Lagos To Host President Buhari On Two-Day Working Visit

Muhammadu Buhari, LagosThe Lagos State Government will formally welcome President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, May 23, on a two-day working visit to the state.

It will be President Buhari’s first official visit to the state since he assumed office about a year ago.

A statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, stated that this is the first time in about 15 years, a sitting President would be visiting the state on a working visit.

Mr Ayorinde said that was a testimony to the landmark achievements of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the last one year and the good working relationship between Lagos State and the Federal Government.

He added that the President during the visit, would formally commission the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Rescue Unit in Cappa Oshodi, built by the state government to ensure prompt and swift response to emergency situations in the state.

The Commissioner said President Buhari would thereafter, commission the newly constructed Ago Palace Way in Okota, Isolo after which he would pay homage to the Oba of Lagos, Oba Babatunde Rilwanu Aremu Akiolu.

He stated further that the President would later in the day be hosted to a reception rally by the state government at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos, where he would also commission and hand over security equipment and vehicles contributed by the Governor Ambode led administration to securities agencies to beef up security in the state.

The statement added that activities for the first day of the President’s visit would be rounded up with a State Banquet in his honour at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.

The President would on Tuesday, participate as the Special Guest of Honour at a breakfast session with Corporate Lagos to be hosted by Governor Ambode at the Lagos State House in Marina after which he would have a short session with the public service at the State House in Alausa-Ikeja.

The Commissioner quoted Governor Ambode as being joyous over this landmark presidential visit to Lagos State that contributed so much to his emergence as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He added that Lagosians (the state residents) were looking forward with excitement to receiving the President, just as he urged them to bear with law enforcement agents and traffic control authorities, who would effect road diversions in some of the routes that the President motorcade would pass through during the visit.

PVC Distribution: INEC Decries Poor Response In Abuja

PVCsNational Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Chris Iyimoga, has appealed to residents of Abuja to come for their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC), before the deadline of March 8, 2015.

The former Director of FCT Council for Arts and Culture, who spoke after an inspection of some collection centres in the Federal Capital Territory, decried the low turn out of residents to collect the cards.

Some residents of Abuja had condemned the ongoing collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in the Federal Capital Territory for what they called “inadequate awareness and sensitisation of the public”.

Some of the residents said that they got to know about the exercise when they saw people gathering at Polling Units, while a resident complained that he could not find his name on the collection list.

“The information was not well circulated, the awareness was low and I did not hear about it at all. I was on my way to work when I saw a crowd.

“I decided to check out what was happening and discovered a board has been put up with incomplete names,” he said.

However, Dr Iyimoga has stressed that only seventy-one per cent (71%) of the Permanent Voter Cards had been collected.

He urged the residents of the Federal Capital Territory and its environs to go to their Polling Units to collect their Permanent Voter Cards in order to vote the candidates of their choice in the coming general elections.

Fashola Credits Improved State Public Service To Change Of Attitude

Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN)
Governor Babatunde Fashola

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday, that “Lagos is working” because of the change of attitude and dedication to work in its Public Service.

Governor Fashola made the observation at a Pens-Down ceremony held in Alausa, in honour of the retiring Head of Service, Mrs Josephine Oluseyi Williams.

Governor Fashola expressed joy that the State Public Service had removed the word “impossible” from its vocabulary, emphasising that such resolve underscored the fact that the people could change anything that did not work for them.

“Whenever Lagos residents acknowledged the State’s law enforcement agencies, the fire fighting capacity of its Fire Service or the efficiency of its Public Service delivery, I always reminded them that the personnel of the agencies were not changed “but only changed their attitude and renewed their dedication,”  he said.

Fashola maintained that with the right attitude and the appropriate dedication to work, nothing would be impossible for any institution in Nigeria.

“When I meet people outside now and they tell me that the face of the Lagos State Public Service is changing for the better, I take that compliment with a lot of inward pride even though I know that the work is not finished,” the Governor added.

This Cup Would Pass

Fashola also noted that the State’s Public Service has earned the support of the public that it serves, reiterating that earning such support was only half of the journey, as keeping it was the real deal.

He explained further that Lagos did not earn such public support by sloganeering, by pronouncing transformation or by a vision that changed every minute.

Governor Fashola, who entitled his address at the ceremony “This Cup Would Pass”, stressed that Nigeria was being forced to drink from a very bitter cup, adding that the cup would eventually pass.

“Even though we gather to celebrate and honour the Public Service, some of the things that we see now raises several questions and the difference between good and bad is becoming very difficult to tell,” he said.

The outgoing Governor also added that governance was not necessarily about building roads and bridges or about proving jobs but also about very high moral authority.

Advising those who regard the appointment of women into leadership positions as their achievement to look beyond their narrow confines, the Governor stated that “when you look at the Permanent Secretaries in Lagos State, the Magistracy, the leadership of parastatals and the Judiciary, you will see that leadership responsibility for women in Lagos is a way of life.

“So if some people think they are doing women a favour and consider it an achievement, they are living in a different world. Here, it is already a way of life.”

In her response, after signing off her personal file in the Public Service and receiving a Certificate of Service from the Governor, Mrs Williams said her choice of the public service was primarily based on the desire to fulfill a dream of touching lives and making some modest contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria.

Urging public servants to remain focused at all times and in all situations, she reminded them that the decisions they made in the course of service would go a long way in shaping the society.

Lagos PDP Flags Off Campaign

Lagos PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would on Monday, January 26, flag off its campaigns for the February elections in Lagos State.

The flag-off, expected to be a mega rally, is to officially kick start the campaigns for all the PDP candidates in the elections.

According to the Party, the flag-off has been tagged many appellation indicating its appropriateness at the time in Lagos polity. It is expected to be graced by chieftains of PDP within and outside the state.

The Lagos PDP Chairman, Tunji Shelle, confirmed the programme.

“We shall have our mega rally to officially start our campaigns and the unstoppable movement to send APC out of Alausa.

“Yes, we have been having pre flag-off programmes as part of our reach-out strategies, but at this occasion, we will officially present the Governorship candidate to Lagosians.

“We have heard the rally called many good names. We see the rally as “God’s Anointed Rally,” he said.

We shall reel out majority of our realizable promises to Lagosians and give them the reasons to vote PDP at all the elections in February,” he said.

Meanwhile, the PDP has cautioned any persons with violent intentions to steer clear of the venue as adequate security has been put in place to put under control any mischief maker.

Health Official Urges Nigerians To Stop Stigmatising Discharged Ebola Victims

Health_officialThe Permanent Secretary of the Lagos Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Kayode Oguntimehin, has reiterated the call by the Lagos State Government on Nigerians to stop the stigmatisation of discharged Ebola victims, insisting they are the safest persons to be around.

“Someone who has been treated for Ebola and has come out of that treatment centre is probably the safest person you could be around because that person cannot get infected and cannot give it to you”, he said as a guest on Sunrise daily, on Wednesday.

He also warned that people are more at risk when they think they are running to safety from the discharged people, adding that “if somebody comes out and we say they should pack out of the house, they should not come to work; we are terminating their appointments; it sends the wrong signal”.

He further said infected people will refuse to turn themselves to the authorities if they knowg that they will be ostracised by the society, insisting that the “only way you can stop this illness, is if it doesn’t get to the next person.

“If I know that I have this disease and I know that if I come out and I am treated, I am going to be ostracised by the community and turned into a pariah, why will I come out” maintaining that “we are not really protecting ourselves by trying to stigmatise these people; on the other hand we are doing the opposite”, he said.

He called on Nigerians to have a rethink about stigmatising discharged victims because it it is getting so worrisome that some of the health workers are being stigmatised, noting that “these people are actually unsung heroes”.

Dr Oguntimehin further wondered why, instead of acknowledging health workers who have had less than five hours of sleep for the the past 52 days, since the problem started, are being pushed away, noting that “if others outside our shores are appreciative of what others are doing, I find it very disturbing that our people are not giving them the accolades that they deserve, instead they are being threatened left right and centre.

“I hope our people will change this attitude because if we drive these people away, who do we think is going to help us contain this”, he asked, insisting that containing the disease is the main trick not letting it explode.

He however expressed worry that some health workers are also guilty of stigmatising either sick or discharged patients, wondering “what others would do” if “those who are supposed to know (better) are also engaged in the act”.

Dr Oguntimehin warned culprits to desist from the act because the government is willing to apply the big stick and urged them “to have a rethink and realise that these people need to be embraced within the society” insisting that “they are extremely safe”.

Lagos State To Prosecute Case Of Stigmatisation

The Lagos State Government had said on Tuesday it will prosecute any person, group or organisation that stigmatises a patient who has been treated of the the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and duly discharged.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who made Government’s intention known while giving an update on the EVD in the State at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, directed any concerned person, who has experienced stigmatisation, to petition the Attorney-General of the State from where the Government would take up the case.

Idris noted that there had been one or two cases of such stigmatisation in the State, while pointing at the eviction of contacts or treated patients from their places of accommodation, such persons being asked to stay away from work or outright termination of employment of such persons.

He reiterated that infection by Ebola Virus Disease was not a death sentence and appealed to members of the public, including employers of labour, to desist from stigmatising persons or laying off their workers who either have been treated and given a clean bill of health or are contacts under surveillance, describing the action as unfair and an infringement on their fundamental right to freedom of association and employment.

Ebola Virus Update: LASG Urges Citizens Not To Create Anxiety Through Rumours

Dr Jide IdrisThe Lagos State Government has urged residents to avoid spreading rumours and false stories about the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) as such stories create unnecessary anxiety even as it announced the full recovery and discharge of seven confirmed cases of the disease in the State.

Briefing newsmen on Tuesday, the State’s Commissioner for Education, Dr. Jide Idris, said such rumours and false stories, especially in the social media, are also capable of undermining the efforts being made to contain and manage the outbreak.

The Commissioner, who said the briefing has become necessary in order to douse “the inaccuracies bothering on distortion of facts and outright falsehood being spread in the social media” noted that contrary to the rumours and false information, the Rapid Response Team on the disease are working in accordance with global best practices.

He reiterated that five deaths had so far been recorded in Nigeria since the EVD incident, adding that the seven recovered persons, who are currently being successfully reintegrated with their families and communities, are a confirmation that an infection by the disease does not mean an automatic death sentence.

Dr Idris said the common thread among the recovered cases was their early presentation for supportive treatment, pointing out that, with the development, there are no need to hide friends and relations who are suspected to have come down with the disease. “The earlier they are brought for screening and surveillance, the better the outcome”.

Idris emphasized that a contact becomes infective only when symptoms appear “with fever being the game changer” he added that, by and large, only symptomatic contacts are admitted while asymptomatic contacts are only admitted when the index of suspicion that they may be lost to follow up is high.

He explained further that while contacts are monitored twice daily for temperature changes and symptoms, the homes of contacts coming for self admission or those evacuated  for conduct of confirmatory tests, including areas of common use with other tenants or family members, their offices and relevant general surfaces, are decontaminated.

The Commissioner implored Lagos residents not to stigmatize contacts who have been given a clean bill of health urging them to assist in facilitating the re-integration of such contacts into the society. He cited the example of the American doctor who was discharged by Emory Hospital in the United States after being treated of EVD pointing out that he was openly embraced by both the hospital staff and family members.

He also appealed to medical practitioners in both public and private health facilities not to reject febrile patients without proper assessment pointing out that such rejection may not only increase stigmatization but also deter self-reporting. “Not everybody with a fever or hemorrhage has come down with EVD”.

He said contrary to the rumours and false information in the social media, the Rapid Response Team on the virus has continued to function through the working groups which include  Contact Tracing, Epidemiology and Laboratory, Health Promotion and Social Mobilization, Case Management and Infection Prevention/Control, Point of Entry and Data Management adding that regular meetings are being facilitated by the Team to develop strategic action plan in line with best practices.

Dr Idris highlighted the mode of transmission of the disease, noting that “once a person is infected with Ebola, the disease is transmissible through direct contact with broken skin, mucous membranes and secretion of an infected person”, adding that human to human transmission is only achieved through physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill with fever being a key sign.

Doctor Who Contracted Ebola Disease Not Dead-LASG

Jide-Idris-commissioner-for-healthLagos State Government on Tuesday affirmed that the female medical doctor who tested positive to the Ebola Virus after treating a Liberian diplomat that died of the disease after arriving in Nigeria is still alive.

Addressing newsmen at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, noted that the female medical doctor who attended to the case of Ebola Virus Disease at a private hospital in Lagos is the only confirmed case to date out of the eight primary contact under clinical surveillance and care.

“Her being infected is largely due to the fact that she was a primary contact when the index case presented. At that point in time, the disease was not known to have been imported into the country”, Idris explained.

He stressed that the essence of the briefing is to highlight the mode of transmission of Ebola Virus Disease stressing that the disease is transmissible through direct contact with broken skin, mucous membranes and secretions of an infected person or through direct contact with materials and surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person.

“This is a call for vigilance as human to human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill from Ebola virus through body fluids such as blood, urine, stool, saliva, breast milk and semen. Burial ceremonies where mourners including family members have direct contact with patients who died of Ebola have also played a role in the spread of the disease”, Idris said.

The Commissioner noted that in Africa, infection has also occurred through the handling of infected chimpanzees, monkeys, gorillas, fruit bats, antelopes and porcupines adding that there has been no case of transmission by domestic animals like pigs.

He urged everyone to be vigilant especially with regard to relating with people who are ill, stressing that there is no cause to panic as long as basic precautionary measures such as hand washing, adoption of appropriate waste management and enhanced personal and environmental hygiene are adhered to.

Idris opined that precautionary measures such as hand washing, adoption of appropriate waste management and enhanced personal and environmental hygiene is relevant especially when large congregations are expected with a mix of people from other part of the world and commended the responsiveness and cooperation received from the Redeemed Christian Church of God in this regard during the church’s on-going Convention.

While appreciating various health workers who have selflessly committed to this cause of preventing the spread of the virus in the areas of contact tracing, case management and decontamination, the Commissioner appealed to other health workers like doctors, nurses, environmental health workers and phlebotomists to come on board and complement the state health workforce.

He also appealed to striking doctors to return to work and urged other health workers to sheath their swords and embrace team work in the drive to stem the spread of the disease in the state.

“We also count on the cooperation of the good people of Lagos State as your government, in partnership with the Federal government may need in the course of taking decisions in the overriding interest of the public, institute measures that may be considered inconvenient to some people”, Idris said.

He explained that relevant digital platforms have been set up for ease of reference, information and communication flow and that the platforms include Help line: 0800 EBOLA HELP (0800326524357); Website: www.ebolaalert.org; Facebook: fb.com/ebolaalert; and Twitter: @ebolaalert.

Also present at the briefing were the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr Lateef Ibirogba.

Fashola Meets With Operators Of Fuel Tank Farms, Calls For Vigilance

Gov-Fashola (1)The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday met with operators of fuel tank farms in Apapa and urged them to be more vigilant around their operational bases also promptly reporting vehicles that cannot be accounted for in their areas of operation to the police and security agencies.

In a meeting with the Tank Farm owners at the Lagos House, Alausa, Fashola urged the operators to ensure that no vehicle that could not be accounted for should be allowed to park within the premises or make use of their facilities so as not to compromise the security of the State.

The Governor who said he had met with various business operators at many levels, told the operators, that “the game must change”.

“We have met with hospitality facilities, we have met with health, we have met with the malls, the motor parks, we are taken every measure and we are not leaving anything to chance. Every information that we get we check. But we need leaders in strategic places because we can’t run your businesses and we need you now to take responsibility in this area and leave the rest to us”.

Pointing out that property values are diminishing in the area as a result of the operation of tankers, the Governor said: “But you know what is going to happen? The demand is going to transfer to the other side of town. So we are all going to pay for it. If I cannot live in Apapa again, the next thing I will do is ask, where else can I live”.

“The question we will ask ourselves is how sustainable is hauling of fuel going to be. It is diminishing the lifespan of our roads and we are continuing and we are heading to a point where we will no longer be able to travel by road again if we don’t change quickly now,” he said, stating that the Federal Government may not be expected to do anything about the problem.

“If you go along Alaka and Barracks you will see that all almost all the street lights have been knocked down mainly by tankers and trailers. We don’t come back to you to say you damaged public property come and repair it. But we should. Driving along Eko Bridge and Apongbon just see the disjoints that are going on; they are not accidents it is tonnage pressure.”

Noting that the fear of the tanker drivers over the new development could be that they would not have any more jobs, the Governor said the drivers could be tanker owners and blend into the business instead of driving on the roads. “If there is an accident, the people who may be affected would be reduced if it is rail transportation”.

He also said that the operators were there because of local content. “Now the local oil companies have outstripped the Texacos, the Mobils and the Totals. But when they started this business about 50 years ago, they transported by rails. We forced them into the roads; but now this generation can do the right thing and go back to the rails”.

At the meeting were representatives of all the major fuel Tank Farm Operators and the Commissioner of Police, Mr Aliyu Mohammed Manko, Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engineer Taofeek Tijani, Director of State Security Service (SSS), Mr Ben Olayi and Commander 9 Brigade cantonment, Ikeja, Brigadier A.S. Maikoba.

Channels Book Club: 10 Facts About Gani Fawehinmi Gallery And Library

Gani Fawehinmi LibraryThe Channels Book Club team paid a visit to the Gani Fawehinmi Gallery and Library.

Here are 10 facts that would interest you about the library.

1. Gani Fawehinmi Library was established in April 1965 at No.116 Denton Street, Ebutte-Metta, Lagos, when Gani established his chambers.

2. In 1974, the Library was moved to Surulere, Lagos and in 1978, the Library moved from Surulere to Ajao Estate, Anthony Village, Lagos.

3. Between 2009 and 2012, the Library moved to its present and permanent site at Gani Fawehinmi Library and Gallery at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

4. The Library started as a small library to service, Gani Fawehinmi Chambers.

5. The Gani Fawehinmi Library is reputed to be the largest Private Library in Nigeria.

6. The Library has a collection of over One Million books and non-book materials on various subjects ranging from Law, Politics, Biographies, religion, Social Sciences, Almanacs, Encyclopedia etc.

7. The Library has an archive with a collection of newspapers and magazines from the early 1970s to date. These are Newspapers and Magazines that cannot be found in any other library in Nigeria.

8. The Library has four-hundred bibliographical materials on the Founder, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).

9. In his life-time, Gani Fawehinmi had a penchant for acquiring books for the development and advancement of mankind.

10. The library also has a Gallery which contains all items and materials on Chief Gani Fawehinmi including some of his Law apparels and detention materials like his prison uniform (Prisoner J60).

Fashola Emphasizes Teachers’ Competency, Considers Professionalising Teaching

Fashola on Teachers’ CompetencyThe Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday attended the One Day Training and Sensitization programme on Teachers Competency Framework, declaring that the State was considering the professionalization of teaching to adequately compensate enterprise.

The Governor who spoke at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, venue of the programme, added that no teacher should entertain any fear about the intentions of the government as the basic salaries of the teachers would still be applicable to all of them.

“The basic income of teachers would remain but instead of everyone clamouring for the same salary increment, that would be a function of what the person can offer as a professional. Those who improve themselves will always have something to gain”, he added.

He added that what would change is that just as it is obtainable in professional football where members of the same football club earn different match allowances based on their rating and qualifications, additional emoluments for teachers would be based on what each teacher can offer.

The Governor explained further that if for example the state decides that for a particular period of time, its emphasis was going to be on science or Information Communication Technology, (ICT), it would provide incentives to teachers with competencies in such fields so that the teachers may continue to always improve themselves.

Governor Fashola stated that classrooms and beautiful schools don’t teach the children but only committed teachers do, stressing that the State Government has a responsibility to ensure that even private schools are regulated by the government in order to guarantee the quality of competence that goes on in the schools.

“The chances that you would find an unqualified teacher in a public school is almost zero but the chances exist of meeting somebody who has no knowledge at all of classroom management running a private school”, he maintained.

Fashola said that the issue of competence of teachers have become acrimonious but that teachers must be confident to admit that they have shortcomings if indeed they do have, in order to be able to learn, adding that there is no margin for errors in the competence of teachers.

Governor Fashola said that improving the competence of teachers is the next investment which the State government intends to make, just as it is committed to improving water supply to the public schools through its 60 schools water connection project.

He also gave a ray of hope to teachers who have obtained additional qualifications which they have not been able to tender, largely because they never got requisite study approvals before proceeding. He said that the government will also test its competencies in terms of its educational policies to enable teachers to take more knowledge, and for those who have acquired more knowledge not to conceal them.

Earlier, the Tutor- General and Permanent Secretary District 5, Mrs Mary Iji, had given a detailed insight into what the Teachers Framework Exercise was all about, including recommendation on how to make the recruitment process more embracing and all inclusive.

Prominent among those who witnessed the event were the State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, the Special Adviser on Education, Fatai Olukoga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo and Tutors General and Permanent Secretaries as well as teachers from all the education districts.

Lagos Commercial Drivers, Conductors To Wear Uniforms By 2014

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said plans are in the offing to introduce a new taxi policy that makes it compulsory for the commercial bus drivers, conductors to wear uniforms and badges in the New Year.

The state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, revealed this at a stakeholder’s forum held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja.

Opeifa said that the move was part of state government’s determination to transform the public transport industry, enhance professionalism, ensure standards and safety of the people.

He said that with the new public transport management system, the state government would re-introduce the routing system in order to ensure even distribution of vehicles and non-hiking of transport fares, especially during peak periods.

According to him, the routing system is in line with Regulation 20 of the Road Traffic Law with stipulates that  no commercial vehicle shall  ply  any route other than that for which it is authorised.

Opeifa said that aside from the routing system, the commuter vehicle operator was expected to register himself, the driver and conductor before getting a commercial vehicle operator license.

The Commissioner, who said that about 200 Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) had been trained to handle the documentation, appealed to commuter vehicle operators and transport unions to go to any of the 21 vehicle inspection service centres in their localities, while the drivers and conductors should go to any of the five Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) in their division.

Commuters Spend Hours On Lagos/Ibadan Expressway Massive Traffic

There was massive traffic today on the ever busy Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.

While some attributed the gridlock to the minor rehabilitation work taking place on the road, some say it is the big carriage vehicles that break down along the road.

Whatever the cause, commuters spent more than three hours between the Lagos state secretariat, Alausa to the Mowe/Ibafo axis of the expressway.

The Federal Government has promised to complete, within two weeks, the ongoing rehabilitation of sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that usually cause traffic gridlocks.

Commuters plying the road usually complain of wasting man-hours trying to get through some sections of the road washed out by the rains.

Movement on the road has being slowed by the construction of an additional lane on the Ibadan-bound stretch and the mounting of concrete median at some points.