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Lagos Matters

We’ll improve on service delivery to Lagosians, says commissioner

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Ajibola Ponnle, commissioner for establishments, training and pensions in Lagos, says her ministry will inspire paradigm shift towards improving service delivery to Lagosians.

Ponnle said this at the launch of Simple, High-Impact Interactive, Focused and Transformational (SHIFT), an initiative of her ministry.

She said it represents a new culture in the state’s civil service, focusing on quality performance, knowledge sharing and excellent service delivery.

Ponnle highlighted the importance of harnessing the potential of the state’s workforce through new thinking and approaches to accelerate the attainment of the vision for a greater Lagos.

She said: “This is the first of its kind in the service. The objectives of the S.H.i.F.T programme, fashioned after TED talks, is to share knowledge, in particular innovation and creative ideas that will move the State public service into a 21st century workforce. It seeks to connect knowledgeable resource persons within and outside the State public service to the generality of the public servants.

“It will bring together diverse staff across all MDAs and empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the State public service.

“The platform will facilitate employee communication and engagement. It will keep public servants abreast of modern trends in identified subject areas and serve also as a means of interaction and breaking silos.”

In his remarks, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor, said performance would be the criterion for reward and elevation in the state’s civil service.

“From today on, I assure you that our public service will be performance based. For anyone to be appointed as a permanent secretary, such person will have to sit for an examination and pass through an interview process. If we use the permanent secretary as a testimony, everyone will know that it is performance based, and not based on connection. It was something we started years ago and I think we have to go back to it,” he said.

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Lagos Matters

Lagos records first Lassa fever case

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Lagos State has recorded a case of the Lassa fever, a Hemorrhagic fever that is raging in over 19 states in the country.

The Lagos state Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement early Wednesday, confirmed that the patient is currently in isolation at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

Abayomi called on residents to be calm and not panic, noting that the situation is under control.

He assured the residents that state government, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will do everything possible to control the spread of the disease in the state.

He said, “The Ministry of Health through Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health Directorate is currently carrying out ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who may have been infected in line with international standards while we beef up our other surveillance strategies.”

The Commissioner stressed the need for members of the public to ensure and maintain an adequate personal hygiene and environmental sanitation at all times as part of prevention and control measures against the spread of the disease in the state.

Abayomi noted that the prevention and control of the disease remained a shared responsibility of all citizens through the observance of the highest possible standards of personal and community hygiene as well as environmental sanitation.

He urged residents to store house-hold refuse in sanitary refuse bags or dust bins with tight-fitting covers to avoid infestation by rats and rodents; dispose refuse properly at designated dump sites and not into the drainage system and store food items in rodent-proof containers.

He stated that a case of Lassa Fever should be suspected in any person with persistent high fever not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever or bleeding from the body surface.

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Lagos Matters

‘You are expanding the kingdom of armed robbers’ — Bode George hits Sanwo-Olu over okada ban

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Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the ban of okada and tricycles in some areas  of Lagos will only increase the spate of armed robbery in the state.

On February 1, the government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu restricted commercial motorcycles and tricycles in 15 local government areas and local council development areas.

The action was received with widespread criticisms among Lagosians.

Commenting on the ban during an interview with PUNCH, George, a native of the state, said the action would only “expand the kingdom of armed robbers”.

He said the ban is “inimical to anything that makes sense”, asking if any alternative employments have been put in place for those affected.

He advised Sanwo-Olu, whom he described as his younger brother, to revisit the law.

“How can they (state government) do that? Let us forget about politics, the governor is my younger brother and his uncle is my friend. I talk to him like an elder. He should sit down and revisit that law,” George said.

“It is inimical to anything that makes any sense at all.  Most workers in Lagos work in the Island, how do they get to their offices early now? Must everybody buy a car? Which alternative employment do they have for the people that they have stopped from riding a commercial motorcycle? So, how do they survive?

“They are only expanding the kingdom of armed robbers. The number of people out of job is unbelievable and you are adding to it. Get the Amotekun to be in every area and they will monitor the movement of these people (okada riders).”

Speaking on the 2023 presidency, George said ideally, the PDP should zone the ticket to the south-east.

He added that if Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), should contest the election, then he would challenge him in the race.

George described a Tinubu presidency as disruptive, vowing to denounce his citizenship if the APC leader emerged as president.

“I had said it before that ideally, from our party, once it comes back to the South, it must go to the South-East…because they have never had it, but if the name Tinubu pops up in the APC, I would go all out to contest with him,” he said.

“Let us get out there because it would be the greatest disservice for our nation to have him contest as a presidential candidate.

“It would be the most illogical and most disruptive issue to have him (Tinubu) elected as President. If this happens, I will disown Nigeria to take the citizenship of Togo or any other country.”

On the widespread insecurity across the country, George said sacking the service chiefs would not put an end to the problem.

According to him, insurgency is as a result of “mistrust between people of different faiths and tribes”.

“Nigerians are now getting involved, is it the problems of service chiefs that is responsible for all these? What we have right now is the insurgency largely as a result of mistrust between people of different faiths and tribes,” he said.

“The service chief is just one man and a tree does not make a forest. It does not mean that if you change one man all is well.

“The issue is a collective responsibility. Their loyalty to the country must outshine everything they think of.”

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Lagos Matters

Lagos Introduces New Number Plate for Vehicles

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In order to further prioritise safe motoring measures for crime detection on Lagos roads, the Lagos State government has introduced the newly designed Articulated and Allied Vehicle Number Plate (AVNP).

At the unveiling on Thursday, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, said the initiative was from the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, through the Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA).

The Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Sewedo Oluseyi Whenu, explained that one of the major benefits of the initiative was the creation of a robust database for all articulated and heavy-duty vehicles, especially those that ply state roads.

“As you are all aware, it is quite difficult to manage or deal with any problem effectively if you can’t measure it or have verifiable data.

“The essence of the database is, therefore, to provide and share valuable information and data on an articulated vehicle with the law enforcement agencies, the Nigeria Police and the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) for safety and security as well as crime investigation and detection purposes,” he stated.

Mr Oladeinde disclosed that all new vehicles coming into the state through the ports will be required to obtain the Temporary Vehicle Tag (TVT) to be issued by MVAA as a means of identification for yet-to-be-fully registered, newly-acquired vehicles pending full registration.

He maintained that the new AVNP scheme has been designed and simplified to engender user-friendly and seamless procedures for the issuance of the plates, assuring that the pricing regime for the plates is affordable.

Also speaking at the event, General Manager of Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI), Mrs Afusat Tiamiyu, appealed to drivers to ensure that they upgrade their driving skills by enrolling at the institute for training, stressing the Agency has skilled personnel who impart knowledge required for safe and precision driving.

Her counterpart at the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Olatunde Oduyoye, in his remarks, stated that complying with traffic regulations ensures sanity on the roads, pointing out that if there is a free flow of traffic, there will be reduced lawless activities on the roads.

Earlier, while delivering her welcome address, the General Manager of MVAA, Mrs Lape Kilanko, reiterated the present administration’s resolve to form an all-inclusive government.

She gave the assurance that MVAA will continually review its policies to provide services that are customer-oriented and tailored towards the ease of doing business.

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