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Lagos: Choice place for real estate investors, investees – LASG

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LAGOS RAIL: LASG Extends Traffic Diversion At Muritala Mohammed Way /Yaba Axis

… As Minister says Power outages blameable on system disruptions, disturbances, not grid collapse***

Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, says Lagos State is a choice place for investors and investees in the real estate sector.

Benson-Awoyinka said this while delivering a presentation at the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Lagos State Chapter’s Second Edition Stakeholders Summit held on Thursday in Lagos.

Also read: LASG Reaffirms Ban on Motorcycles in 10 Local Gov’ts Areas

She stated that the demand conferred huge responsibilities on the state government to ensure effective monitoring of real estate transactions for the benefit of its people.

“As a form of proactive step, the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority Law was reviewed and signed by Gov. Sanwo-Olu precisely on Feb.7, 2022.

“This Law mandates the agency to regulate and register individuals or organisations operating in real estate business transactions in the state.

“It also maintains a database for real estate practitioners in order to curb reported fraudulent practices in the sector.

“The purpose is to boost financial transparency in real estate business transactions, protect individuals and organisations, investments both home and abroad, and prosecute investors or investees involved in fraudulent or sharp practices in the state,” she said.

According to her, the agency frowns at anyone taking undue advantage of individuals or organisations that are in need of residential or commercial accommodation.

The special adviser urged relevant real estate professional bodies to ensure that all their members are registered with Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Agency (LASRERA).

Benson-Awoyinka said that the registration was for the purpose of collating data on property transactions, in accordance with the provisions of the law.

she charged relevant stakeholders in the sector to key into the state government’s vision of “Towards a Greater Lagos”, as the real estate market cycle.

This, Benson-Awoyinka noted, offers great investment opportunities that would boost investors and investees confidence.

“Let’s tap into the rich real estate investment benefits and conform with established global best practices for this sector,” he said.

Benson-Awoyinka commended REDAN for bringing together real estate developers, stakeholders, intending off-takers and other interest groups in the industry to brainstorm on the progressive and sustainable development of the sector.

In his remark, Mr Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, charged developers to think of how to provide houses for all residents of Lagos and also put into consideration the low-income earners.

Akinderu-Fatai said Lagos state needs more housing, hence; the state government had encouraged the private sector to be a major player in the real estate sector.

In his address, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Elegushi of Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom, Victoria Island, said REDAN is an important stakeholder in the development of Lagos State.

Elegushi said members of the association must continue to spur development by ensuring that they support in providing decent and affordable housing to Lagos residents.

“If developers could play their part well, cases of building collapses in Lagos will be drastically reduced,” he said.

In the meantime, the Epileptic power supply being experienced across the country in recent times is caused by system disturbances and disruptions and not because of national grid collapse as being insinuated in some quarters.

The declaration was made on Thursday in Abuja by the Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Agba, at the investigative hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on power.

The investigation was sequel to perceived recurrent national grid collapse leading to incessant power outages.

The minister told the committee that there had not been a single system collapse in 2022.

He stressed that power disruptions being experienced were caused either by human, equipment or political factors.

He said blackouts experienced in September in particular were acts of sabotage.

He said that in September, there was blackout nationwide for a short while and some youths were seen on social media switching off the system.

“That was not a system collapse.

That was a deliberate vandalism. In fact, it was sabotage.

“How can young men go and switch off light thereby putting the nation in blackout just because of some grudges,’’ he queried.

Agba said the blackout arose from a trade union matter in the power supply structure and that he was already handling the situation.

In his submissions at the hearing, the Managing Director, of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Sule Abdul’aziz, said total system disturbances declined between 2017 and 2021.

He said that there had been significant and sustained improvement in grid stability with every passing year.

Also at the hearing, Dr Joy Ogaji, Executive Secretary, of the Association of Power Generation Companies, attributed the problem to obsolete infrastructure and excessive volatile load.

She said another reason for incessant outages was weak transmission infrastructure, adding that most of the equipments are over 25 years old.

The instability and unavailability of most transmission lines are other problems, she said.

She attributed the noticeable improvement in power supply to the fact that generation companies’ machines were now being used to manage the grid, contrary to the grid code provision.

She added that 97 per cent of the time, the grid was on high frequencies.

Responding, Rep. Sada Soli (APC-Katsina) expressed dissatisfaction at the explanations given by the respondents.

He emphasised that none of the submissions made suggested how to solve the problems in the power sector.

In another response, Rep. Magaji Aliyu, Chairman of the committee, said it would constitute a technical committee to compile a report and make recommendations to prevent future power outages.

 

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Economy

LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

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LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

… Says traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am*** 

The Lagos State Government has advised Motorists to plan their movement around Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Old Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island ahead of the Students Rave 2023 event scheduled for Friday, 27th January 2023.

As a result of the above rally, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde disclosed that traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am on the aforementioned day. He assured that Officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) will be available to manage traffic flow.

Explaining the alternative routes, Oladeinde advises Motorists plying Island Club road by Police Headquarters Zone 2, Onikan to go through Ozumba Mbadiwe road inbound Falomo Bridge (Five Cowries Bridge) to link Alfred Rewane and Osborne road to complete their journeys.

In the same vein, Motorists from Bonny Camp according to the diversion plan can access CMS/Marina Bridge after Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) and loop it down towards Cathedral Church to connect Lagos Island proper through Odunlami Street for their desired destinations,

The Transport Commissioner also advises Motorists to utilize Force road beside Muson Centre to link J.K Randle Avenue (Race Course) or go through Onikan Roundabout to connect JK Randle Avenue/Water Board area to access CMS Bridge by the State House/Old NITEL Building.

He further explained that Water Board inbound Broad Street to Tinubu Square will be available to Motorists, adding that they can equally access Old Defense road/ Ganiyu Smith from Water Board to link Igbosere/Sandgrouse to Simpson Street and connect Third Mainland Bridge to continue their journeys to other parts of the State.

The Transport Commissioner reiterated that Security and Law Enforcement Agencies will be at all strategic junctions and intersections to ensure the safety and security of all road users and the free flow of traffic within the perimeter of the venue and alternative routes outside the venue.

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Economy

Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022

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Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022

…Agrees there are human-induced challenges***

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said in Abuja on Thursday that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) produced more than 1.7 million passports in 2022.

Fielding questions at the 64th edition of the State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, Aregbesola said the figure was a landmark achievement.

He rated the Ministry of Interior and its agencies as having scored above 80 percent in terms of performance.

“By Dec. 31, 2022, we produced more than 1.7 million passports.

“In the annals of Nigeria that has not happened before; as I am talking to you, we have more than 200,000 booklets in our store.

“We are not denying the fact that there are human-induced challenges if you look at the number of applications, vis-a-vis the number of passports produced.

“We are above 80 percent in performance; in any way, take it as given that we produced more than 1.7 passports in 2022,’’ Aregbesola said.

The minister said that a presidential directive had been issued with regard to the domestication of passport production.

He said the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the NIS, had impanelled a “project steering committee’ with a mandate to actualise the goal.

Aregbesola also said there was a major reformation and digitisation of passport issuance and administration as a temporary electronic passport had been introduced.

“We are digitising the process; my plan was to fully digitise the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos by Dec. 2022 but I could not fully achieve that.

“What does that mean? When this process is concluded, an applicant does not need to bring anything anymore; you complete your process online and by that time, you don’t need an agent.

“There can’t be racketeering. I am on it and I want to guarantee that we will do it before we leave.

“We have also concluded arrangements on the temporary passport issue; we have the passport, but we have some issues with our sister ministry – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are solving it,’’ he said.

According to the minister, the temporary passport will facilitate a return to Nigeria for Nigerians living abroad if they need to get back in emergencies and did not have current passports.

Such Nigerians would return home, carrying their expired passports also, the minister said.

“Much as that won’t be a problem for us to take at our reception desk, some airlines could be difficult.

“I can even tell you that we are discussing with South Africa now; South Africa does not allow the use of expired passports as a nation contrary to International Civil Aviation Orgnanisation (ICAO) regulation.

“ICAO says that every citizen of a nation dead or alive cannot be denied entry to his home; which is logical anyway.

“The last time I treated a file from South Africa through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they were insisting that if one’s passport is not current, one cannot be taken in or out of South Africa’s space.

“It is their policy; you cannot deny a nation its national policies and programmes.

“To avoid that, we introduced what is called temporary electronic passport; it is a one-way passport to return home,’’ Aregbesola explained.

He said that under the temporary passport regime, citizens who had the data pages of their expired passports could take them to Nigeria’s embassies to get the temporary electronic passport after paying the appropriate fees.

“The temporary electronic passports are almost exactly the same as their expired passports.

“It does not have more than one page to take you home; when you hold the electronic passport, you cannot go anywhere but home.

“We are still in negotiation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,’’ Aregbesola said.

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Court Again adjourns, for report of settlement in suit against Dana Air MD

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Court Again adjourns, for report of settlement in suit against Dana Air MD

…Ranesh still shuns Court*** 

 A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed May 31 for report of settlement in a suit filed by the office of Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) against Managing Director (MD), Dana Air, Hathiramani Ranesh.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date on Wednesday following an oral application for adjournment by counsel to the AGF, M. Okeya.

Though the prosecution counsel was in court when the matter was called, neither Mr Ranesh nor his lawyer was in court.

The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/101/21 which was number 10 on the day’s cause list, was for the arraignment of Ranesh and two others.

Upon resuming the hearing in the case, Okeya told Justice Egwuatu that the parties in the suit were exploring settlement options.

The lawyer, who informed that a sister case was also before a Lagos court, said the matter would be coming up later in the year.

She, however, sought a longer date for a report on the outcome of settlement and the judge consequently adjourned the case until May 31 for a report.

Egwuatu had, on Oct. 13, 2022, adjourned the matter until Jan. 25 for arraignment of the defendants following the absence of Mr Ranesh and the prosecution lawyer in court.

However, Ranesh’s counsel, Ade Adedeji, SAN, was in court and he hinted that the prosecution and the defence were exploring reconciliation.

It is incisive that since the commencement of the matter, Dana Air MD had not been present in court.

On June 30, 2021, when the matter came up, while other defendants were in court, Ranesh was absent.

Adedeji had told the court that the absence of his client in court was to the knowledge of the prosecution.

When the matter was called, Adedeji, said he was in court to represent Ranesh after they were served with the notice of arraignment.

The lawyer had told the court that his client was not in the country.

“The charge before this honourable court is a serious matter.

“We came in from Lagos just to come and explain to your lordship the circumstances that informed our acceptance of service without knowing that the date is coming so soon.

“We didn’t know before we accepted it. We have an option not to accept this but as officers in the temple of justice, we felt we are under obligation to accept on his (Ranesh’s) behalf.

“But to the knowledge of counsel to the prosecution, the principal defendant is not in the country which was made known to the prosecution.

“It is on the basis of these circumstances that we shall be appealing to your lordship for an adjournment my lord to enable the defendant appear before this honourable court,” he had said.

Counsel to the AGF, Wilson Michelangelo, did not oppose the request for an adjournment, and the judge fixed Oct. 13, 2021, for arraignment of the suspects.

On Oct. 13, 2021, when the matter came up, Justice Egwuatu was said to be on an official engagement in Lagos State and the matter could not proceed.

Although the counsel who appeared for the AGF, Moshood A., and lawyer to the defendant, Adedeji, SAN, were in court, Mr Ranesh was not.

Consequently, the court then fixed Feb. 15, 2022, for the arraignment of Mr Ranesh and two other defendants in the matter and on the adjourned date, the case was also fixed for May 26, 2022, for arraignment.

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