By Funmilola Gboteku
Lagos, Jan. 30, 2019 (NNN) An online transport service provider, Gokada Riders Ltd., says it has registered no fewer than 1,000 motorcycle riders since its inception in 2017.
Mr Deji Oduntan, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, made this known on Wednesday at the formal launching of the Gokada Application at Yaba, Lagos.
Oduntan said that in a bid to change the face of transportation in Nigeria and subsequently Africa, Gokada was planning to have over 5,000 motorcycles in Lagos within the next few months.
According to him, Gokada is an on-demand motorbike hailing service, aimed at leveraging technology to connect users to the nearest motorbikes within their areas, thereby helping them to beat the traffic.
“Gokada operates within the Yaba Mainland axis and recently started operations within Victoria Island to Lekki axis in Lagos,’’ he said.
Oduntan said that very soon, Gokada would add more destinations, noting that the company was borne out of the need to empower Nigerians through jobs creation.
“We finance the motorcycles and helmets we give to our riders and they pay a certain amount on a daily basis.
“The motorcycle becomes their own after a year,” he said.
Oduntan said that the riders undergo certain training on safety measures before they were registered with the company.
He said the company also ensures that they do comprehensive insurance for their riders in case of accidents.
The chief executive officer said that the company was formally using Gokada Lite App; but due to some challenges, they had to upgrade.
“Although, the Gokada Lite eliminates the use of data, it had the tendencies to over charge customers.
“So, we decided to create a standard app called ‘Gokada app’, which uses data, but does not over charge.
“At present, no fewer than 100,000 customers have downloaded the new app,” Oduntan said. (NNN)
Edited by Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoye
Lagos govt. charges religious centres on ”No face mask, No entry” guideline
Mr Lanre Mojola, Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), gave the charge during a news briefing on Friday at Ikeja.
Mojola said that any worship centre that failed to observe the ”No face mask, No entry” and other guidelines would be shut.
It would be recalled that the governor had on Thursday, June 4, announced the reopening of religious centres in Lagos, from June 19 for mosques and June 21 for churches, with an attendance of 40 per cent capacity or not more than 500 worshipers.
Reiterating the state’s recent guideline on religious gathering, the DG said that while religious centres had been directed to open in two weeks time, their worship services should be restricted to not more than once a week, as mid-week and other programmes remained suspended.
He urged that worshippers should abide by the issued safety guidelines which included: physical distancing; regular disinfection; temperature check; wearing of face mask; and having more than one service.
According to him, attendees to worship centres should be above 15 and not above 65 years of age.
Moyola encouraged that outdoor services be preferred to indoor services, and people running temperature higher than 37.5 should be restricted from entering into the venue.
Other safety measures include avoiding hand shakes; ensuring 2-metres distancing; stationary collections or electronic cash transfer for offering; effectively controlled traffic for exiting worship venues; as well as guarding against loitering around worship arena.
He said that worship centres should nominate representatives to serve as interface in liaising with the LSSC.
”We will continue to enforce the guidelines; we will continue to sensitise our citizenry so that we can collectively fight this virus,” the DG said.
He urged businesses to logon to the portal, www.lasgsafetyreg.com to register, which would not take more than five minutes and obtain the Safety Compliance Certificate for the reopening of their businesses, offered by the state government free of charge.
Mojola said that business owners should report through the government’s whistleblower numbers, any official that wanted to collect money for the Safety Compliance Certificate.
According to him, over 1,000 businesses have applied for accreditation to reopen and their registrations have been processed.
Lagos Police arrest man kissing minor in viral video
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested one Adeyeye Babatunde, ”M” of Kajola St., Shagamu, Ogun State, for kissing his three-year old step sister in a viral video.
“The state Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, directed detectives from the Gender Unit to analyse the video and apprehend the suspect.
“The team got the suspect and he has been handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, , for diligent prosecution in court.
“The CP expresses gratitude to Nigerians who helped in bringing the incident to the notice of the police, and urged everyone to continue to speak out against sexual and gender-based violence,” Elkana said.
He said that for complaints on rape, child abuse or domestic violence, the public should call any of the following numbers.
“08175899289, 09062887858, 09062887856, 09062887849, 09062887841, 09062887870, 08023532283, 09062887864, 09062887861 and 09062887860,” Elkana said.
Make Lagos more natural, greening, Expert urges Govt, corporate bodies
Prof. Babajide Alo, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has called on Lagos State Government, corporate bodies and individuals to embrace greening as a way of improving the health and wellbeing of the citizenry.
He also urged the state government to return and improve on the parks and garden beautification era to provide and make the state more natural and greening.
The topic of the conference was: “Nurturing Nature Between the Town and Gown.”
It stresses on the importance of active participation in environment conservation and sustainable living.
The theme was: “Celebrate Biodiversity.”
He said biodiversity was important to man as an ecological life support, providing functioning ecosystem that supply oxygen, clean air, water and other ecosystem services.
The expert, however, noted that biodiversity was under threat due to human activities.
“Universities have opened up more to the external world, and have given much attention to the diffusion and economic exploitation of their research.
“There is need to focus more on making the gown assist the town, our communities to conserve nature to protect biodiversity,” he said.
Alo said biodiversity and the ecosystem loss had generated tremendous concern globally, as the extinction of plants and animal species were decreasing earth’s biodiversity, thereby depriving humans of potential resources such as food, medicine and enjoyment of nature.
He identified global trade in wildlife and global shipping as issues affecting and destroying nature and biodiversity.
Alo said with the COVID-19 experience, there was need for action for nature.
“Hence, this pandemic must, therefore, be teaching us a lesson that it is time to re-build for people and the planet,” he said.
Alo called on the universities to develop systematic environmental and biodiversity data collection for improved management and application.
He said: “Universities can join in the vanguard to reverse the degration; we must encourage all experts in biodiversity.
“We must fund them and make our curricula to have compulsory courses in biodiversity conservation and protection.
“Universities should make our teaching and research at all levels incorporate nature studies, inclusion of studies and text on biodiversity conservation into the national primary and secondary education as stipulated in the 2015 National Implementation document.”
COVID-19: Lagos begins home-based treatment of patients in 2 weeks
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says the state home-based treatment for COVID-19 patients will begin in the next two to three weeks.
The commissioner said that the move was to enable the state government to concentrate on patients that were critically sick and to reduce pressure on bed spaces at the isolation facilities.
He maintained that the state would engage stakeholders and enlighten them with relevant information and knowledge about treating infected people in their communities.
According to him, patients that are asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms will qualify for home based treatment, while those with moderate to severe symptoms will be treated at the isolation centres.
The commissioner said the patients that would be managed at home would be monitored through telemedicine.
According to him, they would also be given COVID-19 packs containing medication, thermometer for temperature measurement and tools to check their oxygen level.
Abayomi, however, stressed that if the condition of any home-based patient “takes a turn for the worse, such patients would be quickly transferred to an isolation facility”.
He said that the state has enough volunteers, thus increasing its manpower to ensure the success of the community-based treatment.
The commissioner disclosed that the state had accredited three private hospitals that met its biosecurity requirements for the management of COVID-19 patients.
He added that one of the hospitals had commenced treatment of patients, while the remaining two would also commence treatment soon.
Abayomi noted that the state had ramped up its testing capacity, and was currently conducting one thousand COVID-19 test daily, with plans to increase the test to two thousands daily soon.
He added that over 22,000 COVID-19 tests had been done in the state since it recorded its index case.
“The more we test suspected cases, the more we find confirmed COVID-19 cases,” the commissioner said.
He, however, urged the public not to be alarmed with its increasing number of daily infections, saying it was proof of the state’s increased testing capacity.
Abayomi appealed to residents to continue to take responsibility by maintaining respiratory
hygiene, physical distancing and wearing of face masks while in public places.
World Environment Day: Association urges Lagos govt. to create more parks, gardens
The Association of Lagos Landscapers on Friday called on the Lagos State Government to create more parks and gardens to actualise the state’s ‘Green Alternative’ drive.
The association, which is the umbrella body of horticulturists working with the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), made the call to mark the 2020 World Environment Day with the theme: ‘Celebrating Biodiversity’.
Badejo said that the association was working hard to ensure greener parks and gardens in the state; while applauding the numerous national and international recognition so far received by the state.
“The goal and aspiration of the group is to achieve greener parks, gardens and sites as it used to be years ago that earned the Lagos State Government various awards both local and international in the area of environment.
“We call and encourage the Ministry of the Environment to play a vital role by ensuring adequate attention is paid to activities of our supervisory agency.
“There is also need for government to ensure that policies that will promote greenish environment and tree planting to reduce the impact of climate change should be encouraged,” he said.
He said that the development could hinder the efforts put into work to maintain a greener Lagos, which could lead to negligence by members.
“The same horticulturists that worked with the state years ago are still around working. Our association is trying its best but government needs to motivate us.
“In the last five years, payment of members of the association has not been regular. This often affected our performances,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Vice President of the association, Mr Padonu Amosu had earlier encouraged communities to understand the importance of tree planting and to key into the idea of conserving the environment.
Amosu said that tree planting and keeping of gardens were not only for the rich but explained that there were cheaper and available flowering and gardening options for everybody.
He debunked the myth that flowering and gardening was exclusively for the rich.
Lagos Squash Association cautions players as lockdown eases
Tomi Falase, the Chairman, Lagos State Squash Association (LSSA), on Friday cautioned squash players that playing the game was still unsafe, even though the Federal Government had eased COVID-19 lockdown.
Falase in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos said that to help everyone to continue to stay active, the warning had become imperative.
Squash is a racket and ball sport played by two (singles) or four players (doubles squash) in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball.
The players alternate in striking the ball with their racquets onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court.
He explained that players always sweat on the squash court because it was physically challenging, fast and with the enclosed environment within which the game took place, players would inevitably sweat heavily over the course of a match.
Falase explained that due to regular close physical contact between players on the court, the infection could spread readily if any of the players was infected.
He said mostly in squash where two or four athletes were in close contact, if any of them was infected and coughed, the droplet had high chances to be inhaled by other athletes, facilitating viral transmission.
“To emphasise that strenuous exercise induces a much more frequent spitting of secretions and this can further contribute to the COVID-19 spread, particularly if the distancing recommendations are not strictly followed,’’ he explained.
Falase, however, urged caution amid concerns of fresh clusters of cases, saying that precautionary measures must be adhered to strictly to avoid the spread of the virus.
He also noted that easing the restrictions by government did not indicate that the virus no longer existed.
He said because the sports was regarded as higher risk of spreading the virus either within the players or to the general public, emphasis should be on the need for players to focus on maintaining their fitness and practice at home.
Falase urged the players to adhere to safety measures including use of face masks, social distancing and washing of hands.
“The main factors taken into account were the amount of contact between players, the distance between them and the protective measures likely to be put in place to mitigate risks both for training and competitive play.
“Squash is played in a confined space, where close contact is unavoidable; which means players cannot be 2 metres (6ft) apart very often during a game.
“We are looking into possible protective measures for players on court to mitigate the risk of inhaling contaminated droplets and avoiding face touching, which would lower the risk of transmission of the virus,’’ he said.
Portable water supply: Lagos identifies gaps
The Lagos State Water Corporation on Thursday said that the state government had evolved measures that would ensure equitable portable water distribution in the state.
The corporation’s Managing Director, Mr Adekunle Badmus, told journalists that globally there was shortage of portable water supply.
The LSWC boss spoke on the sidelines of the 11th Olu Awoyinfa Distinguished Annual Public Lecture in Lagos.
The theme of the lecture was “Forming Uncommon Partnership: Solution to Challenges of Developing Nations.“
Badmus said Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration was working on bridging water shortfalls in the state while harnessing the benefits of creating other value chains from water.
“We have a master plan in Lagos State which identified how much water is needed. The gap right now is about 500 million gallons. Whereby we are supposed to be producing 700 million gallons, we are only producing about 210.
“When he assumed office, he visited all our facilities and he has determined that before the end of his tenure, more people will benefit from safe and portable water in the state,’’ he said.
The managing director said that ongoing projects in the state had shown that the backwash from some water channels contained substances that could be used for fertilizers.
Badmus said that the residents desperation for water supply had led to the proliferation of boreholes in the state, despite the dangers involved in indiscriminate drilling.
The managing director also said that it was imperative for governments in the country to urgently address the water needs, adding that most borehole waters were often polluted due to various factors.
“We need to speed it up, we are still way behind in getting water to everyone that needs to get water. If we continue to delay then our lives will continue to be at risk, because the people who drill boreholes don’t care if the site was a burial ground, dumpsite or an old weaponry.
“Yes, there is usually casing for boreholes but they sometimes crack, there is what we call infiltration that goes into the water,’’ he said.
Badmus added that most borehole waters were contaminated from storm waters, ground waters and other sources which were harmful for human use.
While delivering his keynote lecture, Badmus called on Nigerian leaders to explore capacity of local engineers in addressing the nation’s water problem and other developmental challenges.
He called for partnerships between professionals in various fields to provide scientific solutions to various sectors of the nation’s economy for rapid growth and industrialisation.
According to him, developing local capacity would also remove capital flight and ensure growth of technology in various sectors.
Badmus said that COVID-19 and other current challenges had made the need for partnership with other professional bodies in problems solving inevitable.
“There is enough for everybody to be able to partner and to be able to carry this nation forward. To move Nigeria forward, we have to start to work with each other and bring everybody into the same room and find a way to be able to contribute,’’ he said.
Badmus listed various areas of collaboration in solving societal problems to include agriculture, infrastructure, engineering and other sectors.
He said there was pressure on health facilities occasioned by poor water supply and sanitation while stressing the need for urgent measures with COVID-19 pandemic to better address the problems of water.
“To deal with these challenges in developing countries, we must be innovative and form uncommon partnerships,” Badmus said.
He said that there should also be uncommon partnerships between Google and pharmaceutical companies, schools and banks to evolve digital platforms for carrying out activities.
Badmus said that there should be uncommon partnerships like the Lagos and Kebbi States LAKE Rice partnership that would be of mutual benefits..
“If we are to rid the developing countries of the many challenges encumbering them, then we must be innovative.
“Uncommon partners will help us to succeed by providing us with capabilities we shouldn’t build ourselves, as well as with fresh insight.
“We should help uncommon partners succeed by creating a mutual relationship which both parties can prosper from,’’ he said.
The lecture, which was organised by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), also featured induction of new engineers and presentation of scholarship awards.
Lagos discharges 24 more coronavirus patients
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in a statement on Thursday that a total of 952 patients had now been discharged from the isolation centres.
“Fifteen males and nine females –all Nigerians were discharged from the Onikan, Gbagada, Agidingbi and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) isolation facilities to reunite with society.
Lagos govt. reopens religious centres June 19
”That is why we will from 14 days time, precisely from the 19th of June for our Muslim worshippers, from the 21st of June, for our Christian worshipers, be allowing all of our religious bodies to open at the maximum of 40 per cent of their capacity.
”We know that these places of worship have different sizes, but even if your 40 per cent capacity is really so large, you cannot have beyond 500, and keeping that 40% maximum capacity is really, really so, so important.
”We will be encouraging people to have more than one service and to ensure that they keep their premises clean, disinfect before another round of worship can take place,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu also said those below 15 years of age and above 65 years old would not be allowed into places of worship, due to their vulnerability to the virus.
He also urged all religious houses to adhere strictly to safety measures like fumigating and keeping the premises clean, making sure worshipers wear face mask before entering, use of sanitiser, among others.
According to him, the state government has the discretion to stop or restrict worship where there is no compliance.
Hotels and hospitality businesses are also free to open, while restaurants will open for take-away services only.
However, gyms, spas, cinema, event centers, night clubs and all other such services remain closed and inter-state journeys remain banned.
Sanwo-Olu said primary and secondary schools would remain shut because the government was still consulting with all stakeholders in the sector.
He added that the government would come up with guidelines for their re-opening in two weeks time, and that the on-line classes for tertiary institutions continued.
All other guidelines are as announced by Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Monday, June 1 and they include: curfew from 10p.m.-4a.m., full re-opening of banks and other financial institutions, offices and business places to operate from 7a.m.-6p.m.
He added that manufacturing companies were permitted to do night shift but to make arrangement for movement of staff.
The governor admonished residents to wear face mask always as the level of compliance on wearing of face mask was not encouraging.
He urged Lagosians to self-regulate or government would regulate them.
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