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Sanwo-Olu approves work-from-home, slashes transport fare

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, announced a 25 per cent rebate on fares for government-owned transport schemes.

The governor spoke during a live media chat to intimate residents of steps being taken to reduce the economic burden on Lagosians.

On Tuesday, the Lagos State House of Assembly resolved to summon the state commissioners for agriculture and transportation to brief lawmakers on what they were doing to make life more bearable for residents in view of the economic hardship confronting the country.

Announcing measures the government was taking, the governor said civil servants from levels one to 14 would begin to work only three days a week as part of a measure to ease the economic challenges on residents.

“As a government, we cannot be everything and everywhere but we can provide and create avenues for others to join us. The first we have done or will be doing from today going forward is that we want to start with our public servants. Even the challenge that we see now, can we be creative and have flexible working hours? So immediately from next week, we are working out the plans where civil servants from levels one to 14 will come to the office a maximum of three times a week. Not that any form of government will be shut down, it will all be calendarised and it will be on schedule. Levels 15 to 17 will miss work a day,” he said.

On transport, Sanwo-Olu said, “We are also implementing a 25 per cent reduction on transport services for the state public transport system (BRT, train, ferry), putting back over N500m monthly into the pockets of Lagosians. With the Red Line Rail about to be launched, there will be a lot more options for our residents. We are also in discussions with various unions to reduce their fares, and we will announce any new developments.”

The governor said the state would be exploring three major avenues to ensure Lagosians get affordable foodstuffs to ease the economic burden.

“We will open soup kitchens/bowls where identified caterers (mama put) will be employed across local government areas to feed those who need it, once daily. Beneficiaries will get vouchers to be able to access the kitchens. We will also be having food purchases and redistribution to people who need it, especially as we are currently expecting about 100 trailer loads of rice and grains.

“Also, we will be having Sunday markets in 42 identified markets where people can buy cheaply at discounted rates. Purchase will however be limited to N25,000 to ensure that those who really need it benefit from the initiative.”

In the health sector, Sanwo-Olu announced free delivery in all general hospitals (normal and ceaserain section), and a rebate on certain medications. He also said the six health districts would be holding free health missions twice a week for the next three months.

According to him, the state government would cater for the costs of free child deliveries across all 31 general hospitals, either through normal birth or cesarean section.

“Our healthcare initiatives are set to benefit over 50,000 women annually with free childbirth services across the state’s general hospitals and secondary health facilities, alongside distributing free hypertensive medications to individuals in need,” he added.

Sanwo-Olu noted that the state government would ensure the prompt payment of pensions to retired civil servants in the state, saying “within a month” after retirement, “you should be able to get your cheque.”

Speaking on other projects in the state, Sanwo-Olu further noted that “the Red Line has entered Ogun State, and we are discussing ways to do more extensions.”

SOURCE: PUNCH

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