Sanwo-Olu Creates 6 Primary Care Districts, Deploys 7 Perm Secs to Healthcare

Newly established Primary Health Care (PHC) districts in Lagos State now have administrative powers to roll out universal health services to the residents, with the appointment of seven permanent secretaries by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to supervise their operations.

These appointments were the single largest in the state’s health care system and reflected the governor’s unprecedented move to expand health coverage for Lagosians in low-income communities.

For the first time, medical practitioners in the public service sector were elevated to the position of permanent secretary and deployed to head the six new PHC districts.

Besides, Sanwo-Olu appointed four Permanent Secretaries for three ministries and additional one for a transportation agency.

The appointments brought the number of serving permanent secretaries in the state’s public service to 68, with the positions equally divided between men and women.

Sanwo-Olu said the quality of output of the state’s workforce provided the need for the promotion of staff to the highest level possible in the civil service.

Lagos workforce, he said, remained a great asset in his administration’s efforts to improve the lives of the residents.

The governor said the selection of the new permanent secretaries was based on their respective performances in the assessment process and their track records of delivery on tasks they were assigned.

He said: “Your appointment to the leadership position in the public service is a way of rewarding your exceptional performance and track record of consistent contribution to the delivery of good governance and dividends of democracy to the people. This ceremony is a celebration of your personal achievement in the your career progression. It is, therefore, important to see this appointment as a recognition and acknowledgment of your performance over the years and the impressive results from the selection process conducted.

“My expectation from you and expectation of Lagosians is to be at your best at all times. You must be on top of your new responsibilities that have been entrusted upon you. As administrators and professionals with years of experience, you have the responsibility to assist the Government in the best possible way to implement policies and programmes that will better the lives of our citizens in line with THEMES Plus agenda. We must ensure that Lagos public service is ready to serve the interests of the people.”

Sanwo-Olu added that the expansion of administrative districts in the health sector was part of the reforms initiated by his administration to reposition health services in Lagos and ensure no one was left behind.

He said it would be plausible for major health institutions in the state to be administered by practising professionals within the cadre of doctors working in them.

The health sector reform, the governor stressed, was similar to the unbundling of the state’s education system where practising teachers had been given opportunity to be elevated and appointed as tutors-general across education districts.

He said establishment of new health districts would improve quality of service and give more health coverage to the residents.

Sanwo-Olu prided Lagos health professionals as the best in the country, noting that the new medical position would improve personnel’s administrative responsibilities and offer them better platforms to excel.

“With the new career level, we have been able to create a professional path for the medical staff in public sector. By these appointments, your role is not just to strengthen and improve governance structure, it is also to ensure there is complete health coverage for people who will be the beneficiaries of the reforms. I believe this would be a motivation for medical personnel in the sector,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Head of Service (HOS), Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said six of the seven appointed permanent secretaries in the medical cadre would be pioneer accounting officers of the newly created PHC districts, while the last one would head Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA).

By the appointments, the HOS said, Lagos, again, had set the pace by creating a first of its kind initiative in the health sector.

“This development is truly a testament of Mr. Governor’s dedication to achieving a Greater Lagos Rising. I have full confidence in your individual abilities to add value to the quality of service delivery, which in the long run, will go a long way to complement the efforts of the State Government towards health facilities accessible to all citizens of the state,” Muri-Okunola said.

The Permanent Secretary for Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA), Mrs. Asisat Kilanko, moved the vote of assurance on behalf of the appointees, saying the governor had entrusted them with a “huge task”.

“We promise we will not disappoint the public and the confidence reposed in us by Mr. Governor,” she said.

The newly appointees were Dr. Cecilia Mabogunje, Consultant Special Grade I, Health Service Commission; Dr. Olufunmilayo Bankole, Consultant Special Grade I, Ministry of Health; Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, Chief Medical Officer and General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency; Dr. Abimbola Bowale, Chief Medical Officer, Health Service Commission; Dr. Oludayo Lajide, Chief Dental Officer, Ministry of Health; and Dr. Monsurat Adeleke, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer, (Lagos State Aids Control Agency).

Other were Dr. Oladapo Asiyanbi, Chief Medical Officer, Primary Health Care Board; Mr. Fatai Lawal, Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary, Education District V; Mrs. Oloruntoyin Atekoja, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; and Mr. Farouk Gbajumo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.