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Why We Are Yet to Complete Lagos-Ibadan Expressway – Fashola

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday, revealed that the problem of insufficient funds and the increasing price of construction materials were the only issues delaying the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

This was as he blamed the previous administration for neglecting critical infrastructure.

Fashola made the revelation when he appeared on Television Continental programme, Your View, where he said crash barriers returned to the site because of the volume of vehicles plying the road, as he pleaded for patience and cooperation with the contractors.

He added that the last mile of the project would be completed in the first quarter of 2023.

He said, “Let me first appreciate commuters who use that road, a major transport artery in Nigeria for their understanding. This road could have been built between 1999 and 2015 but it wasn’t. This road is in better shape than we inherited and it is now at the last mile of completion.

“The major source of delay first is funding.

“You remember at a point this road was removed from the budget completely and I was engaging the National Assembly until the president unveiled the presidential infrastructure development fund which was essentially from investments from the Nigerian LNG and funds recovered from outside Nigeria.

“So, when people talk about corruption and anti-corruption, a president who goes to recover funds stolen and put it in investment for his people is the real anti-corruption as far as I am concerned.

“On the crash barriers, they are there because we are building through a major transport artery. Our last traffic count indicates that at least N40,000 vehicles use that road from the Lagos end to the Sagamu end.

“After Sagamu it drops to 22 thousand so that has to be managed to ensure the safety of the construction workers.

“We closed site work in December because traditionally construction companies shut down mid-December and resume mid-January.

“We are still expecting to finish the project in the first quarter.”

When asked about solutions to reduce gridlock, he said, “You can’t expect to drive fast in a construction zone, there will be a bit of slowdown and it is in that slowdown that ‘how we behave’ becomes very important.”

Speaking further, the former Lagos governor disclosed that the construction of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway had received funding of N7 billion from the new Sukuk bonds assuring that the pains of Ogun residents would be alleviated soon.

“I hear the concern about Lagos-Abeokuta (Road) and there are people we should ask why Lagos -Abeokuta (Road) was not built.

“I can categorically say that all roads that lead into and out of Lagos as a strategic commercial capital of Nigeria are receiving one form of attention or the other.

“Again, contractors had abandoned the site when we came and we revived and we are putting the Sukuk into it and the last Sukuk has about N7 billion in it. So, we don’t have all the money to build it. I understand there is more pain on the Ogun side but the Lagos side work is going because the contractor is constructing from Lagos to Ogun.

“In a matter of weeks, I am hopeful we would have a more enjoying financial solution not only to Lagos-Abeokuta but also to Akure and Ado Ekiti and once that is done, whether we are in government or not, those roads will be constructed,” he said.

On the need to toll some roads, he asserted that it was a necessary business venture that would raise revenue without sacrificing the quality of service delivered to commuters.

He stated, “First, we have to understand that out of about 200,000 plus kilometers, the total quantity of roads that would be under the tolling policy approved by the government will be only five per cent, so it is not such a high volume of roads.

“The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was built as a toll road from day one and we want to sustain the quality of service.

“I think it is sensible in terms of traffic volume that roads can be subject to commercial policies, not just to raise revenue but render quality service to Nigerians.

“Tolling itself is business everywhere in the world. We have to continue opening up the economy to these things.

“We can’t stay with agriculture, oil, tech and all of that. We have to open up more economic opportunities.”

Furthermore, the minister announced his retirement from public service, stating that he had been extremely privileged to run government for 21 years and wanted to take a break.

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Sanusi Remains Emir, Says Kano Govt, Orders Removal of Bayero from Nasarawa Palace

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The Kano State Government has directed the state’s Commissioner of Police to remove the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, from the Nasarawa mini palace.

The state government claimed that Thursday’s judgement by a Federal High Court was in its favour, affirming the state government’s decision to reinstate Emir Lamido Sanusi.

The court nullified the Kano Emirate Council (Amendment No. 2) Law, 2024, that scrapped four of the five emirate councils of the state last month and removed all the five emirs, including Aminu Ado-Bayero of Kano.

The judge, Abdullahi Liman, ruled that the appointment of Mr Sanusi as Kano emir was null and void because the government failed to obey the court order restraining it from taking further action on the new emirate council law.

The judge described Governor Yusuf’s speech during the presentation of the reappointment letter to Mr Sanusi as a road to anarchy, saying that if a court order cannot be respected despite evidence of service, then the government was heading to chaos.

He voided all the actions taken by the governor after the court order, including the signing of the new emirate law and subsequent appointment of Mr Sanusi as emir, and ordered all parties in the case to maintain the status quo.

But in a swift response, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Haruna Dederi, in a press conference, said the court ruling was in their favour and Mr Sanusi remains the emir.

He said the government has already concluded arrangements for the general reconstruction and renovation of the property, including the demolition and reconstruction of the dilapidated wall fence of the Nasarawa palace with immediate effect.

“Following this court’s ruling, Kano State Government has directed the State Commissioner of Police to remove the deposed emir of the 8 metropolitan local governments from the government property where he is trespassing as the government has already concluded arrangements for the general reconstruction and renovation of the property including the demolishing and reconstruction of the dilapidated wall fence with immediate effect.

“By the ruling of the court, it has unequivocally reaffirmed the validity of the law passed by Kano State House of Assembly and assented to by His Excellency the Executive Governor of Kano State on Thursday, 23rd May 2024 by 5:10 p.m.

“This part of the judgement is very fundamental to the entire matter. Further implication of the ruling is that all actions done by the government before the emergence of the interim order of the honourable court, are equally validated.

“This means that the abolishing of the five emirates created in 2019 is validated, and the deposition of the five emirs is also sustained by the Federal High Court. By implication, this means that Muhammadu Sanusi II remains the emir of Kano.

“The judge also granted our application for the stay of proceedings until the Court of Appeal deals with the appeal before it on jurisdiction. Happily, the signing of the law and the reinstatement of His Highness, Emir Muhammad Sunusi II were done on 23rd May, 2024 before the emergence of the Interim Order which was served on us on Monday 27th May, 2024,” the state government claimed.

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Kano Emirate Tussle: Court Orders Reversal to Statusquo, Sets Aside Law That Dethroned Bayero

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A Federal High Court in Kano has set aside the procedures taken by the Kano State government to repeal the Kano Emirate Council Repeal Law 2024.

The law, recently passed by the Kano State House of Assembly on May 23, was immediately signed into law by Governor Abba Yusuf and was used to dethrone Emir Aminu Ado Bayero and reappoint Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano.

Also, it was used to reverse the creation of four emirates—Bichi, Rano, Karaye, and Gaya, established by the former governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, in 2020.

However, the Sarkin Dawaki Babba, Aminu Danagundi, who was represented by Chikaosolu Ojukwu (SAN), challenged the legality of the new law and asked the court to declare the law null and void.

After hearing the motion last Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Abdullahi Liman, adjourned the ruling till this Thursday.

Counsel to the State House of Assembly and its Speaker, Eyitayo Fatogun (SAN), informed the court of a notice of appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, seeking a stay proceedings.

However, Justice Liman noted that there was no evidence that the appeal had been entered nor any formal application for a stay filed.

In his ruling on Thursday, Justice Liman set aside the action of the Kano government, ordering parties to maintain the status quo.

The judge held that the defendants were aware of the interim order granted by the court but chose to ignore it and went ahead with the implementation of the law.

Justice Liman, therefore, ruled that he would assume his coercive powers to enforce compliance with his order.

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Cholera Outbreak: Ogun Govt Puts Schools on Red Alert

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The Ogun State Government has directed school heads to ensure good health and safety of all learners and staff members to prevent the spread of Cholera within the communities.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu, said preventive measures have been put in place to control the spread of the disease in schools.

According to him, the measures take effect from Wednesday, June 19, 2024 as schools resumed from the mid-term break and the Eid-el-Kabir holiday.

Some of the measures include comprehensive health talks on Cholera prevention among learners and staff, including information on symptoms, transmission routes, proper hand hygiene, and safe drinking water practices;

“Ensure availability of clean water and soap for hand washing ni school premises;

“Encourage regular hand washing, especially before eating and after using the restroom.

“Promote the use of hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content as a support to hand washing;

“Regularly inspect and maintain water sources within school premises to ensure that they are safe for drinking;

“Instruct learners and staff to consume only boiled or chlorinated water and avoid consuming raw or unwashed fruits and vegetables;

“Maintain clean and hygienic school environments, including proper disposal of waste and regular cleaning of toilets and common areas;

“Collaborate closely with local health authorities and follow their guidelines for cholera prevention and control measures;

“Ensure safe food preparation by making sure that they are properly cooked and covered when not consumed immediately;

“Monitor closely the food vendors and ensure that they collect letters from health facilities certifying their fitness for the job;

“Designate Health Officers within the school to monitor learners and staff for any symptoms of cholera (like frequent watery stooling, etc) and report any suspected cases immediately to the nearest Health Care Centre and ot the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

“By adhering strictly to these preventive measures and maintaining a high level of vigilance, we can collectively safeguard our health and well-being during this critical period,” he added.

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