Wednesday, May 13, 2009
May 7, 2009
The Lagos State Government has installed about 90 Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras across the State to protect life and property as well as nab anyone who illegally uses the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane.
Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, commissioner for Science and Technology, who disclosed this at a radio programme, added that the cameras have been used to arrest criminals who robbed a woman because the camera recorded the incident and the robbers were later arrested by the police because their pictures were captured.
Hamzat said Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been fully deployed by the State in carrying out many government activities in the area of health services, education, judicial process and obtaining of certificate of occupancy among others.
On the possibility of vandalising the camera, Hamzat said this cannot be too possible since the locations of the cameras are not known and due to the fact that the cameras monitor one another.
According to him, “if someone is trying to tamper with camera A, camera B is surely monitoring it. We will have what we call the ring toplogy, that is some will overlap, so that if camera A and B is checking a particular direction camera C and D will also be looking at 15 per cent same direction and 85 percent of somewhere else, so by that we have an overlap”.
He informed that about 80 schools in the State have been provided with Information Communication Technology laboratories in order to give students in the State secondary schools an opportunity to interact with the outside world and at the same time improve their knowledge base. “In this regard, science base teachers have been trained on techniques for teaching science based subjects to facilitate assimilation”, he said.
On the Health Management Information System (HMIS) introduced by the State Government, the commissioner stated that this will ensure the improvement of the quality of health care delivery services in the state.
He explained that with the development, the registration of all patients in Lagos State Hospitals on a Central computer server will eliminate queues usually found in the medical record in all State hospitals and doctors will have access to patient’s medical history anywhere within the state.
He said the first phase of the project started with 3 hospitals which were used for the pilot scheme.
The hospitals are Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja; General Hospital Isolo and General Hospital Lagos.
The link of these hospitals has been commissioned since last year while the second phase involving ten General Hospitals have commenced.
The hospitals on the second phase, according to him, include General Hospital Gbagada, General Hospital Alimosho, General Hospital Orile-Agege, General Hospital Surulere, General Hospital Badagry and General Hospital Ajeromi.
In fulfillment of the Governor Fashola (SAN) administration's desire to deliver to the people the blessings of integrated transport system, the administration is giving the necessary priority to water transport. It would be recalled that during his gubernatorial campaign, Governor Fashola (SAN) had promised to make Lagos the 'Venice of Africa' by way of taking advantage of Lagos' natural endowment, which is water. In pursuit of this cause, ultra-modern Jetties are being put together in different parts of the State. These pictures were taken on the site of the Ajah-Badore Jetty!
New Lagos Model City Law Compounds Federal Secretariat CrisisMay 11, 2009 (Daily Independent/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- A bill signed into law last week by Governor Raji Babatunde Fashola of Lagos providing for the establishment of the state's Model City Development Authority (MCDA) may have delivered the death knell for the planned transformation of the Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi by private developers.
Upon the movement of the federal seat of power to Abuja some decades ago, the authorities increasingly found limited uses for the sprawling blocks of offices, which finally ran down in terms of quality of facilities. In the bid to address the development, federal officials disposed the property to investors, who resorted to transforming the office spaces to residential apartments for onward sale to needy Nigerians at home as well as those in the Diaspora.
But the proposal met a brick wall as the original landowners as well as state officials kicked against the property's sale and planned change of status from institutional to residential use.
But the provisions of the MCDA Law look to have closed the chapter in that regard, even though the dispute (which erupted years before the emergence of the law) is presently being argued out in a court of law.
Essentially, Section 14 of the law states, "Government institutional offices, within a model city area shall continue to be used for the public purpose for which the offices were developed and no alteration of use shall be allowed." The Federal Secretariat in Ikoyi automatically falls under the Ikoyi-Victoria Island Model City, one of the nine model cities planned for the state under fresh moves to, among other reasons, ensure better stakeholder participation in the development of their neighbourhoods.
Other areas designated as model cities are Ikeja, Lagos Mainland Central, Lagos Island, Alimosho, Apapa, Oshodi-Isolo, Agege-Ifako-Ijaiye and Kosofe. Plans for Ikoyi-VI and Ikeja Model Cities are already in place and in operation. Areas like Ikorodu, Lekki and Epe will however be covered by master plans.
The Ikoyi-VI Model City Plan that came into force some three years ago identified the Federal Secretariat as one of the numerous institutional use structures in the highbrow area, where in the past generous land allocations were made to accommodate federal institutions such as military establishments and the Police and other government bodies such as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Federal Palace Hotel and the Nigeria Security and Minting Corporation.
The state Commissioner for Physical Planning, Mr. Francisco Bolaji Abosede, stated that the law is one of the four legislative planning instruments being put in place to ensure compliance with the Model City Plans that are emerging. Others are Model City Approval Order, Lagos State Building Regulations 2005, and Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Law of 2005.
Abosede, a town planner, added, "This law is not entirely new, as the provisions had already been made. It reviews existing town planning laws and creates an authority to administer model cities.
Other federal and state government bodies like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) apply and get approval from us and the Federal Secretariat cannot be an exception. Developers of the 1004 Flats have gotten an approval and work is going on there. However, the governor recently gave an executive order that there would henceforth be no change of use. Even if there was one, a process has to be followed." Furthermore, the law has specified stern disciplinary measures for those whose ways appear to be at variance with the authorities', with incarceration, heavy fines or building demolition as reward for such effrontery.
For instance, the law states that any owner, occupier or developer who embarks on a construction, development, alteration or modification of any property in violation or contrary to the Model City plan without obtaining the necessary approval commits an offence and shall be liable to a two-year imprisonment or a N1 million fine, or both.
Similarly, any property for which an offence has been committed shall be liable to be demolished after the necessary statutory notices under the provisions of the Urban & Regional Planning and Development Law have been served on the owner/occupier or developer..
The legislation stresses that members of the new MCDA shall comprise a chairman, general manager, two representatives of the organised private sector (OPS) operating in the state as well as a representative of the ministries of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Works & Infrastructure, Justice and Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs The further specifies that each Model City Development Area shall have a Model City Area Committee (MCAC) responsible for monitoring and reporting non-compliance with the provisions of a development plan. The MCAC is the operating arm of the MCDA and shall be responsible to it (the MCDA).
The governor, upon Abosede's recommendation, shall appoint members of both bodies.
Members of the MCAC shall comprise the chairman, executive secretary, representative of the affected local government(s), Community Development Committee (CDC) chairman, CDC secretary, two representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), District Officer in each Local Planning Authority (LPA) and a representative each from the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB), Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) and Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP).
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|Written by Kingsley Adegboye|
|Friday, 01 May 2009|
About four decades ago, the area of Lagos now nostalgically referred to as Old Yaba, was one of the most sought after real estates in Lagos metropolis.
It was host to Nigeria’s emerging middle class elite immediately after independence. The area boasted of well-planned roads, beautiful houses displaying contemporary architecture of the time and hosted many great schools that have produced many leaders of our country. Indeed, it was treasure house to Nigerian social, music and entertainment life.
Domino Stores folded up, Mainland Hotel struggled to attract clientele in spite of investments, Oyingbo Market could not find investments for its re-development, Railway Compound depreciated as a prime real estate, Iddo a historic settlement in the history of Lagos and Otto became slums while property values slumped.
This was the situation of Sabo Yaba before the intervention of the Babatunde Fashola administration. In his address at the commissioning of the upgraded Montgomery Road, Commercial Avenue and Aje Street, Yaba on Tuesday, Governor Fashola said during his campaign, he promised to rebuild Oyingbo Market and return the glory of Yaba.
He pointed out that in fulfilment of that promise, the construction of Oyingbo Market has commenced in earnest. “We have developed a comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of 37 roads in Yaba in phases in order to renew the infrastructure.