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Ambode finally presents 2019 budget

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Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, has finally presented the year 2019 budget to the state house of assembly.

The governor had met a brick-wall in his bid to present the budget on previous occasions.

Lawmakers had accused him of incurring expenses from the budget without presenting it, threatening to commence impeachment proceedings against him.

But leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, including Bola Tinubu, had reconciled the governor and the aggrieved lawmakers on Sunday.

Two days after, Ambode presented a proposal of N852.316 billion before the assembly, saying it had been carefully prepared to be all-encompassing and dedicated to complete major ongoing projects in the state.

The governor said N462.757billion representing 54 percent of the total budget size had been earmarked for capital expenditure, while N389.560billion representing 46 percent had been dedicated to recurrent expenditure.

He said key projects such as the Oshodi-Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road and Oshodi Interchange Terminal, among others would be completed.

He said from inception of his administration, nine key areas were given priority after careful assessment of the needs of the citizens, adding that such had informed the massive investment in the said sectors which he listed to include security, transport / traffic management, economy -including tourism and agriculture, housing, education, health, infrastructure – social and physical, water, wealth creation – skill acquisition/microfinance, e-Governance and enhanced capacity building, sustainable environment and smart city projects.

Giving details of what informed the budget size, Ambode said the performance of the 2018 budget of N1.046trn as of November 2018 stood at 60 percent owing to reduction in revenue projections, while the total revenue stood at N530.192 billion.

According to him, “In the outgoing year, however, we experienced a reduction in our revenue projections, which affected our projected performance and our desired implementation of the Y2018 Budget. The overall Budget performance as at November 2018 stood at 60 per cent/N574,206billion with actual cumulative total revenue of N530,192billion/64 per cent, Capital Expenditure closed at N311,930billion/49 per cent and Recurrent Expenditure performed at N262,276billion/82 per cent.

“In preparing the Year 2019 Budget, therefore, we were very mindful of the out-going year performance, the yearnings of our people and the fact that we are going into an election year. Consequently, we are today presenting a Budget that will be all-encompassing, reflect the level of resources that will be available and with special consideration to the completion of major on-going projects in the state.”

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Lagos Matters

Vanguard Newspaper Editorial lauds Ambode over MMIA Road

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AS the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumni Ambode, prepares to hand over the reins of power to his successor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at Alausa on May 29, 2019, perhaps the greatest achievement for which he will never be forgotten is the conception and completion of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Road in Lagos.

Motorists who regularly use the road, on Thursday, April 11, 2019, noticed that full street lights had come alive on the first phase which starts from Oshodi and ends at the Ajao Estate U-Turn. The beauty of the project which is still proceeding at steady pace day and night, is a sight to behold, especially at night now that the lights have been installed.

This former four-lane road, which the Lagos State Government started reconstructing roughly two years ago, has been expanded into a ten-lane marvel with two flyover bridges at Mafoluku and Hajj Camp and at least one pedestrian overhead bridge at Ajao.

When fully completed it will be a world-class masterpiece befitting of a country that likes to pride itself as “The Giant of Africa”. It will be a stunning departure from the old road that signposted the shame of a nation.

The old MMIA Road, apart from being narrow, was potholes-infested, with furniture makers, petty traders, fuel stations and commercial buses/motorcycles (Okada) struggling for space with users of the road, which is supposed to be the number one gateway into Nigeria from all parts of the world.

The situation was worse at night when the unlit corridor which was overgrown with elephant grasses seemed to welcome foreign visitors to the “kingdom of darkness”. Happily, those days will soon be over.

Yet, the road to this accomplishment was not exactly strewn with roses. Governor Ambode, in March 2017, went public with his feeling of frustration at the delay in securing the Federal Government’s approval to start work on its own road.

He blamed his immediate predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing for that. Fashola, however, denied the charge, pointing out that the delay was caused by adherence to due process.

All is well that ends well. Though Ambode will leave office disappointed for not getting the chance to serve for two terms, he can take solace in the outpouring of gratitude from all well-meaning Nigerians for this gesture of wiping the shame of the MMIA Road from the brow of the nation.

This is another confirmation that a serious government can start and finish major mega-projects within a term of four years.

We hope the road will be completed before May 29, 2019 to enable Governor Ambode entertain the honour and pleasure of hosting the inauguration of this game-changing signature project.

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Crime

Lagos ‘gay’ pastor arrested for infecting underage boys with HIV ‘attempts to molest a suspect in cell’

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The founder of Jesus Intervention Household Ministry, Ejigbo, Lagos, Chizemdere Ezuma, 32,  who was recently arrested, reportedly tried to sexually molest a suspect he was kept with in a cell at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters cell in Ikeja.

The suspect he attempted to molest was said to have raised an alarm and threatened to attack him if he went ahead with it. 

A police source told a Punch correspondent that the incident made policemen on duty to relocate him to another cell and kept an eye on him till the next morning.

“All the policemen on duty that night were amazed when the suspect complained that the pastor wanted to molest him. The suspect said the pastor was romancing his legs and when he was awake, the pastor gestured for him to come close,”

The source also added that the pastor who is being held in Police custody for allegedly sodomising, prostituting and infecting underage boys with HIV virus, did not deny the allegation when a policeman confronted him.

“He was taken to another cell that night and was kept under watch. He had been arraigned for sexual harassment.A boy (Shedrack) whom he was sleeping with was also charged with prostitution. The boy confessed to have slept with a lot of men in exchange for money.“He was remanded in a correctional home while Ezuma was remanded in prison custody,” 

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Crime

2 UNILAG Students Arraigned In Court For Attempting To Rape Coursemate In Hotel

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Two students of the University of Lagos who attempted to rape their course mate on Thursday has appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court on a 5-counts charge.

The students identified as Ikedi Okpanlanedu, 21 and Samuel Idongesit, 20. Both students are facing charges of conspiracy, attempted rape, assault, impersonation and threatening violence.

Police Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye, who prosecutes the case, told the court that the undergraduates invited the course mate who was a makeup artiste to an hotel and attempted to rape her.

The sergeant also told the court that the defendants committed the offence at 4:40pm on April 1, at Peace Land Hotel, Folagoro, Lagos State.

Olaluwoye also said that the defendants invited the make up artiste with the promise that they wanted to introduce her to someone who needs her services.

The case submitted…
“My lord, they strangled her because she was calling for help. It was a hotel staff, Mr Ohaeri Godlove, who heard her screaming and called the hotel security.“Okpanlanedu claimed to be an army personnel, and threatened to stab her with a knife he was holding, if she would not co-operate with them.“The knife was recovered from the crime scene, and we intend to tender it in evidence,” she said. The alleged offences contravene Sections 411, 262, 170 (1), 380 and 56 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that attempted rape attracts 14 years’ imprisonment while impersonation is punishable with three years’ jail term. The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and were granted bail by Chief Magistrate Peter Ojo in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in like sum. Ojo directed that the sureties must be gainfully employed and possess evidence of three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government. The case was adjourned until June 26 for mention.

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