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LAGOS FLAGS OFF ILERA EKO

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… Partners Basic Health Care Provision Fund for UHC

… Enrols 55,000 Indigent Residents

The Lagos State Government has flagged off the enrolment of 55,000 vulnerable and indigent citizens across the 20 Local Government Areas in partnership with the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, to further its commitment to advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the State.

At the flag off held at Rauf Aregbesola Primary Healthcare Centre, Mosan, Alimosho, the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the Lagos State Government set aside one percent of its consolidated revenue fund as equity fund to provide health insurance for about 70% of Lagos’ vulnerable and indigent residents, who live below the poverty line of $1.9 per day and, as such, cannot afford to pay health insurance premium.

According to him, “the beneficiaries were identified using a multi-dimensional poverty index tool to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated, while implementation will commence first with the 20 healthcare facilities empanelled on the scheme and subsequently extended to all other Lagos State Health Scheme empanelled facilities soonest”.

Prof. Abayomi promised that the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) will continue to grow the vulnerable register and develop better innovative ways to provide access to quality healthcare services for all residents.

Abayomi commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for ensuring that no one is left behind in living a healthy and productive life in the State despite the economic challenges and emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that presently, members of the elderly and orphanage homes have been enrolled on ILERA EKO, through the equity fund.

The Commissioner revealed that the Federal Government supported the State by disbursing funds to onboard the 55,000 vulnerable and indigent citizens in order to expand ILERA EKO coverage across Lagos, as he commended the Federal Government for the provision of funds and gave an assurance that the funds will be judiciously expended.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Mr. Hakeem Shokunle, said that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund is an innovative approach to complement and expand the coverage of the State Health Insurance Scheme.

“The provision of the fund will no doubt complement the efforts of the Lagos State Government in pursuit of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda and Universal Health Coverage”, he said.

The Committee Chairman further said that the Lagos State House of Assembly will continue to support the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) to ensure the successful implementation of the fund, assuring that the State Government will sustain its commitment to ensuring the good health of all residents, irrespective of their economic, social or cultural background.

In his own contribution, the State Coordinator, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mrs. Aisha Haruna, representing the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo, reiterated that the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund was established to provide cover for the vulnerable citizens of Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary said that the release of one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to increase the overall financing of the health sector will no doubt reduce financial barriers to accessing primary healthcare services and help to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

His words: “I implore the Lagos State Government to ensure an effective and efficient implementation of the funds for accountability and transparency as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will continue to provide technical support to the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) for the successful implementation of the fund”.

While commending the Lagos State Government for its policy decision on the health scheme, the Chairman, Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area, Princess Olabisi Adebajo, expressed delight that the project kicked off in the Local Council Development Area and brought free healthcare to the doorstep of the people.

She congratulated the residents, who were beneficiaries of the health insurance fund, and urged them to pay attention to their health.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr. Adetokunbo Alakija, represented by a member of the LASHMA Board, Dr. Tunji Akintade, said that the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund is a collaboration between the Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), and the Federal Government, through the National Health Insurance Scheme and the National Primary Health Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He said that part of the fund will be used as additional funding for health insurance for the vulnerable in the State as well as supporting eligible Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), through the State Primary Healthcare Board, to cover operational costs expended on vaccines, medicines, commodities, infrastructure and transportation. This, he said, will go a long way in improving the quality of care that residents in the State will receive at the PHCs.

Other dignitaries at the event included the Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, the representative of the Permanent Secretary, Primary Healthcare Board (PHCB) and Director, Medical Services, PHCB, Dr. Eniola Erinosho, Executive Secretary, Blood Transfusion Services, Lagos State, Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaya, Medical Director, Alimosho General Hospital, Dr. Madewa Adebajo and Baale Okunola, High Chief Tajudeen Fashinro.

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Politics

SANWO-OLU PRESENTS SCORECARD AT RE-ELECTION RALLY

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…APC Flags Off Governorship Campaign In Lagos

A mammoth crowd of Lagos State residents, on Saturday, converged on Onikan – a cultured neighbourhood in the heart of Lagos Island – for an All Progressives Congress (APC) rally.

Clad in branded yellow shirts and Ankara brocade, the crowd dominated the city centre with pockets of political carnival. Thousands of ordinary citizens and party stalwarts trooped to Mobolaji Johnson Pavilion, the venue of the inaugural rally flagging off the party’s governorship campaign in Lagos.

The 10,000-capacity stadium brimmed with APC supporters. They carried banners and chanted slogans to receive the party chieftains and members of the Governorship Campaign Council.

APC standard bearer, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, made a grand entry into the venue, animating the crowd, which chorused: “Greater Lagos Rising” – the Governor’s re-election campaign slogan.

Reacting to the massive turnout, Sanwo-Olu said the vast attendance further confirmed the strength of APC as the only party of choice in Lagos.

The Governor mounted the rostrum to seek the mandate of Lagosians for another term in office, saying the “Greater Lagos” he promised at the inception of his government could now be visualised, given the achievements recorded during his first term.

Sanwo-Olu said the last three and half years had been challenging for his administration, pointing out that his Government traversed difficult terrains to deliver on its development objectives.

He said: “It has been an interesting and challenging journey for us in the last three and half years. Our administration has traversed difficult terrains and witnessed major disruption occasioned by global pandemic. Lagos had its fair share in the attendant socio-economic meltdown, but we provided strong leadership that protected the people and made the State come out better and stronger.

“Now, we can say ‘Greater Lagos Rising’ because our State is rising on all of our modest achievements through the THEMES agenda. In Transportation and Traffic Management, Lagosians are now living with the reality of the delivery of two intracity Rail Mass Transit projects that are on the verge of completion. These projects will be handed over in the coming weeks.

“We have also scaled up infrastructure in public transportation services by improving BRT services, injecting new taxi scheme and energizing traffic management agency for efficiency. People have seen the construction and commission of Lekki Deep Seaport, and massive road construction projects in the Eti Osa and Epe corridors. We have delivered and are still constructing more new roads in Ikorodu, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Alimosho, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Somolu and other areas.”

Sanwo-Olu said activities of his administration, since inception, had been about purposeful governance. He added that his Government had delivered new hospitals in Badagry, Epe, and Eti-Osa, pointing out that construction of new hospitals were currently being undertaken in Ikorodu, Ojo and Lagos Island.

In the environment, the Governor said the State was currently constructing 210 new drainage channels to address the issue of flooding in vulnerable communities. He said his Government had also raised the level of infrastructure in emergency response agencies, mentioning the recently completed four fire stations, recruitment of new fire fighters and provision of fire fighting equipment.

The Governor said: “Lagosians can testify to our feats in education. Over 1,000 new classrooms have been added to public schools and we completed over 1,097 projects in schools. We trained our teachers in modern teaching techniques through Eko EXCEL and handed over tablets to them for teaching. Overall performance of Lagos students in WAEC has improved from 42 per cent to over 83 per cent.”

Sanwo-Olu said there had been laudable progress recorded across his Government’s development blueprint, noting that the State had become a model for good governance and development.

The Governor thanked residents for standing by his administration, pledging that he would not take their support for granted.

He urged party members to take back the Government’s achievements back to their communities and engage in door-to-door campaign to ensure APC candidates are elected in the general elections.

Director General of Lagos APC Campaign Council, Sen. Ganiyu Solomon, said the party would have no problem taking its campaign to the electorate, given the “exceptional” performance of the party’s governorship candidate.

Solomon said the second coming of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat would bring the State to new heights of development and prosperity.

Leader of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), Prince Tajudeen Olusi, said: “The combination of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat are the best a democratic society can get in delivering results of good governance. Anyone who wants the development of Lagos to continue, Sanwo-Olu must be allowed to continue the good work he started.”

Sanwo-Olu, assisted by APC chairman, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi, presented flags to party candidates running for legislative seats in the House of Assembly and National Assembly.

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Politics

Osun Tribunal Admits Adeleke’s Certificates as Exhibits

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Ademola Adeleke

— As Oyetola, APC Close Case

The Osun State Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday admitted in evidence the file with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) containing the secondary school certificate and testimonial of Governor Ademola Adeleke of the State.

This is just as the Petitioners, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress (APC), closed the prosecution of the matter, leaving respondents to state their defence.

The admission of the documents followed the appearance of INEC representative, Mrs. Joan Arabs, who brought Adeleke’s original files containing the certificate he submitted to the Commission in 2018.

It will be recalled that during the last sitting of the panel, the Commission had submitted blank document as the secondary school certificate of the governor, a situation that compelled the panel to order that the original file be brought, and to threaten to invoke Coercive Power if it fails to do so.

At the resumed hearing of the petition on Saturday, Counsel for Oyetola, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said the hearing for the day was basically meant for the appearance of INEC representative to produce the Adeleke’s file in line with the court order.

Counsel for INEC, in his response, said that INEC representative was already in court with the files containing a clearer and legible certificate and testimonial in question, saying he would be willing to apply for the return of the documents to INEC, when the tribunal is done looking at it.

After the production of the documents, the tribunal, while discharging the INEC official, said, “You can now go if you wish to. No policeman will accost you again.”

Subsequently, Oyetola’s counsel sought to tender the documents which contain form CFO01 and its attachments, including Adeleke’s credentials, saying the original file brought to court is a primary evidence and he was comfortable with it.

Counsel for INEC, Chief Henry Agunedo (SAN), said he would be objecting to the admissibility of the documents on the ground that the basis for the production of the whole file was because only two pages of the earlier-produced Certified True Copies were in contention, saying tendering the whole documents was out of place.

Counsel for Adeleke and PDP, Niyi Owolade and Alex Izinyon (SAN) respectively, said they have objection to the tendering of the said documents, but they would reserve their objections till final address stage.

Izinyon also observed that the only documents in contention were only two pages which are Adeleke’s certificate and testimonial, saying the CTC earlier produced has not been tendered before the court.

Responding, Fagbemi said the practice everywhere is that INEC can only apply and get back the files after the dispensation of the cases, saying, “We asked for CTC and now that they brought this. We are fine, we will take it”.

Ruling on the documents tendered, the tribunal led by Tertsea Kume admitted the credentials and the Adeleke’s nomination form as exhibit ‘FILE D’ and taken as read.

It was after the tribunal admitted the documents that Fagbemi informed the panel that he had decided to close his case, saying, “My Lord, we rest our case”.

When the tribunal asked INEC to open his defence, Chief Agunedo said, it would be difficult for him to open his case on Monday, saying non-availability of his witnesses would make it practically impossible.

The panel then asked the counsel to meet and agree on adjournment date after which Counsel for INEC briefed the panel the outcome of the meeting.

Subsequently, the tribunal adjourned the case till December 20 for the respondents to open their defence, saying the adjournment was based on another engagement by the tribunal somewhere else between 12th and 19th December 2022.

Earlier, Oyetola’s counsel had informed the panel that the Court of Appeal in Abuja had reverted the judgement of a Federal High Court which disqualified Oyetola from contesting the election.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the sitting excited the members of the APC who witnessed the hearing, as jubilations erupted after the sitting of the panel. They chanted songs to eulogise Oyetola and the APC.

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Politics

TINUBU WON’T SUCCUMB TO ARISE NEWS BLACKMAIL

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We find it shocking and downright anomalous that Arise News continues to broadcast the participation of All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in its Presidential Town Hall meeting scheduled to hold on 4 December, 2022 despite our earlier statement that our candidate will not be available.

We noticed that Arise News has also been running a campaign on the so-called constitutional duty of the presidential candidates to participate in its debate by dubiously citing section 22 of the Constitution of Nigeria on the obligation of the Mass Media.

While it is trite that the media has clear constitutional duty to hold public office holders accountable to the citizens and its role as the watchdog of the society, there is no part of the Constitution and the section 22 that says a presidential candidate of any political party and least of all, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu must participate in Arise News Town Hall event or any media organised event at all.

The same Constitution grants all citizens of Nigeria including, Asiwaju Tinubu the right and freedom of choice and association. The APC Presidential candidate has a right to decide where he goes and events to participate in as he seeks the mandate of Nigerians to be elected as the next President of our country.

We want to make it abundantly clear again that Asiwaju Tinubu will not participate and will not attend the Arise News Town Hall meeting slated for Sunday, 4 December, 2022 and any other ones it may plan before the February 2023 presidential election.

The APC Presidential candidate has his own schedule of campaign activities and other engagements within and outside Nigeria. One of such events is his scheduled event for Monday , December 5, 2022 at Chatham House in London where he will speak on Security, Economy and Foreign Policy.

Asiwaju Tinubu travelled to United Kingdom early today (Saturday) for this earlier scheduled engagement. We want to reiterate for the umpteenth time that no amount of blackmail, intimidation and media bully and innuendos by the owner and management of Arise News will change the position our campaign has taken on this matter.

Bayo Onanuga
Director, Media & Publicity
APC Presidential Campaign Council
December 3, 2022

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