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Buhari Inaugurates Five Strategic Projects in Ogun

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Assures Timely Delivery of Sagamu-Benin, Lagos-Ibadan Expressways

From Kunle Idowu, Abeokuta

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday inaugurated five key projects in Ogun State, assuring Nigerians that two major Federal roads under construction, the Sagamu-Benin Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, would be commissioned before the end of 2022.

   

Addressing residents of the State, the President heaped praises on Governor Dapo Abiodun, for delivering visionary and trail-blazing projects for the people, even in the midst of prevailing and challenging circumstances, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Describing Governor Abiodun as the ‘‘Performing governor of Nigeria’s Gateway State,’’ the president said he was a worthy example of ‘‘promises made, promises kept.’’

The President noted that the lofty projects: the Gateway City Gate; the 42-Kilometre Sagamu Interchange-Abeokuta Road; the 14km Ijebu-Ode-Epe Expressway and two Housing Estates for low, medium and high income earners at Kobape and Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta, respectively, could not have materialised without the State government’s huge investment and commitment to security of lives and property.

‘‘This has made Ogun State one of the safest and most peaceful States in the country and investors’ destination of choice.

“You (Prince Abiodun) have justified the mandate of the people of Ogun State. You have represented our party very well,” the President said.

The President expressed delight that the 14km Ijebu Ode-Mojoda-Epe Road commissioned by him has been reconstructed into a modern expressway by the State government.

He noted that the impressive road would complement the Sagamu-Benin Expressway that the Federal Government is currently reconstructing; also due for commissioning this year.

“Just across the road is the 42-kilometer Sagamu-Interchange-Abeokuta Road which the state Government has reconstructed and equipped with street lights.

“That road enjoys a direct linkage with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that the Federal Government is rebuilding and due for completion later this year.

“I am particularly impressed by the quality and standard of your road projects, and the creative way you have deployed resources to reconstruct and rehabilitate them.

“It is significant to note that the two road projects being commissioned today are federal roads. This is an example of constructive engagement, cooperation and collaboration between the States and Federal Government.

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 “These roads also fit well into our rail transportation master plan that connects Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital to Kano, with Ogun State having more rail stations, along the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor.”

On the housing programme of the Ogun Governor, the President commended its inclusiveness, saying it is equally heart-warming that it cuts across different social strata, capturing the low, medium and high income earners.

Admiring the Gateway City Gate Project, the Nigerian leader said ‘‘it is not just a park beautification project. It depicts that something new is happening in Ogun State, a welcoming entrance into the State capital at the centre point of the State.”

He added that the project is also an icon depicting the joining of hands for building the future of Ogun State in togetherness.

Your Excellency, well done! I am proud of what you have done for your State and your people. You have made our great party, the APC, proud too. You are a worthy example of promises made, promises kept.

“These lofty projects could not have materialised without your huge investment and commitment to security of lives and property.”

Responding to requests by the State governor to give priority to the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and the Sango Otta-Idiroko Roads respectively, the President assured the people of Ogun State that these roads will receive Federal Government attention.

The President announced that the Federal Government would consider extending tax credit as funding option for the reconstruction of these roads, as done for the 100km Sagamu Interchange-Papalanto-Ilaro Road.

Similarly, the President promised to consider the approval of the reconstruction of Sagamu-Ogijo Road by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited under the tax credit scheme.

The President thanked the residents of the State for the warm reception accorded him and his entourage in the Gateway State, which is his first visit to any State in the New Year.

“This welcome by the large crowd brings back the nostalgia of my first arrival on this soil as a young infantry officer in the Nigerian Army at the then Lafenwa Barracks.

“The traditional hospitality of the people of this State has not waned a bit. Today, I am “Omowale” and very happy at this homecoming to meet my brothers and sisters whose goodwill I have always enjoyed. Thank you.”

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The President also congratulated the people of Ogun State for having such a focused, deliberate and inclusive administration under the watch of Prince Abiodun, urging them to continue to support the governor for the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda of his Administration.

“The reward for success is more hardwork to meet the increasing expectations of the people. When state governments deliver impactful projects, in consultations with stakeholders, like we have witnessed in Ogun State, the trajectory of our national development will be enhanced,” Buhari said.

The President, who was bestowed with “honourary indigeneship” of the State, said:

“It is also with a sense of responsibility that I receive and cherish the honourary indigeneship bestowed on me as symbolized by the presentation of the key to the Gateway State by Governor Abiodun.

“I will leave Ogun State with fond memories and look forward to enjoying the privilege of my honourary indigeneship.”

Speaking earlier at the grand reception for the President, Governor Abiodun thanked him, for the visit, saying that all the projects and programmes of his administration in the State are deliberate and guided by the vision to give Ogun State focused and qualitative governance and create an enabling environment for a Public Private Sector Partnership to thrive.

He said his administration believed in the socio-economic development of the State and individual prosperity of its people.

Speaking on the five projects commissioned by the President, Prince Abiodun said “the choice of the five projects that we are commissioning today from our many landmark projects was a daunting task. These are just a few of our achievements. We have so much more to showcase. These selected few that Your Excellency will commission are however symbolic of the various types of projects across all sectors of our dear State’s economy.

“Administration in Ogun State has continued to fulfill all its promises to the people within the available means.

“It is noteworthy that all our projects have the inputs and are informed by the needs of the people as expressed by them at different engagement fora that we provide.

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“This is because we anchor our “Building our Future Together” Agenda on inclusiveness, equity, fairness, transparency, accountability, justice, and obedience to the rule of law.

“Under our Five Development Pillars with the acronym I.S.E.Y.A; that is I – for Infrastructure, S – for Social Welfare and Wellbeing, E – for Education, Y – for Youth Empowerment, A for Agriculture and Food Security, we based our choices on what the people say they want and we get their buy-in for implementation,” he said.

While going through the importance of the roads, Ogun Governor said “the five projects is an iconic monument that not only beautifies the environment, but a reflection of the new approach to governance in the State. It symbolizes the convergence, harmony, and unity amongst all the groups and sections of the State. It is not just a physical Intersection of the three Senatorial Districts; it is a symbol of the togetherness of our people and the legendary warmth and hospitality to our visitors and guests.

“The Ijebu-Ode-Epe Road , a Federal Road which Your Excellency  commissioned earlier, is another strategic arterial road that links the Lekki / Epe corridor of Lagos State to the eastern corridor of Ogun State at Ijebu- Ode. With this road, socio-economic activities in the South East and South South zones of our country will receive a boost through the linkage of the road to Sagamu-Benin Expressway for easier access by motorists to Lagos, Nigeria’s largest economy.

“The Sagamu Interchange-Abeokuta Road is 42km in length and is the main arterial road that leads to our Capital City. It is a dual carriageway with streetlights, median and other road furniture. This road, though a federal road, was redesigned and reconstructed to address the daily challenges being experienced by commuters, and to make commuting between the State Capital and other parts of the State and, indeed, the rest of the country a safe, secure and pleasant experience.

“Two of our many housing projects, Housing Estate at Kobape in Abeokuta comprises of 526 units of 2 and 3-bedroom bungalows. The King’s Court at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta is a middle/high income Housing Estate and has 31 of its 85 units in the first phase fully completed. The remaining 54 units are at various stages of completion,” he said.

Environment

Fire Razes Lagos Spare Parts’ Building

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CETECH, a spare parts’ building in the Ladipo area of Lagos State was gutted by fire yesterday.

Several items and valuables worth millions were destroyed, although no life was lost in the inferno.

The raging fire started around 4 in the evening yesterday.

While the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, some residents told The Nation that it may have been caused by electrical faults.

Emergency responders including National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), security agencies are at the scene, battling with the fire at the time of filing this report.

When our correspondent visited the scene, scores of residents, workers gathered at the entrance of the affected building, counting their losses and lamenting the disaster.

Others joined the firefighters to battle with the inferno, while offloading goods in the building.

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Environment

Lagos Acquires Two Trains for Red Line Rail Project

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The Lagos State government has acquired two new 10-car speed trains that run at 330km/hour for its Red Line rail projects.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday completed the acquisition deal with Talgo Incorporated in Milwaukee, United States of America.

He was accompanied by the Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde; Special Adviser on Works Mrs Aramide Adeyoye and Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) Abimbola Akinajo.

The Governor said the government is excited to complete the purchase of the new trains.

According to him, they were in Milwaukee to see things for themselves in respect of the purchase of the trains, adding that they had inspected the trains, seen their configuration and are satisfied that they fit into the tracks of the Redline.

“A train is not something you can just pick up on the shelf so we are very lucky to get brand new trains. We have seen our beautiful white and red trains. Coincidentally, the rail line is called Red Line, and you can see they have given us the colour. We will only brand them.

“We hope this purchase will be the beginning of a mutually-beneficial business relationship. Providing a source of livelihood for our people is all about providing jobs for our people and that is what we are doing. It is about ensuring that we can build our economy; people can move from one location to another and businesses can grow,” he said.

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The acting Mayor of Milwaukee, Cavalier Johnson, who received Sanwo-Olu, said: “It is a little bittersweet. I am sending my congratulations to the Governor of Lagos State in Nigeria but also a little disappointed that we missed out on the opportunity to have those train sets operating here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.”

The Chief Executive and President of Talgo USA, Antonio Perez, said: “For us, it is important that our trains are utilised. It doesn’t make any good for the trains that we built to be stored and kept without passengers riding them.”

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Economy

Zulum Seeks Collective Fund-raising in Recharging Lake Chad & Hawul Basins

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has called for a collective fund raising that would be channeled towards recharging the Lake Chad and the Hawul Basins which have been the major sources of livelihood for about 30 million people before it receded by 90%.

Governor Zulum made the called on Tuesday, when he visited the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

During the meeting which lasted for about an hour, Zulum noted that funds could be raised through collaborations with the United Nations regional stabilization facility, other foreign and Nigerian based development partners such as the Northeast Development Commission, as well as contributions from states within the Lake Chad region.

He noted that the funds would be channeled towards recharging the Lake Chad Basin which was a source of livelihood for about 30 million people before it receded by 90%.

Speaking on Hawul River Basin, Governor Zulum, a professor of Irrigation Engineering, suggested the possible use of distilling and suppressing vacuum techniques to expand the capacity of the basin, while promising Borno Government’s support for urgent measures considered by the Federal Government.

“At our own level, we are ever ready to provide the needed political will to thrive these important projects”, Zulum said.

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Responding, the Water Resources Minister, Engineer Suleiman Adamu, assured the governor of President Buhari’s commitment to reviving the Lake Chad.

He also promised that the ministry will henceforth shift focus from executing fragmented projects to a strategic and ambitious one that can make massive impact on the lives of people in Borno and rest of the Lake Chad region.

Governor Zulum was accompanied by the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engr. Bukar Talba.

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