Remarks Delivered At The Commissioning Of The Lagos State DNA And Forensic Centre At 14 Odunlami Street, Lagos Island, Lagos

Remarks Delivered At The Commissioning Of The Lagos State DNA And Forensic Centre At 14 Odunlami Street, Lagos Island, Lagos

We are gathered here this morning to witness the commissioning and handing over of the Lagos DNA Forensic Centre, the first of its kind in Nigeria. This event is particularly significant because it is a symbolic manifestation of some of our most important policies in the reform of our Justice Sector, as we had promised that no sector would be left unattended in this administration.

In many countries, technology is being embraced to make life easier in all spheres of our existence. From the domestic front to our places of work; from the way we learn, to doing business, the use of technology has become a way of life. You will therefore understand why our administration had no hesitation in approving this project which serves amongst other things, as an effective method of bringing perpetrators of crime to book and ensuring quick dispensation of justice.

This administration from inception realised that security is key to good governance and sustainability of investment in order to make life better for its citizens. We have therefore, over the past two years, invested heavily in security equipment, recruitment and training of Security Personnel to assist law enforcement agencies in the maintenance of public peace and security.

WhatsApp Image 2017-09-27 at 11.35.20 AM I am happy to inform you that these interventions have translated into tremendous success by the reduction of incidents of crimes in the State.

In spite of these, I want to assure you that this administration will not rest on its oars and this DNA Forensic Centre is a demonstration of our resolve to stay ahead of criminals through scientific led investigations.

The building in which we are gathered today has capacity to provide the Police, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys and Private citizens with crime scene processing; serological screening for blood and semen; DNA analysis of bone, teeth and hair; maternal and paternal relationship DNA analysis; expert witness and case handling services; paternal and maternal ancestry DNA analysis; cold case file review and mass disaster human identification.

However, the commissioning of the Lagos DNA Forensic Centre is only the first step towards building a comprehensive forensic program that can fully support the administration of justice system in Lagos State. With the successful completion of this stage of the facility, our administration plans to include additional capacity in the areas of Toxicology; Trace evidence and Controlled Substance Analysis; Fingerprint and Latent prints; Firearms, ballistics and Tool marks; Digital Forensics; and Questioned Documents Examination.

The development of these other forensic sections at the facility will complement the DNA forensic section and enhance the level of services offered today.

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Before now, most, if not all DNA analysis and testing were performed outside Nigeria, a situation that caused longer turn-around times and an overall higher cost of bringing closure to a case.

I am therefore convinced that the establishment of the Lagos DNA & Forensic Centre will improve the speed and quality of evidence collected to assist our Courts in the quick dispensation of justice. This centre is a definite boost for our administration’s Justice Sector reform programme. It shows that our covenant with Lagosians to create a safe and secure State is being kept.

To the good people of Lagos and citizens of Nigeria, I say congratulations as we share this moment in history and pray that this Centre will further transform the system of administration of Justice in Lagos in particular and Nigeria as a whole.

It is with joy and deep sense of satisfaction that I commission this building – the Lagos State DNA & Forensics Centre- to the glory of Almighty God and the benefit of humanity.

I thank you for listening.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko lojewalogun.

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode

Governor of Lagos State

September 27, 2017

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.

Pictures: Her Excellency, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Visits 2017 Batch ‘A’ Stream II Corp Members At NYSC Orientation Camp, Iyana Ipaja 

Pictures: Her Excellency, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Visits 2017 Batch ‘A’ Stream II Corp Members At NYSC Orientation Camp, Iyana Ipaja 

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (6th right); NYSC State Coordinator, Prince Mohammed Momoh (5th right), with NYSC staff and 2017 Batch ‘A’ Stream II corp members, when the governor’s wife visited the NYSC Orientation Camp, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos, on Thursday,  August 10, 2017.
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (6th right); NYSC State Coordinator, Prince Mohammed Momoh (5th right), with NYSC staff and 2017 Batch ‘A’ Stream II corp members, when the governor’s wife visited the NYSC Orientation Camp, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos, on Thursday, August 10, 2017.

 Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, inspecting the ‘Quarter Guard’ mounted in her honour during her visit to the 2017 Batch ‘A’ Stream II corp members, at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos State, on Thursday, August 10, 2017.
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, inspecting the ‘Quarter Guard’ mounted in her honour during her visit to the 2017 Batch ‘A’ Stream II corp members, at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos State, on Thursday, August 10, 2017.
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.

Address Delivered At The Opening Ceremony Of The Biennial Convention Of The Nigerian Guild Of Editors (NGE) Held On April 29th 2017 At Airport Hotel, Lagos

Address Delivered At The Opening Ceremony Of The Biennial Convention Of The Nigerian Guild Of Editors (NGE) Held On April 29th 2017 At Airport Hotel, Lagos

I am delighted at your kind invitation to be the Special Guest of Honour at this edition of the Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. Lagos has always been home to Nigerian editors and indeed to the media and it is good to have you around once again.

I wish to commend the Executive and the entire members of the Guild for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the growth and development of the media and free speech in Nigeria.

I must also appreciate in particular your choice of Lagos for the hosting of this year’s convention because it coincides with the 50th anniversary celebration of the creation of the State.

Your choice is also significant as Lagos serves as home to the Nation’s media, as well as accommodating the largest concentration of media houses in Nigeria. Every journalist of note in Nigeria has a story of Lagos to tell in his or her career and I am sure not a few among you would conveniently attribute Lagos to their success stories.

The theme for this year’s conference ‘A Nation in Recession: Whither the Nigerian Media? is very apt and in line with your traditional role as the conscience of the nation. The theme is not only topical and timely but also relevant to our collective efforts at addressing the current economic challenges.

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The current recessionary climate has taught us some hard lessons, evident by slowed economic activities and rising unemployment which together with demography issues and the perennial problem of our huge infrastructure deficit in Lagos State and across Nigeria, present a daunting challenge and also an opportunity for us to think outside the box to change Nigeria’s story from “business as usual” to “business unusual”.

One major impact of the current recessionary climate that we are seriously addressing is the high rate of unemployment. As a result of the lull in the economy and subsequent lay-offs and shut-down of businesses, the national unemployment rate rose to 13.9% in 2016 from 10.4% in 2015; while the unemployment rate in Lagos State increased from 18% in 2015 to 27% in 2016.

In order to sufficiently demonstrate our desire to confront unemployment, one of my earliest tasks as Governor was the creation of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Office of Overseas Affairs and Investments, Office of Civic Engagement as well as the realignment of Arts and Culture with the Ministry of Tourism. The objective of this measure is to creatively use these new establishments to fashion out ways of creating job opportunities for Lagos residents.

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With the conviction that when the going gets tough, the remedy to economic recession is to spend your way out of it, create platforms that will stimulate job creation and decidedly reflate the economy, we established the N25 billion Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. Beneficiaries are already in their thousands as cheques are being issued to creative entrepreneurs with a charge that they should create more jobs, thereby contributing to the growth of the Lagos economy in particular and the nation at large.

We are irrevocably committed to promoting the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector in the State. We have domesticated the Federal Government’s policy on MSMEs and have also inaugurated the State’s Council on MSMEs for proper coordination of the scheme in the State. We have also held the maiden edition of MSME fair to promote locally made products, create employment and generate wealth. All these I believe are gaining traction because you the media gatekeepers have been a partner in the concerted effort to reboot the national economy.

We are also seriously working on improving the ease of doing business by reviewing our regulations and processes covering registrations, approvals and issuance of permits/licenses, mode of payments, etc. with a view to attracting and retaining additional local and foreign investment into the State.

As we all know, the low level of crude oil prices currently at US$49.91 compared to the over US$100 price level prior to the oil and gas sector burst period, has shrunk the State’s federal transfers and put increasing pressure on the State’s limited resources.

Given this situation, we have made a conscious decision to partner with the private sector through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to bridge the funding gap to deliver key/strategic infrastructure projects to our people, notably, the Fourth Mainland Bridge; Oshodi Transport Interchange; Badagry Deep Sea Port; Lekki free trade zone, and Lagos Smart City projects, among others.IMG_5048

Distinguished guests, Gentlemen of the Press, we in Lagos State are determined to show leadership, demonstrate capacity and be relentless in our pursuit for excellence in spite of the challenges that appear daunting. Today, with our GDP at US$136 billion, Lagos is Africa’s fifth largest economy just because we have been prudent and resilient as well as taking on board the useful opinions and analysis that the vibrant media have ceaselessly provided.

My request and message to you today is to embrace partnership as an option for the growth and development of the country. We may serve in different arms of the society but we all share a common goal which is to make our country better.

One of the major responsibilities of the Media is to advance the cause of good governance. Whilst free media is at the heart of true democracy, our focus should be how the Media can more effectively support this agenda.

Your role in this pursuit of resilience, therefore, is to lend the needed support in bringing our noble efforts to public consciousness. With your vital partnership, we are hopeful that other governments can borrow a leaf from the Lagos Model and translate same in their respective domains to promote good governance to the greater benefit of humanity.

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I wish to reiterate that we are always conscious of the fact that we have a duty to guarantee every Lagosian maximum benefit of the dividends of democracy. That is the only way we can justify the confidence the good people of the State reposed in us. This requires innovativeness, selflessness, diligence and prudent management of available human and material resources which we have deployed in order to improve the well-being of our people.

Yet, we are aware that so much still needs to be done. We are not resting on our oars as we will continue to initiate and execute programmes that will make Lagos the investment haven of Africa and the tourism destination of the Continent.

Finally, I would like to commend the Nigerian Guild of Editors for its consistency in stimulating awareness and addressing issues that are relevant to the growth and development of your profession and to the development of our dear nation. I urge you to keep it up. And I wish you a rewarding convention and hitch-free elections.

It is now my pleasure to declare the Biennal Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors officially open.

Thank you and God bless you.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun.