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The Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) has restated its commitment to collaborate with government to build world class hospitals in Nigeria to reduce foreign medical trips by Nigerians.

The GMD is a body of medical doctors who own and run private hospitals and clinics in Nigeria.

The new President of the guild, Dr Tony Phillips, made the pledge in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the activities of the body.

Phillips recalled that at the guild’s last general conference held in November, 2012, it stated that 60 per cent of healthcare delivery in Africa was provided by the private sector.

 

Jigawa

The new president of Royal Equestrian Club of Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed-Sani, has mandated the club to encourage the game of horse racing in the northern part of the country.

Mohammed-Sani, who is also the Emir of Gumel, Jigawa, gave the charge while inaugurating the horse racing club last Sunday in Gumel.

He said that with the mandate, the club would promote horse racing in the area.

the president explained that a similar club was formed in the past with the same goal to develop the game of horse racing.

 

Kano

The Legal Aid Council, Kano State Office, and Northern Nigeria Flour Mills have sponsored skills training for 27 inmates of Kano Prison preparatory to their release.

The Kano State Coordinator of the council, Alhaji Abubakar Umar, said in Kano that the inmates were trained in baking and textile technology, known as tie and dye.

“We are trying to make sure that inmates are trained in various trades to enable them be self-reliant after reuniting with their families.

“The council is also making effort to see that the state government gives the trainees capital to start their own businesses when they return home,’’ Umar told newsmen.

 

Kebbi

The Kebbi State government said that it had concluded plans for the payment of N18,000 minimum wage to workers.

The State Head of Service, Alhaji Buhari Jega, said this after a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Birnin Kebbi.

He called on the labour leaders and stakeholders to present a workable payment timetable for implementation.

Jega, commended the state NLC and entire workforce for their patience and understanding over the implementation of a uniform minimum wage.

 

Kogi

Nineteen awaiting trial inmates remanded in the six Federal Prison formations in Kogi State have regained their freedom folllowing the intervention of the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah.

Ajanah, who spoke in Idah at the end of his two-week prison decongestion tour, also granted conditional bail to 12 inmates.

The chief judge told newsmen that the unconditional release of the inmates was not a grant of amnesty or pardon.

He said that some of the inmates were unjustly and unconstitutionally incarcerated for allegedly belonging to faceless gangs of thieves without concrete charges.

 

Kwara

The Kwara State Government has approved the establishment of Public-Private-Partnership Office (PPP) to encourage investors and promote job creation.

The Commissioner for Finance and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communications, Dr Muideen Akorede, said this in Ilorin at a post-executive council news briefing.

Akorede explained that the framework of the office of the PPP was the engagement of the private sector investors in key sectors of the state’s economy.

He mentioned human capital development, economic development and infrastructure as key areas of interest to the government.

 

Lagos

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the Nigeria Police the judiciary and prisons should be reformed to reflect modern standards obtainable in developed countries.

Obasanjo was quoted as saying this at his investiture as the Life Grand Patron of the Prison Rehabilitation Mission International (PREMI) by its Chairman, Oba Adedapo Tejuosho, the Osile Oke Ona in Abeokuta.

The former president further said that the ill-treatment of citizens of any country could best be known through visitations to their prison yards.

‘’If reformation must to be achieved in Nigerian prisons, these three public sectors namely the police, the judiciary, and the prison must be seriously reformed.

 

Nasarawa

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nasarawa Command, said last Sunday that it had arrested two men for stealing 43 iron doors and four windows at the Karu International Market, Karu.

The state Commandant, Mr Andekin Amos-Musa, who disclosed this to newsmen in Lafia, said that the arrest was made possible by officers of the Karu Division, following a tip-off by a good Samaritan.

Amos-Musa said that the suspects were arrested while trying to sell the stolen items to a trader at the scraps market, Mararaba.

The commandant said that the complainant, who is also a contractor in the market, had earlier reported the incident at the Karu Divisional Office of NSCDC before the arrest was made.

 

Ogun

The wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs Funsho Amosun,  has called on women in the state to support moves to end violence against the female gender.

Amosun made the call in Abeokuta during the 2013 International Women’s Day celebration, with the theme: “Time For Action To End Violence Against Women’’.

The wife of the Ogun governor expressed regrets about violence against women and described it as a major challenge confronting womanhood.

Millions of women and girls suffer from violence both in times of peace and war.

 

Oyo

A Federal High Court in Ibadan last Friday sentenced a 20-year-old tailor turned drug trafficker, Fatai Adetoro, to seven months imprisonment for being in possession of 800g of cannabis.

Justice Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo found Adetoro guilty of the crime and sentenced him to imprisonment at the Oyo prison without an option of fine.

The judge said that her decision followed the evidence before her and the guilty plea of the convict and ordered that the sentence was to commence from the day he was arrested.

“I have, however, considered that the convict is a first time offender and that he had undergone counselling from the NDLEA,’’ she said.

 

Sokoto

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said that the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria dropped from 704 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 487 per 100,000 live births in 2011.

The minister spoke in Sokoto recently during the inauguration of Kwannawa Primary Health Centre (PHC) to symbolise the inauguration of 230 such projects executed by Sokoto State Government.

The minister said there was also a decline in the mortality rate of children aged below five years to 141 per 1000 in 2011.

He said that the progress toward improving maternal and child health in realisation of MDGs 4 and 5 could not be sustained without giving primary healthcare the attention it deserved.

 

Taraba

Alhaji Ibrahim El-Sudi, representing Gashaka, Kurmi and Sardauna Federal Constituency of Taraba in the House of Representatives, has appealed to aggrieved members of the PDP in the state to unite.

El-Sudi told newsmen in Jalingo on Monday that a divided party could not win election in a competitive political arena.

He wondered why members of the PDP would engage in internal crisis when opposition political parties were forming strong alliance ahead of 2015 general elections.

“Our party is in control in the state but we cannot continue to be strong when divided.

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SON Destroys Substandard Tyres, Cables, Others In Lagos 

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Lagos Metropolis, on Wednesday, witnessed mass destruction of substandard electric cables, engine oil, LPG cylinders, stuffed new tyres, unapproved cigarettes and low grade roofing sheets by the Standard Organization Of Nigeria (SON).
Director General, SON, Farouk Salim, while destroying the substandard products, Wednesday, noted that the substandard products affected the nation’s economy negatively.
Mr Salim revealed that all the products destroyed were imported into the country and smuggled through the ports.
He, therefore, called for the return of SON to the ports to help minimise the damage done by substandard products to the nation’s economy.
According to him, the burning of the substandard products is to assure Nigerians that SON is actually destroying them after obtaining a court order to that effect.
“Most of these substandard products were captured in the market where they are ready to be sold to customers and the unfortunate thing is that they passed through our ports.
“It will be much easier for these substandard products to be detected if our employees are at the source of the import of these products”, he said.
Salim regretted that SON was not always invited for joint inspection, adding that invitations for joint inspection are rare and far between.
“I guarantee you that if our officers have opportunity to inspect these products, the moment they look at it from experience, they will be able to detect the substandard goods.
“Don’t forget that officers of the customs service are trained to check for duty, they have no idea of how to detect substandard products easily, and our personnel are trained on how to check these products”, he said.
The SON boss denied that its officers had no unfettered access as stipulated by the constitution.
“Unless the law is changed by the National Assembly, signed by the president, the law says SON must and should be at the port, not at the discretion of any organisation”, he said.
Assistant Chief Scientific Officer and Sector Head (Domestic Rubber), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Lagos Liaison Office, Bisiriyu Adesewa said NESREA was present to ensure proper disposal of the products.
“We appreciate SON for ensuring that substandard products don’t enter the market, but we are particular about what happens to these things after the destruction.
“We understand that most of them are going to recycling companies and the only one not recyclable for now is the oil and we will link SON with a facility that can help them dispose it so that there will be zero waste.
“The disposal process here is in line with our rules and regulations. The first thing is to dismantle and seperate them, which they have already done, next is the recycling”, she said.
Also, Head, Federal Competition and Consumption Protection Commission (FCCPC), Lagos Office, Susie Onwuka, said the commission had a Memorandum of Understanding with SON and different sector regulators on removal of substandard goods from the market.
She commended SON for the massive seizures, noting that more work needs to be done.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Annex, Alagbon, Lagos, Lawrence Iwodi, said the police was working with SON to ensure that standard was met in relation to goods imported into the country.

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Healthcare: Osinbajo Calls For Improvement, Cooperation Among West African States 

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on West African countries to improve their levels of cooperation to better address problems of healthcare access and out-of-school children, among other human development indices.
Osinbajo said this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, when he received the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, Mr Nuno Nabiam, ahead of yesterday’s ECOWAS Integrated Regional Human Capital Development Forum hosted by the National Economic Council.
According to a statement signed late Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice President thanked Mr Nabiam for honouring the invitation to attend the conference, saying, “The Human Capital Development meeting is very important, it is an opportunity to share experience and help each other”.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that Nigeria’s “National Economic Council has done a lot of work on Human Capital Development, focusing on various challenges including questions around out-of-school and healthcare access” and would “significantly improve the human development indices in West Africa”.
He, however, acknowledged that the indices show that a lot more work still needed to be done.
The Vice President commended President Umaro Embalo of Guinea Bissau for his strong support for Nigeria, describing him as a very good friend of President Muhammadu Buhari and the country.
He noted that Guinea Bissau and President Embalo had always supported Nigeria internationally and congratulated the country for recently warding off a coup détat that would have ousted his government.
On his part, the Prime Minister extolled the leadership qualities of President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, stating, “What the President of Nigeria and Vice President are doing inspires us too”.

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Fuel Scarcity: Stop Panic Buying, IPMAN Tells Nigerians

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has backtracked on the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petroleum.
The Association advised Nigerians to stop panic buying, saying its members would sell petrol at government approved price of N165 per litre.
President of the Association, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, spoke at a press conference on Wednesday against the backdrop of earlier indications by petroleum dealers that the pump price of N165 per litre was no longer sustainable.
The Tide recalls that the IPMAN Secretary in Lagos State, Mr Akeem Balogun, had on Monday, declared a PMS pump price of N180 per litre.
But Okoronkwo at the press briefing, reversed the declaration and urged members of IPMAN to maintain the “status quo ante” of N165 per litre.
He said the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and the Petroleum Products Marketers Company (PPMC) had released petroleum products from their tank farms that could sustain the nation for the next 32 days, hence, there was no need for panic buying.
According to him, “The status quo ante must be maintained moving forward since the NNPC and the PPMC have responded positively by releasing products from their tank farms that can sustain the product needs of the country for 32 days”.
Explaining why the IPMAN Secretary in Lagos arrived at N180 per litre on Monday, the President said: “The decision was taken because its members could no longer operate at a loss.
“While the government had fixed N165 per litre as the pump price of petrol, the current realities in the market showed that the minimum the product should be retailed at the stations should be N180.
“I told you the cost of doing business has changed and my members in Lagos before they did what they did, they called me and told me that they are now getting this product at N162 to N165 per litre with transportation another N8.00, aggregating to about N170 to N173, even the N10.00 which is supposed to be our gain has been eroded, what do we do?
“Now you know and I know that it is only NNPC that imports this product into Nigeria. Some of these tank farm owners who have gone to collect this product, don’t blame them because the cost of doing business has also changed.
“It became so difficult for them to sell at N148.17, but yesterday (Wednesday), I want to tell you that NNPC and PPMC went to their tank farms and released products.

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