…Lagos State Is Very Important, Critical To Nigeria Economy – Reps
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged the Federal Government to provide adequate funding for the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, an international gateway to West African countries.
He said Lagos State Government has taken a leap to start a 10-lanes highway on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway and it has already done almost 18 kilometers of the road.
He therefore appealed to the Federal Ministry of Works to push it further and take it to Badagry.
Governor Sanwo-Olu while receiving the House of Representatives Committee on Works led by its chairman, Hon. Abubakar Kabir Abubakar, during a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Monday also tasked the Federal Government to speed up the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The Governor, who commended the House of Representatives members for coming to Lagos for on the spot assessment of the works carried out in the State by the Federal Ministry of Works, said urgent action should be taken to work on the Otedola Bridge area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, to prevent regular accidents on the axis.
He said: “We are happy with the level of work that has been done on Apapa-Oshodi Road but we need to go back to do a lot of clean-up.
There is still a side road that has not been completed. We know this is a special dispensation given the Order 8 that has been used but we can still go back and clean up the areas, especially around the Tin-Can Port and Apapa Port, so that we can free the traffic in all those areas and take it up to Ijora.
“Lagos-Badagry Expressway is one that I am aware of that doesn’t have sufficient funding.
Lagos-Badagry Expressway is an international gateway.
We heard that Ghana, Republic of Benin and Togo have done their own; it is trans-West Africa corridor which five countries pass through. But it is only the Nigerian part of it that has not been fully fixed, which is from Seme boarder into Lagos and go straight to the port.
“But Lagos on its own has taken leap to start something. So, we are doing a 10-lanes highway and we have done almost 18 kilometers of that and we are taking it to a place called Okokomaiko.
We have been expecting the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Works to push it and take it to Badagry. Our desire is for them to make it 10-lanes highway. We are building for the future and we can put a rail in the middle of the corridor. When we are building for a future, we should not be scared. It is an international road and it has capacity to take high level of traffic. That is one place we believe you will look into.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu while commending the Federal Ministry of Works’ intervention on some of the federal roads in Lagos State urged Federal Government to speedily consider the major failed portions of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road and other Class A federal roads that are important in decongesting traffic out of Lagos.
He said: “We are not living everything to Federal Government. We are also taking up the responsibility of trying to build the Fourth Mainland Bridge. We will work and collaborate with
Federal Government at some point. It is a 37-kilometer ring road that is going to exit finally on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. It is audacious but we are looking to use PPP model to be able to build it.
“We believe that you should be able to see the Phase One of it coming out before the end of this administration. We are not leaving anything to chance.
We are doing 18-kilometer six-lane, rigid pavement in Lekki-Epe Expressway. We are doing 10 kilometers six-lane regional roads and several others. We are doing bridges and other constructions on our own. That is what can open up and free a city.
“We are not just only doing that, we are pushing movement on our waterways. We are doing our rails so that we can have integrated mass transportation using rail, waterways and road connectivity in Lagos. We want everybody to come here to see that it is comparable to any city in the world. That is our plan.”
Speaking earlier, Hon. Abubakar said his committee has reached out to the contractor in charge of the Marine and Eko Bridge and they promised that the project will be completed in four weeks’ time, adding that the committee is also working on a new project in Lagos, which is Isolo-Mushin Road.
He said the Committee will also work tirelessly toward the completion of the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road for the project to be ready before the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“Lagos State is very important and critical to Nigeria’s economy. Lagos is important to us and that is why road construction is very critical for Lagos State. We have important roads in Lagos State. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has directed our committee to give Lagos special attention because of the importance of the state to the federation.
“We have to support the efforts Lagos State Government and Federal Government in making sure that Lagos has best roads so that people will not be stuck in traffic for four to five hours. We have to do what we can to make sure that Lagosians have the best roads. We will do our best to make that happens,” he promised.
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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