On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I welcome the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to Lagos, ably represented by Mr. Vice President.
The security and welfare of Lagosians is a responsibility I do not take lightly and one that this administration is dedicating considerable resources to fulfilling through all our initiatives over the past 12 months.
In keeping with our responsibility to secure lives and property, today we are about to launch the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) Rescue Unit. This facility has been established to respond to all kinds of emergencies out of this specially designed dispatch center and it is the first of its kind in the country.
Although it is imperative to state that the intent is to prevent emergencies and mishaps, we may not be able to completely eliminate them. As a result we must be ready to swing into action and save lives and property whenever these unfortunate events occur.
Many people lose their lives and sources of livelihood, not from the initial incident, but from the delay in the response time due to inadequate resources and training.
Mr. President, with this Rescue Center, our initial goal is to significantly bring down response time by our responders. Over the coming months, we will work tirelessly to do so and in the next phase of this project, we will roll out dispatch centres across key areas within the state with the goal of further reducing response times.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) is empowered by law to coordinate all the first responder activities – the Lagos State Fire Service, the Lagos State Ambulance Service and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency. We have equipped the emergency agency with trained personnel and equipment to effectively carry out its objective – to save lives and livelihoods.
We are deploying GPS technology and eventually CCTV coverage, we will trace the caller or incident and send the nearest available trained responder. We have the 112 emergency line and Lagosians can now speak to better trained agents manning the phone lines round the clock, every single day of the year.
We ask our citizens to cooperate with us by calling only in cases of GENUINE emergency. Every time you place what is known as a false call, you divert resources and attention from someone who may be genuinely in need.
Lagos State Emergency Management Agency needs the cooperation of the Nigeria Police Force and other Federal Law Enforcement agencies to carry out its services effectively. We appeal to the Nigeria Police Force and other agencies to always cooperate with LASEMA for the safety of Lagosians.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to reiterate that we cannot completely prevent or stop accidents and mishaps but we can work on a robust and effective response. This is what this government is committed to doing henceforth.
We want all Lagosians, our visitors and investors to feel safe at all times; at work, rest or play. Above all, we want you to know that Lagos Cares.
Mr. President, I now invite you to commission this LASEMA Rescue Unit for a more efficient response to emergencies and for the protection of lives and property of Lagosians.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa l’ogun!
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor of Lagos State,
23rd May, 2016