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Osinbajo, Ambode Commission New LASU Senate Building

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Osinbajo, Ambode Commission New LASU Senate Building

…We’ve Changed The Fortunes Of Varsity, Says Lagos Gov

…As Ex-Ghanaian President, Mahama Urges African Universities To Embrace Technology

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commissioned the new Senate Building of Lagos State University (LASU), expressing optimism that the ultra-modern edifice would go a long way in enhancing academic activities and positively changing the landscape of the institution.

Osinbajo, who delivered the 23rd Convocation Lecture of the university before inaugurating the Senate Building, also said time had come for African countries to invest more in education to lift the people of the continent out of poverty.

Speaking on the theme: “Africa Centres of Excellence in African Universities: A Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development,” the Vice President also said that time had come for universities in Africa to be at the fore front of building research and collaboration to find lasting solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the continent.

“So what do we need to do to convert our country to the greatest Centre for innovation and creativity in the world? Three things: number one education, number two education and number three education. The truth is that education is the most powerful force for socio economic change in the world. The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report and the Education Commission’s Learning Generation Report provides important evidence on the impact of education on individual’s earnings and economic growth”, Osinbajo said.

While expressing Federal Government‘s commitment to continue to collaborate with the Universities to play up education of the people, Osinbajo said this has become imperative owing to the fact that education remains the most important force to global change.

He said through improvement in learning and quality education, Nigerians could be lifted from abject poverty, just as he also emphasized the need for more premium to be placed on girls’ education.

Speaking earlier, Former Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama, who chaired the Convocation Lecture, urged African universities to move away from the colonial system of education and focus on science and technology to engender growth and development of the continent.

He said universities must provide visionary leadership and have academic autonomy, while political institutions must also avoid interference with the running of academic institutions.

He said for African universities to set the tone as African centres of excellence, there must be adequate funding, while they must also collaborate with each other in terms of multiple campuses for different specializations in different countries.

“African universities can help bridge the gap created in African countries by focusing on science, technology and innovation which can be the catalysts for the development of Africa,” Mahama said.

On his part, Governor Ambode said it was gratifying to note that LASU was now well-positioned to be among Nigeria’s leading universities and a proper citadel of learning and character development.

Recalling some of the challenges the university was contending with in 2015 when his administration came on board such as backlog of unreleased results, low government subvention, infrastructure deficit, incessant industrial and student conflicts, among others, Governor Ambode said on assumption of office he immediately embarked on some reforms which today turned the story of the university around for good.

He said aside from amending the laws of the university and embarking on massive upgrade of infrastructure, the government also selected individuals with experience, dedication and a track record of remarkable leadership to lead the Governing Council, adding that the development changed the narrative of the University.

“Today, there is an atmosphere of peace and industrial harmony in LASU. The backlog of results have been cleared and our students are graduating every year; stepping out in flying colours, armed with qualifications, character and ideas to change the world.

“Our government increased the subvention for LASU and also amended the laws governing the Institution especially regarding the tenure of the Vice-Chancellor and making LASU a residential institution.

“We have embarked on an extensive infrastructural development which has entailed upgrading the network of roads within the institution and installation of street lights. In line with our efforts to transform LASU, our Government embarked on various projects to add to the infrastructural landscape of the University: The new Senate Building we are commissioning today; a project started by my predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); A new Students Arcade, An Ultra-Modern Central Library, The New Faculty of Management Sciences Building, and LASU Homes,” he said.

He said the Students’ Arcade which was at 75 per cent completion stage had already been fully paid for, while work on the Central Library was at 60 per cent completion stage and would be completed by the end of the year, as well as the new Faculty of Management Sciences and construction of 3 prototype blocks of Lagos Homs Apartments at the LASU staff quarters.

Also, the Governor said it was equally gratifying to note that 6000 bed student hostel initiated by his administration was on course to be delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), while other initiatives have been implemented in the education sector, including the Ready.Set.Work project.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the education of our youths is imperative. It will shape the future of our nation. As the State’s Number 1 tertiary institution, we have tried to give LASU the right attention it deserves. This is one of the reasons why I made it a point of duty to attend all the Convocation Ceremonies of this institution since we came into office in 2015.

“Asides what we have done in LASU, we have initiated programmes to prepare our youths for the challenges of this era; to enable them have a good mix of theoretical and practical knowledge to fit into life after school. One of such programmes is the ‘Ready, Set, Work’ Initiative for all final year students of Tertiary Institutions in Lagos State.

“Three years down the line, the ‘Ready Set Work’ initiative is already yielding the positive results we desired, with over 30,000 students trained through the face-to-face and online academy. Over 3,000 students have gotten internship placements with leading corporate organizations and the enthusiasm of our students to be part of this programme has grown from year to year. I am very confident today that our youths and graduates are ready for work and ready for innovation,” the Governor said.

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FG Launches Virtual Court Sitting At Correctional Centres

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The Federal Government on Monday launched the use of virtual court proceedings in Nigeria’s correctional centres.

The launch ceremony took place at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital and had in attendance the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Haliru Nababa among other top government officials.

In his remarks, the Justice Minister said the programme would reduce backlogs of court cases and the time spent on pre-trial of suspects.

Malami believes the virtual court proceedings would effectively aid in the administration of criminal justice in the country.

“This project, therefore, initiated to ensure the hearing and determination of urgent and time-bound cases using the digital platforms,” he said.

“This system will effectively ensure the speedy dispensation of trials in line with Section 36 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended which provides that every person shall be entitled to fair hearing within a reasonable time.”
The Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja.

On her part, the Secretary of the Presidential Committee on Correctional Reforms and Decongestion, Leticia Ayoola-Daniels said the virtual court proceedings would augment the already existing virtual court facilities that are inherent in the nation’s judiciary.

The move, she noted, will fast-track the dispensation of court cases that would help save the Federal Government cost on the security and mobilisation of accused persons to court.

While giving a breakdown of the number of inmates awaiting trial, the Interior Minister, also spoke on the attacks of correctional centres in recent times.

According to Aregbesola, most of the attacks on the custodial centres are linked to suspects that are awaiting trial because they make up 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in the nation’s correctional facilities.

He said, “50,992 inmates representing 74 per cent of the total population of inmates in our custodial centres are awaiting trial suspects while only 17,755 inmates which is a mere 26 per cent area actual convicts.

“The challenges of safety and external attacks at the custodial centres for most parts come therefore from the awaiting trial inmates given their numerical strengths.”

The launch of the project followed the Federal Government’s collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Japanese Government.

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COVID-19: Lagos Announces Beginning Of 4th Wave

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……Says Erring Foreigners Risk Deportation

The Lagos State Government has raised alarm over the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state with its positivity rate at six per cent.

Governor Babajide who made the declaration in a statement on Tuesday said the state had begun to experience the beginnings of a fourth wave of the pandemic.

The current positivity rate, according to him, is against the positivity rate of 0.1 per cent recorded as of mid-November and analyses revealed that the fourth wave is a result of non-adherence to the laid down protocols.

As a way to tackle the rising cases, the governor appealed to residents to go to the various approved centres for the vaccine jabs to protect themselves from the virus.

He also asked them to support the government in its effort to manage the fourth wave of the pandemic, especially during the festive season.

Governor Sanwo-Olu noted the review of Nigeria’s travel protocol by the Presidential Steering Committee, saying the state government would ensure total enforcement.

He stressed the need for inbound passengers to take the post-arrival Day 2 test within 48 hours of arrival into the country, as well as an additional Day 7 PCR test for all partially or unvaccinated returning travellers.

The governor warned that the government would soon commence the prosecution of those that refuse to submit themselves for the tests by blacklisting their passports for one year.

According to him, this will be done in synergy with the Presidential Steering Committee while foreigners who flout the rules risk deportation.

Read the full statement below:

MR GOVERNOR’S CORONAVIRUS PRESS STATEMENT– DECEMBER 07, 2021

Fellow Lagosians,

Firstly, I would like to commiserate with all Lagos residents who lost their loved ones during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts go out to you and the Incident Command System will continue to do everything that we can to mitigate the impact of this pandemic.

Secondly, most of the continents of the world – including Africa – are now experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, Lagos State is not left out as we are also experiencing the beginnings of a fourth wave with the current positivity rate at 6%.

This is against the positivity rates of 0.1% as of the middle of November 2021. Based on our analysis, the fourth wave was brought by the non-adherence to the laid down protocols to mitigate this pandemic.

I would want to use this opportunity to, once again, plead with everyone to get vaccinated and join hands with the Lagos State Government in managing this wave of the pandemic in this festive season by following the guidelines we have set, especially regarding the use of face masks, public gatherings and travelling in and out of Lagos State.

Epidemiology Update

As of the 5th of December 2021, Lagos State had recorded a total of 78,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 71,977 have recovered in community and 612 are being managed actively in community.

Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 6,066 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos: with 686 registered fatalities.

Let me take this opportunity to, once again, urge all residents of Lagos State to take advantage of EKOTELEMED and our home-based care programme.

Please, reach out to EKOTELEMED on our toll-free number 08000EKOMED (08000356633) if you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have tested positive for the virus.

Travel Protocols

Based on the review of the current guidelines on travel protocols, the Presidential Steering Committee has released new rules which must be followed by all passengers arriving in Nigeria. These include:

A COVID-19 PCR test is to be done within 48hrs before departure.

Post-arrival Day 2 COVID-19 PCR test

All partially and unvaccinated individuals to self-isolate for 7 days following arrival into the country and a Day 7 release PCR test.

All outbound passengers to demonstrate evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19

Negative PCR test results within 48hrs from the time to boarding a flight out of Nigeria.

It is important to note that the review of the protocols was based on science, national experience and global developments. The Lagos State Government will do all within its power to enforce these new mandates and will prosecute anyone found wanting in compliance with them through our mobile courts.

Regulation Of Day 2 And Day 7 Tests For Inbound Passengers For International Flights

While it is a stringent requirement that all inbound passengers perform a Day 2 test within 48 hours of arrival into the country; and an additional Day 7 PCR test for all partially or unvaccinated inbound passengers, we cannot stress enough how important the strict adherence to these protocols are.

These tests are mandatory to assist the State monitor the inflow of positive passengers, which we have identified as a veritable source of our waves and community spread.

Based on this, we will commence the prosecution of those that refuse to submit themselves for these mandatory tests by blacklisting their passports for 1 year.

This would be carried out in partnership with the Presidential Steering Committee. In addition, all foreigners that flout the rules would be subject to possible deportation

Therefore, I implore all intending inbound passengers to perform their required tests at any of the private laboratories within the Lagos State Private Laboratory Consortium as and at when due.

Fake Covid Test Results And Vaccination Cards

It is also pertinent to mention at this point that we have received very disturbing information about intending outbound passengers procuring fake Covid test results and/or vaccination cards for travel purposes.

This is a very worrisome trend for us to note and we are currently working with the NCDC, DSS and the Police to investigate and bring to book the criminal gangs involved in this reprehensible activity.

We implore everyone to desist from patronizing these gangs, as anyone found with a fake COVID test result and/or vaccination card will also be liable to prosecution and very stiff penalties.

Our State Mobile Courts will be used to prosecute all those involved in flouting the regulations; as well as those engaged in the fraudulent production of fake covid test results and vaccination certificates.

Testing Protocols

Up until today and into the future, the Lagos State Government is still offering free COVID-19 testing at all our public facilities for those that fit our case definition for COVID-19 infections. If anyone has any symptoms indicating a possible infection, please proceed to any of our public laboratories to get tested.

We are also still operating our 10 sample collection sites at the level of our LGAs and encourage residents to proceed to these centres to get their samples taken if they feel ill or have been exposed to anyone who has an infection.

It is also important to reiterate that our private laboratories are still available for those who want to test outside of the public health response.

Booster Doses

I am also very happy to announce that the Presidential Steering Committee, in partnership with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the Federal Ministry of Health, has approved the administration of booster doses for anyone with the criteria below:

Any persons 18 years and above;

Time interval of 6 months or more after receiving the second dose of Astra Zeneca, Moderna or Pfizer Bio-N-Tech; or

Time interval of 2 months or more after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Consequently, all Lagos residents should proceed to any of our public health facilities to receive these vaccines for free and at any of our 30 private priority health facilities to access them for an administrative fee of N4,500 per dose.

Mitigating the Fourth Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our approach to mitigating the effects of the ongoing wave of the COVID-19 pandemic include the following:

Increasing the percentage of vaccinated residents of Lagos State from 1.6% to 30% within one year. I have specifically mandated the Lagos State Ministry of Health to administer 8 million doses to 4 million residents by the 25th of December 2021 under the Count Me In campaign.

We have deployed a robust strategy that involves the private sector to improve access to vaccines. We are launching 30 private priority sites for those who want to be vaccinated within a private health facility.

While vaccination at public centres remains free, there is an administration fee (N4,500 per dose and N6,000 for two doses) at private centres. To register for the vaccination, please visit the registration portal at https://nphcda.vaccination.gov.ng/

Over the next couple of days, the Lagos State Government will release policies to facilitate the uptake of vaccines to achieve desirable herd immunity.

Guidelines for Social Events and Gatherings During the Festive Period

All Social Events must be duly registered to obtain Event Safety Clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission website: www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding; and the guidelines set out below must be strictly adhered to.

Where possible events should be held outdoors.

Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 60% of maximum design capacity of the event centre.

Every attendee of a social gathering MUST present their Vaccination Cards or digital bar code page showing at least first dose but preferably double dose full vaccination.

In unvaccinated people, a negative PCR within 72 hours will be an exemption.

Everybody, irrespective of vaccination status, MUST be subject to Rapid Diagnostic test (Antigen) to be conducted AT THE EVENT VENUE OR within 24hrs prior to the event at designated laboratories. (Request for rapid tests at the venue requires an application through the Safety Commission).

Under 18 years of age are unvaccinated and the above applies.

Guests and service providers with high temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground.

All guests and service providers at the event must wear a nose mask or face shield before entry.

All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitisers after which temperature checks should be carried out.

Hand sanitisers to be positioned at the entry point and at different spots within the venue.

In Conclusion

Despite the huge financial obligation and constraints associated with managing this pandemic, our administration will continue to do everything within its power to ensure the preservation of the lives and livelihood of residents of Lagos State.

As always, I would like to thank all members of our Emergency Operations Centre and our Incident Command System, in addition to all our health workers in the public and private sectors, without leaving out our colleagues in the federal institutions for their dedication and commitment in the management of this response.

Once again, I implore all residents of Lagos to comply with all guidelines and join hands with the government in the management of this pandemic.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu

Governor of Lagos State

December 7, 2021

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Former PMAN President, Bolaji Rosiji Dies At 56

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Bolaji Rosiji, a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), is dead.

Rosiji’s death was announced by one of his friends and colleague, renowned flutist Tee Mac Omatsola Iseli.

Until his death, he was the founder and brain behind Guarapad Charities.

In a statement by Olayemi Esan, the Public Relations Officer, Gaurapad Charities, Rosiji died in Lagos on Sunday after a brief illness.

He said burial arrangements will be announced in coming days.

The late Rosiji founded Gaurapad Charities in 2004, and was the former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO).

He is survived by wife and children.

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