25th May, 2011
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday formally handed over the Iga Iduganran Health Centre constructed by the Zenith Bank Plc to the people stressing that Lagos will meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in healthcare and education.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Iga Iduganran street location of the edifice added that as a demonstration of these, the state has embarked upon the construction of eight Maternal Child Care Centres each with a 100 bed capacity to bring healthcare closer to mother and child.
He explained that seven out of the eight have been completed whereas a country like Ghana has only one of such a hospital, stressing that only a healthy people can be a productive people.
He commended Zenith Bank for playing a prominent role in developing the community where they operate adding that if the state should incorporate a prize for corporate social responsibility, the bank will rank high.
â€œAs important as the balance sheet of any organization is to the Chief Executive Officer, any serious Chief Executive Officer will also pay attention to its corporate social responsibilities because without the citizens there is no businessâ€,
Governor Fashola said.The Governor applauded the innovativeness of the bank which singlehandedly constructed Ajose Adeogun Street during the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and relieved the government of the burden of maintaining the road.
He recalled that when he became the Governor and had challenges of security and some decisions were reached after setting up the Musiliu Smith Committee on Security, one of the leading initiatives on how to fund the programme came from former Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr Jim Ovia.
Governor Fashola expressed joy that the activities of the bank in the fulfillment of some of its corporate social responsibilities have not waned with the departure of Mr Jim Ovia.
The Governor also commended the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I for his selflessness in the service of the people of Lagos, adding that every year that the Oba commemorated his enthronement; he has always used it for handing over a community or societal project.
Earlier in his address, the Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu I, in whose honour the project was handed over said it was his commitment from when he ascended the throne of his forefathers that he would transform the Island within 10 years.
He hinted that several other laudable projects are in the offing which would be of tremendous benefit to the residents of the Island and expressed happiness that the health centre is a project that will be a harbinger of good things to the people.Oba Akiolu said it is his joy that today, a project which was viewed with cynicism by many of the residents of central Lagos over two years when work started has crystallized into a people centred health centre.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Godwin Emefiele described the project as another opportunity to partner with the Lagos State Government.
He added that the ceremony is a clear testimony to the effective deployment of Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a weapon being employed by developing economies to develop infrastructure to their advantage.
He explained that the health centre is being donated as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the bank to the State as well as assist it to meet part of the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as reduce needless deaths in Lagos State.Prominent among those who attended the ceremony were the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi, traditional white caps chiefs, prominent indigenes of Lagos like Asoju Oba of Lagos, Chief Molade Okoya Thomas, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Ola Vincent and Senator Habeeb Fasinro Â among other dignitaries.