L-R: British Deputy High Commissioner, Harratt Thompson; UK Minister of State for Africa, Foreign Commonwealth Office and Minister of State for Department of International Development, Rt. Hon. Harrieth Baldwin; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Jaji during a courtesy visit to the Deputy Governor at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday.

• As Sanwa-Olu declares free passage at Lekki, Ikoyi toll plazas
Owing to its socio-economic and political significance as the commercial nerve centre of the country and sixth largest economy in Africa, the Lagos State Government is to benefit from the United Kingdom thirty-eight million pounds (£38mn) extended programme on mobile for development in Nigeria.
This was disclosed Tuesday by the United Kingdom Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign Commonwealth Office who also doubles as Minister of State for Department for International Development, Harriett Baldwin during a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in his Alausa Office.
According to the Minister, the Mobile for development programme is to enable a lot of people access financial services through their mobile phones and buy things like solar system for their homes and businesses.
She added that owing to the significant impact of the programme on the people, the UK government is extending the programme to further affect positively the lives of other twenty-seven million people around world including many in Lagos noting that the programme was exactly designed to absolutely impact the grassroot.
In addition, she said, the programme would enable women in the market to use the financial services in investing in solar fridges, solar freezers and something that will really help them in their homes in areas where they dont have access to reliable electricity.
It will also help everyone with the ambition to ensure that they are able buy health insurance and mobile financial services is the future, emphasizing that Lagos is very often at the cutting edge of some of this investment in technology which is why the UK Government is basing our science and technology centre in Lagos.
Describing Lagos as amazing and vibrant city, Baldwin noted that the UK government is willing to learn from some of the state’s innovation and share some of theirs.
Responding, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat assured the United kingdom team that Lagos State Government is set to collaborate with their government in any area that will be of immense benefit to the good people of the state.
While emphasizing that the programme is an extension, Dr. Hamzat stated that the state government will embark on sensitizing her citizens to understand the benefits of the programme and take advantage of it.
He added: “With the population advantage of Lagos, any developmental programme embarked upon would be of great benefits to the residents by empowering them. This would also be of imminence benefits to every Nigerian and foreigners based in the state’’, said Hamzat who expressed gratitude to the visiting team.
In another development and in furtherance of the Lagos State Government’s real time traffic simulation survey being carried out with the aim of reducing traffic congestion around the Lekki-Epe and Ikoyi axis, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has again approved the opening of Lekki and Ikoyi toll gates during peak hours on Wednesday 17th July 2019.
A statement signed by the Governor’s Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile states that a toll-free passage at the toll plaza on Lekki-Epe Expressway and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge would run between 6:30 and 9:30 in the morning, and also at the peak period in the evening (4:30pm to 7.30pm).
The statement reads: “Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared toll free for all motorists going and coming out of Lekki axis during rush hours tomorrow, Wednesday 17th of July 2019 to allow the State’s consultants complete the traffic simulation survey that was started a couple of weeks ago.
The toll free hours, Sanwo-Olu stated, is to allow traffic consultants to the government carry out a comprehensive study of traffic flow around Lekki-Ikoyi-Victoria Island axes, which is part of the initiatives the government is bringing to diffuse vehicular gridlock in major Business Districts in the State.
According to the Governor, the cost of the toll fees for the study period will be borne by the government.
Recall that Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State was undertaking a traffic study with a group of experts to know where the traffic would go when the tollgates are left open for steady movement.
“It is only when we do this activity at the peak hour that we will be able to understand how to deal with congestion in these places,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor said the undertaking was necessary for the government to take actions that would lead to reduction of traffic on the axes by 50 per cent. The resultant effect, he said, would lead to decrease in travel time and improved productivity.
“We are restating our commitment to bringing about a quick journey time through our traffic solution. The way we want to do it is to have an online real-time study of what the issues are. We are going to analyse the dimension of observed challenges and discuss next steps of solution we are bringing,” the Governor said.

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