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BUILDING COLLAPSE: SANWO-OLU SETS UP SIX-MAN PROBE PANEL

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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APPOINTS TOWN PLANNERS’ PRESIDENT AS CHAIRMAN

•Inquiry Team Has 30 Days to Submit Report

•Governor Cuts Short Official Trip to Rome to Attend to Emergency

The six-man independent investigation team set up by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to probe the remote and immediate cause of the collapse of a 21-storey building in Ikoyi has 30 days to submit its report.

Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, named members of the probe panel at the scene of the incident, with the list comprising professional builder, town planner, structural engineer and legal practitioners – all from the private sector.

President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Toyin Ayinde, is the chairman of the panel, while Ekundayo Onajobi, a lawyer in private law firm, is the Secretary.

Other panel members are a structural engineer, Dr. Akintilo Idris Adeleke; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; representative of Institute of Builders, Mr. Godfrey O. Godfrey, and Mrs. Bunmi Ibrahim, a property lawyer.

The panel’s terms of reference also include ascertaining whether there was a compromise of the building codes by the developer, his contractor and statutory regulatory agencies.

Already, General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Arc. Gbolahan Oki, has been suspended indefinitely by the Governor.

Sanwo-Olu was on an official visit to Rome in Italy for G-20 Summit when he learnt of the incident on Monday. The Governor cut short his trip and returned to Lagos on Tuesday to attend to the emergency.

Arriving at the scene, the Governor met with the victims’ family members, raising their hopes and showing compassion to calm them.

Describing the event as “a monumental disaster”, Sanwo-Olu hinted that mistakes must have been made in the process of developing the collapsed structure. The Governor promised a thorough inquiry into the matter, adding that the full wrath of the law would be brought on anyone found to have compromised.

The Governor charged the investigative team to explore all angles to determine the cause of the collapse.

Sanwo-Olu said: “We’ve promised to be open and thorough in investigating the cause of the collapse. In that regard, I have set up a high-powered professional investigative panel whose membership consists of professionals outside of the Government. The panel members have been given clear terms of reference and we are giving them 30-day assignment to tell us what has gone wrong at the site.

“The panel will be finding out who the culprits are. The investigation will start from the heads of regulatory agencies. Be rest assured that if there are other people that are found wanting in the course of investigation, everybody will face the full wrath of the law. Members of the panel are people of impeccable integrity and I will be signing an executive order to give the panel a legal backing.”

Other terms of reference of the panel include, determining whether there was full compliance with physical planning and building materials laws of the State; determining whether there was supervisory or oversight lapses on the part of regulatory agencies, and making necessary recommendations to guard against reoccurrence of similar incidents.

Sanwo-Olu maintained that it was difficult for the Government to know the exact number of people trapped, noting that none of the people linked to the housing project had come forward to offer information on the manifest.

As at Wednesday afternoon, the Governor put the figure of confirmed fatality to 21, while nine persons were evacuated alive from the rubbles.

“I express my deepest sympathy to the families of those that have been involved in this unfortunate incident. For the bodies recovered from the site, we are currently conducting systematic process of identifying them. Before the end of today or tomorrow, the process would have been completed and family members can come forward to identify them,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The State Government set up a medical base and information desk at the site of the building collapse, urging those whose family members were still missing to offer information on identity. There is also a website (www.lagosmind.org/help) and helpline number (09090006463) for the distress family.

The multi-sectoral search and rescue operation was ongoing at press time. The effort is being led by teams of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), with the support of construction giants, Julius Berger, Craneburg, HiTech
and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).

Those rescued from the rubbles are Oduntan Timilehin, 26; Sunday Monday, 21; Adeniran Mayowa, 37; Sholagbade Nurudeen, 33; Waliu Lateef, 32, and Ahmed Kanleku, a 19-year-old Beninoise.

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5000 LAGOSIANS GET FREE HEALTH INSURANCE ON SANWO-OLU’S BIRTHDAY

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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No fewer than 5000 Lagosians are to be enrolled in the Ilera Eko Social Health Plan – courtesy of the Lagos State Executive Council.

The gesture is to celebrate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s 57th birthday on June 25 and in the spirit of his compassion for the indigent and vulnerable.

Beneficiaries will have access to quality health care services and drugs under the ILERA EKO Standard Plan at no cost to them.

Nominees will be selected from the Lagos State Social Protection Register. An equal number of the 5000 eligible beneficiaries are to be selected from the five IBILE divisions of the State and will enjoy Universal Health Coverage.

These beneficiaries have been identified using a multi-dimensional poverty index tool, which includes the poverty means-testing to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated.

ILERA EKO is the State Social Health Insurance Plan managed by Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), which offers the basic minimum health plan that provides quality and affordable healthcare for all Lagos residents, especially the middle and low-income earners as well as the vulnerable.

Services on the Plan include: General consultations; Specialist Consultations; Management of uncomplicated chronic diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma); Maternal and Newborn Care; Normal Delivery and Caesarean Section; Dental Care (with Composite filling) and Eye Care, including glasses.

There are also minor and major surgeries; laboratory tests and scans; HIV/TB Testing services; Emergency Health Services; Cancer Care and the provision of prescribed drugs.

A policy cycle under the ILERA EKO Health Insurance Plan runs for 12 calendar months in which an enrolee’s policy is due for renewal before the 25th day of the 12th month to enable such subscribers have access to care the next month (Start of renewed policy cycle).

The selected beneficiaries will commence access to care from July 1, 2022.

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Wife remanded as UK Court denies them bail

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife
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An Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom did not grant bail to Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and Beatrice, his wife, who were apprehended over attempted harvesting of organs.

It was gathered that the Nigerian couple was detained by the Metropolitan Police when they tried harvesting an unnamed child’s organs.

When the Senator was arraigned on Thursday, the court refused to grant him bail but ordered that he should be remanded till July 7

The Metropolitan Police while confirming the arrest said in a statement that the pair were charged to court on Thursday following an investigation by the police’ specialist crime team.

“Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting,” the statement read.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

They have both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support.”

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Conditional Cash Transfer: Lagos flags off distribution of ATM card, activation pins

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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Lagos State Government on Thursday flags off distribution of ATM cards and activation pins to beneficiaries in continuation of conditional cash transfer programme.

Speaking at the event which took place at Agege Local Government, Agege, Lagos, Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Hon.Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, appreciated the Federal Government through the National Cash Transfer Office(NCTO), under the Office of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), who has the mandate to develop humanitarian policies, provide effective co-ordination of national and International Humanitarian interventions, ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response and manage the formulation and implementation affair, focused social inclusion and protection program in Nigeria.

She recalled that she was elated that CCT beneficiaries in Lagos State have received the bi-monthly cash stipends from the programme and have been availed with the much needed capacity skills through the Savings and Group Mobilisation (SGM) training, which have been in no small measure of immense benefits to their livelihood, which culminated in the result of the success stories that have been shared across the targeted LGAs /LCDAs.

“It would be recalled that the Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank, established National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP), have played a pivotal role to help end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity with a view to ameliorate the lives of the citizenry. The NASSP Project Development Objective (PDO), is to provide access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded National Social Safety nets system”, Arobieke said.

She further maintained that the National Cash Transfer Office under NASSP, was given the mandate to implement the Federal Government conditional cash transfer, also known as Household Uplifting Programme.

“The programme since inception has successfully paid beneficiaries via transparent and accountable means that enables the NASSPS programme pay beneficiaries at their doorstep through Payment Service Provisions (PSP)”, Arobieke said.

She also acknowledged the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for being a father of the nation and as well as a proactive governor for putting the programme in place with his audacious vision of lifting 100 million people out of the poverty net in Nigeria .

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