The Lagos State Government, ably led by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, with incredible insight and foresight, created the THEMES agenda, placing Health and Environment as a synergistic relationship under pillar number 2 of the agenda.  This agrees with the WHO concept of ONE HEALTH, which recognizes and promotes the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and the environment. A human community can only be as healthy as the environment in which they live and the food that they consume. The concept of ONE HEALTH and the principles of this dispensation philosophy on health, helped Lagos State prepare strategically for biological shocks and, the COVID -19 pandemic.

Observing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the devastating effect on the global economy, the Lagos State Government, set up a multiagency Incident Command System (ICS) in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, with the Governor as the Incident Commander to provide the highest level of political oversight, while carrying the burden and responsibility of ensuring the elimination of an existential threat. The beauty of the system is that it allows for a very flexible, nimble, and speedy approach, which removed bureaucratic processes that would have handicapped an efficient response. The system allows decisions to be made very quickly by a small unit within the Executive known as the War Cabinet. The War Cabinet meets physically weekly and sometimes daily through digital platforms using real-time data to make policy shifts which translate into actions within hours. All resources are deployed speedily and channeled to areas of shifting needs based on the ever-changing dynamics of the COVID pandemic.

Against COVID-19, this system adopted a pro-active and aggressive approach, which has proven to be extremely effective in curtailing the spread and devastation of COVID-19. Consequently, the ICS of Lagos State as led by the Incident Commander Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been able to significantly minimize the impact of the three waves of COVID on the citizens of Lagos state, permitting minimal impact on economic livelihood, peace, and security.

The Incident Command System model is being emulated in several quarters in recognition of its effectiveness, which also allows for swift and early participation of the private sector and donor partners and all their resources under the strict oversight of government in the view of the fact that COVID is and remains an issue of significant security.

As Lagos State braces itself for a possible fourth wave caused by new variants, there is an assurance that the State will once again mitigate the impact on the citizens in Lagos and by extension Nigeria.

Ladies & Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that we invite the Lagos State Government to receive the “2021 Hallmarks of Labour Award for Exemplary Leadership and Transparency in Public Health, Management and Control of COVID-19 Outbreak in Nigeria”.

Hearty Congratulations!


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