Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has received the best Humanitarian Governor of the year award for 2022.

Abiodun, who was represented by his commissioner nominee, Hon. Khadijat Adeleye-Oladapo and Senior Special Assistant, SSA, on Special Duties and SDGs, Hon. Damilola Otubanjo, received the award on Friday during the Eminent Peace Ambassador Award ceremony organised by THINKRICH COMMUNITY in commemoration of the year 2022 World Humanitarian Da,y held at Kessinghton Adebutu Event Hall, Okelewo, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

In his acceptance speech, Abiodun described humanitarians as those who help when needed and give urgent attention to who is in need of their kindness, adding that they are worthy of celebration.

Noting that the Humanitarian Day was adopted by the United Nations to be celebrated on 19th August, with the aims of creating unity and improvement of awareness of the state of people that have one challenge or the other, Abiodunemphasized that humanitarian services have played a significant role in good gesture and people’s commitment across the globe.

Headded that they not only embrace peace, but also stand against the hardship living of people and touch the human life in a positive way.

He said, “Let me start with the popular saying that ‘No man can be an island’ – we all need one another at one point or another. And, whenever and wherever people are in need, there are others who help them. These set of people see themselves as the ones affected – thereby being the first responder when disaster strikes. They are known to be humanitarians. These set of people deliver urgent health care, shelter, food, protection, water, etc. They ease the suffering of the affected ones and bring hope. No doubt, celebrating this category of people – volunteers, professionals, and crisis-affected people, is a welcome development.

“As part of efforts to appreciate the contributions of this set of people, 19th August is adopted by the United Nations’ General Assembly as the World Humanitarian Day. The aim of this commemoration is to bring together all the people across the humanitarian ecosystem. This is to improve and raise awareness for the survival, well-being, and dignity of people affected by crises around the world. The United Nations has continued to keep alive the ideals of selfless workers who make the world a better place. Particularly, those people whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by war, unprecedented challenges, ongoing conflict or climate crisis.

“l joins others to celebrate this year’s World Humanitarian Day. Today’s celebration is significant because it affords us another opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the special category of people who provided these humanitarian services. And, more importantly, it gives us one more avenue to jointly show our gratitude to God for His guidance and protection over us. I therefore commend everyone who has continued to play pivotal roles in providing humanitarian services to people across the breadth and length of our dear state. I equally commend everyone that has contributed, in one way or another, to make today’s celebration a reality.

“It is worthy to mention that humanitarian services have become one of the largest and most significant reference points in philanthropic activism worldwide. It has continued to bridge the gap in cultures and connecting continents to champion peace; fight illiteracy; fight poverty; fight disease; and, promote wellness of humanity, amongst other laudable programmes. Without mincing words, the humanitarian workers are now at the forefront of promoting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, such as Goal 1: No Poverty; Goal 2: Zero Hunger; Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being; Goal 4: Quality Education, just to mention but a few. And, by sense of responsibilities, they have always been open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed or political preference.”

Governor Abiodun however, disclosed how the present administration in the state tackled the COVID-19 pandemic with quick attention and provision of needed materials that minimized the recorded crises; recognizing people who have in one way or the other rendered their good services to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19.

He noted that his administration has done it possible best in carrying out some programmes that have impacted on people’s lives and mentioned what his administration has achieved in its focus on the standard of living of the people of the state.

He added, “But more importantly, we must also mention the selfless service delivery espoused by the individuals, non-governmental organisations, NGOs, and the private sector, during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot also forget to recognize the aid workers, who have sacrificed their own lives to help people that are affected by Covid-19. This humanistic value is the fulcrum of our administration’s ‘Building Our Future Together’ agenda that is anchored on our social well-being and welfare of our I.S.E.Y.A. mantra.

“It is no gain-saying that since our assumption of office on 29th May, 2019, we have continued to formulate policies and execute programmes that improve on the well-being and welfare of the people of Ogun State. This is aimed at deepening the socio-economic development of our dear state. Our administration has been committed towards restoring government to its forefront as the facilitator of development. In recognition of the importance of service to humanity, we enhance a symbiotic relationship between our administration and the people of Ogun State. This ensures a more rapid development.

“Major focus of our Social Welfare and Wellbeing is the provision of quality and accessible healthcare. And, just like in all other sectors of our economy, our approach has been multi-dimensional. We ensure the provision of infrastructure; human resource development; provision of medical facilities, amongst others. In concrete terms, we have recorded the following achievements in the area of health: rehabilitation of two General Hospitals at Ijaye, Abeokuta; and Ilaro; rehabilitation of Primary Healthcare Centres in each of the 236 wards of the state; recruitment of medical officers – resident doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals in various cadres into the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu.

“As at now, 82 health workers have been recruited in the hospital, while 56 others have been recruited across the state hospitals; upgrade of selected state hospitals to provide Prevention of HIV from Mother to Child, PMTCT, and Anti-Retroviral Therapy, ART, services. This has impacted a significant reduction in the number of infants exposed to HIV, but who tested positive to the virus in the PMTCT by over 94 per cent; purchase of new collection of medical equipment, which includes a dialysis machine; mobile digital X-ray machine; High Resolution Ultrasound Machine; new intensive care beds; twelve new ventilators; eight CPAP machines; 10 new ambulances and a logistics truck just to mention a few.

“Provision of life-saving intervention to 8,000 women during the Maternal and Child Health Week; and, as part of our approaches in the fight against COVID-19, we put in place various degrees of health facilities, which also have added quality to the standard of our health facilities.

“Amongst such are:
establishment of 5 treatment and isolation centres for COVID-19 patients at Ikenne, Sagamu, and Abeokuta, with the total bed capacity of over 300. Some of these isolation centres will also be valuable in the treatment of other infectious diseases; establishment of a Molecular Laboratory at OOUTH, Sagamu, which is the first Molecular Laboratory solely funded by a state in Nigeria; provision of COVID-19 Drive-Through and Walk-In Testing Centres, which are equipped with a specially designed protective glass box to be used by medical personnel collecting samples, allows suspected patients drive their cars in or simply walk in and get tested, with results getting ready in no time; it is on record that Ogun State has Africa’s first COVID-19 Mobile Laboratory with the capacity to run 400 tests a day, located at the 250-bed hospital at Abeokuta, the state capital; completion of the Intensive Care Unit, ICU, floor of the 250-bed Hospital at Abeokuta, with capacity for 18 available beds, eight of which are high dependency and 10, ICU; renovation of two General Hospitals and eight selected PHCs, to serve as first responders to cases of COVID-19 since PHCs are the closest and most easily accessible to the people; upward review of the hazard allowance to compensate health workers by 300 per cent; enrolment of over 8,000 health workers for life insurance.

“We now have more ambulances and ambulance points all around our dear state. This ensures a faster response time.”

The governor concluded that his administration is committed to the development of the state, irrespective of location, gender, religion and political affiliations.

Some other awardees and dignitaries that were also present at the event include: the Serkin Qadiriyya in Nigeria, Dr. Sheu Abdulkadir Jimoh;
Serkin Hausawa in Lagos, Alhaji Ali Kabir Garba; The Provost of the Federal College of Education Abeokuta, Dr. Rafiu Adekola; OGTV and a host of others.

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