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Senate holds special session for Adamu, Kyari, Nasiha

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APC National Chairman Abdullahi Adamu
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The Senate on Wednesday held a valedictory session to mark the exit of three members of the upper chamber.

The members include the new Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the Deputy National Chairman (North), Abubakar Kyari, and Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Hassan Muhammad Nasiha.

The session which started at 11:45am ended at 1:58pm.

The session commenced with a presentation from the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North).

He congratulated the former lawmakers on their recent attainments.

Lawmakers took turns to speak glowingly about the three former Senators at the session.

The Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), urged the new National Chairman of the APC to deepen democracy in the discharge of his duties.

Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central), commended Senator Adamu for laying the foundation of Nasarawa State and strides in developing the education sector.

He noted that as the first Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Senator Adamu was able to ensure harmony among members irrespective of diverse political persuasion.

According to him, the new National Chairman contributed to the growth of Agriculture in Nigeria as Chairman of the Farmer’s Association of Nigeria and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

Aliero added that the Deputy National Chairman (North), Abubakar Kyari, on the other hand, recorded a long history of service with impeccable legislative achievements as Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC and FCT.

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North), urged Senator Abdullahi Adamu to bring his wealth of experience as former Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum to bear on the administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central), described Senator Adamu as eminently qualified to lead the ruling APC to victory in 2023.

He observed that it was the first time that members of the Senate were elevated to serve in higher capacities.

James Manager (Delta South), urged the National Chairman to maintain “Senatorial integrity” in service to Nigerians, adding that doing so would boost confidence in members of the National Assembly.

On his part, Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South), urged the National Chairman and his Deputy to protect the sanctity of the National Assembly, as it is the most vulnerable arm of government.

A frontline aspirant for the National Chairmanship position, Senator Sani Musa (Niger East), said the emergence of Senator Adamu as APC National Chairman was the best decision made by the All Progressives Congress.

“We will stand by him, work with him and do all the foot soldiering to see that he succeeds”, he said.

Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (Akwa-Ibom North East) said, “Senator Adamu is a man you can trust any day. I am confident that APC which we thought was almost gone has got it right.

“I am confident that Baba Adamu will do the right thing. We will miss him.”

Senator Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), said, “Senator Adamu is a political textbook of contemporary Nigeria.

“He is patriotic and God fearing. Each time he speaks here, he speaks from the position of the law.

“I served in his Committee on Agriculture. You’ll know he is a believer in the rule of law. He is a no-nonsense man.

“Your (Adamu’s) emergence is a pointer that more people from the other side, from the body language, are willing to come back.

“He is a good man with a large heart who is a team player.”

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his contribution,  described the emergence of four members (serving and former) of the National Assembly as party executives of the APC was a remarkable development in the political evolution and history of Nigeria.

“That the National Chairman, Deputy National Chairman (North),  National Secretary and National Auditor are all people who are either completing their service in the Senate or were here before.

“What this goes to show is that the legislature is coming of age, that the legislature is now contributing to the political development and stability of our country, and we shouldn’t take this for granted.

“Even though the legislature has been the most disadvantaged arm of government out of the three, but I think it is rapidly developing”, Lawan said.

The APC Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, in his remarks on the floor, assured that the newly elected lawmakers in the APC would protect the integrity of the National Assembly within the confines of the party and its processes.

He also extended a hand of friendship to lawmakers in the minority party to become members of APC.

“As I go out of this chamber my colleagues, I’ll go with one assignment that I’ve given myself. I’ll break through this side of the isle.

“I have friends here that I hope and pray, that the spirit that we’ve lived with over the years will continue to trail whatever we do.

“Some of you are the best materials that this country can have, but you’re in the wrong camp.

“I was a founding member of the PDP in 1998. I took the flag of PDP to Nasarawa state. I served as a Governor with PDP, I served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

“They say it as if to remind me. As a person who did provide the service, nobody has asked me why did you break the bondage between you and PDP.

“It is in my heart of hearts, those of you who are willing to reach out to the higher pedestal of life, our hands are open and we are stretching those hands to you.”

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LAGOS EMERGES OVERALL BEST STATE IN DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR DEVELOPMENT

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… Bags Seven Awards

Lagos State Government outshined other States of the Federation to emerge as the best overall State in Digital Infrastructure for Development in Nigeria, winning seven awards at the 6th edition of the annual Tech Innovation Awards formerly called Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecom Awards (NTITA).

The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm, who received the award on behalf of the State Government, said the conferment of the awards on Lagos is a reflection of its buoyant tech ecosystem and the push to provide a world-class environment for Information and Communication Technology [ICT].

He added that the award confirmed the State’s commitment to leveraging ICT for service delivery to the citizens and developing the ICT ecosystem with world-class infrastructure.

Fahm reiterated the commitment of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to provide a statewide fibre-optics infrastructure to support the huge demand for data centres, businesses and public use, maintaining that Lagos is determined to champion the sector’s growth and sustainability by supporting tech companies, ICT start-ups and other industry members.

Speaking further, the Commissioner expressed his pleasure in the recognition of Lagos State’s efforts, stressing that the State will continue to foster ICT growth, local partnerships and collaborations to create opportunities for innovation and wealth by eradicating the digital divide and enhancing operational resilience.

“The continuous recognition of Lagos over the years through multiple awards is a reflection of its vision to provide sustainable infrastructure, eliminate the digital divide and democratise digital learning to promote digital literacy. This administration would continue to leverage technology to transform the State’s economy while easing impediments for businesses to flourish”, Fahm said.

He pointed out that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, since he assumed office in 2019, has prioritised ICT development and improved service delivery in all MDAs in the State, just as he is transforming Lagos into a Smart City.

The State won its seven awards through Lagos Internal Revenue Services (LIRS) with three awards; Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) with two awards; the Ministry of Science and Technology with one award, while the Honourable Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm bagged an award for Special Contribution to the ICT sector.

The Tech Innovation Awards (TIA), widely known as Nigeria’s ICT Oscars Awards, is an annual event designed to celebrate organisations, individuals, governments and the private sector that have distinguished themselves over the years and are at the forefront of digitalisation with innovative products and services in the ICT sector.

 

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SANWO-OLU AT CHATHAM HOUSE, CHARGES WORLD LEADERS ON SUSTAINABLE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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…Says LASG has consistently increased budgetary allocation, efficiency in healthcare

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appealed to world leaders, global think-tank and public office holders to work towards building a sustainable healthcare system for all and facilitate access for the poor and under-served.

Speaking on “Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria: Optimizing Institutional Opportunities and Partnerships for Success” at the weekend at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, Governor Sanwo-Olu charged global think-tank to optimise institutional opportunities and partnerships for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“To achieve UHC, developing countries must first focus on offering their residents a basic minimum set of healthcare services, provided free at the point of care using subsidy, controlled premiums or at a pre-set tariff system, within government-regulated facilities either public or affiliated private,” he said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State as the most populous city in Africa, a financial hub and Africa’s 5th Largest Economy on the continent, has strategically strengthened the health system in pursuit of Universal Health Coverage.

He said Lagos State has been using policies to strengthen its health systems, pushing toward the achievement of UHC, which the State considers a journey and not a destination.

“In Lagos State, we believe that policy is the most effective tool that governments can deploy in the pursuit of stronger health systems and eventually approaching UHC.

The right policies will lead to the development of robust health financing systems that will serve the needs of our huge and increasing population,” he said.

Speaking on some of the policies of his administration to strengthen the health system, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government has consistently increased its budgetary allocation and efficiency to healthcare over the years, noting that the desire of his government is to eventually match the Abuja Declaration of 15 percent.

He said his administration, through its capital infrastructure blueprint agenda, is upgrading and renovating its existing primary and secondary health facilities in the short term and it has commenced building new designed fit-for-purpose primary, secondary and specialist health facilities for the future.

“We recognise that the Government cannot cover the funding gap in the health system without support from the private sector. In a bid to encourage public-private partnerships, we set up various institutions such as the Office of Public Private Partnerships (OPPPs) and IBILE Holdings, a private company owned by Lagos State for the purpose of engaging with the private sector. These institutions are mandated to facilitate and fast-track PPP opportunities in Lagos State.

“We understand the need for proper governance within the administrative structure of the health system and so we inaugurated boards for all the agencies within the Lagos State Ministry of Health. This has gone a long way to strengthen the capacity of the hierarchical sub-agencies, keeping them focused on their mandates.

“We believe in health insurance as a tool that we can leverage to quickly cover ground in our quest for UHC and so we have thrown the full weight of our support behind the newly established National Health Insurance Act, and mandated our Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) to domesticate and enrol residents of Lagos into the Lagos State Social Health Insurance Scheme.

“We are leveraging partnerships with Global organisations like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Global Fund amongst others to explore innovative ways to strengthen our primary health system. In fact, I believe that such organisations’ decisions to directly fund a sub-national like Lagos State is a testament to the clarity of our vision and our drive to achieve results,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also disclosed that his administration has concluded some innovative schemes in partnership with the private sector to modernise the equipment in the State’s secondary health centres and set up specialised health facilities.

“We have commenced two pilot projects: The Lagos State Oncology Centre and the Omotunde Ajoke Cole Smart Hospital. The success of these projects will mark a new dawn in our health system, where the best of the public and private sectors come together to provide world-class affordable healthcare.

“We are working hard to improve the quality of human resources we have in our health centres. We are also using a system of meritocracy to appoint Medical Directors (MDs) in health centres and ensure continuous medical and administrative education.

“We understand the critical role played by logistics within our health system and we are making sure that people, essential medicines, and consumables are easily transported within our health system,” he said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said while Lagos State Government is working on innovative mechanisms to pay for healthcare, it also needs to ensure that it is building a healthcare delivery system that can provide decent healthcare services to the people of the State.

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Achieving SDG Will End Poverty, Hunger, And Insecurity In Nigeria – Buhari 

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that Nigeria is accelerating efforts to achieve the SDG by 2030 to guarantee an end to poverty and hunger, protect the ecosystem and ensure Nigerians live in peace and prosperity by 2030.

Buhari made the declaration on Friday when he officially unveiled the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework (INIFF) report, a high-level event in collaboration with the UNDP and EU, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UNGA.

He expressed satisfaction that the process leading to the NIFF which started in 2020 finally crystalized into the launch, underpinning the importance placed by the present administration towards achieving the goals.

The President explained that the various developmental plans and programmes for the country have all been aligned with the SDG and are poised to advance the nation’s economy in spite of the challenges that have confronted the country.

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