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FG Names Kuje Hospital Ebola Centre Amid Protests

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen. Bala Mohammed, has designated the General Hospital, Kuje, in Kuje Area Council, as Isolation Centre for persons infected with the Ebola virus.
He also inaugurated 25-man committee to work out modalities for responding to the threat of Ebola virus and create awareness on the nature and symptoms of the virus.
The minister, who spoke during a high-powered stakeholder’s interactive forum in Abuja, said the hospital was chosen because it would be easy for residents of the FCT to access it.
He said a ward in the hospital would be exclusively made a place where people with the disease could be quarantined and be on surveillance, among others.
Mohammed also noted that adequate infrastructure and equipment would be put in place to manage affected persons and guard against the spread of the virus, stressing that “all precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure that the designation of the ward will not endanger the health workers and residents of Kuje”.
He then directed the Chairman of the council to sensitize its populace, rather than preventing FCT Administration from using the hospital.
His words, “The hospital is the only option for us to isolate as a centre for Ebola patients; Gwagwalada hospital that is for FCT has being taken from us, we have no other option than to use it.
“We will put all infrastructure needed in place to avoid its spread; doctors will be given adequate training and best way to curtail the disease from spreading’’, he said.
The minister further advised the six area council chairmen to enlighten their people on routine cleaning and disinfecting their hands at all times.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the FCT Health Secretariat, Dr Demola Onakomaiya noted that the transmission of the disease in human was through direct contact with blood or body secretion, among others.
He denied the recent rumours of Ebola in the territory, informing that the three suspected cases being raised by FCT residents were mere rumours.
Onakomaiya pointed out that the people at risk of the disease are the health care givers and family members of infected persons, stressing that there is no specific medication or vaccine for its cure.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Rui Jaz, in his reaction, said the organisation would support the administration in its plans to curtail the disease.
Jaz argued that bitter kola could cure the disease as speculated, adding that it had not been proven by scientists.
The Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Medical Association, FCT chapter, Dr Akeem Lawal, who noted that the association had held two meetings since the outbreak of the disease, said, “we are planning to hold another meeting very soon to call off our strike that has lasted for more than six weeks’’, he said.
For the Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Mr Shabal Tete who also spoke at the forum, the designation of the hospital as Ebola centre was not a welcome development to the people of the area.

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DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is formulating a Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for Nigeria to attain maximum value delivery from its oil and gas resources.

The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), yesterday, in Lagos.

The conference has as its theme, “The Future of Energy –A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”

Auwalu said the industry initiative was one of the outcomes of the work of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Lagos inaugurated in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “Following an in-depth assessment of the status of the industry, the department identified the need to formulate the ‘Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy for Nigeria’.

“This is to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimisation and the economic benefits arising therefrom.

“The framework for this industry action plan outlines six pillars or building blocks.”

Auwalu said the pillars were: Reserves Maturation and Production Optimisation, Exploration and Resources Maturation, Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery, Implementation Asset Stewardship, Performance Evaluation and Rewards Risk Management.

According to him, the draft framework has been shared with the industry, including professional associations like the SPE and the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists.

He said this was in preparation for an industry collaborative workshop to co-develop and enunciate this strategy for immediate execution.

“We count on the contributions and buy-in of all stakeholders on this crucial national assignment for our overall benefit and industry sustainability,“he said.

Auwalu said Nigeria was rising to the occasion as the ‘trigger’ for continental growth and economic transformation using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development.

He said the DPR would continue to foster innovative ideas and create opportunities for investments and sustainability in the industry.

Auwalu said, “As always, we are enthusiastic to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including the SPE, toward the realisation of government’s aspirations for the oil and gas sector.

“In our role as business enablers and opportunity providers, DPR will continue to promote efficiency to meet the needs of the industry, creating value, enhancing transparency, reducing barriers and transaction costs.”

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Pensioners Urge PenCom To Implement Unpaid 15% Increment

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Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to implement their 15 and 33 per cent pension increment and other benefits.

The Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN), South-West Zone, made the appeal,yesterday, during a peaceful protest held in Ibadan.

The CPUN President, Mr Joseph Idowu, while addressing newsmen said that PenCom has yet to implement the increment since 2007 and 2010 in spite of various promises.

Idowu said that their counterparts, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), had been enjoying the increment through the proactive stand of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

“The new consequential adjustment in pension due to the latest increase in workers’ salaries and wages are also being enjoyed by pensioners under DBS, neglecting the CPS pensioners.

“No CPS pensioner has received any interest on their accrued benefits since 2007 till date.

“We require your urgent attention to ensure that arrears on this are calculated and paid at the Federal Government official rate, as at the time of retirement,” Idowu said.

The president said that his members were suffering as some of them collect as low as N3, 000 as their monthly pension which was not accepted.

Idowu also said that his members were not happy with the delay in the payment of their retirement benefits, which the commission now paid after one year of retirement, contrary to PRA Act 2004 (Amended).

He said that Section 16 (5) of PRA Act 2004 says pensioners should be paid not more than three months after retirement.

Idowu, however, commended the commission for prompt payment of their monthly pension, urging them to prioritise welfare of pensioners under the CPS.

Also, a member of the union, Mrs Clara Fumilayo, called on the Federal Government to assist the pensioners,

Fumilayo said that their monthly pension could no more buy any tangible things based on the situation in the country.

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‘Only 29% Of Babies Breastfed Due To Reliance On Breast Milk Substitute’

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A professor of Paediatric and Child Health, Alice Romoke-Nte, says the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by manufacturers was responsible for the gap in breastfeeding of children by mothers in Nigeria.

Nte, who is also the coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) said the advertising of these baby food weakens the confidence of the mothers and makes them feel that these breast milk substitutes are better off.

She said this has left only 29 percent of Nigerian babies breastfed as a result.

Nte said the UPTH, Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt and other stakeholders were using this year’s World Breastfeeding Week to carry out aggressive campaigns to raise awareness for the need of exclusive breastfeeding.

She said the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes would be included in steps to ensure full compliance of marketing these artificial body foods.

Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt that joined in the rally yesterday morning for exclusive breastfeeding to mark the World Breastfeeding Week includes, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Top Health, Seaport, Eco, Atlantic City, and Golf Estate.

Others include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, City Valley, Passport, Creek View, Sky Waves, and Rotary Club of Port Harcourt.

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