on social media without credible sources” and advised that social media should be used for the development of society and in the interest of the nation.

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Oyebanji Is Back From USA

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Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji
Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji
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Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji this morning returned from his working visit to the United States of America.

A statement by the Special Adviser ( Media), to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode said Oyebanji arrived the Muritala Mohammed Airport, Lagos around 10am and was received by some government officials.

The Governor will attend to some scheduled meetings in Lagos later today and head to Abuja on Thursday for other scheduled assignments.

Governor Oyebanji, in the course of the working visit to America, had extensive talks with some heads of governments and institutions, business leaders and development partners, exploring investment opportunities for the state’s power infrastructure, the Special Agriculture Processing Zone and the Ekiti Knowledge Zone, among others.

“These were outside his participation in the US-Africa Business Summit and the signing of MOU with CAVISTA Holdings for a multi billion naira 100,000 hectares cassava farm in the state.” the statement said.

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Labour Rejects FG’s Fresh ₦54,000 Minimum Wage Proposal

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The Federal Government has proposed to pay N54,000 as minimum wage, as the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage returned to the negotiation table after the Organised Labour pulled out of the negotiations last week.

At the reconvened meeting this week, the Federal Government made a fresh proposal to pay N54,000 as against the initial N48,000 it proposed during the last sitting.

However, a reliable source at the meeting said that the Organised Labour refused the new proposal, as it is a far cry from the N615,000 proposed by both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

According to the source, the meeting which held behind closed doors at the Nicon luxury hotel in Abuja on Tuesday has been adjourned to Wednesday, May 22 to continue with negotiations.

The Organised Labour comprising the NLC and the TUC had on Tuesday given the Federal Government up till the end of May to conclude negotiations for a new minimum wage.

The unions also directed their members in states that are owing the N30,000 minimum wage to gear up for industrial action.

May 31 Deadline
The Federal Government had failed to present a nationally acceptable minimum wage to Nigerians before the May 1 Labour Day.

The situation has forced labour to be at loggerheads with the government. In the wake of the tussle, NLC President Joe Ajaero insisted on the N615,000 minimum wage, arguing that the amount was arrived at after an analysis of the economic situation worsened by the hike in the cost of living and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

With the cost of living rising following the removal of fuel subsidy, calls for a new minimum wage have continued to make headlines in Nigeria.

Ajaero and labour leaders gave the Federal Government a May 31 deadline to meet their demands.

 

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EFCC Arrests 78 Internet Fraudsters In Enugu, Imo

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Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede
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The operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested 78 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu and Imo States.

EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Oyewale noted that 29 suspected internet fraudsters were arrested in Enugu metropolis on May 15, while 49 others were nabbed in Imo State on May 17.

He said the suspects were arrested following actionable intelligence about their suspected involvement in online criminal activities.

The EFCC spokesperson listed items recovered from the suspects to include 13 cars, mobile phones, and laptops.

Oyewale added that the suspected internet fraudsters would be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigations.

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