Sunday, 17 January 2016


If there are some people out there still thinking that Mimiko's appellation of 'a caring heart governor' is only a political jingle or an undeserved embellishment designed to buoy up the Governor's popularity, a visit to the ultra-modern, international standard Ondo State Accident Trauma Centre at the medical village in Ondo city will convince them that indeed, there might not be any other governor deserving of such appellation than Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.

Last week, I went on a voyage of discovery to the sprawling medical facility located at Laje road in Ondo city and upon entering, it took me minutes to convince myself that am in the vicinity of a Nigerian medical centre.

Having earlier on visited the monumental Mother and Child hospital which was the first of the departments that constitute the Medical village, the majesty of the clinically asphalted landscape of the entire vicinity from the M&C end down to the exquisite and fabulous Doctors's quarters was not to appear strange to me, but nevertheless it still got me excited especially by its introduction to the younger company I had for the trip.

Oluwasanmi Lawal, a post graduate student at FUTA and an ardent believer in Dr. Mimiko's progressive and populist driven developmental government, was unexpectedly but to my excitement, more astonished than I had expected.

He had this to say on his Facebook page:

"I recall my visit today to that wonderland christened medical village in loving company of the amiable Barrister Remigius with astonishing nostalgia. My decision to join him to see things for myself was driven by a compelling testimony so shared by a trader whose son had a close shave with death only to be resuscitated back to life in the trauma centre component of the hospital. To try to describe what I saw there today in words and pictures is to speak like a child filled with thoughts but lacking in jaw-jaw expression. I'm still lost for words... I really am. Call it massive| Breathtaking| Whao...| Headshaking| mind blowing and what have you. With Olusegun Mimiko in the frontline of leading the people, I can dare to smile for AFRICA."

We were taken round the Trauma Centre by a senior staff of the centre who was obviously excited to have us around. He is a Consultant Orthopedic surgeon who told us he has had great experience in medical practice having worked in Abuja and Lagos before joining the Centre's medical team, and by reason of this he was in good position to confirm to us that most of the facilities in the centre are hard to come by in this country.

Resuscitation and Triage Ward
Our first point of call was the Resuscitation and Triage Ward. It is a first aid-ward where
accident victims on the throes of death are revived with the most modern of medical equipment. 

There we met a pathetically injured five-year-old boy just brought in from Ogun state after an accident along Ijebu-ode - Lagos road.

He was placed under the mechanical ventilating machine (MVM) which ensures his steady breathing . To the left of his bed side, we saw the Defibrillator which is an electric shock machine that prevents shocks to the chest or heart and controls critically irregular heartbeat for effective blood circulation.

We spoke to the relatively relieved parents who told us they thought they had lost him, until they got to the Trauma centre which they claimed they never heard of. Their words for the Governor were all about praises and prayers.

Attached to the MVM are medical monitors that assure that nothing goes amiss and that recovery is progressing.

We also saw at the Resuscitation & Triage ward the ultra-modern suctioning machine that clears the airways to avoid any secretion so that the patient will aspirate.

Intensive Care Ward
Once patients have been successfully resuscitated and stabilized, they will be taken to the Intensive Care Ward for continuous care. The ward is a jumbo size ward that is excellently furnished with equipment and fittings of what a world class hospital ought to look like.

Next, we moved to the Laboratory which is well equipped with the new and up-to-date laboratory and medical storage facilities including the expensive lab cold blood bank.

Inside the blood bank were about 200 iced blood bags which the scientist in charge told us are always readily available for all blood groups unlike what obtains in most medical laboratories in the country. It is a laboratory of 21st century chemical analysis which has such facilities as automated chemical, electrolyte and hematological analyzers.

There was also a cold centrifuge for separation of blood sugar and the electronic microscope among others.

There, you get the results of laboratory tests as quickly as possible.

Main Wards
At the main wards were we met many patients undergoing treatment from varying degrees of injuries sustained from accidents, we discovered that all beds are electronically controlled

Yet these are apart from the special water beds which we were informed are meant to prevent what is termed 'bed soar' especially for those suffering from burns.

"When you are nursing a patient," our guide said, "they can't just be allowed to stay in one position for a long time. The electronic bed helps to adjust and orientate his or her position from time to time, while the water bed basically helps to redistribute pressure and reduce the incident of pressure suck in patients"

Vast majority of the patients were referred from outside the state including teaching hospitals. One was even among the surviving victims of the recent Abuja bomb blast.

Modern pharmacy unit
One other thing that amazed us is the fact that all required drugs is readily available such that patients do not need to go outside the centre in search of drugs. The modern pharmacy unit is well organized and stocked up with quality, requisite and affordable drugs.

Some of the other unique facilities that we noticed are the CT scan machines at the X-Ray unit, and at the Burns unit where we saw burn bath tubes where patients with burns from kerosene or petrol explosion are cleaned up with less pains.

Also, brand new ambulances provided for the centre by the state government are always on standby, 
raring to go.

There was also the electronic physiotherapic chair with arms and body rests of different shapes which help to free stiff joints.

The gigantic robotic X-ray machine ,we were informed, is the best in the country.

Despite being one among six parts of the medical village, the Trauma centre alone has a staff strength of about 300. Which means, apart from providing healing for the wounded, the centre also exist as a formidable employment-providing institution.

Like the Mother & Child hospital, one other heartwarming feature of the Trauma centre is its cleanliness and aesthetically endowed environment. 

We left the Trauma centre with heartwarming feelings that this country, Nigeria despite the shortcomings and seemingly care-free attitude of most of its leaders, still has men in the ruling class who care so much for the sick, the hopeless and the helpless without compromising quality, class and cleanliness.

Welcome to the world of His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Abayomi Mimiko, it's a world of 'beauty all around'. Beauty of the inner mind, exhibited by beauty of his gracious outputs .

Compiled by Michael Emiabata

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Is Governor Ambode really Prudent in his management of Lagos State resources?.

Recently, Governor Ambode of Lagos State was boasting of saving N3bn monthly from the running costs of governance. I believe he could have done a lot better, but there are a lot of wastages and leakages in the system.

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, December 31, passed into law the N662.588bn Year 2016 Appropriation Bill presented by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday, December 17, 2015 A breakdown of the budget revealed that N278,909bn will be spent on recurrent expenditure while N383,678bn on capital expenditure with its internal Generated Revenue , IGR pegged at N542,873 Billion of which N119.714 Billion would be funded through deficit financing constituting 0.41 percent of the State GDP.

Lagos State gets most of its income through IGR. Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is the revenue that state governments generate within the areas of their jurisdiction. The various sources of internal revenue available to state governments include taxes, fines , licenses and fees, earnings & sales, rent on government property, interests and dividends, among others. The capacity of a state government to generate revenue internally is a crucial consideration for the creation of a state government.

The expected IGR of Lagos State this year is N542,873bn which is contracted out to be collected by a firm called the Alpha Beta Consulting. The firm is owned by Senator Bola Hamed Tinubu, the political God Father of the State Governor. The expected commission for this Tax collector Service this year is about N75bn. This is a colossal amount to be paid to a Private individual’s firm when there is massive poverty in our land. The commission is more than the budget of some states in Nigeria.

If Governor Ambode led administration really want to be prudent in his management, he  should  consider taking the Tax collection services in-house to save money and this will subsequently reduce  the State recurrent  expenditure.

Also, due to the high unemployment rate in the State, it would be better to increase the LIRS budget to create middle-class public-sector jobs in professional tax collection than throw money at low-paying private-sector contractors who cannot do the job as well.

Alpha Beta has been collecting IGR for Lagos State since 1999, if the state has put in place a permanent alternative structure since then it would have matured and the state would have been saving money. No one knows the contractual agreement between the Lagos State Government and the alpha Beta Consulting.

There have been reports of heavy handedness of the tax consultants when they resort to use abusive tactics. With this type of feedback, the State has failed to serve the public interest.
I can say in very clear terms that private tax collection does not save or generate any money.  It costs a lot of money and risks the privacy of taxpayer information. Taxes don’t have to be taxing.

By  Michael  Emiabata