FMC Calls On FG To Reconsider Retirement Age To 70

Resident Doctors Give FG 21 Days UltimatumThe gap created by the retirement of consultants in critical areas of medicine in most Federal Medical Centre in Nigeria, has been described as part of the challenges that has given rise to increase in medical trips outside the country.

Briefing newsmen in Umuahia, the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Chukwu Abali Chukwu has called on the relevant authority to reconsider 60 years retirement age for consultants with a view to extend it to 70 years to be at part, with those of their counterpart in the teaching hospitals.

One of the major need of every Nigerian is the get accessible health care delivery services, but how often is the quest met and better imagined?.

The Medical Director who highlighted some of the consequences it poses on health care delivery services, lamented that the country would be losing a lot if nothing is done to fix the gap created by the retired consultants.

“I believe that if the government is able to extend the retirement age of some critical areas in medicine, then we would not be running around looking for more hands,

“The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses are critical, I do not see why they should retire at 60 years, the anesthetic ICU doctors are critical, I do not see why they should retire at 60 years.

“If they retire earlier than they should, then the government is losing and something should be done about this retirement, because health care delivery requires expertise to bridge the gap in health sector development”.

West African Universities To Set Up Research Centre For Herbal Drugs

West African Universities, AWAU, Herbal Drugs, herbsThe Association of West African Universities (AWAU) has concluded arrangement to establish a research centre to produce internationally accepted herbal medicines.

The association says the development is targeted at catering for the health need of Africans.

The Chairman of AWAU and Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyy Ambali, made the announcement on Monday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in southwest Nigeria.

He explained that the association was established to promote African brotherhood and ensure that the peculiar needs of the black race were discussed with solutions proffered.

Professor Ambali hinted that six universities in West Africa had been saddled with the responsibility to establish the African Herbal Research Centre.

He said University of Ilorin had been selected for the research with a vice chancellor from South Africa as its director.

The academic explained further that the centre would make research into African herbal resources and come up with internationally accepted herbal drugs for the black race.

Gas Explosion Kills One, Injures Six In Yobe

Asylum Seeker, GermanyA gas explosion on Wednesday claimed one life injuring six others in Damaturu the Yobe state capital.

Eye witnesses said an Army personnel brought a pipe to be constructed for the hoisting of flags while construction work was going on, the explosive devices went off killing the welder, one army personnel and others close to the welding point.

The witness suspected that explosive devices may have been embedded in the pipe unknowingly to the security personnel by the militant group, Boko Haram.

But the Army Spokesman for the 27th Taskforce Brigade Lieutenant, George Okupe while speaking to newsmen at the scene of the explosion, confirmed the death of the welder as well as the injured Army Personnel who is currently receiving treatment at the Sani Abacha specialist’s hospital in Damaturu the state capital.

He said the cause of the explosion is yet to be known but members of the Explosive Ordinance Devices (EOD) have been deployed to the area to ensure no further explosive devices are still within the area.

The Army Spokesman also said an investigation to ascertain the cause of the explosion has since commenced.

Yobe state is located in the troubled north east geo political zone of the country and has passed through several security challenges over the years, with thousands of people losing their lives in gun battles between security forces and the insurgents while others died through explosive related cases among others.

Since the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the insurgents have been fairly subdued which had led to the restoration of relative peace in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

Today’s explosion brought a renewed fear in the minds of the residents as the sound of the explosion threw the town into another confusion, with residents trooping to the scene of the explosion as security agents besiege the area to avoid breakdown of law and order.

FG To Withdraw Subsidy On Fertiliser – Agriculture Minister

Audu-Ogbeh-FertiliserThe Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, has announced plans by the Federal Government to withdraw subsidy for fertiliser procurement in Nigeria.

The Minister explained on Thursday at a forum in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital that the government’s decision would ensure the availability of fertiliser to farmers.

He said there were plans to ensure that farmers access loans at single digit rates to meet the growing demands for agricultural produce.

The Director of USAID Nigeria, Michael Harvey, and Director of IFDC West and North African Division, Robert Groot, suggested the increased lending to farmers.

They also called on the government to ensure that members of the private sector were involved in the distribution of fertiliser.

The Speakers noted that this would provide income for farmers and ensure food security for all.

Besides all of these suggestions, leaders in the West African region are also expected to back all policies that affects fertiliser production and distribution with action.

Eid Praying Ground Attack: Saraki Denies, Kwara Govt Condemns Act

SarakiSome unidentified people hurled stones and sachet water towards the Senate President during the Eid-el Kabir prayers in Kwara State on Thursday.

Unconfirmed reports said that protesters may have been provoked by the non-payment of salaries of some workers before the Eid-el Kabir festival by the state government.

The Kwara State government had condemned the attack on dignitaries at the Ilorin Eid praying ground during Thursday’s Eid-el Kabir celebrations and had described it as absurd, barbaric and unIslamic.

In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Abdulwahaab Oba, the government accused aggrieved politicians of colluding with some local government council employees to embarrass dignitaries in the state under the pretense of protesting salary arrears at the local government level.

The administration said that it became aware of the plan about four weeks ago but continued to seek ways of resolving the salary crises at the local government level.

The statement added that government had gone out of its way to negotiate and secure bank loans to offset the arrears pending the time the federal government bailout would be released as a result of which the concerned workers would have promptly received their salaries as directed by the State Governor.

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, however, denied being pelted or booed at the Kwara Eid ground on Thursday.

In reaction to the widely-circulated report , the Senate President’s spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that Senator Saraki arrived and left the praying ground safely without any fracas.

“The Senate President arrived at the venue this morning without any incident, prayed with other Muslim faithful, including the Emir of Ilorin, His Royal Highness (HRH), Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ali Ahmad and a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alfa Belgore, among others.

“Before the Senate President left the prayer ground, he spoke to reporters who had asked him about his message for Nigerians to mark the Eid-el-Kabir.

“We want to say that nothing can be further from the truth as the Senate President was never attacked nor was there any attempt made on his life to warrant him being ‘whisked away’ as reported by a section of the media,” Mr Olaniyonu said.

Senate President Bukola Saraki Prays In Ilorin

SarakiThe Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, returned to his home in Kwara State to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.

He joined Muslims in Ilorin the state capital in the observance of the two Rakaat prayers.

There were, however, reports that some hoodlums who disguised as worshippers allegedly attacked the Senate President, a situation that prevented the Chief Imam from delivering his annual sermon just as the Emir was reported to have also abandoned his Sallah message.

Eyewitness account says the protesters were angered by the alleged inability of the state government to pay salaries of workers before the sallah celebrations, making the civil servants unable to purchase their own rams.

The Police Public Relations Officer of Kwara State Command said that the situation was promptly brought under control.

After the prayers, Dr Saraki called on Nigerians to be steadfast and not mix worshipping God with mundane things.

Eid-el-Kabir: Maiduguri Observes Peaceful Sallah

BornoMuslims in Borno State have turned to God for solution to the insurgency problem troubling the country.

Suicide bombers have made public gatherings and places of worship their soft targets, hence the banning of vehicular movement and use of animals during the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

However, hundreds of Muslim faithful, including women and children, trekked long distances and braved their way to the Eid ground in Ramat Square Maiduguri.

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said that the Eid-el-Kabir celebration calls for sober reflection on recent happenings in the country, particularly in the northeast region.

He regretted the setback terrorism has caused the nation on one hand and urged Nigerians to be magnanimous with repentant terrorists.

Lagos Deputy Governor Preaches Self-Sacrifice On Eid El-Kabir

Eid el-kabirThe Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Oluranti Adebule, joined other Muslim faithful and prominent Nigerians including the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to observe the Eid el-Kabir prayers at Dodan Barracks.

The Deputy Governor admonished Lagosians to use the occasion to reflect on the lessons of self-sacrifice and the observance of law and order.

He urged Lagosians to continue to support the state government in its effort to move the state forward.

Muslim faithful in Lagos on Thursday, joined in the Eid el-Kabir celebrations.

As early as 9AM on Thursday morning, faithful trickled in to various pr‎aying grounds across the metropolis to observe the prayers and rites.

Clerics and faithful who spoke to Channels Television said that the celebration calls for sober reflections and provides an opportunity to pray for peace and and stability in the country.

Saraki, Dogara Urge Muslims To Imbibe Spirit Of Love

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara

The leadership of the National Assembly have also been felicitating with Muslim faithful on this year’s celebration .

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki is urging Nigerians to make the fear of God the foundation for their lives.

Dr. Saraki in a goodwill message to Nigerians, especially the Muslim faithful, says that the Eid-el-Kabir festival symbolises the fear of Allah and the desire of man to always comply with the wish of his creator as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim.

He is asking Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, tolerance and mutual respect adding that these virtues are the panacea to move the nation forward.

His counterpart in the Lower Chamber, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, on his part is asking Muslims to pray for the progress and success of the ongoing change project of the present administration.

Honourable Dogara is also asking Muslims to use the occasion to pray for the success of the ongoing war against terrorism in the Northeast and for the Nigerian military.

He goes on to ask Nigerians of various faiths to tolerate one another .

CBN Gov Says ECOWAS Single Currency Deadline May Not Be Achieved

cbn governorThe Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, says the deadline for the commencement of single currency in January 2015 by the Economic Community of West African States is not likely to be achieved.

At the ongoing meeting of the West African Central Bank Governors holding in Abuja, Mr Emefiele, on Wednesday, called on leaders in the region to redouble efforts in maintaining fiscal and monetary supervision in their countries.

“It is unlikely at this time. Despite this disappointing update, we need to use the new period created by this to redouble our efforts toward the final realisation of this objectives.

“In this regard, there is need for the intensification of effort towards meeting the laid down convergence material, in sensitisation of all stakeholders in the ratification of various West African monetary zone protocols and in their consequent implementation,” Mr Emefiele said.

He also called for an enabling environment that would boost regional trade integration amongst members of the ECOWAS.

the Nigeria’s apex bank boss emphasised that, as Central Banks and Financial regulators efforts must be made to continue to develop a sound banking and payment system that would be efficient, reliable, integrated and capable of facilitating the required rapid trade expansion in the region.

ECOWAS Countries Optimistic Of Single Currency By January 2015

Nigeria-NairaOfficials of West African apex banks have expressed optimism  of introducing a single currency in the region by January 1, 2015 if issues of macro-economic stability and inflation are addressed by member countries.

The banks’ officials gave the expression at a a meeting organised by the West African Monetary Zones committee in Abuja on Monday.

The Supervising Minister of National Planning, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, said achieving a single currency within the ECOWAS sub region was significant to the growth of the region’s economy.

Ambassador Yuguda therefore called on leaders in the sub region to fastrack policies and programmes that would help in achieving the set target at the right time.

He maintained that one key decision that would be taken at the meeting was how to attain a single currency within the region.

Although previous dates for the commencement of the policy was not achieved, government officials at the meeting believe the implementation of key policies by member countries is key to the attainment of the objective by 2015.

Yuguda stressed that, achieving the ‎aspiration of a single currency might not be without some challenges, explaining that  officials of international bodies have promised to give a hand of support.

They also advised that the non-tariff barriers in the sub region should be removed.

Several dates for the implementation of the single currency policy in the West African region had been fixed before but was not actualised, but Ambassador Yuguda, however, said that the experts’ hopes are high that it would be actualised within less than six months left.

The meeting, which had experts in attendance and representatives from member countries, was the 37th meeting of the West African Monetary Zone.