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Lagos State SCRPS Speaks On Achievements In Public Schools, Redevelopment Of Tolu School Complex In Lagos…..

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The Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools, as part of its mandate to improve the performance of pupils, stated that it has rehabilitated about 246 public school buildings while 1,047 new classrooms have been injected into the schools system.

 

The Committee, in a bid to further encourage all-round students, has built recreation facilities like football pitches, multi-purpose courts and race tracks in some of the schools and the redevelopment of Tolu School Complex.

 

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the committee, Mr Hakeem Smith, on Thursday, during a media briefing held in Ikeja, on the redevelopment of Tolu School Complex, Ajegunle, Lagos.

 

Speaking further, he noted that there was a need to focus on the rehabilitation of the schools so as to help build capacity in the area of Science, Technology, Sports and the redevelopment of Tolu School Complex.

 

He noted that in line with the mandate given to the SCRPS at its inauguration in November 2019, by the governor of the state, the committee was saddled with the responsibility of aggressively revamping the infrastructure in all Lagos public schools, so as to improve teaching and learning, adding that the committee has regularly been carrying out the responsibilities with a visible result noticeable in all the education districts.

He said: “I sincerely welcome you all to this Media Briefing holding today, Thursday 8th of February 2024. This meeting became necessary in order to keep the media abreast of what we are doing at SCRPS and also to roll out what this office intends to carry-out in terms of schools projects in the year 2024.

“In line with the mandate given to the Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), at its inauguration in November 2019, by Mr Governor, SCRPS was to aggressively revamp the infrastructure in all Lagos public schools, so as to improve teaching and learning, which eventually improve performance of our pupils. This directive was regularly carried out by this office with a visible result noticeable in all the education districts.

“As at today, we have rehabilitated about 246 public schools buildings while 1,047 new classrooms have been injected into the schools system. Also, about 1,593 bed hostel have been provided in the schools while over 200,000 unit dual composite furniture were also provided in the schools including Principal and Teachers’ furniture.

“To encourage an all-round students, there has been provision of purpose built recreation facilities like football pitches, multi-purpose courts and race tracks in some of our schools.

“In order to provide a 21st century school, there is the introduction of technology driven teaching environment through the use of interactive screen and  hand-held tablets by students. This was built at Vetland Grammar school, Agege and currently been built in the other education districts in the state.

“Sometime in 2022, SCRPS rehabilitated two numbers of 17+1 classroom blocks in Tolu complex. This intervention instructed by Mr Governor exposed the state of disrepair of most of the school blocks and the classroom inadequacy in the complex. A comprehensive assessment was instructed by Mr Governor which led to the regeneration we have just commenced in the complex.

BRIEF HISTORY OF TOLU COMPLEX.

I feel it is appropriate to let you in into a brief history about the place.

The land mass presently known and identified as Tolu School Complex was established im 1981 by Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande Administration. In propagating his Mass Education policy, the state government at that time reclaimed the subject parcel of land from the Lagos lagoon. This was necessary due to the dense population of the area and the lack of suitable space for the establishment of public schools.

The complex itself was in two parcels separated by Temidire street covering an expanse of approximately 11.73 hectares. Parcel A covers 10.61 hectares while Parcel B measures 1.12 hectares.

The school complex started off with just two schools: then called School 1 and School II, after which they were renamed Unity Secondary School and Olodi Apapa Secondary School respectively. In 1982/1983, some other schools came up namely : Adeolu Secondary School, Newland Secondary School, Ojoku Secondary School, Ojora Memorial Secondary School and Oshodi Secondary School.

During the era of Air Commodore Gbolahan Mudashiru who was Lagos state Governor from 1984-1986, he continued the work of his predecessor in improving school infrastructure by upgrading the existing Jakande blocks to standard ones and more schools were added to the ever- growing community.

In continuing to trace the history of Tolu School Complex, the other events worthy of note would definitely be the construction of Bola Ige Millenium Secondary School during the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and also the Federal Ministry of Education policy in 2003 which mandated the creation of Junior and Senior Secondary Schools. This policy led to the establishment of even more schools in the complex.

 

At the moment, we have thirty-six (36) schools within Tolu Complex which are distributed as follows:

  1. 5 Primary Schools,
  2. 15 Junior Secondary Schools.

iii.               16 Senior Secondary Schools.

POPULATION:

  1. 9,191 – Junior Secondary Schools.
  2. 8,457 – Senior Secondary Schools.

iii.               2,066 – Primary Schools

Having been in existence for decades and been subjected to intense usage, the existing classroom blocks within the complex are obviously in different stages of dilapidation. From the ones requiring rehabilitation to the ones that need to be demolished and re-developed.

The complex comprises of several existing structures housing all the schools above and four existing Access Roads, Lagos State Water Corporation Storage, the John Ighalo Football Pitch and other amenities like Food sheds/ Kiosks which are boarded by the lagoon.

 

SCRPS INTERVENTION AND PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED AT TOLU COMPLEX.

During the several reconnaissance/ assessment visits to the Tolu Complex by SCRPS Officials, the following problems were identified:

  • High Student/classroom ratio which is not conducive for learning.
  • The pressing need for additional classroom blocks.
  • Most of the existing blocks require urgent rehabilitation as the blocks are in various stages of dilapidation.
  • Lack of recreational facilities, laboratories, teachers and principals’ offices, toilets etc.
  • Non-clearly defined boundaries within the school, encouraging inter-school scuffles and fights.
  • Inadequate access roads within the complex.
  • Recurrent issue of flooding within the entire complex.
  • Security issues in form of School Break-ins, Theft etc.
  • Non availability of ICT infrastructure within the complex.
  • Lack of perimeter fencing- allowing incessant activities of miscreants within the area.
  • All these deficiencies in standard requirements necessitated the need to regenerate the entire complex.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION – METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH.

METHODOLOGY:

  • Temporary relocation of students within the complex.
  • Breaking the projects into manageable LOTS.
  • Procurement Process and Contract Awards.
  • Project Monitoring, Supervision and Evaluation
  • Project Completion and Close out.

 

APPROACH:

For efficient management, supervision and to ensure timely delivery. The project was divided into six (6) lots. That is Lots A, B, C, D, E, F.

Furthermore, it was agreed upon that the categorization of projects into Lots will make it easier to get work done, being that most schools within the complex will be in session as at the time work starts. Also, arrangements have been made to assuage issues where students will need to be temporarily relocated within the school complex.

PROPOSED SOLUTIONS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF TOLU COMPLEX.

To make Tolu Complex a state-of-the-art Education City. SCRPS is therefore proposing the following:

  • Construction of Additional 13 Nos 15/18 Classroom blocks with offices and toilets in some of the schools having shortage of classrooms.
  • Renovation of identified dilapidated classroom blocks.
  • Construction of perimeter fence and gate houses.
  • Construction of New inner roads and drainages.
  • Rehabilitation of Existing Access Roads.
  • Construction of Health-care center.
  • Construction of a Fire service station.
  • Construction of Multi-purpose sports complex.
  • Construction of Facility Management Office.
  • Construction of other External works i.e .Gates, Food sheds/Canteen etc.
  • External Electrical Works-Solar powered flood light.
  • Provision of an all -inclusive school to accommodate people with disability.
  • Provision of land for the ICT hub, central laboratory and arts/ creativity blocks under private sponsorship arrangement.

 

REASONS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OF TOLU COMPLEX AND EXPECTATIONS.

  1. GROWING POPULATION.

Ajeromi-ifelodun Local Government with a growing population of 1,077,735 (Est. 2020) inhabitants, with 33.8% aged 0-14yrs, we believe it is imperative for the Sanwo-olu led administration to undertake this ambitious regeneration of the school complex, as it will offer succor to the educational needs of the locality.

 

  1. CATALYST FOR COMMERCE.

The regeneration of Tolu complex will serve as a catalyst for growth of more commercial entities like SMEs, Food Vendors, Bookshops, Mini Shuttles and other school needs vendors in the locality. This will in turn help the state in generating more IGR.

 

iii.               POLITICAL GAINS.

Undertaking this ambitious project in Ajeromi-ifelodun LGA will amount to strategic political gains for this administration. It will also help to sustain and improve electoral performance in the locality dominated by the Non-Yoruba speaking voting population, from 43.5% (2015) to 74.9% (2019).

 

 

  1. CAPACITY BUILDING.

We believe that a holistic regeneration of the Tolu complex will help build capacity in the area of Science, Technology, Sports and Academics due to the state-of-the-arts structures and facilities that will be situated in that area. It would be an all-in educa

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NASRE Advises FG On Food Crisis, Forex Shortage Amid Calls To Suspend Import Ban

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As Nigeria finds itself at a critical crossroads, grappling with simultaneous challenges of a food crisis and a foreign exchange (forex) shortage.

 

This is even as the nation seeks solutions to mitigate these pressing issues, the debate over whether to open its borders for importation has intensified.

 

The food crisis gripping Nigeria has raised concerns about food security and access to essential nutrition for millions of citizens.

 

Adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, and other factors have contributed to dwindling food supplies and soaring prices, placing a significant strain on households and exacerbating the vulnerability of already marginalized communities.

 

Meanwhile, the forex shortage has hampered Nigeria’s ability to import essential goods and raw materials, further exacerbating supply chain disruptions and exacerbating inflationary pressures.

 

Industries reliant on imported inputs, including agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, have been particularly hard hit, impeding economic growth and development.

 

In response to these challenges, some stakeholders advocate for opening Nigeria’s borders to facilitate the importation of food and other essential commodities.

 

Proponents argue that increased importation could help alleviate immediate food shortages, stabilize prices, and provide relief to vulnerable populations facing hunger and malnutrition.

 

However, others caution against the potential risks of opening borders amid a forex shortage. Critics raise concerns about the impact on domestic production and self-sufficiency, as well as the long-term consequences of relying heavily on imported goods. They emphasize the need to prioritize investments in domestic agriculture and infrastructure to build resilience against future crises.

 

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the government faces the daunting task of balancing short-term relief efforts with long-term strategies for sustainable development and economic resilience.

 

Proffering suggestion on how the government can address the unending inflationary pressures, Forex shortages, food prices hike and revitalise the nation’s economy, the Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors (NASRE), has advised the Nigerian government to adopt collaborative efforts involving policymakers, industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and international partners to identify holistic solutions that address both immediate needs and underlying structural challenges.

 

On the debate over whether Nigeria should open its borders for importation amid the food crisis and forex shortage, the President of the advocacy group, Mr Femi Oyewale, underscores the urgency of coordinated action and innovative thinking.

 

According to him, now more than ever, solidarity, cooperation, and forward-thinking policies are needed to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians.

 

“The question of whether Nigerian borders should be opened for food importation in the face of a food crisis is complex and multifaceted. However, there are factors to consider, which basically, Domestic Agricultural Capacity. Because opening borders for food importation could undermine domestic agricultural production by flooding the market with cheaper imported goods.

 

“However, if domestic production is insufficient to meet demand, importing food may be necessary to avoid shortages,” he said.

 

On the economic implications of borders opening, the President of NASRE, Oyewale, said: “Importing food can have economic ramifications, both positive and negative. On one hand, it can provide access to a wider variety of foods and potentially lower prices for consumers. On the other hand, it may negatively impact local farmers and exacerbate trade imbalances.”

 

The resourceful editors, while commenting on Food Security, pointed out that relying heavily on imported food leaves a country vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations in the global market. Therefore, it urged the federal government to develop a robust domestic agricultural sector, which is crucial for long-term food security.

 

According to Oyewale, the Nigerian government must consider its broader economic and agricultural policies when making decisions about food importation. This includes evaluating subsidies, tariffs, and investment in agricultural infrastructure.

 

“Importing food often involves long-distance transportation, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Promoting local production can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with food consumption.

 

“Food is not just a commodity; it is essential for human well-being. Government policies should prioritize ensuring access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all citizens, particularly those most vulnerable to food insecurity,” he added.

 

The Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors, NASRE, therefore, noted that the decision to open Nigerian borders for food importation during a food crisis should be approached cautiously, taking into account the country’s domestic agricultural capacity, economic implications, food security goals, environmental concerns, and social welfare considerations.

 

“A balanced approach that supports both domestic production and responsible trade practices may be necessary to address immediate food shortages while also promoting long-term food security and sustainability,” the Association stated.

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Lagos State Government to prosecute 11 suspects for extortion

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The Lagos State Government said 11 suspects arrested at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state will be prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others extorting residents and motorists in the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olawale Musa, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Wednesday.

He added that the suspects parade themselves as enforcement officers to extort unsuspecting motorists and residents in the state.

Musa said, “Lagos State Government has declared zero tolerance for extortion of unsuspecting residents, especially motorists, by miscreants parading themselves as enforcement officers at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state.

“We have announced severally that nobody is allowed to collect money for the local government on the street of Lagos, and the government has set up a team to ensure that anybody that does that is picked up and from that Lekki axis.

“They will be charged to court to explain themselves, and I want to sound a note of warning to others that do the same thing that we will not relent; the government is all out for them.”

He noted that it is unlawful for any local government area within the state to place personnel to conduct such operations on the highways.

“If you have any issues, you call us, and we will come and address them, but when you have people coming on the road on the guise that you want to have revenue at this hard time, collecting money from motorists on the road is not fair, and it is illegal in Lagos State to resist it.

“It is illegal for any local government area in the state to deploy people on the roads as it negates the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, Section 18, 2018, which empowers only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority to carry out such operations on the roads,” he added.

In March 2023, The PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Government arrested four suspected hoodlums in some parts of the state over extortion.

The suspects were arrested in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state while attempting to extort motorists.

 

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N10bn fraud: EFCC to arraign Abdulfattah Ahmed, ex-Kwara Governor Friday

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will arraign the immediate-past governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed, for alleged N10bn fraud on Friday, The PUNCH has learnt.

Credible sources in the anti-graft agency said the ex-governor would be dragged before the Federal High Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

“He is going to be arraigned on Friday at the Federal High Court in Ilorin for diversion of funds, amounting to N10bn,” the source told our correspondent.

The ex-governor has been detained by the EFCC since Monday when he honoured an invitation for interrogation.

His Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, confirmed his principal’s visit to the EFCC office on Monday, stating that it was only “procedural and routine”.

“Dr Ahmed’s visit to the EFCC is procedural and routine. He was invited and he honoured them as he’s always done. He’s always ready to respond to any query or question regarding his tenure as a governor of the state.”

On Tuesday night, Oba lamented that the EFCC was still holding on to Ahmed, saying he was given stringent bail conditions.

“Yes, he is still with the EFCC and we are now in a dilemma over the issue because they keep changing the goalpost during the match. The case is taking a new dimension, which we don’t really understand for now.

“Initially they said they wanted him to produce two sureties who are federal directors. The sureties came and were asked to provide landed properties in Abuja. We see this as a contradiction. The case was initially handled by the EFCC office in Abuja before it was transferred to Ilorin over the issue of jurisdiction. Additionally, he has been denied access to his doctors, medication and direct access to his cook,” Oba said.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to the EFCC zonal office in Ilorin, where Ahmed was being detained.

The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, expressed displeasure over Ahmed’s detention.

Led by the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olusegun Adewara, the party members alleged that the All Progressives Congress in the state was behind Ahmed’s troubles.

Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “EFCC should stop being a tool in the hands of Abdulrazaq led-APC”, “Governor Ahmed was very transparent”, “EFCC is not a department in the APC, EFCC, stop the harassment”, “The opposition cannot be silenced”, “Maigida will not join the APC no matter the persecution”, “EFCC, don’t instigate political crisis in Kwara State”, “No to illegal detention. Respect the rule of law”, among others.

But addressing the protesters, the zonal commander of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, said Ahmed had been given an administration bail but he could not meet the conditions.

“We’re wrapping up. Once we wrap up, the law will take its course. The anti-graft agency, being a creation of law, would not go contrary to law.

“Everything we’ve done is within the ambit of the law. The former governor is cooperating with us and we’re making good progress following rules of law. As I speak, he’s with his lawyer, a SAN; he attends to everyone who comes to see him, and he has a doctor who has attended to him. He eats what he wants to eat. I urge us to allow the law take its course. We’re not partisan nor prompted by anybody. This body is solely sponsored by the Federal Government,” Nzekwe said.

 

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