Governor Ambode Inaugurates Boards Of Lagos Sports Trust Fund, Commission

Governor Ambode Inaugurates Boards Of Lagos Sports Trust Fund, Commission

…Says Funding Of Sports Shouldn’t Be Government’s Exclusive Preserve

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday identified the importance of collaboration of key stakeholders to achieve the desired goal for sports administration and development in the country, saying funding of sports should not be the exclusive preserve of government.

Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja when he inaugurated the new boards of the Lagos State Sports Commission and the Lagos State Sports Trust Fund, Governor Ambode emphasized the need for the private sector to partner with the government to invest in sports development especially in training talents that abound in the country, as well as putting necessary infrastructures in place.

He said: “I want to reiterate our commitment to the Sports sector and the need for collaboration between the government and all sports stakeholders in the State.

“In achieving our vision in Sports, it is our belief that the funding of sports should not be the responsibility of Government alone. This informed the establishment of the Sports Trust Fund whose mandate is primarily to interface with the private and public sectors to raise funds for sports development.

“Funds raised through the Sports Trust Fund would be utilized for various aspects of sports development on the recommendation and advice of the Sports Commission.”

On the other hand, the State Sports Commission is charged with the responsibility of upgrading and maintaining various sports facilities, developing strategic plans for sports development in the State, identifying and creating new locations for development of community sports facilities, overseeing the activities of all the sports associations in the State, grassroot sports development as well as capacity building for sports administrators, sports officers, coaches and athletes.

Speaking further, the Governor said the inauguration of the new boards of both agencies was part of the grand plan of positioning Lagos as one of the top sports destinations in Africa, saying that the vision of his administration remained to make the State as the hub for sports, tourism and entertainment and leveraging on the interconnectivity within the three sectors.

While maintaining the capacity of sports to put the State on global map, Governor Ambode said the recently concluded Lagos Marathon had already received international recognition and would soon be regarded as a major event in the world athletic calendar, assuring that with more of such sports events, government would engage more youths, produce more star athletes and create a synergy with sports, tourism, entertainment and hospitality, thereby using the sectors to grow the economy and serving as a tool for youth empowerment and development.

Governor Ambode, who expressed optimism in the abilities of the new boards to deliver on the mandate, said the members were carefully selected based on their proven integrity, professionalism, commitment and passion for sports.

He specifically tasked the new boards to focus on even development of sporting infrastructures across the State, hosting of national and international sporting events and participation in national and international sporting events in order to expose athletes and coaches in the State to international standards and best practices.

While the Trust Fund is chaired by a former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mr Femi Pedro, the Lagos State Sports Commission is to be headed by seasoned sports administrator, Dr Kweku Adedayo Tandoh.

Other members of the Trust Fund are Olaposi Agunbiade (Executive Secretary), Dr Enitan Oshodi, Oladipo Awe, Adekoyejo Adejumo, Segun Odusanya, Akindele Ogunlana, Kweku Tandoh, Babatunde Bank-Anthony, Moyosore Ogunseinde, Professor Ademola Abass, Fola Padonu and Omolola Essien.

Members of the Sports Commission are Babatunde Bank-Anthony (Director General), Olaposi Agunbiade (Executive Secretary), Gboyega Edu, Toyin Okenla-Ojeaga, Prince Fatai Olukunga, Abdulazeez Tijani, Babatunde Fatayi-Williams, Oluseyi Akinwunmi, Bolaji Adeniji-Adele and Gbenga Kuye.

Responding on behalf of the appointees, Pedro thanked Governor Ambode for the opportunity to serve the State, assuring that the members would deliver and perform far beyond expectations.

Ekwueme Inspired Professionals To Go Into Politics

Ekwueme Inspired Professionals To Go Into Politics

Urges New Generation To Emulate Late VP’s Principled Stance On Issues

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday joined eminent Nigerians from all walks of life to pay last respects to former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme who died on November 19, 2017 at the age of 85 years.

Speaking in Anambra during the burial service held at St. John The Divine Church, Anglican Communion, Oko, Governor Ambode described the late Ekwueme as a highly principled Nigerian and thoroughbred professional who inspired many professionals to go into politics.

Governor Ambode, who recalled that Ekwueme spent better part of his life in Lagos, said as a young professional, the late Vice President was one of those who inspired him to go into politics.

Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (2nd left); Senate's Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio (left); Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Phillip Shaibu (2nd right) and former Governor of Imo State, Mr. Achike Udenwa (right) during the Funeral Service of Late Dr. Alex Ekwueme at St. John The Divine Church, Anglican Communion, Oko, Anambra, on Friday, February 2, 2018.
Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (2nd left); Senate’s Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio (left); Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Phillip Shaibu (2nd right) and former Governor of Imo State, Mr. Achike Udenwa (right) during the Funeral Service of Late Dr. Alex Ekwueme at St. John The Divine Church, Anglican Communion, Oko, Anambra, on Friday, February 2, 2018.

He said: “I am here to represent Lagos State because the greater part of Chief Alex Ekwueme’s life was actually spent in Lagos and for me, I regard him as a Lagosian and as a complete Nigerian and that is why a whole lot of people are here to celebrate him.

“He was one of the few professionals that ventured into politics and made a big success out of it and he was somebody I looked on to being a professional coming into politics.”

While calling on the new generation to emulate Ekwueme’s principled stance on issues, the Governor said such was important to bring positive difference to the people.

He added: “I just think he (Ekwueme) made positive difference and we need to celebrate him and you can see that the celebration is more about someone that can keep Nigeria united; he was just a complete astute politician and he was highly principled and that is the new politics that we should actually emulate and play in Nigeria.”

In his sermon, Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh admonished Nigerians to seek refuge in the ark of God and jettison all acts that are contrary to divine principles.

Okoh, who anchored his message on Genesis, chapters 6 and 7 and John 10:10, said for Nigeria to be rebuilt, people must bring back the virtues of integrity and honesty, just as he charged politicians to emulate late Ekwueme by being simple and close to their people.

Besides, the clergyman urged the political class to make efforts to revamp the health sector, saying it was shameful the rate at which Nigerians travel abroad for medical tourism.

Dignitaries who graced the service include Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; Governors of Anambra, Willie Obiano; Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa; Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu; Imo, Rochas Okorocha; Enugu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, among others.

HOFOWEM Spreads Love At Christmas

HOFOWEM Spreads Love At Christmas

Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative, HOFOWEM, pet project of the wife of Lagos State governor, Bolanle Ambode, has distributed various gift items to more than 500 children at Massey Children’s Hospital, Lagos and Sought After Children’s Orphanage Home, Langbasa Ajah, in a project tagged: ‘Love at Christmas’.

The children aged between one month and 15 years, got various gift items, that left them feeling happy and included in the yuletide celebration.

Commenting on the gesture, the founder of HOFOWEM, Bolanle Ambode, noted that it was intended to put smiles on the faces of those children and integrate them into the celebration of christmas.

She said Christmas was a period to spread love and generate happiness for persons, especially children and less-privileged people, who need assistance to meet some of their needs.

According to her, ‘What Christmas requires of all of us, is to show love and spread happiness among everyone including children. They are young persons, they need our care and special expression of love to partake in the celebrations’.

Wife of the Governor of Lagos State & founder, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs Bolanle Ambode (m), supported by CEO. HOFOWEM, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke (L), to present Xmas gifts to Miss Oluwatimileyin Bamgbade (r), during the distribution of various gift items to more than 500 children at Massey Hospital and Sought After Orphanage Home, Langbassa, Ajah, by HOFOWEM, tagged: ‘Love at Christmas’, at Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos, on Monday, 25th December, 2017.
Wife of the Governor of Lagos State & founder, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs Bolanle Ambode (m), supported by CEO. HOFOWEM, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke (L), to present Xmas gifts to Miss Oluwatimileyin Bamgbade (r), during the distribution of various gift items to more than 500 children at Massey Hospital and Sought After Orphanage Home, Langbassa, Ajah, by HOFOWEM, tagged: ‘Love at Christmas’, at Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos, on Monday, 25th December, 2017.

‘Christmas celebrations are not complete when we have not touched these children tenderly. As it were, this is just a token of love for the children from the foundation’.

Speaking further, the governor’s wife noted that the cardinal philosophy of her foundation was to affect the lives of less-privileged persons, through interventions that bring radical improvement for them.

She said, ‘What is uppermost on our minds in HOFOWEM, is to uplift the lives of children, women, widows, aged women and challenged youths among others, to ensure happiness and quality life for them’.

She recalled that HOFOWEM had organized various programmes in the past, with the sole objective of putting smiles on the faces of that category of persons, promising that the foundation would unfold more children and women-friendly programmes in the coming year.

Also speaking, the commissioner for health, Dr. Jide Idris, represented by Dr. Funmilayo Shokunbi, expressed appreciation to the governor’s wife and the foundation, stressing that, the gesture would go a long way in putting smiles on the faces of the children.

According to him, “This noble gesture goes a long way in putting not just smiles on the faces of the children, but also demonstrates your genuine love and care for them”.

Wife of the Governor of Lagos State & founder, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs Bolanle Ambode (m) supported by CEO. HOFOWEM, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke (2nd right); and MD. Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Olugbenga Aina  (r), to present Xmas gifts to Miss Zainab Kotun (2nd left), during the distribution of various gift items to more than 500 children at Massey Hospital and Sought After Orphanage Home, Langbassa, Ajah, by HOFOWEM, tagged: ‘Love at Christmas’, at Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos, on Monday, 25th December, 2017.
Wife of the Governor of Lagos State & founder, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), Mrs Bolanle Ambode (m) supported by CEO. HOFOWEM, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke (2nd right); and MD. Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Olugbenga Aina (r), to present Xmas gifts to Miss Zainab Kotun (2nd left), during the distribution of various gift items to more than 500 children at Massey Hospital and Sought After Orphanage Home, Langbassa, Ajah, by HOFOWEM, tagged: ‘Love at Christmas’, at Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos, on Monday, 25th December, 2017.

 He added further, “That you have left the comfort of your home at this period to spend time with these children, goes a long way in showing your heart of meekness, kindness and love and there is no better way to express love and integrate the children into the celebration of the yuletide, than this visit”.

The chief executive officer of the foundation, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke, thanked the founder for graciously approving the project, aimed at providing succor for the children, stressing that HOFOWEM’s agenda was about happiness for the weak and vulnerable.

She hinted that many programmes had been lined up for children and women in the new year and would be unveiled one after the other.

On behalf of the parents of the children, Mr. Emmanuel Stephen, expressed deep gratitude to the governor’s wife and the foundation, for what they described as the great act of kindness, praying that God would reward her most generously.

He said: “We are full of appreciation to Her Excellency, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode and her foundation, HOFOWEM. She was wonderful on this occasion as she has always been. HOFOWEM is another name for kindness and generosity, Mrs. Ambode has been doing it through this foundation and she has not stopped. We pray that God will continue to bless her and direct her husband, the governor of the state”.

Keynote Remarks Delivered At The Inter-Faith Parley, Held At The State House, Alausa, Ikeja

Keynote Remarks Delivered At The Inter-Faith Parley, Held At The State House, Alausa, Ikeja

It is with great pleasure and much happiness that I stand with you today in a continuous dialogue to fine-tune existing strategies and fashion out creative ways that will deepen the atmosphere of peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationship prevailing among Lagosians.

I am particularly grateful to Almighty God, for His divine blessings and transcendent favours that have seen Lagos in the fore-front of development, not only in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in the global space. The Almighty Allah out of His infinite mercies and uncommon benevolence has enabled our dear State to witness unsurpassed growth, excelling far beyond expectations, and flourishing in a sustained and unparalleled progression.

I wish to express my profound gratitude to all of you for your untiring spiritual efforts and your ceaseless prayers. I also register my appreciation for your support and identification with State policies and programmes, especially using the pulpit in the churches and the minbar in the mosques for mobilizing and sensitizing majority of our people to become law abiding and discharge their civic responsibilities to the state and other citizens.

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During the last inter-faith parley, I made some commitments and I am happy to report today that we have fulfilled all our promises to enthrone a crisis-free economy. The clear evidence of this is that in the last two and a half years, Lagos has not witnessed any religious crisis.

First was to ensure that l strengthened the government agencies responsible for spiritual development in keeping with the all-inclusive policy of our government. This we have done and we thank God that the National Hajj Commission awarded Lagos State as the most outstanding state in Hajj operations just as the Christian Conscience Group has also awarded our state as the best in Christian pilgrimages. We will continue to support both the Muslim and the Christian pilgrims’ boards in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our pilgrims, both within and outside the country.

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Secondly, we have since decentralized the celebration of Eid ul Fitri parties which was held for the first time in all the local governments across the state after I had hosted Ramadan lectures throughout the month of Ramadan. The same feat was recorded during the Eid ul Kabir festival. I am pleased therefore to announce that this year’s Christmas party will be held in all local governments across the state. I urge you to mobilize our members to attend the yuletide celebration at their respective local governments.

Moreover, we have just achieved another first in the country by being the first and only state to have decentralized the operations of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council NIREC. I have since inaugurated 798 Christian and Muslim leaders to join hands with the local government officials in fostering religious harmony and peaceful coexistence throughout the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state. This is to enhance spirituality through participatory democracy.

As we begin to implement NIREC activities at the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas, I enjoin you all to rub minds and come up with robust, innovative and highly collaborative strategies and activities that will be able to add more values to our current efforts.

 

In the same vein, I wish to urge you all to continue to pray for the prosperity of our state and our people. We shall continue to collaborate with you in ensuring effective communication of our policies and programmes for you are our greatest partners in the development of our state. Let us continue to re-orientate our people to remain law abiding because development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace and orderliness. Let us continue to work together in promoting peace and unity of our dear State; let us persist in our good efforts in sustaining conditions that will increase our progress and bring greater prosperity; let us pray more for Lagos and do more to preserve and grow our gains. As we continue to win together and break new frontier together, Let us continue to live in peace and harmony for more of God’s mercies, favours and blessings.

Once again, I thank you all and wish you the blessings of Allah.

 

Itesiwaju Ilu Eko Lojewa Logun.

 

Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State

Southern Governors Unite On True Federalism, Devolution Of Powers

Southern Governors Unite On True Federalism, Devolution Of Powers

…To Collaborate On Security, Infrastructure, Economy

…Appoint Ambode Chairman, Dickson, Umahi As Co-Chairmen

For the first time in 12 years, Governors of the Southern States of Nigeria on Monday met in Lagos, where they unanimously reiterated the call for true federalism and devolution of powers to States.

The Governors, in a communique at the end of the meeting read by the host Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, also resolved to collaborate with one another for the growth and development of their economies.

Aside Governor Ambode, the meeting was attended by Governors of Ogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Oyo, Seantor Abiola Ajimobi; Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Ebonyi, David Umahi; Edo, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Ondo, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; Abia, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu; Enugu, Mr. Henry Ugwuanyi; Bayelsa, Mr. Seriaki Dickson and Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

Governors of Cross River, Anambra and Delta were represented by their Deputies – Mr. Evara Esu; Dr. Ikem Okeke and Mr. Kingsley Otuaru respectively.

Continuing with the communique, Governor Ambode said the Governors after extensive deliberations, also emphasized priority on security and lives and property of citizens of the regions, while also resolving to work on effective linkage on good infrastructure across the 17 States in the region.

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At the meeting, Governor Ambode was unanimously appointed as the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) while Governors Seriaki Dickson of Bayelsa and David Umahi of Ebonyi States were appointed as Co- Chairmen of the Forum.

The Forum also scheduled the next meeting for Port Harcourt in a yet to be announced date.

Earlier, Governor Ambode, while welcoming his colleagues to the meeting, reflected on the clamour for true federalism and devolution of powers, saying that states will benefit from the envisaged restructuring.

He said the goals of true federalism, which included the strengthening of autonomy and the enhancement of fiscal viability will enable the states to develop at their own pace and based on their peculiarities.

He said the forum had achieved an increased awareness on the sustenance of the national question germane to peaceful co-existence in the country.

However, he said there is a lot to be done and achieved, stressing that true federalism required urgent, meticulous and proactive attention by the forum.

Ambode frowned at what he described as the non-periodic review of the revenue formula as provided by the constitution to reflect evolving realities.

He said the review is crucial to enhance the viability of states and local government and their capacity to fulfil their developmental roles in the polity.

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The governor added: “States are disparaged for always carrying begging bowls to Abuja in quest of hand-outs from the Federal Government. This is a function of our present national constitution that burdens the Federal Government with activities and responsibilities that rightly fall within the province of states.

“The productivity and revenue-generating capacities of most states are thus stifled, thus turning them into no better than street beggar states incapable of even meeting routine obligations of paying workers’ salaries and pensions without federal support.”

Ambode recalled that Lagos State had fought and won several legal battles since 1999 that have systematically strengthened her autonomy and enhanced her fiscal viability.

He noted that the state had won the legal control over the management of its environment, the control of urban and physical planning, the regulation of overhead masts, the registration and regulation of hotels and restaurants, and the control of inland waterways.

Ambode said these victories belonged, not only to Lagos, but also to other states, adding that, if Lagos could achieve so much by fighting alone, the Southern Governors’ Forum will accomplish more through collective planning and strategy.

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The governor said the forum has been reactivated at the time the National Assembly is harmonising its differences over the 1999 Constitution amendment, which will soon be transmitted to the Houses of Assembly for approval

He said: “It is important for this forum to comprehensively look at the proposed amendments with a view to working with our respective Houses of Assembly to ensure a coordinated response on our part that will strengthen the practice of democracy, federalism, constitutionalism and the rule of law.

Ambode clarified that, while pushing for greater devolution of powers, responsibilities and resources from the centre to the states, the goal of the forum is neither to a weak centre and strong states and vice versa.

The governor paid tribute to former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu for his initiave, recalling that he hosted the first meeting of the forum in Akodo Beach Resort, Ibeju-Lekki, whe he was at the helm of affairs.

He said while the initiative was received with mixed feelings at the time, Tinubu was vindicated later because of its achievements as the forum became a vocal voice on maters of critical importance, not only to the Southern Nigeria, but to the country as a whole.

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Ambode hailed the forum for advocating for a special allocation to oil-producing states in the Federation Account, adding that its agitation led to the current 13 per cent revenue derivation and allocation from the Federation Account.

He said: “Another major victory won towards strengthening the country’s practice of true federalism was the declaration bybthe Supreme Court in 2002 that the then prevalent practice of the Federal Government deducting monies from the Federation Account as a first charge for the funding of Joint Venture Contracts, the NNPC priority projects, servicing of Federal Government’s external debt, the judiciary and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other federal obligations were illegal and unconstitutional.

“The Supreme Court in that case abolished the special funds created by the Federal Government to enable it draw funds from the Federation Account to pay for matters that fell within its exclusive responsibility before sharing whatever was left with states and local governments.”