The Lagos State Government on Wednesday signed an agreement for the establishment of a DNA Forensic Centre in the State.
Speaking at the official signing of the agreement between the State Government and ITSI Bioscience LCC in Alausa, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said that the Lagos State DNA Forensics Centre (LSDFC) is a unique forensic technique that is now being used all over the world and it is aimed at achieving the growing DNA needs of criminal investigation.
He said the signed agreement was in fulfillment of the State Government’s plan to establish a DNA Forensic Centre in the State to facilitate prompt and effective prosecution of criminal cases.
The Centre, according to the Attorney-General, would aid investigation into domestic and sexual violence cases, boost family and paternity proceedings, help in identifying victims of natural and man-made disasters and also be a tool for the judicial system.
Kazeem said that the Centre would be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to support all levels of DNA collection from people and objects, evidence examination, DNA analysis and provide evidential DNA storage.
“I am certain that the Lagos DNA forensic laboratory is going to be another unique solution to fighting crime in our quest for a safer and secure Lagos,” he said.
Earlier, Dr. Richard Somiasi, who signed on behalf of ITSI Bioscience LCC thanked the State Government and promised to live up to the task.
Also, the Lagos State Government on Wednesday announced plans to commence the construction of a world class Medical Park under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, just as it restated its commitment to improve healthcare experience and promote medical tourism and excellent healthcare services of international standard in the State.
The State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who disclosed this while briefing Government House Correspondents after the weekly State Executive Council Meeting, said the project has already been awarded to MEDIPARK International Limited Consortium which comprises of MEDIPARK International Limited, Cleveland Clinics Ohio USA, St. Barnabas Healthcare System New Jersey and American Hospital Management Company Washington DC.
Idris, who briefed journalists alongside the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Wasiu Anifowose, said the project would be completed in 20 months, and that it would gulp about N49 billion, while the State Government would only provide the land and the market.
Idris recalled that the State Government had last year placed adverts in national dailies for Expressions of Interest for the development of a Medical Park aimed at ensuring qualitative healthcare delivery to Lagosians.
He said 16 companies/consortiums responded to the advertisement, after which an Evaluation Committee was set up in line with State procurement guidelines with individuals comprising both statutorily mandated members and officers invited to lend technical depth to the exercise.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce that after the receipt of a Certificate of Compliance from the State Public Procurement Agency and a final presentation today to the Executive Council of Lagos State, approval has been given to MEDIPARK International Limited Consortium which comprises of MEDIPARK International Limited, Cleveland Clinics Ohio USA, St. Barnabas Healthcare System New Jersey and American Hospital Management Company Washington DC to be the developer to construct, manage and operate a Medical Park. It is a joint venture arrangement with Ibile Holdings Ltd,” Idris said.
He said the Medical Park would be sited at the former Lagos State School of Nursing site, spanning over two hectares expanse of land along Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and will serve as a one stop shopping medical experience offering spaces to primary care physicians alongside in-house specialists as well as ancillary services providing a full spectrum of excellent quality high technology cutting – edge medical and diagnostic services to cater for general and specialty medical services tailored to meet the medical needs of Lagosians and Nigerians at large.
The facility, Idris said would comprise of a central management area, clinic complex, theatre complex and procedure rooms, ward complex, conference and seminar complex, medical goods and lifestyle shopping centre, stress management and lifestyle improvement unit, data cabling/integrated IT system, structured landscaping, residential accommodation, staff quarters, hotel, emergency and ambulance service, trauma unit, helipad amongst other things.
He also said that the facility which will be built under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative was a milestone in healthcare delivery aimed at reducing medical tourism abroad.
Speaking on the yardstick used in selecting MEDIPARK International, Idris said: “You see, 16 companies started the expression of interest. The first step was just to assess their capabilities and we now narrowed them down to 7 companies which later presented proper proposals on the terms of reference we gave them. Based on the assessment of experts, the list was further pruned down to three and later, we arrived at the one which was finally awarded the project.
“The ultimate goal is that we as a Government believe that health is wealth and there is no amount of investment in the healthcare sector, that can be too much for the good people of this State because the progress of the state in all ramifications is paramount to us,” the Commissioner said.