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The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday received the 2023 budget proposal of N1,692,671tn from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stressing that the Bill should address three areas for the benefit of the residents of the State.

 

The budget is with a capital to recurrent ratio of 55:45 percent.

 

Dr. Obasa, who noted some of the challenges currently facing Nigeria and its citizens, told Governor Sanwo-Olu: “The Year 2023 budget of Lagos should have more human face, be targeted at reducing poverty and improving the welfare of the residents of the State as part of the THEMES agenda that guides this administration.”

 

The Speaker said that though the Lagos Government had achieved a lot in its effort to improve the development of the State, it should constantly be conscious that the residents yearn for more dividends of democracy.

 

Obasa stressed the need for the Federal Government to approve the allocation of one percent special status for Lagos considering its population and the constant influx of people to the State.

 

Noting that this was the last budget to be presented by the current administration before the 2023 election, Obasa promised that the House would carry out its constitutional duty of scrutinising the proposal for the benefit of the residents of State.

 

“There is, therefore, no doubt that in the remaining months leading to the end of this administration, so much more needs to be done; so much is still needed from us as the good people of Lagos yearn for more dividends of democracy, especially at this critical time,” he said while promising that the House would continue to support the Executive arm of Government to achieve a better, safer society.

 

The Speaker also urged Nigerians to vote for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress both at the State and the national levels as he described the Presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as one who has the capacity to make Nigeria great again.

 

Read Speaker Obasa’s full remarks below:

 

REMARKS BY RT HON. (DR) MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA, SPEAKER, LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE Y2023 BUDGET, THEMED: BUDGET OF CONTINUITY, BY MR BABAJIDE OLUSOLA SANWO-OLU, GOVERNOR, LAGOS STATE, AT THE ASSEMBLY’S HALLOWED CHAMBER ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2022.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

1. It is with great joy that I heartily welcome you, on behalf of my colleagues and dedicated staff, to the hallowed chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly, a legislative arm of government that prides itself as ‘above the common standard of excellence’.

 

2. Today’s formal presentation of the Year 2023 budget by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the very hardworking Governor of Lagos State, signposts another positive chapter in the beautiful history of our State, her progress and development. For this and every other privilege we have had, it will only be wise to give all praise and adoration to the Almighty Allah, the giver and taker of life, the One who reverses the irreversible.

 

3. Around this time last year, Mr. Governor was here to present the Year 2022 budget themed: BUDGET OF CONSOLIDATION with detailed plans for the current year which is about to end. As we gather here, we have all witnessed the outstanding performance of the budget as regards infrastructural renewal and wealth creation. We can testify that Lagos is truly working.

 

4. Today, we have come together again to fulfill the requirement stipulated in Section 121 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which intendment is to deepen democracy, strengthen democratic institutions and create a society that is not only habitable, but which provides a pride of place for its residents.

 

5. Dear Lagosians, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, our Governor, has given us details of how the Government of Lagos intends to utilize the State’s wealth to further boost the development of the State. It is noteworthy that the Year 2023 ‘BUDGET OF CONTINUITY with a size of N1,692.671bn is the last to be presented by this administration as we move towards electioneering and the ushering into existence of a new dispensation next year by the special grace of God.

 

6. There is, therefore, no doubt that in the remaining months leading to the end of this administration, so much more needs to be done; so much is still needed from us as the good people of Lagos yearn for more dividends of democracy, especially at this critical time.

 

7. Mr. Governor, permit me to applaud your astuteness, courage, forthrightness and determined spirit for service. The result of true governance geared towards the smart city dream for Lagos reflects in many parts of State. Impressively, Lagos State has continued to thrive with the Government focusing on needed infrastructure including schools, bridges and hospitals. The Imota Rice Mill as well as the Lagos Film City projects are sure to stand our State out in the near future.

 

8. At our own end, we have passed a number of bills and resolutions that have greatly promoted economic and social development of the state. Our legislative activities have continued to standardise governance and legal procedures, protect peoples’ rights and encourage enterprise and investments in the state, since the last budget presentation by the Governor.

 

9. Ladies and gentlemen, Lagos, being the Centre of Excellence, is home to millions of Nigerian citizens. Each day, the State experiences an influx of people who come with the hope of having the opportunity to eke out a living. The State has sustained this attraction because it continues to enjoy good leadership. Lagos accounts for about 20% of the national Gross Domestic Product and about 10% of the nation’s population.

 

10. This is not, however, to gloss over the impact of such massive movement of people to Lagos State. The result is evident in the State’s infrastructures that are consistently overstretched, thus requiring constant attention. This is the reason why we continue to agitate for allocation of one percent special status for Lagos State.

 

11. Distinguished guests, exercises of this nature have raised our consciousness about economic situations and reactions to events and activities both nationally and globally. All the economic indices at home and abroad indicate that all is not well. These unfavourable variables are due to both human actions and natural occurrences.

 

12. The world still battles the aftermath of COVID-19 which ravaged the globe without the exception of Nigeria, particularly Lagos, our State. Its effect are still very glaring.

 

13. Furthermore, the life threatening effects of climate change have become apparent in the rate of flooding experienced across parts of the world leading to the destruction of farmlands and agricultural produce thus causing food shortages and hunger. Nigeria is also currently having its unpalatable share.

 

14. The effect of the unnecessary war between Russia and Ukraine that has resulted in astronomical surge in the price of energy across Europe and affecting standard of living and employment has also crept into the Nigerian economy. Over here, the impact is seen in the reduced direct remittances from diaspora and in direct foreign investments.

 

15. Beyond these global challenges, telltale signs of local issues including insecurity in many parts of the country and unemployment are noticeable in Nigeria’s rising inflation rate which has, in turn, caused skyrocketing prices of food and other commodities. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released recently by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that inflation rose by 20.8% in September, this year. While this most recent figure is up from 20.52% recorded in August, the result is that it further digs into the pockets of the citizens. This affects their purchasing power.

 

16. While it is the constitutional responsibility of this House of Assembly to do the needful by meticulously working on the budget as presented by Mr. Governor, I want to assure Lagosians that members of this Honourable House will give a thought to the challenges so far highlighted as well as other considerations in the process of shapening the proposal to meet the aspirations of the people.

 

17. The Year 2023 budget of Lagos should have more human face, be targeted at reducing poverty and improving the welfare of the residents of the State as part of the THEMES agenda that guides this administration.

 

18. We will also, as usual, continue to give the needed support to you, our dear Governor, as we all match ahead to solidify the achievements gained since 2019 when you took the reins of government.

 

19. As I begin to round off my remarks, I want to urge you, dear Lagosians, to keep in mind the need to elect only candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Assembly, Governorship, House of Representatives, Senatorial and Presidential elections. No doubt, Lagos is a ‘Star State’ because it has enjoyed consistency in governance beginning from the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our National Leader and by the grace of Almighty Allah, President of the country by 2023.

 

20. I also want to appeal to members of our great party in Lagos, Nigeria and in the diaspora to keep the tempo high by engaging Nigerians with Asiwaju Tinubu’s plan for a better country. Nigeria will be great again. And our collective hope should be on the APC presidential candidate, who understands what Nigeria needs at this time.

 

21. To all our party leaders, particularly the GAC members, we must continue in our determination and focus to keep Lagos strong and healthy enough for us. I am confident that we will continue to win in every situation and in the coming election.

 

22. We all know that our National Leader is an easy sell as his footprints of achievements remain indelible in Lagos. Today, our State enjoys an Internally Generated Revenue of N51 billion from the paltry N600 million it earned in 1999. This was the result of the? various economic policies initiated by Asiwaju Tinubu while he was Governor. That aside, his education and health policies were the best of the period and are still being referenced till date.

 

23. Once again, I thank you all for coming and wish us a fruitful Year 2023.

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“I Killed Him And Used His Blood To Make Money Rituals (Oshole) for Yahoo Boys” – 22-year Old Ritual Killer Confesses

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A 22 year old suspected ritual killer, Idowu Talabi from Ikenne-Remo has been arrested by the Ogun State police command for killing a tenant, Tobi Yisua, who lives in his maternal grandfather’s house.

 

During interrogation by a reporter of Alaroye, a dedicated Yoruba news platform, Idowu Talabi confessed to committing the crime.

 

He said, “he (Tobi Yisua) is a lotto operator (Baba Ijebu). Whenever he keeps money at home and they steal the money, he will accuse me of stealing his money.

 

One day, he was sleeping on the bed in his room, he did not lock the door, he only locked the net outside. When I wanted to enter, I used knife to cut the net and I unlocked it.

 

When I entered his room, I saw him sleeping naked on the bed lying face down and I landed the cutlass I was holding at the back this neck. When I saw that he was trying make noise, I used pillow to cover his mouth and used the cutlass on him again.

 

After killing him, I took part of his blood and mixed it to prepare “Osole”, money ritual charm. I made the charm to sell it to customers who will be interested in it, I did not do it for myself.”

 

Asked how he knew how to make the charm? He said he saw it in his father’s account.

 

On how he was exposed? he said, “the second day, when the wife of the deceased came from church, she found the dead body of her husband on the bed. She then came to me in the backyard, locked my shirt and accused me of killing her husband. When I got to the police station, I confessed to the police that I was the one that killed her husband.”

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BUA Group Threatens To Sue GREENVILLE LNG Gas Company – For Breach Of Multimillion Dollar Contract

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Two years after it was slammed with a $9m claim for breaching contract by a US Court, Greenville LNG company is on the brink of another lawsuit in its supply dealings with Nigerian-based manufacturing giant, BUA Group.

 

Owned by Eddy Van Den Broeke , a Belgian cement magnate, *Greenville* is the pioneer Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production and distribution company in Nigeria with three liquefaction trains and a total capacity to produce 2250 MT of LNG per day.

 

The company, which was incorporated in 2013, prides itself for producing and marketing Liquefied Natural Gas to customers across Nigeria since April 2019.

 

It should be noted that the company is a Nigerian subsidiary of the International Engineering & Construction (IEC), a Luxembourg-based construction company.

 

However, in 2018, there were reports of how *Broeke* was struggling to get his LNG project off the ground in Nigeria and also facing a $9m claim from his subcontractor Baker Hughes.

 

How it started

 

In 2014, IEC through Greenville LNG entered into an agreement with Baker Hughes Energy Services LLC, formerly known as GE Oil & Gas (GEOG), for the purchase and installation of two small-scale liquified natural gas plants in Rumuji, Rivers State, Nigeria.

 

According to the documents obtained by POLITICS NIGERIA, GEOG agreed to supply IEC with two small-scale liquified natural gas production plants — the first by June 24, 2015, and the second by September 24, 2015— for use at the Rumuji Site.

 

In exchange, IEC agreed to pay GEOG $95 million. Both parties also agreed on a payment schedule, which would require IEC to pay various percentages of the $95 million at specific milestones.

 

It was stated that the agreement would be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of New York.

 

Unfortunately, GEOG failed to deliver the gas plants by their contractual delivery deadlines and this stalled installation, commissioning, and start-up of the Plants.

 

Arbitration

 

On July 31, 2018, IEC filed a Notice of Demand for and Commencement of Arbitration under the Contracts on behalf of itself and Greenville.

 

IEC initially sought approximately $75 million in damages but its demand increased to $700 million by the end of the arbitration.

 

The $700m claims included the liquidated damages for delayed delivery and damages associated with the delayed entry into operation of the gas plants.

 

But GEOG also filed counterclaims against IEC for breach of the contracts, asking for damages up to $40.1 million.

 

In 2020, the American Tribunal gave its verdict, ordering IEC and Greenville to pay GEOG over $9.5m for breaching contracts.

 

The Tribunal held that IEC had breached the Equipment Contract by failing to make two Milestone payments.

 

Dissatisfied with the judgement, On January 27, 2021, IEC filed a petition to vacate the Award in New York state court but the court rejected IEC’s arguments.

 

“In short, due to the strong deference owed to the decisions of arbitrators, the Court is compelled to reject IEC’s arguments and confirm the Award,” the court ruled.

 

*Poor Ethics/Underhand Business Practices*

 

It is believed that the posture of the company and record of breaching contract is owing to its owner’s secretive and shady business activities. Prior to setting up Greenville, Eddy Van Den Broeke ran ASCA bitumen from 1996 and grew the company into becoming a giant monopoly with over 90% of the Nigerian market by 2015.

 

Through this position, he was famed to hold everyone to ransom through alleged arbitrary price increases, artificial scarcity, amongst others. Eddy Broeke’s families were one of six of Belgium’s wealthiest families that featured on the Panama Papers, a cross-border investigation that revealed a list of thousands of people who channelled funds to tax havens.

 

“The family of *Eddy* *Van* *Den* *Broeke* , who turned the Eres company into an international player, is also mentioned. Eddy Van Den Broeke is identified as the sole beneficiary of at least five offshore companies in the BVI,” the ICIJ report read.

 

Eddy was named in the Panama Papers having had an extensive network of shell companies to hide his funds and avoid government oversight.

 

*Another multi-million dollar breach of contract suit looming*

 

Our investigations also revealed that recently, BUA, which is one of Greenville’s largest clients, is set to sue Greenville for 50 billion Naira for a possible breach in contract and reneging on its obligation to supply gas to its businesses in the far north.

 

According to sources, this dispute is as a result of Greenville LNG reneging on their contract with BUA to supply gas and also increasing prices arbitrarily despite the contractually agreed oil-indexed pricing for any changes in price.

 

Industry watchers1 have claimed that Greenville is trying to take advantage of its near monopoly in the domestic trucked LNG market hence their habit of entering into contracts and reneging on it after starting.

 

With Eddy and his companies’ history of reneging on contracts entered into with the Federal Government, partners, suppliers, communities and clients, it is unlikely that Greenville LNG or its billionaire owner *Eddy* and Managing Director , *Ritu* *Sahajwalla* would stop such behaviour anytime soon.

 

Experts familiar with BUA’s history of ensuring its rights are enforced, believe BUA will pursue this issue to a logical conclusion at the courts and till their rights are enforced.

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