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CHINESE TECH FIRMS SHOW INTEREST IN LAGOS SMART-CITY PROJECT

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s plan to transform Lagos into a smart city received a boost as leading technology companies in China expressed their willingness in partnering the State towards achieving the goal.

At separate meetings with the management teams of Ehang and Huawei, Sanwo-Olu assured the tech giants of the readiness of Lagos to take its rightful place in the comity of megacities by providing key technology and infrastructure required.

He said: “We are at the stage of building critical infrastructure that will make our city more habitable. We want technology to drive economic innovation, public security, health management, waste management, traffic management, government processes and services to the public.

“We do not have the big cheques to sign for this total transformation now, but it is a journey we know will take us into the future we really should be as Africa’s most populous city and seventh largest economy. The vitality of our 22 million people and political stability are valid collateral that should provide comfort in the collaboration we are seeking.

“Our government is determined to efficiently manage traffic and drive compliance with traffic rules from a single point. Traffic officials need to get equipped with gadgets that interface with the command centre real-time. Anyone who needs medical attention should be able to book hospital appointment and get matched with a doctor digitally. Public services and security should be executable online, real-time.

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After each meeting, the Governor and his team toured the tech firms’ smart city facilities in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The Lagos Government’s team was guided in the tour of Huawei Campus in Shenzhen by the Managing Director of Huawei, Eric Zhang, who was accompanied by the Global Vice President of Enterprise Business Group, Mr. Laurent Fan, Huawei Vice President for Government and Public Utility, David Zhang and Global Public Safety Expert, Peter Goulding, among others.

Zhang said: “We at Huawei are excited that Lagos State is planning digitisation of its assets, processes, operations and public service facilities. Personally, I am familiar with Lagos State and I know that the State needs this transformation and is capable of embarking on it.

“As someone who is very familiar with Nigeria and Lagos especially, Huawei is ready to work with Lagos on the transformation journey. I know that transforming Lagos into Smart-city is an exercise that will happen in phases, but the most important requirement is government commitment, which you have demonstrated”.

“Huawei will be happy to collaborate with you on the project and work with your government to gradually build a State of your vision. More importantly, the impact of this project on the economy, influence of Lagos State in the world and social security are convincing reasons that will make any organisation take interest in collaborating with Lagos State on a project of this significance”.

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Earlier Governor Sanwo-Olu called on the Ehang management, a leading Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) technology company, for possible collaboration on providing facilities for emergency services and security agencies in the State.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Like other megacities in the world, Lagos State is still faced with some challenges that will require very innovative solution. For instance, emergency situations will require urgent and speedy response, just as when there are security challenges because safety of lives and property are very important to our government”.

Ehang’s delegation led by its Director for Strategic Cooperation, Ms. Shiny Biu, said the firm remained open to partnering with the State and to discuss the appropriate models that will serve the goals of the two parties.

Ehang provides AAV products and commercial solution in urban air mobility, including passenger transportation and logistics, smart city management and aerial solutions. The company is the forerunner of cutting-edge AAV technologies and commercial solutions in the global Urban Air Mobility industry.

 

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NDDC Acting Managing Director dares NASS, insists on budget implementation

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The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joi Nunieh has ordered the Directorate of Planning, Research and Statistics to treat budgetary implementation requests (Recurrent and Capital from the various Directorates, Departments, Units and State Offices for the year 2020.

 

“The Directorate of Planning, Research and Statistics is hereby directed to treat budgetary implementation requests (Recurrent and Capital from the various Directorates, Departments, Units and State Offices for the year 2020.”

 

The Senate in November 2019 barred the Interim Management of the Commission from defending the agency’s 2020 budget.

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The Intervention Agency chief executive officer in a memo dated 15th January, 2020 said the sum of N80, 881,610,074 was appropriated to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the country’s 2020 Budget.

 

“Please recall that the President and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari (CCFR) has signed into law the Federation’s 2020 Budget (Appropriation Act)’. Also in the approved Budget, the sum of N80,881,610,074 only has been appropriated to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).”

 

President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2019 sent the 2019 and 2020 budget estimates of the agency to the National Assembly for the approval of the federal lawmakers. The National Assembly is yet to pass the 2019 budget of the commission.

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Titled: Implementation of NDDC Budget, Joi Nunieh ordered the Directorate of Planning, Research and Statistics to comply.

 

“It is pertinent to state here that the Commission is an Intervention Agency whose activities are predominantly in the Niger Delta Region with a peculiar and harsh geographical terrain and is greatly influenced by the weather conditions.”

 

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HIT THE GROUND RUNNING, SANWO-OLU TELLS NEW POLITICAL APPOINTEES, PERM SECS

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…Gov: You Are Brought To Add Value To Service

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged newly appointed members of Lagos State Cabinet as well as Commissioners in the State’s civil service commission to kick off action immediately.

The Governor said this on Monday at the Lagos House, Alausa during the swearing in of three new members of the State executive council, members of the Civil Service Commission and five Permanent Secretaries.

In his remarks, Sanwo-Olu urged the new appointees to further add value to the administration toward delivering democratic dividends to Lagosians.

The Governor said the new appointees were called to serve from the pool of numerous competent and highly qualified Lagosians, saying they must work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them with the appointment.

He said: “You have been brought on to add value in our quest to deliver the dividend of democracy to the citizens. We are pushing the emblem of our party and we have started implementing several programmes under our project T.H.E.M.E.S.

“We must remember that in four months time, we will be celebrating our first anniversary.

“The question that people will be asking is that what have we done in one year? Time will come and time will go but it is what we do with time that prosperity will judge us with. The essence of this reminder is to keep each and everyone of us on the go and to let you know that we need to hit the ground running.

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He added: “We cannot afford to be complacent in our approach to governance because there is so much to be accomplished within the 1,460 days that we are rushing against. We cannot afford not to succeed because our success has indication for the mission’s wellbeing. We owe it a duty to live up to the reputation of centre of excellence through the injection of innovative and visionary ideas into governance.”

The new political appointees are one Commissioner and two Special Advisers, who will be joining the State Executive Council. They are Engineer Paul Bamgbose Martins was sworn in as the new Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Gbenga Oyerinde is Special Adviser to the Governor on Central Business District and Mr. Ganiu Adele Ayuba is the Special Adviser, Urban Development.

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Also, Mrs. Regina Fabanwo was sworn in as the new Chairman, Lagos Civil Service Commission along with Mr. Adeshina Odeyemi, Honourable Avoseh Suru; Hon Kamal Olorunoje and Barrister Babatunde Seriki who will serve as Commissioners in the Commission.

The five new Permanent Secretaries are Mr. Olujimi Ige, Debt Management Office; Mrs. Kafayat Ajenifuja, Parastatal Monitoring Office; Mr. Hakeem Adeniji Oduyinka, Office of the Civic Engagement; Mr Isaac Olushina Thorpe, Ministry of Information and Strategy while Dr. Aina Ayoola moves up as the PS Primary Healthcare Board.

The Governor reiterated his administration’s determination to ensure that it delivers time bound and people focused programmes that will positively impact Lagosians on a daily basis.

Earlier, the Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, described the Governor as a team player, saying it was in this spirit that he appointed more hands to further deliver on the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of his administration.

The occasion was graced by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji; past and present members of the Federal and State House of Assembly and well wishers of the newly appointed members.

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EFCC Arraigns Shehu Sani Over Bribery Allegation

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Shehu Sani

Senator Shehu Sani has pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of alleged bribery brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Sani was arraigned on Monday before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Recall that Senator Sani who represented Kaduna Central in the eighth Senate, was arrested in December 2019 for allegedly collecting $25,000 in the name of the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

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The anti-graft agency alleged that Sani collected $15,000 from a businessman, Sani Dauda, under false pretence on November 20, 2019, promising to give the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Mohammed, in other to influence some pending cases in court.

He also allegedly collected $10,000 from Mr Dauda to bribe Mr Magu.

Sani’s lawyer, A. A. Ibrahim, asked the court to grant him leave to move Sani’s bail application

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But the prosecutor, Abba Mohammed, requested the court to remand Sani, adding that he was only served the bail application on Monday.

Justice Ekwo moved for recess till noon to give the prosecution time to study the defendant’s bail application before plea for bail would be decided.

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