Major sporting events across the globe provide athletes the opportunity to launch themselves into the reckoning.
From the All-Africa Games to the Commonwealth Games, World Championships, and the Olympics Games, most athletes go the extra mile to prepare themselves with the hope of not only winning medals for their countries but also booking their slots in history books as record breakers.
The Delta 2022 National Sports Festival (NSF), which ended on December 10, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, proved to be one such event.
On the opening day of the multi-sports fiesta, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State threw a challenge to the athletes, not only to compete fairly but also to take extra steps to break old records.
“I welcome you to Delta State, but I want to see old records broken in this 21st National Sports Festival,” Okowa said.
For some of the athletes, Governor Okowa’s challenge meant a lot.
And so, when the race for medals started on November 30, their focus was not only to win medals for their states, but also to equal, or break existing national records.
From track and field events to swimming, weightlifting, boxing, volleyball, hockey, and table tennis, records tumbled at Delta 2022.
For 36 years, the national record in hammer throw was untouched.
As far back as March 1986, Christian Okoye threw 66.
76m to set the record, and every attempt by compatriots to erase the record has been unsuccessful over the years.
But Okoye’s reign as the national record holder ended in Asaba, as his name was replaced in the record books by Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, who is now the new record holder.
He did not only break the 36-year-old hammer record, but he also won a gold medal in the process.
Enekwechi, representing Delta State, was a class ahead of other competitors, as he heaved 67.
Okoye’s long-standing record was 66.
Mostapha Al Gamel of Egypt holds the African record with a distance of 81.
Perhaps, one event that many Nigerians will live to remember from the Delta 2022 sports festival, is the scrabble event, where some African champions were dethroned.
Akpos Malafakumo Best created a major upset in the event, as she dethroned current African Women Scrabble Champion and two-time defending champion of the NSF, Tuoyo Mayoku, in the Women’s Singles Category.
The Bayelsa State-born player won a total of 14 games and carded accumulative points of 1, 782 to win the gold medal, while Mayeku, representing Delta State, got the silver with a total of 12 games with accumulative points of 680.
Mayeku came into the Festival as the clear favourite, having won gold medals at the Abuja 2018 and Edo 2020 editions of the NSF.
She also emerged as the women’s champion at the African Scrabble Championship in Lusaka, Zambia, two months ago.
Best attributed her achievement to determination and hard work adding that she was determined to win the title even before the commencement of the festival.
The records in the scrabble event also extended to the men’s category, where Olatunde Oduwole from Lagos State won gold in the singles category ahead of current African Scrabble champion, Enoch Tochukwu Nwali, also of Lagos State, and former world scrabble champion, Wellington Jighere of Delta State.
The President of the Scrabble Federation of Nigeria, Toke Akah, described the sport in Africa as a unique and unpredictable game.
“There is also some element of luck in the game.
Invariably, the victory of Akpos Malafakumo Best is upset, but not completely out of place when it comes to the game of scrabble,” he said.
The Delta 2022 NSF was the fourth attempt for United States-based long jumper, Joseph Oreva Edafiadhe, a student of Newman-Carson University in the United States, who jumped 7.
70m to clinch the gold medal for Team Delta.
According to him, improving his performance and being among the world’s best jumper is now his target.
“I feel good winning the gold medal, and I’m overwhelmed because it has been a long time since I started coming to the festival,” Edafiadhe said.
“My first outing was in 2011, where I did three foul jumps in the final and got no medal.
My second festival fetched me a bronze medal, while the third time I won a silver medal.
So, it is somewhat personal for me to be elevated to gold.
I feel great that God did it.
” Edafiadhe said his next step is to take down Yusuf Alli’s 8.
27m national record, which has remained unbroken for 33 years.
“Records are meant to be broken; when the right time comes, Yusuf Alli’s 33-year-old record is going to be broken.
But for now, qualifying for the world and Africa Games are my targets,” he said.
In cycling, Ese Ukpeseraye of Team Delta emerged as one of the star athletes of the sporting fiesta, winning a total of eight gold medals.
Ukpeseraye, who was Team Delta’s leading cyclist, became the first female rider in recent times to achieve the feat.
Speaking with The Guardian, Ukpeseraye: “I am happy to have won eight gold medals.
I give God the glory and thank my coaches and teammates for their support.
”In Dart, Team Ogun athlete, Lolade Adeyemi, set a new record, winning four gold medals.
At the 20th edition of the fiesta held in Benin City, Edo State, Adeyemi grabbed one gold and one bronze medal.
The final race in the 100m even at major sporting events usually comes with high expectations.
It was not different at Delta 2022 NSF.
At the last edition in Benin City, Enoch Adegoke won his first 100m title and was crowned the festival’s speed king.
He was tipped for the title in Asaba, but lost out thereby failing to defend the two titles he won within the last 24 months.
It was Adelakun Fakorede, who emerged as the fastest man at the Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba, that soaked all the limelight.
The Rivers State athlete came out of the blocks strong and coasted home to win at 10.
25seconds, pushing Sunday Akintan of Oyo State to settle for silver with a time of 10.
32 seconds, while Mabilo Nicolas of Team Edo State won bronze in 10.
In the women’s race, Tima Godless of Team Bayelsa State outpaced the field to clinch the gold medal in 11.
32secs, ahead of Team Delta’s Okwose Faith (silver 11.
50secs) and Ofoku Praise (bronze in 11.
For the first time in the history of the NSF, two American coaches were in Delta State to witness the athletics event.
The Head Coach of Mississippi State University (MSU), Chris Woods, and his assistant, Mark Quis, were at the stadium throughout the duration of the event.
The visiting coaches, according to the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, were in Asaba to identify talents, who would be awarded scholarships to Mississippi State University.
“This is a good development for the National Sports Festival because any athlete that is discovered by these two American coaches will enjoy a better career in both education and track/field,” Head Coach of the AFN, Seigha Porbeni, told The Guardian.
Delta 2022 NSF was not about the able-bodied athletes alone, as special athletes also had their day in the sun.
Team Ogun’s para-athlete, Omolola Akinbode, won two gold medals, which fetched her a N2m reward from Governor Dapo Abiodun.
Akinbode, whose two gold medals came from athletics and shot put events, opened up on the challenges and disappointment she had to endure to be reckoned with in society.
Physical disability is any impairment, which imposes a limitation on a person’s physical dexterity, mobility, or functioning.
People with disability generally encounter difficulties in making ends meet.
In some cases, they rely solely on assistance from others to survive.
Their living conditions are quite challenging and their employment prospects are lower than their able-bodied counterparts.
About 95 per cent of physically challenged people tend to have psychological reasoning of being poorly treated, or downgraded in society.
Educational facilities for the physically challenged are usually provided with the different standards across the globe.
Some families cannot even afford the expenses, while some believe that investment in education for the physically challenged constitutes a waste of resources and time.
But some families will go the extra mile to ensure that equal treatment is given to the physically challenged and able-bodied in their families, and those living around them.
At Delta 2022 NSF, some physically challenged athletes achieved what their able-bodied counterparts could not achieve.
While many able-bodied athletes returned home empty-handed from Asaba, some of the physically challenged athletes smiled to the bank as medalists.
Among them are Akinbode, who got a gold medal in shot put T37-37; Latifat Tijani (powerlifting 45kg category), Isau Ogunkunle (table tennis 4-5class), Kafayat Olaitan (table tennis class 9), Dauda Ibrahim (59kg class), Yakub Adesokan (49kg class para powerlifting), and Hakeem Rasaq (F40 para athletics).
The Head of Public Relations/Information of Ogun Sports Council, Bola Giwa, told The Guardian that para-athletes are examples of irrepressible spirit, gender equality and sports excellence.
“The real challenge associated with disability in Nigeria is not a physical disability in itself, but the retinue of unfavorable societal response or attitude towards disability,” she said.
She continues: “We should stop the stigmatisation of people with special needs in all spheres of life if we must be counted among developed and developing nations, where physical disability does not impair the ability of people.
We have to help them to rise to the top in any chosen career, especially as sportsmen and women.
”For Team Oyo, the Asaba outing was a new landmark as the state’s athletes broke new ground by producing the first-ever gold medalists in four sports in which Oyo State had never done well in past.
First, it was Adekunle Adeyemo, who broke the jinx in golf, as he became the first-ever Oyo State golfer to strike gold in that event.
Adekunle, who is popularly known as “Lati,” was unstoppable as he won in the eclectic category.
That victory opened the floodgate of success for Team Oyo, as members of the team in three other sporting disciplines achieved good results on the same day.
The scrabble team achieved great success when the duo of Mosope Muyiwa and Kareem Jamiu, combined to win a gold medal in the male doubles category thereby becoming the first-ever gold medalists for Oyo State in the event.
In canoeing, Olasupo Temitope paddled to glory to become the first Oyo State athlete to ever win a gold medal in canoeing.
The first time appearance in over 40 years in cricket became a memorable outing for the state, as its men’s cricket team won gold, beating its Kaduna opponent in the final.
The weightlifting event provided the thrills and frills, particularly for the host Team Delta.
The event was barely two days old when defending champions, Team Delta, won a total of six gold medals to consolidate its top position on the medals table.
In the 49kg women’s category, Monica Uweh, of Delta State won the gold medal in the snatch with a lift of 75kg.
She also claimed gold in total, with a 165kg lift, as well as, a silver medal in clean and jerk with a 90kg lift.
Fellow Deltan, and Ebele Agbah, won gold in clean and jerk with a 90kg lift, and silver in total with a 163kg lift Ruth Asuquo Nyong of Nasarawa State won the silver medal in the snatch, with a 74kg lift, while Ebele Agbah got the bronze with a 73kg lift.
Augustina Nwaokolo of Lagos State settled for the bronze medal in total with a lift of 153kg.
Lagos State went home with all three good medals in the 55kg men’s category, leaving Akwa Ibom and Kano states to settle for silver and bronze respectively.
Didih Onome was dominant, as he claimed gold medals in the snatch, clean/jerk, and total for the Centre of Excellence with 86kg, 103kg, and 189kg lifts, respectively.
Theresa Daniel of Akwa Ibom State won all three silver medals after lifting 78kg in snatch, 102kg in clean/Jerk, and 180kg in total.
Journalists, who covered the Asaba event were unanimous in praising the organisers of the festival, describing it as one of the best-ever in the history of the multi-sports fiesta.
Some of the journalists, who have covered previous editions of the festival, expressed their satisfaction, particularly with the quality of facilities, as well as the day-to-day administration of the festival’s activities.
“Delta State, indeed, beat my expectations, starting from the upgrade of the sporting facilities, to the welfare of media practitioners, athletes, and spectators,” George Akpayen, a former Bayelsa United Media Officer, and NTA reporter said.
“… For what I saw in 10 days, I salute the government of the state and Delta State’s Sports Commission.
The welfare that was extended to the visitors was very important.
Imagine working in a comfortable atmosphere without missing the World Cup because it was brought to us even when the sports festival was also going on.
” “I rate Delta State very high.
Other states need to take a cue from here,” said Hananeel Jackson, the current media director of Bayelsa United, who also works as an On-Air Personality (OAP) at Creek Fm).
“The hospitality given to us here is first of its kind.
Delta State has done very well,” Oyo State sports journalist, Sunday Agunbiade, said.
“No doubt, every big event like this must have challenges, but what I have seen here, ranging from the facilities, timing, organisation, and welfare, I will rate Delta State 90 per cent,” said Ikye Nwoike, a former FC Ifeanyi Uba Media Director.
“This is beyond hosting an event.
It shows the world that the people of Delta State are peaceful and friendly hosts.
From the organisation to the reception, the verdict is satisfactory, Delta State won fair and clean on the medals table, and nobody complained because they prepared for it even with the short timing.
“This made me a proud Deltan, which many people don’t know,” said Francis Archi, who is the CEO of Totori Sports, as well as, the media officer of the national U-17 team.
The journalists also commended the professional approach of the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, who daily checked and addressed journalists on their welfare.
OLAMIDE FAMUWAGUN writes on how residents of the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area suffer the loss of loved ones due to the lack of manpower in Ibiade General Hospital, a facility expected to serve the entire council
What could have been a day of joy for 46-year-old Sodiq Barihu ended in tears as he lost his wife and firstborn to the cold hands of death.
With a sigh on his lips, dejection in his tone, Barihu would have never guessed that he would incur two losses in a day.
On August 15, 2022, the businessman had excitedly taken his pregnant wife, Stella to the Ibiade General Hospital but there had been no doctor around to attend to her.
While narrating the incident to our correspondent, Sodiq said his wife bled to death for the absence of quick response time.
He said, “My wife usually goes for antenatal at a government-approved maternity centre, Agbure but on that day she couldn’t go there because the maternity centre had not opened. I immediately rushed her to the Ibiade General Hospital relieved that she would deliver successfully there, however, there was no doctor around.
“They didn’t even admit us. One of the nurses there just referred us to Ijebu Ode. At that time, the baby was already out but my wife was bleeding. On our way to Ijebu General Hospital, I lost my baby and my wife.”
Barihu noted that the loss had made him unable to think of anything else, adding that the deaths caused issues for him with his deceased wife’s family.
He said, “The two doctors we have are coming from Ijebu Ode, they’re not coming from Ogun Waterside which makes it very difficult to respond to emergencies. These doctors don’t come regularly as well. The case passed through the Ogbere Area Command. The loss did not make me think of any other thing, there have been many issues between me and my wife’s family because of this. She wasn’t sick, it’s because the doctor wasn’t around.’’
The 46-year-old urged the government to provide more hands in the hospital to prevent cases such as his.
He said, “I urge the government to please provide qualified doctors that can be at Waterside permanently and not one who is part-time. To do this, they need more hands so that when there are cases that are critical such as this, they will be able to give quick response time.”
A council’s agony
The Ogun Waterside Local Government Area is located in Abigi town, Ogun State which is the only area on the Bight of Benin. It is mostly occupied by the Ijebus, Ilajes, and Ikales.
With a population of 126,200, the council is bounded in the West by Ijebu East Local Government, in the North and the East by Ondo State, and in the South by Lagos State and the Atlantic Ocean.
This local government occupies Southwest Ogun State and shares a boundary with Ijebu East Local Government Area. There are several villages in this local council development area.
The towns and villages in the LGA include Abigi, Agbede, Agbure, Agerige, Agilla, Agodo, Aiyede, Aiyesan, Ajegunle, Apata, Araromi Odo, Araromi Oke, Arokola, Ayetunmara, Bolorun Duro, Efire, Gbagi, Ibiade, Ibu, Igbafo, Ijebu Manuwa, Ilusin, Isekun, Ita Ogun, Ita Out, Itabaiye Itatufolu, Italugade, Itebu, Kesumeta, Leren, Logbosere, Logede, Lokula, Lomiro, Lukugbe, Makun, Moba, Oka, Okakota, Ologbu,Oruiye, Ranger,Sunbare, Tagbu Nrin, Tayoku, Tibada, Tigara, Tilagbe, Toga, Togunren, Toso, Urhobo, Yemoje, Zion, Iteju Elero, Lofoluwa, Logbosere, Momiro, More, Okebi, Ajegunle, Araromi, Araromi Obu, Arijan, Ayede, Ayila, Batedo, Edunola Igodankuda, Gbaragada Ibu, Idobilayo, Igbo Ala, Ijako, Ipakemore, Ajelanwa, Alo, Demolu, Ebute Oni, Idata Akila, Igele, Imeki, Itomosafeso, Iwopin, Lumuganran, Molofe, Molopope, Ologbun Orita, Omo, Olojumeta, Oni Shalu, Oribu, Oriegbe, Oriyanrin, Sumoge, Aba,Aba Olori, Abusoro, Agbala Irokun, Ago Ariye, Ajimo, Akede II, Awodikora Iganla, Awodikora Osa, Awodikora Seafu, Eba Igboedu,Ebute Okun, Ibodu, Igbo Edun, Irokun, Ito Aro, Itomowa-I Tolabase, Liyewu, Makun Omi, Mofere, Moha, Mosefejo, Obimilehin, Ode Omi, Okun Akede, Okun Awodikora, Okun Elufon,, Okun Igbosere, Okun Ilete, Olokun Olosumeta.
The Ibiade General Hospital is a public hospital located at Tosho Street, Ibiade, Ogun Waterside, Ogun Waterside Local Government, Ogun State. It was established on May 18, 1960.
The general hospital is a licensed hospital by the Nigeria Ministry of Health.
On our correspondent’s visit to the hospital, she observed that the hospital which was formally dilapidated had been refurbished in some parts while some areas remained bushy.
Only one doctor and three nurses were observed to be on duty while many patients were seen scattered around the hospital awaiting their turn to be treated.
A particular health worker was observed to be a helter-skelter because the shortage of workers had required him to take up many roles at once.
Many patients were also sighted lingering around the hospital premises with despondent looks on their faces, waiting to be attended to.
Our correspondent gathered that the general hospital was the only hospital in the council and is supposed to serve the entire LGA and its environs.
It was learnt that the doctors did not reside in the community but in Ijebu Ode which makes it even more difficult to meet up with medical emergencies as the journey from Ibiade where the hospital is located to Ijebu Ode is 1hr 19 minutes (80.5km).
So, the question lingers, can two doctors and three nurses suffice to cater to the medical emergencies of an entire LGA?
More woes, lamentations
With a vacant expression and a solemn look, a man recounts how his brother, Rasaq Shittu died.
Rasaq had suddenly developed hypertension in October 2022 and was rushed to the Ibiade General Hospital but there were no doctors to attend to him.
His brother said, “My brother is a welder, he works in the evening, around 7 pm. That day, we suddenly had to rush him to the hospital because he was suddenly unresponsive. We quickly rushed him to the Ibiade General Hospital but there were no doctors available. He was on oxygen when the nurse referred us to the Ijebu Ode General Hospital and we had to quickly take him there. On our way, my brother gave up.
“Although the matron of the hospital had attended to us well, if the doctors were around and he had gotten a quick medical response, my brother would have likely survived. The truth is that we need more doctors to prevent things like this.”
Other than the lack of manpower, our correspondent learnt that some residents of the LGA had lost their lives as a result of travelling for a long distance, sometimes by waterways to get to the Ibiade General Hospital.
In July 2019, Tayo Adeoti was about to give birth and was in pain, however, the traditional doctors in the area could not help her out of her situation at the time. Tayo had to be rushed to the Ibiade General hospital, which was a three-hour journey from Ode-Omi, where she resided and unfortunately, Tayo died on the way.
Her husband, Bashir lamented the lack of well-equipped health centres to attend to medical emergencies.
He said,” My wife and child would still be alive if we had good health facilities and enough medical practitioners. We need to travel over water to bigger towns to get better healthcare.”
While at the Ibiade General hospital, an elderly man, Gbenga Osikale, who had come for his checkup, approached our correspondent and lamented the lack of manpower in the hospital.
He said, “This hospital has been existing for a long time but the workers are not enough. We need more doctors and nurses because if there are no doctors and nurses, there will be no one to treat the patients when they are brought here.
“We plead with the government to please give us enough doctors and nurses. When you go to the Abigi Medical Centre, there are more workers than here and it’s not supposed to be so because this is a general hospital. We have tendered a lot of complaints but we are yet to see anything done.”
Osikale pointed at the many patients waiting outside to see the doctor, saying “Look at this now, many people are waiting.”
Our correspondent had approached the doctor present at the hospital and pressed for a comment on the matter but the doctor refused to comment.
A businessman in the Ibiade community, Salami Misibau, stated that the lack of manpower and quick response time had made many of the community residents especially pregnant women consult traditional/herbal doctors which were killing many of them.
He said, “We have complained severally to the government but there’s still nothing, because of this issue, many of our people visit Ile Alagbo (place of herbal medicine) but this has led to the death of some of our pregnant women.
“This is a town that has everything, we have a police post and over 10 private schools but it’s appalling that our only General Hospital lacks doctors. We need a doctor to live here so that the response time is faster and more effective.
“When there are critical issues, these patients are being referred to Ijebu Ode general hospital, and it’s laughable because our hospital here is even bigger than that of Ijebu Ode. We have a shortage of doctors. Normally when a patient is taken to the hospital, regardless of the hour, there is supposed to be a doctor on the ground but this is not so here. Even nurses cannot carry out any operation without a doctor.
“If anything happens at midnight today before the doctor says he’s coming from Ijebu Ode to see the patient, something must have happened to the patient. In the same way, if a patient is directly transferred to Ijebu Ode for treatment, no matter how fast the car is, more than an hour will still be spent on the road. The person could die within this period.
“We need doctors. Right now, we have just two doctors. They come and go. The junior doctor comes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while the senior doctor comes only on Tuesday. What we need at the least, is for a doctor to sleep or rest, as they come on those days.
“The senior doctor who did an operation last Thursday only came by luck. That day there were two operations pending and at that time the senior doctor was just coming back from Ondo state when he decided to stop by the hospital, it was by stopping by that he was able to perform the two surgeries.
“If he didn’t stop by, they would have had to call the junior doctor from Ijebu Ode to come for the surgery and who knows what would have happened within that time. The junior doctor lives in Ijebu Ode.”
A resident of Iwopin, Ahmed Owoseni noted that the hospital was not functioning well despite the renovations of government, adding that many had lost their lives because of this.
Efforts by our correspondent to speak to the Hospitals Chief Medical Director, Dr. Oluwatosin Durojaye proved abortive as he was not around the day our correspondent visited the hospital and the staff of the hospital had refused to give his contact to our correspondent.
Worrying healthcare statistics
A paper by Babatunde Jimoh and Oluwafemi Tinuola titled ‘An Assessment of Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction of Healthcare Professionals in Ogun State Hospitals, Nigeria’ revealed that the migration of healthcare professionals from the Ogun State Hospital Management Board to Tertiary Hospitals owned by the Federal Government within the State has become worrisome.
The paper partly read, “The migration of healthcare professionals from the Ogun State Hospital Management Board to Tertiary Hospitals owned by the Federal Government within the State has become worrisome. Surveys have shown that the number of healthcare professionals employed by the State’s HMB would decline by half within a year of their employment due to seeking greener pastures elsewhere.
“This has led to progressive staff attrition with resulting work overload and stress for the healthcare professionals left in the service that cannot efficiently and effectively deliver quality healthcare service to the populace. In addition, patients visiting the hospital on delay in accessing services have made several complaints, as they have to wait for long hours, cope with the attitude of overstretched healthcare professionals, lack of doctors on site, and many more, which could be attributed to acute shortage of human resources.”
According to the research, the Ogun State Hospital Management Board has under it five State Hospitals, five Dental Centres, four Community Mental Health Centres, and twenty-five General Hospitals with a total of 39 health facilities.
The Ogun state Medical and Health Statistics (2017) revealed only one general duty doctor with no other doctors for other specialisation at the Ibiade General Hospital.
Community leaders, experts speak
Commenting on the issue, the Alarige of Ibiade, Oba Bola Raimi, stated that the matter had been reported to the health board at Abeokuta but nothing had been done to placate the sufferings of the community residents.
He said, “This is a general hospital serving the entire Waterside, although, we have some health centres, there’s one at Abigi, another at Iwopin, and others, we have about three or four clinics and health centres however this is our current issue is the shortage of manpower at the General hospital.
“We have been reporting this matter to the health board at Abeokuta but nothing has been done. I reiterate that we need new hands, there’s a shortage of nurses also. The hospital has been repaired but there are so many things that need to be put in. We currently have two doctors there. One is currently on leave while the other is on the ground. We need more manpower, staff and more equipment.
Oba Raimi disclosed to our correspondent that one of the doctors was currently on leave while the other was attending a conference in Lagos state.
He said, “The doctors rotate every day in the week, presently one is on his annual leave. At times, the doctors are present and at times they’re absent. Since one is currently on leave, the second one is attending a conference in Lagos, so they’ve not been around since Wednesday. We need more manpower. There is a lot of medical equipment that is still needed in the hospital. The building is well constructed but these are the things we lack.”
The Chairman of the council, Mr. Adekunle Mudashiru, when contacted by our correspondent said he was not aware of the deaths that had occurred due to the hospital’s lack of manpower but the state government had done its best to renovate the hospital.
He said, “I am not aware of these deaths. This is the first time I am hearing about them however, I commiserate with those who have lost loved ones. That General Hospital had been abandoned for so many years but it was the regime of Governor Dapo Abiodun that came to the rescue of the hospital in terms of renovation and other things including the quarters of the doctors and the nurses.
“They have these quarters which they’re supposed to be living in so they don’t have to come from anywhere far.”
In his view, a medical practitioner, Dr. Adetayo Johnson of Caring Trust Medical Centre, stated that having enough doctors was crucial in saving the lives of patients.
He said, “What it takes to run a hospital has to be well specified and thorough because a hospital takes care of the lives of people. We have mobile emergency doctors who attend to patients in emergency, they are called mobile rescue units and they require a well-trained doctor on ground, especially cardiologists. Those are the ones who can sustain the breathing of the patients for a while. There is also a need for an emergency surgeon or a neurosurgeon.
“Doctors are never enough. No matter how you try, even if you employ 5,000 doctors in a hospital, they are never enough. This is because the problems of the patients surpass the doctors on the ground so the doctors need to be many. We have emergency doctors, casualty doctors, professional doctors, registrars, consultants, medical officers, and HO (House officers).”
Johnson noted that the country lacked the financial resources to cater to doctors and keep them efficient.
He said, “In Nigeria here, what we lack isn’t manpower but financial resources, the resources for us to get doctors. Doctors are not employed in Nigeria, when a doctor is looking for a job here, he has to sacrifice his life to look for that job. With the modus operandi here, in most cases the jobs aren’t being specified to the doctor, they want the doctor to cover the morning shift, afternoon shift, and night shifts.
“These doctors are human beings and not machines. It is unprofessional to assign such tedious jobs to a doctor, especially for just a meager salary. Also, appropriate accommodation is not provided and majority of the hospitals don’t have residential apartments inside the hospitals for the doctors. They have these quarters away from the hospital and this will keep affecting the efficiency of the doctors.”
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abdulwaheed Odusile, stated that the state had upgraded its health facilities and plans to have 236 wards in the state as part of its plans to prioritise health in the state.
He said, “It is quite unfortunate what you have just told me but I am not aware of it. I’ll tell my colleagues in the ministry of health to look into the matter. However, I can tell you that we have more nurses and doctors all over the state, including our primary health centres. We are trying to provide health services to our people in all our health facilities around the state.
“We are upgrading most of our hospitals, the primary and secondary health givers. There’s no way you can have 99 per cent personnel but we have recruited more health personnel in this administration than in the previous government. We are improving our hospitals by providing staff, drugs, and facilities. We plan to have about 236 wards in the state, we have over 100 now and we’re moving towards the target. These will not just be buildings but they will also be equipped with personnel, drugs, and other facilities. It’s a work in progress, we can’t achieve it overnight. These are the things left undone by the previous administration but this present administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun has given more health facilities to our people.
When contacted, the state Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Nafiu Aigoro, assured our correspondent that all hands would be on deck to solve the ongoing issue, adding that the current brain drain had caused a shortage of medical staff all over the world.
He said, “Hands are on deck to find those supposed to be on duty to carry out the necessary sanctions. Recently, the state government refurbished the hospital and there are available staff quarters for the doctors and nurses to stay.
“It’s no news that there is brain drain not only in Nigeria but the world generally. Every day, we have our health workers resign and we can’t hold them back. We have to make use of what we have.
“However, the government would be unhappy about the referral of patients to the Ijebu Ode General Hospitals because of the absence of doctors, because one of the visions of the state is to reduce the mortality rate in the state. I assure you that now that the report has gone to the headquarters, we’ll work on it.”
All efforts to speak to the state Commissioner of Health, Tomi Coker, proved abortive as she did not respond to calls and messages sent by our correspondent.Credit: https://punchng.com/manpower-shortage-in-ogun-hospital-sends-patients-to-early-grave/
Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun has said that the appointment of the14th Olowu of Owu kingdom complied with the Obas and Chiefs Law, 2021 and the customs and traditions of Owuland
Abiodun made the assertion at the presentation of the staff of office to Oba (Prof) Saka Matemilola, Oluyalo Otileta VII.
in Totoro area of Abeokuta on Saturday.
The governor urged the people of Owu Kingdom to rally round and co-operate with the new traditional ruler so that Owu Kingdom could continue on its path of progress and development.
Abiodun, who expressed confidence in the ability of Matemilola to steer the ship of Owu Kingdom to greater heights, urged him to consider his appointment as a call to service.
“I am confident that you will concentrate on the task of accelerating the pace of socio-economic development in Owu Kingdom and Egbaland by mobilising your people in such a manner that their efforts will complement the initiatives of our administration.
“I believe that your vision for Owu Kingdom is aligned to ours as we continue to ensure focused and qualitative governance and to create the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership.
“We consider such partnership as fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun,” he said.
He expressed appreciation for the support that his administration had continued to receive from the people since he assumed office as governor of Ogun. “We appreciate those who out of genuine desire for the economic growth and their people have offered plausible policy options, encouragement and candid advice to us like the Balogun Owu, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
“He has been with us through thick and thin’’, Abiodun said.
Speaking after his installment, Matemilola commended the leadership of the Otileta dynasty for carrying out a credible and fair selection process in spite of many challenges.
He acknowledged the “uniqueness” of the stool of the Olowu of Owu kingdom and its responsibilities.
“To rule over such a unique domain with a rich history and heritage requires great leadership qualities and capabilities “As I step into my new role as Olowu, U will be following in a long line of remarkable Olowus who have all made lasting impacts on Owu kingdom,” he said.
The new Olowu, who acknowledged the immense expectations of his subjects, promised that with their support and help of God, he would move the kingdom to greater heights.
“We have already mapped out an ambitious agenda designed to usher in unity, peace, prosperity and pride in Owu people.
“We also have a clear strategy on how we intend to go about them,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the throne of Owu kingdom became vacant on Dec. 12, 2021 following the death of the immediate traditional ruler, late Oba Adegboyega Dosumu who ascended the throne in 2005. NAN reports that Obasanjo, the Balogun of Owu, who unavoidably absent at the ceremony , was represented by his wife, Bola Obasanjo.
Among dignitaries at the ceremony were two former governors of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, and former governor of Delta state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Others were traditional rulers, captains of industry and politicians including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, as well as the Olu of Warri, Emiko Ogiame, Atuwatse lll.
The Chairman, Body of Benchers, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, says lawyers in Nigeria are worried over conflicting decisions being given by the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Olanipekun stated this during a valedictory court session in honour of Justice Mojeed Owoade, who retired as Court of Appeal Justice after attaining the age of 70, on Wednesday in Ibadan.
He said that the issue of conflicting decisions of the appellate courts had become a very disturbing trend and was distorting the sacred order of judicial precedence.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that nowadays, our appellate courts give conflicting decisions at very regular intervals, thus throwing the profession into confusion.
“More particularly so, when those conflicting decisions interfere with and derail the agelong doctrine of ‘stare decisis.
’ “I need not to go into specifics in this address but the issues are very notorious.
“At various fora and special sessions of Supreme Court, senior counsel have taken their turns, have pleaded with the apex court to look into it and arrest this disturbing trend,” Olanipekun said.
He called on the President and Justices of the Court of Appeal to do everything within their powers and jurisdiction to nip the trend in the bud.
Olanipekun said the conflicting judgements significantly obstructed lawyers’ ability to effectively predict the position of the law in the delivery of legal opinions for clients.
The Senior Advocate described retired Justice Owoade as a leading ambassador of this generation, a shining light for all and a beacon of hope to his peers and others.
In her remark, the President of Court of Apepeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, described Owoade as an erudite, disciplined and consummate jurists who rose from the academia to the bench.
Represented by the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, Justice Moor Adumein, the Appeal Court President said that retirement marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new vista.
She said that Owoade deserved to be celebrated for his contributions to the Judiciary and Nigeria in general.
Also speaking, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said the decisions of Owoade were always in-depth and would continue to resonate in the judiciary.
The event was attended by Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, Nigeria’s foremost female senior advocate, Mrs Folake Solanke, SAN, Owoade’s family members and friends, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Owoade was born on Oct.19,1952 and appointed a High Court Judge in Oyo State in 1997 before moving to the Court of Appeal on June 8, 2006.
The Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Abdulkabir, has called for the rehabilitation of all federal roads in Ota and its environs in order to alleviate the suffering of the masses.
Oba Abdulkabir made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Ota, Ogun. He said that people were not happy with the deplorable condition of the roads in Ota and its environs.
The traditional ruler stressed the need for urgent action on the roads in order to reduce the number road crashes and the attendant loss of lives and property.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to expedite action on the rehabilitation of bad roads in Ota due to the peculiar nature of the area and its importance to lives and many industries situated around the axis,” he said.
Abdulkabir listed some of the roads calling for quick intervention to include: Lagos-Abeokuta expressway and Ota-Idi-Iroko expressway, among others.
He said that he held a meeting with the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, last month, with a promise that something would be done on the affected roads.
The traditional ruler, however, commended Gov. Dapo Abiodun for providing palliative measures on some portions of the bad roads, thus prevented them from total collapse.
He added that with good roads, the enforcement of traffic rules and regulations by the FRSC personnel would be without any hurdle.
Ogun Command of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has solicited for the cooperation and support of Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Abdulkabir, for the 2022 ember months mega rally, scheduled for Ota.
FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Mr Ahmed Umar, sought the traditional ruler’s support during a courtesy visit to his palace on Thursday in Ota.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2022 mega rally, with the theme: “Avoid Speeding, Overloading and Unsafe Tyre to Arrive Alive,” will be held in Ota on Oct.19.
Umar said that the purpose of the courtesy visit was to inform the traditional ruler about the rally and seek for his cooperation and support.
“We are, therefore, soliciting for your cooperation toward the success of the ember months’ mega rally in your domain,” he said.
The sector commander said that FRSC decided to take the rally to Ota because of its social and economic importance to the state.
He added that the large number of industries in Ota, coupled with the huge vehicular and human movements, usually resulting in road crashes, had necessitated holding the rally in the town.
In his response, the Olota commended the corps for effective monitoring of traffic and ensuring compliance with traffic rules and regulations in Ota and its environs.
According to him, Ota is situated in a peculiar location linking so many roads like Ota-Idi-Iroko expressway and Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, among others.
He, however, expressed concern over what he called the deplorable state of most of the roads in Ota and its environs, urging the Federal Government to expedite action toward rehabilitating them.
Abdulkabir also commended Gov. Dapo Abiodun for his quick intervention by providing palliative measures on Lagos-Abeokuta expressway and others within Ota axis.
“If not for quick intervention of the governor, we would have experienced total collapse of the roads,” he said.
The royal father assured FRSC of his cooperation and support toward the ember months’ mega rally.
Stakeholders in the South-West geo-political zone of Nigeria have called on the three tiers of government to resuscitate all the moribund Waterworks to ensure uninterrupted water supply to the people.
They made the calls on Wednesday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Osogbo, Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti Akure, Ilorin and Abeokuta.
However, the state governors in the zone have expressed their readiness and commitment to provide potable water to better the lots of citizens in the region.
Commenting, a former Minister of Water Resources, Mr Bashir Awotorebo, said that the only solution to revive the public water supply was for the Federal Government to construct reservoirs and dams across the country.
Awotorebo, who described water as life and an essential commodity for living, said to ensure that every citizen live a healthy life, “it is compulsory for them to get potable water supply”.
The former minister said though, it was not the sole responsibility of the Federal Government to provide adequate water for the masses, it is also the responsibility of the state governments to make potable water available.
According to him, the funds provided by both the State and Federal Governments was not always enough to provide adequate water supply for the masses.
“There are large dams in the Northern and Southern parts of the country respectively, but distribution of the water to the public is the responsibility of state and not the Federal Government.
“The Federal Government can only provide the source of water; it is the responsibility of the state government to see to its distribution.
Awotorebo said that with the completion of Ilesa Dam, potable water would be made available to the people in Osun. The former minister, however, said the construction of Ile-Ife Dam, started since 2006 has yet to be completed, adding that it was responsible for lack of potable water to the people of the area.
He said with the availability of funds and adequate planning, potable water could be made available to the people.
Also, Mr Tadese Raheem, the immediate past Commissioner for Water Resources in Osun, said there was urgent need to channel more funds to revive public water supply system in the country.
Raheem, however, said that the state government spends N500 million on monthly basis to ensure that potable water gets to every household.
He said that putting more funds to revive public water supply system would go along way in addressing the acute water supply in the country.
“States and local governments cannot fund water projects alone, there is need for the Federal Government and international supports.
“Also, looking at the Ilesa Water project, you will agree with me that Osun cannot do it alone.
There is need for international collaboration,” the former Commissioner said.
According to him, the Ministry of Water Resources has been given mandate to ensure that Osun people were provided with clean drinking water, which remains one of the core mandates of the current administration.
He called for more investment, modern infrastructure equipment and polices aimed at fast-tracking the development of water resources across the states and the country at large.
Contributing, an official of the Oyo State Water Corporation, Mr Tolu Oluwasanu, said that the state government was revisiting the moribund Waterworks located across the zones in the state.
Oluwasanu, the corporation Maintenance Operational Officer, told NAN that the state government had also made prompt payment of over N800 million counterpart funding as contribution to the State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency.
According to Oluwasanu, this can testify that government is committed toward reviving the water supply system.
He said that the counterpart funding was also meant to attract over N2.9 billion from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Oluwasanu said the fund was required to provide for implementation of the partnership for expanded water supply, sanitation and hygiene, particularly in the less city, small towns and rural areas in the state.
He added that replacement of the damage water pipes from Asejire Waterworks commenced immediately the current administration came into office.
The maintenance operational officer said that the state government recently procured 1,194 metric tonnes of aluminum sulphate to boost production of potable water in the state.
Oluwasanu said that welfare of staff of the water corporation was also paramount to the state government “just as other state workers”.
He said, “This is to motivate the workers and enhance their performance toward the provision of potable water to residents of the state.
” Oluwasanu said the state government would continue to formulate and implement relevant policies that would enhance functional water system in the state.
Also, Prof. Moshood Mustapha, Department of Zoology, University of Ilorin, advised the Federal and State Governments to utilise the abundant Lakes to solve the challenges of water supply.
Mustapha drew the attention of relevant stakeholders to the possibility of exploration of dams, otherwise called man-made Lakes in the country.
He said, “Dams are sources of dependable water and can be effectively used to curb the spread of more pernicious poverty, if they are properly managed.
” Mustapha said that available facts and figures had shown that the availability, proximity, quantity, and quality of water were closely associated with the incidence of poverty.
According to him, water is no doubt, a very important requirement for the survival of man as it constitutes more than 60 per cent of human body; it also covers more than 70 per cent of the earth’s surface.
He said, “In spite of huge availability of water, only one per cent of it is freshwater, which is usually impounded by man in Lakes, reservoirs, ponds and other impoundments for his benefit.
” Mustapha said that the diverse use and increasing demands for freshwater and its resources, as a result of expanding population, have put enormous pressure on its supply, quality and quantity.
According to him, this in turn is making it to become the world’s most precious resource.
He said water remains the most mistreated and ignored natural resource, advising that if care was not taken, water may, by next century, becomes much more scarce in Nigeria.
Mustapha, therefore, suggested that effective measures should be put in place to ensure that certain percentages were allocated for use of the Lakes.
He suggested that water for drinking and industrial supplies could be allocated 50 and 20 per cent respectively.
“Irrigation, fishing, recreation and other uses could be allotted the remaining percentage of the daily water budget and Lake usage for peace and tranquility to prevail,” Mustapha said.
However, some residents in Ilorin said that provision of water should be considered as a basic social amenity.
A resident of Pipeline Road, Mrs Farida Ademola, said that there was need for the government to repair the rusty and damaged water pipes.
“Government needs to repair our water pipes, some of them have bursted and water is being wasted in the process.
“We usually have water flow once in a while, but it does not get to our houses.
“It is either we are not connected or the pipes have bursted and you see water wasting, especially along the pipeline road, closed to the bridge.
“Then, they should make water available regularly; we are tired of fetching water from street to street,” she said.
Another resident of Agbabiaka, who simply identified himself as Mr Taiwo, said there was need for the state government to revive water supply across the country.
Taiwo decried non availability of water supply in his community, saying that almost every household was dependent on wells or rain water, especially during the rainy season.
“We are all dependent on well water, which dries up during the dry season, except for those who have boreholes in their compounds.
“Even, with this, there is no regular electricity to pump water, which makes it scarce.
“I do not think that the water provided by the state government runs through our community, which I think is not good at all.
“These are some of the amenities we should enjoy as citizens under a democratic government.
Our rights are important,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Fatai Olotu, the Ondo State Commissioner for Water Resources and Sanitation, told NAN that the state government has put in place measures to boost water supply in the state.
Olotu said that a new water scheme in Ayede Ogbese, Akure North Local Government area of the state, was part of the state government’s efforts aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) by 2030. He said that Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration embarked on the project following “a devastating revelation that the percentage of public water supply in the state was less than four per cent”.
The commissioner added that 200 water fetching points were already being constructed across the state as part of the first phase of the scheme.
He said the state government would stop at nothing to ensure that lives of the people improve.
Olotu said that the water scheme, being executed by the Ondo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RUWASSA), would provide potable water for the people of Ayede Ogbese and its environs.
He explained that Ayede Ogbese Water Scheme was designed to have five kilometres reticulation and distribution network with a storage tank of 50 million capacity that would discharge at full capacity twice a day with 100 public standpipes, 200 fetching points, while one fetching point would serve 50 people.
The commissioner said that RUWASSA had been empowered to partner with corporate organisations to further increase water supply in the state.
While saying that the new scheme would help the state, t The commissioner explained that the scheme would improve, sustain and expand safe water supply to over 3,000 communities and also sustain the plan for Water Sanitation and Hygiene.
In Ekiti, stakeholders urged the governments to use decentralised system of water supply to achieve optimal success for the residents.
They said that the system currently being used by the governments to supply water was centralised instead of decentralised system, because Nigeria has urban and rural areas.
A development expert in water resources management, Mr Micheal Ale, attributed the non-effectiveness of public water system supply for over 20 years to a number of factors which government had ignored and now causing setback for water corporations in the country.
Ale explained that the centralised system could not work, especially in urban areas where people built indiscriminately on waterways without the government’s approval.
The expert urged government to be strict and remove houses or buildings on the waterways to allow free follow of underground water.
He noted that some houses built on the waterways have been destroying the water industrial pipes constructed underneath the ground, thereby denying many Nigerians effective water supply to their various houses.
Ale advised the government to invest in solar-powered energy as a mean of supplying water, instead of relying on electricity and generators.
He said that the cost of solar system was quite cheap and affordable than maintaining and fueling generators.
The expert urged government to have implementable water policy plan that would make provision for certain water infrastructure.
Ale advised the state government to upgrade water supply facilities with new ones and purchase a more sustainable water infrastructure.
He urged government to improve the salary of staff of water corporations in Nigeria, because human capital in water sector was currently dying as a result of poor salary.
Ale noted that poor salary structure being paid to the workers caused poor maintenance of water infrastructure across the country, as nobody was ready to be committed to the development of the water corporations.
Mr Stephen Adewumi, the Ekiti Programme Coordinator for Sustainable Urban, Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene,(SURWASH), said the state was parts of SURWASH to ensure availability of potable and hygienic water for the people.
Adewumi explained that the programme, which kicked off in January, in partnership with the World Bank, was designed to strengthen relevant institutions, sectors and policies in order to increase access to water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the state.
He said that SURWASH programme in Ekiti, under the supervision of the State Commissioner for Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, few months ago, had stakeholders’ meeting with the Federal Programme Implementing Unit (FPIU) team to channel the course for successful implementation of the programme.
Adewumi assured the people of government commitments at ensuring that the welfare of the people was prioritised, with proper coordination of the programme toward achieving the desires results of SURWASH in the state.
He highlighted some of the project sites to include: the office of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation at Ikere-Ekiti; Awo-Ekiti and Araromi-Obo-Ekiti, in Local Government area of the state.
Also, Mr Temitope Agboola, the Corporate Communication and Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti State Water Corporation, said that Nigeria lacked a sustainable measures to eliminate the gap in water supply to the people.
Agboola said that the alarming state of safe water deprivation among residents in the rural communities was well recognised.
He noted that rural water interventions suffers from high rate of failure due largely to weak institutional framework in the water supply sector.
“For water supply sustainability to be revived in Nigeria, all the stakeholders must work together to prioritise and address the policy gaps constraining the service delivery simultaneously in the religion because working on one factor alone may not result in sustainable services.
“Many rural water supply projects in Nigeria are characterised by poor performance.
“For instance, the Rural Water Supply Schemes (RWSS) have collapsed and that except for a few areas, most rural dwellers are facing serious and persistent challenges in meeting their water needs,” he said.
The corporate communication and public relations officer, said there were lots of ongoing projects in the state that would soon make water available to the people.
He, however, declined to speak on the plans of the state to revive water system in the state, saying that he was not in the best position.
A civil servant, Mr Taiwo Ige, frowned at the way government neglected provisions of potable water and called on the government to make provisions for potable water in the state a priority.
Ige said that lack of pipe borne water had increased the rate of water borne diseases among children and adults.
However, a Medical Practitioner, Dr Fatai Lawal, affirmed that 88 per cent of water borne diseases like diarrhoea were due to lack of access to potable water.
According to Lawal, this has led to increase in the rate of diarrhoea in children, thereby accounting for second leading causes of under-five mortality.
Also, a lecturer at the Ekiti State University, Dr Yinka Adeugba, suggested the use of Chlorine tablet as a cost effective way of water purification.
In his remarks, a Water Resources expert, Mr Isaac Okafor, stressed the importance of access to clean waters in enhancing environmental sustainability and economic growth.
Okafor said that across the country, access to clean water had remained a luxury with Nigerians often jostled for water from the public taps.
He said many Nigerians had continued to rely on wells, boreholes, rivers and rainwater, adding, “many of these water sources are contaminated”.
The water expert observed that the pathetic water situation in the country had continued to result in the prevalence of water borne diseases, particularly, in rural areas.
In his contributions, Mr Ademola Sanni, an Hydrologist, expressed concern at the continued deprivation of Nigerian citizens of portable water.
Sanni blamed the situation on “policy gaps and faulty institutional frameworks” in the water supply sector.
According to him, the responsibility of water supply in Nigeria is shared among the three levels of government, namely, the Federal, State and Local Governments.
“The Federal Government is in charge of water resources management, while the state governments have the primary responsibility for urban water supply and local governments together with the communities are responsible for rural water supply.
“Responsibility for sanitation is not clearly defined.
The community-based service providers are constrained by several policy gaps that negatively impact on the quality and sustainability of rural water supply in the country,” he said Mrs Funmilayo Dada, who lives at Ita-Eko area of Abeokuta, said, “life can be miserable” during the dry season in the metropolis.
Dada said residents only enjoyed water during the rainy season, adding that most of the wells within the surroundings would have been filled to the brim.
Another resident, Mr Akinjobi Taiwo, who lives around Oju-Ore area in Sango, said residents had resorted to using their cars to get waters with kegs from the few public institutions in the area.
Reacting, Mr Kunle Otun, the Special Adviser to Gov. Dapo Abiodun on Water Resources, said, “Dapo Abiodun-led administration met an extremely precarious situation of water supply when it came to power.
” Otun said that the state government had put effective measures in place to revive public water system.
The special adviser said that the state government had recorded appreciable impacts in major towns and cities in the state in the area of adequate water supply.
The governor’s aide pointed out that many activities were ongoing by the state Water Corporation on reticulation and laying of pipes.
He added that approval for the expansion and upgrade of water facilities was also recently given by the governor to cater for expanded communities, while anticipating and providing for those that would spring up in the nearest future.
Otun explained that the first thing the state government did was the construction of new dam kits, which was inaugurated in 2022 to hold enough volume of water for system purpose.
The governor’s aide said that the state government was rehabilitating a treatment plant and upgrading the capacity from the provision of 82 million litres of water per day to 162 million litres per day.
“The current administration has also sited a 14,500 cubic meter reservoir, which is being constructed at Oke-Temidire area in Abeokuta South-Local Government Area for a massive distribution of potable water supply to various communities.
“By December this year, the plant will be due for commissioning.
We are laying a 6.5 kilometres of 900mm pipe from Temidire area to the distribution plant.
“This is to ensure that the treated water will move from the distribution plant to the reservoir and this reservoir is at an altitude of 116 above sea level.
“So, by the time we push the water there, it will be drawn by gravity to homes within Abeokuta.
“These are part of the efforts that we are putting in place to make sure that we address the water challenge in Abeokuta and its environs.
“Before the end of December, we should have enough water that will go round Abeokuta and its environs,” he said.
The special adviser said that the state government was planning to rehabilitate the dam in Ota, in conjunction with the Federal Government.
“We have an MoU signed between Ogun Government and the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and rehabilitation commenced about six months ago and is still ongoing,” he said.
According to him, there is no serious problem of water production in Ijebu-Ode, saying, “we only have problems of distributing water around the town.
“The problem arouse when the state government began the construction of Ijebu-Ode-Epe Road. “The road was expanded and it affected the distribution pipes and so we need to relocate the pipes.
“We are working round the clock to ensure distribution of water in Ijebu-Ode. “In another one month, we should have water in Ijebu-Ode, because from Yemoji Plant in outskirt of Ijebu-Ode, we will pump water to the town,” Otun said.
He assured the people that the state government would not relent until every nook and cranny of the state has access to public water system.
Pensioners in Ogun have appealed to citizens of the state to prevail on Gov. Dapo Abiodun, to promptly pay them their entitlements and redeem his promises based on equity, justice and fairness.
The pensioners under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Ogun chapter, made the appeal during a protest in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the pensioners carried placards with inscriptions which included: “Governor Dapo Abiodun, stop paying lip service to the rights of senior citizens in the state.
” The state NUP Chairman, Mr Waheed Oloyede, said that the protest was to drive home their demands because the entitlements of pensioners should be enjoyed only on earth and not in the grave.
He said that the union was committed to the memorandum of agreement reached between the labour organisation and the state government on behalf of the pensioners.
He expressed displeasure over the governor’s failed promises to alleviate the sufferings of the pensioners by prompt payment of their gratuities and other entitlements.
Oloyede appealed to the governor not to deny the pensioners of their entitlements.
Addressing protesters at the state secretariat, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, the Secretary to the State Government, however, assured the pensioners of quick response to their demands.
Talabi said: “We are trying our best to make sure that all your demands are urgently attended to.
“You have a legitimate right to make these demands, but we are currently being face with limited resources.
The Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have commended Ogun Government over the utilisation of Value-Chain Development Programme Additional Funding (VCDP-AF) to empower farmers.
A joint supervision team, led by IFAD Country Director, Dede Ekoue, gave the commendation during the 5th Federal joint supervision mission’s visit to the state on Thursday in Abeokuta.
Ekoue expressed satisfaction with the number of youths and local farmers trained and empowered through the agricultural intervention programmes.
The country director explained that through the programme, productivity of rice had increased by 47 per cent and cassava 61 per cent.
She stated that the federal government and IFAD were pleased with the development, adding that the objective of the programme was to empower farmers to grow more and improve their livelihood as well as enhance food security.
Ekoue stressed that the visit was also aimed at addressing any challenge that the programme might be facing, assuring that it would be thoroughly looked into with a view to providing stronger support for farmers by strengthening the VCDP programme.
“We are pleased to have in this mission the state government officials and also the federal ministry officials.
“This speaks volume about the importance that the federal government is giving to this programme in Ogun,” she said.
In his remarks, leader of the technical team, Dr Samuel Eremie, stated that the team was on an implementation support mission, unlike the regular supervision missions, where emphasis were on targets and achievement of targets.
“We have identified a number of issues that we needed to discuss, both at the national and state levels, with the implementation of the project in a way that we can get it on course.
“The report is quite encouraging; they have identified some key issues, including the late approval of budget and low release of funds by the state government.
“But, we are pleased to have the assurance from the state government that approval had recently been given to the project and we are hoping that in future, such approval will be much more forthcoming,” he said.
Dr Dotun Sorunke, Permanent Secretary, Ogun Ministry of Agriculture, maintained that the mission would be coming around occasionally to assess the impact and the progress of the project.
Sorunke added that the programme had assisted over 13,000 farmers, noting that the team’s visit was to assess the impact of the programme on the people, farmers and agricultural development in the state.
“The current administration, led by Gov. Dapo Abiodun, is focusing on agricultural development and that is why we have the home-grown World Bank-assisted programme,” he said.
Ogun Government and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) are partnering to further deepen the gains of reforms in the state public service.
A statement issued on Monday in Abuja by BPSR Director of Strategic Communications, Mr Umar Aliyu said this was agreed during a visit by the Director General (DG) of the Bureau, Mr Dasuki Arabi in Abeokuta.
The DG met with the Secretary to the Ogun Government (SSG), Mr Tokunbo Talabi and other stakeholders during the visit.
The SSG said that the partnership would enhance the various reforms to reposition the state public service embarked by Gov. Dapo Abiodun.
Talabi said the reforms include, the automation of the process of appointment of Permanent Secretaries and the digitisation of registration of public schools.
Others are the digitisation of Ogun State Land Administration and Revenue Management System, establishment of state Bureau of Public Procurement, Government Delivery Unit, as well as Housing reforms, among others.
“The government delivery unit was created to serve as a platform for effective tracking and coordination of priority initiatives.
“It has consistently engaged and collaborated with Ministries Departments and Agencies, as well as stakeholders in ensuring transparency, accountability, resource control, control resolution, quality assurance and due process,” he added.
Talabi explained that the digitisation of schools registration had curtailed juvenile delinquency and criminal tendencies of some students who in the past moved from one school to the other to evade consequences of their actions.
According to him, the reform of the housing sector has removed bottlenecks for middle class citizens including public servants in owning decent houses.
Earlier, Arabi said that the visit was to offer necessary support to the state government towards establishing a full-fledged Bureau of Public Service Reforms to improve public administration.
The DG emphasised that the reforms would bring about core public service institutions in a systemic and sustainable manner for enduring changes in the behaviour of public sector actors in the interest of the people.
Present during the visit were the State Head of Service, Dr Nafiu Aigoro, Permanent Secretary, Ogun Public Service Transformation Office, Mr Jola Oyeneye, and his counterpart in the Bureau of Establishments and Training, Mrs Lydia Fajounbo, among others.