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Lagos State House of Assembly refuse to transfer 2019 budget to Governor Ambode

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Two weeks after the Lagos State House of Assembly passed the 2019 budget, Governor Ambode is yet to receive it.

According to a report by Punch, the Assembly might be awaiting May 29 when the governor-elect,  Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would be sworn into office. A source revealed that government projects had been stalled due to the impasse.

He said, “They just refused to pass it to the governor because they want to play politics with the budget. Most of the people in the Assembly are loyal to one man and he appears to be dictating to them. But what more do they want to do to Ambode? They have humiliated him, denied him his return ticket, and even threatened to impeach him. What has he done to deserve all that?  

“What they failed to realise is that this is beyond Ambode. It is about Lagos State. It is about governance. Since they took this decision not to pass the budget to him, things have been at a standstill. No development; nothing. This is wrong at all levels because people’s lives are being held.” 

However, another government source said while the Assembly might have certain reasons for not passing the bill to the governor, the law permits Ambode to spend a certain percentage of the previous year budget. 

She said, “It is true that the budget has not been transmitted to the governor. But their reason is immaterial. Whatever they like they can do. The law allows the governor to spend a certain amount of last year’s budget pending the time the new budget would be ready. The governor will do his best within the time available.” 

The Ambode administration had said it sent the budget to the Assembly early, but the lawmakers went on a break and could not sit over it in December 2018.  Early 2019, the Assembly had issued an impeachment threat to the governor for allegedly spending from the budget when it had not been passed. After protests and public demonstrations, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and some party stalwarts called the lawmakers and the governor into a meeting, where the matter was reportedly resolved.  On April 29, the Assembly passed the N873.532bn budget, more than 80 days after the governor eventually presented it.

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Lagos Matters

I am wiser now, says Ambode

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Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, says he has been describing himself as techno-politician but having spent four years on the saddle, he is wiser.

Speaking with state house correspondents during what he referred to as a “thank you visit” to President Muhammadu Buhari for inaugurating some of projects in the state, Ambode said politicians learn everyday.

Asked to state what lesson he has learnt as a politician in Lagos and in a very unpredictable terrain as Nigeria, the governor said: “You see, every politician learns every day. The fact remains that I came in as a technocrat, so I use to call myself a techno-politician but I think I am wiser now. I am more of a politician than a technocrat.”

Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, Ambode goes into history as the first Lagos governor not to serve two terms.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor-elect of Lagos, beat him to the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last year.

APC leaders in the state, including Bola Tinubu, a former governor, supported Sanwo-Olu over Ambode.

On what he wants to be remembered for after bowing out of office in two weeks, the governor said: “Well, in another 16 days or so we will be leaving office but what is important is that I was able to have that opportunity to be elected as governor of Lagos State and to touch humanity in a way that I deem it fit.

“We did our best and most importantly the projects we did were people friendly and people central. I just think a lot more people have enjoyed the benefits and dividends of democracy than we actually met it. And that gives me joy that we were able to touch lives.

“Wherever you find yourself just make positive difference to people and Nigerians, that is the whole essence of service. I’m grateful that I had that opportunity.”

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Lagos Matters

MURIC Hails Ambode Over Massive Infrastructure Renewal

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has commended Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for embarking on massive infrastructural drive which positively changed the landscape, saying the Governor’s name has already been written in gold in the history of the State and can never be altered by anybody.

Speaking while presenting a letter of appreciation to the Governor on Monday, May 6th, 2019 during a Ramadan Tafsir/Iftar and special prayer organised by the State Government to mark the official commencement of the Muslim fasting month, Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, described Governor Ambode as a top performer whose achievements are indelible. 

Akintola, a renowned Islamic scholar, said aside the massive infrastructural drive, the Governor also prioritized welfare of Muslims and worked hard to enhance peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship among religious groups in the State. 

“Quran Chapter 14 verse 7 says if you show appreciation, we would give you even much more. This is what we have come to do to you  (Governor Ambode) today sir. We want to appreciate you; you are a performer and numero uno. We have seen action in Lagos State.

“Jesu healed 10 lepers in the book of Luke Chapter 17 verse 17 and only one came back. Jesus now asked were not 10 cleaned; where are the nine? Muslims of Lagos State appreciate you sir and you will never ask where are those Muslims because we are here. We love you, we appreciate you, we value you. You are a jewel of inestimable value. Is it the infrastructure that you have developed in Lagos State? Is it the gentlemanly attitude that we all have seen in you?

 Other States are burning as we speak but Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, took the political landscape with astounding equanimity. When there should have been storm, you calm everything down. Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, your name is already written in letters of gold in the annals of Lagos history; it is indelible and nobody can ever erase it again,” Akintola said.

He particularly commended Governor Ambode for setting up the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) in the State and going further to decentralize the activities of the Council in all the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), just as he commended the Governor for prompt payment of workers salary.

According to him, “Salaries are owed for eight months, nine months, eleven months in several States of the federation in spite of all the financial facilities they got from the Federal Government; Lagos has not owed one month not even one week. Salaries are paid, workers are happy, there is industrial peace in Governor Ambode’s time. We appreciate the Governor and this will go down well in history.

“Of particular note is Muslims and Christians sitting together through the Committee (NIREC) that the Governor set up which has greatly enhanced peaceful co-existence. For this friendliness that the Governor established; and for this generosity that you extended to the Muslim Committee, we say Allah will bless you sir.

“In appreciation of the great works that His Excellency the Governor of Lagos State has been doing, the Muslim Rights Concern came up here with a letter of appreciation thanking the Governor. We never had it so good in Lagos State.”

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Lagos Matters

Lagos adds 740,146 jobs in 12 months — highest in the country

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A recently released report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that 740,146 jobs were added between July 2017 and June 2018.

According to the Q3 2018 Labor Force Statistics (unemployment & underemployment by state) rep released on Friday, Akwa Ibom reported the highest unemployment rate at 37.7%.

As at December 2018, a total of 20.9 million Nigerians were reported to be unemployed.

“Akwa Ibom state reported the highest unemployment rate (37.7%), followed by Rivers State with (36.4%), Bayelsa state (32.6%), Abia (31.6%) and Borno state (31.4%),” the report read.

“The top 5 states with the highest unemployed population are Rivers (1,673,991), Akwa Ibom (1,357,754), Kano (1,257,130), Lagos (1,088,352) and Kaduna with (940,480).

“Among these 5 states with the highest unemployed population, Lagos state reported the lowest rate of 14.6% during the reference quarter.”

Only nine states were able to reduce unemployment and underemployment rates between the third quarter of 2017 and the corresponding quarter in 2018. These states were listed as Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo and Rivers.

The six states that recorded the highest gains in net full-time employment between Q3 2017 and Q2 2018 include Lagos adding 740,146 net full-time jobs, Rivers (235,438), Imo(197,147), Ondo (142,514), Enugu (122,333) and Kaduna (118,929).

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, people often move from state to state seeking job opportunities.

This, it said, could create a false impression of the status of states at a particular time by reducing the unemployment figures in some states and increasing it in other states.

“States with a higher propensity for women to be housewives or stay home husbands or that have negative attitudes to working tend to have lower unemployment rates, as they are not considered part of the labour force in the first place.

“These States tend to have a higher proportion of their economically active population outside the labour force thereby reducing the number looking for work and hence the number that can be unemployed.”

Across the country, Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna, and Yobe, recorded the highest underemployment rates between July and September 2018.

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