The government of Lagos State on Tuesday brokered a deal with the United Kingdom-based Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), to train about 500,000 individuals on workplace safety and health.

The Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Hon. Hakeem Dickson, made this revelation during a courtesy visit by IOSH officials.

“Our aim is to develop safety culture through the leaders where every sector would be compelled to set up safety department,” Dickson said.

“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 hence, our collaboration with IOSH UK to help train about 500,0000 people on safety and health in Nigeria.”

While speaking on the partnership, Head of Global Engagement and Partnership, IOSH, Alan Stevens, said it would “enhance and influence professionals globally”.

“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 reality.

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

Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Lagos State Head of Service, however called for the safety training to cut across education, health, schools, religious institutions as well as other sectors.

“Your visit and collaboration is most welcome. But I would suggest you don’t limit the collaboration with Lagos alone but ensure it goes round the whole Nigeria and not only to companies alone.

“If we concentrate on a state alone, other states that know Lagos is safe would encroach and overcrowd the state and we have no right to drive then away because we have freedom of movement and can so decide to live in any state of the federation we so desire, hence my appeal to let it go round the whole country, so that every nooks and crannies of the country would be safe for all and sundry.

“Also when making the choice of those to be trained, let it spread to every sectors like education, health, schools, churches, mosques and factories.

“This is a welcome development and in tandem with the focus of the present administration.

“One can not do it in isolation, when you have safety all over the world, that is when you can travel to any part of the world and I wish everyone should see security as a concern,” he said.

He assured all of the government’s willingness to promote safety at all times.

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