2023 Budget: We Must Ask The Right Questions, Lagos Speaker Tasks Lawmakers

…As Assembly holds retreat

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has charged committees of the House to ensure a proper screening of the 2023 budget of the State so as to close the gap between the estimated figure and revenue generated.

Dr. Obasa spoke on Sunday during his remarks at a 3-day budget retreat tagged ‘Consolidating the gains of the current administration in Lagos State in a transition year: prospects, opportunities and recommendations’ organised for lawmakers and staff of the Lagos Assembly.

Commending the lawmakers for their passion to ensure a greater Lagos, Obasa tasked the committees to constantly be steps ahead so their members could ask ministries, departments and agencies the right questions during budget defence and oversight.

“All over the world, the economy has been bad and affects whether a budget would be surplus or deficit. Here in Lagos, we have our own challenge.

“So bridging the gap between the budget size and revenue is what the House of Assembly should do. When the executive arm determines the cost of projects, the committees should be able to check for the value of such projects.

“I am sure everyone recognises what we have been doing in Lagos and I urge you to continue so that you can always be appreciated,” he urged the lawmakers.

Earlier welcoming participants to the retreat, which ended on Sunday, the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, it was an opportunity for the members of the Assembly to familiarise themselves with the breakdown of the 2023 budget “in order to ensure effective continuity in budgetary guidance from lawmakers to Lagosians.”

Ibitel Consultant, which collaborated with the Assembly to organise the retreat, said it would help the members to reflect deeply on the ₦1.692 trillion 2023 budget recently presented by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“The objective is to reflect on the 2023 budget as presented by the Governor with a view to getting a direction,” John Mutu, representative of the organisation said.

He added that the retreat would enable lawmakers effectively do a post mortem of the 2022 budget and identify other priorities of the State that can be accommodated in that of 2023.

The retreat ends on Sunday, November 14, 2022.

2023 Appropriation Bill Scales Second Reading At Lagos Assembly

– Lawmakers summon state’s top officials over demolition plot

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have read for the second time the Appropriation Bill for 2023 presented by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently.

With the Bill scaling the second reading, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, committed it to a joint committees on Budget and Finance with a mandate to report back to the House on December 12.

Governor Sanwo-Olu had on Thursday, October 29 presented the 2023 Appropriation Bill of ₦1,692,670,759894 titled ‘Budget of Continuity’ to the House.

At plenary on Tuesday, the lawmakers described the proposed budget as achievable while suggesting other areas through which the government could generate more funds.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, chairman of the House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, gave details of the Appropriation Bill while some of his colleagues commended the Executive Arm over the proposal.

Meanwhile, the House of Assembly has summoned Moruf-Akinderu Fatai, Commissioner for Housing, and Mr. Oluwatobi Lawal, Managing Director of the Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) over allegations of a planned demolition of some houses in the Jakande Estate area of Eti-Osa.

Also summoned as the affected residents of the estate.

The issue was raised under ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ by Hon. Noheem Adams, Deputy Majority Leader of the House.

Hon. Adams told his colleagues that the residents, aged between 70 and 80, stormed his house in the early hours of Tuesday pleading that the government should be stopped from demolishing their houses.

He recalled that majority of the residents lived in Maroko before their houses were demolished in the 1990s and they were relocated to the Jakande Estate.

He said the residents had lived peacefully until recently when they started facing threats of their building being demolished.

He said the residents had written a petition addressed to the Speaker and that their collective grievance was already being addressed by the House Committee on Public Petitions headed by Hon. Victor Akande.

He added that on September 23, 2022, some members of the House led by Hon. Akande visited the Jakande Estate with some officials from the LBIC, who had promised that they would not demolish buildings in the area.

“However on October 12, officials of the LBIC went to the estate to mark houses for demolition,” he said.

In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo said the situation with the residents was pathetic. He said the parties are supposed to reach mutual understanding because the owners of the estate had invested heavily in the place.

Olowo was supported by his colleague, Hon. Adewale Temitope, who urged for an amicable resolution of the issue.

Speaker Obasa, before approving the invitation of the commissioner and the LBIC boss, noted said there was need to understand the position of the government before a decision is taken on the issue.

He also agreed that there should be collaboration and understanding between the property owners and the government.

Obasa Lists 3 Major Areas Lagos 2023 Budget Must Address

– As Governor presents N1,692,671tn Appropriation Bill
– Speaker says Asiwaju has capacity to make Nigeria great again

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday received the 2023 budget proposal of N1,692,671tn from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stressing that the Bill should address three areas for the benefit of the residents of the State.

The budget is with a capital to recurrent ratio of 55:45 percent.

Dr. Obasa, who noted some of the challenges currently facing Nigeria and its citizens, told Governor Sanwo-Olu: “The Year 2023 budget of Lagos should have more human face, be targeted at reducing poverty and improving the welfare of the residents of the State as part of the THEMES agenda that guides this administration.”

The Speaker said that though the Lagos Government had achieved a lot in its effort to improve the development of the State, it should constantly be conscious that the residents yearn for more dividends of democracy.

Obasa stressed the need for the Federal Government to approve the allocation of one percent special status for Lagos considering its population and the constant influx of people to the State.

Noting that this was the last budget to be presented by the current administration before the 2023 election, Obasa promised that the House would carry out its constitutional duty of scrutinising the proposal for the benefit of the residents of State.

“There is, therefore, no doubt that in the remaining months leading to the end of this administration, so much more needs to be done; so much is still needed from us as the good people of Lagos yearn for more dividends of democracy, especially at this critical time,” he said while promising that the House would continue to support the Executive arm of Government to achieve a better, safer society.

The Speaker also urged Nigerians to vote for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress both at the State and the national levels as he described the Presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as one who has the capacity to make Nigeria great again.

Read Speaker Obasa’s full remarks below:

REMARKS BY RT HON. (DR) MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA, SPEAKER, LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE Y2023 BUDGET, THEMED: BUDGET OF CONTINUITY, BY MR BABAJIDE OLUSOLA SANWO-OLU, GOVERNOR, LAGOS STATE, AT THE ASSEMBLY’S HALLOWED CHAMBER ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2022.

Ladies and gentlemen,

1. It is with great joy that I heartily welcome you, on behalf of my colleagues and dedicated staff, to the hallowed chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly, a legislative arm of government that prides itself as ‘above the common standard of excellence’.

2. Today’s formal presentation of the Year 2023 budget by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the very hardworking Governor of Lagos State, signposts another positive chapter in the beautiful history of our State, her progress and development. For this and every other privilege we have had, it will only be wise to give all praise and adoration to the Almighty Allah, the giver and taker of life, the One who reverses the irreversible.

3. Around this time last year, Mr. Governor was here to present the Year 2022 budget themed: BUDGET OF CONSOLIDATION with detailed plans for the current year which is about to end. As we gather here, we have all witnessed the outstanding performance of the budget as regards infrastructural renewal and wealth creation. We can testify that Lagos is truly working.

4. Today, we have come together again to fulfill the requirement stipulated in Section 121 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which intendment is to deepen democracy, strengthen democratic institutions and create a society that is not only habitable, but which provides a pride of place for its residents.

5. Dear Lagosians, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, our Governor, has given us details of how the Government of Lagos intends to utilize the State’s wealth to further boost the development of the State. It is noteworthy that the Year 2023 ‘BUDGET OF CONTINUITY with a size of N1,692.671bn is the last to be presented by this administration as we move towards electioneering and the ushering into existence of a new dispensation next year by the special grace of God.

6. There is, therefore, no doubt that in the remaining months leading to the end of this administration, so much more needs to be done; so much is still needed from us as the good people of Lagos yearn for more dividends of democracy, especially at this critical time.

7. Mr. Governor, permit me to applaud your astuteness, courage, forthrightness and determined spirit for service. The result of true governance geared towards the smart city dream for Lagos reflects in many parts of State. Impressively, Lagos State has continued to thrive with the Government focusing on needed infrastructure including schools, bridges and hospitals. The Imota Rice Mill as well as the Lagos Film City projects are sure to stand our State out in the near future.

8. At our own end, we have passed a number of bills and resolutions that have greatly promoted economic and social development of the state. Our legislative activities have continued to standardise governance and legal procedures, protect peoples’ rights and encourage enterprise and investments in the state, since the last budget presentation by the Governor.

9. Ladies and gentlemen, Lagos, being the Centre of Excellence, is home to millions of Nigerian citizens. Each day, the State experiences an influx of people who come with the hope of having the opportunity to eke out a living. The State has sustained this attraction because it continues to enjoy good leadership. Lagos accounts for about 20% of the national Gross Domestic Product and about 10% of the nation’s population.

10. This is not, however, to gloss over the impact of such massive movement of people to Lagos State. The result is evident in the State’s infrastructures that are consistently overstretched, thus requiring constant attention. This is the reason why we continue to agitate for allocation of one percent special status for Lagos State.

11. Distinguished guests, exercises of this nature have raised our consciousness about economic situations and reactions to events and activities both nationally and globally. All the economic indices at home and abroad indicate that all is not well. These unfavourable variables are due to both human actions and natural occurrences.

12. The world still battles the aftermath of COVID-19 which ravaged the globe without the exception of Nigeria, particularly Lagos, our State. Its effect are still very glaring.

13. Furthermore, the life threatening effects of climate change have become apparent in the rate of flooding experienced across parts of the world leading to the destruction of farmlands and agricultural produce thus causing food shortages and hunger. Nigeria is also currently having its unpalatable share.

14. The effect of the unnecessary war between Russia and Ukraine that has resulted in astronomical surge in the price of energy across Europe and affecting standard of living and employment has also crept into the Nigerian economy. Over here, the impact is seen in the reduced direct remittances from diaspora and in direct foreign investments.

15. Beyond these global challenges, telltale signs of local issues including insecurity in many parts of the country and unemployment are noticeable in Nigeria’s rising inflation rate which has, in turn, caused skyrocketing prices of food and other commodities. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released recently by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that inflation rose by 20.8% in September, this year. While this most recent figure is up from 20.52% recorded in August, the result is that it further digs into the pockets of the citizens. This affects their purchasing power.

16. While it is the constitutional responsibility of this House of Assembly to do the needful by meticulously working on the budget as presented by Mr. Governor, I want to assure Lagosians that members of this Honourable House will give a thought to the challenges so far highlighted as well as other considerations in the process of shapening the proposal to meet the aspirations of the people.

17. The Year 2023 budget of Lagos should have more human face, be targeted at reducing poverty and improving the welfare of the residents of the State as part of the THEMES agenda that guides this administration.

18. We will also, as usual, continue to give the needed support to you, our dear Governor, as we all match ahead to solidify the achievements gained since 2019 when you took the reins of government.

19. As I begin to round off my remarks, I want to urge you, dear Lagosians, to keep in mind the need to elect only candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Assembly, Governorship, House of Representatives, Senatorial and Presidential elections. No doubt, Lagos is a ‘Star State’ because it has enjoyed consistency in governance beginning from the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our National Leader and by the grace of Almighty Allah, President of the country by 2023.

20. I also want to appeal to members of our great party in Lagos, Nigeria and in the diaspora to keep the tempo high by engaging Nigerians with Asiwaju Tinubu’s plan for a better country. Nigeria will be great again. And our collective hope should be on the APC presidential candidate, who understands what Nigeria needs at this time.

21. To all our party leaders, particularly the GAC members, we must continue in our determination and focus to keep Lagos strong and healthy enough for us. I am confident that we will continue to win in every situation and in the coming election.

22. We all know that our National Leader is an easy sell as his footprints of achievements remain indelible in Lagos. Today, our State enjoys an Internally Generated Revenue of N51 billion from the paltry N600 million it earned in 1999. This was the result of the various economic policies initiated by Asiwaju Tinubu while he was Governor. That aside, his education and health policies were the best of the period and are still being referenced till date.

23. Once again, I thank you all for coming and wish us a fruitful Year 2023.

Igbega Ipinle Eko, ajumose gbogbo wa ni.

Rt. Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

What We Will Miss About Late Speaker Afuye – Obasa

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has described the death of the Ekiti State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oluwafunminiyi Afuye, as a huge loss to the body of Speakers in Nigeria.

Dr. Obasa added that the news of Speaker Afuye’s death was more devastating knowing that he was reportedly active and showed no signs of illness days before his demise at age 66.

The Lagos Speaker, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Eromosele Ebhomele, called Afuye, a “fine gentleman whose experiences have contributed to the advancement of Nigeria’s democracy.

“The news of his death is more devastating because his State, Ekiti, just began a new dispensation, a change of baton requiring his experience as the head of the legislative arm of government.

“As a lawyer and former Commissioner for Information, Speaker Afuye understood his calling and served with dignity and respect. No doubt, he was loved by his people just as he was loved by his colleagues.

“I have lost a dear friend, one who served humanity with passion. He will be sorely missed.”

Obasa commiserated with the family of the late Speaker, the Ekiti State Government, and the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures urging them to take solace in the fact that Afuye made positive contributions to the growth and development of his State.

“On behalf of the Lagos State House of Assembly, I mourn the demise of this political leader. It is a hard one but we have to remain strong for ourselves at this period.

“I condole the immediate family, the government and people of Ekiti State and the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures and I pray that Almighty Allah give us the strength to bear this loss, amin,” Obasa prayed.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO EMBARK ON FACT-FINDING MISSION OVER PLANNED UPGRADE OF HOSPITALS

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday resolved to embark on a fact-finding mission to the General Hospitals in the five Divisions of the State with a view to identifying the appropriate ones that would be suitable for upgrade.

This plan, according to the lawmakers, is to help know which of the General Hospitals could be upgraded to a tertiary status.

The House, in addition, resolved to carry out a thorough inspection tour to the 57 flagship Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) as part of an investigation into the low level patronage being experienced by them.

The resolutions followed the understanding that the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) being the only tertiary hospital in the State with a total number of 600 medical doctors and 1,000 nurses is always congested.

The lawmakers lamented the influx of patients seeking specialised medical and surgical attentions on a daily basis at LASUTH as well as recurring tales of shortage of bed space, among other accompanying complaints.

Presenting the motion on the floor of the House, Hon. Hakeem Sokunle, Chairman, House Committee on Health Services, stated that after recent comprehensive assessment by the Ministry of Health and Primary Healthcare Board, it was revealed that out of the 329 State owned PHCs, 320 are currently operating below capacity.

He added that about 80% of cases brought to LASUTH as emergencies could be managed in the General Hospitals if the State Government could upgrade one General Hospital in each of the five divisions to tertiary hospital status.

He said the upgrade would give residents access to more comprehensive and sensitive health care services which will consequently reduce undue pressure on LASUTH.

Contributing, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader of the House, noted that all the necessary issues had been captured in the prayers of the motion following its first deliberations on the floor of the House at a plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa.

Hon. Rotimi Olowo urged the Committee on Health Services to look into issues confronting Primary Healthcare Centres while using population and centrality modulation as a guide towards upgrading the hospitals intended for tertiary status.

Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu opined that it was a huge task for for one House Committee to look into. He urged the House to consider including the Ministry of Health, Committee on Finance and Committee on Economic Planning and Budget in the fact-finding mission.

Noting that some patients who should naturally visit primary healthcare centres rush to general hospitals thus causing pressure on the latter, Hon. (Engr.) David Setonji urged that the Primary Healthcare Centres be given priority during upgrades.

 

Giving insight on the Lagos State Government’s plans to upgrade 20 PHCs in the Y2022 budget, the Chairman, House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, Hon. (Engr.) Gbolahan Yishawu, noted that some of the resolutions from the Y2022 Ehingbeti Summit, the State showed plans to upgrade 40 Primary Healthcare Centres every year to close the margin of the inadequate centres to relieve pressure on the secondary and tertiary hospitals.

He added that the Ministry of Health through the Commissioner in charge, should give the House modalities on which general hospitals are to be upgraded.

The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni who presided over plenary also layed emphasis on the importance of a thorough inspection of all the 57 flagship Primary Healthcare Centres.

He also directed that the House Committee on Finance and Economic Planning and Budget be involved to ensure that after findings, necessary funding is made available to actualise the upgrade.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY TASKS PRESIDENT BUHARI ON FOOD SECURITY

– CELEBRATES FARMERS, STATE GOVERNMENT

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, put more efforts in checking insecurity and farmers-herder’s crises.

The lawmakers said boosting security and the relationship between farmers and herders would help guarantee food security and sustainability in states of the federation.

The lawmakers commended Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for his proactiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as his different intervention programmes geared towards food security.

In the motion to commemorate the World Food Day programme initiated by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, (UNFAO), the House noted that agriculture in Nigeria had been affected by the pandemic, a tensed farmer-herder relationship, increasing threats of climate change, rising inflation and severe impact of food security.

The Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and prime mover of the motion, Hon. Kehinde Joseph, noted that the 2022 World Food Day was to promote global awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and to highlight the need to ensure healthy diets and raise the importance of food security.

He noted that the country cannot exempt itself from progressive trends.

In his contribution, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said the day was an opportunity to raise consciousness, look inward and shine light on some of the programmes established to sustain agriculture in the State.

Hon. Femi Saheed also stressed some of the achievements by the State Government adding that the State has cause to celebrate.

He noted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari recorded 60 rice mills.

He further noted the efforts of the Lagos State government with the Imota Rice Mill and the expected Lagos Logistics Hub as he urged other States in the country emulate Lagos to mitigate challenges of food security.

On his part, Hon. Ajani Owolabi lamented that many of the food from farms are wasted during transportation. He urged the country to work hard on preserving cash crops using technology.

The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who presided over the plenary, noted the progress Lagos had made in relation to agriculture.

He further urged farmers and government to work on food preservation measures to mitigate the rising challenges of food security due to climate change and its impact like the recent flooding across the country.

He also said that there was need for the federal government to find ways to compensate farmers and residents who have suffered from flooding.

LAGOS ASSEMBLY TO INVESTIGATE FIRE INCIDENT ON LAGOS ISLAND MARKET

Lagos State House of Assembly on Friday received protesters and victims of a recent fire outbreak that occurred at Balogun Market in the State.

The traders whose shops are situated on 39/41 Martins Street, Lagos Island, lamented that a fire razed their building mysteriously on the October 9, 2022 and that goods estimated to be worth millions of naira were lost in the disaster.

Mr. Mbachu Chibuzor, spokesman and Chairman of the group of traders, disclosed that the fire had been a recurrent incident in the building in the last 14 years.

He added that they stormed the House to lay their grievances over one Mrs. Fausat Fesugboyi whose shop gets burnt every two years alongside others but does not show the same level of concern as other affected traders.

Noting that the particular building got burnt in 2017, November 2018, October 11, 2019 and this year, Mr. Mbachu registered that these incidents often occur towards the end of the year rendering many traders victims.

The traders demanded that the House of Assembly investigate the fire incident just as they solicited for the relocation of the trading store of Mrs. Fausat Fesugboyi from the building.

In response to their petition, Hon. Moshood Oshun, Chairman, House Committee on Youth, Sports and Social Development, assured them that their petition would be submitted to the Office of the Speaker for immediate address.

Reiterating that no one is above the Law, he added that the House which believes in equity, justice and peace, will look into the matter.

In attendance were Hon. Hakeem Sokunle, Chairman, House Committee on Health Services and Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, Chairman, House Committee on Land matters.

Why Individuals, Society Must Protect Girl Child – Lagos Assembly

– Bill on office of public defender scales second reading

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday passed a motion seeking better protection of the female children.

The House also commended itself for passing laws that have favoured the female gender in the State just as they appreciated the State Government for doing its best to protect the girl child.

At a sitting presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, and in commemoration of the 2022 International Girl Child Day, the lawmakers also appreciated the various non-governmental organisations championing the cause of the girl child, carrying out advocacy and ensuring their protection.

Dr. Obasa, while commending Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, prime mover of the motion, noted: “The International Day for the Girl Child is an opportunity to bring to the fore the challenges facing the girl child such as violation of babies by men, abuse of drugs, and cultism.

“It is also an opportunity to scrutunise the performance of government agencies saddled with the responsibility of protecting the girl child,” the Speaker said.

Dr. Obasa commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his efforts at ensuring that the girl child in Lagos has equal opportunities as the male gender.

Moving the motion earlier, Hon. Alli-Macaulay, who chairs the House Committee on Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, noted that the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had set aside October 11, every year to celebrate the girl child and recognise her rights and the unique challenges she faces around the world.

She added that this year’s theme ‘Our Time is Now – Our Rights, Our Future’ is aimed at girls across the world who are demanding recognition of their power, inclusiveness and sustainable pathways to political participation.

Hon. Alli-Macaulay argued that “girls all over the world have shown interest in politics, education, poverty-related issues, environment, climate change amongst others.”

She noted the enactment of the Child Right Law and the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency Law by the House of Assembly as part of its efforts to keep the girl child protected.

In a related development, the ‘Bill for a Law to Amend the Office Of The Public Defender Law, 2015’ was read for a second with the lawmakers describing it as important.

Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, noted that the amendment is to introduce new sections that would help to strengthen the extant law.

Thereafter, Speaker Obasa commited the bill to House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC chaired by Hon. Victor Akande.

The committee is expected to report back to the House in two weeks.

10 Things To Know About Lagos New Victim, Witness Protection And Assistance Bill

The Lagos State House of Assembly led by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa recently passed a bill to protect and assist victims of crimes and accidents as well as witnesses who have genuine information which could help effective prosecution of cases.

Titled ‘a bill for a law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims and protection of witnesses and for connected purposes’, the bill which has been described as one that would protect lives and property is geared towards creating a peaceful Lagos society in line with state’s advancement.

The bill with 71 sections, is the first to be passed by a Nigerian State House of Assembly and creates for the establishment of an agency that would assist to meet its stipulations and goals.

Designed to meet the Megacity, or if you like, Smart City drive of the government, the bill also states how the agency is to be run, the establishment of a Trust Fund and how resources that should make up the fund are to be sourced and utilised. The bill currently awaits the assent by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Below are 10 other things to know about the bill and the agency:

1. Provide necessary assistance to victims and witnesses including measures for treatment, reparation, restitution and rehabilitation.

2. Conduct research into ways victims and witnesses can be effectively treated, rehabilitated, assisted, compensated and protected.

3. Create a conducive environment for witnesses to make statements before law enforcement agencies without fear of any repercussions.

4. Pay compensation to victims or witnesses for any physical or mental harm, loss or damages to property.

5. A victim or witness shall be protected as far as practicable from unnecessary contact with the alleged offender and defence witnesses during trial and proceedings.

6. A victim or witness who suspects that harm may be inflicted on him due to his participation in any investigation can seek protection.

7. A victim or witness can be provided with security, temporary accommodation, permanent relocation, temporary or permanent employment or change of identity.

8. Victims of accident or crime must be assisted by the public or security agents and taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.

9. A hospital or facility that fails to treat a victim can face a N1m fine. If victim dies, the hospital or doctor faces prosecution.

10. A private hospital that receives an accident victim with severe wound must inform the agency within 48 hours for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members are not known or where the victim is indigent.

Lagos Assembly to Sanwo-Olu: Curb proliferation of substandard private schools

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to help provide a more conducive environment for teachers in the State.

The House also urged the Governor to ensure prompt payment of pension to retired teachers as a way to celebrate them for their roles in the society.

The lawmakers further tasked the government to ensure that private schools meet up with necessary requirements before they are granted approvals.

The lawmakers made these requests at plenary in to celebrate teachers on the 2022 World Teachers Day.

Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Sanni Okanlawo (Kosofe1), in a motion, appreciated the efforts of teachers in the State.

He also commended the State government for working to meet the needs of teachers.

He observed that UNESCO set aside the 5th of October, every year for the celebration of teachers. The theme of this year’s celebration is “The Transformation of Education Begins with Teachers.”

Okanlawon noted that teachers during COVID-19 adopted online teaching in order not to allow learning to suffer.

In his contribution, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) who supported the motion, said the reward of teachers should be enjoyed while they are still alive.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun from Epe called for special allowance for primary and secondary school teachers to attract quality individuals into the profession.

A lawmaker representing Alimosho, Bisi Yusuff, called on State government to address teacher-student ratio.

While also supporting the motion, Hon. Kehinde Joseph appealed to the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve their crisis so that students can return to school.

Other lawmakers who contributed suggested means of making teaching profession attractive .

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, while reacting to the lawmakers contributions, called on the Ministry of Education to regulate the proliferation of substandard private schools to curb the problem of poor educational output.

He stressed that the State government must continue prompt payment of pension to teachers who have retired.

“Those who have retired must be paid, this will motivate other teachers,” he added.