Maternal Mortality: Expectant Mothers Urged To Utilise Government’s Health Facilities

Maternal Mortality: Expectant Mothers Urged To Utilise Government’s Health Facilities

Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has again called on expectant mothers in the state, to utilise Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and skilled birth attendants, to reduce the incidence of maternal and infant mortality.

She gave the charge on Tuesday at a town hall meeting on reduction of maternal and child mortality, in Epe local government, organized by the State’s Ministry of Health.

Mrs. Ambode noted that refusal by expectant mothers for various reasons to access obstetric services, was a major contributor to the maternal mortality rate in the State.

 Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right); Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Olusegun Olulade (right); Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (2nd left) and member, House of Representatives, Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Olawale Raji (left) during the Town Hall Meeting on Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction program, in Epe Local Government, on Monday, 20th November 2017.
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right); Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Olusegun Olulade (right); Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (2nd left) and member, House of Representatives, Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Olawale Raji (left) during the Town Hall Meeting on Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction program, in Epe Local Government, on Monday, 20th November 2017.

According to her, “Almost every minute, somewhere in a corner of the world, a woman dies as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. For every woman that dies, about twenty others survive but suffer from serious diseases, disability or physical damage, caused by these complications. Majority of these maternal deaths are avoidable if expectant mothers access quality reproductive health care, including skilled attendance at birth.

“Non-use of essential obstetric services is a crucial factor that contributes to high maternal mortality. Some women refuse to access care when highly necessary either because of cultural practices or because decision-making is the responsibility of other family members’, she said.

She stressed that while the role of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) is acknowledged, it is important they know their limitations and ensure prompt referrals to the Primary Health Care Centres.

She appealed to all women of child-bearing age, pregnant women, as well as children under the age of five years, to avail themselves of the free services during the Child Health Week, commencing from Monday throughout the week, by visiting the nearest Primary Health facility closets to them.

The Governor’s wife, who urged women to pay attention to their nutrition during pregnancy, enlisted the support of families, religious and community groups to win the battle against the menace.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, noted that it was important for TBAs to be registered with the state government, adding that reports indicated expectant mothers still visited TBAs, who knew not what to do when complications arose

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (m); Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (2nd left); member, House of Representatives, Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Olawale Raji (left); Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Olusegun Olulade (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Healthcare, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga (right) during the Town Hall Meeting on Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction program, in Epe Local Government, on Monday, 20th November 2017.
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (m); Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris (2nd left); member, House of Representatives, Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Olawale Raji (left); Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Olusegun Olulade (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Healthcare, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga (right) during the Town Hall Meeting on Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction program, in Epe Local Government, on Monday, 20th November 2017.

The Commissioner said that the State Government had done so much in the area of primary health-care, as the Governor was very passionate about the health of the citizenry.

He enjoined everyone to come together at the end of the town hall meeting and resolve to do the right thing, beneficial to mothers during pregnancy and babies after child-birth, stressing that everyone had a role to play.

Delivering their goodwill messages, the member Federal House of Representative, representing Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Tasir Raji and Chairman House Committee on Health in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Segun Olulade, both alluded to the fact that there was a strong link between the health and survival of a mother and that of her new-born.

Raji said it was imperative for the State Government to explore the possibility of registering the TBAs with a view to integrating them into the healthcare delivery system, as this according to him, would considerably help build capacity to ease burden in the health sector.

Olulade on his part, stressed that all efforts must be concerted to ensure no woman in Lagos State loses her life during pregnancy or childbirth.

In attendance were top government functionaries, traditional rulers, stakeholders in the health industry, Traditional Birth Attendants, and other relevant stakeholders.


LASG Woos Investors To Undertake Okokomaiko-Seme Border Road Project 

LASG Woos Investors To Undertake Okokomaiko-Seme Border Road Project 

…Says Work Ongoing To Give Lagosians 24/7 Power Supply By 2018

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has expressed the readiness of the State Government to partner with any investor willing to key into his administration’s massive infrastructural renewal drive in critical sectors, saying such would be a win-win situation for the overall benefit of the people.

Speaking recently at an interactive session with members of the business community and informal sector, the Governor said public private partnership was critical to accelerate development, and that the government is open to collaborate with interested investors.

For instance, Governor Ambode said the State Government would be willing to partner with any investor interested in taking up the second phase of the Mile 2 to Seme Border ten-lane road project.

He said: “At the moment, work is already ongoing from Eric More to Okokomaiko but we are willing to partner with any investor interested in taking up the construction of the second phase which is ten-lane road from Okokomaiko to Seme Border.

“If we are able to achieve that, it will open up and transform the western axis, especially Badagry forever, and the project will also complement the massive projects being undertaken in the axis,” the Governor said.

Besides, Governor Ambode said plans were already at advanced stages to bring about constant power supply to all homes and businesses in the State by the end of 2018.

He said though the political geography of the country was affecting the visionary strategy to solve the power challenges being essentially in the control of the Federal Government, but the State Government had devised policies and strategies to short-circuit power generation, transmission and distribution to ensure constant power supply to the people of the State.

Likewise, the Governor said the State Government is also in talks with electricity distribution companies operating in the State to see possibility of supplying 24/7 power to residents at a bit higher tariff than what currently obtains subject to agreement of all stakeholders, while government would be the guarantor of the people.

The Governor also revealed that the legal framework to prevent power theft and also legitimize the concept of power generation had already been sent to the State House of Assembly for approval.

He said: “Presently, we have less than 1,000MW in Lagos and the fundamental issues remain with generation, transmission and then distribution. Who is transmitting? It is still owned primary by the Federal Government but in Lagos State, we have become creative and we have done Independent Power Project (IPP) before through which we were able to generate 47.5MW which was distributed short-circuiting transmission.

“So, if it works, does it look like a template we can now use to get power freedom or what we call power security? If we say we are the fifth largest economy in Africa and we are not in control of how power is generated in an economy that wants to move from fifth to third, then something is wrong. So, what we are saying is let’s find a way to short-circuit them within the ambit of the law.

“If the law allows you to have independent power and going through the regulatory commission then you are smart enough to do that. The only thing we have done is to get permission from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to create clusters of embedded power in our State and if we are able to do it, we become a test case for the rest of the economy.”

On the collaboration with electricity distribution companies, Governor Ambode said the State Government was willing to stand as the guarantor for the people to get 24/7 power supply.

“The idea is that look can we have a mid-point on how to get 24/7 power? The generator that people are using is extremely expensive and what we are saying is that can we work with all these stakeholders and push the tariff for example from N20 to maybe N40 but guarantee the people of 24/7 power? So, if I am able to do that and I get the confidence, I will just stand on behalf of Lagosians to say that the new tariff as agreed by all of us, if we can provide it for the people 24/7, they are likely to pay. In case they don’t pay, I get financially exposed. That is what we are trying to do; we become the guarantor on behalf of Lagosians and then if all those things work out, by this time next year, people will have constant power supply. As a government, we are strongly committed to power freedom; we want to free ourselves from darkness and we want to open up the sector for more investors,” he said.

Seamless Port Operations Critical To End Apapa Gridlock

Seamless Port Operations Critical To End Apapa Gridlock

…Says Oshodi Transport Interchange, Airport Road’ll Positively Transform City

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday identified seamless port operations as a condition that will enable permanent resolution of the Apapa gridlock.

Speaking at the second edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged ‘A+ Meets Business’, a forum organized by the State Government to interact with members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as well as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, held at Lagos House in Ikeja, the Governor said while the move to repair the major roads in Apapa was laudable, concerted efforts must equally be put in place to address the issues that gave rise to the crisis which were more about port management.

While responding to concerns raised by the business community on the negative effects the chaotic situation in Apapa was having on their business, the Governor said call-up system for tankers and containerized trucks must be structured to eliminate the present chaos, while issuance of licenses for more tank farms in the axis must be put on hold.
He said: “Beyond the roads, the fundamental issues have more to do about the concession and also the fact that the basic capacities of the Ports not meeting what is presently going on there and then maybe in the loading bay inside the ports you only have capacity to accommodate maybe about 50 trucks and then there is no organised exit and entrance system.

“So, someone who does not have any permit drives all the way from other states without any focus and then pack on the bridge; he does not even have any business inside the ports, the ports maybe can only take 50 trucks and then you have almost like 500 trucks so everything is just totally disorganized and because Lagos is a sub-national, there are limitations of political power play and the conflict of personalities and so those things affect your organizational drive. So, sometimes, Governors sometimes get frustrated and out of frustration you keep quiet.

“The truth is that those issues are more germane than the roads. So, if Akin Ambode goes and repair the roads but the planning process and logistics to enter the ports are not in my hand and should I now go to the long bridge at the toll gate and stop those trucks, they will say I am being sectional and so I must allow free movement as a cosmopolitan state and so people come in and go out and we are just in a fix.
“So, on other part of repairing the roads, the Federal Government has taken charge but one thing is to say what you want to do, the other thing is to quickly go and do it and so in the process of planning, speaking and delivery, it could take years but within our own limit as a State Government, we have set up a Joint Task Force of all the security agencies to ensure that at least there is still free movement within the structured chaos that we have in Apapa,” he said.

While expressing optimism that the intervention of Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo would go a long way in addressing the crisis, the Governor also condemned the recent granting of approval for another tank farm to be situated in Apapa, saying such would only aggravate the chaotic situation already on hand.

On international trade fair complex, the Governor said while awaiting the process to issue out another concession by the Federal Government and development which may take years, the State Government, in the medium term, would look into the possibility of getting an investor to build a large convention/exhibition centre in the State.

Speaking on the Oshodi Transport Interchange and Airport Road currently under construction, Governor Ambode said the projects were conceived and being implemented to create massive jobs for the people, and also transform the face of Lagos forever.

He said in a bid to scale up infrastructure, a summit on Infrastructure Financing would hold early next year, while the State Government is also willing and ready to partner with any investor interested in investing in provision of critical infrastructures.

On efforts made so far to enhance the ease of doing business, the Governor said an industrial park had been approved for location in Imota, while another industrial development centre was approved, aside the fact that over N10billion had been released to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (ETF) to grant loans to members of the informal sector.


He said the State Government also approved business clinic for the Micro and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), while the Public Private Partnership Office had also been reactivated, in addition to harmonization of inspection of work places.

Earlier, President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Nike Akande; Chairman, Ikeja Branch of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Otunba Francis Meshioye; and Chairman, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Lagos State Chapter, Dr Solomon Aderoju commended Governor Ambode for the various laudable initiatives such as massive infrastructural renewal, rail infrastructure, investment in security, traffic management, power sector development, Light Up Lagos project, the N25billion ETF, among others, saying the projects were important enablers to the private sector.

They also commended the Governor for addressing all the complaints raised by them at the last year edition of the meeting.


Apapa Gridlock: LASG Reconstitutes Joint Security Task Force To Ensure Sanity

Apapa Gridlock: LASG Reconstitutes Joint Security Task Force To Ensure Sanity

Orders Police, Other Security Agencies To Strictly Enforce Traffic Law, Okada Ban
…Restates Ban On Industrial Fireworks, Assures Residents Of Peaceful Yuletide Celebration

The Lagos State Government has reconstituted the Joint Security Task Force established to tackle Apapa gridlock and other security threats within the axis brought about by the blockade of major roads in the area by tankers and containerized trucks.

The Apapa gridlock, in the past few weeks, had worsened due to breakdown of operations at the ports located in the axis.

Rising from the monthly Security Council meeting held at the Lagos House in Ikeja chaired by the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and attended by heads of security formations in the State, the State Government said the Task Force comprising of police, military, officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) would immediately be deployed to the axis to ensure sanity and contain any potential security threat.

While briefing Government House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal said while the issues that gave rise to the gridlock were being addressed, the Task Force would ensure that the roads in the axis were not totally locked down, and also prevent criminal elements from taking advantage of the gridlock to perpetrate their nefarious activities.

Edgal, who addressed the briefing alongside commanders of security formations in the State, said: “We deliberated extensively on the Apapa gridlock and the Governor has approved with immediate effect the reconstitution of a Joint Task Force made up of police, the military, LASTMA and FRSC officials to ensure that whilst the major problems that gave rise to that situation in the first instance are being tackled, we on our part as security agencies, will ensure that we have a good semblance of decency on our roads.

“We will ensure that we create a corridor for smaller vehicles and ensure that there is no complete blockade to free flow of traffic. We will also have plain cloth and uniformed security agencies ensuring that there is no crime in the axis due to the traffic gridlock.”

The CP, who assured residents that every necessary arrangement had been made to ensure peaceful yuletide season, said the Council also approved increased visibility and patrol in all parts of the State, especially in areas there are traffic gridlock as a result of construction activities.

Already, Edgal said due to increased patrol, about 35 notorious traffic robbers were recently arrested in Ilupeju and Oshodi axis, many of whom he said are ex-convicts and would soon be charged to court at the end of investigation.

He added that as a result of the community policing and community safety partnership strategy adopted by the Lagos Police Command, there had been about 35 per cent drop in issues of residential robberies, while more boats had been handed over to Marine Police by the State Government to secure the waterways and riverine areas especially to checkmate incursions by militants and secure schools in such areas, in addition to the Tactic Guards already formed.

Speaking on ongoing clampdown on commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada on restricted routes, Edgal said security agencies in the State have been given marching orders to strictly enforce the traffic law, and that no lawlessly or breakdown of law and order would be condoned.

He particularly admonished motorists and transport unions to impress it on their members to obey traffic laws, just as he said Okada riders must not only refrain from restricted routes, but also use helmets both for rider and passenger and not carry more than one person at a time, among other rules of engagement.

“We have the Lagos State Traffic Law and it is our responsibility to enforce the law. Motorists, motorcyclists and other form of road users must obey the law. Our men have been mandated to enforce all aspects of the law not only prohibition along some routes but also those aspects that have to do with safety. We don’t want officers and men to be challenged unduly when they are enforcing the law and I want to use this opportunity to call on the unions, especially the Okada unions to call their members to cooperate with the police. They should not form themselves into pressure and riotous groups to challenge the police and other security agencies,” Edgal said.

He said aside the security measures already put in place for residents and visitors to experience a peaceful yuletide season, any resident who sell, distribute or use industrial fireworks would be arrested and charged to court, saying that the ban on such is still very much in force.

Besides, Edgal thanked Lagosians for their cooperation with security agencies so far and urged people to continue to volunteer useful information that would help arrest potential security threat.


Lagos Has Laid Foundation For Proactive And Innovative Public Service

Lagos Has Laid Foundation For Proactive And Innovative Public Service

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday swore-in Mrs. Folasade Adesoye as the 20th Head of Service of the State, with a charge on her to hit the ground running and work assiduously to bring out the best in all the civil servants in the State for the overall benefit of the people.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony held at the Executive Council Chambers in Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Ambode said concerted efforts have been made to place the State civil service on a sound footing for proactive, innovative, selfless and technology-driven service delivery, and that the onus is on the appointee to use her office to galvanize civil servants to build on the gains already recorded.

He said: “We have laid the foundation for the new public service that is well positioned to rise up to the demands of present-day public service delivery; a public service that is proactive, innovative, selfless and technology-driven. Although a lot of progress has been made in building on the reforms, it is still a work in progress and there is more to be done in areas of quality service delivery to the public.

“The success of your tenure will be assessed not by the efforts you are able to put in but the tangible outcome in terms of improvements in the outlook and deliverables of the entire workforce. You are inheriting a public service that has, to a large extent, keyed into the vision and uncompromising principles of good governance of this administration. As one who is fully aware of our vision and policies, some of which you have helped to translate and implement, I expect that you will hit the ground running and make your mark.”

Governor Ambode, who expressed confidence in the ability of the appointee to add value to the public service and governance in general, said the appointment was another confirmation of the dynamic quality of both the service and civil servants in the State, as the minimum standard now acceptable is selfless service to the State and the people.

He said it had now become a tradition to continually appoint experienced, dedicated and tested professionals to key positions in government, adding that Adesoye’s appointment was in recognition and reward for competence, commitment, perseverance and hard work, and charged her to keep up the good works.

While specifically tasking Adesoye on responsibility to civil servants, Governor Ambode said: “As the Head of Service, all eyes are on you to provide leadership and direction to the over 100,000 civil/public servants in the State. You hold a strategic position to bring out the best in everyone from the Body of Permanent Secretaries down the ladder to the junior staff.”

Besides, the Governor commended the immediate past Head of Service, Mrs Olabowale Ademola for her contributions to the development of the State as well as the strengthening of the public service.

Responding, Adesoye thanked Governor Ambode for the opportunity given to her to serve, just as she assured that the public service, under her watch, would redouble efforts in ensuring speedy, efficient and effective implementation of government policies and initiatives.

Adesoye, who is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), particularly pledged total commitment to the duties and responsibilities of the new office, assuring that she would do everything within her capacity to justify the confidence reposed in her.

She said public servants in the State were already encouraged, motivated and energized by the demonstrated commitment of Governor Ambode to high quality public service delivery, prioritization of staff welfare, practical example of inclusive governance model, unprecedented state-wide infrastructural renewal and the strategic restructuring and realignment of the public service to ensure that it is fit and equipped to meet the challenges of the future, and pledged that efforts would be made to build on the successes achieved.