Sanwo-Olu expresses commitment to fulfilling promises to Lagosians, says COVID-19 won’t be an excuse
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday assured Lagosians that his administration is committed to fulfilling all his promises despite disruption occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges that were not envisaged.
The Governor said fulfilling the promises in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda for ‘Greater Lagos’ would be delivered by the incumbent administration, despite reduction in the budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to the residents of the State.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the first Lagos State two-day Ministerial Performance Review retreat being held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government is determined to step up the tempo of governance through innovative and inclusive policies.
He said: “I want to assure you that despite disruption occasioned by COVID-19 and other challenges that we did not envisage, we are still committed as a government to fulfilling the promises we made to people knowing fully that no excuse will be tenable to our citizens.
“We must be determined to step forward, heighten the tempo of governance and continue to create opportunities through innovative policies that are not only inclusive but provide sustainable solutions for this present administration and lay foundation for future administrations coming behind us.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also implored members of the state executive council and other public office holders to be committed to the incumbent administration’s effort to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Lagosians, especially the electorates who elected him to govern the affairs of the state.
He said: “Let me emphasise that our yardstick for performance assessment will not be based majorly on the amount of money expended or Budget but the outcome of our various interventions that we have had; what measures the impact that touched the lives of citizens that we swore to serve.
“One of the promises we made at the inception of our administration and in line with the principle of continuity was to ensure the completion of projects that were inherited from the last administration. A significant part of our efforts and resources was devoted towards fulfilling this promise and taking government to another level.”
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in his address enumerated all the government achievements in the last one year and four months in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration promised the people of Lagos State.
The THEMES development agenda are; Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economic, Entertainment and Tourism, and Security and Governance.
Hamzat said: “We should understand that our focus should be Lagosians, Lagosians and Lagosians because ultimately, they will define what we do and they will grade us. So, we are like in an examination now and examiners don’t have deep knowledge into the operations of how we actually do things but they only measure it by perception and of course by what they see.
“And as such, our job is to make sure that we set that perception right and then we give quality things in dimension; that at the end of the day our integrity will be intact and then they can say the party has done very well and this government has done very well,” he advised the participants at the retreat.
Also speaking, the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, said the COVID -19 pandemic has adversely affected governments and institutions globally bringing in its wake, a new normal, adding that Lagos State, which is not left out, was the epicentre of cases in Nigeria for a long.
She therefore commended the State Incident Commander, Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as well as the entire health sector family in Lagos State for the outstanding management of the pandemic, which was acknowledged statewide, nationally and internationally.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the health sector, but also the economic sector and how we work. Therefore, our trajectory for implementation of the THEMES agenda to achieve ‘A Greater Lagos’ is going to change as we operate within the new-normal to deliver the dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State.
“I believe in the capability of the Executive Council members, to prolifically deliver as political heads in our various MDAs and of course with the support of all others present for this retreat. I also believe that when objective feedback is given and taken in good faith, it can only lead to improved performance,” she advised.
In his address, the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola stressed the importance of a harmonious and effective working relationship between Permanent Secretaries who are Accounting Officers of Ministries and the Political Heads who are members of the State Executive Council.
He said: “While the Permanent Secretary has overall responsibility for the day to day administration of the Ministry as Accounting Officer and in addition to advising the Commissioner on public service processes and procedures, it is critically important that the responsibility of the political Head for the implementation of Government policies is duly recognised and the right balance and conducive atmosphere for a cordial and productive working relationship is established.”
The Head of Service also disclosed that “the core objective of this two-day retreat is to conduct a forensic review of the present administration’s scorecard along the five Pillars of our strategic development plans in the last one year. We are here to provide a honest and unemotional review of how have we fared sector by sector. Have we achieved our set targets in different sectors? If yes, what are the enabling factors that have been instrumental in the successes recorded? If we have failed to achieve set targets, what have been the factors that militated against attainment of set targets?”
He said the main thrust of the present administration is to make the Lagos economy a 21st-century economy, adding that “In this regard, the State Government has invested heavily in infrastructure renewal and roads rehabilitation across the five divisions of Lagos, not forgetting invitation for expression of interest in the 4th Mainland Bridge.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
In The Fight Against Corruption, No Individual is Bigger Than The State – Buhari
In response to the suspended acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, President Muhammed Buhari, lamented that the anti-corruption war becomes endangered “when persons entrusted with the responsibility of that magnitude become suspects themselves.”
Buhari, whose vision is to put an end to corruption in Nigeria, believed that every aspect of the nation’s life is enshrined in corruption and it’s of major concern when leaders of institutions saddled with the mandate to fight the menace are found in the waves of the corruption they claimed to be fighting.
This act is a great abomination not only because it strikes at the root but it also trivialises and undermines the anti-corruption crusade itself, the President explained.
He further said that in a bid to put an end to this great abomination, he had set up Ayo Salami Panel to unravel the mystery behind the mystique of Magu’s alleged involvement in corruption that his administration is fighting.
Buhari said that his administration is ready and willing to go all out in the fight against corruption, and no one is too big nor above the law to become a victim of anti-graft’s sledgehammer.
The president said, “However, the stark reality of widespread corruption becomes poignant when allegations of corruption touch on the leadership of an institution set up by law to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes.
“It is an abomination that strikes at the root and undermines the government’s anti-corruption programme.
“It was in response to the serious allegations against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that I set up a panel headed by the Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, retired President of the Court of Appeal, via an Instrument dated 3rd July 2020 pursuant to the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004).
“We recognise that there are more grounds to cover in the war against corruption, and we are prepared to go out to possess those lands by cutting off any stream that nourishes the seed of corruption and supports its growth.
“Let it be known that in the fight against corruption, no one is too big to tackle, as no individual is bigger than the Nigerian State!”
In Search For The New EFCC Chairman, Justice Ayo Salami Panel Advises Buhari to Look Outside The Police Force
Justice Ayo Salami’s panel advised President Muhammadu Buhari to look outside the Nigerian Police Force for the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A credible source confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari may have decided to follow the panel recommendation to avoid a similar fate to that of Magu, the former chairman.
The source also confirmed that the panel recommendation was a result of sleaze allegations against suspended acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu. Also, that search team would be constituted in the next few days to slim down the possibilities of finding the right candidate to bring into reality the President’s vision of a corrupt-free anti-graft agency.
The source further confirmed that “the sleaze and abuse of office allegations against Magu, a commissioner of police, were overwhelming,” and that he may be put on trial.
As advised by the panel, the new EFCC chairman should be in interim position for two years.
It was suggested that the recommendation from the Justice Ayo Salami panel might have pinned Magu, according to Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, he advised president Buhari to consider looking into other law enforcement or security agencies, as well as considering important and diligent staff of EFCC in his plans to appoint the next EFCC chairman, as s provided in the EFCC Establishment Act of 2004.
Following the Justice Ayo Salami panel recommendation, Salami said “Your Excellency, permit me to say that four successive chairmen of the EFCC from inception have been drawn from the police. Therefore, in appointing a new chairman of EFCC, consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and qualified core staff of EFCC as provided in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act 2004).
“It is also important to point out that at the moment, 970 policemen (114 drivers, 641 mobile policemen and 215 operations), are on secondment in the EFCC.
“Therefore, an exit plan for the disengagement of the police and other personnel within two years from now should be considered. This will address the issue of non-promotion of core staff for over nine years.
“Your Excellency, our thinking here is that whoever you are appointing other than a core EFCC staff, should be in transitional capacity of two years during which period, the arrangement would be made for the appointment of any of the core staff who has been commended by National Crime Agency, UK and other international law enforcement for their professionalism”.
Justice Ayo Salami appreciated the president for giving members of the panel an avenue to serve the country.
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