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Aregbesola Makes Case For Innovative Solutions To Nigeria’s Housing Deficit

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Aregbesola Makes Case For Innovative Solutions To Nigeria’s Housing Deficit

Professionals in the engineering field have been advised to up their game by proffering solutions to the many challenges facing society including its housing deficits.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave the advice at the 29th Founders’ Day Celebration of the Ikeja, Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the commissioning of the Engineering Resource Centre named in his honour, held at Ralph Alabi Engineering Centre, Ogba, Lagos, on Monday, January 31, 2022.

“I will urge engineers, in spite of the giant strides they have made, not to relent in their efforts at human development and progress in order to live up to the billing as merchants of applied knowledge. The best research and innovations will still take engineers to convert to reality.

“One major challenge of an urban centre like Lagos is housing shortage. According to the latest estimate, Lagos has 2.5 million housing deficits. This creates other problems of health, the environment and security.

“The overcrowding and high population density in some areas is a ticking time bomb in epidemics and pandemics of the future. Engineers should begin to design and construct low-cost houses that use less concrete and blocks and can be produced at very fast rate in order to decongest and restore sanity to these areas,” the Minister stated.

Speaking further on the role of professionals in setting minimum standards for development in the country, Ogbeni Aregbesola stated that professional bodies should put themselves in the position to ensure that the government is getting value for money on projects and that the public feel their impact on the way government conducts its business, so they can gain the respect and admiration of the public.

Aregbesola Makes Case For Innovative Solutions To Nigeria’s Housing Deficit

“More than anything, engineers and professionals in general, should re-horn their sense of role and responsibility to the society in a developing economy like ours. On roads, for instance, engineers and other professionals should come up on an annual basis the requirements and the cost of constructing different categories of roads in the different regions of the country.

“This will prevent just anyone from coming up with arbitrary figures that aid corruption and deplete public resources. Such template should be available on any public works. We need to entrench a culture of government officials and contractors being conscious that they are being watched and scrutinised and that they will be held accountable.

“Unless these professional bodies put themselves in the position to ensure that the government is getting value for money on projects and the public feel their impact on the way government conducts its business, they will find it difficult to gain the respect and admiration of the public and will be seen as part of the scams going on. In the developed world, it is these professional bodies that keep society in check and prevent people from going astray. Nigerian engineers therefore should be involved in the entrenchment of values – of works and service to the community,” Ogbeni Aregbesola stated.

The Minister also challenged engineers in the country to come up with creative ideas to provide energy and reduce the cost of electricity and petroleum products in the country.

“One other major national challenge is energy – for homes, vehicles and industrial uses. We have had enough talk on the energy deficits and challenges. Engineers should now take the lead. There should be new approaches to providing cheaper and affordable alternative sources of energy and conversion of our machines, vehicles and appliances to function with these innovations.

“When I visited Egypt some 10 to 15 years ago, I found out that most of their taxis were very old vehicles, none of them caused toxic pollution on the roads. That society as at then had perfected the use of gas to power their vehicles with the use of simple engineering equipment.

“I am therefore using this occasion to challenge our engineers to come up with very creative ideas to help the country reduce its cost of subsidising petroleum for Nigerians,” the Minister requested.

Speaking at the event, chairman of the occasion, Engr. T.S.G. Wudil, who is also the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, celebrated and appreciated the Ikeja Branch of the NSE for the visionary project, stating that when last he visited in 2015, many meaningful projects and contributions have been made to the Society by the branch.

“Since I came here in 2015, the branch has continued to grow and contribute to the professional development of Engineers in Nigeria.

“I can promise you that the national body will continue to support the growth of the branches and especially the Ikeja branch for its commitment to ensuring the professional development of her members,” the President stated.

Also speaking at the event, the special guest of honour, Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi, stated that he supported the project to ensure the growth of the Engineering profession.

“I personally supported this project to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the practising field. I’m sure with the opening of this building, the Rauf Aregbesola Engineering Resource Centre, the centre will help advance the cause of the Engineering profession in Nigeria,” Dr. Afolabi stated.

Also at the event were: former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yusuf; Chairman of the SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi; former Commissioner for Education in the State of Osun, Engr. Kola-Omotunde Young; Special Adviser to the Minister, Hon. Bola Ilori; Deputy President of the NSE, Engr. Mrs. Oguntala, FNSE; Chairman of the Nigeria Mechanical Engineers, Engr. Funmi Akingbagbohun, FNSE; the oldest living Past Chairman of the NSE, Ikeja Branch, Engr Francis Oguamanam, current Ikeja Branch Chairman of the NSE and Chief Host, Engr. Olutosin Ogunmola amongst other special guests.

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Politics

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Wins Primary for Second term

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The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has  emerged winner of the state governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress.

In the primary election conducted at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta, five other aspirants contested against the governor.

The aspirants include Olubiyi Otegbeye, Mrs Modele Sarafa- Yussuf, Mr Owodunni Opayemi, Remilekun Bakare and Abdukadir Akinlade.

Of the six aspirants, only Abiodun, attended the primary, while agents of all other aspirants, announced their presence and did what was expected of them.

Giving the details of the  election, that was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere,  the Chairman of the Ogun State  APC Primary Election  Committee, Chief Wale Ohu, disclosed that 1,180 delegates, from the 20 local governments, were accredited for the exercise.

Announcing the results, Ohu, said Abiodun scored 1,168 votes, while other aapirants, did not secure any vote, saying that two votes were voided.

Prior to the commencement of the process, Ohu, announced to the delegates and all the leaders of the party that attended the event, that all required agents, were present.

Ohu took time to read out names of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials of the APC officials that were sent from the National Secretariat.

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Lagos Security: Ifalade Host Corp Superintendents, Harps on Preparedness

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Ifalade Ajasa with His Men

The General Manager of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency LNSA; Prince Dr. Ifalade Ajasa Oyekan has advised Corp Officers to remain focused as politics goes full swing in preparation for the 2023 general elections across the country.

Ifalade said this while speaking to Corp Superintendent from the 57 LGAs and LCDAs at a special briefing held at the Corp headquarters, Oshodi.

At the meeting, He advised Corp Superintendents to raise their level of preparedness through regular drills and security advocacy with officers of the agency.

Dr Rasak Balogun, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund paid a surprise visit to the Agency and also enjoined officers to imbibe the culture of Multitasking in the face of the expected challenges officers will confront in view of the forthcoming Elections amid other security issues.

Prince Oyekan on behalf of the Agency, thanked Dr. Rasak Balogun for his usual support while assuring the general public of the Agency’s readiness to meet the challenges expected from the high octane politics, and sundry safety and security issues.

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Business

Zenith Bank: Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe Releases Certified True Copy (CTC) of her Judgment, Call Out Fake and Junk Journalist

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Contrary to the widely reported fake news by some faceless online news platform that Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe of the Ikeja Special Offences Court in his recent judgement allegedly accused foremost financial management in Nigeria, Zenith Bank of fraud and bribery, the astute judge who is bitter with such report have released the original certified True Copy. 

 

In the original certified True Copy, it was confirmed that the respectable Justice never said something of such while delivering her judgement.

 

According to Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe, all what the online media platforms said she delivered, were all fake and wondered how and where they got their own reports.

 

The certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment is now in the open for anyone to see.

 

These online platforms had reported that the Justice accused Zenith Bank Plc of bribing both the judges and lawyers for 11 years to pervert justice, with several online media outlets alleging that Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe made the claim on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 while delivering judgment in a suit marked LD/ADR/186/2014 between Real Integrated and Hospitality Limited as claimant and Zenith Bank Plc and State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) as first and second defendants respectively.

 

One such publication quotes the judge as saying “My recommendation is that Zenith Bank is a fraud and people must be very careful in their dealings with the bank.”

 

Some of the other quotes read: “Zenith Bank bribed the lawyers in the matter.

 

“This they have done for 11 years. So many lawyers and judges have been bribed in this matter just perverting justice. What is more embarrassing, the current governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele was the one who came to navigate and begged for the deposit. He has not been able to do anything to Zenith Bank because he was the managing director of the bank at the time of this transaction.”

 

However, nowhere in the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment that was made available to credible news platforms showed that the Judge did not make such statements.

 

While the Judge did make a scathing criticism of the bank, Justice Fadipe did not accuse Zenith bank of bribing judges and lawyers for 11 years to fraudulently alter the course of justice, as claimed by the online mediums.

 

There was also no mention of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele in the CTC of the judgment.

 

The judge’s comments, as contained in the judgement, include: “The 1st defendant has been the beneficiary of the malevolent game of chess it plunged both claimant and the 2nd defendant into, holding the sum of N872,780,552.84 in its custody without paying interest thereon from 17th February 2011 until 2nd February 2016 when the Court ordered that the money be paid into an interest yielding account in the names of the claimant and the 2nd defendant pending determination of the suit, which order was curiously varied by the consent of all the parties on 20th September 2016 so that the money remained in the 1st defendant’s custody without interest.

 

“The act of the 1st defendant was unconscionable and detrimental to the goodwill of the claimant and its trade credit with its customers. It was a deliberate and malicious act against the interest of the claimant and the 1st defendant continues to enjoy the largesse in bad faith. Exhibits C4 and C5 clearly state that the funds to be transferred were to offset part of the claimant’s indebtedness for the importation of dictionaries, but the 1st defendant was impervious to this need. I therefore find and hold that the claimant is entitled to substantial damages against the 1st defendant for the injury caused to it.”

 

The judge made the comments while granting the claimants four reliefs.

 

The reliefs are that the 1st defendant (Zenith) was in breach of contract when on 7th October, 2011 it refused the claimant to draw from its account No. 1012465427 “despite the fact that the said account was in enough credit to cover the withdrawals sought to be made on the said date.”

 

The judge further restrained the bank “from disturbing or refusing the claimant from operating its account No. 1012465427 in the 1st defendant’s bank or from honouring the claimant’s transfer or payment obligations to third parties from the said account as long as same is in credit.”

 

It granted an “interest of 15% per annum on the sum of N872,780,552.84 from 7th October 2011 when the 1st defendant denied the claimant access to the funds in its account which was in credit at that date till judgment.

 

“Interest on the judgment sum at the rate of 10% per annum from judgment date till final liquidation thereof.

 

“Costs of this action in the sum of N2.5million.”

 

Of a truth, Zenith Bank has had a record of open and transparent operations, this earned the organization four SERAS CSR Africa Awards that include “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”, and the coveted “Most Responsible Organisation in Africa”.

 

In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2021, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and 2021, Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, and Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 and 2021 by the Ethical Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking by The Banker Magazine and the Retail Bank of the year at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards 2020 and 2021.

 

Zenith Bank has continued to distinguish itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service offerings, unique customer experience and sound financial indices. The bank remains a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions.

 

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