In a communiqué issued at the end of the retreat and jointly read to journalists by the State's Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde; Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Akinyemi Ashade; and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Fola Adeyemi, the government said participants intensively deliberated on the six pillars of the Lagos State Development Plan, which are infrastructural development, sustainable environment, finance, economic development, social development and security and governance
Suomela-Chowdhury, who spoke to Government House Correspondents shortly after she led a delegation, including the Deputy Minister of the Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matti Anttonen, to a meeting with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House, Alausa, said they were in Nigeria to explore opportunities of cooperation
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday denied sponsorship of pilgrims for the 2015 hajj as being speculated in some news media, even as the Amirul Hajj restated the state’s readiness to conduct a hitch free hajj.
Reacting to publications in some dailies that some pilgrimage forms allocated to key officials of the state government have been hijacked, the Amirul Hajj and Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on 2015 Hajj, AbdulLateef Abdul Hakeem, in a statement said the state government does not sponsor pilgrims to the holyland and that the state is only interested in making sure the state’s pilgrims are well taken care of.
Hakeem said: “I wish to inform the general public that Lagos State has not sponsored or intend to sponsor any pilgrim for the 2015 hajj operations, what we were mandated to do is to coordinate the affairs of all intending pilgrims for this year’s hajj,.”
The Amirul Hajj added that the state’s involvement as a responsive and responsible government is limited to medical, general welfare.
He said: “We are giving support by providing welfare personnel, medical officials and clerics to guide them and ensure that they remain good ambassadors.
“Lagos State Government recognizes the fact that pilgrimage is a private affair of individuals but the primary essence of governance is to ensure the welfare of the people within and outside the state so that they remain law abiding.”
Hakeem therefore urged all intending pilgrims to expect hitch free hajj operations and be good ambassadors of the state.
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday alerted residents on a new dimension of criminal activities in parts of the state perpetrated by men of the underworld.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Habib Aruna, the state government said unscrupulous persons render their prospective victims unconscious through rubbing a perfumed handkerchief on their face.
The statement alerted that the bandits usually target unsuspecting victims either in a lonely commuter bus, taxi or a quiet corner.
It added that by the time the effect of the drugged perfume wears off, the criminals would have fled off after robbing a victim.
The statement listed the Igando axis in Alimosho Local Government Area as one of the areas where this new dimension of crime has become very pronounced in recent times.
“It is not yet known how harmful the drug being used on the handkerchief is. While that is being checked out, it may be necessary to alert members of the public on this new dimension,” the statement said.
The Lagos State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers on Tuesday said over 1,000 primary school teachers had retired between June and July.
The state Chairman of the NUT, Segun Raheem, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that primary schools had an immediate need of teachers.
Raheem said: “History shows that the last time Lagos State recruited teachers was 14 years ago and between June and July 2015, over 1000 teachers have retired.
“Head teachers of schools have drafted non-teaching staff to assist in the classes and some have gone ahead for sandwich courses.
“Some of these teachers have gotten to their bar and if converted, they will have no financial obligation.
“It is a way of cushioning the effect of the dire need of teachers because teachers have maximised their strength to make up for the inadequacy.”
Raheem said three primary school teachers died within a month in the course of teaching in their classes.
He said: “A teacher, after teaching in the class, sat down and collapsed; the other slumped and died while writing on the chalk board.
“The third died at the assembly ground.
“This has been the fate of our teachers due to their being overused.
“It is having an adverse effect on their health.”
Raheem said in the past, teachers were being replaced in secondary schools to make up for vacant spaces, but in the last three years, it was not so.
He said: “About 3,000 secondary school teachers and 5,000 primary school teachers are needed.
“The union had written to the last administration in Lagos State on the emergency need for teachers, especially in primary schools.
“After the inauguration, we wrote to congratulate the government and reminded them on the need to take action quickly.
“We have also assisted government to compile the list of non-teaching staff that have upgraded themselves and need to be converted and sent to SUBEB.
“The governor has also been copied on the development for quick action.”
According to Raheem, the last administration had floated a Federal Teachers Scheme where teachers are employed on contract.
He said there was a pool of funds made available for states that needed teachers, which the Federal Government and the states contributed to.
He said: “We are reminding the state government to take advantage of the scheme and contract teachers for about 14 years as proposed by the scheme.
“Teachers can do what is within their purview.
“The death of the three teachers was attributed to the overuse of their strength.”
Raheem advised the state government to employ 5,000 teachers for primary schools and 3,000 teachers for secondary schools without further delay.
“The employment should not be political but should be on subject specialisation as needed in schools,” he said.