…Honours 90 Outstanding Officers
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening urged civil servants in the State to continue to give their best to raise the bar of excellence which the State Public Service is known for, saying such was important to keep the State working efficiently.
Speaking at a special dinner to honour outstanding public servants in the State held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Ambode said Lagos was working because of dedicated and diligent public servants who, according to him, are daily working to make life comfortable for residents and investors.
“The Lagos State Public Service has set a standard which others are trying to emulate. We have put in place a reward system that will encourage healthy competition/rivalry among public servants. We believe strongly that this is one of the ways employees can be motivated to put in their best at all times.
“As we celebrate our public servants, there is still a lot of work to be done. We have set a standard for others. We must not only maintain that standard but raise it another notch,” he said.
He commended the commitment of the workforce across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and also the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), assuring them that his administration would continue to provide a conducive environment for them to perform their duties optimally.
“We have gathered here this evening to, in a small way, thank and recognize our public servants, the unsung heroes in our State’s growth and development. I am privileged to have been on both sides of the divide and so I understand the life of a public servant.
“When we say Lagos is working, it is because of the dedicated and diligent public servants in our State. It is because of that Medical Doctor in the General Hospital in Agege; it is because of the LASTMA official on the road in Igando and it is because of the Admin officer here in a Ministry in Alausa.
“Our State is working because the Police Force, the Army, the Navy and the Airforce are working together to ensure our security and give investors confidence to do business in our State,” Governor Ambode said.
He said though the life of a public servant was that of selfless service, self-sacrifice, diligence, hard work and thankless work, but that however thankless the job is, it must be done and done very well, just as he specifically charged public servants to keep Lagos working.
While congratulating the 90 recipients of the outstanding officers’ award who emerged both from senior and junior categories, the Governor admonished them to see the development as a challenge to maintain and improve on the high standard which qualified them for the recognition.
“This recognition is a challenge for you to maintain and improve on the high standard for which you are being recognized. The State is in need of more high flyers like you to accelerate the delivery of quality service in all sectors for the benefit of all residents of our State.
“As government, we will always work to ensure a conducive work environment, provide state of the art facilities and exposure of our people to best practices through training and retraining,” Governor Ambode said.
In addition to the plaques and certificates given to the outstanding officers, the Governor directed the Head of Service, Mrs Folasade Adesoye to come up with recommendation on financial reward for the officers, while a framework would be put in place to institutionalize it based on ratification by the State Executive Council.
Besides, Governor Ambode said as part of the reward system for civil servants, arrangements were being firmed up to transform the former Car Park in Alausa to Public Service Plaza to be managed by the Civil Service Club, adding that facilities to be enjoyed at the plaza would include Swimming Pool, Lawn Tennis Court, Five-aside Football Field, Gym, Daycare Centre, Library, Corporative Club to sell things cheaply for civil servants and Cafeteria, among others.
In her opening remarks, Adesoye said the award dinner was a befitting grand finale to the week-long 2018 Public Service Day Celebration, an annual event being celebrated since 1994 following a resolution by the Conference of African Ministers of the Civil Service, to appreciate the contributions of public servants to governance, public service delivery and humanity.
She lauded Governor Ambode for the various initiatives to support and appreciate civil servants in the State, expressing optimism that the recognition of outstanding officers would spur others to continue to put in their best knowing that their contributions would not go unrewarded.
Today is a special celebration of the anniversary of June 12. For us in Lagos State, where the struggle started, this year’s anniversary is a victory for democracy.
We all recall that a historic event happened on this very day in 1993 when Chief Moshood Kasimawo Abiola stood as a candidate in a presidential election adjudged to be the freest, fairest and most credible in the history of our nation. It was a day Nigerians demonstrated unity and put aside ethnic and religious biases to speak overwhelmingly with one voice.
Sadly, the aspiration of Nigerians expressed through the ballot was truncated by the military.
Since then, the struggle for democracy has been relentless, championed by progressive Nigerians, men of character and courage who challenged the military junta.
With the return of democracy in 1999, Lagos State, driven by our irrepressible and indefatigable leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, continued to celebrate June 12 and always recognize its importance in our democracy.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, you can imagine our delight when the President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, announced the recognition of June 12 as the authentic Democracy Day in Nigeria. This formal recognition is a crown of victory to the struggle that had taken the lives of so many nationalists and patriots.
Not only was June 12 recognised, the symbol of the struggle, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola is to be conferred posthumously with the highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic [GCFR], his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
By this singular act, including the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger on the fearless human Rights activists, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, President Muhammadu Buhari has written his name in Gold in the political history of Nigeria.
We salute President Muhammadu Buhari for demonstrating exceptional courage to stand by justice and the truth.
Today, we salute leaders of the struggle including Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Ambassador Walter Carrington, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, Chief Frank Kokori, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Mr. Wale Oshun, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and other Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations, Trade and Labour unions.
We also pay glowing tribute to the beautiful memories of patriots such as Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Pa Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Michael Enahoro, Chief Alfred Rewane, Dr Beko Ransome Kuti, General Adeyinka Adebayo and several others including innocent ordinary Nigerians, young and old who were murdered in cold blood on the streets of Lagos and in other major cities of Nigeria. Today, we declare that their sacrifice has not been in vain.
I reserve special recognition for my predecessors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his pioneering influence in declaring a public holiday on June 12 throughout his tenure in office, and Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for his steadfastness in upholding this tradition. Today’s celebration lays credence to the fact that our leaders were visionary.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the theme of this historic edition of June 12 celebration, “Restructuring: Antidote for Ineffective & Ineffective Politics”, speaks for itself. As a State and people, our stand on a restructuring process that will lead to fiscal federalism, devolution of power is very clear.
Our present democratic experience may still be far from ideal but we must all make concerted efforts to entrench fiscal federalism which is the only way to achieve true nationhood. We are absolutely convinced that it is the right way to go for us to realise the optimum potential and prosperity of the federating States and the nation.
On this historic day, I am convinced more than ever before that this ideal will be realized sooner than we can imagine.
I thank you all and wish all Lagosians happy June 12 victory celebrations.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!
…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.