Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Eyo Festival to meet modern standard - Oba Akiolu
By NKIRU EVONGWA
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
•Photo: Sun News Publishing
The Oba of Lagos State, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has assured Lagosians and lovers of the Eyo Festival that this year’s festival is going to be modernized to meet today’s standard.
The Oba, who said this at a press conference on Tuesday at the Iga Iduganran Palace gave insight into the forthcoming festival, which would be held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), assuring that adequate provisions have been made for security to avert crimes and break down of law and order.
According to him, the festival would not only usher in good tidings and blessings for Lagosians, it would also expose to the entire world the rich cultural heritage of the nation.
His words: “Eyo ushers in good tidings, blessings and the best for Lagosians and Nigeria as a whole. The Oba-in-council in his wisdom decided that since the world is now global, the 2009 Eyo Festival is going to be modernized to meet modern standards. We want to expose to the entire world the rich culture of Lagosians; we want people to sit in relaxed atmosphere at the TBS to see what the festival is all about.
“In Eyo Festival, you hear – moyo fun e, moyo fun ara mi- (meaning I rejoice with you and with myself.) Eyo is a festival of peace and blessing, far from the rough way people see it,” urging all participants to keep peace, take every thing lightly and obey rules and regulations of the day as he prayed for a successful festival.
In his contribution, the Chairman organizing committee of the event, Mr. Disun Holloway, said although the security level on Lagos Island with particular emphasis on the TBS would be noticeably increased from Friday evening to Saturday mid-night, other things, which would spark up troubles, should be avoided.
Enumerating the rule to guide the day, Holloway said: “It is forbidden to take photographs of the Adimu, Alakete Pupa, Oniko, Ologede and Agere groups,” saying this could spark up trouble from these groups of eyo which may be disastrous.
Other rules include that, “slippers are not worn near the Eyo masquerades, smoking of cigarettes or pipes near the masquerades, bicycles and motor bikes must not be ridden near the masquerades, and wearing of caps, hats and other head wears near the masquerades, except for the exemption of religious head wares.
Arrangements, according to him, have also been put in place to provide free buses to convey people from various destinations in the state to the venue of the event. The buses which are more than 300 in number would commence operation from 6.30 am to 2.30 pm on that day and they would be loading at strategic places at Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and greater metropolis to TBS.
In his address, the official sponsor of the event, Globacom, represented by Mr. Fola Aderibigbe said: “The Eyo Festival constitutes one of the best cultural export potentials from Nigeria as a whole. The advantage of this is that it is both propitiatory and celebratory in nature.”
Monday, April 20, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The Punch, Monday April 13, 2009
I N a bid to properly organise and coordinate the development of the different parts of the state, the Lagos State Government will this year intensify work on the preparation of a number of development guides and master plans.
Preliminary survey works have commenced on both the Badagry and the Lagos Mainland Central Master Plan projects, which contracts were awarded earlier in the year.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Bolaji Abosede, who disclosed this on Thursday at a press briefing to commemorate the second anniversary of the Governor Babatunde Fashola?s administration, said that field works on the Ikorodu Master Plan had been concluded, while the preliminary report was ready for review.
On the Ikeja Model City Plan, which was recently presented to stakeholders, the he said the state?s executive council had approved it and that the final report would soon be ready.
The council has also approved the proposal for the preparation of the Alimosho Model City Plan, which is currently awaiting the consideration of the state Consultancy Board.
On the planned relocation of the Oko Baba Sawmill, Abosede said that the Agbowa site approved for the resettlement of its operators had been cleared for sand filling and redevelopment with a Memorandum of Understanding already agreed with developers under the Public-Private Partnership model.
He said that work was progressing on the redevelopment of the Tejuosho Market, with the construction of the basement floor and DPC level.
Similarly, he said, work on the redevelopment of the Oyingbo Market is under way and is currently at the substructure level, while the development of the Oluwole Market had commenced with the resettlement of the residents, just as actual construction had reached the third floor level.
The site of the Ikorodu Regional Foodstuffs Market, according to Abosede, is being prepared for possession under a PPP arrangement. The site would, upon completion, host market men and women who would be moved from the Mile 12 Market.
The ministry has also cleared the site of the Ikeja Shopping Plaza with actual development scheduled to commence soon.
On site selection, design and relocation, the commissioner said that the ministry was currently working on the ECOWAS Wholesale Market, Badagry; and the relocation of auto parts dealers to Mowe and the Computer Village from Ikeja to Oke Odo in Alimosho.
In the last one year, Abosede said that the ministry had successfully tackled the demolition of the partially collapsed Bank of Industry building on Broad Street with the site being currently cleared, while the design of the development proposal for the area around the site was ongoing.
He noted that the ministry was also establishing the alignment of Right of Way of the10-lane Badagry Expressway to incorporate the light rail corridor; the Lekki-Epe Expressway and coastal road; Yaba-Oyingbo Way, and was taking inventory of properties within the alignments.
Abosede said that the ministry would also ensure the removal of structures within the alignments and the integration of existing layouts into the road alignments.
He said, "The ministry intends to pursue further the public participation through inclusive governance by intensifying our efforts in public-private partnership, expand the scope for a sustainable development as well as assert our statutory responsibilities should the need arise. This will give Lagos the new face as one of the worlds mega cities."
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The Lagos State government is to spend $10bilion in the next twenty five years to execute its seven rail development projects in the state.
Construction of the first two lines are expected to commence by the middle of this year while bids for the selection of investors are billed to be opened next week.
Indications to this emerged just as the state governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), prepares to address a stakeholder's forum in the next two months on the implications of the new rail projects, which is estimated to cost $1.2billlion.
The forum, which is also coming on the heels of the flag-off of construction of the new ten lane Lagos - Badagry Expressway, is intended to address the complaints of those likely to be affected by the demolition exercise on the right of way of the expressway. The demolition is to provide space for the multiple purpose nature of the road, which will include the BRT track, Light rail line and lanes for other vehicles plying the ever busy route.
Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr Dayo Mobereola, who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Sunday Independent during the week, explained that response from investors to the financing and execution of the project, which would be on a build and operate basis for twenty five years, has been overwhelming. The construction period is estimated for three years.
He disclosed that the state government has moved away from the initial population projection of 25 million in 2015 to 40 million persons considering the impact of the two new rail projects, which is expected to move at least 30,000 passengers per hour and 1.3 million passengers per day.
On the benefits of the rail project, Mobereola said it is meant to address the issue of poverty, as people would spend less on transportation thereby conserving money for other basic needs instead of spending a huge chunk of their income on road transportation with its multiplier effect on standard of living.
Besides, he noted that successive governments have not been able to come to terms with the imperatives of the project because of the lack of political will, adding that the present government in Lagos has demonstrated enough will to tackle once and for all the problems of transportation in the state with the adoption of the strategic plan by the LAMATA.
The rail project tagged Blue and Red Lines would run between Okokomaiko and Iddo, and Ijoko - Iddo respectively. It is expected to kick start the rail development project which forms the major plank of the government's plan for the anticipated mega city status of Lagos.
Speaking further, the LAMATA boss said the rail development project will also form the plank of the government's effort to reduce poverty and create employment while also making life more comfortable to the citizenry as they would spend less time commuting from any part of the state.
To complement the new rail lines he said the state government is planning to extend the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) to nine new routes including the Iyana-Ipaja, Ikotun, Igando roads and the Oshodi, Apapa, Mile 2 to Wharf roads, while existing roads in these areas would be expanded to accommodate the BRT buses which has recorded a huge success in the state since introduction over a year ago.
Mobereola also disclosed that henceforth reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads now going on in various parts of the state have been standardized such that each of the roads would have four main facilities: walkway, street lights, drainage and driveway measuring at least seven and half meters, which is the standard practice for road construction all over the world.
On water transportation, he also disclosed that the state government has involved the private sector in the development of ferry services by providing infrastructure like jetties and approach-roads, as part of the integrated transportation system being evolved for the state in anticipation of its mega-city status.