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Sanwo-Olu Inaugurates 13 Projects Across Lagos



Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Wednesday, inaugurated 13 projects in eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

The projects were inaugurated in Amuwo-Odofin, Badagry, Agege, Ojo, Alimosho, Ifako Ijaiye, Ikeja and Ajeromi Ifelodun LGAs.

The inauguration of the projects was part of the 11-day programme lined up to celebrate the performance of Gov.

Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr.
Obafemi Hamzat, in the first term of their administration, with a promise of improved performance to effectively achieve “A Greater Lagos Rising,” vision.

The projects inaugurated were: School of Basic Medical Science Block, 120 Bed MCC (SDG Building), Ambulance Bay, Special Services Centre House Officers’ Quarters at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and newly rehabilitated Mba-Cardoso Street, Ajegunle.

Others are: Akesan Obadore Road, Alimosho; Ikeja Town Square and unveiling of the newly installed Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 104-5+LX Machine at Lagos State Printing Corporation, Ikeja.

They included constructed jetties with waiting shelters and shoreline protection at Marina and Isaju-Ajido in Badagry as well as at Ilashe and Ijegun-Egba in Amuwo-Odofin.

Other projects inaugurated were Government Girls Senior College in Agege, Alimosho Junior Grammar School and Ijaiye Housing Estate Junior Secondary School, Alimosho; newly constructed Primary Healthcare Centre, Ijedodo in Iba LCDA, Ojo and Ijaiye Ojokoro Senior High School, Ifako Ijaiye.

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Gov. Sanwo-Olu was represented during the inauguration held simultaneously in 13 places by Hamzat, Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji; Chief of Staff, Mr Tayo Ayinde; Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola; Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Gboyega Sayanwo; Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries, among others.

Gov. Sanwo-Olu said the provision of the different projects was to ensure the delivery of modern medical facilities that would strengthen the capacity of the state’s healthcare system ostensibly to meet the needs of the people.

The governor was represented by Hamzat at the inauguration of the medical infrastructure projects at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Ikeja.

He said the facility had been provided in fulfillment of his administration’s promises and commitment to the people of Lagos State, under the Health and Environment Pillar of the THEMES development agenda.

He appreciated the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, for the donation of a 124 Bed-SDG Multipurpose Medical Building.

“I have no doubt that with this facility, and several others, we are on the path to improving our nation’s Human Capital Development Index and achieving the set targets under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Sanwo-Olu said.

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He said the building was equipped with modern medical care facilities, comprising four medical schools in the areas of Anesthesia Technology, Echo Cardiograph, Orthopedic Cast Technology and Post Graduate Nursing.

According to him, this will significantly raise the status of LASUTH as a leading/award-winning Medical School and Centre of Excellence in Healthcare Service Delivery.

Speaking earlier, Orelope-Adefulire said Lagos State, being the most populous state in the country deserved the provision of necessary medical infrastructure.

At the inauguration of Mba-Cardoso Street in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, Gov. Sanwo-Olu, represented by his deputy, said the administration would continue to expand the transportation sector.

He said his administration was committed to improving commuters’ travel experience, saving important man-hours; providing better riding surfaces; boosting interconnectivity and generally making life more meaningful for commuters in Lagos State.

Special Adviser to the governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said the Sanwo-Olu administration had kept its promise to improve the quality of life of the people and drive massive socio-economic growth through infrastructure upgrade and renewal.

“The commitment of this administration to put in place infrastructure that will enhance the well-being of Lagosians and empower them across economic activities is brought to the fore,” Adeyoye said.

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In his remarks, the Chairman of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, Mr Fatai Ayoola, said the rehabilitation of the Mba-Cardoso road had brought great relief to the residents of Ajeromi-Ifelodun.

He said the rehabilitation of the 3-kilometre road was “a dividend of democracy,” reaching the doorsteps of the masses in Ajegunle, through the Lagos State government capacity-driven administrative insight.

While inaugurating the upgraded jetties with waiting shelters and shorelines in Badagry, Gov. Sanwo-Olu expressed delight at the completion of the projects that would protect the populace of Ijegun Egba and its environs.

The governor, represented by the Special Adviser on Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Adebayo Sodade, assured residents of his government’s commitment to completing ongoing jetty constructions and enforcing safety regulations to ensure safe travel on the waterways.

He said the inauguration of the multiple jetties reflected the Lagos State government’s commitment to improving transportation infrastructure, enhancing water transportation, and reducing travel time for Lagos residents. (NAN)(


Child Labour: The Big Wall Preventing Future Professionals




By Laide Akinboade

In the bustling streets of Kano, I encountered Hamisu Ibrahim, a 15-year-old boy carrying a bucket of pure water sachets on his head. It was around 9 am, and his dusty feet indicated he had already spent several hours hawking water while other children his age were attending school.

Curiosity led me to engage Hamisu in a conversation, during which he revealed that he wasn’t the owner of the pure water business.

Instead, he collected the water from a customer who owned a cold room. After selling the water, he kept the profit and returned the capital to the cold room owner.
Hamisu’s father, a salesperson in the market, received a portion of the money to help support their family.

Hamisu hails from Madibo local government in Kano state. When asked about his motivation, he explained, “I engage in the pure water business to support myself and provide for my father. We need to feed at home. After attending Islamic school in the morning, I start hawking sachet water. Unfortunately, I am not enrolled in any government school as my parents didn’t register me. My mother resides in Katsina state, so it’s just me and my dad here in Kano. My dream is to attend a government school and become a doctor in the future. I want to assist sick people and street children, and going to a government school will allow me to dress well and enjoy better meals.”

According to former Kano State governor Abdullahi Ganduje, there are approximately three million out-of-school children roaming the streets of the state, known as Almajiri. These pupils, attending Quranic schools, are often forced into begging. Many of these children come from neighboring states and countries in West Africa, such as Niger Republic, Chad, and Northern Cameroon.

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The former governor expressed his concern over the social and economic challenges posed by the growing number of Almajiri. He emphasized the need for a common legislative approach to prevent the movement of school-age children and address the Almajiri problem collectively.

Child street hawking is a form of child labor that deprives children of their potential, dignity, and proper physical and mental development. In Kano state, child hawking, driven by poverty, exposes children to various risks, including accidents, exploitation, and loss of educational opportunities. Children as young as 10 to 14 years old can be found hawking for over 12 hours a day, subjected to harsh weather conditions and potential dangers.

Fortunately, the recent passage of the Child Protection Bill by the Kano State Assembly and its subsequent assent by the governor offer hope for the protection of these vulnerable children. However, concerns have been raised regarding the removal of certain provisions, such as those addressing child marriage and age definitions, which require amendment and further advocacy.

Mubarak Daha Isa, the Digital Campaigns Manager of Bridge Connect Africa, a non-governmental organization in Kano, expressed the need for ongoing efforts to amend and implement the bill fully. He stressed the importance of information dissemination in northern Nigeria, where cultural and religious factors often influence decision-making without a comprehensive understanding of children’s rights.

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During a training session for journalists, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist Fatimah Adamu highlighted that only three states out of 32, including the Federal Capital Territory, have established family courts, which affects the effective implementation of child rights legislation. While most states have passed the Child Rights Act, the delay and reluctance in domesticating it have hindered the protection of children’s rights.

The welfare of children is a selfless commitment, as stated by Mr. Falayi Temitoye, Chief Information Officer of the Child Rights Information Bureau in the Federal Ministry of Information. He commended the journalists for their dedication to the upliftment of children and urged them to continue their efforts to ensure the full implementation of the Child Rights Law of 2003. Temitoye emphasized the importance of encouraging the remaining states to domesticate the law promptly, especially by addressing critical aspects such as child marriage and age definition.

It is crucial for the new administration of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf to prioritize the eradication of child hawking in Kano state. Efforts should be made to encourage children to attend school instead of engaging in hazardous labor. These young hawkers are deprived of their childhood, and it is disheartening to witness their struggle. Many of them bear the responsibility of providing for their families at such a tender age.

One such child, 17-year-old Mohammed, a scavenger in Kano, shared his weariness with his current occupation. However, he felt trapped in this job as his parents resided in Edo state, and he lived with his siblings in Kano. His elder brother also worked as a scavenger, and together, they supported their two younger siblings. Mohammed expressed his aspirations to take the Common Entrance examination and pursue a career in medicine to help children in similar situations.

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To combat the prevalence of child labor, the government must undertake aggressive advocacy campaigns, provide education and awareness programs for child hawkers, and strengthen community capacities to identify vulnerable families and prevent exploitative labor practices. While the Child Protection Bill represents a significant step forward, its effective implementation is paramount to improving the lives of over three million children who are currently trapped in street hawking in Kano state.

The new administration should prioritize the inclusion of the removed provisions, such as child marriage and age definitions, in the bill. These provisions are vital to ensure comprehensive child protection and align with the Child Rights Acts assented to by Nigeria in 2003.

In conclusion, the plight of child laborers in Kano state demands immediate attention. The government must work tirelessly to protect the rights of these children, guarantee their access to education, and create an environment where they can thrive. The collective efforts of policymakers, NGOs, journalists, and society as a whole are crucial in creating a brighter future for these young individuals. By investing in their well-being and opportunities, we can break the cycle of child labor and pave the way for a more prosperous and equitable society.

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Gunmen Abduct 7-year-old Girl in Abuja




Armed men have abducted a seven-year-old girl in Yangoji village, Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Mr Suleiman Musa, a resident of the village told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the hoodlums invaded the community in the early hours of Wednesday.

He said the hoodlums invaded the village firing several gunshots before breaking into some houses where they adducted the seven-year-old girl.

According to him, the quick intervention of a police team forced the gunmen to scramble out of the village.

NAN gathered that the Kwali Divisional Police Headquarters responded to the distress call on the attack at about 5 am on Wednesday.

A source said it was the swift response of police personnel, hunters and vigilance members led by the Kwali Divisional Police Officer (DPO) that saved the community from further harm from the gunmen.

He said that the hoodlums engaged the security team in gun battle before escaping with the abducted girl.

The source said that the security team is currently combing the area with a view to rescuing the girl and arresting the gunmen.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the FCT, SP Josephine Adeh, said she would get back to our reporter as soon as she gets details of the incident. (NAN)

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Abuja’s UTC Complex Demolished for Urgent Upgrade, Security Measures – FCTA Explains




By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

In a significant move to propel small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) forward and tackle security challenges, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has taken the decision to demolish the renowned UTC Shopping Complex, the capital’s largest graphics design and printing hub.

The complex, which had stood for over three decades, is set to undergo a complete reconstruction to meet global business standards.

Hassan Ogbole, Deputy Director of Monitoring and Inspection at the Department of Development Control, explained that the existing structures were deemed defective and required upgrading to align with international business norms.

While acknowledging the inconvenience caused to traders and occupants, Ogbole emphasized the necessity of creating a modernized facility capable of meeting global standards.

Strict enforcement notices were issued to the occupants well in advance, urging them to vacate the premises to facilitate the construction process. However, some occupants deliberately chose not to comply, hampering the authorities’ efforts to proceed with the development plans.

“The condition of the complex has deteriorated significantly, rendering it unsuitable for habitation and business activities. We must make way for a new development,” stated Ogbole, underlining the urgent need for reconstruction.

Addressing the security concerns in the area, Peter Olumiji, Secretary of Command and Control at the FCTA Department of Security, highlighted the importance of remodeling the complex. In addition to meeting global standards, the revamp aims to eliminate criminal activities, including the forging of official documents, that have been prevalent within the complex.

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One of the traders, Samuel Onuchukwu, expressed concern about the temporary site provided by the developers, citing inadequate security measures for conducting business. Many traders are still in the process of removing their goods and property from the shops and offices, further complicating the situation.

Authorities are cognizant of the challenges faced by the occupants and assure them that adequate measures will be taken to ensure a smooth transition during the reconstruction process. The demolition of the UTC Shopping Complex marks a significant step towards fostering a thriving business environment and enhancing security in the area.

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