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Fire outbreak danger: Why we demolished buildings in Ajao Estate — LASG



…Says affected buildings defied extant laws, built around pipelines, lack documents

…They constitute threat to aviation security, coverage for oil theft menace — FAAN

By Moses Adeniyi

The Lagos State Government (LASG) has given reasons why some buildings constructed at I.K. Peter Street, Ajao Estate, cited in close proximity to the Murtala International Airport, Lagos, were pulled down.

The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) Gbolahan Owodunni Oki, disclosed, weekend, that the buildings demolished were found wanting of lacking required approvals, and forming threats having been cited in close proximity around pipelines bearing aviation fuel.

Oki who feared the havoc that a fire outbreak from the pipeline could cause to lives and properties, said the builders also lacked required documents including Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.O).

According to the GM, the buildings were illegal structures constructed out of clear disregard to the requirements of extant laws.

Mentioning that the buildings had no planning permit and were built around the pipelines, he remarked that “nobody in his right thinking mind will go and buy a plot on a pipeline and build on the pipeline.”

He lamented that some of the property owners went to the extent of laying foundations on pipeline, mentioning that due consultations and communications have been made with enough time of about two years given to the occupants of the affected buildings to evacuate the structures.

Oki lamented that building collapse in Lagos had been a subject of “attitudinal problem,”  mentioning that the buildings were a national risks to the Airport being “extremely close,” mentioning that no life of a Nigerian is worth being lost to the dangers that the citing of the buildings pose.

He, however, cautioned those slamming criticisms on the government to always dig deep into the right information,  calling on them to hear from the side of the government, and not hastily jump into conclusion by being sympathetic to property owners, without considering the danger and hazards that the buildings would cause, should the government turn a blind eyes.

He lamented that the widespread menace of building without securing approval is a defective behaviour that the public must fight together.

The GM who called on Lagosians to report cases of illegal structures to the government, said “turning a blind face to such constructions”, would bear untoward consequences with far reaching losses.

On the reports making rounds over incidents of reoccurring collapse of buildings, Oki said recorded incidents, so far, have to do with buildings which developers failed to secure its approval for supervision.

He noted that it was important for builders and developers after securing approval for construction from the appropriate authorities, to, before storming cite for work, write the Agency for monitoring.

According to him, the onus lies on the Agency to carry out routine checks on buildings at each stage of development until final completion, upon which he said the Agency would certify the building “sound” and “fit for habitation,” thereby issuing a “certificate of fitness,” showing compliance to rules and regulations.

On its part, the authority of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said it invited the Lagos State Government to step into the issue after several warnings in attempt to stop the constructions of buildings were not yielded by those it called “encroachers,” who took from the land of the Airport.

Speaking over the weekend, the General Manager, Business Development, FAAN, Mr. Ngwu Hycienth, applauded   the partnership with LASBCA to bring normalcy and decency to the Airport environment.

Noting that airport environment is controlled not only by national, but also by international laws, he lamented that the buildings in question formed security threats to the Murtala International Airport.

According to him, the lands of the Airport were duly acquired and gazetted by the Federal Government for public use starting from 1944, extended in 1972 and 1975, as the expanse of land forming the Murtala International Airport.

He, however, lamented that the Authorities of the Airport began to notice encroachment on its land in 2015, defying the standard rule that no building must be cited close to the perimeter fence.

He lamented that some of the encroachers did not only build too close to the fence, but also had structures higher in height than the specifications, noting that there have also been incidents of thefts of aviation fuel and properties at the cargo terminals almost on weekly basis.

Ngwu mentioned that the existence of those buildings at a time when terrorist threats are echoing, is a danger that must be checked, mentioning that such buildings if not pulled down could be exploited.

He lamented that should such threats be not checked, it could generate untoward circumstances leading to closure of the Airport, which he said would inform huge economic losses as the Airport generates 60 per cent of revenue to FAAN and 40 per cent to the FG.

He, however, disclosed that on a letter written to the President by the property owners asking for regularistion, about 200 buildings were given consideration.

No fewer than 13 buildings were on Friday pulled down by an enforcement team led by the LASBCA.

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South West

Indigenes receive land, N2.5m grant for knowledge acquisition



25 indigenes in Ogun State have received N2.5 million and land to boost their knowledge of agriculture from the Ogun State Government.

The beneficiaries are graduates from the Enterprise for Youth in Agriculture (EIYA) programme, packaged by Soiless Farm Lab, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, to boost their agricultural endeavours.

Speaking during the presentation and graduation ceremony at Awowo, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state, Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Bolu Owotomo, said the gesture was to enable the graduands adopt, adapt and implement knowledge acquired to boost the agricultural sector.

Hon. Owotomo, in a statement signed by the Ministry’s Press Officer, Mr. Gbenga Moronfolu, explained that the training was a further assurance that the ageing farming population could effectively and adequately be replaced with young farmers with modern skills, to enhance the agricultural value chain.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Samuel Adeogun, the Commissioner emphasised that harnessing the potential and innovation of Nigeria young farmers and entrepreneurs in agriculture would not only revitalise the sector, but also make it sustainable and technologically advanced.

He assured that the state government would not relent in transforming the sector by encouraging more youths to engage in agriculture, as well as creating an enabling environment for the sector to thrive through its various intervention programmes.

On his part, the team lead, Soiless Farm Lab, Farmer Samson Ogbole, noted that the initiative was to attract young people into agriculture by exposing them to modern training that would enable them to excel.

“We taught them how to build a greenhouse from scratch; they know basic bricklaying, plumbing, electrical works, farm management, financial management, budgeting and human management,” he said

Some of the participants sponsored by the state government, Olayinka Olaoluwa, Adebimpe Odebiyi and Taiwo Osilesi, commended the state government for the programme, saying they had immensely benefited from the training and passionate to deploy what they had learnt for the benefit of the state.

They appreciated the state government for the land and cash gift, promising to utilise them judiciously and towards ensuring food security in the state and country at large.

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South West

Osun Govt signs MoU with FOSCOOP, releases N300m loan



By Jeleel Olawale

The Osun State Government on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federation of Osun State Cooperatives (FOSCOOP) and released a sum of N300 million revolving loan to the cooperative societies in the state.

The state government was represented by the Commissioner for Cooperatives and Empowerment, Prince Bayo Ogungbangbe while Alhaji AbdulRasheed Diekola signed the MoU on behalf of the state government and FOSCOOP at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Empowerment.

The signing of MoU and disbursement of the fund is in fulfillment of the promise made by Governor Ademola Adeleke, during the 1st Osun State Cooperatives Summit and Awards held in January this year.

The sum of N300 million revolving loan was released as the first tranche to the Cooperatives Federation with the commitment to release subsequent tranches soon.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Prince Bayo Ogungbangbe said, the initiative is geared towards empowering and supporting the cooperative movement in Osun State, saying this is in line with the theme of the summit, “Co-operative, A Pathway to Economic and Social Development.”

He described this as a landmark achievement in fulfilling the promise made by the governor, adding that the second tranche would be released immediately.

He said, all cooperative societies would benefit from the state government gesture as others would be invited to come for their own.

He noted that the empowerment would also be done after all cooperative societies in the state received their funds.

“This is the first  tranche of the fund and as soon as possible other tranches would be released. We want to release the fund on a tranche basis to allow all cooperative members to benefit from it. When the Governor makes a promise, he tries to fulfill it. This is his attitude. He is a promise keeping man.”

The President of the Federation of Osun State Cooperatives (FOSCOOP), Alhaji AbdulRasheed Diekola, expressed gratitude to Governor Ademola Adeleke for fulfilling the promise made during the Summit.

He assured the state government of continued support to the government, saying the collaboration between the state government and FOSCOOP signifies a significant step towards fostering economic and social development within the state government through cooperative empowerment.

“This is a relief for all cooperators in the state. This gesture would go a long way in ameliorating poverty in the state. This would empower all members of cooperative societies in the state. This is a milestone achieved by the state government.”

Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Cooperatives and Empowerment, Hon. Durojaye Isaac, described the fulfillment of the promise and disbursement of the fund to the cooperative movement as one of its kind in the history of the state, noting that no government has ever promised and fulfilled such.

He said the gesture would improve the micro economy sector in the state and reduce the level of economic hardship faced by the people.

He therefore urged the citizens to continue to support the state government policies and programmes in a bid to fulfill all its 5-point agenda of Governor Ademola Adeleke.

The dignitaries at the signing of the MoU include Special Adviser to the Governor on Cooperatives and Empowerment, Hon. Isaac Durojaye; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr. Sunday Gbenga Fadele; Director of Cooperatives, Mr. Babatunde Ogunjide; Director of Empowerment.

Others are Mrs. Peju Oginni; Prince. Gbadebo Adeleke; Mr. Bashir Olayemi; Mr. Babatunde Olowoyeye, Principal, Cooperatives College, Hon. Oyeniyi Rasheed, Hon. Musbau Abioye, Alhaji Tiamiyu Wasiu Adeoye FOSCOOP Executive Secretary.

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South West

Ogun CP commissions state of the art Area Command office in Sango



By Emmanuel Atokolo

The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu has commissioned the rehabilitated Sango Area Command office.

The rehabilitation was facilitated by the Sango Area Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Musa Mohammed Sani alongside some partner companies costing millions of naira.

The state of the art command centre consists of a new counter and visitors room, Internet, solar power, air-conditioned offices, amongst other things.

CP Alamutu, in his address, recalled that the three-day visit of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun in April was climaxed by the commissioning of the new police command headquarters at Eleweran, Police Complaint Response Unit and an event centre belonging to the police.

“Here I am again today in Sango-Otta for the commissioning of this Area Command headquarters building. The impression I had was to commission a renovation but what I see on ground is beyond renovation,” the CP said.

While commending ACP Mohammed for his giant strides, Alamutu said, “Sincerely, I truly want to extend my appreciation to the Area Commander for his vision, commitment and passion because, by this act, he has left his footprint in the sands of time, and will remain indelible as long as this Area Command exists.

“I personally believe that the police are misrepresented. The mistake some of us in service make is taking the public for granted. This achievement couldn’t have been possible without a cordial relationship between the Area Command and members of the public. Without this cordiality, this project wouldn’t have been possible. The only way to earn the trust of the public is to remain upright,” the state Police Commissioner stated.

Alamutu expressed his appreciation to members of the community and sister security agencies for their support to the police, while craving for their continued support, so as to be able to stem the wave of criminality.

He, however, appealed to officers and men of Ota Area Command to sustain the cordiality, saying, “even though there may be disagreement sometimes, the Area Command is there to listen to you. What cannot be handled at the divisional level can go to the Area Command and can come to me.”

Delivering his goodwill message on behalf of the Olota of Ota, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Abdulkabir Adeyemi Obalanlege, the Seriki of Ota, High Chief Olanrewaju Balogun said, “First, I want to apologise for our inability to be here in full force as planned. Something came up beyond our control that affected the whole traditional system. Most of our scheduled functions were cancelled but because the achievement of our Area Commander is not something we can push aside.”

“I would like to thank the CP, our own Egbon, Alamutu. We really appreciate you. We can say we are very lucky in Ota Area Command right from the present CP of Lagos, CP Adegoke Fayoade, when he was here to the time of Monday Agbonika, now to the time of ACP Mohammed Sani.

“When ACP Sani was coming, we said we do not want any Hausa man, we want a Yoruba. And ACP Agbonika said you will really, really enjoy him. We said No. He came to me and said ‘Seriki, please convince Kabiyesi; this is a very good officer they are bringing to Ota.’ Now everything is there for all to see. I have never seen a finer police officer in the whole of when I have been in Ota. I am not saying this because of the structure but for his professionalism and his style of community policing.

“He has opened up all his lines to us and very accessible. He works in conjunction with sister agencies, including the Navy. We have recorded almost zero crimes. I know promotion is the next expectation, but this may be the time we will have an area command headed by a DCP, because we would not allow him to go. This is a structure that will outlive you. You do not look or act as if you are not from this area,” the Seriki of Ota said.

Speaking with NewsDirect when the Publisher/Executive Director, Mr Mathew Ibiyemi alongside members of the management team paid the Area Commander a visit during the rehabilitation recently, ACP Mohammed disclosed that he embarked on the project in line with the agenda of IGP Egbetokun to reform the force and provide better working conditions for the officers in the force.

ACP Mohammed noted that the new facility will better equip command to maintain the peace in the environment and effectively combat crimes.

He also seized the opportunity to encourage companies and individuals to shun crime and partner with the Police in unraveling perpetrators of criminal acts.

The Publisher/Executive Director of Nigerian NewsDirect, Mr Mathew Ibiyemi commended the Area Commander.

He also assured the Area Commander of the continued support of the media house in covering the activities of the command and providing resourceful information to tackle crime.

Earlier, in his welcome address, ACP Mohammed Musa expressed gratitude to the state Commissioner of Police for physically making himself available for the commissioning of “one of the best area command offices in Nigeria.”

He recounted his achievements to include crime control strategy, police/community relations, intelligence-led community policing strategy, improved security ethics/security operatives code of conduct, public trust and “to crown it all, the best befitting area command office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Nigeria.”

The Area Commander was also awarded the “Quintessential Ambassador of the Nigeria Police Force,” presented on behalf of the Crime Puzzle Magazine to the Area Commander, ACP Mohammed Sani Musa, by CP Alamutu.

In his address, a prelude to the award presentation, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Crime Puzzle, Felix Mordi, disclosed that prior to ACP Mohammed’s assumption of office at Ota Area Command as Area Commander, the area was synonymous with such crimes like thuggery, rituals, inter-tribal conflicts, land grabbing, armed robberies and cultism.

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