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Lagos mulls investment in airline operations

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  • as Sanwo-Olu presents scorecard to Lagos West constituents

Lagos State has mulled the idea of establishing an airline for passenger operations just as the State prepares for the groundbreaking to commence the construction of its own airport in Lekki.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed the plan, on Thursday, at the Lagos West Senatorial District People’s Town Hall Meeting, where he rendered stewardship and presented a catalogue of achievements recorded by his administration in the West of Lagos.

A former Permanent Secretary and retired Auditor General for Local Government in Lagos, Pa Muhammed Hassan, believed the State was ripe to own an airline; he threw the poser to the Governor.

Responding, Sanwo-Olu noted that the plan had been in the pipeline for months, with the State already finalising the financing model for the project. What is being considered, the Governor said, is the Federal Government’s approval and operational contingency for the airline.

This drew commendations from the citizens, who attended the Town Hall meeting held at Balmoral Convention Centre on Sheraton Link Road, Ikeja

At the no-holds-barred meeting, Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, mounted the stage to take feedback from the citizens, who asked difficult questions, gave an applause and shared suggestions going forward.

The Governor said the input from the public was necessary to guide his Government’s decision on planned programmes and interventions before their implementation.

Listing projects and interventions taken in Lagos West, Sanwo-Olu pointed out that his administration had completed and opened 42 new roads projects and two flyovers in the District, with the combined length of the infrastructure spanning over 72 kilometres.

He said the last four and half years had seen Lagos taking a leap forward in its socio-economic and development trajectory, but the Governor said he was resolute in doubling his efforts to keep the State on the sustainable growth path as his second term progresses.

He said: “Over the last five months, Mr. Deputy Governor and I have been working to put a concise plan together for the establishment of an airline, but we did not make the plan open because of the need to get adequate knowledge about the operational procedures of airlines. The business plan is viable and there is no issue about financing. The conversation has gone to an advanced stage but we need to get the proper information on operations before we go ahead to implement the plan.

“In Lagos West Senatorial District, infrastructure development has been our priority since we came in. Over the last four years, we have completed over 70 kilometres of new roads and over two kilometres of bridges. These include Pen-Cinema Bridge, Ikeja Flyover, and over 42 roads we have completed in Alimosho, Ifako, Agege, Ikeja, Mushin, Amuwo Odofin and  Badagry. We also have over 30 ongoing road projects which are at various stages of completion within this district.”

Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians that his administration would be raising the pace of its development strides, as he pledged to double the efforts to deliver twice the number of projects and programmes achieved in his first term.

The Governor said the senatorial district was also the major beneficiary of the intracity railway development projects of his administration, with Lagos West hosting major passenger hubs of Blue Line and Red Line trains.

He said the new General Hospital being constructed by his administration in Ojo axis was at an advanced stage of development, saying its completion would further improve health care access in the district.

To further enhance security and safety in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration would be releasing additiona…

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Continuous conduct of research key in resolving Air Force challenges — AOC

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Tactical Air Command (TAC), AVM Francis Edosa, has revealed that the continuous conduct of research and development will help in resolving most of the challenges confronting the Air Force.

Edosa, represented by the Chief of Staff, TAC, AVM EmekaAshiegbu, made the disclosure in Makurdi at a one-day Intra Command Research and Development Competition over the weekend.

He explained that  through research  the service had deployed several platforms to quell crises in most troubled parts of the country, adding that it also builds the capacity and enhances service delivery.

The AOC further explained that in the military industry, research involves the continuous development and upgrading of prototypes of new military systems without necessarily going into full scale development or production.

Edosa said that the competition “is germane  to our effectiveness as a service and imperative to the myriad of security challenges confronting our country.”

He charged participants to contribute meaningfully at the competition to improve the service.

The Guest of Honour at the occasion, Air Commodore Albert Bot, charged them to contribute their quota through research and development to advance the service to greater technological heights.

He said such contributions would help in curbing the menace of insurgency faced in most parts of the country.

Bot commended the Air Force for the application of air power in joint and interagency counter insurgency operations, which he attributed to modest outcomes in research and technology.

He said through research and development, crisis had been brought down speedily across many troubled parts of the country.

He also commended the Federal Government (FG) for having deep interest in research and the promotion of local content.

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Rotary Club of Rockcity offers free medical services to over 500 beneficiaries in Ogun

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Omobolaji Adekunle

In commemoration of Rotary Family Health Day, an event organised by Rotary Club of Rockcity under Rotary District 9110 in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  offered free medical services to over 500 beneficiaries in Abeokuta communities.

The exercise which held at Kugba Primary Health Care Centre, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital benefitted ten communities which included Oke-Aregba, Adatan, Oke-Odo, Labawa, Igbaru,  Kugba and other neighboring Communities.

Rotary family Health day is a day set aside by Rotary International to offer free  health care services, health promotion talks and distribution of disease prevention materials to families which form the basic units of every community.

The event was well organized with registration booths for beneficiaries, blood pressure measurement stands, and several fundamental blood tests were carried out to screen beneficiaries for Malaria, Hepatitis B and HIV for consenting individuals. Diabetes screening was also done.

Medical Doctors and other healthcare professionals were on ground to consult and offer professional services to beneficiaries.

Items such as Insecticide treated mosquito nets for nursing and pregnant mothers, sanitary pads and some basic medications were given free to people.

Health promotion talks on the importance of good personal hygiene as a veritable means of preventing diseases was given by Rtn (Dr) Moses Olanrewaju who is also a member of Rotary club of Rockcity.

Speaking with journalists the President of the club, Rtn (Engr) Gbolagoke Oluleke Adebiyi explained the aims and objectives of the exercise and the need to have this kind of gesture in the society, urging the government at all levels to ensure easy access and affordable healthcare to people.

According to him “Rotary family health day is one of the projects tagged for the health of the smallest unit of the society which is family. The purpose is to provide succour to the family which plays a pivotal role in any community.

This is why Rotary International gives family health all the attention it deserves because Rotary International is known for service to humanity.

The president  expressed satisfaction with the turn out of people; “this implies that people need more  access to free and affordable health care services,” he said.

“If this kind of service comes up often, a lot of families that don’t have the privilege to go to hospital due to their economic conditions would have the opportunity to complain about their health and benefit a lot. They would be able to use the avenue to express themselves about what they are going through to doctors

“My advice to the government is to make health care services affordable for the masses, especially the less privileged. When the health care is affordable for people, health-seeking behaviors will be prompt thereby forestalling preventable complications.”

He however appreciated all members of the Club and volunteers who participated in the exercise.

Further more, a medical consultant and member of the Club, Rtn (Dr) Moses Olanrewaju reiterated the choice of the venue saying:

“We chose Kugba Health Centre for this year’s Family Health Day because of the economic situation in the country and there is a need to extend our hands of service to the communities.

“We have carried out many basic health clinic tests and we have really detected a lot of diseases running among the members of the community. People that will need further specialist care are appropriately referred to the nearest secondary or tertiary health institutions like State Specialist Hospital, Ijaye or Federal Medical Centre, Idi-aba.

“Some non-communicable diseases have also been detected and have been appropriately referred. Also, patients have been adequately counselled on the need to seek health at appropriate health facilities in order to safeguard their health. We can confidently say that Rotary has positively impacted this community and we are sure that the services rendered have improved the health of families,” he added

The community head, Alhaji Lateef Muiz appreciated the members of Rotary Club of Rockcity for their kind gesture, stating that some members of family who could not have opportunity to go for medical check-ups due to financial constraint have been able to do so through this and have benefited a lot from the exercise.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Soliu Yusuf expressed his pleasure over the exercise which he described as an avenue that has enabled people to know what they don’t know about their health, adding that the exercise has been very useful for the vulnerable people in the communities.

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Customs FOU zone A: Oladeji vows to facilitate only legitimate trade as Ejibunu records N35.9bn seizure 

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The newly deployed Customs Area Controller (CAC), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Compt. Kola Oladeji, over the weekend, said he will facilitate legitimate trade as helmsman of the unit.

He disclosed this immediately after taking over from Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, as the CAC of the unit.

But, the outgone controller, Compt. Ejibunu, said N35.9billion contraband and 386 suspects were arrested between September 10th, 2021 to 19th April, 2024.

According to him, the unit has the mandate of revenue generation, anti-smuggling and facilitating legitimate trade.

“We have three mandates which are, anti -smuggling, revenue generation and  facilitation of legitimate trade. We must pursue it and I must say that we are not here to facilitate illegal trade  but genuine and legitimate trade,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Compt. Ejibunu recounted the strides made by the unit in combating smuggling and enhancing revenue collection, while also reflecting on the challenges and successes of his tenure.

Ejibunu stated that under his leadership, the unit recorded 3,189 seizures with a duty-paid value amounting to N35.9 billion and arrested 386 suspects involved in smuggling activities.

He highlighted major seizures during his tenure to include 222,285 bags of foreign parboiled rice, over 1.1 million liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and significant quantities of prohibited substances such as Indian hemp and tramadol.

He added that the unit also made strides in trade facilitation, providing escorts for goods on fast tracks and recovering over N2.25 billion through meticulous documentation and demand notices.

Ejibunu further emphasised the unit’s collaborative efforts with community leaders to reduce attacks on officers, a measure that has seen a reduction in violent confrontations.

He acknowledged the sacrifices made by officers, with eight sustaining injuries and five losing their lives in the line of duty during his tenure.

Ejibunu also disclosed that the Unit recovered the sum

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