•‘There’ll Always Be Space for Women in My Govt’ – Gov
• ‘Women Naturally Endowed To Stabilise Society’ – Ibukun Awosika
Any society that fails to support women and help them to achieve their potential stands to lose its essence, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.
The Governor said solving development issues facing women and youths had remained a priority for his administration, pledging that his Government would continue to fight segregation policies and actions denying women the opportunity to actualise their leadership potential.
Sanwo-Olu spoke at the commemoration of the 2021 International Women’s Day organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA). The event with the theme: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”, was held at the Police College, Ikeja.
The Governor said the State Government, under his leadership, had recorded unprecedented feat in adding values to women folks and elevated them to the positions of authority and responsibility. He said women had remained on the forefront of the battle against Coronavirus (COVID-19), applauding them in the progress recorded in fighting the pandemic in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration had empowered about 50,000 women through Ministries of Youth and Social Development, Wealth Creation and WAPA in various skills and vocations that would enable them contribute to the socio economic development of the State. He promised women would continue to have space in his Government.
He said: “As a man, father, husband and Governor, I acknowledge the role women play in the development of any society and what the society stands to lose by denying women the opportunity to actualise their potentials.
This administration through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Youths and Social Development and Ministry of Wealth creation has continued to prioritise the training and empowerment of women.
“About 50,000 women and youths have been trained and empowered in various skills and vocations that will enable them contribute to the socio economic development of the State. To further demonstrate our commitment to the cause of women in Lagos, this administration has declared zero tolerance for all forms of segregation policies and domestic violence against women and young ladies, particularly the issue of rape. All Government agencies have my full backing in their daily efforts to tackle the menace of violence against our women and young ladies.”
Sanwo-Olu said there was no limit to what a woman could achieve if given the opportunity and support.
He challenged women to continue to amplify their voices in the quest for gender equality and desire to occupy more space in leadership at the very top.
The Governor urged them to challenge stereotypes and eradicate bias views, stressing that widening their perceptions were vital to achieving equality.
At the occasion, First Lady of Lagos, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, celebrated the courage and commitment of female caregivers, frontline medical practitioners, activists and political leaders, who daily laboured to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Lady noted that the pandemic had further exposed women to sexual and gender-based violence, particularly rape, which she described as “a pandemic within the pandemic”.
She observed that women still faced significant cultural, socio-economic and political barriers to accessing leadership, stressing that the only way to change the narrative was for every woman to rise in collective and take their destinies in their own hands.
She said: “My dear women, I urge every one of us to take our individual and collective destinies in our hands. Let us not stop at ‘Talk the Talk’, it is time to ‘Walk the Walk’. It is time to think big and aim high. It is time to challenge ourselves, like the media slogan for 2021 International Women Day says, #ChooseToChallenge.”
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Bolaji Dada, praised Governor Sanwo-Olu for the opportunities accorded to women in his cabinet and State Government’s appointments.
The Commissioner said the theme of the Women’s Day commemoration celebrated the courage of women around the world in standing against stereotypes, inequality and violence.
She urged women not to relent in their strive to reach the pinnacle of their endeavours, noting that there were many powerful positions to be filled by women to change the socio-economic landscape in the country.
Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, said Sanwo-Olu had not paid lip service to equality, noting that 65 per cent of Permanent Secretaries appointed by the Governor are women.
“Elevation of women in the administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu is not tokenism,” she said.
Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, who spoke on “Leadership in Extraordinary Times”, said the role for which God created women to do in making society develop could never be negotiated.
Every extraordinary time, Awosika said, requires women to deploy extraordinary actions to stabilise situations, stressing that women had natural instincts and capabilities to respond to unforeseen situations.
She listed some of the values women must imbibe in effectively tackling challenges in extraordinary situations, saying women must build trust and credibility with the community.
She said women must make commitment to making and understanding right information, while also plan proactively and seek help within the community in addressing situations.
She said: “Building lasting relationships and sharing knowledge with community members are key in solving extraordinary challenges, because no person has full experience about any situation.
“Women must deal with every situation with positive mindset and inspire people with empathy. As leaders, women must have ability to identify talents and bring the talents out to shine.”
She concluded that women could lead in extraordinary times and would not fail in delivering best results.
Women from all Local Government Areas (LGAs) attended the event.
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The Lagos State Government has completed more than 1,097 school projects covering 970 schools across the State, just as it has also ensured the upgrade and rehabilitation of 322 dilapidated public schools and the furnishing of Primary Schools with 87,000 dual composite unit of chairs and desks in two years.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed this while representing the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the commissioning of the completed school infrastructure projects at Ogudu Junior Grammar School, Ogudu on Friday.
According to him, the project being commissioned is inline with the “Education and Technology” pillar of the present administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, saying that “If we must actualise our Greater Lagos vision, quality education must remain one of our most solid building blocks”.
While commenting on the vital role of education in the growth and development of a megacity like Lagos, Mr. Omotoso stated that it has become imperative for the government to ensure that the children have access to quality education and an enabling environment for excellent learning.
His words: “In order to accelerate our children’s access to world-class pedagogical learning, we have aggressively embarked on the provision of blocks of classrooms, administrative offices, school furniture, laboratories, modern toilet facilities and security across the six Education Districts and Local Government Councils. Therefore, our children have access to quality education irrespective of their location”.
The Commissioner averred that the Lagos State Government was convinced that teaching and learning could only take place effectively in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, hence the government’s commitment to the provision of new infrastructure and the rehabilitation of existing ones.
“I am glad to note that our investment in the education sector has been yielding positive results. Our students’ performance has improved tremendously in examinations, national and international competitions. They have also improved in morals, etiquette and confidence in public speaking”, he said.
Omotoso further noted that other gains of the investment in the education sector by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration include the Lagos State team emergence as winners at the 2021 National Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientist (JETS) competition, which took place at the National Mathematical Centre, Kwali between February 21 and 27, 2021.
The Commissioner, therefore, urged community leaders, school administrators, staff and students of Ogudu Junior Grammar School to take ownership of the project and ensure that miscreants do not destroy or cart away the property of the school.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, represented by Mrs. Oluranti Olagbaju, stated that the school infrastructure projects were evenly distributed across the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas.
“There is hardly any school in the State that was not touched by either a new school building, new classroom block, hostels, security structures, school fence, toilets, furniture and boreholes among others”, she said.
The vision for the actualisation of the education sector was made possible through the effective collaboration of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Lagos State Universal Basic Education (LASUBEB), the Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), and the Lagos State Infrastructure and Assets Management Agency (LASIAMA).
Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce) has dislodged squatters, removed shanties and evacuated the abandoned vehicles under Iganmu Bridge after expiration of the three-day notice served on the illegal occupiers of the area on Monday.
The Chairman of the Task Force, CSP Shola Jejeloye, speaking after the exercise on Thursday, disclosed that the State Government intends to put the location to good use immediately in order to ensure illegal squatters do not return to the place.
He recalled that during a visit by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu it was agreed that the location should be decongested as part of efforts to remove the traffic gridlock in Apapa.
Jejeloye explained that the occupants of the Iganmu Underbridge had been informed to leave the area six months ago before they were served the 72-hour removal notice on Monday.
He noted that relevant Government agencies including the Ministry of The Environment and Water Resources, Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), LASPARK and security agencies have been mandated to take possession of the area for clean up and management.
The Chairman envisaged that clearing of the location and dislodgement of squatters would bring to an end the incessant traffic robberies, indiscriminate parking of trucks, environmental nuisance and sale of hard drugs prevalent in the area.
“The State Government would adequately maintain this place. This will discourage the squatters from returning, especially those who use the area for illegal activities and hideouts”, he stated.
•Says It’s Ploy to Distract LASG, Sanwo-Olu
•Ndigbo Are Not Agents of Destruction
•We’ll Continue on The Path of Progress, Security – Sanwo-Olu
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has advised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ignore the rumour that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are plotting to attack Lagos, noting that it is a ploy to distract the State Governor and his administration from providing good governance for all residents of the State.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina on Thursday, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor, said the “dangerous rumour or statement is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.”
Obiozor in his address titled “Violence in any part of Lagos State is violence on all of us” said Ndigbo cannot indulge in any act that will harm the harmonious peace and cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba, especially Lagos, which he described as second home of several Ndigbo.
The leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organization also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Nigeria, especially in Lagos State, adding that the Governor deserved commendation for controlling and restricting the speed of coronavirus with his quick response.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, during a Security Townhall Meeting at the Lagos State secretariat, attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu, and other principal officials in Lagos State on Monday, said there were plans by some groups, which include IPOB to attack ‘soft spots’ in the state.
But responding to the statement, Prof. Obiazor said Igbo nation was renowned for being agents of development and not destruction.
“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Governor Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live.
“The constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land; we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief,” he said.
Prof. Obiozor also reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s total support for Lagos State Government and the security agencies’ patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in the State and throughout the country.
“I am aware that the Government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo through this medium reiterates total support to the state government and the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country. The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary,” he said.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership of continuous good governance, security of lives and properties of all residents in Lagos State.
The Governor said he had no doubt that the Ndigbo are great people, noting that his administration would continue to foster harmonious relationships with all the different tribes and ethnic nationalities in the State.
The courtesy visit was at the instance of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, to clear the air on the rumoured attacks on Lagos by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
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