Governor Ambode Pledges Support To Bone Marrow Transplant Centre In Lagos

Governor Ambode Pledges Support To Bone Marrow Transplant Centre In Lagos

…Says Centre Will Give Hope Of Survival To Sickle Cell Victims

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday pledged the support of the state government to see to the completion of the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), which will go a long way to save the lives of those suffering sickle cell disorder.

The Governor spoke when the Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN), Professor Olu Akinyanju and National Direction and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Anneite Akinsete, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, where he was adopted as the Patron of the Sickle Cell Club, Lagos, Nigeria, a position only previously occupied only by former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Commending the Foundation for intervening and providing succor to victims of Sickle Cell in Nigeria, Governor Ambode expressed optimism that the establishment of the Centre will be a major breakthrough, saying that the state government will provide support in line with the cardinal programmes of his administration to touch as many lives as possible.

“I want to say that I am surrounded by people who have sickle cell disorder, so I understand the depth of what you are doing. In my private life, I have also tried to touch lives, but again I want to commit officially here that we would support the establishment of that Bone Marrow Stem Cell Technology, even though it’s in LUTH, Lagos state as part of our own contribution, we would make sure that it takes off next year”.

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“The reason is very simple; we’ve already sent like five patients to Rome and have come back and that technology has proven that we can go away from our past belief always thinking that people with sickle cell are condemned to death. But this new technology is a proof that we can save lives. As far as this is situated in Lagos, we as a government must ensure that everyone who visits that centre, somebody’s live must be saved and we are committed to doing that”, he said.

The Governor also thanked the Foundation for deeming it fit to adopt him as a Patron of the Lagos Sickle Cell Club, saying it was for him, a great honour to be accorded the privilege to contribute his own quota to alleviate the sufferings of sickle cell victims.

“I know what sickle cell disorder means to the average Nigerian family. Like you rightly pointed out, every extended family in Nigeria is affected by this and for a non-governmental organisation to come up and be in existence for almost two decades with the strides that you have actually articulated in the speech speaks volume about your level of commitment and your need to touch humanity which is something that also touches me”.

“Whatever it is that we have had in terms of partnership with the ministry of health, we are going to scale that up because I know that it is not only on your own level that we can form relationship but relationship that brings value and a win-win situation to all of us. I know that doing that, we would have been doing that major assignment given to us by God and that is touching humanity and I want to thank you greatly for bestowing this honour on me”, he said.

Earlier, Professor Akinyanju said the visit to Governor Ambode was to commemorate his adoption as Patron of the Sickle Cell Club Lagos and also solicit for continued partnership and support of the state government, saying it will go a long way to benefit victims of the disorder and their families.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Congratulates Victorious Golden Eaglets

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Congratulates Victorious Golden Eaglets

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday congratulated the Golden Eaglets for their feat at the just concluded Under-17 World Cup Tournament held in Chile.

The Eaglets, in the early hours of Monday, defeated the Malian side 2-0 in a pulsating final to emerge winners of the trophy for a record fifth time.

The Governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said the resilience of the Eaglets to go all the way to defend their title which they won in the UAE two years ago was typical of the Nigerian spirit in the face of any daunting challenge.

“This is another eloquent testimony to the fact that Nigeria is a great country with enormous potential and we can achieve anything and everything if we are united and determined towards a course or a target.”

“In the opening minutes of the final match when the Nigerian team lost a penalty, they did not lose their heads, but remained focused on the task. Even when they went two goals ahead, they didn’t allow complacency to set in. This is commendable and inspiring and I can only hope that it signals the beginning of the return to the glory days of Nigerian football”.

“On behalf of the good people of Lagos State, I congratulate the victorious team, the technical team and all the backroom staff for this feat”, the Governor said.

We ‘Re On A Steady Journey To Fulfil Our Vision For Lagos

We ‘Re On A Steady Journey To Fulfil Our Vision For Lagos

…Says Lagos Committed To Creating Industrial Clusters

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday assured Lagosians that his administration is strongly committed to achieving the vision of a safer, peaceful and prosperous Lagos for all.

Governor Ambode, who spoke when he received the Polish Ambassador to Nigeria, Andrezj Dycha, and some European Union officials and Polish business Chief Executive Officers on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, reiterated the commitment of his administration to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

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He also reiterated his strong commitment to create industrial clusters in the State, which will in turn, go a long way in engaging the people in gainful employment.

Emphasising that Lagos is the fourth largest economy in Africa with a population of over 20 million people, Governor Ambode said the market which the State is blessed with, is a great opportunity which can be and must be utilised for the people’s benefits.

He added, “The market is not only restricted to the Nigerian market, the market is more or less a hub for the West African Sub-Region and when you look at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lagos which is at $131 billion presently, it is greater than 42 countries combined in Africa. So, we stand at the threshold of the opportunities that our new democracy is actually offering us”.

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Assuring his visitors of his commitment to build on the relationship, Governor Ambode said his administration has already begun the journey of making Lagos safe for the economic prosperity of the people.

The Governor added that the Government has also commenced the process of implementing judicial and security sector reforms, all geared towards making Lagos safe.

While stating that he was willing to learn from the success story of Poland on agriculture, software technology among other areas, Governor Ambode said he would be willing to scale up the courtesy visit to him by the delegation to a bilateral platform, where issues of mutually beneficial partnership will be discussed and perfected.

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He also used the opportunity to introduce the office of the Overseas Affairs and Investment to his visitors, which he said is a one-stop shop where investors can seamlessly obtain regulatory approvals and other incentives in order to drive further investment to create jobs.

Some of the Polish CEOs, who were part of the delegation, had taken time to explain one after the other how they can partner with Lagos in various sectors such as renewable energy, waste to wealth programme, power transmission and distribution and so on.

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The Political Director of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jaroslaw Bratkiewicz, in response, thanked Governor Ambode for hosting them, adding that the visit was a good beginning of better days ahead.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Reads Riot Act to Okada Riders, Traffic Offenders, Street Hawkers

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Reads Riot Act to Okada Riders, Traffic Offenders, Street Hawkers

…Orders Full Enforcement of Traffic Laws

…Gives Tank Farm Owners 90-Day Ultimatum

…Chairs Emergency Security Council Meeting

…Says Days Of Impunity Is Over

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday read the riot act to commercial motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders, commercial buses and street hawkers, saying that the state government will no longer tolerate their nefarious activities on the streets and highways which has caused untold hardship for the people of the state in recent times.

Addressing Government House Correspondents shortly after an emergency Security Council Meeting which he chaired, Governor Ambode said that it had become evident that traffic crimes and robbery are mostly as a result of the menace of Okada riders and street hawkers, while recalcitrant commercial buses have become lawless and reckless on the road.

He said the Council made far reaching decisions at the meeting in line with the commitment of his administration to ensure security of lives and property as well as the enforcing of the Rule of Law.

The Governor said that the government will not allow a few notorious elements to cause a breakdown in law and order and upset the peace that the state has enjoyed over the years.

To this end, he said he has directed the full enforcement of the Lagos Road Traffic Laws, especially as it concerns the restriction of okada and tricycle operations.

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He reminded that Schedule II of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012 restricts Okada, tricycle (Keke Marwa), carts and wheel barrows on some routes including Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and Third Mainland Bridge.

Others routes include Eti-Osa/Lekki –Epe Expressway, Lagos –Badagry Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege Motor Road and Eti-Osa/Lekki Coastal Road.

The Governor therefore said, “Any person who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction as stipulated in the law.

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“Henceforth, all commercial vehicles, except Bus Rapid Transport buses, must use only the service lanes in accordance with existing traffic laws. All conductors of Commercial buses must sit down in their buses and keep the doors closed at all times while in motion. It is against the Law for conductors to hang on the bus doors and leave the doors open. Any bus contravention will be met with severe punitive measures.

“Commercial buses can only drop and pick passengers at officially designated bus stops henceforth. Any illegal and indiscriminate picking and dropping of passengers is against the law.

“Other road users who break traffic laws will pay a compulsory traffic fine in accordance with the law. Mobile Traffic courts are being introduced to prosecute offenders promptly”.

Governor Ambode also took time to speak on the traffic situation in Apapa axis of the state, attributed the gridlock to the situation of tank farms and daily activities of petrol tankers in the area.

He expressed concerns that more tank farms are in the process of being approved, revealing that Lagos alone accounts for 80 percent of the cargo that comes into the country through the ports while about 90 percent of the fuel used across Nigeria is loaded in Lagos.

He also frowned at the fact that three months after meeting with tank farm and petrol tanker owners, they have been unable to come up with a solution to the gridlock caused by the tankers queuing up on roads and bridges to load petroleum products.

He however said that the state of affairs that has accentuated traffic gridlock in Apapa area and its environs is no longer tolerable to the State Government saying that necessary arrangements have been made with the relevant Regulatory Institutions to sanction defaulting port users – importers, tank farm owners, terminal operators and shipping companies.

On the backdrop of this, Governor Ambode said the Security Council decided that all tank farms be given a 90-day grace period to build loading bays for their tank farms, with a caveat that  any tank farm that fails to provide a loading bay after the grace period, would be shut down by the state government.

“In addition, tank farms owners must desist from allocating pick-up papers to trucks beyond and above their daily capacity as is the case presently,” he said.

Governor Ambode also admonished residents of the state to see the last two months of the year as a period that calls for vigilance and a changed attitude towards issues relating to crime and terrorism.

He urged residents to cooperate with the government at all times, just as he warned them against the dangers of patronizing street hawkers.

“The next hawker could be a robber or terrorist. You are now well-advised. If we all cooperate and decide not to buy, gradually and collectively, the hawkers will not come to the highways and streets anymore. Our roads will definitely become safer”.

“Our security agencies have been directed to increase their presence on the roads and highways to ensure greater safety. Once again, I am committed to a safer, cleaner and more prosperous Lagos; a Lagos that works for all”, he said.

On his part, Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni also assured that the Police will increase their presence across major areas of the state as well as ensure the total enforcement of the laws of the land.

Various stakeholders of transport associations who were also present at the briefing took turns to pledge their support and stressed the need for their members to comply with the directive to ensure free flow of traffic and sanity on the roads.

Among those who spoke include Chairmen, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, (RTEAN), Alhaji Mohammed Musa Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW),Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, representative of Maritime Truck Owners, Remi Ogungbemi,, Chairman NATO, Alhaji Sikiru Kaka, Chairman ANACONWA, Alhaji Sulaiman Adesina, representative Lagos Taxi Drivers And Cab Operators, Tajudeen Adetoro and Chairman, Tricycle Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch, Prince Joseph Olu Odusanya.

Agriculture Viable Sector To Boost Revenue Generation

Agriculture Viable Sector To Boost Revenue Generation

…Says Investment Opportunities in Agribusiness Abound in Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday said the agribusiness sector remains one of the most viable areas that the Federal as well as State Governments must begin to pay serious attention to boost its revenue generation in the wake of dwindling oil prices.

Governor Ambode who spoke at the 4th European Union-Nigeria Business Forum 2015 holding at the Eko Hotels and Suites said the harsh times in the oil sector and its attendant impact on government revenue makes it imperative to look inward for creative ways of growing the economy of the country and boosting gross domestic product.

To this end, he said the agricultural sector serves as a ready alternative source of revenue generation not only to Government but also to individuals and private organizations through the various Agro allied value chains.

He commended the organisers for the theme of this year’s forum, “Unlocking Opportunities for Diversification”, saying it was apt as it would afford participants focus on addressing the obstacles to the effective development of the agricultural value chain.

“The EU’s relationship with Nigeria is significant not only because Europe remains the top destination for Nigeria’s oil and non-oil exports, but also because the region accounts for nearly one-third of Nigeria’s total trade. The statistics speak for themselves”, he said.

Governor Ambode said the state government on its part, recognizes the importance of the Agricultural sector in wealth and job creation as well as in growing the economy of the State and has thus made the sector one of its cardinal programmes.

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 He assured that the his administration will continue to build on the policies put in place by the previous administration to enhance rapid development in the sector, adding that so far, the government has energized the Agriculture Land Holding Authority (ALHA), to make more land readily available for Agricultural development.

Governor Ambode also urged prospective investors to take advantage of the wetland environment as well as a 1,500 hectares reserve of tropical hard woods to invest in water hyacinth recycling, fisheries and fish farm estate, arable crop estates, rice processing mill, livestock resources, forestry, agricultural equipment and human capacity development in Agriculture.

He however said that for the sector to achieve its full potentials, the task could not be left to the government alone, stressing that it would require private sector capital, entrepreneurial approach, innovativeness and managerial efficiency as well as the critical role of international partners and investors into the sector.

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“Furthermore, in recognition of the need to create an enabling environment and enhance the ease of doing business in Lagos State we have established the Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment (also called Lagos Global) directly under my office.

“Lagos Global is a one-stop shop designed to ensure that whatever information, assistance, conditions, etc may be required by investors from the state government towards facilitating their investment in the State are provided swiftly and expeditiously, and in an environment devoid of bureaucratic bottlenecks”, he said.

 Governor Ambode also said that efforts have been intensified towards the completion of the 27-km Blue Line Light Rail Transit System, from Okokomaiko to Marina, expressing optimism on completion, it would foster greater economic and social integration within West Africa sub region.

He said his administration is also paying serious attention to the security and judicial sectors that would ensure the safety of investors and their investments as well as swift response to business related disputes.