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Business

Nigeria Health Infrastructure Development Bank Bill scales second reading at House plenary

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, allowed the NHIDB bill to scale a second reading.

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A bill for an act to establish the Nigeria Health Infrastructure Development Bank (NHIDB), has scaled second reading at the House Plenary session on Tuesday.

After the presentation of the Bill during House Plenary today, Rep. Manu Sorro, moved the motion for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Nnam Obi. The push for the enactment of a law to establish the Bill via a unanimous vote on Tuesday is an avid step towards putting things in the right order in the healthcare sector.

READ: Bill to regulate real estate scales through 2nd reading in Lagos Assembly

According to the presentation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and Rep. Mansur Sorro, the Act when finally legislated would enhance and promote the health and wellbeing of Nigerians to boost Local Healthcare Capacity and for Related Matters (HB. 908).

Why the NHIDB Bill

It has become a matter of urgency that the budgetary provisions from the government cannot sufficiently ensure the required upliftment needed in the health sector.

READ: Nigeria ranks 8th African country with well-developed electricity regulatory framework

The lack of quality health infrastructures and policies in the healthcare industry has led to an increase in the medical tourism of Nigerians, as well as the increase in brain drain in the health sector, as Nigerians and Nigerian doctors seek better avenues for quality healthcare and highly rewarding medical practice respectively.

Nigeria, despite having the potentials to own the largest healthcare market in Africa, lacks an adequate supply of quality secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities, with the available quality beds in the nation substantially lower than the population of over 200 million people.

READ: AfDB: AAA rating by Moody’s validates the strength of the bank – Adesina

It is in response to this latent situation, that the Lawmakers moved to facilitate the passage of the Bill which would see to the establishment of the Nigeria Health Infrastructure Development Bank.

What they are saying

Rep. Manu Sorro stated that:

  • “The Bill seeks to ensure the provision of quality, efficient and affordable healthcare services for Nigerians. He said that the House aims to ensure a qualitative healthcare system for Nigerians, as the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weak healthcare structure of the nation.”

READ: COVID-19 boosts Fidson Healthcare Plc’s Q2 2020 performance

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Speaking on the development, Gbajabiamila said that he was fascinated with the idea of a “Health Bank” and that the House will expedite action on its passage.

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  • “We cannot talk of nation’s building without good healthcare system. We will keep pushing for any bill that will make our healthcare system functional, and we will work with NMA to achieve that.”

Why it matters

This Bank will help to finance the development of a hospital and referral clinics in Nigeria, with a key focus on healthcare infrastructure in the nation.

It will also help the Nigerian government to develop human capital through improved service delivery in the healthcare system, and provide a full spectrum of high-quality general and specialist healthcare services at competitive prices.

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This is expected to have positive economic and social benefits for the country, as it will significantly improve healthcare services by offering quality general medical services in addition to specialty services. 

The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading, and referred to the House Committee on Health Institutions.

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Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor. He is a business owner and a stern advocate of Financial literacy, who believes in the huge economic prospect of the Nigerian Payment channels and Fintech space.

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Business

Sanwo-Olu says construction work on Fourth Mainland Bridge to start end of 2021

Governor Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the foundation for the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of 2021.

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Lagos orders removal of all unapproved street gates in the state to ease traffic, Sanwo-Olu to stop pension for former governors, deputies, #EndSARS: Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to include Lekki toll gate incident – Sanwo-Olu, Lagos approves resumption of all classes in public, private schools, Lagos takes major step towards delivery of Fourth Mainland Bridge, Lagos to construct rail line to airport terminal for international passengers, COVID-19: Lagos State to begin curfew on Sunday to disinfect metropolis, Lagos state government discharges 7 more coronavirus patients, Lagos state will reverse to full lockdown, Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office, Lekki regional road: Sanwo-Olu revokes land titles of Elegushi Royal family, Lagos pays N1.3 billion into the RSA of 246 retirees, Lagos State to empower 2.5 million youths in Arts and Crafts

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that the foundation for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of the year 2021.

The execution of the bridge is geared towards improving the transport infrastructure and movement across the state.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu during the 16th Executive/Legislative Parley, with the theme: ”A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”, organised by the Office of Civic Engagement.

He pointed out that the promise to construct the Fourth Mainland Bridge is not a political one.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu during the interactive session said, ”We did not politically promise Fourth Mainland Bridge but we are going to do Fourth Mainland Bridge.

”With your prayers and by the grace of Almighty God, we shall turn the sod and lay the foundation for the building and construction of that Fourth Mainland Bridge before the end of this year.

”We are on course and I am sure that the 37km ring road is on track, which will change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos,” the governor said.

The governor also disclosed that his administration was on course to complete the Blue Line and Red Line rail projects which were started several years back, saying the project will be completed and trains will move on the two rail lines before the end of his administration.

He said, ”It is a commitment that we have given to Lagosians and it is a commitment that we will see will come to fruition because we have finished the financial closure and we are excited about that project.’

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said that the executive and legislature would discuss extensively the theme of the retreat, “A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”.

While saying that the discussion in the next 48 hours would help to fast track the rebuilding of the state, Adebowale said that they would delve deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: a catalyst for growth, and Role of Social Media in Nation Building, among others.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Lagos State Government has shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
  • This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
  • Lagos State said it will announce the selection of the next stage in due course, even as the RFQ will be given to the pre-qualified bidders.
  • The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.

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Traffic violation: Lagos says LASTMA officials to carry body cameras in next few weeks

Within the next few weeks, LASTMA officials will start wearing body cameras to monitor traffic violations.

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The Lagos State Government has said that officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will start using smart body cameras within the next few weeks to monitor traffic violations.

This is coming after a viral video that has been in circulation, showed a man driving his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), driving against traffic along International Airport Road, hit a policeman with the car and he fell over the bridge when attempts were made to apprehend him.

This was disclosed by the General Manager of the LASTMA, Olajide Oduyoye, while answering questions on a Channels Television Programme monitored by Nairametrics, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, February 26, 2021.

The LASTMA general manager who pointed out that technology is the way to go, said that Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is on top of that and in 2020, approved the deployment of technology to improve our communication for the agency.

READ: Lagos says blue, red rail lines will be ready by December 2022

What the LASTMA General Manager is saying

Oduyoye, while answering questions during the interview said, ‘’I’m glad that you said that and of course technology is the way to go, our Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is very much on top of that. He approved the deployment of technology for us to improve our communication last year 2020.

This year, we are definitely hoping in the next few weeks to start what you would say non-approachable offence dealings. That means we are going to be having body cameras on officers to capture incidences because things happen so fast and you don’t really have time to say okay let me get my camera and everything, but if you have your body camera on that is recording, then you can capture all sorts of different things that you can use against typical offenders.’’

While lamenting that chronic traffic violators do often remove traffic signs to deliberately disobey road laws, the LASTMA boss warned road users to obey traffic laws and not attempt to flee when caught.

What this means

  • The members of the general public have often called to question, the mode of operation of LASTMA, with calls for reforms which includes the deployment of technology in their operations.
  • This has often led to conflict between the officials of the agency and motorists some of who deny allegations against them and accuse LASTMA officials of extortion and being overzealous.
  • The LASTMA officials, who sometimes are at the receiving end, have had to deal with attacks on them by traffic violators, in the course of discharging their duties.
  • The deployment of technology especially the smart body cameras will go a long way to drastically reduce these conflicts and make the operations of LASTMA more credible.

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