The Lagos State Government has commenced implementation of the Executive Order ratified by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on December 16, 2016 which established the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
The Executive Order highlights the importance and priority which the State Government placed towards protecting the lives of children and it applies to all State Government organisations, all schools, child centred institutions, orphanages and child related institutions located in the State, both public and private.
Speaking during the annual general meeting and intervention programme put together by the Office of Education Quality Assurance which was attended by over 1,000 participants, Coordinator of Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), an agency under the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi said the State Government was determined to implement the Executive Order to ensure the protection of children.
She said the need for the landmark engagement was crucial considering the fact that schools have resumed and there was need for key stakeholders such as principals, school administrators, Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), public and private school guidance counsellors, evaluators and others, to become conversant with and abreast of the provisions of the policy.
According to Vivour-Adeniyi, “The Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy must be used wherever services are provided for children and care givers are mandated to adopt a Child Protection policy in their respective institutions, nuanced to suit their respective peculiarities.
“The major aim of the policy is to provide clear direction for reporting disclosures of abuse and commitment to the development of good practice and sound procedures to keep children safe.
“The policy also ensures that child protection concerns are identified, referrals are handled sensitively, professionally and in ways that support the needs of the child’s wellbeing.”
The DSVRT Coordinator also used the medium to sound a very clear warning to all Child centred institutions both public and private, that the State Government would no longer tolerate negligence in ensuring the safety of children under their supervision and failure to adopt and implement the policy would amount to both civil and criminal actions.
Besides, copies of the policy in the form of booklets were distributed to all participants, while they participants were also informed of their mandatory duty to report actual or suspected child abuse cases, and consequences for failure to report.
The first Rasheed Gbadamosi Eko Art Expo which opens on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island is gathering momentum as gallery owners, artists and art students all over Lagos submit artworks and warm up for the three-day exhibition being organized by Lagos State government in collaboration with some galleries and art foundations in the State.
In a press release signed on Friday by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, about 400 artworks and photographs will be on display at the exhibition which will be declared opened by the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, together with the Chairman of the Lagos @ 50 Planning Committee, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The statement said the exhibition will be curated by respected lawyer, art collector and owner of Mydrim gallery, Mrs. Sinmidele Adesanya, while the Director of African Artists Foundation, Mr. Azu Nwagbogu, will curate the photographic component of the expo.
According to Ayorinde, the exhibition will be curated along three segments: the photographic part, which is a recreation of the works of several Nigerian artists that were exhibited at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium (Bozar) where Governor Ambode was a special guest in 2016. One hundred photographic artworks from that Bozar exhibition showing different aspects of Lagos under the theme “Dey Your Lane” will be on display at the Eko Art Expo in Lagos.
The expo is also composed of two more segments where paintings, sculptures and installations by students selected from various higher institutions in Lagos State; galleries, well known masters as well as less familiar emerging artists will be on display for three days.
‘The expo’, according to the Commissioner, “is a demonstration of Governor Ambode’s great vision for the arts and creative workers in Lagos State and his plan to always avail them of space for expression and institutional support from government and Corporate Lagos.”
Ayorinde said the expo is also being organized for two other reasons: to honour the late Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, who was a playwright and one of the notable art collectors in the country who also served as the co-chairman of the Lagos @ 50 Planning Committee before his death in November 2016.
The Expo, he added, would also add to the build-up for Lagos @ 50 celebrations which started in May 2016 as a one-year long anniversary that will culminate in a grand multiple days ceremony in May this year.
“We are happy to learn that the art community in Lagos State has warmed up to the forthcoming expo. It is gladdening to note that hundreds of works have been screened from students and individual artists and the very best selected for the exhibition.
“This shows that visual artists, gallery owners and arts collectors in Lagos State, like their counter-parts in music and motion picture industry, have also keyed into Governor Ambode’s vision to use art, culture, entertainment and hospitality to promote Lagos State as the hub of creative arts and tourism in Africa.”
The commissioner added that next Friday’s opening ceremony of the exhibition will also witness a dance production by QDance Centre titled “Iwa Lewa” as well as oral poetry performances.
…Seeks Willful Compliance With Traffic, Environmental Laws The Lagos State Government on Friday carried out comprehensive enforcement of Traffic and Environmental Laws across the State, just as it urged motorists and residents to adopt willful compliance with the relevant laws to ensure free flow of traffic, civility and public order.
The enforcement, which was jointly carried out by men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, witnessed the arrest of hundreds of commercial motorcyclists plying one way and restricted routes in Agege, Iju Road, Abule-Egba and Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, among others.
Traders displaying their wares on walkway thereby forcing pedestrians to walk on the road were also arrested, with their goods removed and impounded.
Speaking to newsmen during the exercise, General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olawale Musa said in as much as government was willing to enforce the law with civility, it would however not allow anyone to break the law and cause trouble for other residents and commuters.
Musa, who recently assumed office as the GM of LASTMA, said men of the Authority have been adequately directed to perform their duties with utmost civility and discipline, but urged members of the public to reciprocate by complying with the relevant traffic laws.
He said the enforcement was largely aimed at sending a strong signal to the public that men of LASTMA were still very much on ground to ensure free flow of traffic in every part of the State and deal appropriately with any hitches.
“This enforcement today is just to send a strong signal that we are on ground and that anybody that breaks the rules or does not conform with the law, we will do the needful but we hope we don’t go to the extent of impounding vehicles, arresting people and trying people. That is why we are appealing to members of the public to always comply with the law. It is not in our desire to make people suffer and once you comply, we don’t have any reason to do that.
“In my few days in office as the new LASTMA GM, I have noticed that the problem we have are the issues of indiscipline and impatience. Most of our people are impatient and don’t like to obey traffic rules and they like to stop wherever they like especially the commercial bus drivers.
“But as much as possible, we implore them to always cooperate with our men because it is when we all do that that we can have free flow of traffic. Sometimes, we might have few hitches but our men will always be on ground to control the traffic,” Musa said.
Speaking on his vision for the Authority, the GM said it is a new dawn for traffic management in the State, adding that government, through the agency, would go all out to ensure that commuters have seamless experience travelling across the State.
“Let me assure the public that we are going to have a new, very responsible and very disciplined LASTMA. As much as possible, we are going to ensure civility. We will not tolerate LASTMA officials that are rude; we will not tolerate LASTMA officials that act with imprudence and we also would not tolerate people that will not obey the rules, but as much as possible, our officers will maintain discipline and civility. That I can assure the public.
“Our residents should ensure they obey traffic rules. We do not want to arrest anybody; we don’t take joy in impounding any vehicle but if we are forced to, we might have to. We have told our men not to tow vehicles indiscriminately. If vehicles develop fault on the road, as much as possible, we will help you to remove the vehicle from the road but when you disobey traffic rules, we will do the needful so that traffic will flow,” Musa said.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday said that his administration would consolidate on its infrastructural renewal drive with the construction of 181 local government roads in the current fiscal year, saying the process for the award of the contract would commence next week.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the first Quarterly Town Hall Meeting for 2017, the sixth in the series, held at the Ajelogo Housing Scheme, Ajelogo Market Road, Akanimodo, Mile 12, said the 181 roads, is an improvement on the 114 roads, two in each local government, which his administration promised to embark upon every year.
Acknowledging that most of the requests made by residents during the interactive session at the Town Hall Meeting were majorly on roads owing to the success of the 114 roads delivered in September 2016, the Governor said his administration thought it wise to ensure that the roads captured for 2017 are key roads that would have economic impact on the people living in that axis, hence the increase to 181 roads.
“I want to pronounce here that you should watch out next week in the newspapers, we are advertising 181 roads which would be done in all our local governments.
“What we have found out is that if we decided to continue with two, some of those roads are not linking each other to the main road, so most likely you would see that if we are supposed to do some road in some local governments, it would only make economic sense if there is a linkage. So you would see in the advert that some local governments would have like three, some would have four roads, but the average is that 181 if you divide it by 57 that would be a minimum of three roads from each local governments,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor said that the choice of the roads to be constructed had been made by the local governments in conjunction with the engineers, assuring that before the end of the year when the road would be delivered, the people would be better for it.
Giving his account of stewardship in the last quarter, Governor Ambode said the choice of Akanimodo, Mile 12 as venue for the meeting was to show that the axis has not been left behind in the developmental progress ongoing in the State, saying he had come to listen to the needs of the people and where government intervention was in dire need.
He said in the last quarter, his administration kicked off its “Rent-To-Own and Rental Housing Policy” aimed at providing affordable units across the three Senatorial Districts, disclosing that there are 4,355 housing units available with over 500 applicants prequalified so far, while allocation would commence next week.
On the agricultural sector, the Governor said his administration was already looking to build on the first fruits of its partnership with Kebbi State Government with the launch of LAKE RICE in December 2016, adding that in the current quarter the government would embark on the rehabilitation of the Oko-Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex, Agege in line with the promise to increase meat production output, develop the red meat value chain and restructure the complex for improved operations.
Governor Ambode also said that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps would become operational in the current quarter with the recruitment of 5700 personnel, while 100 would be deployed to each of the local government to complement the efforts of other security agencies in policing the State.
Expressing optimism that 2017 holds great expectations for Lagos, especially as the State gets set to mark its landmark Golden Jubilee on May 27, his administration would continue with its urban regeneration initiatives, building new infrastructure and maintaining existing ones.
He listed some of the key projects to be done to include Agric-Isawo-Arepo Road in Ikorodu, Ajelogo–Akanimodo Road Rehabilitation, Oshodi to Murtala Mohammed Airport Road, Ketu-Alapere Inner Roads Phase II, Oke Oso–Araga–Poka in Epe, Topo Garage to VIP Chalet in Badagry, Ladipo Market Road and Multilayer Car Park , Mushin and establishment of Bus Terminals and depots in Yaba, Ikeja, Oyingbo, Anthony, Ketu and Toll Gate, while more beneficiaries will receive funding from the N25bn Employment Trust Fund in January.
Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, in his remarks urged the Governor to give priority to the construction of Adeniji-Adele Road and ensure the construction of other roads that deserve utmost attention in the area.
He also urged the Governor to improve the standard of markets in the area to enviable standards, while urging total reconstruction of non-approved and unauthorised buildings already built within major markets in Lagos Island.
Akiolu further urged Lagosians to continue to cooperate and support the present administration as well as desist from any form of clandestine meetings that may undermine the progress of Governor Ambode’s administration.
Responding to questions that bordered on security, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni said with the continued support of the State Government, the Command increased the number of personnel in Ketu-Epe Police Post from two to seventy to effectively combat kidnapping and other crimes in Agbowa, Itoikin and environs, as well as transformed the hitherto abandoned Iyun Police Post to anti-kidnapping unit, while two gun boats were moved to Ejirin.
Owoseni, however, urged traditional rulers and community elders to caution their subjects especially the youths on the need to be law abiding, shun all forms of criminal activities, and only be engaged in lawful means of livelihood.