How Dearth Of Personnel Hampers Maternal Care In Jigawa

Kalgwai PHC in Auyo, Jigawa state, the hospital without a midwife.

 

A visit to primary health clinics across some local governments in Jigawa State has shown that maternal care suffers as a result of a shortage of manpower, especially midwives.

In some of the facilities, there is a shortage of midwives in many of the Primary Health Centres visited by the reporter in five Local Government Areas, LGAs.  Garin Gabas PHC in Malam Madori LGA and Kofar Arewa PHC in Hadejia LGA have two midwives each, while the other facilities visited in Birnininkudu LGA, Babura LGA have one midwife each. Kalgwai PHC in Auyo LGA has no midwife presently.

In a PHC at Gabari Ward in Hadejia LGA, despite having 30 persons working in the facility, only one midwife handles pregnancy-related emergencies.

A middle-aged woman at the facility, Zuwaira Isah, appreciates the care she receives at the facility.

“I come here every Tuesday for antenatal and we always enjoy the attention we get from the midwife in the facility. She advises us to maintain personal hygiene and do exercises.”

However, it was a different story for Sadiya Isah when she gave birth.

“When we came it was very late, they told us we have to knock on her door for her to come and attend to us. Fortunately, she came quickly and attended to me. I remain grateful to her,” she says.

The shortage is a major challenge in providing maternal care at the centre, says the officer-in-charge, Isah Haruna Muhammad.

“We have 21 permanent staff, but all in all we have 30 staff in the hospital. And out of the 30, only five are non-clinical staff. But the problem is we have only one midwife,” he said.

“We really need more midwives, so that we can be able to shift them within 24 hours. If we can get two more, we can perform better in maternal care but now we are just surviving with one.

“Sometimes at night, you can get two or three women in labour at once. So, it has never been easy for our midwife in this hospital. We have three maternity beds so three midwives can work at the same time.”

The only midwife in working at Gabari PHC in Hadejia, Jigawa state

 

Three maternity beds mean three midwives can work side by side, but only Abdussalam Fatima Batulu does it.

“The issue we have here is that it is not quite easy for me as the only midwife working here. Sometimes it’s crowded. If we can get another midwife to work together in the hospital, it would be better in managing maternity emergencies,” said Batulu.

“At least we need additional two midwives or even more because sometimes I will have two patients at the same time. So, it’s difficult for me to give them the maximum care they require, but when we are two or more we can easily handle it.”

At the Kofar Arewa PHC in Hadejia, obstetric care at the facility is 24 hours, with two midwives working shifts to cover day and night, Maryam Muhammed who gave birth to a baby boy at the facility said she is satisfied with the way she was treated at the facility.

“At any time, the midwives come and check on us. Even before I came for delivery, at any hour we come, we always meet them at the hospital,” Maryam said.

Hadiza Sani, a midwife at the Kofar Arewa PHC, is paid N60,000 monthly to work shifts with colleagues.

“In a month we can have at least 150 to 160 births and we work day and night. The births are many and we are only two in the facility, although other staff assists us in ensuring smooth delivery, we need more midwives in this facility,” she said.

Musa Ahmad the in-charge of the facility said at the moment he has 25 staff working, but lamented the shortage of midwives due to the number of clients in the hospital.

According to him, the facility receives “not only clients from Gagulmari ward but also clients from [other LGAs of] Malam Madori and some parts of Kirikasamma.

At the Dunari Primary Health Clinic in Malam Madori LGA, the story is similar—the shortage has made round-the-clock care impossible.

“The only challenge we have in this facility is the shortage of staff. At present we have only five staff. Four clinical and one non-clinical. When you are talking about maternal care in this facility, we can say it is going halfway. Because we have only one midwife,” said the officer-in-charge Adamu Muhammad.

“We are supposed to be operating for twenty-four hours every day, but we can’t. The only advantage is that the midwife we have is living close to the hospital, so even at night, the watchman calls her if there is an emergency.”

By its own estimation, the hospital would need three midwives, said Muhammad.

“Then we can shift them within 24 hours. The most senior among them will work the morning hours, while the two others can switch afternoon and night shifts.”

In Kangire Ward in Birninkudu LGA, the health facility has one midwife who provides maternal services during the day. At night, she is called upon when there is an emergency. An on-site residence is provided to her within the vicinity of the hospital.

Miss Kolo Faith, the only midwife in the facility, who is paid N50,000 monthly, said her major challenge is the fact that she is the only one working at the facility, which means she is always on call.

“I applied through the local government when a vacancy was advertised, and I have been working for two years now,” she said.

At Kalgwai Facility in Auyo LGA, there is no midwife to provide the required maternal care, which necessitates women in need of the services to seek an alternative at the local government headquarters.

According to Aliyu Muhammad, a father of two,  due to the bad shape in which the accommodation set aside for midwives is in, “any midwife sent to the facility did not stay, and at the moment there is no midwife at the facility to provide care for pregnant women.”

The Ward Development Committee chairman, Alhaji Usman Magaji, also confirmed that the health facility has no midwife to provide the required obstetric services at the facility, but a community health extension worker comes to the facility during the day to provide antenatal care.

“Our problem is that we don’t have a midwife. If at least we can get one to stay here permanently we would appreciate it,” he said.

The MSS and Government’s Effort to Bridge Manpower Gap

To resolve the dearth of staff in the facilities, the state government adopted the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS), a federal government program that began in 2009 and ended in 2015. Since then, the state government has established two more midwifery training schools to bridge the gap in manpower.

The Millennium Development Goal-Debt Relief Gains (MDG-DRG) account is used to fund the MSS, which is managed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

By hiring and deploying newly qualified, unemployed, and retired midwives and outfitting clinics to provide basic emergency obstetric care, the program addresses the lack of experienced obstetric care providers and the poor access to basic emergency skilled birth attendants.

The Federal Government recruited midwives for the program, and after training them, they are sent to specific PHC clinics in rural areas where they are needed. Midwives who were hired have recently graduated from midwifery schools around Nigeria as well as retired or unemployed midwives.

With remuneration for services rendered within the MSS in addition to any ongoing pension income, retired midwives who were still able to work may have had an added incentive to sign up for the program. The midwives were sent to each MSS PHC facility in groups of four to guarantee that 24-hour obstetric care was available.

Additionally, CHEWs were sought out and sent in pairs to every MSS facility to assist the midwives and take part in community mobilization. The government assisted communities with MSS facilities in establishing community health committees that served as a link between the facility and the neighbourhood.

Each local council chosen to take part in the scheme had four MSS facilities located there. Similar to a hub-and-spoke system, these four facilities were connected to a secondary care facility (a General Hospital) to handle referrals from the MSS facilities.

Jigawa State under the programme got 119 midwives and 65 CHEWs, and the government provided them with monthly allowances of N20,000 and N30,000, respectively, as part of the same service programme until its end.

Jigawa’s response to the end of the MSS was to absorb midwives on its payroll as part of its regular health workforce.

Jigawa is looking to achieve a staffing rate of at least two midwives in each primary health centre, alongside the federal government’s ongoing plans to revitalize 10,000 health facilities.

“At present, we have at least one midwife in all our primary health centres across the state but our target is to have two in each of the facilities so that we can operate for twenty-four hours,” said the Executive Secretary of Jigawa state Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Kabir Ibrahim.

“So far, we have 350 midwives and what we require to achieve our target is 560 and very soon we would recruit more. If there is any facility without a midwife, it is because of lack of accommodation and we are working to see we provide good accommodation for them in those places.”

Among the 350, the state ministry of health is responsible for the payment of salaries of 130 midwives, while the local governments are paying the salaries of 119 midwives, noted Kabir

Also, under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, 75 midwives have been recruited. GAVI Vaccine Alliance is supporting the state with the recruitment of 357 midwives and already 120 have been engaged,” he added.

Deputy Governor of Jigawa State also had this to say: “Umar Namadi  “When that programme terminated, we saw the importance of the midwives and the impact they had on maternal care in the state, and the state Governor Badaru Abubakar instructed that they should be retained and the state government continues to pay them their salaries.”

But the state still needs more.

“Unfortunately, or fortunately we have attained the status of one health facility per ward. That means we are supposed to have 287 primary health care facilities.  However, we have 279 PHCs. This is because some wards are very close to one another, so one PHC can serve two wards in some places,” he said.

“This is a huge number, and you need manpower to manage this. That is why the state government under the leadership of the state government established additional nursing and midwifery school in Hadejia and this is in addition to the one we have in Birninkudu. And also established a school of midwifery in Babura local government area of the state.”

 

This report is published with support from the International Budget Partnership IBP and the International Centre of investigative Reporting, ICIR.

2023: I Have Not Withdrawn From Presidential Race – Tinubu Shares Workout Video

 

Amid questions about his health status, the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, says he is fit to run for the office. 

The ex-Lagos governor who shared a workout video on his Twitter handle Sunday denied reports that he has withdrawn from the race.

“Many have said I have died; others claim I have withdrawn from the presidential campaign,” the APC candidate tweeted on his verified handle.

“Well… Nope. This is the reality: I am strong, I am healthy and I am READY to serve Nigerians from Day One,” he added.

READ ALSO: [2023 Polls] Nigerians Can Trust PDP Again – Atiku

There have been concerns about the health status of Tinubu, with many Nigerians questioning his capacity for the nation’s top job.

In recent times, Tinubu has not been seen in political gatherings, particularly at the signing of a peace accord by presidential candidates ahead of next year’s exercise.

While other candidates gathered at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, he sent his running mate, Kashim Shettima, to represent him. The development triggered reactions and pushed #WhereIsTinubu to the top trends on social media last Wednesday.

In August, the former Borno State governor also represented him at the NBA conference.

While reacting to comments about Tinubu’s whereabouts, a member of the APC  Presidential Campaign Council, Ayo Oyalowo, said the party’s flagbearer is resting in London, UK.

Nigeria Re-Elected Into ICAO Council

A file photo of the Minister of Aviation. Photo: [email protected]

 

Nigeria has been re-elected as a Part-II member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council for a new three-year term.

James Odaudu, the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, saying Nigeria garnered 149 votes to be elected for the 15th consecutive time.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Re-Elected Into ICAO Council

The re-election, he said, took place at the plenary session of the ongoing 41st General Assembly of the organisation in Montreal, Canada.

In his reaction, the Minister of Aviation said the increased number of countries that supported Nigeria showed its rising profile amongst member nations.

Sirika, who is the leader of the Nigerian delegation at the Assembly, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the aviation sector which he said has translated into the numerous achievements being celebrated by the global aviation community.

The Minister described the election as the icing on the birthday cake for Nigeria, having taken place on its Independence Anniversary day.

Also speaking on the re-election of Nigeria into Part 2 of the ICAO Council, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador Adeyinka Asekun, congratulated Sirika and all those whose contributions resulted in the achievement.

He said it was a thing of pride for him as an individual and the High Commissioner to be part of the double celebration for the nation, the election, and the Independence Anniversary happening on the same day.

As part of the celebrations of the country’s Independence, the Nigerian Mission, led by the Minister, hosted delegates from all the countries at the Assembly to a reception.

Nigeria Will Be Safer Before Buhari Leaves Office – Chief Of Staff

 

Nigeria will be a safer and more secure country before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office on May 29, 2023.

This is according to the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who spoke on Sunday at the 20th convocation lecture of the graduating cadets of regular course 69 of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House while receiving members of the Nigeria Medical Association On August 9, 2022.
President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House on August 9, 2022. Sunday Aghaeze/State House

 

Gambari reiterated his principal’s commitment to tackling the menace of banditry, terrorism, and other violent crimes ravaging different parts of the country. According to him, the President is consistently supporting the nation’s armed forces with the necessary and most sophisticated equipment to enable them to perform their constitutional duties effectively.

READ ALSO: I Share Your Pains, Buhari Tells Nigerians In Last Independence Day Address

“It is on record that he has provided the military with sophisticated equipment with which to perform their duty,” he said.

“By the end of his tenure around May next year, Nigeria will (be) a safer, more secured country than when he assumed office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic.”

While saluting the military for displaying professionalism in defending the nation’s territorial integrity, Gambari said the Federal Government has taken the welfare of personnel a priority.

He equally said the Commander-in-Chief is more concerned about the security of Nigerians, adding that the deployment of ICT has helped the military in confronting some security challenges.

National security, the President’s aide, said is a collective responsibility and as such, Nigerians should not just leave the matter to security agencies.

Gambari’s remarks come a day after President Buhari said his administration has taken steps to address the security challenges across the country.

In his last Independence Day Anniversary address on Saturday, Buhari said he has made “appreciable progress” in core areas of economy and security since he assumed office in May 2015.

He also identified with the pains of millions of Nigerians, assuring them that their resilience and patience would not be in vain.

“As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at the inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

“I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges,” the President said.

UFC Vegas 61: Yusuff Submits Shainis In Second Fastest Time

Nigerian mixed martial artist, Sodiq Yusuff

 

Nigerian mixed martial artist, Sodiq Yusuff has made a stunning return to the octagon with a quick-fire submission of Don Shainis at the UFC fight night in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Lagos-born fighter was originally supposed to face former contender Giga Chikadze in the co-main event of UFC fight night 210 on September 17th before Chikadze withdrew for undisclosed reasons.

Yusuff was the big favourite on the entire UFC Vegas 61 fight card, and he showed why by taking just 30 seconds into the opening round to submit his opponent via a guillotine choke.

READ ALSO: Indonesia Authorities Confirm At Least 125 Deaths In Football Stadium Stampede

Both fighters clinched up at the start of the fight, with Yusuff burying multiple knees into the midsection of his short-notice replacement opponent and when Shainis changed levels, Yusuff swiftly locked up a front-naked choke to secure the tap.

“I was expecting a much higher-ranked fight,” Yusuf said afterwards. “I’ve had a lot of pauses in my career that was out of my hand, high risk, low reward, but fighter’s fight. I knew I was going to be able to find shots coming up the middle but don’t sleep on my jiu-jitsu.”

It is the second fastest submission in featherweight history behind Chas Skelly with his 19-second submission of Maximo Blanco.

Following his 6th win in the UFC, Yusuff called out ‘the Korean zombie’ “Chan Sung Jung” for a bout in January.

“I would love to meet up with ‘the Korean zombie’,” Yusuff shouted. “Korean zombie we could do this in January, it would be awesome.”

Yusuff now has a 13-2 mixed martial arts record, including 6 wins and a loss (vs Arnold Allen on April 10th, 2021) in the ultimate fighting championship.

Prior to his latest win, the 29-year-old who is ranked 12th in the UFC featherweight division last competed in March when he returned to winning ways with a unanimous decision victory over Alex Caceres.

His other notable victories in the UFC include Andre Fili at the UFC 246 on January 18th, 2020 and Gabriel Benitez at UFC 241 on August 17th, 2019.

2023: North Won’t Vote Along Ethnic, Religious Lines Like In 2015 – CNG

Spokesman of the Coalition of Northern Group, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, speaks in Kaduna State on October 2, 2022.

 

With the 2023 general elections barely four months away, the Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), has said the northern region will not vote along ethnic lines as it did in 2015.

Spokesman of the Coalition, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated this on Sunday in Kaduna State at a sensitization conference with the theme, “Politics of Sentiment, a Critical Factor Militating Development and Democracy in Nigeria”.

READ ALSO: 2023: I Have Not Withdrawn From Presidential Race – Tinubu Shares Workout Video

He said that those the northerners trusted with power have inadvertently isolated the region politically, economically, and socially as a result of which the once potent and progressive region is today begging not only for food but for a place in the nation’s future political arrangement. The CNG spokesman berated greedy politicians for misusing their offices at the expense of the Nigerian people.

“The CNG is today urging you to be less reliant on divisive political party propaganda and empty promises that have never and will never be kept,” he said.

“If the prize of voting along religious, ethnic or sectional sentiments is to become the most wretched, the most distressed, divided and most deprived, the north must therefore sincerely begin to ask itself if that price is worth paying.”

According to him, the northern region closed ranks for the first time and voted for leaders in 2015, with the hope that they would tackle security and fix the economy.

Regretting that the region made a mistake then, he lamented that the leaders trusted with power neglected the northern people.

50-Year-Old Man Dies In Lagos Fire Tragedy

Fire officials battle a fire incident in Bariga, Lagos State on October 2, 2022. Credit: Lagos Fire Service

 

Tragedy struck in the Bariga area of Lagos State as a fire razed 10 rooms in a bungalow building in the early hours of Sunday, killing a 50-year-old man.

According to emergency officials, the incident happened at 48, Jagunmolu Street, Bariga around 12:31 am.

The Director, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Margaret Adeseye, confirmed the incident to Channels Television in a statement on Sunday, saying firefighters were quickly mobilised to the scenes.

She equally confirmed another fire incident in the Shomolu area involving four rooms and three shops in a bungalow building consisting of eight rooms and four shops.

READ ALSO: Indonesia Authorities Confirm At Least 125 Deaths In Football Stadium Stampede

Adeseye stated that information got to them of the Bariga incident after firefighters concluded quenching the Shomolu inferno.

 

According to her, the Ilupeju and Isolo fire crews that both responded to the two separate emergencies met them well alight and lamented delayed calls as the fire had wreaked havoc before they were alerted to salvage the situations.

“It was, however, unfortunate that a male adult of about 50 years of age was recovered and handed over to the State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit at Bariga while that of Somolu does not involve any loss of life or injury,” she said.

See the full statement below:

Lagos Firefighters Combated Two Fires  Overnight

The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service @LagosRescue overnight, Saturday combated two Fires in the Bariga and Somolu areas of the State.

The first of the emergency was notified at 00:31 hours, Sunday to 19, Apata Street, Shomolu while the other was reported at 03:19 hours to 48, Jagunmolu Street, Bariga just as the former Firefighting was concluded.

The Shomolu incident involved four rooms and three shops in a bungalow building consisting of eight rooms and four shops while the Bariga Fire involved 10 rooms in a bungalow building consisting of 25 rooms and 18 shops.

The Ilupeju and Isolo Fire Crew(s) that both responded to the two separate emergencies met them well alight and lamented delayed calls as Fire had wreaked havoc before they were alerted to salvage the situations.

The preliminary investigation revealed negligence as the undercurrent causes of both Fires which led to an electrical upsurge as a reported shock was witnessed at Shomolu before the arrival of the Firefighters.

It was, however, unfortunate that a male adult of about 50 years of age was recovered and handed over to the State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit at Bariga while that of Somolu does not involved any loss of life or injury.

 

Adeseye Margaret

Director,

Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service

October 2, 2022

Men Allegedly Inject Children For Begging, Arrested In Lagos

The suspects were arrested in Lagos for child labour. Credit: Lagos State Police Command.

 

Four men have been arrested in the Kirikiri area of Lagos State for allegedly injecting substances with the sole aim of turning them into beggars.

Upon injection, the children’s stomachs will swell outrageously, a situation that will make the suspects parade them in road traffic as critically sick.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest on his Twitter handle.

READ ALSO: Adeboye Laments Incessant National Grid Collapse, Rising Flight Tickets

“These men get minors from villages, get a medical doctor to allegedly inject them with substances that make their stomach swell outrageously, and parade them in road traffic as critically sick, to get alms from motorists. An investigation is ongoing,” he said, accompanying a picture of the suspects.

The suspects, ranging from 18 to 24 years, are detained in the Festac police station.

According to the police spokesman, the suspects are Uchenna Eze (who is the manager), Onyedikachukwu Isiala, Ikechukwu Kingsley, and Smart Alasuomu.

 

It was gathered that a medical doctor provided injections that were given to the children to make their stomachs swell.

While noting that the investigation into the matter is ongoing, the police spokesman urged Nigerians to be careful about who they handed over their children.

A few months ago, the Lagos State Government said it had set up a team to curb street begging and hawking in the state.

The Lagos Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Olusegun Dawodu, in August 2023, said the special team was set up with the support of the Lagos police command.

Decomposed Bodies Of Two Ladies Recovered In Kwara CMD’s Office

Kwara is a state in Western Nigeria
Kwara is a state in the north-central region of Nigeria.

 

Two decomposed bodies have been recovered in the office of the chief medical director of a government hospital in Kwara State.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the Kwara State Command, Okasanmi Ajayi, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

He said one of the decomposed female bodies was found buried underground inside his office while the other was in a trash bin.

The spokesman identified the suspect as the Chief Medical Director of Kiama General Hospital, Kiama, in the Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State, Dr Adio Adeyemi Adebowale.

READ ALSO: 50-Year-Old Man Dies In Lagos Fire Tragedy

“The CP immediately ordered the setting up of a high-powered investigation team led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the State CID to unravel the mystery surrounding the kidnap case and other unresolved cases before his assumption of office,” the statement read.

“Based on the CP’s order, an investigation into the cases began yesterday 30/9/2022.”

It was gathered that Adebowale, who is also a homicide suspect in Edo State was invited to the state police command and is now facing prosecution in Kwara State.

Upon interrogation, the suspect said he killed the victim – Ifeoluwa – identified as his girlfriend and dumped her in a bush in Alapa in Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State before it was later traced to his office.

The police spokesman stated that a series of investigations led operatives to the suspect’s office in Kaima General Hospital.

On getting there, police personnel found the office tiles to be freshly done and suspected foul play, a situation that led to the removal of the tiles.

The police investigation team and members of the community present were shocked to find the decomposed body of the CMD’s former girlfriend, Ifeoluwa, buried underground after the tiles were removed.

Items recovered from the doctor’s office include two handsets found in the handbag of one of the ladies – all found in the drawer.

Also discovered in the office were two female handbags, a female wig, a veil, and female pants.

Channels Television gathered that Ifeoluwa was declared missing by her relatives in the Tanke area of Ilorin, Kwara State since November last year before he was discovered buried inside the former CMD’s office.

The second victim, Nofisat Halidu – found inside the trash bin –  was also declared missing by her husband, Mr Halidu, in Kaima since November 22, 2021.

US Hails Nigeria On 62nd Independence Anniversary, Pledges Support Against Terrorism

A photo collage of President Buhari and Blinken.

 

The United States of America pledged to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, insecurity, and as well as free and fair elections.

US Secretary, Antony Blinken, made the pledge in  a statement on Saturday where he joined Nigerians to celebrate the country’s 62nd Independence Day.

According to him, the partnership between both countries was built on shared values of democracy, diversity, and a spirit of entrepreneurship.

“On behalf of the USA, I extend best wishes to the people of Nigeria on the 62nd anniversary of their independence,” the statement read.

“The partnership between our two countries is strong and is built on our shared values of democracy, diversity, and a spirit of entrepreneurship.

“The US is committed to supporting Nigerian efforts to counter terrorism and insecurity, improve health systems, strengthen democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights, and bolster economic growth including through bilateral trade and investment between the US and Nigeria.

“We stand with Nigeria as a democratic partner in supporting free and fair elections and value Nigeria’s leadership on global and regional issues including the fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to expanding our relationship over the coming year and advancing our mutual interests. The US joins in your celebration and extends our sincerest congratulations.”

 

Budget Chief Decries Waste In Govt, Advocates Petrol Subsidy Review

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, has decried what he described as waste in government, advocating for the review of the fuel subsidy.

Akabueze, who spoke during an interview on Channels Forum, a Channels Television special to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary, said the government’s spending on subsidies has been gulping a lot of resources after the personnel cost and debt servicing.

READ ALSO: Petrol Will Cost ₦462/Litre Without Subsidy, Says NNPCL

He advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to prioritise on its spending while cutting down on some unnecessary waste.

The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, speaks on Channels Forum, a Channels Television special to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary on October 1, 2022.

 

“We need to take a hard look at the petrol subsidy that is the single largest item of expenditure after personnel cost and debt service for the Federal Government,” Akabueze said.

“There are some wastes that we still need to cut. We need to do the job of prioritising how we spend the limited resources that are available.”

He also denied insinuations that the government is spending too much money, saying the current administration needs to explore more ways of generating revenue.

According to Akabueze, the country’s infrastructure faces a significant deficit, with many public services suffering.

“Our problem is not that the government is spending too much money. The truth is that the government is not spending enough money and the numbers are there to show.

“The public expenditure to GDP ratio is at the bottom even on the African continent and that is why public services are suffering whether in health or education. The infrastructure faces a significant deficit. It is however correct that we can be more efficient in our expenditure,” the accountant added.

Akabueze’s comments come a month after Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, presented the government’s proposal of spending N3.36 trillion on petrol subsidy in 2023.

Zainab who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance in Abuja on August 29, reiterated petrol subsidy will remain in place until mid-2023.

She explained the Federal Government is proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 financial year, with a projected deficit of N11.30 trillion.

80,000 Boko Haram Ex-Fighters Are In Our Custody – Major General Musa

Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Chris Musa, speaks to Channels Television on October 1, 2022.

 

 

The Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Chris Musa, on Saturday said about 80,000 ex-Boko Haram terrorists are in military custody.

He stated this during an interview on Channels Forum, a Channels Television special to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary.

READ ALSO: I Share Your Pains, Buhari Tells Nigerians In Last Independence Day Address

“80,000 now,” he said in response to the number of Boko Haram ex-fighters and their family members that have surrendered and are in military custody.

The figure, he stated, is 30,000 more than the initial 50,000 former insurgents that gave up their arms to turn a new leaf last year.

 

 

“The strategy now is an all-government activity, the military, Operation Hadin Kai working together with the state government,” Musa who appeared on the programme via Zoom in Maiduguri stated.

“When the terrorist comes out from the bush, he reports to the closet unit. The commander takes him with his men, and then he is profiled and disarmed.

“The state government provides the transport that they take them into Maiduguri where we have three camps. The fourth camp is being constructed. We are not the ones directly in charge of the administration and management. The state government takes care of all of them.”

‘Chibok Is Free’

Chibok, a Christian community in Borno State, made global headlines in 2014 when the Boko Haram terrorists stormed a secondary school in the area.

The affected school – Government Girls Secondary School – saw at least 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorists on April 14, while the students were writing their final examinations.

Although scores of them have been rescued by the military, about 100 of the victims have remained in captivity with residents of the area, including farmers living in fear of being attacked by the dreaded terrorists in the years that followed.

But Major General Musa said the military, in collaboration with other security agencies, has liberated the community from the insurgents. He explained that about 97 schoolgirls are still missing, with efforts in top gear to rescue them.

“Chibok is back freely, Chibok is free. People are back to their farms and we are sure of getting a bumper harvest this time around.

“This year we have been able to rescue about 10 Chibok girls. We are making sure that we put in much effort to recover all the girls. As of the last count, we have about 98 of them. With the last one, there are 97 still unaccounted for. Sure with our operations, we are going to get those ones we can get out,” he added.