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SOUTH-WEST TRADITIONAL RULERS COMMENDED FOR SUSTAINING CULTURAL VALUES

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By Segun Lawal

The Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Jide Ojuko has commended traditional rulers in the South West States under the aegis of His Royal Majesty (HRM) Heritage Forum, for their contributions towards sustaining the culture and values of the Yoruba race.

Ojuko, through his Media Aide, Mrs. Oluwaseun Boye, gave the commendation at the flag-off of a sensitization programme on cultural empowerment, organised by the HRM Heritage Forum, in collaboration with “Igbein Descendant Union”, held at Olu Igbein Palace Auditorium, Loburo Town, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the State.

Represented by the Director of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Dolapo Adewunmi, the Commissioner said the programme would promote activities of the Forum and bring together, traditional rulers in the axis towards promoting the cultural values of the people in the region.

“I wish to place on record that the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has a mandate to ensure that matters affecting traditional rulers in the State receive prompt attention and serve as the Secretariat of the State Council of Traditional Rulers. It has been playing a vital role in the HRM Heritage Forum, both financially and morally.

“Let me also use this opportunity to appreciate the founding fathers of the Forum, especially, the Grand Patron, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Grand Host, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo and the Chief Host, the Olu of Igbein, Oba Oluwole Makinde and other Royal Fathers who came from the South West States.  Their contributions towards the HRM Heritage Forum had gone a long way in uplifting and sustaining the culture and traditions of the people”, Ojuko stated.  Shedding light on the next level of the Forum, Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism who is also the Co-Founder of the Forum, Bashorun Muyiwa Oladipo pointed out that HRM Forum  was a parent body which has other forums namely; Heritage Television and Radio, Queen’s Forum and the Heritage Application, created to provide easier communication networks, where indigenes could logged- in online  and have unhindered access to history, local contents and happenings in their hometown, irrespective of their location.

Oladipo  who added that the branches would commence full operation to commemorate the third year anniversary of the Forum in a couple of months, used the occasion to present the Paramount Ruler and Prescribed Authority Odo-Noforija Kingdom, Epe Division, Oba Babatunde Ogunlaja, the Chairman of HRM Heritage Forum, Lagos State Chapter, as the President-General of the Forum, while Oba Oluwole Makinde was inaugurated as the Patron of the Forum.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the occasion, Oba Babatunde Ogunlaja noted that the body had brought together traditional rulers from across the South West States in Nigeria to foster unity, as well as help showcase traditional values and culture of the States.

Highpoint of the event was presentation of awards to some members of the pen profession, for their various contributions in creative content in the promotion of Africa culture and tradition on digital, online and offline platforms.

Some of the recipients included a veteran Journalist and Baaroyin of Egbaland, Olotu Lai Labode, Director of National Broadcast Academy, Engr. Ajibola Abiola and the Head of Media Unit, Ogun State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs. Oluwaseun Boye, amongst others.

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BE ACCOUNTABLE- LGs COMMITTEE CHARGED

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The elected Local Government Review Committee (LGRC) members from six selected Local Governments in Ogun State, have been advised on the need to be effective and be transparent in the discharge of their duties, for sustainable development in the State. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, Mrs. Melutia Ogunremi, gave this advice during a one- day training for LGRC members, with the theme, “The Roles of LGRC in the Community Development Project (CDP) Formulation and Implementation’’, organised by the Community and Social Development Agency CSDA, at the Conference Hall, Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Mrs. Ogunremi, charged the elected committees saddled with the responsibilities of community development projects to effectively coordinate and execute World Bank assisted projects, adding that this would aid government’s intervention in executing more projects. According to her, “by the time the projects would be completed, the less privilege in our communities would feel the impact of good leadership”, adding that, accountability, sincerity, as well as transparency should be their watchword. On his part, the General Manager Community and Social Development Agency, Engineer Sakirudeen Salam, said the training was organised for elected committee members on their roles to facilitate and fast track the process of the proposed projects. He disclosed that, eighty participants which cut across the six selected Local governments including, Abeokuta North Local Government, Odeda Local Government, Ipokia Local Government amongst others, were duly represented.

Reacting, the Chairman, Board of Director, Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), Pastor Oladipupo Odeyemi, disclosed that the programme had been in existence since 2009 and the State was already involved in the second phase, while striving to be among the third phase if all projects would be done with all honesty, describing the programme as a measure for poverty alleviation in any society. One of the participants at the training, Honourable Bode Kusimo commended the International agency, as well as the State government’s effort at eradicating poverty at the grassroots, pledging to ensure the success of the project, thereby assisting in the socio-economic growth of the areas.

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SANWO-OLU: “MAKING LAGOS A SMART CITY NOT A RHETORIC”

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The plan to elevate Lagos to become a smart city is not a mere political rhetoric, but an agenda that is being supported by policies that will make the goal achievable, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.

The Governor said his administration’s commitment to reinvigorate the state’s economy and make it a smart city was reinforced by its growth potential and profile as one of the top investment destinations in Africa.

The smart city agenda, Sanwo-Olu said, is on course, stressing that his administration would achieve the goal in partnership with private sector as key driver of development.

The Governor spoke on Wednesday at the 13th Annual Business Law Conference organized by Business Law section of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), at the Eko Hotels and Suites on Victoria Island.

To achieve the aim, Sanwo-Olu said his government had identified key areas to drive growth, stating that investment in infrastructure remained prominent. 

He said: “As Africa’s most populous city, with a population larger than several countries on the continent, but confined to a space that is less than 4,000 square miles in size, Lagos is confronted by problems that exert great pressure on its infrastructure, especially our transport infrastructure and public utilities.

“Lagos urgently needs to mobilize huge investments into these critical sectors by delivering new roads and bridges, expanding air and sea ports’ capacity, exploiting the potential of our vast waterways. And, very importantly, Lagos needs to deliver an intra-city rail network. We must have a city-wide rail system that will move people and goods faster.” 

Steady electricity, Sanwo-Olu pointed out, remains critical to delivering a smart city with a flourishing economy. He observed that Lagos, like other states, still had a huge gap to fill in the area of power supply to businesses and homes.

The Governor said a sustained but strategic investment in key infrastructure would have direct positive impacts on workers’ productivity, commerce and economy.

He said: “Provision of infrastructure creates jobs for artisans, engineers and other workers who will deliver these projects, and also for the contractors who supply raw materials. And by expanding our transport and power supply capacities significantly, we will succeed in unleashing the economic productivity long-constrained by these bottlenecks.”

Sanwo-Olu said the effort required private sector partnership and investment to deliver on the objectives. He urged local and international investors to leverage the government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy in facilitating collaboration, which, he promised, would be mutually beneficial.

While the Governor re-assured investors that his government would create “friendly atmosphere” for investment to thrive, he said the state had embarked on reforms in its business law to protect the interests of all parties when disputes arise in business.

He added: “By leading the way with these reforms, we are making the point that we understand the place of Lagos in the national economy, and we understand the connection between confidence in legal and regulatory systems on the one hand, and, on the other hand, a willingness by investors to invest.

“In terms of the business regulatory environment, we are fully aligned with the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business reform agenda. I am pleased to note here that Lagos was in 2018 adjudged by the World Bank as one of the most improved states in terms of the Ease of Doing Business.”

Sanwo-Olu praised members of the NBA’s Business Law section for choosing Lagos as its choice location to discuss the objectives of the business conference.

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PhotoNews:The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila with Chief Dennis Otuaro

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The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila with Chief Dennis Otuaro at the reception party organized for the Speaker by the Lagos State Government at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

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