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Buhari Commissions Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project, Pledges More Infrastructural Development

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, inaugurated the commercial operations of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project, describing it as another milestone in Nigeria’s railway revival.

The president spoke at the inauguration, which took place at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos on Thursday.

Buhari described the feat as “another milestone in the drive of this administration to revitalise the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight’’.

He pledged that his administration would continue to prioritise the railway system as a transportation backbone that could transform industrial and economic activity in the country.

On the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other ongoing railway projects across the country, the President said that “this vital line establishes an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan’’.

He said that goods coming into the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.

“In clear recognition of the challenges posed to our economic growth by the absence of strong and effective infrastructure, we have embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano.

“The Lagos – Kano railway project, when completed, will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in the Niger Republic will be achieved.

“The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic.

“This will be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation”, the President said.

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Development

Governor Abiodun Meets Tinubu, Commends President for Honouring Awujale With GCON

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu receives Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for conferring the highest honour in the land, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on the Awujale of
Ijebuland, Alaiyeluwa Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona.

Prince Abiodun, who visited the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday evening, also commended the President for directing the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos, to take over the operations and management of the Sikiru Adetona School of Governance at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.

Governor Abiodun also spoke on the commitment of his administration to the ‘Renewed Hope’ vision of the Tinubu-led administration to ensure a better Nigeria.

Prince Abiodun said: “I had the honour of meeting with our dear President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, to express my deepest appreciation on behalf of Kabiyesi, the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, and the government and good people of Ogun State.

“I conveyed our gratitude for the honour accorded to His Royal Majesty by the high-powered Federal delegation that attended the commissioning ceremony of the Sikiru Adetona School of Governance at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, in celebration of the 90th birthday and 64th coronation anniversary of His Royal Majesty, Alayeluwa, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, GCON, Ogbagba II, the Awujale, and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland.

“During the meeting, I thanked His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for the presence of His Excellency, Senator Kashim Shettima, GCON, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, CFR, at the event, which added grandeur and importance to the occasion.

“Of particular significance was the announcement made by His Excellency regarding the conferment of the National Honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on Kabiyesi, the Awujale of Ijebuland, and the directive for the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos, to take over the operations and management of the Sikiru Adetona School of Governance. We expressed our appreciation and humility for His Excellency’s display of magnanimity with this announcement.

“I highlighted the kind remarks and encomiums showered on His Royal Majesty in a tribute letter addressed to Kabiyesi by His Excellency, which were indeed heartwarming.

“As Governor of Ogun State, I reaffirmed our commitment to aligning with His Excellency’s Renewed Hope vision for a better Nigeria, as evidenced in his socio-economic transformative initiatives and policies aimed at putting our nation on a sound footing.”

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Development

Abiodun Seeks Collaboration Between Royal British Architects and Ogun Tertiary Institutions

L-R: Mother of the President, Royal Institute of British Architect, Mrs. Laura Oki; President, Royal Institute of British Architect, Arc. Muyiwa Oki; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; Muyiwa Oki's father, Prof Makanjuola Oki, and the President, Nigeria Institute of Architect, Mrs. Mobolaji Adeniyi, during a courtesy call on the governor by President, Royal Institute of British Architect on Tuesday.

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has solicited for collaboration between the Royal Institute of British Architects and tertiary institutions in Ogun State, offering architecture as a course of study.

The governor also challenged the Nigerians Institute of Architecture (NIA) to design a competition that would inspire architecture students in the country to sharpen their skills and come up with masterpieces for the development of the country.

Governor Abiodun spoke on Tuesday when he played host to the President of the Royal Institute of British Architect, Mr. Muyiwa Oki, in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Muyiwa Oki is a Nigerian-born British architect who, on September 2023, emerged the 80th President of the Royal Institute of British Architect, thus becoming the youngest and first black president at the age of 32.

The governor, who described Mr. Oki’s feat as uncommon, having defied all odds to become the first black man to lead the institute, urged him to ensure the felicitation of such collaboration in such areas as research and development.

He said: “We believe that through your office, you should support your home State (Ogun). We have in some of our tertiary institutions Department of Architecture and I believe that a collaboration with you and your office in terms of research into how to build more sustainable and affordable housing units will go a long way.”

The governor said that his administration has constructed about 3,500 affordable houses at Kobape, a suburb of Abeokuta and turned the area into a bubbling town, noting that similar projects have been executed in Sagamu, Ota, Ilaro and Ijebu-Ode.

“We have done this believing that beyond making people landlords, we look at the entire value-chain, the entire eco-system which starts with architecture that design our sustainable and affordable housing but also the workers in terms of the artisans, bricklayers, carpenters, painters, among others and this created jobs for the people,” he said.

The governor noted that his administration is embarking on renewal through the Urban Renewal and Rejuvenation Process across the state, beginning with old Abeokuta housing scheme, saying new and more sustainable housing projects are being put in place in conjunction with the United Kingdom Development Office.

While commending Mr. Muyiwa Oki for making the state and country, Nigeria proud, Governor Abiodun said: “We consider this your elevation as something that we can benefit from. The kind of synergy can exist between you, the organization you represent, the position you hold, and your home state. You have distinguished yourself in your chosen career.”

Earlier in his remarks, Muyiwa Oki commended Governor Abiodun for giving him an audience, even as said that he has lined up three areas of interest to address as the president of the institute

Mr Oki stated that he would use his new office to promote the importance of architecture as a profession that plays a major role in the lives of the people; address the challenges created by climate change and promote unity in diversity being the first black man to attain such a position in the history of the institute.

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80% of Lekki buildings have no approval, says Lagos Govt

Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Oluyinka Olumide, stated that 80 per cent of buildings in Ibeju Lekki have no approval.

He disclosed this in a recent interview with newsmen.

He said, “Just last week Thursday and Friday, myself and the team were in the Ibeju Lekki and Epe axis and you would agree with me that anybody passing through that corridor would see a lot of estates marked. We went there, and I can tell you that from what we saw, over 80 per cent of them do not have approval.

“The procedure to get approval is first to get the planning information, as to what those areas have been zoned for. In this case, what we have is agricultural land, and people now go to their families to buy agricultural land. Of course, those lands would be sold because those families do not know the use such land would be put to.

“The next thing to do is the fence permit. If you missed the earlier information on not knowing the area zoning, at the point of getting the fence permit, you would be able to detect what the area is zoned for. After that, the layout permits a large expense of land follows.”

Olumide noted that a layout permit cannot be obtained if it is not zoned for the purpose it was designed for or for the purpose it was being requested.

“So, you can see all these layers, but people still go ahead to start advertising. Some have even gone to the extent of displaying the sizes they want to sell. Imagine someone in the diaspora who wants to send money without any knowledge. Then, no approval is eventually gotten. Even if they pass the assignment and the survey to them, we would not grant the individual permit, because that area is not zoned for that purpose,” the commissioner explained.

In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of Octo5 Holdings, Jide Odusolu, said Lekki Peninsula’s masterplan got distorted post-2010 due to rapid development, with newer estates sidestepping old regulations.

He said, “The Lekki peninsula had a master plan which was originally launched when Bola Tinubu was the governor and updated under Babatunde Fashola. Almost all large estates along the Lekki corridor, especially those developed between 2000-2008, have approved layout plans. It was obligatory and rigidly enforced by the state government.

“However, starting in 2010, the plans became distorted with accelerated development, and many of the smaller schemes that sprung up deliberately sought to avoid the large infrastructure burdens carried by the legacy era developments.

“I am sure investigations with developers such as UPDC (Pinnock Beach), Trojan Estate, Aircom (Northern Foreshore), Cityscape (Buenavista), Howard Roarks (Lake View) and Octo5 (Ocean Bay) will reveal how they all spent huge sums providing infrastructure with zero support from the government while still paying punitive taxes.”

According to Odusolu, the government weaponised planning and titling for internally generated revenue, and that disincentivises compliance, leading to chaotic development.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Fame at Oyster & Co. Nigeria, Femi Oyedele, said most of the estates had layout plans that were not coordinated to form a planned city.

He noted that the communities that were not planned were the historic settlements that the government excised in the scheme.

“To do Lekki better, those estates which have been approved on the west and east arterial roads, which go down to Awoyaya on the east side and to Akodo on the west side of Lekki-Epe Expressway, must be demolished to make way for the planned roads.

“The kind of restoration done to Abuja by Nasir El’Rufai must be done in Lekki. Lekki Peninsular and Victoria Island have a population of over 3 million people. Glasgow has a population of less than 2 million people with twice the roads of Lekki Peninsula,” he enunciated.

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