September 16, 2014 – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has called on the Federal Government to take leadership role by moving to Liberia, Sierra Leone and other African countries afflicted with Ebola Virus Disease(EVD) to assist them in dealing with the ailment which has killed more than 1000 people in Africa.
Fashola made the revelation while fielding questions on post-Ebola management from organized private sector at the 4th Corporate Assembly, tagged ‘BRF Meets Business’ held at the Lekki Free Zone, Lagos.
“Post Ebola, we are doing much more because there is a problem in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and in some other parts, the capacity is not at the level you have in Lagos and Nigeria. In Lagos, you are in Africa’s fifth largest economy as a state, so it encompasses many of those countries you talked about put together.
“What leadership role should we be playing? How can we go in there and go and solve the problem, using the methods that we have acquired here? That’s the leadership role Nigeria should be playing on this matter. It’s not all of us looking for how to escape and run away from it. Every nation faces this kind of conflict and if you don’t confront it, people will die”, Fashola said.
He said the state was able to manage the Ebola Virus Disease because it had put in place structures and laws that came in handy during the crisis.
“Without an Infectious Disease centre that Lagos State had built, we would have climbed from the scratch. Without the Public Health Law, that dates back as 2002, we would have been in problem. When we started, one of the things our partners first asked was if we have a Public Health Law, do we have the authority to arrest people because it was a potential epidemic, we said yes and that was where we started from. That’s the kind of government you have put in place here”.
The governor said Nigeria must draw inspiration on its ability to manage the disease which has continued to ravage other countries in the region and look at the possibility of using its experience to assist other countries in the region still battling with the disease.
He said that the state is looking towards exploring nuclear energy as an alternative source for power supply in the state adding that the State Executive Council Meeting on Monday devoted two hours to deliberate on nuclear energy for the state and how it could be deployed to into use within the next 15 to 24 months.
“That shows you how we intend to address issues of power in the state. We sat down with one of the foremost practitioners, who is a Nigerian and he took us through all the protocols that is needed for the establishing because in less than three years, especially when we need not do distribution but places like the Lekki Free Zone can have the nuclear power between 15 and 24 months”.
The Governor said the state government will not leave any stone unturned to ensure the best for citizens of the state in its strive to solve the power problem.
“All what we demand for, centre on law and order. Can we imagine running business in the country with regulations? Many of these laws were not made by my administration but those before us. And some of them need to be updated and some we have done. Our society is changing more than our society can cope with. Laws are on paper and we need human being to give value to it.