…Sets Up 45-Member Community Relations Committee In Badagry
…Commissions New Court Complex In Badagry
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday inaugurated a 45-member Community Relations Committee in Badagry, expressing optimism that it would go a long way to forestall any incidence of environmental degradation, communal disputes and civil disturbances often associated with oil producing areas.
“These activities amongst others have led to agitations from Communities and Youth Groups leading to disruption of exploration activities, pipeline vandalisation and in extreme cases kidnapping and violence. This has made it difficult to conduct the business of oil production smoothly and ensure that the relationships between the oil companies and their host communities remain cordial at all times. This has also affected negotiations for compensations for land acquisition, damages and spills,” he said.
Governor Ambode, therefore, said that Lagos, being the home of Nigeria’s most critical commercial activities and now an oil producing State with the discovery of oil in the Badagry Area of Lagos State; in the Aje Oil Field, OML 113 being operated by Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company, cannot afford to have any community unrests or disruption of peace.
“It is imperative that our oil producing companies and their host communities enjoy a very warm and mutually beneficial relationship.
“Sequel to the aforesaid and the need to create a conducive exploration environment for the Oil Companies as well as having host Communities devoid of rancor to prevent the re-occurrence of the Niger Delta issues in Lagos State, we have constituted a Committee for the Lagos State Oil Producing Areas Relations, cutting across the Oil Producing Communities in Badagry,” the Governor said.
While setting up the committee consisting of representatives of the State and Local Government, the host communities, women and youth, traditional rulers and other stakeholders, Governor Ambode said the Committee would among other things, interface between the host Communities and the Oil Companies in Badagry, as well as coordinate a seamless implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) interventions planned for the Badagry Oil Producing Areas by Oil Producing Companies in Badagry.
He said the Committee would also be saddled with the responsibility of coordinating community and development issues between host Communities, Government and Oil Producing Companies Operating in Badagry.
Besides, Governor Ambode said the Committee would also be expected to ensure peace and harmony between host Communities and Oil Producing Companies in Badagry.
“Our government is committed to creating a conducive environment for all to thrive especially in our budding oil industry. We will always work to protect our people and ensure their improved welfare while at the same time providing an investor-friendly environment.
“On our part, we will take proactive measures to prevent oil spillage and where it happens, quickly move to clean it up according to globally accepted standards. We will also ensure the safety and security of our communities and operators at all times.
Alluding to the fact that the Badagry area was fast becoming a major hub for oil activities in Nigeria, the Governor expressed optimism that the upcoming Badagry Deep Sea Port will provide logistic support for the oil and gas industry and further support the expansion of the economy of this axis thereby making it more viable and livable.
Thanking members of the Committee for accepting to serve and contribute to the development of our State, he charged them to bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to ensure cooperation and collaboration between the communities and the oil companies operating in Badagry.
“This is a tough assignment because it is not easy to mediate and arbitrate. I look forward to receiving the reports of your activities and the progress being made by our communities and oil companies,” he said.
Speaking while inaugurating Olusola Thomas Court House in Badagry, a new six-room court complex named after a former Chief Judge of the State, Governor Ambode said the development was another strong representation of his commitment to the rule of law and social justice, as well as a testimony of the determination to ensure that distance or geographical location is not a barrier to citizens’ access to justice.
He recalled that prior to the construction of the facility, the entire town of Badagry including residents from the Benin Republic border all the way to Okokomaiko were served by only two courts one for Magistrate and other for High Court, which was grossly inadequate, a development he said necessitated the need to embark on the project.
Governor Ambode said the need to construct more court rooms in the axis was also made imperative by the fact that the Badagry axis was fast evolving as a major economic hub in this state with vast potentials especially in tourism and commerce.
“The ongoing transformation of Badagry through infrastructural renewal and development are meant to open up this part for investors who will take advantage of the multi-million oil exploration activity and Deep Sea Port Project, among others.
“As the prospect and prosperity begin to manifest, Badagry will continue to experience influx of people who will engage in different types of economic activities as well as making it a place of resident. The resultant increase in social and economic activities will naturally lead to a corresponding increase in dispute which will require an efficient justice system to resolve as quickly as possible,” he said.
Giving details on the features of the new complex, the Governor said: “The court has been equipped with modern facilities for the comfort of not only judges and magistrates but also everyone including lawyers and members of the public.
“The court has been designed to ensure the welfare and security of personnel and members of the public who have course to be in the chambers of justice with the installation of CCTV surveillance cameras and monitors within the various courtrooms and the entire vicinity of this complex.
“There is a well-equipped Library, exhibit room and conference room facilities for the continued training and retraining of justice personnel assigned to this complex. This facility is also equipped with administrative offices that will service the six courtrooms and also accommodate the Office of Public Defender (OPD) which will continue to provide legal services and advice to the vulnerable.”
Besides, Governor Ambode assured that the bad state of roads leading to Badagry would soon be a thing of the past.
“We have already concluded the contract that takes the road from Eric More to Okokomaiko which is ongoing. So, we are just looking to close the next transaction that takes that 10-lane road from Okokomaiko to Seme Border,” he said.
In her remarks, Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to deliver prompt and efficient service delivery.
While lauding the new court house, the CJ said it was also gratifying that the Governor was in the process of building official quarters for judges and magistrates in Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry judicial divisions, as well as plans to establish commercial court house.
…Commissions New Access Road To LASUTH
In a move designed to permanently remove difficulties associated with accessing medical care faster during emergencies, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday commissioned a new road linking the premises of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja from Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way.
Governor Ambode, who also inspected the progress of work on the LASUTH Maternity Hospital popularly known as Ayinke House, ordered contractors handling the project to work day and night to deliver it within the next six months.
The new road, which is 400metres long, is designed with street light, drainage, median and beautification features.
Speaking while commissioning the road, Governor Ambode expressed delight at the completion of the project, saying it was designed to facilitate faster access to medical care, thereby saving lives.
He said it was a thing of joy that after about three to four decades, another access road had been created to LASUTH, just as directed the management of the institution to ensure proper usage of the facility.
He said: “We are very delighted to be here. We believe strongly that the major cornerstone for the growth of the economy of Lagos actually lies in the hands of all of you here because if we don’t have a healthy State, we cannot have a productive economy and that was why we decided that we would pay greater attention to the health sector.
“We realised that just one entrance into this whole complex is too dangerous. It’s been like that for almost three or four decades and we are happy to be here opening another access road and thereby saving lives.
“That is the way it should be because patients can come in ambulance but held up almost thirty minutes and unable to disembark but this road will remove the tragedy that may occur through such and we are happy to commission this project.
“We are also happy that in another five to six months, we will be back here to make the Ayinke House functional and in addition to that, there are other two projects going on here and we have received assurances also that before May 2018, those ones will be completed also,” he said.
While commending the management of the institution for performing creditably well, Governor Ambode assured that his administration would not relent in implementing policies and projects designed to scale up the health sector, and also monitor the performance of workers in the sector to ensure efficient service delivery.
The Governor specifically acknowledged the pressure on medical personnel in the State due to number of patients coming from other States and even countries in the West African region, and pledged to address issues relating to welfare of staff, especially doctors who recently raised question of promotion stagnation.
Governor Ambode, who also inspected ongoing projects across the State, ordered additional projects such as lounge for families of patients and canteen, as well as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department to be included in the ongoing upgrade and expansion of Alimosho General Hospital.
The Governor said his desire is to upgrade the hospital to LASUTH standard, just as he assured that as part of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, the Igando Dump Site, which is a major eyesore, would be shut down and cleaned up to safeguard the health of people in the area.
Earlier, Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Professor Adewale Oke commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to the health sector, saying several projects had been executed in the institution.
Speaking on the new access road, Oke said: “This is a dream come true. For many years, we have had problem with movement of patients into the hospital. Sometimes, they are in the ambulance for fifteen or twenty minutes before they can get in but this road has solved that problem.
“It is going to save our patients; it’s going to make access to the hospital very easy even for the workers. To add more to it, it is very aesthetically beautiful which complement the development that is going around.”
Also speaking, Professor Babatunde Sholagbero, Provost of Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), said the completion of the road was an eloquent evidence of promise made and promise kept.
He thanked Governor Ambode for facilitating the accreditation of Dentistry for the institution, thereby making Lagos State University (LASU) the only state university in Nigeria that has bachelor of Dentistry degree.
He added: “By the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, the accepted dentist to patient population in United States is 1 to 2000, but for Africa it is 1 to 150,000. So, for every dentist we produce, we will now have 150,000 Lagosians being catered for.
“Aside that, there are many other projects that the present administration has implemented in our institution and we are now a toast among committee of medical colleges,” Solagbero said.
On his part, President of Lagos State University Medical Students Association, Bada Akintayo Akinbobola commended Governor Ambode for his determination to scale up the health sector, saying LASUCOM is now regarded as the Harvard of Africa judging by the massive investment in the institution by the State Government.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said that his administration will stop at nothing to provide the very best of education for every child at all levels, in the State in line with its all-inclusive policy.
Governor Ambode who spoke simultaneously at the commissioning of several blocks of classrooms and school infrastructures across the State, said the Government’s resolve to ensure qualitative education for children prompted the investment of resources towards the provision and upgrading of infrastructure, particularly at the primary school level.
“More importantly, the basic education level is a crucial stage because it is the foundation upon which all other levels are built. It is our desire therefore to ensure that this level of education is strengthened to enhance the future prospects of our children and their ability to cope with the challenges of higher levels of education,” the Governor said.
Represented at the commissioning of newly constructed block of 13 classrooms with other educational facilities at Community Primary School, Oke Ishagun in Alimosho by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs Oluranti Adebule, the Governor said his administration will not deviate from its vision to develop a robust public education system that can compare with the best in the world, just as he restated his administration’s commitment to ensuring that the ongoing rehabilitation and construction of classrooms is extended to all public schools in the State irrespective of the area and location.
The Governor thanked teachers in Lagos for their role in moulding the lives of children, assuring that their dedication to their growth and development will continue to be rewarded by his administration with improved welfare and working conditions.
“To our pupils, the future belongs to you if you listen to your teachers and your parents. You can achieve anything you put your mind to but you must work hard and pay attention. Read your books and focus on achieving your dreams and develop yourself daily,” he said.
Besides, Governor Ambode also charged people of the community as well as community leaders to guard the facilities jealously, adding that they must be properly maintained so that they can serve for a long time.
The Governor, through his representatives also commissioned the newly rehabilitated Block of 32 Classrooms with Office and Toilets, School Hall, Fence, Gate House and Food Shop at Christ Church Cathedral Primary School, Broad Street; Block of 13 Classrooms with Toilets, Offices and Fire Alarm at Community Primary School, Abule Eko, Ijede, Lagos; Block of 13 Classrooms with Toilets, Offices and Fire Alarm at Community Primary School, Ado Ikosi, Epe, Lagos and Six Classrooms with Toilets, Offices and Fire Alarm at Odu Abore Primary School, Mushin, Lagos.
Meanwhile, Governor Ambode also commissioned nine newly renovated Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs), stating that one of the core policy objectives of his administration in the health sector is to build a vibrant healthcare system through the revitalization of all PHCs in the State.
At the commissioning of the newly renovated Pakpa-Uku Primary Health Care Centre, Agege, he said that primary healthcare is the bedrock of healthcare service delivery system worldwide as they are the closest to the people.
Represented at the event by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, the Governor said that the renovation and equipping of the Pakpa-Uku PHC is in line with State government’s desire to bring quality health care services close to where people live and work.
Ambode while noting that the facility should be the first point of contact for all households within the community added that with the renovation of the PHC, the people of the community are assured of quality health care service delivery stressing that the PHC is equipped with medical facilities and personnel to attend to their health needs.
“Health conditions that are not within the capacity of this primary health care facility will be referred to the appropriate General Hospital for further examination and treatment”, the Governor stated.
Governor Ambode, through his representatives, also commissioned eight other newly renovated PHCs, including Sura Primary Healthcare Centre at Lagos Island East; Maidan Primary Healthcare Centre at Ikosi-Isheri; Orisunbare Primary Healthcare Centre at Alimosho; Agarawu Primary Healthcare Centre at Lagos Island; Oba Salami Primary Healthcare Centre at Yaba; Oshodi Primary Healthcare Centre; Onigbongbo Primary Healthcare Centre at Onigbongbo and the Ojodu Primary Healthcare Centre at Ojodu.
Meanwhile, the Governor while commissioning a modern Fibre Glass Boat donated to riverine Communities in Epe, assured existing and potential investors in water transportation of the commitment of his administration to develop the sector to international standards through construction of modern jetties and terminals as well as channelization of waterways.
Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Lola Akande, said his administration was also making efforts to strengthen the regulatory framework for the effective monitoring of operators with an overriding objective of guaranteeing safety of lives on Lagos water ways.
He said that the boat was manufactured from durable Fibre Glass which makes it lighter and faster on the waterways compared to the conventional wooden boats, adding that it is also equipped with safety items, including standard safety vests to ensure that passengers are secured in the events of any mishap.
On the strategic benefits of the boat, the Governor expressed confidence that the Fibre Boats would give a boost to social and economic activities of the fishermen and fish processors in outlying island near Epe, by providing a fast means of moving their stock to the mainland while school children in the hinterland will be availed the opportunity of safe transportation to and from schools on the mainland.
In the last Two and a half years, our administration has worked relentlessly to fulfill our promises to Lagosians. Our modest achievements in these past months would not have been possible without the support of the public service, most especially our Permanent Secretaries who have not only keyed into our vision of a vibrant Lagos but have also ensured that it becomes a reality through commitment and hard work.
I am not unaware of the fact that the Permanent Secretaries are supported by hard working Directors and other officers down the ladder of the Civil Service. I want to use this opportunity to reaffirm my appreciation and gratitude to the entire members of the State Public service for their dedication to duty, commitment and service to the State.
We have just witnessed the swearing in of 5 new Permanent Secretaries in the persons of Mrs. Ibirogba, Clara Omotilewa; Mr. Ogunnubi, Timothy Olukayode; Dr. (Mrs.) Are, Suwebat Iyabo; Dr. Salaam, Taiwo Olufemi and Mrs. Awobamise Kofoworola Omotayo.
I wish to reiterate that these appointments are not just about filling the vacancies created by those who have retired, but a way of rewarding hard work and diligence.
As Directors, they have demonstrated loyalty and commitment through active involvement in the implementation of some of the policies of this administration. I therefore have no doubts that their appointment will be a source of encouragement to all officers who are diligent in the discharge of their duties as civil servants.
To the new appointees, it is my belief that you will continue to contribute your quota to the development of the State. This is no time to relent on your hard work but rather a time for you to come up with new ideas and innovation that will add value to our State in the way and manner government policies are implemented for the greater benefit and service of our people.
I charge all of you to rededicate yourselves to the tenets of the public service reforms we have embarked on and prove to the rest of the service your justification for the new elevation.
I thank the families of the new Permanent Secretaries for their support which has helped them to attain this height in their career. It is my hope that as always, you will continue to support them to be successful in their new positions as Permanent Secretaries.
I congratulate you all and wish you all the best in your new assignments.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!
Governor of Lagos State,
6th November, 2017