Lagos State Deputy Govrrnor
Dr Obafemi Hamzat has said that the Lagos/Ogun Joint Development Commission would create a harmonious relationship that would be beneficial to the residents of the border communities.
Hamzat made the declaration during an interview session with newsmen in Lagos.
The Deputy Gov. made it clear that the various developmental projects embarked upon by Lagos would also benefit those working in Lagos but are living in the adjourning communities on the border of the two states.
“The various developmental road projects will benefit those that are working in Lagos but are living in the border communities.
“Though the essence is not for Lagos or Ogun State to take up the responsibility of each other, the essence is to collaborate.
“The red line for the railway under construction will end at Ijoko Ota which is in Ogun State, that means we will have to collaborate with the government of Ogun State.
“We need to collaborate with the Ogun State government to get land to build the station at Ijoko to move people from Ogun to Lagos.
Hamzat noted that since Lagos only shared border with Ogun, road construction to the border communities would be a joint responsibility of both states.
“Lagos has only shares border with Ogun State, so for example, if we are constructing a link road to the border community, the essence of the commission is to make sure that the road does not end with us.
“The Ogun State government should take the road construction from where we stop and continue with the good road. We share information about development, but it is difficult to plan for Ogun State.
“Taking our buses down to the inner community in Ogun State borders on the road infrastructure will have impact on our buses.
“We need to make provision for the infrastructure for the buses to operate because of wear and tear, but I must say that the priority of both states are different from each other,” he said.
Hamzat noted that the state planned for about 5,000 last mile buses which is already operating with only 500 buses now.
“We started the Last Mile transit with 500 buses but the good thing is that the buses are not just imported they are assembled here in Nigeria.
“So the moment the first 500 is ready we will push it out. We don’t want it to be done outside so that we can create employment for our people here.
“The target is about 5,000 buses so others will come to create job for everyone,” he said.
On the menace of motor park touts and the attendant implications on the commuter, the deputy governor noted that the Lagos State government is already engaging the transport unions.
“To find a lasting peace to the transport union crisis is something in progress; NURTW is a national union and their receipts are printed at the national level and distributed to the states.
“We have had conversation with the unions that we don’t want them to be collecting their levies on the road.
“I am a member of Nigeria Society of Engineers and also pay my dues, but they don’t come to harass me on the road, they will only write me letters.
“We have engaged the transport unions on ways to have their levies at the park but we don’t just engage with Lagos alone we have to do the engagement at the national level,” he said.
Hamzat added “We suggested that they should count the numbers of their parks, we can even collect the monies on their behalf and send it to them.
“The suggestion made to them seems to sort of distort their processes, so we need to work out that process.
“As government, we have made it clear that the chaos often created at the parks are unacceptable.
“Lagosians should give us some time to resolve this and find a way around it, we don’t want to disturb their business, but we want peace, he said. (NAN)
Update: 2024 Appropriation Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Reps
The House of Representatives has passed the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget for a second reading.
The House leader, Julius Ihonvbere, on Thursday, November 30, while leading the debate on the general principles of the budget, commended President Bola Tinubu.
Ihonvbere noted that national security and education which got significant allocations will be enhanced if implemented.
He said, “Nigeria will be more secure with the allocation to defence and security. As a teacher, I am impressed by the emphasis on basic education. I am sure that education will be better off this time.”
Tinubu Presents His First Budget As President On Wednesday
President Bola Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
This is according to a memo dated November 27, 2023, signed by the federal legislature’s Secretary of Human Resources and Staff Development, Shuaibu Maina Birma, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly.
“I am directed to inform you that the 2024 Budget would be presented by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 29th November, 2023,” it read.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council has approved a 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion.
This followed the review of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework earlier passed by the National Assembly which benchmarked the exchange rate at N700 to $1 and crude oil price at $73.96 cent per barrel.
Briefing State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said it revised the MTEF and the Fiscal Policy to use an exchange rate of N750 to $1 and also a benchmark crude oil reference price of $77.96 per barrel.
According to Bagudu, the FEC also approved an Appropriation Bill for 2024 with an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion, an increase of over N1.5 trillion from the previously estimated.
He also noted that using the old reference prices, the forecast revenue is now N18.2 trillion which is higher than the 2023 revenue, including that provided in the two supplementary budgets, in which the deficit is lower than that of 2023.
Senate Seeks Nigeria’s Inclusion In $147billion Global Bitumen Market
…passes Bitmen Development Commission Bill for second reading
The Senate Thursday made legislative move of including Nigeria in the $147billion global bitumen market with passage for second reading , a bill seeking for establishment of Bitumen Development Commission .
Nigeria as stated in the bill sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim ( APC Ondo South) , has quantum of 5.9trillion barrels ( 938billion m³) of global in – place Bitumen and heavy oil resources , second to Venezuela .
He specifically informed the Senate that more than 80% of the resources are found in Canada , United States of America , Venezuela and Nigeria .
But lamented that while other countries blessed with the Natural resources are exploiting it through required legislations or legal frameworks , Nigeria’ has no legal framework for such exploration with attendant untapped opportunities and huge market loss .
Therefore according to him, ” the objectives of the Bill includes: the need to develop a legal framework for the regulation of the Bitumen development in Nigeria; to prevent unconventional sources from taking advantage of research-enhanced applications over other competitors; and to lead innovation and resource-based strategy in the development of bitumen in Nigeria.
“The Bill will also ensure effective utilisation of over 38 billion reserve of bitumen in Nigeria; and to promote economic diversification policy of the Federal Government”.
He added that the Bill among other reasons, seeks to restrict the activities of the commission to its regulatory and cordinating functioons , specifically as it relates to the Develooment of Bitumen in Nigeria .
Ondo State alone according to him , has the highest deposit in Africa with an estimated value of $42billion which are aside from depisits in Ogun State , Edo , Lagos and Akwa- Ibom States .
” The proposed Bitumen Development Commission when established , would fastrack the development of Bitumen in Nigeria , make her a key player in the $147billion global market and create instant 12, 000 jobs for Nigerians .
” It would also help Government at various levels to put in place asphalted roads in various communities .
” Out of the 200, 000 kilometres of roads in Nigeria , only 20, 000 are asphalted even with imported Bitumen which is not good and being addressed with the proposed commission” he said .
Many of the Senators who contributed to debate on the bill , concurred with Jimoh Ibrahim’s submissions , making the Senate as put to voice votes by its President , Godswill Akpabio , passed it for second reading .
Akpabio who commended Senator Jimoh Ibrahim for sponsorship of the development – driven bill, mandated the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals to make further legislative inputs on it and report back in a month’s time .
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