Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola has commended the recent partnership of the Lagos State Safety Commission and United Kingdom’s Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) to train 500,000 in work place safety.

Muri-Okunola, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Public Service Office, Mr Samson Ajibade, thanked IOSH UK for its collaboration on transfer of knowledge, describing it as a ‘welcome development.’

According to Muri-Okunola, the issue of health and safety was paramount and germaine, stressing governments should prioritize safety.

“The popular saying that health is wealth is still in place. When we have a healthy nation, we have a wealthy nation because if someone is healthy, he will be productive.

“Safety to one is safety to all. As a government whose major mandate is safety of lives and properties, your visit and your collaboration with us is most welcomed.

“When we look at the focus of this new administration, security, and general safety is very key. Lagos sate government will support this and give every support to ensure that the issue of health and safety is addressed and I want to believe that we will work and collaborate together to make sure that the issue of Safety goes round every home in Nigeria.”

The Head of service however, appealed that the training should exceed 500,000, and not be limited to Lagos State.

“I want to appeal that we encourage more private sector participation and extend this training to all states. If Lagos is safe but Ogun is not safe, Ondo is not safe, they will all rush down here with no intention to go back to where they come from. But the infrastructure we have in place is not enough to accomodate them all. So, I want to appeal that we have to be very global in our outlook.”, he said.

Earlier, the Director-General of Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Hakeem Dickson unveiled his partnership with IOSH to train 500,000 in work safety.

He said his agency will make every effort to promote occupational health and safety and will ensure there is appropriate capacity across the state to ensure competency.

Dickson lamented that one of the agency’s challenges was the lack of drive to push health and safety to ther desired level, “hence our collaboration with IOSH UK for this lofty idea.”

He said, “Our aim is to develop a strong safety culture through the leaders where business operators in every sector would be compelled to set up a safety department. We aim to save more lives and properties, hence our intention of moving the agency from its embryonic level to a more matured level. As such, we’ve decided to bridge this gap by providing tools to enhance competency within the state. Our collaboration with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health will help to train our people on safety and health in Nigeria.”

He said the partnership will strengthen relationships and build capacity for a significant number of practitioners, managers, graduates and more from any discipline. As part of their commitment, the LSC will promote IOSH training courses and encourage people to become members of the Institution.

Alan Stevens, IOSH Head of Global Engagement and Partnership said IOSH is keen to share best practice and learn from others to ensure everyone goes home from work safely. “We respect and admire the vision and determination of Hon. Hakeem Dickson and the Lagos State Safety Commission and we are determined to support in every way we possibly can to ensure that the vision becomes a reality,”

“IOSH, as the largest health and safety professional body in the world, has a very clear strategy through 2022 and beyond which is focused on collaboration to enhance and influence professionals globally.”

IOSH’s consultant for the project, Mrs Funmi Adegbola, said: “We are working on partnerships with different investors who would provide some funding towards the project to support individuals who meet the subsidy eligibility criteria.”

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