Be Vigilant Of Drug Addiction Signs, LASG Tells Parents, Guardians

Be Vigilant Of Drug Addiction Signs, LASG Tells Parents, Guardians

…Commissions RCCG’s Drug Rehabilitation Centre In Epe

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday urged parents, guardians and caregivers to watch out for drug addiction signs in their children and wards, saying the negative impact of drug abuse is not only harmful to the victims but can threaten the peace of the society.

Speaking in Araga-Epe while commissioning the Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM) Rehabilitation Centre of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Governor Ambode said it was important for parents to be vigilant as victims of drug addiction can be easily lured into crime which would ultimately threaten peace and development.

He lauded RCCG and its leadership for deeming it fit to join the fight against the menace of drug abuse, just as he assured that the State Government would support the initiative to achieve the desired results.

He said: “As we support this rehabilitation centre, let me use this opportunity to implore parents, guardians and care givers to be vigilant in order to detect early signs of drug addiction in their children and seek help from appropriate quarters before it gets complicated.

“On our part as a government, we shall continue to take preventive measures through public awareness campaign especially among our youths so that they are adequately informed on the danger inherent in drug abuse.”

While appreciating the General Overseer of RCCG Worldwide, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Folu Adeboye for dedicating efforts and resources to treat and rehabilitate people who have gotten addicted to one form of drug abuse or the other through the centre, the Governor said it was inspiring and instructive that the duo and others behind the initiative thought it necessary to use the platform of the church to join in the fight against the social menace.

“CADAM has, on its own, picked up, treated and rehabilitated many people who have been addicted to drugs and given them a new life. CADAM, with their own resources, clothes, feed and shelters these affected citizens and gives them a chance to live again,” he said.

The Governor, who also noted that the services rendered to beneficiaries of the CADAM initiative were free of charge, said with the quality of facilities at the new rehabilitation centre, he was optimistic that many lives that had been compromised as a result of drug addiction would be redeemed, stabilised and given a new hope for a better and meaningful future.

He acknowledged the fact that the centre was the first functional drug rehabilitation home in Nigeria, saying that the State Government would partner with the church to support the laudable initiative in needed areas.

He said: “This is the first rehabilitation centre in Nigeria which is functional and also effective. I want to commend RCCG for setting the pace to intervene on behalf of government because this is what government should be doing but this intervention comes with a lot of respect and commendation from us and we have no reason than to just partner with RCCG and CADAM Centre to ensure that this facility is 24/7 functional.

“Given the incredible impact this facility will have on the society, I am pleased to say that this is a project that the Lagos State government will support. We are committed to making life better for our people and supporting good causes. This is a great cause and deserves not only the support of the State Government but of all well-meaning Nigerians, institutions and corporate bodies,” the Governor said.

He said aside the personal support to come from his family and friends, the CADAM Avenue Road which is in deplorable state would be rehabilitated as part of the ongoing by-pass road project linking Epe to Ijebu-Ode through Poka and Mojoda, while efforts would be put in place to make the centre functional 24/7.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Pastor Adeboye who was represented by his wife, recalled that the CADAM initiative was founded in 1991 by Pastor Ezekiel Odeyemi, who coincidentally is a Special Assistant to the General Overseer of RCCG.

She explained that it started as a department in the Church to visit homes of addiction victims and hospitals to pray and minister to their physical needs, but that the name was changed in 1996 specifically to permit a wider psycho-social dimension as well as to remove stigma associated with addiction, stigma directed at the addicts and their families.

She said since inception, the centre had assisted more than 2000 beneficiaries, most of whom have become professionals and well-to-do persons in the society.

She also said that over N200million have been spent so far to put up the facilities, saying that the centre would soon commence full implementation of educational and skill acquisition programmes.

LASG Promises New Secretariat, Improved Welfare For Labour Union And Workers

LASG Promises New Secretariat, Improved Welfare For Labour Union And Workers

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday allayed fears that plans by his administration to phase out the yellow commercial buses, popularly known as Danfo would lead to massive job losses, saying that it would instead create more jobs in the transportation sector.

The Governor, who spoke at the May Day Rally held at the Agege Stadium to commemorate the 2017 Workers Day Celebration, said the Bus Reform Initiative, aimed at introducing over 5000 air-conditioned buses to replace the Danfo buses would open new vista of opportunities, while also redefining the means of road transportation in the State.

Responding to the fears raised by the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos Council, Comrade Idowu Adelakun and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Francis Ogunremi on the implications of the initiative to drivers, conductors, mechanics and other artisans, Governor Ambode assured that it would benefit all Lagosians on the long run.

He said: “If Lagos is to be globally competitive, we need to change the outlook of the way the city runs. What is of paramount interest to this government is to make sure that every Lagosian has a comfortable means of moving from one point to the other. But I promise you there will be no job losses.

“The Governor is not interested in driving all the new buses. It is the same bus drivers, the technicians, the mechanics that will also still be employed and trained to use these new buses. Instead of job losses, we are going to employ more people for the greater number of the buses and it will make the city more beautiful and more comfortable for all our workers.”

Governor Ambode, who also addressed the request of the labour leaders on workers’ welfare, assured that as the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) continues to increase, his administration would work out modalities to improve the welfare of workers in line with his mantra of all-inclusive governance.

The Governor said that his administration was ready to look into the plight of pensioners as regards the pace of paying pension, assuring that the process would be fast tracked immediately.

“Just like we have said, we have provided vehicles for the unions but again it has not gone round and it has also not gone round to the private sector unions, we will complete the whole scheme before the end of the year,” he said.

The Governor said as part of the celebration of 50 years of the State, his administration would provide a befitting State Secretariat for the NLC, while government would also work on local and international training for labour leaders to make them relevant to the growth of the economy.

Governor Ambode also assured that the officers of the State Public Service, who according to him, are the real drivers of the development in the State, would continue to be equipped with the necessary competencies and skills in order to deliver effective and efficient service to the people.

Commending the choice of this year’s May Day celebration themed, “Labour Relations in Economic Recession: An Appraisal,” the Governor said the leadership of Labour unions had demonstrated a responsible sense of stakeholding in the joint enterprise to improve the society and leave lasting legacies for the generations to come through the creation of sustainable wealth and value.

Besides, the Governor enjoined the organised labour to continue to show understanding, while rightly insisting on the due and just entitlements of their members, saying that any industrial unrest will compound the challenges of economic recession.

 “I wish to commend the example of Lagos State to the entire nation in respect of industrial harmony. In Lagos State, both the government and organised labour believe that negotiations are more democratic and effective than unilateral impositions by the government or unilateral demands by the workers,” he said.

While alluding to the fact that his administration would not have been able to fulfill the electoral promises without the support of the “most versatile, resilient and innovative Public Service in the nation”, he noted that the immense contributions of all workers in the private sector was also chiefly responsible for the pride of place that Lagos occupies in our nation, in Africa and in the world at large.

Earlier, Comrades Adelakun and Ogunremi commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to workers’ welfare and the determination with which he had been transforming the State, describing the Governor as an accomplished accounting professional, creative intellectual, skilled planner and focused implementor.

The May Day Rally featured March pasts from various Labour Unions, Trade Organisations and its Affiliates who trooped out enmasse despite the heavy downpour and were excited to see the Governor celebrate the day with them.

Keynote Address Titled “Celebrating The Workers Oiling The Progress Of Lagos State” Delivered On The Occasion Of May Day Celebrations

Keynote Address Titled “Celebrating The Workers Oiling The Progress Of Lagos State” Delivered On The Occasion Of May Day Celebrations

It has been well over a hundred years since the celebration of the first May Day celebration in Chicago, USA.  Since then, enlightened nations and owners of capital now better appreciate and reward the prime, indispensable and invaluable role of labour in the scheme of wealth production.

I am proud to count the Lagos State Government as one of such enlightened owners of capital and employers of labour to whom the welfare, remuneration, comfort, continuing education and training of labour is of utmost importance. It is on this note, therefore, that I am happy to celebrate with all workers in Lagos State and the organised labour unions on the occasion of the 2017 May Day.

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I commend the choice of this year’s theme for the May Day celebration. By choosing, “Labour Relations in Economic Recession: An Appraisal” as the theme for the celebration, the leadership of Labour has demonstrated a responsible sense of stakeholding in our joint enterprise to improve our society and leave lasting legacies for the generations to come through the creation of sustainable wealth and value.

As I have always made clear, the economic crisis we face provides the opportunity for us to do more things with less. The economic recession created ‘a sense of urgency’ which the State has been able to surmount because we have been religiously following the State Development Plan which has a detailed framework for taking Lagos State to the status of a modern and leading Global City.

We are confronting economic challenges with well thought-out policies to promote wider and deeper inclusion of all stakeholders through a number of innovative programmes including the activities of the newly-created Office of Civic Engagement.

Our administration is aware that, in order to deliver effective and efficient service to the people, officers of the Lagos State Public Service must be continually equipped with the necessary competencies and skills.

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I want to seize this opportunity to urge the organised labour to continue to show understanding while rightly insisting on the due and just entitlements of their members. This is because, any industrial unrest will compound the challenges of economic recession.

Our government and other stakeholders in the management of our economy will continue to double efforts and explore innovative means of addressing the economic recession in order to make life abundant and worthwhile for the Nigerian workers who are the real engines of growth in our country.

I wish to commend the example of Lagos State to the entire nation in respect of industrial harmony.  In Lagos State, both the government and organised labour believe that negotiations are more democratic and effective than unilateral impositions by the government or unilateral demands by the workers.

In demonstration of the commitment to this approach, the Lagos State Public Service Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) successfully held its statutory meeting last week to resolve issues affecting the welfare of workers in the Public Sector. Earlier in March this year, the quarterly interactive session of the leadership of the JNC (Trade Union Side) and our government was held to promote high-level discussions on areas of mutual interests in a bid to promote harmonious labour relations in the State. I can assure you that we will continue to hold these sessions and to take the issues discussed there seriously.

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As I look into your faces as the representatives of the resilient, dedicated, productive and tax-paying workers in Lagos State, I ask you all to take justifiable pride in your accomplishments. While the labour movement has made huge leaps of progress, the ultimate pride of workers is in the tangible value they create.

In respect of the workers in Lagos State, this value is indeed huge and real to all residents of the state. This is because, as our schools become better-run and the performance of our students tremendously improve, the ultimate commendation should go to our teachers. As our hospitals again become compassionate and competent centres of medical care, our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and other health workers must be commended. As we re-imagine our road transportation policies and strategies in order to ensure safety and modern effectiveness, the co-operation of the drivers, road transport workers and automobile mechanics must be appreciated.

As we celebrate the robust and thriving economy of Lagos State with GDP values competing favourably with those of other African countries, we must salute the hard work of factory workers and other labourers who spend day and night working shifts in our industrial undertakings.

As we take pride in a private sector that is enterprising, competitive and innovative, we celebrate the knowledge and effectiveness of the management staff in the private sector. And, finally, as we witness the pleasant effects of well-conceived and well-implemented strategies, we cannot but note the unquantifiable contributions of officers of the public service who advise the government and implement state policies.

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Indeed, without the support of the most versatile, resilient and innovative Public Service in the nation, our administration would not have been able to fulfil the electoral promises we made to the people of Lagos State. Also, the immense contributions of all workers in the private sector is chiefly responsible for the pride of place that Lagos occupies in our nation, in Africa and in the world at large.

I therefore call on all workers and the leadership of organised labour to rededicate themselves to the values that have ensured industrial harmony and economic resilience in our nation. You can always count on our support. You can always count on the commitment of my administration to the welfare of workers and you can always be sure that Lagos State will always be a comfortable and peaceful home to all workers.

I invite you all to join the Lagos State Government and the good people of Lagos State in actively celebrating the 50th anniversary of the creation of Lagos State. The great work that our past leaders and the workers who preceded us have done deserve to be recognised and celebrated. You are our success story. And as we celebrate, it is my fond hope that we all will make firm commitments to contribute our quota to the progress and prosperity of our home, Lagos State, the beautiful Centre of Excellence and Nigeria in general.

Happy May Day and thank you for your kind attention.

 Itesiwaju ipinle Eko l’o je wa l’ogun.

Lagos Places Embargo On Approval For Filling Stations

Lagos Places Embargo On Approval For Filling Stations

…Insists On Relocating Ikeja Computer Village, Okobaba Sawmill, Mile 12 Market

The Lagos State Government has placed embargo on approval for construction of filling stations in all parts of the State till further notice, while a definite action will soon be taken on indiscriminate construction of event centres across the State, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowose has said.

Anifowose, who said this on Tuesday at the ongoing Ministerial Press briefing in Alausa as part of activities marking the second-year anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration, said government had already resolved not to grant construction permit for filling stations pending the inventory of existing ones.

Responding to issue of oil spillage in Alimosho, Anifowose said the decision of government was necessary in view of the need to take proper inventory of the existing filling stations with the view to determining those that should be removed, all in a bid to ensure public safety.

According to him, “What happened in Alimosho was because of pipeline vandalism. If people have not been greedy to vandalize pipeline, we will not be seeing what is happening. But be rest assured that no permit for filling station in Lagos State till further notice. I have told the General Manager of the concerned agency; the management team of the agency has taken a decision and we will not grant any approval until we take inventory and see what we have.”

He said the State Government was also working with the Federal Government to relocate Tank Farms in residential areas in Apapa, adding that a definite pronouncement would be made in that in regard in due course.

The Commissioner also warned owners of structures under high tension cables to relocate in their best interest as government would spare no effort in removing such illegal structures, adding that Event Centres illegally located would also be demolished.

He said: “When this government came on board, what we did was that we set up a Committee and they are going round the State to take inventory of Event Centres. I like to state categorically that any development that does not comply with the Master Plan of the area of location will be removed. So, our agency is already working on it and they should be able to give us report in the next three to four weeks.”

Speaking on activities of the Ministry in the last one year, Anifowose said due to proactive steps and reforms initiated, the State Government, in the period under review, achieved considerable reduction in building collapse, and reiterated that it was still an offence in the State for any physical developments including renovation, fencing, demolition and so on to be embarked upon without approval.

“I must urge all Lagosians to partner with the State Government in reporting illegal developments and developers or owners of buildings who cut corners and use substandard materials in construction work. Furthermore, it is considered a necessity that prospective buyers or tenants should demand for the Planning Permit or Layout Approval of a building or estate respectively before down payments are made, to deter developers or owners from circumventing the law,” Anifowose said.

Besides, Anifowose said during the period under review, a total of 5,499 structures were served with Contravention and Stop Work Notices, while between May 2016 and February 2017, a total of 2,340 plans were submitted and out of which 1,078 were granted Planning Permits. Also, 242 applications for Planning Information were received; 174 approved, while others were being processed.

In the last 23 months, the Commissioner said 30 provisional layout approvals were granted and 28 final layouts, while government embarked on preparation of development guide plans in Igborosun Excised village in Badagry, Ikola-Odunsi in Alimosho and 13 Excised villages were granted Approval-in-Principle within Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki and Eti-Osa.

He said aside the fact that government has paid compensation on properties demolished for right of way for major projects, efforts are also ongoing to relocate Computer Village in Ikeja to world class ICT Park, Katangowa in Agbado/Oke-Odo, while efforts are in top gear to relocate Mile 12 Market to Imota and Okobaba Sawmill to Agbowa

Lagos Public Service Remains Most Progressive In Nigeria

Lagos Public Service Remains Most Progressive In Nigeria

…Urges Retired HOS, Perm Secs To Continue Adding Value To Governance

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday described the State Public Service as the most progressive in Nigeria, just as he urged retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries to continue to add value to governance and contribute to uphold the excellence which the State is known for.

Speaking at the opening session of the summit of Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS) held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Governor Ambode said over the years, members of the association had contributed immensely to the growth of the State, and that it was important for them to continue to offer their wealth of knowledge for the benefit of the State.

The Governor, who recalled the quality of recommendations that have originated from past summits of the association after their inauguration in 2015, said the ideas and suggestions have been found to be very useful in his administration’s policy articulation, design and implementation.

Governor Ambode said being a product of the public service as a retired Permanent Secretary in the State, he was looking forward with confidence to a robust and inspiring communique at the end of the summit that would be beneficial to the future development of the State.

The summit, which is the third in the series, was organised as part of activities marking the Lagos at 50 celebration, and it is with the theme: “Lagos At Fifty, Five Decades Of Excellence.”

The Governor recalled that since inception, the State has evolved to become the most prosperous State in Nigeria with a GDP more than that of several African countries put together, saying that there was no way the growth and success story of the State could be documented without mentioning the immense contribution of the state’s public service.

Governor Ambode, who described the civil service as the engine room of government, said while most civil servants are shielded from the public eye, they work tirelessly to formulate and implement policies which drive the government.

“l know this because I am one of you – a retired Permanent Secretary. Indeed, the Lagos State Public Service that emerged in 1967 under the leadership of Mr. H.E. Howson-Wright, the first Lagos State Head of Service, laid the foundation for a vibrant and purposeful bureaucracy which assisted the first Military Government led by Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson to put the State on a right and solid footing.

“Today, the Lagos State Public Service has the reputation as the most progressive Public Service in Nigeria. This could not have been made possible without the solid foundation built by successive Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries, represented by the distinguished personalities seated here today.

“The vision of Excellence given birth to then has remained the same and continued to be the guiding light for generations. This shared vision, which is articulated in well thought-out policies and implemented with passion, patriotic zeal and sense of commitment is the Lagos we are celebrating today,” the Governor said.

Speaking on the theme, Governor Ambode said the celebration of Lagos at 50 was about showcasing the past achievements and present successes, as well as building the Lagos of the future on the foundation laid by the hardworking and selfless-serving public servants, and thus commended ALARHOSPS members for dedicating the summit to celebrate the golden jubilee of Lagos.

Earlier in his welcome address, ALARHOSPS President, Alhaji Kayode Anjorin said the programme  marking Lagos at 50 was about celebrating the creativity, challenges and achievements of the founding fathers, players and the men and women (dead and alive), whose invaluable contributions have made Lagos the centre of excellence.