Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has volunteered a monthly allowance of N500, 000 for the next twelve months, for the care of quintuplets born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Augustine Obiefuna of Orile Iganmu, a suburb of the State.
Quintuplets are five babies born from one pregnancy.
Other welfare arrangements by the Governor’s wife for the newborns include: supply of diapers for one year; supply of baby milk and other essentials for one year, all these in addition to two bus-loads of baby essentials like beds, mattresses, diapers, boxes of cloths, socks, pants, caps, etc, that accompanied her on a visit to the infants, at the Lagos Island Maternity.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode also gave an undisclosed sum of money, for the care of the babies; three boys and two girls, who weighed between 1.5kg and 2kg respectively.
Speaking at the maternity ward, the Governor’s wife who was visibly elated and brimming with smiles, thanked God for the safe delivery of the infants and commended their mother, for regularly attending her ante-natal sessions in a government hospital.
She urged expectant mothers in the State to shun quacks and self medication, but to register early and diligently attend ante-natal clinics in government hospitals, for standard medical care.
According to her, “You can all see why it is good to register in a government hospital where standard medical care is guaranteed. This woman registered early and regularly attended her ante-natal clinics. The result is that all five babies were safely delivered to the glory of God”.
She commended the entire medical team, especially the Consultant, Dr. Ogungbemile Babalola, for their professional service, stressing that the government would always prioritize health care service for expectant mothers, to eradicate maternal and infant mortality in the State.
Mrs. Ambode, who later inspected the maternity ward, promised further donations to the hospital, to strengthen maternal and infant service delivery in the hospital.
Father of the babies, Mr. Augustine Obiefuna, copiously thanked the Governor and his wife, for their rare benevolence and generosity, which according to him transcended ethnic and tribal considerations.
He said, “We are surprised that despite being non indigenes of the State, the Governor and his wife could show us so much love and kindness. They are just wonderful. We never imagined that Her Excellency could personally come here to see our new babies. We cannot stop praying for them and their children, for God’s favour, protection and wisdom at all times.”
It the first set of quintuplets born in the State this year.
…Unveils Three Road Printers, 42 Other Construction Equipment
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday commenced the urban regeneration of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja G.R.A, with the unveiling of 45 new road construction equipment and commissioning of newly interlocked road in Lekki.
The equipment, including three road printers and three giant wheel leaders, were unveiled after a public demonstration to the media and government functionaries to complete the construction of interlocked road in Joseph Hotounu Street, Lekki.
Others are five driving rollers, 18 hand operating rollers, one excavator, one paver, six tractors, three wheel loaders, one chip sealer, one milling machine, one hiab, one sweeper machine and one synchronous chip sealer.
Speaking at the unveiling, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, said the new equipment were procured in line with efforts to reposition the Lagos State Public Works Corporation for the urban regeneration programme aimed at addressing environmental and infrastructural challenges in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja G.R.A.
The Governor, who was represented by Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Rotimi Ogunleye, said the equipment would be immediately deployed across the State for the urban renewal initiative, saying that they would go a long way in ensuring the regeneration of the entire Lagos landscape.
“We are here to commission these machines, equipment and gadgets and to state that these range of products would be deployed immediately to the urban regeneration of Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Ikeja and they are being put in place today to further upgrade the activities of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation so that from their three centres in Badagry, Ojodu and Imota, they can take care of the rest of Lagos State.
“We are at this site to see physically the demonstration of the capability and capacity of the equipment. I want to state emphatically that this development is a sign of the government’s commitment to the regeneration and renewal of the entire Lagos State landscape.
“The Public Works Corporation has three regional centres in Badagry, Ojodu and Imota of which the various machines would be deployed to the various areas. Essentially, this point is to regenerate V.I, Ikoyi and Ikeja urban centres and it is an all-inclusive developmental process,” he said.
Also speaking, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello said the paving stone machines and road printers were acquired to basically construct roads that would last longer considering the state of the Lagos environment being waterlogged.
“We carefully thought about it before we even embarked on it. It was planned long time ago for the equipment to be acquired and having been acquired, they will be deployed immediately for road construction.
“One of the problems we have in Lagos is road tarring because the water table in Lagos is very high and it does not allow most of our roads to last and so we needed equipment to make our roads longer and part of it was to acquire the equipment which have just been tested.
“So, now we will be using paving stones mostly and they will last longer particularly in a terrain like Lagos and that is what we have seen today,” Bello said.
While giving practical demonstration of the workings of the equipment, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Works and Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Engr Temidayo Erinle said the road printer has the capacity to pave road between six and eight metres faster and reduce man-hours.
“The road printer can make road paving of 400 to 600metres square in a one-day working shift of eight hours. The road printer makes road construction faster, easier and cheaper,” Erinle said.
While revealing that the State Government was in the process of further procuring interlocking making machines, Erinle urged residents to take proper care of the road just unveiled and desist from indulging in activities that could damage it.
Responding on behalf of the residents of Joseph Hotounu Street, Lekki, Mrs Ronke Giwa thanked the State Government for fixing the road from its dilapidated state, saying the development had removed their decades of sufferings.
“Before the construction of this road, our cars were getting spoilt; we dread the rains and it had been on for decades so I like to thank Governor Ambode and the State Government for giving us this road,” she said.
…To Set Up Three Viewing Centres For FIFA World Cup Tourney
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said that plans are underway to replace the artificial turf at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere and Campus Mini Stadium, Lagos Island with natural grass in preparation for the facilities to meet the required standard to host the Confederation of African Football (CAF) matches.
Speaking at the ongoing annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration held at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Kweku Adedayo Tandoh said the development was in line with the commitment of the present administration towards providing world class sporting facilities.
He said that Governor Ambode had already given approval for the comprehensive renovation of Campos Mini Stadium in Lagos Island, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere; Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park, Yaba; Isheri Football Field/Swimming Pool, and Ijede Mini Stadium, Ikorodu.
He said the State Government has also begun the process to complete the upgrade of the Agege Stadium with the covering of the remaining seats at the facility.
He said within the period under review, the State Government awarded contracts for transformation of Onikan Stadium to an all-covered ultra-modern international stadium with FIFA certified artificial turf and multipurpose arena for entertainment concerts with capacity to accommodate 10,000 people, while preliminary works had already commenced on the construction of Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle.
On the request by the State Government to the Federal Government to release the National Stadium, Surulere, Tandoh said the process for retrofitting and upgrading of the facility to host international sporting tournaments was ongoing.
Giving details, Tandoh said: “You would recall that the Lagos State Government signified interest in taking over completely the National Stadium and the Governor did not just say it, he actually met with the Minister of Sports and a tour of the facility was carried out.
“One thing later developed and there were signs and signals that the Governor received that they were not actually ready to hand over the Stadium to us rather it seems as if they just wanted a concession agreement where the State Government would spend the money, get it fixed while the Federal Government would still be in place but that is not what Lagos State Government wants.
“So, during the visit of the President to Lagos State few weeks ago, the Governor at the State Dinner was able to grouch the intention again and he mentioned it in his speech to the President and the President verbally gave approval that that was going to be in place. Just yesterday, the Governor directed that I proceed to Abuja next week to deliver some communications that are necessary to put in place a formal handover of the National Stadium to Lagos State Government. We are grateful that this time they will give it to us on the terms that the Lagos State Government has requested for.”
He said it was also significant to report that the State Government has concluded plans to establish three viewing centres across the State for fans to watch world cup matches free of charge.
“Just yesterday, Governor Ambode approved that we should establish three viewing centres in Mushin, Alimosho and Ajegunle. The centres will be in place for the duration of world cup and will serve as venues where people in those areas can watch world cup matches free of charge,” Tandoh said.
He said approval had also been given for the employment of full time coaches as well as contract coaches, while training grants were also paid for a total of 300 state athletes in individual sports, combat sports, team sports, racket sports, traditional sports, para sports and deaf sports.
He added that as a result of the deliberate policies put in place, many of the athletes produced at sport tournaments organised in the State eventually ended up representing the country at international tournaments, just as he assured that government would continue to put efforts in place to promote sports at the grassroots.
On the street soccer championship, Tandoh said the sponsor of the tournament initially pulled out of the sponsorship due to financial constraint, but that talks have been activated to reintroduce the competition, among other local soccer championships.
Besides, he said as part of efforts to reposition the Commission, a four-year strategic sports development plan had already been approved for development within 16 weeks in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited, adding that the plan would engender development of a strategy plan, staff capability assessment and performance management framework development.
…Osinbajo, CJN Urge Judges To Be Above Board, Uphold Ethical Standards
…As Lagos Judiciary Holds First Biannual Public Lecture
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said the major reforms being implemented in both judiciary and security sectors in the State were targeted at creating a sound pedestal for residents to be productive and in turn boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the first biannual lecture of the Lagos State Judiciary held at City Hall in Lagos Island, said the major reforms in the sectors were already contributing to the growth of the economy, assuring that no effort would be spared in ensuring the success of the various initiatives.
The Governor particularly commended the State’s Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, saying he was in firm support of the reforms being championed by the duo in the judicial sector.
“I want to say that I am very proud of the judicial sector reforms going on in the State; we are very proud of the work being done by the Chief Judge and the combination of the efforts being carried out by the Attorney General and Chief Judge is something we need to support.
“It is now very obvious that some major reforms are going on in the judicial sector and we are very proud as the executive arm of government to support the judicial sector reforms which we are also complementing with our security sector reforms.
“In totality, the reforms are aimed at improving the economy of Lagos and grow the GDP and what is going on in the judicial sector is significant and we are very proud of it,” the Governor said.
While lauding the initiative of the lecture which was intended to engender thought provoking discussions and provide platform for stakeholders to assess performance of the judiciary and as well broaden the frontiers of justice delivery, Governor Ambode called for the lecture to be held annually.
He said it was important for the intellectual conversation around the lecture to be held regularly in order to bring about practicable solutions to issues in the sector.
In opening remarks, Justice Oke lauded Governor Ambode for supporting the reforms being implemented in the State Judiciary, describing him as a man of vision who is known for pursuit of excellence and international best standards in every area of his administration.
She said the lecture, which is the first of its kind not only in Lagos but in other jurisdictions, was designed to facilitate closer interaction between judiciary and the bar both in terms of practice and continuing legal education.
The CJ, who reeled out some of the reforms being implementing including judicial ethics and administration, old cases above 20 years elimination programme, designation of special offences court, sexual offences court, small claims court, child rights law and regulations, prison decongestion effort, among others, said the lecture was one of the initiatives put together to advance justice delivery in the State.
On his part, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo represented by Special Assistant to the President on Economic Crimes, Mr. Biodun Aikomo, said in view of the strategic role occupied by judicial officers in the country, it was important for them to always be above board and uphold ethical standards.
“Judges must be beyond reproach; they must be above board; they must abide by ethics and standards of the profession and dispense justice without rightly,” he said.
Speaking on the theme: “Judicial Standards, Integrity, Respect and Public Perception: A Comparative Analysis From Independence In 1960 Into The Present Millennium,” the guest speaker at the lecture and Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen admonished judges to refrain from commenting from commenting on matters of public interest through social media blogging sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, among others.
The CJ said judges must also ensure the removal of their personal information online, and as well desist from uploading pictures of their holiday and personal activities on social media.
He said judges “who are desirous of discussing public matters on the social media can only do so without revealing their identity,” adding that the interactive design of the internet blogging sites made it important for judges not to descend into such arena.
Onnoghen, represented by Mr. Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Justice of the Supreme Court, also called for the study of law in the University to be made a second degree in view of the declining standards of education in Nigeria, while lawyers who wanted to be appointed into the bench, in addition to 10 years post call requirement, should also be mandated to have post graduate diploma in law.
Such reforms, according to the CJN who traced the trajectory of the Nigerian judiciary since 1960, were important factors that can further help to advance justice delivery.
…Says Yaba ICT Hub‘ll Produce New Set of IT Entrepreneurs
The Lagos State Government on Friday said arrangements are in top gear to deploy additional 10,000 High Definition (HD) CCTV cameras across the State as part of the comprehensive Smart City Programme designed to provide a 24-hour driven economy.
Speaking at the annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm said the smart city initiative, which is on course, was intended to allow the people and companies operate in a safe and secure environment thereby creating more jobs and increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.
Giving details, the Commissioner said the focus of the smart city programme basically includes provision of security and surveillance, implementation of a metro fibre network and e-Governance, adding that apart from HD cameras with gantries deployed in the first phase, other scope of the project involves integration of the deployed cameras with Centralized Emergency Command and Control Centre (CCC), provision of road signature structure and street lights across the State.
“In the second phase of the project, we will be deploying 10,000 HD cameras, world class e-Government solution and data centre solution, one key alarm, metro fibre network to serve as backbone for communication and unified communications with smart phones for first respondent agencies such as police, fire service, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), among others,” Fahm said.
He said the initiative would address security, transportation and infrastructure in a sustainable manner, adding that thousands of surveillance CCTV cameras would eventually be deployed across the length and breadth of the State.
“The security component will deploy thousands of surveillance CCTV cameras through the length and breadth of the State. The transportation component focuses on Intelligent Transport Service (ITS) and the connectivity component with provision of a metro fibre network through a major Internet Service Provider (IPS) that will eventually lead connectivity to various homes, offices and institutions in the State,” Fahm said.
On activities of the Ministry in the last one year, the Commissioner said it was gratifying to report major portals being developed such as Driver’s Licence Processing and Verification Portals to ease the process of driver’s licence issuance and verification of vehicle registration, Education portals to enhance learning and registration of private schools, while Land Use Charge portal and Citizens Gate app, a platform where residents can engage with government online, were successfully implemented.
He said through the Lagos State Online recruitment and testing portal, a total of 1,500 Local Government staff were recruited in November 2017, while free Wi-fi were provided at three selected parks and gardens across the State with plans to provide additional Wi-fi access at bus terminals and several parks and gardens in the State.
On Yaba Information Communication Technology (ICT) hub, the Commissioner said the project was another eloquent example of the commitment of the present administration to truly create another Silicon Valley in the State where new set of entrepreneurs and innovators would be raised to address the challenges confronting the nation in the ICT sector.
He said upon successful completion of the project, Lagos would become the catalyst for Information Technology (IT) penetration and enablement not just in Nigeria but Africa.
According to him, “The ICT hub is aimed at boosting innovation and creativity among youths with soft skills knowledge in the State. The hub would create enabling environment for youths to showcase their talents, being future technology leaders and with a burgeoning youth population facing growing employment challenges, Lagos State saw the need to embrace software development and key into vast opportunities available.”
While alluding to the activities of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), the Commissioner said in line with the mandate of the agency to register and issue residency card to residents thereby providing government with reliable demographic database to assist in effective planning and allocation of resources, over four million residents have so far been captured through deliberate strategies put in place in the last one year.