The Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has emphasised the need for Nigeria to focus on human capital development, saying it lies at the heart of any hopes for peace and security.
Dr Uduaghan on Tuesday told a gathering of UK Parliamentarians and Nigerians in the diaspora at House of Parliament, Westminster London, that Nigeria’s plans to diversify the economy must be intensified with a special focus on entrepreneurship and infrastructure.
At the British-African Diaspora Conference hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Nigeria, Governor Uduaghan admitted the perennial problems of development deficits in Nigeria but, expressed belief that sustained efforts at implementing a non-oil economic plan was the way to go.
Commenting on the level of unemployment in Nigeria, the governor said that the Nigeria Immigration Service employment exercise that claimed lives in Nigeria was a wake-up call to the endemic challenge of unemployment.
He further stressed the need for the Nigerian government to develop other sectors of the economy with funds generated from crude oil sales.
At the gathering, parliamentarians and Nigerians were keen to hear from top government officials new developments in Africa’s most populous nation beyond the politics and security reports dominating the scene.
The Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wamako, appealed to Nigerians in the diaspora for support in nation building, assuring them of an enabling environment.
These events create platforms of dialogue between key players in Nigeria and the international community for improved economic relations.
Medical doctors from all the 36 states of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, shall storm the city of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, for the maiden Nigerian Medical Doctors’ Games’ billed to hold from February 16 to 22, 2014.
The National Games was introduced by the current leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, aspart of the overall strategy to promote quality healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
According to a statement signed by the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, the NMA aims to ensure that medical doctors and dentists remain physically, mentally and medically fit, with improved health status and life expectancy, by indulging in sports and practicing what they preach to their patients.
The Games is expected to attract over 1,000 medical doctors and shall feature Football, Tennis (male and female), Table Tennis (male and female), Basketball (male and female), Badminton (male and female) Scrabble (male and female), Chess (male and female) and Draught (male).
The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, is expected as Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Godswill Akpabio as Chief Host, and the Executive Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan as Special Guest of Honour.
The zonal play-offs to choose representatives from the six geo-political zones, Lagos and the host chapter, Akwa Ibom have been held, with all eyes now focused on the finals of the Games in Uyo.
The Games has also been identified as one with lots of opportunities to discover athletes and talents that could help improve the performances of Nigeria’s various national teams.
Dr. Enabulele, therefore, invited local and foreign scouts and coaches, including the Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, to come over to Uyo to discover abundant talents for Nigeria’s various national teams.
He also called on corporate Nigeria and governments at all levels to partner with the NMA in the organization of the Games, as it is expected to eventually transform into a West African Medical Doctors’ Games, with improved level of cooperation amongst doctors in the West African sub-region.
The Delta State University Teaching Hospital on Monday carried out its first kidney transplant.
Surgeons and Nephrologists from the hospital in collaboration with a medical team from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the United States of America operated on both the donor and recipient.
The partnership also covers training of the renal team in the Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DSUTH).
The state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, witnessed the first successful kidney transplant in the state.
Governor Uduaghan said that the exercise was aimed at reducing health tourism in the state and in Nigeria.
“Kidney cases are becoming very rampant and a lot of Nigerians go outside Nigeria for treatment for such cases. The significance of what we are doing here is that it makes it cheaper for the patients. Averagely, from what I have discussed with the managing director of the hospital, it will cost about 1.5 to 2 million Naira for the full treatment.
“We know that going outside, India, which is the cheapest, will cost up to 6 to 8 million Naira. So if we are able to hit it at 2 million Naira it will be cheaper for our patients,” Dr. Uduaghan said.
In the collaboration exercise that lasted for about two and a half hours, the recipient, a 23 year-old patient received a kidney donated by his mother.
The Lead Transplant Surgeon, Juan Arenas, said that the patient should be able to go home two days after the surgery.
“The patient should be able to go home by Wednesday. But if the patient is a little more involved, where surgery takes close to three hours, the patient has to be monitored for about a week in the hospital, to make sure the kidney is functioning well and that the drug levels are adequate.” Dr. Arenas said.
With the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, joining a list of the few public hospitals that provide kidney transplant services in Nigeria, patients who may be thinking of traveling abroad now have home-made options.
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is one of the leading medical education and biomedical research institutions in the United States.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has suspended its impending industrial action scheduled to commence on Monday, January 6, 2014.
The Association made this declaration to the media at the end of its emergency National Executive Council (E-NEC) meeting held in Abuja on Saturday, January 4, 2014, to reappraise the efforts made so far to resolve their demands.
The NEC, while noting the several appeals made by Nigerians and the media for more time to be given by NMA for dialogue with government, also noted the efforts and the personal commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government of Nigeria to address some of the demands of the association.
In a statement signed by the President, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, the association directed all medical and dental practitioners nationwide to “continue to render their normal and highly cherished services to the lovely and caring people of Nigeria.”
The statement reads: “The National Executive Council of the Nigerian Medical Association has resolved to suspend for now her earlier directive to all medical and dental practitioners in Nigeria to withdraw their services from Monday, January 6, 2014 to allow for full implementation of all the elements of the MOU within the government set time lines.”
The said Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was reached at the end of the meeting held on Thursday, January 2, 2014 between the Nigerian Medical Association and the Federal Government, wherein appeals were made to the NMA by government for more time for the resolution of outstanding demands.
The statement also highlighted as being behind their decision, some welcome developments in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached between the NMA and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
These include the decision by the Federal Government to “redress the gross injustice done to doctors, establishment of a Hospital Development and Intervention Fund (HDIF) for health infrastructural upgrade, appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation, and expansion of Universal Health Coverage.”
The doctors’ body embarked on a 5-day warning strike from Wednesday, December 18 to Sunday, December 22, 2013, with a further declaration to proceed on a total strike from Monday January 6, 2014 if their demands before the Federal Government of Nigeria were not addressed.
Their demands bothered amongst others on the absence of a regulatory environment for practice in the healthcare sector, funding of healthcare in Nigeria and expansion of Universal Health Coverage to cover all Nigerians, health infrastructural upgrade, fundamental injustices done to doctors in terms of workplace conditions/conditions of service, and other health sector challenges.
There are indications that the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, may not go ahead with its planned strike, following a meeting between the officials of the association and some top government officials.
Rising from a 9-hour meeting in Abuja, the Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, said that the Federal Government had fruitful discussions with officials of the Nigerian Medical Association and that the planned strike was no longer necessary.
“The purpose of the meeting is to avert the other strike which they (NMA) have given notice (of), and we held a successful meeting from yesterday up till this morning.”
The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, also corroborated the claims: “The resolutions were mutually accepted, and they promised to talk to their members with a view to averting the strike. We hope that will come to past.”
The NMA President, Doctor Osahon Enabulele, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, said that the organisation has indeed reached some understanding with the government.
He added that the government’s positions were subject to its members’ consideration, as the issues discussed at the closed door meeting would be presented before the emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the association.
The NMA had embarked on a 5-day warning strike in December 2013 to protest issues bothering on some health sector challenges, workplace condition of service for doctors and funding infrastructure and equipment upgrade of the nation’s health sector.
Uduaghan On Strike
Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, who also attended the meeting, said that the Federal Government would not allow the proposed strike by the Nigerian Medical Association to hold.
Speaking to Channels Television’s State House Correspondent shortly after holding the consultative meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the presidential villa, the Governor said that President Jonathan had just constituted a strong negotiating team from the government’s side to meet with the national officers of the NMA, with a view to halting the looming nationwide strike.
He said that President Jonathan had looked at the issues raised by the doctors, adding that they were going to hold another meeting with the doctors’ leadership.
According to him, it is the determination of government to ensure that the strike scheduled for January 6, is averted.
The Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the concluded Delta Central Senatorial election, Mr O’tega Emerhor, has called on the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to exercise full control on its ad-hoc staff to ensure transparency in the electoral process.
Speaking on Sunday on a Channels Television Programme, ‘Politics Today,’ Mr Emerhor insisted that there were irregularities in the election won by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Emmanuel Aguariavwodo.
” October 12 election was unbelievable. I have released a statement and the same has been adopted by my party in respect of what transpired as captured by our agents,” he said.
“There was military shut down. This prevented people from being able to cast their votes as they should.”
He stated that INEC had out-sourced its role to ad-hoc staff it cannot control and that it had resulted in indiscipline.
“We need an INEC that has integrity. They should use their own staff to organise elections to ensure that the process is not hijacked. If they are using ad-hoc staff, they should discipline them. Until they position themselves to be truthful and follow the right process in conducting an election, there will not be a credible election,” he emphasised.
He stressed that the security agents role during an election should be to provide a level playing ground.
” It is their responsibility and they cannot be compelled to do otherwise. INEC should determine if the security agents provide a level playing field as supposed, the APC candidate said.
Addressing reporters after the Senatorial election, the governor of the State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of the PDP pointed out that there were no reports of violence during the election. He said that the securities were only concerned with providing security during the election.
INEC says the election was free and fair but Mr Emerhor also insisted that INEC was only interested in its image and not on the credibility of the election.
The APC has also hinted of its readiness to contend the result of the election.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Tabiu Kwankwaso; Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi are too receive Zik prize for Leadership award.
Dr Fayemi will the picking the award for good governance category in recognition of his transformational leadership style which has impacted positively on the lives of the people of Ekiti State.
Other recipients of this year’s prize are: Managing Director Fidelity Bank, Reginald Ihejiahi, Minister of Housing, Ama Pepple and former Managing Director Nigerian Breweris, Festus Odimegwu.
The Zik prize for Leadership named after Nigeria’s firts President, Nnamdi Azikwe, will hold at the Civic Center, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
It will be chaired by Chief Sunny Odogwu with the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu- Gambari as Royal Father of the Day.
The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) during Delta state governorship election in April 2011, Mr Great Ogboru, challenging the election of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan as Governor of the state.
Delivering judgment on the suit, Justice Suleman Galadima who led a panel of four justices said the application by Mr Ogboru amounts to a gross abuse of court processes which is capable of setting a dangerous precedence for the legal profession.
The court therefore awarded a cost of N150,000 against Ogboru.
The DPP’s candidate had approached the court seeking for an order to set aside the March 21, 2012 judgment, which affirmed Emmanuel Uduaghan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election.
Some members of the Nigerian Governors Forum have rejected the re-election of Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers as the Chairman of the forum. After a three hour meeting, the Director-General of the Governors Forum, A.B. Okauru announced the result of the elections, which showed that Governor Amaechi scored 19 votes, against 16 votes scored by his opponent and Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang. But some members of the forum led by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa-Ibom state rejected the result and described the election as a sham.
Addressing reporters after the election, Governor Akpabio claimed the ballot papers were not serialized and that Mr Amaechi did not step down prior to the election.
Governor Akpabio and 18 other governors in attendance at a meeting of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governors had taken a resolution proclaiming their support for Mr Jang as the new Chairman of the Forum. The document was also signed by at least two opposition governors, Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe (All Nigeria Peoples Party); and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State (Labour Party). Mr Akpabio claimed it was inconceivable that after voting, the outcome would be in favour of Mr Amaechi.
In the resolution of the 19 governors that Mr. Akpabio also presented before the NGF meeting, they stated that: “We the undersigned Governors of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum having taken cognizance of the state of the nation and the perception of the Nigerian people, do herby resolve as follows:
1. That we thank the out-going Chairman, His Excellency, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State for his leadership and achievement.
2. That we strongly agree for a change of leadership of the Forum from May 2013 to May 2015.
3. We hereby, therefore elect His Excellency Jonah Jang of Plateau State as the new Chairman of the Forum.”
The signatories included Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe); Serike Dickson (Bayelsa); Garba Umar (Taraba); Gabriel Suawan (Benue); Peter Obi (Anambra); Idris Wada (Kogi); Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Jonah Jang (Plateau); Mukhtar Yero (Kaduna); Sullivan Chime (Enugu); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Isa Yuguda (Bauchi); Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); T. A. Orji (Abia); Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe); Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Abdul Ahmed (Kwara).
Mr Amaechi insisted that despite the majority signatories (19 out of Nigeria’s 36 governors), the elections should still proceed; apparently knowing that not all the 19 would vote for Mr. Jang.
In his post-election speech, Mr. Amaechi thanked the governors for upholding democracy, reassuring the people of the commitment of the Forum under his leadership to support President Goodluck Jonathan “realize the development dream of all Nigerians by reducing tension, uncertainty and insecurity in our beloved country.”
“Today our democracy was tested and proven,” Governor Amaechi said. “Democracy is about participation. The aim of democratic governance is for everyone to partake in winning. Today the governors have spoken with one voice reaffirming our faith in democratic governance as the hope of Nigeria’s future. I must thank my colleagues for their tenacity and determination to ensure the unity of the forum but more importantly of our nation.
“We remain committed to supporting our leader, the president and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to realize the development dream of all Nigerians by reducing tension, uncertainty and insecurity in our beloved country. We want to pledge our steadfastness and resolve working alongside Mr. President to better the lives of our people as we render transparent and accountable stewardship.
“Finally our thanks go to all those who have patiently endured these times especially our constituents and members of the fourth estate of the realm who have followed these elections with keen interest. We promise that we will not betray the confidence you have reposed in us.”
The United States Consul-General, Mr Jeff Hawkins and a team of other foreigners paid a courtesy visit to the delta state governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, at the new government house,Asaba.The purpose of this visit is to synergize with the state government on areas of cooperation and unity.
During the visit,the state governor, pointed out insecurity is now a thing of the past and this administration has done a lot to improve security and curb security challenges.
Hawkins, who was accompanied by two others, was on tour of the 17states the consul covers.
During the visit, the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan criticize the inclusion of the state in the United States of America’s State Department’s keep-off zones for its Americans, while soliciting the cooperation of foreign companies operating in the state.
He assured them of the safety of their staff and the protection of their properties and advised them to synergise with the state government in the area of security and provision of employment and business opportunities in their host communities.
Dr Uduaghan further stated that criminal activities in the state have drastically reduced because of the different strategies put on ground to promote security in the state.
The Governor also assured the team that his administration was ready to work with them to ensure that the security challenges faced in the state becomes a thing of the past and create a conducive environment for investment.
In a brief response, Hawkins explained that he has been in Nigeria for eight months and his aim is to cover Nigeria beyond just Lagos and Abuja, he further stated that the team is in Delta State to synergise with the state government on areas of cooperation and security.
Mr Hawkins, during an interview session further described the state as very important to the interest of the United States of America especially as the hub of economic activities in Nigeria and promised to partner with the state government in areas of common interest.
The Minister of Health, Prof.C.O.Onyebuchi Chukwu has said that Nigeria loses about N480billion yearly to malaria while reiterating the ministry’s committment to fighting the deadly disease in order to achieve a “Malaria free Nigeria.”
The minister who was represented by the deputy director, Steve Uzodinma said this during the official flag off of the Long Lasting Insecticide Net (LLIN) Universal Campaign in Asaba, Delta State, by the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Malaria Control Programme.
Also speaking at the event, the National Coordinator, Dr Nnenna Ezeigwe pointed out the Nigerian LLIN Universal which started in May 2009 is to protect all Nigerians from the scourge of malaria and distribute about 64million LLINs on the basis of at least two nets to each household.
The First lady of the state, Mrs. Roli Nere Uduaghan was appointed the Net Ambassador by the Nation Malaria Control Program (NCMP), with the aim to creating a net culture amongst the citizens.
Mrs. Uduaghan who accepted the position stated that she will take the campaign around the state especially those riverine areas and educate mothers.
The state governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan who was also present at the occasion emphasized the need for citizens to keep their environment tidy as it is the only way malaria can be eliminated.
The Governor of Delta state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has promised the people of Umeh, Isoko South Local Government Area, good roads before the rainy season starts.
The Governor made this promise during an inspection tour in company of his chief of staff, Dr Festus Okubor and commissioners of project monitoring and works, to ascertain the progress of work done on a 7.6 kilometer Umeh Road, and other parts of the state.
Governor Uduaghan disclosed that in line with his commitment towards Delta Beyond Oil, economic variables were paramount for executing projects in the state.
The Umeh road project “will be completed within 18 months” he said. The project was initially delayed by floods which ravaged coastal communities in the state.
During an interview session, the state governor assured the people of Umeh and those who will make use of the road that efforts are on to complete the stone base work of the road and possibly, tar the road before the rains starts.
He also commended the people of Umeh for ensuring that the construction company’s operations were not hampered reiterating his commitment towards serving the people of the state selflessly.
Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan expressed satisfaction at the level of work done at the culvert on the Housing Complex Road, Ekpan and commended the contractor for handling the refinery road project effectively.
Addressing all present the contractor, Mr Jihad Aoun stated that asphalting of the road would be completed before May 29, 2013.
Meanwhile, it was discovered that some road side sellers had converted the newly built culvert and walkways as stalls and shops.
Dr Uduaghan ordered the immediate confiscation of items on the road.
Materials which were confiscated include a Kia Picanto with registration number, Lagos, DR 18 GGE and a Honda Accord saloon car, including vulcanizing machine, vendors stand, materials for recharge card retailers, among others were taken to the Ekpan Police Station.