FG Offers Free Healthcare Services In Oyo

Health, Oyo, HealthcareAt least 700 people from three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Oyo State have received free health services under the ‘Rapid Response Initiative’ of the Federal Government.

The Federal Ministry of Health kicked off the initiative at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

The Chief Medical Director at the UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge, said that the initiative was aimed at providing access to quality healthcare services to poor people in their local communities.

The programme, which was scheduled to hold its first phase within the localities of all the 11 LGAs in Ibadan, started in Akinyele, Ona Ara and Ibadan Northwest LGAs.

Patients were assessed and treated for various ailments ranging from hypertension, diabetes, hernia and eye defects among other complex health issues.

Professor Alonge disclosed that more than 300 people have been given referrals to UCH out of which at least 60 would be operated upon free of charge.

“One thing we have been seeing which is interesting is that we have a lot of people whose blood pressures are ranging from 300, 200 to 120, 220 and that is one of the things we are worried about and they are a lot.

“About one third of them almost have one problem with their eyes, cataract and cornea opacity. Again all of those ones will have to be attended to.

“We have a retired matron, a public health officer who is from Moniya and she took it upon herself yesterday (Sunday) and two days ago to go to the mosques and churches to do the enlightenment.

“This is a good lesson for us. So we will do the same (by) looking for people in that particular locality and use them as focal persons to help us spread the news,” he said.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Oyo State, Dr. Babtunde Latunji, who accompanied other doctors to launch the outreach, acknowledged the initiative’s focus on providing free access for rural dwellers and those in the urban centres within the city.

“Because of poverty or cost of affordability, they have been keeping to themselves and they can’t actually seek for the health intervention that rather addressed their issues.

“You have cases like glaucoma, you can have cataract you can have hernia, you can have cleft palate, even VVF and other gynaecological cases in this environment.

“So with this kind of intervention, we are hopeful that perhaps people will be able to access free health services and their health condition will be a little bit ameliorated,” Dr. Latunji stated.

Professor Alonge, Dr. Latunji , 20 doctors from pediatric, ophthalmic and general surgery departments, as well as about 30 relevant health workers have been drafted to attend to as many patients as possible within the local governments listed for the free medical outreach.

Herdsmen, Farmers Clash: Oyo Govt. Constitutes Committees To Address Issue

Abiola Ajimobi, Farmers, Herdsmen, OyoThe Oyo State government has set up stakeholder committees at both state and local government levels to address the crisis of the Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the state.

The Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Security, Mr Olusegun Abolarinwa, made the disclosure in Ibadan, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

Mr Abolarinwa highlighted the activities of the state government to avert the incessant clashes between the two groups.

“The state government does not have any policy on grazing zone yet, as the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is yet to make a pronouncement on nomadic rearing to be domesticated in all states.

“In the interim, the state government has taken proactive steps to constitute committees at both the state and local levels comprising security agencies, chairmen of local councils, farmers’ associations, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Seriki Hausawa, community leaders and relevant stakeholders in the community,” the governor’s aide stated.

He disclosed further that Senator Ajimobi has directed his Special Adviser on Community Relations, and his Senior Special Assistant on Security to address the crisis erupting in the religion sector.

The governor also asked them to tackle the community related crises at the Ibarapa area of the state, with specific instructions to meet with the aggrieved sects of farmers and the Fulani herdsmen.

Mr Abolarinwa explained that the crisis began when farmers allegedly laced their farms with poison in a bid to retaliate on the herdsmen whose cows purportedly destroyed their farmlands.

He, however, urged the aggrieved parties not to take laws into their hands, reiterating that the government has put adequate measures in place to strengthen the security of the state.

The security adviser hinted that some of the measures include: joint security patrol, procurement of armoured personnel carriers for the Oyo State Police Command, procurement of Hilux vehicles for security agencies and rendering various forms of assistance to the security agencies in the state.

He urged the people of the state to be security conscious by constituting themselves as watchmen in their neighbourhood.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the Oyo State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun.

PPPRA Says Fuel Scarcity Reports Untrue

PPPRA, Fuel ScarcityThe Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has condemned reports of imminent fuel scarcity in Nigeria.

The agency asked Nigerians to ignore claims that fuel queues may return to retail outlets over the 660 billion naira debt owed petroleum marketers by the Federal Government.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the PPPRA disclosed that Nigeria has months of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) sufficiency.

Contrary to some speculations on the status of kerosene, the agency noted that the product was fully deregulated and urged Nigerians to avoid any form of panic-buying.

“The attention of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) management has been drawn to the news, stories and speculations in the media of an imminent fuel scarcity over Marketers’ unpaid 660bn naira debt and other sundry issues.

“The stories, under reference, claimed among others that ‘fuel queues may return to retail outlets across the country anytime soon, following the Federal Government’s inability to settle marketers’ 660bn naira debt’ and non-availability of foreign exchange (FOREX) to fund fuel imports.

“PPPRA wishes to state unequivocally, that these stories are gross misrepresentation of available facts at our disposal, hence misleading.

“For the avoidance of doubts, the National Petroleum Products Stock data and import plan currently indicates that the country has two (2) months Premium Motor Spirit (otherwise known as PMS) sufficiency.

Desist From Panic-Buying

“Hence we want to assure motorists and commuters alike, that the products supply situation is robust and able to cater for the fuel needs of all Nigerians, pending when ongoing challenges are addressed.

“As a corollary to the above, PPPRA also wants to inform that contrary to a widely-held belief on the status of HHK (Kerosene), the product is fully deregulated.

“We hereby appeal to all Nigerians to remain calm and desist from any form of panic-buying, as we assure of our total commitment to adequate products supply and distribution across the country in line with our mandate.

“We also appeal to all depot owners to adhere strictly to the subsisting truck-out principle in order to ensure that products get to retail outlets across the country in a seamless manner.

“The Agency shall not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions where necessary,” the statement read.

Cross River Govt. Lauds FG For Border Projects In Bakassi

Ben Ayade, Cross River, Border ProjectsThe Cross River State government has commended the Federal Government for some developmental projects sited around the boarder area of Bakassi Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Ben Ayade, who made the commendation on Wednesday, however advocated for the speedy conclusion of the projects.

He expressed optimism that the development would be beneficial to the Bakassi community when concluded and commissioned for use.

The governor made the remarks when he received the National Assembly Joint Committee for State and Local Government at the Government House in Calabar, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

Represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, Senator Ayade noted that much needed to be done for the displaced Bakassi people, whom he said were subjected to harsh climatic conditions at their various camps.

He highlighted the importance of the projects and assured the committee that his administration would ensure the prompt conclusion of the projects without external or internal interference.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, Senator Abdullahi Gumel said that the lawmakers were in the state to inspect the Border Commission Development Agency’s projects around the boarder community of Bakassi.

The Executive Secretary of Boundary Communities Development Agency, Mr Numo-Ipre Wills, also expressed delight at the progress of the ongoing projects.

Mr Wills, however, urged the government for provide more funds for successful completion of the projects.

FG Begins Verification Of Pensioners In Nigeria And Diaspora

Pensioners, Nigeria, DiasporaThe Federal Government has commenced the verification of pensioners in the diaspora and its database of retirees in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, made the disclosure on Tuesday during an interview with reporters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Mrs Ikeazor gave the hint after meeting with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

She explained that the diaspora verification exercise was an initiative of the government to ensure that every Nigerian including those living abroad received their entitlements.

The PTAD boss revealed that 15,600 pensioners have been dropped from the payroll owing to lack of proper identification.

She said the new system had saved the government millions of Naira, adding that the government was devising means to rid the pension system of fraud.

Isheri School Kidnap: Students’ Group Wants Security Upgraded

kidnapped, Isheri North, Isheri,The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has expressed concern over the kidnap of students and staff of Nigerian Tulip International College (formerly Turkish International School) in Ogun State.

The President of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, gave the group’s reaction to the abduction in a statement on Monday.

Dr. Ashafa also condemned the bomb attack at the University of Maiduguri early Monday morning.

His statement is coming four days after ten (10) people including students of the NTIC were abducted from their school premises.

According to Dr. Ashafa, the kidnap and bomb blasts should serve as a signal to the Federal Government and the Military that there should be no relaxation despite the fall of Sambisa forest.

While commending Nigeria security operatives for the recorded success so far, Dr. Ashafa lamented that students were the most affected victims of the horrible experiences of terrorism and kidnapping.

The MSSN Lagos leader said: “The act of turning students and educationists to money making avenue is condemnable and capable of discouraging people’s interest in education, if not properly addressed. We appeal to security operatives to do all they could to ensure the safe rescue of the victims of the kidnap incident at Turkish International school.

“The bombing of the University of Maiduguri mosque came to us as a shock. It is disheartening and incomprehensible, as it surprisingly happened at a point when many Nigerians are beginning to show confidence that terrorism is coming to an end in the country. Perpetrators of such act must be arrested and dealt with appropriately.

“However, the saddening current development is a caution to both Nigerians and security operatives. Though extremely painful, it is a bad signal that the fall of Sambisa forest, which is believed to be the headquarters of Boko Haram sect, does not automatically translate to the end of terrorism in Nigeria; so our security operatives need to do more.”‎

He feared that the incapacitation of Boko Haram to operate from Sambisa Forest could lead to the rise of terrorists’ incursion in many of Nigerian communities if government fails to act fast.

To avoid the incursion and further criminal activities, he suggested proper mobilisation of all security agencies for swift and robust internal security and surveillance.

He added, “‎School owners in Lagos have to increase their security consciousness. The frightening reports of arrest of Boko Haram suspects in the state and cases of kidnapping is discouraging and beginning to create fear among parents in the state.

“Our security operatives may also have to go and re-strategise against internal security threat that the success recorded by them in key places could cause.

“They should also begin to pay more attentions to border strips, and other states and areas that some of the fleeing terrorists could want to operate or hide”.

How Nigeria Plans To Revive Its Railway Sector

Railway, Nigeria, The transport sector in Nigeria will soon be witnessing increased activities in the railways, following renewed collaboration between the federal government and foreign partners.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that negotiations were at advanced stage with General Electric, an American multinational conglomerate and the China Exim Bank on the revival of the rail system.

Mr Amaechi told reporters shortly after he visited the dry inland port in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that work would commence on the narrow and standard rail line gauge across Nigeria as soon as the negotiations were concluded.

Rotimi Amaechi, Transport, Energy
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi

The minister, who was at the Heipang Inland Container Depot to inspect its facilities, was accompanied by officials of the Ministry of Transportation, the Nigerian Shippers Council, members of the Plateau State Executive Council as well as the concessionaire of the port.

Having inspected the site which borders the Yakubu Gowon Airport and a railway station, Mr Amaechi stressed the need to develop facilities in the inland dry ports on a tripartite arrangement involving the Federal Government, the host state government and the private investor.

Simon Lalong, Plateau State, Plateau, amnesty, Arms Proliferation
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong

In his response, Governor Simon Lalong assured the minister that Plateau State would contribute its part in the development and implementation of the project, with assurance that the project would receive urgent attention by his administration.

The Chairman, Plateau Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Bulus Daren, highlighted some of the advantages of the development.

He expressed optimism that apart from decongesting the seaports, the inland dry port would bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers across Nigeria, as well as assist in the overall costs of cargo to hinterland locations.

It is speculated that the Nigerian Shippers Council has been promoting and facilitating the establishment of inland container depots on the basis of public-private partnership with six approved locations in Aba, Ibadan, Jos, Kano, Funtua and Maiduguri to service the Nigerian populace.

Ekiti Resident Doctors Demand Implementation Of 2013-2014 Agreement With FG

ekiti-resident-doctorsAssociation of Resident Doctors in Ekiti State, southwest Nigeria, is pushing the demand of its national body that the Federal Government should implement the 2013-2014 agreement between it and the association.

The demand was made at a joint media briefing on Friday at the Doctor’s Lounge of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital in Ado Ekiti.

It also had in attendance members of the associations from the Federal Teaching Hospital Ido Ekiti and the State University Teaching Hospital in Ado Ekiti.

The associations through their representatives Augustine Ibikunle and Tunji Olaoye restate their demands to the Federal Government, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to make healthcare service affordable to every Nigerians.

“We are joining our national body to demand for the implement of 2013-2014 agreement with the Federal Government and related issues in the health sector,” Dr. Olaoye, who is the president of the Association of Resident Doctor, Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, said.

“This press briefing is in accordance with the national directives to sensitise members of the public on some very important issues affecting the association.”

The doctors are also demanding for the implementation of National Health Act 2014, payment of full salaries to all our members, appropriate entry step for house officers, appropriate placement of all doctors and pension deductions and remittance.

The National Executive Council meeting of the association is expected to also hold from Friday.

Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance Code

Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance CodeThe House of Representatives has ordered its Joint Committee on Delegated Legislation and Public Accounts to carry out a public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria.

The F.R.C. had introduced the Corporate Governance Code which led to the stepping aside of General Overseer of the Redeemed Christians Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The new regulation pegged the leadership tenure for religious leaders at 20 years.

The House took the decisions after considering a motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Representative Leo Ogor, who described the Council’s action as unconstitutional.

Jim Obazee
Former FRC Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee

Representative Ogor accused the Council of usurping the powers of the National Assembly, wondering where the Council derived its powers as encapsulated in the Code of Corporate Governance for the bodies, without the approval of the Legislature.

The House at its plenary asked the Council to suspend the code while the panel investigating its activities is expected to submit a report within four weeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, sacked the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN), Mr. Jim Obazee, and ordered the reconstitution of its board.

The President consequently appointed Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the new Executive Secretary and Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.

 

Adedotun Sulaiman
New FRC Chairman, Mr Adedotun Sulaiman

President has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC
Act to nominate members of board of their councils.