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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Video: Remarks Delivered At the Colloquium Marking 65th Birthday of Asiwaju’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday unveiled plans by his administration to transform some landmark areas in the Marina and Onikan axis of the State into a world class one-stop recreation and tourism centre.
The Governor, who spoke at the Eko Hotels and Suites at the presentation of Museum Possibilities as well as the unveiling of the design for a new world class Museum, also disclosed that the State Government will soon commence the construction of a brand new contemporary Museum in the State as an integral part of its overall strategy to become self-sufficient and secure the future prosperity of the State.
He lamented that despite the fact that Nigeria is blessed with very rich culture and heritage, the culture and traditions upon which the social institutions and interactions are built have been neglected, saying youths do not have a strong appreciation of the nation’s history over the years.
He said his administration decided to lead the process that would deliver a new world class Museum that would showcase the priceless treasures of Nigeria, adding that the project will be funded by the State Government and other well-meaning donors, interested organisations and individuals.
“Every society must cherish its historical antecedents because they serve as source of inspiration for succeeding generations to discover, appreciate and take pride in their identity. It has become very imperative that we take a step back and revisit our history. It has become important that we renew efforts to preserve and protect our history and historical artefacts.
“This project will serve generations of Nigerians now and in the future. Our plan is to harness the potentials in our rich cultural heritage to drive tourism in Lagos State,” Governor Ambode said.
He said aside the plans for the new museum, the State Government had already taken the project to revive the Museum in Onikan, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture especially the Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Explaining the plans to transform the Onikan and Marina axis to a world class tourism and entertainment hub, Governor Ambode said that the Presidential Lodge, Marina which was recently handed over to the State by President Muhammadu Buhari, would be redeveloped into the Lagos Heritage Centre for Leadership.
“In addition, the Lagos House also in Marina will be transformed into the Lagos Historical Centre. The JK Randle Arcade will be remodeled into a world class recreation/tourism centre. The New Museum will complement and be an important part of the structures being planned for this axis. We intend to regenerate this axis and the museum into an iconic structure that will invoke deep sense of pride in all Nigerians.
“This is the new possibility that is being presented to all stakeholders in the tourism sector and all Nigerians. On our part, our commitment is unshaken and we are eager to make this dream a reality within the shortest possible time. Given the mega city status of our State, we believe this is the right way to go in order to optimally harness the State’s tourism potentials for wealth creation and sustainable growth,” the Governor said.
Governor Ambode, while also thanking President Buhari for the fatherly role he has played on behalf of the nation in the partnership, expressed confidence that through the effort, the Government would realise the huge possibilities that flow from the preservation and showcasing the nation’s cultural heritage to the world.
Also speaking, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed commended the State Government’s effort to create an enabling environment for tourism and the creative industry to thrive especially in the areas of security, light infrastructure and transportation.
He said the Federal Government has also set up a Presidential Special Committee of E-Business to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria, especially in the area of visa issuance, so as to encourage investors, tourists and visitors coming into the country.
Among those who graced the occasion include the Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwan Akiolu I, Obi f of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, Mr. Guy Bruce, veteran art aficionado, Mr. Bruce Onobrakpeya, art collector extraordinaire, Omoba Yemisi Shyllon, stakeholders in the creative industry, members of the diplomatic corp among others.