By Eric Elezuo
“The Babajide Sanwo-Olu you see today shall not change and try to become something I am not. My prayer is only that I grow and improve as your governor to implement good policies and bring the prosperity you deserve”
The 6th of September, 2019 when the much sought after Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, clocked 100 days on the seat of power, did not come upon Lagosians by accident. They waited for it. They wanted to celebrate it. This is because from day one of his administration, Sanwo-Olu had put mechanisms in motion to create the proverbial ‘greater Lagos’ which formed a major part of his campaign slogan. And true to type, the ever jovial governor did not disappoint. He blessed Lagos State with an avalanche of achievements that most of his counterparts were wondering how he did.
Sanwo-Olu did not mince words when prior to inauguration, he promised to clear the problematic Apapa gridlock within his first 60 days. Today, the Apapa gridlock has undergone creative overhauling that has seen gradual disintegration of the hellish situation.
“In collaboration with the Federal Government, the Task force we set up to remove illegally parked trucks went on tough assignment to return discipline along the Apapa-Oshodi corridor. I am glad to inform you that we have seen tremendous improvement and we are happy with the results in the last 100 days. We will continue to attend to the situation for permanent solution,” the governor said.
Again, the Sanwo-Olu Lagos State Government has set aside N4 billion as grant to Lagosians with “ingenious business ideas”.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, during a media briefing herald the governor’s first 100 days in office.
The grant being handled by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Initiative in collaboration with Access Bank Plc., is aimed at promoting ingenious business ideas. Presently, 600 people had already been billed to benefit from the initiative.
The Commissioner added that about 1,700 people have been shortlisted to benefit from a World Bank-assisted agricultural programme, and each of the beneficiaries will receive the sum of N2m, bring to a total of N3.4 billion.
Recall that at inception of his administration, Sanwo-Olu hinted that his government will be making Lagos State the Heaven it is meant to be through the the well thought out vision encapsulated in the Six Pillars of Development, with the acronym, T.H.E.M.E.S. This stands for Traffic Management & Transportation; Health & Environment; Education & Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; Entertainment & Tourism and Security & Governance. These were carefully formulated to tackle the problems identified in sectors that are strategic to the growth of Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu in 100 days is one governor who made a promise, and kept a promise, doing it in style as he took steps to build on the foundations of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, his predecessors.
Kick starting his administration, Sanwo-Olu dished out an executive order declaring emergency on traffic management and transportation in the Lagos State. This singular act brought about reasonable relief to residents in their day to day activities. Not only that, it saw to the speedy rehabilitation of arterial roads, which has in essence reduced travel time and stress for motorists and commuters.
The governor’s Executive Order empowered members of the state’s traffic management agency to increase their shifts so as to control traffic till 11 pm daily. The move has brought an element of sanity on the roads after dark. Their salaries were also enhanced to undertake the great task in a rub my back, I rub your back arrangement. To whom much is given, much is being expected. The synergy has delivered great benefits.
Having a health background as he is married to a medical doctor, Sanwo-Olu has tackled the health sector with the agility of a horse within 100 days.
He has opened a 110-bed Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC), domiciled in a tastefully built four-storey edifice at Eti Osa Local Government. The whole essence is to prosecute the war against infant and maternal mortality. The end game lies in upgrading the facility to a general hospital. In addition, another 140-bed MCC had been completed in Alimosho area, and will be commissioned anytime soon, and will strengthen the capacity of the state in providing sound maternity care for residents.
For 31 whole days in August, the prolific governor embarked on a festival of surgeries, where a team of volunteer doctors, specialists in diverse areas of medical practice, and other medical practitioners performed thousands of surgeries, especially on children with deformed limbs. This was totally free. The project was christened “Healthy Bee Initiative” and about 25,000 residents benefited.
Again, the state-owned Health Insurance Scheme has received boost to extend its services to more than one million residents in order to give them affordable and quality healthcare services.
In education, Sanwo-Olu has built, in partnership with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Tabernacle of David Parish in Alaguntan village, Eti Osa, a beautiful school, containing 12 blocks of classrooms and other modern learning facilities.
In addition, plans have been concluded to recruit more than 10,000 teachers for various categories of education and learning, just as resources have been appropriated for the upgrade of public schools, as well as equip them with required materials to aid quality learning.
ENVIRONMENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT
Before now, the environment state of Lagos has become a matter of utmost concern, as the state had became a massive heap of refuse, necessitating drastic measures. These measures included the immediate upgrade of Lagos’ waste management infrastructure fashioned to achieve efficient services in waste disposal towards realising a cleaner environment.
To this end, Sanwo-Olu, as a matter of urgency improved the capacity of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to remove heaps of waste that littered streets and highways. This policy saved the state from an imminent outbreak of epidemic occasioned by the indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents following the disengagement of LAWMA from waste management duties. As a follow-up to environmental management, the government launched the Blue Box Initiative, designed to recyclable waste for the purpose of creating jobs and wealth.
As a chip of the old block, Sanwo-Olu had pledged not to discontinue inherited projects. Therefore, contractors handling construction of various infrastructure projects had return to site and complete them. He has also ensured that work resumed on the Mile 2/Badagry Expressway project, hopefully to be completed by December 2019, among others. This will further boost tourism and international business.
The administration of Sanwo-Olu has perfected plans to actualise the Smart City initiative, which is billed to hit airwaves in the coming weeks. The high points of the initiative is the deployment of metropolitan fibre optics across the State. The project, when launched would provide Internet infrastructure for the populace to boost aid e-commerce and tech innovation.
The administration has made arrangements with key power distribution firms to distribute 20,000 metres to residents to ease challenges of accessing power.
In his usual modest mien, the governor has has promised that “The coming days will be filled with good governance and more successes.”
Describing the 100 days of the governor, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said it is “excessively eventful”.
Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu is widely regarded as a public sector expert in
human resources and policy formation a power sector consultant per excellence,
an astute banker, a compelling public speaker and an inspirational leader.
Apart from a robust public sector service experience which spanned over eight years during
which he was Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Honourable
Commissioner for Budget and Planning and Honourable Commissioner for
Establishments and Training, Lagos State, at different times, the very dynamic governor
also has an enviable background in the private sector and close to ten years of exemplary
banking experience during which he contributed immensely to the growth and
development of Lead Bank Plc, UBA, and First Atlantic Bank (now First City Monument
Bank) in various critical capacities.
He has distinguished himself as a boardroom guru and has since become a widely
recognised force in both the private and public sector, serving as Board member,
Department for International Development, DFID/DEEPEN Fund; Member of the Board
Audit Committee of Caverton Offshore Services Group, PLC and as Director, Light Level
Nigeria Limited, the foremost digital signage company in Nigeria.
A man of admirable social skills, who is generally believed is capable of achieving the greater Lagos initiative, Sanwo-Olu is happily married to Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu and they are blessed with children.
Mamman Daura’s Daughter’s Release of Clip at this Time is Mischievous, Didn’t Share Video Where She Abused the First Lady, Aisha Buhari – Presidency Source
A source within the Presidency has debunked claims made by Fatima, daughter of Mamman Daura who is one of President Buhari’s closest allies on being attacked by First Lady, Aisha Buhari at the Aso Villa, The Nation reports.
Recall that in an interview with BBC, Fatima denied report of her father arranging a second wife for President Buhari. She also denied claims that her dad is allegedly the head of ”a cabal” which controls the Buhari presidency (Aisha Buhari had in the past alleged that some persons have taken control of her husband’s government).
Fatima also revealed that she recorded the viral video of Aisha Buhari screaming at some persons in the Villa in 2017. According to her, she recorded the video to prove that the First Lady was violent to her and her family members after President Buhari asked them to vacate an apartment they were given in the villa after he assumed office in 2015.
However The Nation reported that a Presidential source debunked the claim, alleging that Mamman Daura’s daughter failed to tell the full story on why they were asked to vacate the apartment.
According to the source, the apartment was needed for the then recuperating Yusuf after his Power Bike accident.
She said: “By now the airwaves are awash with Fatima, Mamman Daura’s daughter, consenting to the fact that she indeed shot and leaked the now infamous video clip which showed the wife of the president in a very angry mood.
“The incident happened over a year ago when the wife of the president, on the instructions of the president, asked the Dauras to vacate their living quarters inside the Villa for a sick Yusuf Buhari who was recuperating after an accident.
“For this reason, the quarters were needed and the Dauras were asked to move to another part of the Villa. Long before the accident, Yusuf’s mother had requested in writing for the Dauras to vacate the place because the building is officially designated for the biological children of any serving president.
“The IG of police, DG DSS, NSA and the vice president who was the acting president, were all notified of this request. Despite this, the Dauras deliberately refused to comply with the instructions of the security agencies. Mamman Daura’s daughter, Fatima, did not say this in her interview.
“What really was the intent for the video being released now if not for mischief? Fatima didn’t showcase her part in the drama where the door was locked against the first lady to deny her access to some areas of the Villa, neither did she acknowledge the abuse she first vented before the first lady reacted under the instruction of DG Lawal Daura, who was brought into government by Mamman Daura.”
Brazil/Nigeria Match: Why I Used Okoye Instead of Ezenwa – Rohr
Brazil forced Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in the friendly game played on Sunday.
Speaking after the match, Rohr noted that Ezenwa, who is number two in the pecking order of goalkeepers, has not tasted action since the conclusion of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, while Okoye was active for Fortuna Düsseldorf’s reserve team in the Regionalliga West.
“We decided to put in Maduka because Ezenwa didn’t play for months, not even in the CHAN Team,’’ Rohr said in an interview with the Super Eagles Media Team.
“He didn’t have any experience of competition in the last three months so we decided to play with Maduka because he was playing for his club.”
Rohr regretted that Uzoho had to leave the game because of injury, praying the goalkeeper would recover soon.
He added: “Francis had a great match, we regret so much his injury, he will have examinations tomorrow so we will see exactly.
“He is playing again in his club so he can come back with us to play. I hope he will not be out for a long time because we have two important matches to play, against Benin in Nigeria and Lesotho, so we have a lot of work to do.
“He is playing well in his club so he can come back with us. I hope he will not be out for a long time because we have two important matches to play. So, we have a lot of work to do.”
Uzoho, who was impressive in the game left the pitch in the 65th minute as a result of the injury.
The Omonia Nicosia goalkeeper is now a doubt for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.
The German was impressed with the general performance of his players, saying, ‘they caused many problems for Brazil.’
Rohr lauded his team’s fighting spirit and solidarity for the duration, despite Brazil leveling in the second half through midfielder Casemiro.
The 66-year-old insisted the Eagles gave their more flamboyant opponents “problems” despite conceding possession to the South Americans.
“The team did very well, big solidarity, because Brazil wanted to win the game,” Rohr added.
“They scored very early in the second half and when they scored we had another 44 minutes to play, so, it was really not easy but with a lot of solidarity, fighting spirit and also counter attacks especially our wingers; they were very strong today, and we gave them problems.”
Customs Places Indefinite Ban on Exports, Imports Through Land Borders
The Nigeria Customs Service on Monday announced an indefinite ban on importation and exportation of goods through the land borders.
Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, also said Niger Republic had placed a ban on export of rice to Nigeria as a result of Nigeria’s border closure.
This came as the Nigeria Immigration Service said it had stopped 1,111 foreigners from entering Nigeria since August 20, 2019 when the country’s land borders were partially closed.
Ali said, “For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria. Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt, we have included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.
“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary for now that importers of such goods should go through our controlled boarders where we have scanners to verify the goods and how healthy they are to our people.”
The closure of borders is being enforced by the NCS and NIS, in collaboration with the Nigerian armed forces and the Nigeria Police Force. It is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Ali said the aim of the exercise was to better secure Nigeria’s borders, address trans-border security concerns and strengthen the economy.
The customs boss said it was disturbing that some neighbouring countries were circumventing the ECOWAS protocol on transit.
He said, “For clarity, the ECOWAS protocol on transit demands that when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country.
“Unfortunately, experience has shown that our neighbours do not comply with this protocol. Rather, they break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria.”
Ali said the closure of the borders had curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria and addressed the diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.
According to him, 10.2 million litres of petrol had been stopped from being diverted out of the country since the borders were closed, while producers of local food were making increased earnings.
On security, the customs boss stated that so far, 317 suspected smugglers and 146 illegal migrants had been arrested.
He said, “Also, some items seized are 21,071 pieces of 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 190 vehicles; 891 drums filled with petrol; 2,665 jerry cans of vegetable oil; 66,000 litre-tanker of vegetable oil; 133 motorcycles; 70 jerry cans of petrol and 131 bags of NPK fertiliser used for making explosives. The estimated monetary value of the intercepted items is about N1.43bn.”
He explained that 95 per cent of illicit drugs and weapons used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria came through the porous borders.
He said following the closure of Nigeria’s borders, “Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria.”
According to him, no date has been fixed to reopen the borders, adding that Nigeria will only end closure when its neighbours have fully complied with the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on Transit.
He said, “The government, through diplomatic channels, will continue to engage our neighbours to agree to comply with ECOWAS protocol on transit.
“Goods that are on the prohibition list in Nigeria, such as rice, used clothing, poultry products and vegetable oil should not be exported to the country.