It’s Time For Women To Rise Above ‘Weaker Sex’ Tag

It’s Time For Women To Rise Above ‘Weaker Sex’ Tag

...Says Women Key To Nigeria’s Transformation

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday urged women to rise above all forms of discriminations and ‘weaker sex’ tag and truly play their role as change agents, saying such was necessary to transform Nigeria starting from the family unit. 

 

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2018 National Women’s Summit of Oyo State Officials’ Wives Association (OYSOWA) held at University of Ibadan Conference Centre, Governor Ambode said it was important for the Nigerian women to recognize the fact that the world was changing, and that they must use their influence to bring about positive change that would in turn cascade into every strata of the society.  

 

According to the Governor, “The world is changing everyday and women are now in the forefront of things. Women are now agents of change and are no longer referred to as the “weaker sex”.

 

“So, they must never see themselves as oppressed or discriminated against. Every woman can be an agent of change. The society is built on a small unit called the family where the woman has great influence.

 

“From the family unit, every woman can initiate or spark change which can cascade upwards to every level and every sector of the nation. With focus, determination and perseverance, you can transform yourselves, your families, your communities and our country, against all odds,” he said.

 

Governor Ambode, who described the theme of the summit – ‘Against All Odds’, as apt, said it was important for women to appreciate the fact that it is possible for one to attain any goal despite challenges.

 

“There will always be odds facing us; odds against our aspirations, our dreams, our objectives. But we cannot use these as excuses. The world we live in today does not take excuses. The world does not recognize efforts but results. So, against all odds, we must push forward, with a strong desire, and determination to succeed.

 

“I know our women face a lot of odds. Different, difficult challenges come your way every day. But my message to you today; and I am sure that is the message of this Summit, is that you can overcome all the challenges and triumph in all your endeavours,” Governor Ambode said.

 

He particularly urged participants at the summit to take practical steps to apply the lessons learnt from the very enlightening, engaging and inspiring sessions, saying the success of the conference largely depended on their individual abilities to translate the values gained positively, starting from their respective homes and families, to the larger society.

 

“At this critical period of our nationhood, your ability to adapt yourself to the current challenges will inevitably transform our society,” he added.

 

Besides, Governor Ambode commended the convener of the summit and wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, saying it was on record that many lives have been positively transformed in all communities in the State through the OYSOWA initiative.

In his remarks earlier, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi commended Governor Ambode for bringing pivotal professional into governance, saying being a professional all his life, the Governor of Lagos had exemplified such in his dealings.

He also commended women in the State for standing by their husbands against all odds.

Yuletide: You Must Outsmart Criminal Elements, Ambode Tells Security Agencies

Yuletide: You Must Outsmart Criminal Elements, Ambode Tells Security Agencies

…To Set Up Special Task Force To Tackle Street Begging

…Police Foil 233 Robbery Incidents, Recover 701 Ammunitions In One Year, Says CP  

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday urged security agencies to take practical steps to be ahead of criminal elements and as well build on the successes recorded so far in making the State the safest in Africa.  

 

Speaking at the 12th Town Hall Meeting on Security organised by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Governor Ambode said though the security agencies deserved commendations for their efforts in securing the State, but that more strategies and policies have to be adopted to outsmart hoodlums especially during the yuletide season as well as the electioneering period now that the country is approaching the general elections in 2019.

 

He said in the last few years, a lot of investment had been made in securing the State which had paid off, but that more investments needed to be made to further enhance the security architecture of the State.

 

According to him, “Has our investment paid off, I would say yes it has. Have we really invested enough in terms of security, the answer is no and the truth is it can never be enough and so it is not a matter of we are getting there but it is an everyday thing.

 

“As long as we want to go out in the night, as long as we want to enjoy Christmas and have night out, these other good guys (men of the underworld) are thinking about us and so we have to be two steps ahead of them all the time in terms of strategy and reforms we need to make.

 

“So, obviously we need to think about how to outsmart them and believe me this is their season and so we need to smart up and be vigilant and that is the message because they are not going to relent and again, election is coming and they can be easy tools; so we need to outsmart them,” Governor Ambode said.

 

He said it was gratifying that the huge investment in security had positively reflected in the State, but that more investment would have to be made especially in the area of technology, just as he assured that his administration would continue to do that, while also expressing optimism in the ability of the Governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to sustain the policy.  

 

“Our return on investment has been very good to the point that Lagos is right now the safest city in Africa, and then the collaboration of the LSSTF with the private sector has been wonderful but again we need to increase investment in technology and also communication kits.

 

“I reiterate that we will continue to support security agencies and I also believe strongly this is one of the programmes that I met and I believe strongly that Mr Sanwo-Olu will continue in this same direction,” Governor Ambode said.

 

Responding to issues raised by participants at the meeting especially on the increase in number of beggars on the road with attendant security risk, the Governor said government was already perfecting plans to set up a Special Task Force consisting of plain cloth personnel to prevent security breach.    

 

“Lagos is a victim of its own success. Many people are coming to Lagos in droves and this is November/December meaning that more people are coming into Lagos but we are having the same capacity that was used to manage twelve million people and now using same to manage twenty-three million people and so, obviously do we stop being successful, the answer is no but we need to now stretch ourselves to be able to manage our success and also create more facilities to be able to do that.

 

“What we are trying to do is to set up a Task Force for this December/January and the campaign period to see how we can use plain cloth people to mix with police officers and the LASTMA (Lagos State Traffic Management Authority) officials without people realizing that they are there to mitigate some of these things,” he said.

 

He added that the government would also explore collaboration between the police and the judiciary to expeditiously deal with the menace posed by area boys and hoodlums, saying such was necessary in the larger interest of the State, while also directing the Neighbourhood Safety Corps to extend their activities deep into the communities across the State to deepen security.

 

While appreciating donors who have contributed to the security architecture of the State, the Governor said it was important for more emphasis to be placed on enforcement, adding that the people must also endeavor to give out information to security agencies promptly.  

 

“I want to say a big thank you to all those who have made Lagos very peaceful. The most important part of this assignment is to make sure that Lagos continues to be safe. Making Lagos safe technically means we are growing the GDP of Lagos because once the city is safe, we can increase production, more people would pay their taxes and then we can use the money to improve on infrastructure; and then the city grows and people live a more comfortable life  

 

“We must continue to lay emphasis on enforcement and we continue to make sure that the things that we are doing are correct. I can promise the people that with everything that we have, we would make sure that we have a very good end of the year and ensure that Lagos remains very peaceful.

 

“Security is a collective responsibility and we must all contribute for the safety and security of lives and property. Everybody must be vigilant and report strange things around us promptly. That is the only way we can continue to secure the State,” the Governor said, just as he advocated reform in the funding model for security to bring about sustainable framework.

 

In his presentation, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal commended Governor Ambode for his massive investment and commitment to security of lives and property, saying the achievements recorded by the Command were largely due to the support of the State Government.

 

He said in tackling the security threats from the creeks, it was instructive to note that the Governor recently approved the procurement of six additional gunboats to effectively police the waterways, among other interventions by the State Government.

 

On crime statistics in the State from November 2017 to September 2018, the CP said 233 robbery incidents were foiled by the police in the last one year, while 701 arms and ammunitions were recovered, with nine kidnappers and 669 cultists arrested in various parts of the State.

 

He said 290 armed robbers were arrested with 15 dead during encounter with the police, while a total of 186 murder cases and 43 suicide/attempted suicide cases were recorded.

 

However, the CP said one police officer was lost during the period under review.   

 

Pictures: Gov Ambode Attends Swearing-In Of Gboyega Oyetola As New Governor Of Osun State In Osogbo

Pictures: Gov Ambode Attends Swearing-In Of Gboyega Oyetola As New Governor Of Osun State In Osogbo

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (right) and Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (left) and his wife, Florence during the swearing-in ceremony of Mr Gboyega Oyetola as new Governor of Osun State in Osogbo, on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (right) and Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (left) and his wife, Florence during the swearing-in ceremony of Mr Gboyega Oyetola as new Governor of Osun State in Osogbo, on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.

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Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu; his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; immediate past Deputy Governor of Osun State, Chief (Mrs) Titi Laoye-Tomori; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; his Kano State counterpart, Governor Abdullai Ganduje of Kano State and National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during the swearing-in ceremony of Mr Gboyega Oyetola as new Governor of Osun State in Osogbo, on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu; his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; immediate past Deputy Governor of Osun State, Chief (Mrs) Titi Laoye-Tomori; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; his Kano State counterpart, Governor Abdullai Ganduje of Kano State and National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during the swearing-in ceremony of Mr Gboyega Oyetola as new Governor of Osun State in Osogbo, on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
Keynote Address By The His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, At The Cheque Presentation Ceremony To Beneficiaries Of The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

Keynote Address By The His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, At The Cheque Presentation Ceremony To Beneficiaries Of The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

I am delighted to be here today to see the manifestation of a small dream we had at the inception of this government and the little seed we have sown in the lives and businesses of Lagosians.

 

The Employment Trust Fund was a promise we made to Lagosians in 2015 and today, I am happy to see the faces of the people whose lives and aspirations have been positively impacted by this programme. I have seen videos and heard stories of the wonderful things our beneficiaries are doing all over Lagos and these, for me, are the true outcomes of governance.

 

Through the State Employment Trust Fund, we had a vision to grow the Lagos economy by supporting entrepreneurship, which in turn will create jobs for our unemployed residents.

 

With this batch of beneficiaries, the LSETF has now disbursed over N7 billion in loans to over 10,000 beneficiaries. In line with our promise of inclusive governance, almost half of these loans were given to women; while the beneficiaries range from the youth to our senior citizens in active business. In addition, the Fund has ensured that all 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Community Development Areas (LCDAs) have felt its impact.

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A very big validation of this programme we have embarked upon comes from the over 25,000 new direct jobs created directly by these businesses in our State. This does not include the multiplier effect of those businesses on the Lagos economy and the indirect jobs created.

 

Apart from the jobs being created, I am especially pleased to see testimonials from some of our beneficiaries. I watched the video of Ibrahim Shuaib; a final year student of Dentistry at the Lagos State University Medical School. With a loan of N250,000, Ibrahim has not only grown his dry-cleaning business, employing over 20 people, but also started another business which his sister runs.

 

I also read about Femi Oyedipe, whose chocolate production business, Loshes Chocolate, can now produce ten times more than before, employing more Lagosians as staff. Apart from employing more people, Loshes Chocolate makes its products from cocoa beans sourced from Ondo State, creating value for farmers outside Lagos. This is a very good example of the inter-state economic partnership Nigeria needs to grow its economy.

 

Another LSETF programme that we are very proud of is the Lagos Employability Support Programme, under which we have trained 3,363 unemployed youth and over 1,100 of them are now either employed or running their own businesses.

 

I thank the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) for supporting this initiative. I am confident that their target to train 10,000 of our young people is achievable.

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You will all agree with me that the future is tech and our Employment Trust Fund is poised to make Lagos the leading destination for Africa’s most exciting talent and start-ups. Under the Lagos Innovates Programme, 75 start-ups have been awarded workspace vouchers which provides their businesses with access to excellent infrastructure and a community where they can incubate and pursue their dream of becoming Africa’s emerging unicorns; without bearing the associated cost. We have also awarded a loan to one of the leading hubs, to expand and incubate more technology start-ups in the Lagos environs.

 

Our commitment to women is evident in the number of women who are beneficiaries of the programmes of this Fund. Before today we had a total of 3,652 female loan beneficiaries to the 4,280 male loan beneficiaries. Under our Lagos Employability Support Programme, women represent 49% of the total number of young people that LSETF has trained while in our Lagos Innovates programme which supports a tech ecosystem dominated by men, 21% of the beneficiaries are women.

 

In spite of this, the Fund has assured me of their work to increase the level of female participation across all programmes, especially within Lagos Innovates.

To today’s beneficiaries, I congratulate you all and charge you to grow your businesses, create jobs for the unemployed, contribute to the growth of the Lagos GDP, and most importantly, repay your loans. As your Government, we can only provide the funds for programmes like this if you perform your civic duties, which is why I once again urge all of you to continue paying your taxes.

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It is from this commonwealth that we are able to deliver programmes like the LSETF; invest in security; build and maintain infrastructure; and provide for our individual and collective social needs.

 

Our expectation of today’s beneficiaries is to emulate the over 1,500 beneficiaries who have successfully repaid their loans. It is because of beneficiaries like them that we continue to revolve the capital being used for LSETF’s various programmes. It is our belief that many years from now, the foundation we have laid today will produce notable businesses that Lagos State can be proud of.

 

I commend the Chairman, Executive Secretary, Board and Staff of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund for translating our dream to reality and bringing it to Lagosians. I also thank the Honourable Commissioner, the Permanent Secretary and all staff of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment. The Employment Trust Fund thrives today because of their total commitment to the prospect of empowering Lagos residents with employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

 

Finally, I thank the Lagos State House of Assembly, especially the House Committee on Wealth Creation and Employment, who have been relentless in their support for this initiative.  Their oversight and ideas have greatly enhanced the outcomes we are seeing today.

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I look forward to hearing more success stories from beneficiaries of the programmes of our Employment Trust Fund. The Lagos State Government will continue to support this programme and we welcome more institutional partners and collaborators. We have only just laid the foundation; there is still a lot more to be done but I am confident that this story will only get better.

 

I thank you all.

Itesiwaju ipinle Eko l’o je wa logun!

Governor Ambode Receives Torch Of Unity For 2019 National Sports Festival

Governor Ambode Receives Torch Of Unity For 2019 National Sports Festival

 Says Sports Remains Veritable Tool For Nigeria’s Unity, Cohesion

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday received the Torch of Unity to herald the forthcoming 19th National Sports Festival coming up in Abuja next month, saying that sports remains a veritable tool to engender the unity and cohesion the nation actually needs.

Speaking at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja after receiving the torch, the Governor said he was glad that the Festival after the last edition hosted by Lagos in 2012 was staging a grand comeback, adding that the State would send a strong contingent of athletes and coaches to the Festival, assuring that representatives of the State would be given all the adequate welfare to excel at the games.

“It is my pleasure to receive the festival torch of unity and this signals the commencement of the 19th National Sports Festival that would take place in Abuja. Just like what we have been told, the last National Sports festival was held here in Lagos six years ago and being the last host, this is the last point of call before the torch goes back to Abuja.

“We have a very strong contingent that we are sending to the festival because we believe strongly that sports is a veritable tool that we can use to command the unity and the cohesion that this nation actually needs at this time.

“I believe strongly that we are not just supporting alone, we believe that all the laurels and winning positions would be taken by Lagos State. On behalf of all our sports men and women, I want to encourage them and assure that we would make their entire stay in Abuja comfortable,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode also seized the occasion to encourage politicians to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in the coming general elections, saying that beyond winning at the polls, the real essence of the exercise is to create a stronger bond and cohesion among Nigerians.

He said like sports where winners and losers would emerge after every competition, those vying for several positions in next year’s election should embrace such mindset.

According to him, “Just like any other competition, we are in a period of campaign and election that is coming, it is competitive, but this is unlike national sports were everybody comes with the spirit of unity and we believe strongly that our politicians should emulate our sports men and women, were we should be able to come with the spirit of sportsmanship, there would be winners and losers but in participating, we are creating that bond and cohesion amongst ourselves.”

Also speaking Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Kweku Tandor said Lagos State would be represented at the Festival by 442 male and female athletes, 81 coaches and 50 other officials including welfare and medicals.

He said the contingent from Lagos would be made up of athletes that have been training and taking part in State organised competitions over the years, adding that it would be profitable on the long run rather than looking for foreign based professionals.

“One of the things that we have refused to do in Lagos is to go all over the world and start looking for athletes to represent us because for us we see the festival not just as a competition, but we see it as a developmental tool and it’s for us, a measure of the work that we have been doing over the years in developing our athletes,” he said.

Earlier, South West Zonal Coordinator, National Sports Festival, Mr. Olufemi Ajao who presented the Torch of Unity to the Governor, thanked him for according them hospitality, saying that he was hopeful that the State would host the festival again soon.

“The torch has been going round the country, it has been to the 36 States and Abuja. Lagos being the host of the last Sports Festival, the torch has to leave Lagos for Abuja straight away.

“You can remember that after Lagos State hosted, it has been about six years now that we have been postponing it. But with this torch now, it shows that the festival has come to stay, there is no more postponement. I will plead with the Governor if Lagos can host the festival again so that we can come and enjoy the hospitality and the rich culture of Lagos State,” he said.