Tag Archive | "Lagos"

Nigeria records 11,600 maternal deaths in 3 months


By Chioma Obinna & Monsur Olowoopejo

LAGOS— SOCIETY of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria said, yesterday, that no fewer than 11,600 maternal deaths were recorded in Nigeria in the last three months, adding that 45 cases were recorded daily.

This came as the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, said the state would establish emergency toll-free lines solely designated for maternal cases.

Speaking at the Lagos West I Senatorial District Town Hall Meeting for maternal and child mortality reduction programme, at Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Chairman Lagos State Chapter of the Society, Dr. Oluwarotimi Akinola, said: “Nigeria accounts for a disproportionate 10 percent of the global maternal deaths. This ranked the country as the second highest in the world after India.

“The major causes of the high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria are hemorrhage infection, hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, obstructed labour and anaemia. Any effort by the government to drastically reduce maternal mortality rates must address the root causes of delays in seeking health care, accessing healthcare and receiving help at the centre.”

Mrs Fashola said: “These lines would ensure that whenever any pregnant women are about to deliver, she can get help easily even when any of her relatives aren’t available.

“The lines will be the same as the already established emergency toll free lines 767 and 112.

“The death of a pregnant woman or death after childbirth is a painful event with great social and economic impact on the family and the country.

“At the close of work today, about 800 women from different countries would have died from complications related to pregnancy and child birth.

“99 percent (792) of these will occur in developing countries, including Nigeria.

“This statistic, released by the Chairman of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Lagos sector, is alarming for a country that is regarded as the giant of Africa.

“This day (yesterday) will now be observed annually as Lagos State Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Day.”

“Let us bear in mind that the statistic can be reduced drastically only if pregnant women and mothers of children under five years visit the over 60 Primary Health Care, PHC, centres constructed across the state by the government, to get information on what to do when faced with challenging condition during pregnancy, childbirth and after delivery.

“The importance of this town hall meeting initiated by the state government is to sensitise residents of the state, especially nursing and mothers-to-be, on the maternal and child mortality reduction programme launched on October 18, 2012 by the governor.

Posted in Education, Nigerian NewsComments (0)

London based Nigerian businessman shot dead in Lagos

written by Christopher Oji

Yemisi Sanda, widow of London-based Nigerian, Kole, who was shot dead by suspected armed robbers at a filling station in Lekki, Lagos, has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Hafiz Ringim to fish out her husband’s killers.

Sanda was shot dead few days on arrival from London, when he went to a filling station in company of his cousin, Gbade Amao to buy fuel for his generator. Yemisi said the only thing that would heal her pains was for the IGP to fish out her husband’s killers and bring them to justice.

Yemisi, who was still not in terms with the reality that her husband who left her few days ago had been shot dead, said she was on her way to the mortuary to see if really it was his corpse.
A tearful Yemisi said: “But I believe it is really true because, he can no longer pick his phone calls. My husband could not stay two hours without calling me or his children. It is true, it is true.”
She said her life crashed the day she received the shocking news that her husband, who left her and the children hale and healthy had been killed in a most horrendous manner.
“My husband was shot like a common criminal. He was a very responsible and hardworking man who had been contributing to the economy of the country. Why should he be killed like a common criminal in his own country?”

She said that if her husband had been sick, she may not have been as shocked as she was.
However, a family member, who simply identified herself as Nike, also wants the police to fish out Sanda’s killers. She revealed that the deceased had concluded plans with some expatriates to establish a company in Lagos. She said: “Now, the dream is over. When I discussed with my brother last time he came, he told me that he wanted to contribute in reducing unemployment in the country as the company would have employed about 500 workers.”

Nike berated the security lapses in the country especially in Lagos, alleging that the robbers operated in the filling station for over two hours unchallenged by the police. “The robbers also shot other persons who may have died like my brother.” She said the most painful aspect was that “my brother was pleading with the gunmen to allow him go for treatment as he was bleeding excessively, but the robbers would not let him go as they even warned him not to dare them further. He later bled to death.”

She wants the police to review their security strategies to seeing that more lives were not wasted the way and manner her brother was brutally killed.“If this type of untimely death should continue unabated, it would discourage Nigerian in Diaspora from coming home. It will also discourage investors from coming to invest in Nigeria,” she noted.

Posted in Crime, Nigerian News, UncategorizedComments (0)

Eko Atlantic City: A dream in the making

By Princewill Ekwujuru
South Energyx Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group, said it has so far reclaimed 2.4 million square metres of land in the nine million square metres Eko Atlantic City land  reclamation exercise.

The company which was specifically created to undertake the development said the city which will be divided into six districts, will offer multiple investment and development opportunities through its strategic plan to reclaim nine million square metres of land from the ocean Speaking during a familiarisation tour of the site, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said, it is the states vision  to build a self contained city that provides the quality of infrastructure and services required to make the state the financial capital of Africa.

According to him, “we are reclaiming and restoring the geographical territory of Lagos State and by extension the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are reclaiming the land that has been lost to the Atlantic ocean and uncontrollable erosion that has now been brought under control.

“For many who might not know during the rains of 2007 there were waves here as high as 70 metres and was buffeting this coast line. For the great wall of Lagos, the wall in front of us here today protected Victoria Island and Ikoyi and the residence in Lagos from being submerged by flood, that wall is still a work in progress.

This  will be the wall that will ultimately defend this Island from the Atlantic ocean. We will work this stock with our partners. The future is clear to us as it should. This will be a new city on the coast .The city will run and operate like any other city in the world, 24 hour electricity, new business centre, housing accommodation, very efficient and reliable transportation.

The future that Lagos promised is now within touch, it is real, and I am told that in the next 24 months we will begin to see the emergence of one of the apartment blocks.

In a statement, David Frame, Managing Director of South Energyx Nigeria said, “Eko Atlantic’s Business District will become a home to numerous financial institutions, legal and accounting firms, insurance companies, stockbrokers, oil and gas corporate headquarters, advertising and marketing companies, as well as major retailers. It aims to host a new stock exchange, shopping malls, conference centres and hotels. It will truly be a vibrant addition to the Mega City that is Lagos,” he said.

Posted in Housing, Nigerian News, Real EstateComments (1)

The different worlds of Kuramo and Oniru Beach

It is the tale of two beaches from Emmanuel Onyeche who visited Kuramo and Oniru Private Beach. He writes that though they are just metres apart, their vision and mode of operation place them in two different worlds.

The echo of a loud shout from Oniru Private Beach would be heard at Kuramo Beach. These

two beaches, located along the shore line of the Atlantic Ocean in high brow Victoria Island, promise lots of fun and entertainment to their visitors.

But that is where the comparison ends. Oniru – very private and exclusive – offers serenity and protection to its upper class visitors while Kuramo – chaotic, untidy and unsafe – continues to wallow in the notoriety it created for itself with its swarming presence of cheap prostitutes and criminals.

To cross over to Oniru from Kuramo, one would need to first scale the hurdle of money and security. Oniru collects a gate fee of a minimum of N1000 per person. This amount could be up to N4000 when a show is being hosted there like the one popular musicians, Tuface Idibia and MI the rapper participated in last Christmas Eve. Quite a number of security personnel and bouncers at Oniru are also ready to embarrass any intruder.

Even if the struggling average guy manages to sneak into Oniru from Kuramo, he would need to be careful as the charges could burst his pocket. Bottled beer is not allowed at Oniru and each can beer costs N300.

To sit under a canopy with four chairs and a table, one would need to pay N1,500 exclusive of the drinks and food. Also, the bottled spirits – wines, whisky and champagne – are quite expensive and they are even much more so depending on the exclusivity and popularity of the bar where you drink them.

At G12 – a popular and highly patronized bar – you would need as much as N11,000 for a bottle of Moet Chandon – a popular champagne. VSOP brand of Hennesy costs N10,000 while the ‘Ox‘ brand can go for as much as N50,000. G12 is so popular that it was declared the best youth hang out in 2010 at Dynamix awards. Dynamix organization publishes a youth magazine. Mr. Daniel Ekaragha who works at Oniru says a group at a table in G12 can sometimes spend hundreds of thousands of naira in a few hours. Dagrin, a popular musician who is now late is said to have cut his musical teeth at G12

But it is a bar called D-Block, owned by one of the princes of Oniru, that is the most exclusive. Mr Ayo Alele who also works at Oniru says you can have your pockets bursting with money and still be refused entry at D-Block. Other notable bars are The Royale, Hi, Arisco, Handyz, Tommy and Ekaabo.

Food at Oniru is also different from what obtains at Kuramo where several local restaurants offer local varieties from N50 and above depending on what one can afford. At Oniru, Lolac restaurant, said to be owned by an unnamed wife of a celebrity, handles the popular local varieties like pounded yam, ‘fufu‘, ‘amala‘ with assorted meat and soup and you need a minimum of N700 to eat there. Lolac is said to operate a branch in the United Kingdom.

Different Babacue fish stands at the different bars also cost between N1,300 and N3000. Shawama hot dog costs N800 for the single and as much as N1,200 for the double. The fish is exclusively croaker and it is grilled and garnished.

There are also lots of summer huts owned by the same people who own the bars and they are rented out to people.

For all these, a clean and tidy beach front awaits the visitor at Oniru which is quite a big contrast to what happens when Kuramo where cheap prostitutes rent a space that is the size of a dining table‘s top for N500 a day and ask for as low as N300 for few minutes of sex.

A source who did not want his name mentioned says that many of these prostitutes are under age girls who are regularly made pregnant by men old enough to be their daddies and uncles.

At Kuramo, the beach front is an eyesore and it is nothing to be shocked about to see people defecating openly there. To lie down on the beach sand at Kuramo is akin to a big risk. Kuramo is also home to lots of homeless Lagosians whose kids are seen running over the entire beach and getting enmeshed in the quagmire.

Kuramo is also said to be the hideout of criminals who are always close to where there are prostitutes.

Pastor Adamson Orioye who operates a church said he had been at Kuramo for over a year and his regular members were not yet 10. He said his possible converts at Kuramo preferred a church where they could go and worship and still have the freedom to engage in their wrong doings.

He nevertheless said he would not relent in his effort to win souls at Kuramo as he had been called to do so.

Business goes on all day at Kuramo but at Oniru, if you are not in by 12 pm, entry is restricted but once you are in, you can leave when you like.

“The special thing about Oniru is that you enjoy the regular services of a night club but this time at the beach,” says Ekaragha.

Women of easy virtue are also found at Oniru but they are said to be the ones in a special class that can pay the gate fee and buy the expensive items on their own while waiting to catch the man of their dream.

At Kuramo and Oniru however, smoking Indian hemp seemed to be a common occurrence as it is done openly with no one bothered about it.

Posted in Entertainment, Relocating to Nigeria, TourismComments (1)

Nigeria Railways back on track

Railway stations across the country used to be a one stop place where most commuters found solace in order to beat traffic on the road. After a while, the rail tracks got dry of trains and rather became a rendezvous for street urchins and highway hawkers. But, recently, there appears to be a renewed interest in bringing life back on the railway tracks in the country. BUKOLA BAKARE takes a look at the resurgence of the railway transport system in Nigeria, the inherent benefits and challenges that lie ahead.

It’s 6.45am in the morning in a highly populated suburb in the Lagos area and Christie Oma, (not real names) a trader and mother of three, struggles to get her family ready for the day. There are only two options before her: she could go through the road transport and get stuck in the heavy early day traffic of Lagos or go through the railway. The railway, she reasoned, was the most sensible option: it is cheaper and faster.

The railway would take her from Iddo to Oyingbo Main Market where she sells her wares. Failure to get to the train station before 7pm would mean that she would miss the train.

Christie’s case is not too different from a cross section of Nigerians who use the train which is one of the fastest means of transportation in a country that has more than 150million people.

In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of trains that ply various routes in the country.

Reports show that as at 2003, Nigeria’s rail system had 3,557 kilometres of track, 19 kilometres of which were the dual guage and the remainder, standard guage. The country has two major rail lines, one connects Lagos on the Bright of Benin and Nguru in the Northern state of Yobe State, while the other connects Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta and Maiduguri in the North eastern state of Borno.

In March, 2006, plans were on the way to establish a rail link between Nigeria and Niger but that was put on hold due to The International Court of Justice’s verdict in favour of Cameroon on the issue of the control of the Bakaasi Peninsula.

As this reporter takes a ride on the train from The Nigerian Railway Corporation Terminus in Iddo, it was evident that conscious efforts are being made to remedy the poor conditions, efficiency and profitability of the Corporation – the odds which marred its smooth operation in the past.

Commuters from the Iddo Terminus are mostly traders who are going to sell their wares across the metropolis.

Worthy of note are the coaches which are now improved and depending one’s choice, one can either ride in the economy class or business class; the latter is meant for high class people in the society who just want to pamper themselves.

The train stops at designated stations and each stop is about two minutes except in cases where cars and buses have to pass. In addition, the seats are more comfortable compared to what was obtainable in the past.

All these are an attestation that the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) will live up its mission statement, “to emerge as the leader in the Nigerian transport system, using well motivated work force with modern technology;’’ and its vision statement: “to be a world class rail transport organisation, providing safe, efficient, affordable, reliable and widely linked network and customer oriented services.”

According to Mr. John Dottie, a District Manager of the NRC, “traffic congestion which is the bane of the major roads within major roads in Lagos will reduce significantly as the Lagos District plans increase in the train frequency.

“From December 2010, Lagos District passenger trains have been increased from six to eleven daily using the recently rehabilitated up mainline.

“The first and second trains leave Ijoko and Agbado simultaneously by 5.30am to arrive Iddo by 6.45am/7.34am.

“Another one leaves Ijoko by 6.20am and arrives Iddo at 7.56am while two more trains leave Ijoko by 10.20am and 2.20am to arrive at 11.56am and 3.56pm respectively and from Iddo, five other trains depart from Ijoko at 8.00am, 12noon, 4.15pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm accordingly and each arrive Ijoko within a transit period of one hour, twenty minutes.”

Another observation on the train is that all kind of people are found in the coaches, from the low class to the highly placed, everyone in their own world and looking forward to getting to their respective destinations.

Posted in Investments, Nigerian NewsComments (0)

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