UK Lagosians announces 2021 expectations for Sanwo-Olu

UK Lagosians announces 2021 expectations for Sanwo-Olu

Lagosians living in the United Kingdom (UK) otherwise known as Lagos State Union UK & Ireland has announced their 2021 expectations for the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, saying that better dividends of democracy for all residents is paramount.

The Union’s statement of challenges to the Governor which was signed and issued today in UK by the Unions Publicity Secretary, Engr. Anthony Kayode Ajayi and made available to journalists, highlighted their demands to include the following:

SECURITY

We are yet to see the existence of Amotekun in Lagos State after the agreement by the South West Governors that the outfit be setup to assist in effective security across the region.

Holiganism, hoodlums, armed robbering and kidnapping are gradually returning to the state and there is the need to combat their activities in 2021.

Lagos is a hub of economic activities in Nigeria and has been a critical target location for crime. Visitors and residents have been victims of a wide range of violent crime, including armed robbery, assault, burglary, carjacking, rape, kidnapping and extortion. The mostly commonly reported crimes are armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and fraud.

In addition, mainland portion of Lagos has experienced periodic outbreaks of violence, resulting from clashes among localized street gangs known as “Area Boys.”  Based on current trends, the number of these crimes often increase during the months of September, October, November, and December, leading up to the holiday season.

Armed robbers have targeted residents in vehicles. Smash-and-grab robberies are common, with thieves canvassing vehicles in traffic for valuables.

Thieves will break the vehicle’s window or simply reach in and grab items while a vehicle stops in traffic. If an armed assailant or carjacker approaches; resistance may invite violence.

Home invasions and armed burglary remains a serious threat, with armed robbers even targeting guarded compounds. Perpetrators have scaled perimeter walls, followed residents/visitors, and/or subdued guards to gain entry. Armed robbers in Lagos have invaded waterfront compounds and businesses by boat, using waterways as a means of escape.

CYBERSECURITY

Cybercrime has become a concern and is becoming more sophisticated. Business email compromise has proliferated and has included phishing, spear phishing, and even social engineering techniques. The technical proficiency has improved, making suspicious emails and contacts harder to identify.

HEALTH

Health is a fundamental right that needs to be nurtured and supported for economic growth and development. This is why governments all over the world have been under increasing pressure to improve provision for health care services, while seeking to employ scarce resources effectively.

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In Nigeria, when it comes to matters of health, Lagos is listed among states in the “high end” class because of the high number and variety of general and specialist health facilities on offer. Statistics from the Healthcare Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) shows that in Lagos, there are over 26 registered General Hospitals, over 256 public healthcare centers, over 2, 886 private hospitals or specialist clinics and laboratories or diagnostic centers in addition to an estimated of over 160 tradomedical centers.

Despite the high number of the health facilities, the talk about crowded emergency wards, lack of empathy from health workers and having to wait endlessly before getting a shared room in hospitals were common complaints. Those are problems that can be explained from the perspective of Lagos being a victim of its success as in adding to the state’s status as a mega city of more than 23 million people, it daily receives influx of people across the federation seeking qualitative health care services.

The global outbreak of the dreaded Convid-19 virus has been well documented. This outbreak was deemed a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th March 2020. To date, there have been cases confirmed in at least 203 countries, areas or territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented measures to be taken by many countries, such as travel restrictions and restrictions on social gatherings.

Nigeria is a key regional actor in the African continent with over 200 million people, and it confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in Lagos State on 27th February 2020.

The Lagos State setting in Nigeria is particularly essential due to several reasons. First, Lagos State is the country’s commercial hub, as it had a surge in population and rapid urbanisation. With an estimated of over 20 million people across 3577 km2, Lagos is Africa’s most populous city with the highest population density in Nigeria. Second, the state operates in an emerging economy, which is facing institutional adversity and underlying and persistent economic challenges as it copes with the pandemic. Third, as remote work is being trialled globally, more people are working from home. This reduces their travel needs but the inadequate power supply, internet connections and the large informal economy has often meant that people must travel daily to work.

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EDUCATE

Lagos is currently the fastest growing city on the planet. By 2050, its population is expected to double to 35 million. On average, 85 more people need shelter, food and basic services every hour.

With considerable pressure already on the public education system, the commercial heartland of Nigeria has seen the rapid emergence of low-cost private schools, especially in slum areas, as even the poorest parents seek to provide opportunities for their children.

Private schools are now a major player on the Lagos education scene, dominating at the pre-primary and primary levels. Approximately 18,000 schools have opened, with the majority unapproved by the government, and offering varying standards of education and facilities. As many as 1.4 million children are spread across these private schools, against just 1.1 million children in 1,600 public schools. The success of this new sector is critical for Lagos’s aspirations of becoming a major player on the global stage.

In 2013, the state government invited DFID Nigeria to fund a five-year programme to address the market constraints faced by private schools, providing support and guidance to help them become a formal contributor to the city’s future.

New private schools are opening almost every day in Lagos, sometimes with inadequate facilities and substandard teaching. However, parents are prepared to find the money, as these private schools are perceived to offer better quality education when compared to government schools. Overall, the poor levels of numeracy and literacy in Lagos remain a significant barrier as the city tries to adjust to rapid population growth.

While private schools give a potential solution for the growing problems of access to education, they face stark financial hurdles that threaten to disrupt their development, especially at the lower end of the market. Unregulated by the government, banks are reluctant to offer credit. Parents with informal employment often pay late or not in full. The proprietors may bring enthusiasm for education, but many have little experience in financial planning or cash flow management. The severe arrears can destabilise the sustainability of the school as a business and deprive them of the means to invest in improving educational quality.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Intense urban growth has led to greater poverty, increasing local government inability to provide services for all people. The growing population, relatively low per capita income and inadequate existing infrastructure are all causes for concern as the government confronts critical deficits in infrastructure and public services including transportation, electricity, water and sanitation services.

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Poor infrastructure and public services leaves people disenfranchised, reduces economic opportunities and presents logistical challenges. Rapid urbanization and the absence of affordable housing have led to the expansion of slum areas, exacerbating socio-economic disparities and contributing to widespread poverty within the city.

TRANSPORTATION

Local drivers typically disregard traffic laws. Scooters and motorcycles generally do not follow the rules of the road, often using sidewalks to maneuver around other vehicles. Traffic lights and signs, lanes, and highway divisions are often nonexistent or frequently unheeded where they do exist. Formal driver training and enforcement of licensing are random. Remain a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead to allow space for avoidance maneuvers.

Roads are not well-maintained and do not meet Western standards. Vehicle disablement, especially flat tires, due to poor road conditions is common. Pedestrian traffic is present on the roadside at all hours. Most roads lack lighting at night, making travel after dark particularly hazardous. Few major routes connect cities, so construction, accidents, and rush-hour traffic cause traffic jams (“go-slows”) and major delays.

There is only limited and minimally effective enforcement of laws by local traffic officials. Traffic police officers routinely seek bribes. Drivers of all nationalities may experience harassment and shakedowns at vehicle checkpoints and during other encounters with officials. Vehicle occupants should always remain polite, slow down, and acknowledge police or military at checkpoints.

When traffic accidents occur, drivers often do not pull over to the side road; instead, they attempt to solve the issue at the location of the accident, blocking traffic. This practice often draws crowds of onlookers looking for money in exchange for offering their opinions of who was at fault. Accidents are frequent and often involve fatalities, especially on the major highways. Many traffic accidents go unreported and no reliable statistics exist on traffic fatalities due to the lack of centralized reporting.

The Union is being led by Nigerian business tycoons in the UK including its Chairman, Mr Toyin Ibrahim-Igbo; Vice Chairman, Lady Clara Sogunro-Koko; General Secretary, Prince Lanre Oluwa; Social Secretary, Alhaja Remi Koiki; Publicity Secretary, Engr Anthony Kayode Ajayi; Financial Secretary, Honourable Taofiq Fujah; Legal Adviser, Alhadji Babajide Aminu, amongst others

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