Women of Change Series: New Responses to COVID-19 in Lagos

Author: PERL

January 2020 in Lagos started out like every other year. Big businesses lined up annual calendars and individuals shared goals for the next 12 months. However, a few weeks into the year, everything changed, and Lagos, along with the rest of the world was thrust into confusion and panic. By April, businesses had shut down, oil prices plummeted, and most importantly, people were facing uncertainty and fear. Amidst the global tension, at the heart of Nigeria’s economic capital, initiatives like Telemed and Citizensgate were introduced and managed to benefit citizens of Lagos State. The Citizensgate portal is managed by the Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation (OTCI), under the stewardship of reform-minded Director, Branding, One Stop Enquiry Services and Service Charter, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi. Princess Adedoyin-Ajayi started her engagement with OTCI when she joined the Lagos State Civil Service in 2008. Her mandate was to support Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and strengthen their ability to adopt and implement Service Charters, and to establish in each MDA, a One-Stop Shop to improve service delivery. With support from the State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC) in 2009, the Service Charters were initiated, One-Stop Shops and the Citizensgate portal established, which has become one of the new ways Lagos State has adopted to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Director has also been empowered to carry out her professional duties, through the Women in Governance intervention of the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), a programme of the UK Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).