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Lagos begins use-the-toilet campaign, promises more mobile lavatories

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By Dada Jackson

The Lagos State Government has commenced the ‘Use the toilet’ campaign, an initiative to curb open defecation, stating that over 600 private and public toilet operators have been registered in addition to construction of over new 140 public toilets.

In addition to already constructed public toilet facilities, the state government will be placing mobile toilets in strategic locations across the state.

It also intends to upgrade already existing toilet facilities to encourage patronage  and partnership with donors, individuals and corporate organisations in the management and maintenance of these facilities.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, said these, maintaining that the celebration brought to the front burner issues such as water, sanitation and hygiene.

Bello, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Service, Mrs Aderonke Odeneye, said the theme for the year 2020 World Toilet Day, “Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change”, was apt and served as a reminder of the importance of sustainable sanitation process, alongside clean water and hand washing facilities.

He explained that it would also help protect and maintain health security and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and the most recently COVID-19  ravaging the entire world and threatening human existence.

The commissioner said the flag-off of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign” was in furtherance of efforts to ensure that all public places such as schools, hotels, fuel stations, places of worship, market places, hospitals and offices have accessible toilets within their premises for public use.

He stressed that the attitude of the citizenry in the usage and maintenance of the facilities had been very poor.

Bello also emphasised that the state government had constituted a special task force tagged Anti-open Defecation Gang on Open Urination and Defecation across the state to arrest and arraign defaulters before a magistrates’ court for prosecution.

He enjoined Lagosians to join the state crusade of attaining a cleaner, healthier, functional and sustainable environment, capable of promoting economic growth and well-being of the entire citizenry.

The Country Manager, Reckitt Benckiser, Asif Hashimi, said the company was elated to partner with the Lagos State Government to change the face of toilet in Nigeria.

He said the stigma of the rating of Nigeria as the first on the list of open defection could be fought in unison for a better and healthier environment, calling on the general public, public toilet operators, individuals and corporate organisations to come on board to embark on aggressive sensitization campaign.

The representative of the Commissioner and special guests later officially handed over the rehabilitated toilets located in Onigbongbo Park.

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Land use act should be amended not abrogated – Erhabor

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By Dada Jackson

 

The unending controversy surrounding the Land Use Act seems to be escalating by the day considering the furore it is generating in the polity.

Over the years,there has been a clamour for the document to be either amended or completely discarded.

But the argument continues on what to do with the document.

Some professionals and stakeholders in the construction industry have also been expressing divergent views on areas of the document that has to do with the powers of Governors in granting Certificate of Occupancy(CofO) to prospective land seekers.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent, a chartered land surveyor, Mr. Gowin Erhabor, said that the act which was a creation of former military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1978 was to transfer the ownership of land to the government.

According to him,the idea which was lofty, had since been abused by some state Governors to the detriment of some people.

He said he does not subscribe to the outright abrogation of the Act but submitted,that it should be amended especially the section that confers absolute power on state Governors to grant approvals for CofO.

The land surveyor pointed out,that over the years,some Governors have used that power to muscle perceived political opponent’s thereby frustrating their efforts at acquiring and.

He said ” For instance if a Governor does not like the face of someone he sees as his political for,he would do everything at his disposal to deny such an individual yge opportunity of getting a land. This power conferred on Governors in the document us too enormous to allow it continue.I detest thus section of the Act,hence it should be jettisoned without much ado”.

Erhabor however commended the National Assembly for initiating the move to amend the Act,urging them to expedite action on its passage.

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CBN restricts sugar importation to Dangote, Flour Mills, BUA

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has designated Dangote Sugar Refinery, Bua Sugar Refinery and Golden Sugar Company as the sole importers of sugar.

In a circular published on its website, the CBN said the three companies would have access to official foreign exchange, but with the bank’s express approval.

“Authorised dealers shall not open Forms M or access foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market for any company or the three listed above for the importation of sugar without prior and express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” the bank said.

The 16 July statement was signed by Dr. S.O. Nnaji, director trade and exchange department.

In April, the CBN had said it would no longer provide foreign currency for importers of sugar and wheat as the country tries to conserve dollar reserves and encourage local production.

The central bank justified its volte-face decision by saying the three firms, while still falling short of meeting demand, had made “reasonable progress” in producing refined sugar locally.

In 2015, the bank restricted access to foreign exchange for 41 banned items.

It has gradually added to the list since then.

The CBN Circular:

Sugar-Importation

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PHOTOS: Gridlock over tanker accident on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

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