Hon. Segun Olulade from Epe Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly was the Chairman, House Committee on Information. Publicity, Strategy and Security between 2011 and 2015.
Olulade, who is now the Chairman, House Committee on Health, decided to host members of the Lagos State House of Assembly Correspondents Association (LAHACA) at a dinner to appreciate them for their support, while he was the spokesperson of the House.
The dinner took place at the Renaissance Hotel, Alausa, Ikeja and the seasoned lawmaker used the occasion to speak on some issues of interest at an interview session.
Why have you decided to host members of LAHACA tonight?
I decided to host you to thank you all for your support for me over the years. I must confess that you made my job so easy and my brand so popular that I wish I had the capacity and capability to do more than I am doing tonight. I thank you for being my guests tonight. I thank you for your support for me as the Chairman of the LSHA Committee on Information and Publicity from 2011 to 2015. Though I was new, when I came in because I did not have the experience in journalism, but today I am now a publisher. Today, we cannot say I am not a journalist. You co-operated with me throughout. There were times we had challenges, sometimes I had to call some of you even in the midnight not to use or use some stories. I have read so many accolades that I look back and say that without LAHACA, it would have been impossible. I want to thank the former LAHACA Chairman, Mr. Okoeki Oziegbe because he was the one I met on ground. I thank you for all that you did for me and the Assembly because you have projected the Assembly in a way that is very uncommon in this part of the world. LSHA has become the most reported assembly in Nigeria today. That would not have been possible without your co-operation and without you sacrificing your time and energy despite the fact that we sometimes sat very late in the Assembly. You sacrificed your time and energy such that the radio, television and newspapers were flooded with the news of the assembly. Atimes, we used to have some issues and I had encounters with a lot of you. But what kept us together was our determination to see the best society that we wanted. You projected us in a way that made the people to have a rethink and for the people to see us in a good light. I thank you for all that you have done for us in the past. I might have left the Committee on Information and Publicity of the House as Chairman, but I am still a member of the committee. We are now starting again in the 8th Assembly. For the sake of Lagos residents and the people that we represent, continue to do your best for the Assembly. I wanted to come along with the current Chairman of the Information Committee, but I felt it was better I have this meeting with you personally first. I am going to introduce this gathering to him. I want to appeal to you to co-operate with Assembly and the Committee as a whole for us to have the kind of Lagos that we desire.
As the Chairman of the House Committee on Health, what are you doing to attract the attention of the state government to the deplorable situation in our public hospitals. Also, an NGO recently led a protest on this kind of issue to the House, what have been your efforts on this since then?
You would recall that the first statement I issued as the Chairman of the Health Committee had to do with efficiency in our health centres and our hospitals. Now, it would not be business as usual in the sector. We thank God for the Governor of Lagos State and the state government for this new budget because it would provide us infrastructure that would enhance health services in Lagos State. There is the health insurance scheme, where we will have some sorts of funds to enhance infrastructure and healthcare services. However, I just came in as the Chairman of the Health Committee and I only got the names of my committee members today, I cannot have a one-man show, which is why we had not been as active as expected before now. But, we will swing into action soon and visit some of the hospitals in the state and those, who are not serious about being health providers should find their ways out of the sector. I want to seek your partnership and support, we will visit the hospitals together and I want the visits reported. Healthcare is what we cannot joke about, it is our collective responsibility and all hands must be on deck. The Governor is committed to this, members of the state executive council and the LSHA are committed to this. We would ensure that there is efficiency in our health system. We are aware of the nonchalant attitude of some doctors and nurses in the state, we will not tolerate that again. We are creating a zero tolerance on inefficiency in our health sector. We will ensure that everyone that lives in Lagos or has anything to do with the state has a qualitative healthcare. This is our vision and we will see it materialising. If you go to any of our hospitals and you see inefficiency and anti-people behaviour by any health worker, don’t hesitate to let me know about it so that we can take actions. We have called the state Commissioner for Health, we have listened to the NGO that led the protest and we are calling on other stakeholders to assist us, we are working in the issues raised in the protest. January 2016 would be devoted to things like this because we would be busy with the budget this December. We will soon pass the budget and make it a New Year gift for the people of the state. We will perform our oversight functions, visit all the health centres and hospitals in Lagos State. We want to have a turn-around in the sector and efficiency that is not common in this part of the world.
What areas are you focusing as the Chairman of the Health Committee?
I want my name to be written in gold, when healthcare services is being mentioned in Lagos State and in Nigeria. The former Director of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Control (NAFDAC), the late Professor Dora Akunyili became popular based on her activities on drug control. I would look at the issue of children so as to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates. I would look at the services being rendered by our health workers. I want them to show care that we have known for like Eleniyan Care. I would look at the control of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer and others. These are what lead to deaths of people everyday and we would all work together to reduce or eliminate this.
What is your relationship with the state Commissioner for Health?
We will have a family in the healthcare sector in the state, we will relate with one another on the issue of health in the state. Our personal interest would not affect the issue of healthcare in the state.
What is the update on the issue affecting the Kogi State Governorship election as it relates to Hon. James Abiodun Faleke?
Hon. James Abiodun Faleke has gone to the tribunal on the issue, so let us wait for the outcome of the matter. I wish we get to the Supreme Court so that we can rest the case. Even if he is called upon to be the Governor of Kogi State today, we will still have to go to court to deepen our democracy. This is necessary so that somebody would not come up with something that would destroy oue democracy tomorrow because the word ‘inconclusive’ has become the order of the day today, so that the people would not use ‘inconclusive’ in any matter that should have been declared ‘conclusive.’ For Faleke, the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) and for our democracy, we must go to court. The matter must get to the Supreme Court for proper interpretation. If we had to use the criteria they used for the Kogi State Governorship election for the last general elections in the country, a lot of us would not be in the state or National Assembly today, many would not have been governors today and even the senators, members of the House of Representatives, and the President of the country would not have been in office today. What they are saying is that where unlawful votes are cancelled, a winner would not emerge. We must go to court and make sure that the election is declared conclusive.
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