Remarks delivered at the Commissioning of the Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM) Rehabilitation Centre, Araga, Epe

Remarks delivered at the Commissioning of the Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM) Rehabilitation Centre, Araga, Epe

 

In recent times, the incidences of drug abuse in our society, especially among our youths has become alarming. Serious concerns have been expressed on the dangers of drug abuse and the rate at which it is spreading. Statistics have shown that about 40% of our youth are involved in some form of drug abuse at different levels.

It has been widely acknowledged that there is a strong correlation between drug abuse and crime rate. There is a real danger that this menace is undermining the future of our younger generation and the future of promising young people have been compromised as a result of indulgence in hard drugs.

Asides destroying young lives, drug abuse can threaten the peace of the society as these individuals are easily lured into crime. This is a major reason why our government has decided to come here today to support and appreciate the work of Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM).

Since 1996, CADAM has dedicated efforts and resources to treat and rehabilitate people who have gotten addicted to one form of drug abuse or the other. CADAM under the leadership and direction of our Daddy, Pastor E. A. Adeboye and Mama Folu Adeboye, has shown commitment using the platform of the church to join in the fight against this 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 give them a chance to live again. And I have been informed that CADAM does not collect any money from the beneficiaries of this charitable service.

CADAM has taken another step in this humanitarian work with the construction of this rehabilitation centre which will be commissioned today to cater for the treatment and rehabilitation of affected persons.

This is most commendable and I have to be here personally to express the gratitude of the State government to the management and staff of CADAM for this.

With the quality of facilities provided at this centre, I have no doubt that  many lives that have been compromised as a result of drug addiction will be  redeemed, stablised and given a new hope for a better and meaningful future.

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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 that deserves not only the support of the State Government, but of all well-meaning Nigerians, institutions and corporate bodies.

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.

On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I congratulate Daddy and Mummy G O, as well as the entire team of CADAM on this laudable initiative and achievement.

With gratitude to God, I have the honour to now Commission this Centre to the Glory of God.

Thank you and God bless you all.

 Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun”!

Opening Remarks At The  Opening Ceremony Of Nigerian Bar Association Annual Conference

Opening Remarks At The  Opening Ceremony Of Nigerian Bar Association Annual Conference

On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the nation’s Center of Excellence and the 5th largest economy in Africa.

Lagos State is connected in many ways to the history of Nigeria including the study and practice of law.  It is home to the brightest legal minds that laid the foundation for the legal profession in Nigeria. It is home to great and world acclaimed men such as Chief Frederick Rotimi Williams, the first Nigerian to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Taslim Olawale Elias, the first black African President of the International Court of Justice, Christopher Sapara Williams, first indigenous Nigerian Lawyer called to the English Bar. e.t.c.

 These distinguished and illustrious sons and daughters of our nation contributed greatly not only to the evolution of the legal profession in Nigeria but also to the greatness of our State over the past 50 years.

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Indeed it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to identify the icons of the profession in contemporary time without a story to tell about the limitless opportunities which Lagos offers for all to realise our dreams and reach the peak of their potentials irrespective of race, ethnic, religious or socio-economic background.  This is the legacy that has been jealously cherished by succeeding generations and which we will continue to build on because it is the source of our strength, leadership and prosperity.

It is against this background and in the spirit of Lagos at 50 celebration that we feel excited to partner with the Nigeria Bar Association in hosting this year’s annual conference.

The NBA has chosen for this 57th conference, a theme that speaks pointedly to one of the issues that have kept Africa far behind on the scale of ease of doing business. Weak Institutions constitute a major disincentive for investment which is extremely important for the efficient and effective harnessing of the huge resources that nature has blessed us with.

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Our Institutions are weak because in most cases, their establishment is influenced by personal and short term considerations. In some other cases, they are deliberately weakened in order to make them subject to the whims and caprices of the leadership.

Building and sustaining strong institution requires our collective commitment to the rule of law.  It entails building the capacity of such institutions to be able to discharge their responsibilities effectively and transparently while also being accountable to the people.   It must create an atmosphere of confidence, mutual understanding and protection against arbitrariness.

We must take a cue from developed economies where the integrity of their institutions is not compromised for whatever reason. In those climes, it is the institution that puts officials of the State in check and not vice versa as we have experienced and are still experiencing in most parts of the continent.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this is the ideal and best global practice which we, in Lagos State are striving very strongly to attain towards building an economy that is globally competitive. It has been one of our key commitments in the past two years as exemplified by the far reaching reforms we are implementing by way of security and judicial sector reforms. Happily, these efforts are yielding the expected outcomes.

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I have no doubt in my mind that this conference will produce new and useful ideas which will help in deepening the effects of ongoing efforts to build and strengthen our institutions in line with global best practice.

Before I end this brief remark, let me use this opportunity to call on the Nigerian Bar Association as a body and members to raise your voices in support of the demand for devolution of power to States and fiscal federalism, especially the review of the current revenue sharing formula.

These, in my view, are fundamental and critical to creating an enabling environment that will accelerate development in all parts of the country. The ongoing process for the review of the 1999 Constitution presents a golden opportunity for us to redress all the aberrations created by the interjection of the military that have stunted growth and inhibited the capacity of States to harness the huge potentials of our nation.

Once again, I welcome you all to the Nation’s Centre of excellence. I would have been one of you. I made a failed attempt to become a lawyer but JAMB messed me up.

3000MW Power Generation Plan On Course

3000MW Power Generation Plan On Course

…Lagos, A Shining Example Of Sustainable Development – ICAN President

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said his administration has already embarked on reform aimed at generating 3000MW of power within the next few years, adding that the initiative, which is on course, would go a long way in scaling up the State’s economy and make life more comfortable for the people.

Speaking in Ikeja while declaring open the 7th Annual Public Lecture of the Lagos State Public Service Chapter (LSPSC) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) with the theme “Lagos@50: Unlocking Its Economic Potentials For Sustainable Development,” Governor Ambode said that adequate power supply was a key factor needed to unlock the economic potentials of the State, saying that the sector remained strategic in reducing the cost of doing business and improving the living condition of Lagosians.

He described the theme of the lecture as apt and in sync with the resolve of his administration to identify, explore and exploit the untapped potentials of the Lagos economy, which according to him, was why the State Government was adopting the approach of strategic, innovative and long term thinking and planning.

The Governor added that with high population growth of 3.2 per cent annually, high immigration rate estimated to be one of the highest in the world and rapid urbanization, the State Government was not oblivious of the fact that the most effective and efficient way to unlock the economic potentials of Lagos is to open up the economy for private enterprise to thrive, which was why his administration had been delivering first class infrastructure and putting in place right policies to ensure business-friendly environment.

Besides, Governor Ambode attributed the massive projects ongoing at the eastern and western axis of the State as well as Lagos Marina and Onikan to the resolve of his administration to unlock the tourism, entertainment and arts potentials of the State which he said were also critical.

According to the Governor, “Our smart city initiative will help to ensure that the State is cleaner, safer, productive and then more resilient thereby making the State more attractive for Foreign Direct Investment.

“Upon assumption of office in 2015, our administration created the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment and subsequently launched the N25bilion Employment Trust Fund and as at today, over 3000 entrepreneurs have benefited from the fund through access to low cost credit for their business.

“Lagos State is also actively involved in the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), a body comprising all the South-Western States. Though DAWN and other platforms, we are working on a collaborative development plan, a regional economic integration which will help to minimize some of our current challenges such as high immigration, infrastructure deficit and traffic congestion,” he said.

Aside the regional collaboration, Governor Ambode said his administration has also entered into several partnerships locally and internationally, while the Lake Rice project which had been very successful is being taken to a new level with establishment of value chain for agricultural commodities like rice, groundnut, pepper, among others.

“Our government is committed to diversifying the Lagos economy and open it up to the world. Through the office of Transformation and Innovation, we are continually improving on the ease of doing business in the State. Consequently, we are continually open to welcoming and partnering with international investors and development partners towards achieving sustainable economic and social development,” he said.

While stating that government alone could not implement all the reforms, Governor Ambode urged accountants in the State public service to see themselves as key stakeholders in bringing about the desired outcome.

He particularly charged them to be the best in their endeavors and help to strengthen the financial base of the State to facilitate execution of infrastructural projects vital to economic growth and development.

Earlier, ICAN President, Mallam Isma’ila Zakari described Lagos State as a typical example of sustainable development in Nigeria, adding that it was important for other States in the country to learn from the experience of the State and apply same to address their challenges.

Zakari, who was represented by Dr Innocent Okwuosa, said: “Lagos is a shining example in Nigeria. If every other State in Nigeria follows what Lagos is doing, perhaps all the issues confronting us as a nation would have been resolved. Lagos has gotten human capital and good leadership exemplified by the accountant at the helm of affairs in the State.

“Sustainable development is inclusive development and that is what Lagos is doing,” Zakari said while assuring that the deliberations at the lecture would be properly documented and put into consideration by the Council.

In his welcome address, LSPSC Chairman, Mr Hakeem Alade Tairu said the lecture was significant coming at a time when the State is witnessing tremendous development in all sections and sectors of its economy under the leadership of a former distinguished member of the chapter in person of Governor Ambode, who he described as a man with a Midas touch, a seasoned technocrat, exceptional leader and a seasoned accountant with a positive difference.

Child Abuse: Lagos Engages 300 Parents On Preventive Measures

Child Abuse: Lagos Engages 300 Parents On Preventive Measures

In furtherance of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s directives to ensure that Childs Rights are upheld and Child Abuse is eradicated from the State, over 300 parents were at the weekend engaged on key issues relating to Child protection and prevention.

This was the focus at the first Lagos State one-day Parents Teachers Association (PTA) Conference on Child Abuse, organised by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT).

Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said the participants, drawn from both public and private institutions, consisted of members of various PTAs with Lagos State spanning over 100 schools drawn from Education District Six.

She said that whilst law enforcement, religious institutions, social workers, school administrators, health workers, community leaders and other relevant stakeholders are being trained on how to appropriately respond to Child Abuse in the State, parents, who should usually be first responders must not be left out as they have a pivotal role to play in preventing and responding to Child Abuse.

Vivour-Adeniyi said the parents were engaged in an interactive manner and empowered with information as to what Child Abuse entails, as well as the ramifications and importance of child’s rights.

She said, “Parents were further informed of the signs to look out for if there is a suspected case of abuse, and steps to take if a child is indeed being abused. 

“The provisions of the Lagos State Mandated Reporting Policy was also communicated to participants. Child abuse is indeed criminal and everybody is mandated to report actual or suspected child abuse to the relevant authorities.

According to her, the utmost importance was the need for parents to be empowered with resources and contact details of relevant organisations to report to if there is an actual or suspected case of Child Abuse.

The DSVRT Coordinator said participants after the Conference received booklets, pamphlets and other materials containing vital information.

It would be recalled Governor Ambode on the 16th of December 2016, ratified the Executive Order on Safeguarding and Child Protection programme, making it mandatory for all child centred institutions to adopt a Child Protection Policy.

“Consequently, as PTA members, they were awakened to their roles in enforcing the Policy and ensuring schools and all other child centred institutions, strictly adhere and implement the Policy. 

“From the feedback gotten from participants, the Conference was deemed successful in igniting the zeal and commitment from Parents and Teachers alike to become ambassadors and flag bearers in the fight against Child Abuse in the State,” she said.

We’ll Begin Construction Of Three New General Hospitals This Year

We’ll Begin Construction Of Three New General Hospitals This Year

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday said that plans are already underway to commence construction of three new ultra modern General Hospitals in the State this year to improve healthcare delivery in the State.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the second quarterly Town Hall Meeting for the year and seventh in the series held at Shibiri/Ekunpa Area Office in Oto-Awori Local Council Development Area (LCDA), said the State Government was already concluding the necessary paperwork before the contractors would move to site.

The Governor, who took time to take questions from community leaders, traditional rulers, market women, youth leaders and party leaders in the area, said the decision to bring the Town Hall Meeting to Oto-Awori LCDA was in continuation of his commitment to leave no community behind in the development of the State.

He said he was also in the area to listen to the requests of the people in the axis and see how his administration could respond accordingly.

Responding to the request for a General Hospital to be constructed in the area, Governor Ambode said three new facilities have been catered for in the 2017 budget.

“Talking about General Hospitals, in the budget we have designated General Hospitals for three areas and Ojo Local Government is one of them. It is in the pipeline, its just a matter of time, we are already closing in on it,” he said.

Governor Ambode also assured that efforts would be made to improve healthcare service delivery in the riverine area in Oto Awori, saying that residents in such areas have remained relevant in the government’s achievements over the years.

“This area is traditionally and historically known to be a major supporter of government and we must give them back for the support which they have always been known for,” he said.

The Governor also acceded to the request of the residents for the rehabilitation of the access roads linking the area to the Alimosho General Hospital which they currently use pending the construction of a nearby General Hospital.

He, therefore, directed the State Public Works Corporation to immediately fix the roads to improve accessibility to the facility.

Besides, the Governor directed contractors handling several ongoing road projects across the State to return to their various sites or risks their contracts being terminated, saying that his administration would not tolerate any form of laxity in project delivery.

“I like the idea of bringing to the fore the issue of uncompleted projects. If we are able to do a link bridge in 11 months, if we are able to do Ajah flyover in 13 months and Abule Egba flyover in 13 months and we are going to commission all of them next month, how can these roads be there forever? So, obviously we should use the same spirit of delivering service to do all the outstanding roads. The Ministry of Works must go back to these sites, I must know what is going on within the next few days,” the Governor said.

He listed some of the projects to include Mile 10 Road, Mowo Road, Tedi Road, Ilaje Road, Goriola Oseni Road, Sabo Mosafejo Road and Imude Orisa Road where only 1.5km of the road was covered by the contractor.

“These are contracts already awarded, it’s for our own contractors to go there and finish the job, so the responsibility is on us to make sure you deliver these roads within the shortest possible time,” he said.

The Governor also said that he had approved all the mini waterworks across the State, numbering about 41 to function optimally within the next 12 weeks to ensure that residents have access to clean and portable water.

Addressing issues concerning the physically challenged, Governor Ambode directed that the Civil Service Comission and the Local Government Civil Service Commission should put modalities in place to employ at least 250 physically challenged persons into the State Civil Service.

He also ordered the Chairman of the State’s Sports Commission to offset all arrears of allowances owed the physically challenged athletes in the State next week.

Projecting for the next quarter, Governor Ambode said the Government would kick start the implementation of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, implement the construction of 181 roads across the 57 LGs/LCDAs, complete the Abule-Egba and Ajah flyover bridges, further signalization of Lekki – Ajah express road and continuation of Road network upgrade in all the three Senatorial Zones.

“Furthermore, initiatives for Tourism will be intensified by commencing Development of Heritage Centre for Leadership (Presidential Lodge), Lagos History Centre, J.K Randle Centre, Transformation of the Onikan Museum, Development of tourism hubs in Lagos-West, Lagos-East, Construction of 6 Cultural Theatres in Alimosho, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, Ikeja and Lagos Mainland, and continuation of Epe and Badagry Waterfront development as well as other tourist potentials in the area,” he said.