Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, says the state is yet to receive the N200 million the Federal Government claimed it had released to the state to fight the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.
The governor spoke at Inter Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, at the weekend during an Executive Retreat with the theme: Upscaling the Processes and Benefits of E-Governance in Lagos State.
He said the state was yet to receive the much publicised N200 million to fight Ebola, noting that there could perhaps be paper works to be done before the eventual release.
Fashola commended the State’s Ministry of Health for its efforts, especially concerning combating the EVD scourge, saying despite the twist and turns, all the confirmed and suspected cases that have been recorded have been linked to the index case.
He said while the state government was preparing for the worst and hoping for the best in containing the virus, it was still reminding the people that contact with the virus was not a death sentence and that increased personal hygiene such as washing hands regularly with soap and water was essential.
The governor emphasized that the Ebola Virus attack in Nigeria was the first time the disease had occurred in an urban centre and that the whole world is watching the country on how it would deal with it, which might end up being a defining experience for the global community.
Also speaking on the last West African Examination Council (WAEC) results, details of which were being expected, he said he believed that the government was on the right track but that the best results could be recorded by students in such public examinations when there is a review of the way the students were taught.
“It is not that the kids do not want to learn but are we teaching them in the language that they understand? Are we speaking in the language that the children are very comfortable to learn in?” he asked.
Fashola said the state also decided to host the retreat at a new venue in order to patronise one of the investments in the state which also gave a generous discount to the state government.
According to him, the contribution made in terms of food, drinks and hotel accommodation by the State Government through its patronage would also boost the business of the hotel and keep people in employment.
Fashola added that his administration was currently upscaling the integration of its automated processes and platforms in order to make it easier for citizens and residents to benefit from the various services being provided by government.
He explained that automation is critical to the present administration and that it is ramping up now on some of the aspects of the automation it started years back.
According to the governor, platforms like vehicle registration, number plate registration, tax card issuance had earlier been created and the goal being actively pursued now was the integration of such platforms.
“You can see that we now have a platform for vehicle licensing and number plate registration; we also have a platform for tax card issuance, a platform for Certificate of Occupancy and the GIS platform.
“We are now integrating that platform to make it easier for residents and citizens to enter and deal with us from a one stop centre on the internet via applications so that citizens do not have to move from one place to the other, one application to the other. That is a commitment that we have made, that we have to ramp up,” he said.
He said towards realizing this, the administration was keen on implementing and optimizing all of the software and hardware that it had acquired while also strengthening the integrity of the state’s database.
“We are just raising the standards, raising self challenging standards in order to improve what we have done. We review what we have done before to see how well it is working and how the citizens are reacting to it and how it can be improved upon,” he stated.