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07042018 - Investigate your ministers

Vanguard Newspaper 07 April 2018

44—SATURDAY Vanguard,

44—SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 7, 2018 By Ebun Sessou Apapa, Lagos which undoubtedly used to be the commercial hub of the country is now living in the past no thanks to the traffic gridlock occasioned by the heavy duty and articulated vehicles, trucks and tankers that have blocked every part of the express road. Entrepreneurs, traders and shop owners in Apapa axis are going out of business as the area has become a no-goarea due to traffic gridlock just as residents are relocating from the area. From Apapa/Wharf to Sunrise, Coconut, and Berger yard the road is impassable while people who have businesses to transact in the area have been lamenting seriously. Speaking with Saturday Vanguard on her ordeal, Mary, 55 year-old trader based in Coconut lamented thus: “This road has become a problem. Most of the time, I walk to Mile 2 because of traffic. I spend more on transportation yet, we get nothing. I used to have an American customer in Beach land area but he had to relocate because of the traffic situation in Apapa. He has relocated to Ajah and now, I have lost a customer because of traffic. “Many people have quit their businesses. The problem is affecting me because, it is through this business that I feed and train my five children in the university. I have been doing this business for 10 years. There is no business in Mowe where I live and that was what propelled me to be working in Apapa. Many of the companies have left Wharf, Apapa because of this problem”, she By Ishola Balogun Over 500,000 daily commuters on the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system can now board buses using a contact-less card payment system. The system allows commuters who ride on BRT buses to make payments via their Lagos Connect contactless cards powered by Farepay that have either been pre-loaded or linked to a funded bank account. Powered by Lagos State, LAMATA, Primero Transport Limited and Sterling Bank Plc, the enhanced electronic payment system was launched Thursday at the Sterling Bank, House, Marina, Lagos in partnership with leading global payment and technology companies – Mikroelektronica, MasterCard, E-Purse Systems, Monet Plus, NIBSS, Epay-plus and SecureID in Lagos. The Europay MasterCard and Visa (EMV) compliant contactless payment system was designed to speed up commuting time by making payment easier and faster because it empowers commuters to just tap their cards on a console to board a BRT bus. It eliminates the high turnaround time associated with cash-based ticket purchases. The launch of the contactless card puts Lagos ahead of some mega cities including New York in terms of implementation. It will be recalled that Governor Ambode TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK: Businesses fold up in Apapa said. Another businessman, Emmanuel told Saturday Vanguard how he left his business and joined his wife’s pure water business. “Since this problem started two years, I have abandoned my business and joined my wife in her business. The truth is that I must put food on the table for my children. “I lost my customers because there was no way they could get to Apapa. Everybody is tired of complaining about this road and it seems the government at all levels have abandoned the area. “Sometimes, Okada drivers charge between N200 and N300 between Coconut and Mile 2. Most of the time especially at evening, they would collect N400. The road is nothing to write home about and most shops have closed down”, he lamented. Lagos enhances transit payment system, launches EMV Contactless card launched Lagos connect card last November and this enhancement will however be usable on mass transit systems anywhere in the world. Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank said the bank intended to achieve its primary role of financial intermediation through intervention in sectors that will create jobs and bring about economic growth for the country. He identified such sectors as health, education, agriculture, renewable energy and transport. Abubakar stated that the bank was proud to collaborate with Lagos State, LAMATA, Primero, E-Purse Systems and MasterCard to launch a multimodal contactless payment card for use on mass transit buses, ferries and trains in the Lagos metropolis. Chief Demola Seriki, Chairman, Primero Transport Limited, described the launch of the enhanced Lagos Connect EMV compliant contactless payment system powered by Farepay as symbolic. “We are delighted to unveil the enhanced Lagos Connect EMV compliant contactless payment system powered by Farepay. It is indicative of efforts to eliminate the inefficiencies associated with public transportation in Lagos. A lot of work is being put into transforming public transportation into a world class and sustainable industry which brings comfort to commuters and creates economic and social opportunities. “The BRT system was initiated by the Lagos State Government as part of the strategies to modernise the public transport system in Lagos to ensure it compares with what obtains in other major cities around By Evelyn Usman Moments after a statement had been issued on an agreement by the Visionscape Sanitation Solution, VSS and Private Sector Participant (PSP) operators, otherwise called Waste Collection Operators (WCO),to work together on waste collection in the state, one of the parties has denied the agreement. Chief Executive Officer, CEO of VSS, Mr John Irvine, described the purported agreement to work together as welcome development stressing that Visionscape was already in control of three transfer loading stations and three vehicle maintenance depots, in addition to the ongoing construction of the first engineered landfill in West Africa in Epe, Lagos State. Denying the purported agreement, members of the Incorporated Trustees of the Waste Managers Association of Nigeria (WMAN)otherwise known as the world. What we are witnessing today is a major stride towards providing efficient service that will encourage patronage of the Bus Rapid Transit by middle class commuters thereby reducing the number of private vehicles on our roads.” On her part, Omokehinde Adebanjo, Vice President and Area Private Sector Participation (PSP) Waste Operators, argued that no such agreement exists as being claimed by government officials. In a statement issued last night and signed by the Chairman of the association,, Alhaji Ola Egbeyemi, the PSP waste operators said: “There is no such thing as settlement. They are insisting that we keep to commercial waste collection while Visionscape solely carries on with domestic waste collection and disposal. So, what is the settlement there? That has remained the bone of contention between us and we are telling them that it cannot work out as it will amount to taking away 80 percent of our jobs and if that happens, we will not only run out of business, all of our employees, running into about 25, 000 direct and indirect jobs will be thrown into the unemployment market,” Egbeyemi said On the alternative, he said the Government had muted the idea of having them to work under LASG commences construction of trailer park By Olasunkanmi Akoni As part of measures to end persistent traffic gridlock along Ijora, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos State Government has approved the construction of 2,800 capacity trailer parks within the axis. According to the state government, the trailer park located within Ijora axis, aimed at decongesting trucks on the ever busy Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, and Ijora axis and thereby ensure seamless traffic movement. The State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who was also the chairman, Joint Taskforce on Apapa gridlock, stated that the project would be completed soon to end the pain experienced by motorists. Briefing newsmen Edgal said, “The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, in collaboration with stakeholders has identified a location known as the White Sand in Ijora axis and we have done an assessment of the place with my colleagues in other agencies and all shanties there have been destroyed. “Now, the State Government has given out the contract to a firm and they are now clearing up the place. It has the capacity to take over 2,800 trucks and tankers at the same time. “Work is ongoing there at a very fast pace and I can assure Lagosians that very soon, the place will be completed and we intend to move all trucks, tankers to that location and as soon as that is done, we would have permanently taken care of these trucks and tankers.” Business Head, West Africa, Mastercard said, “Technology has the potential to shape the way Africans live, and the importance of removing cash from key sectors remains a critical focus for Lagos State and the Federal Government of Nigeria. Was aste collection: PSP operat ator ors s refute e LASG settlement claim Visionscape, the foreign waste disposal firm it hired to take over the job from them, adding however that they had not been able to reach any agreeable settlement with the company because “ the company will enslave us economically if we accept the conditions it has set before us.” The operators further explained that while Visionscape has signed a 10-year straight MOU with the State Government, it has decided that it will only go into a year engagement agreement with them. “In fact, they had originally said they will sign an agreement of two months with us, it was when we completely resisted that, they agreed to go into an agreement of one year with us, what then happens after one year? It’s obvious that they only want to use us to stabilize their business and dump us, this cannot be the sort of settlement government wants us to go into with them,” the waste operators stated.

Dreams do come true! Residents of A r a r o m i Community will attest to this. For a very long time they wished for their San Siro and today it’s a reality, courtesy of Coca-Cola Nigeria. For the many football enthusiasts across the world, the San Siro stadium in Milan; one of the legendary stadia in the football world, stands for quality football experience; having hosted some of the game’s greatest. In the same vein, the Araromi Community Sports Centre, which is also nicknamed the San Siro, after the Milan stadium is known to offer the best of quality football viewing in the country; at least, so the locals believe. Although, not as top notch in terms of aesthetic contemplation and land mass as the original San Siro, they both share something in common; a home of exciting football games. “We nicknamed the pitch after the San Siro because of their slight similarity - quality football at its best. This explains the mammoth crowd that troop out to watch matches during many of the competitions hosted here. Just like the San Siro has hosted the greatest footballers of our time, the Araromi Community Sports Centre has seen amazing raw football talents grace its pitch. Now that Coca- Cola has stepped in to give it the extra pep of a world- For Araromi community, Gbagada, a San Siro has come home SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 7, 2018 — 45 Governor of Lagos State, who represented the Lagos State Governor, H.E Akinwunmi Ambode remarked that beyond helping to fulfil the State’s sports development objectives, the Araromi Community Sports Centre aligns with the vision of promoting sustainable communities through social enterprise development initiatives. Her words, “This is a welcome development for the people of Lagos State and in particular residents of Araromi community, Gbagada as it is sure to empower the youths within the community to earn a living and become relevant by contributing significantly to the economic growth of the nation.” Samba Niang: The quintessential golfer from Senegal By Jacob Ajom T he Dolphin Golf Club, Navy Town Ojo was flooded with golfers from all parts of the country. The first FOC Western Invitational Golf Tournament had just ended and golfers were returning to the club house to prepar for the grand presentation ceremony which is always the climax of every tournament. As usual, the guests were still pouring in, while golfers who were just ending their courses were getting to shower and change for the occasion. Among the golfers who had just concluded their games was this youthful, handsome and elegant looking gentleman. He was outstanding, not on the course though, but his dressing, mien and general attitude set him apart. He was one of the foreign golfers who took part in the tournament. I was attracted by his friendly disposition and urged on by my urge for news I went close to him. I asked that we meet. He was not the difficult type class football facility, we are super excited and confident that the intervention would further raise the profile of the pitch as well as stimulate the development of the game at grassroots,” Kenneth Okorie, President, Gbagada Grassroots Sports Association, remarked at the commissioning of the sports centre, now branded Araromi Community Sports Centre. Boasting of a 1000 seating capacity pavilion, equipped with borehole, functional water sanitation and hygiene facilities for the public and physically challenged, changing rooms for players and referees, two units of VIP Lounge, an administrative office and an 11 aside football pitch(75x45) equipped with flood lights as we soon began to chat freely, like old friends. Samba Niang is a Senegalese golfer. He is ranked number 1 in his country and was able to take part in the FOC Western Invitational because he was in Lagos for the West African Golf Tour, which had just ended in Lakowe Golf and Country Club, Ajah. “I came here by chance, but I have enjoyed e v e r y moment of my stay here,” he told this reporter. He confessed he didn’t finish as he would have loved to but he still praised himself for putting up a commendable performance. and two sets of dugout for reserved players with a 10- man seating capacity each, the newly refurbished Araromi Community Sports Centre is one of the several sports facilities in Lagos that have been upgraded by Coca-Cola to drive Nigeria’s grassroots sports. According to the beverage giant, the renovation of the pitch is in line with its commitments to empower and inspire the game at the grassroots, particularly among young players who wish to go professional. At the commissioning, the Managing Director, Coca- Cola Nigeria, Bhupendra Suri pointed out that “For more than 50 years now, Coca-Cola has had a strong association with sports and particularly football in Nigeria. We however “This was my first time, the course still new to me and overall, I didn’t do badly,” he said. Curious to have seen the number one golf player from Senegal, the natural question that followed was, “how did •Niang realized that to further drive Nigeria’s grassroots football and talent development, we needed to partner with the authorities to upgrade selected sports facilities across the country to give our young players access to world class sports facilities in their local communities.” He stressed that the refurbished pitch now offers aspiring football talents in the community access to world class training facilities in addition to being exposed and mentored by some of the exinternationals who have volunteered to train young local players in the facility from time to time. Commending Coca-Cola for its pivotal role in developing grassroots sports facilities, the Deputy you start playing golf?” Niang, 29, smiled and said, “I was born in area near a golf course. My father played golf and even my grand father played golf. I grew up playing golf. That is how the passion for the game in me developed.” How is the standard of golf in Senegal “ The standard of golf in Senegal is still very low. I have been Nigeria Should Bid For 2026 World Cup – Fashola Minister of Power, Work and Housing, Babatunde Officials of the Lagos State Govt and Coca-Cola during the commissioning of the Ultra-Modern Complex at Gbagada •Tiger Woods number one for seven years. Compared to what you have in Nigeria, we still lag far behind,” he offered. Niang, who spoke in fluent English said there are only three golf courses in Senegal. “We have three golf courses in the whole of Senegal. Two small one and one standard course.” He added that the entire country has about 1,000 golf players. “In Nigeria, golf is far more popular and you have numerous golf clubs and tournaments. The annual calendar is loaded and golfers are kept busy almost all year round.” He praised the initiators of the West African Golf Tour and prayed that the initiative survived the test of time. “It is the biggest thing happening in West Africa. Our prayer is that more sponsors should come in, create Raji Fashola has said he would want Nigeria to bid to host the 2026 World Cup jointly with Morocco. He said the “indomitable” spirit of the Nigerian will rise to the occasion and deliver a super tournament. “Morocco are bidding to host the 2026 World Cup, Nigeria should have jointly bid with Morocco because we can do it,” said the Manchester United and Enyimba fan. “With the expanded format of the World Cup, it will now be too expensive for one country to host it. “Like we did when we hosted the 2009 FIFA U17 World Cup, when the gauntlet is thrown at us, we will rise to the occasion. “The indomitable, undying spirit of the Nigerian will come to the fore when we have a deadline to meet. “We will clean up our house to welcome visitors from around the world.” The 2026 World Cup will have 48 countries, 16 teams more than who will feature at Russia 2018. Morocco as well as a joint bid by USA, Canada and Mexico have been officially submitted for consideration. FIFA will announce the successful bid on June 13. more tournaments and keep the golfers moving from one golf course to another and from one country to another.” Niang claims golf in Africa is not developing as fast fast as what obtains in Europe and Asia because “in Africa, we don’t have the same programmes like what obtains in those parts of the world. They have grassroots, youth development programmes that throw up young players every year. That makes a lot of difference between Africa and the rest of the world.” At 29, Samba Niang who sees Tiger Woods as his role model confessed that the American golf idol was a source of motivation for him. “Woods is back!” he screamed. “Just when everybody thought he was finished, the Tiger is making a roaring return to the course. Watch out for him,” Niang added. “I started playing golf as early as age six,” he recalled, “and I still have a long future in the game because I will play till my last breath.”