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‘National Health Act’s Slow Implementation, Worsening Nigeria’s Health Indices’

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Vice President, Com-monwealth Medical Association, Dr Osahon Enabulele, has decried the slow implementation of the National Health Act (NHA) 2014, saying it was making the country’s health indices worse.
Enabulele said this at the closing of the 9th Symposium and Awards organised by the Health Writers Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) in collaboration with Maximpact Communications, in Lagos.
The symposium had the theme ‘Rewarding and Promoting in Nigeria’s Healthcare Delivery System’.
The Tide reports that former President Goodluck Jonathan, in December 2014, signed the National Health Act 2014.
Enabulele said the Act had all the solutions to the challenges facing the country’s healthcare sector.
He said: “Four years after the enactment of the National Health Act, we are struggling to operationalise it; this is worsening the travail of the health sector, particularly at the grassroots where the greater burden of health diseases reside.
“The slow implementation has also added to the financial burden of the citizens in their quest to seek quality healthcare.
“It has also made Nigeria’s health sector to record one of the worst health indices in the world, with high infant, child and maternal mortality rates.
“Medical tourism is on the increase with the country losing billions of dollars to other country’s economy; we can’t continue like this.”
Enabulele urged government at all levels to prioritise and invest in the health of citizens as part of core objectives of advancing social justice and development.
According to him, a healthy population is an economic asset.
“I urge the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to urgently implement the NHA as it will address the problems of brain drain, weak health system, absence of universal health coverage, medical tourism and even poverty.
“Our governments should begin to accord the health sector the recognition it deserves to save the lives of citizens, “ he said.
In his remarks, Dr Emmanuel Enabulele, Chairman, HEWAN Board of Trustees, said the symposium was a forum to bring together health experts and stakeholders to brainstorm on the ways to address the challenges in the nation’s healthcare sector.

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Reps, NDA Commandant Parley Over Bandits’ Attack

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The House of Representatives Committee on Defence, yesterday, met with the Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Maj-Gen Ibrahim Yusuf, on the bandit attack on the academy.
It would be recalled that the bandits had carried out an audacious attack against the foremost academy and abducted some military personnel at the institution.
Yusuf informed the committee that the military is working to prevent future occurrence of the attack.
The committee, chaired by Babajimi Benson from Lagos State, had an executive session with the commandant to get the details of the attack.
Also, the committee met with the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, to discuss the impact of the recent military agreement between Russia and Nigeria.
It would be recalled that Nigeria and Russia signed a defence agreement which was announced by the Nigerian Embassy in Russia.
The agreement, which is a technical agreement between the two countries, will involve sales of Russian made equipment to Nigeria.
The committee had the session behind closed doors.

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Ember Months: FRSC Set To Inaugurate ‘Operation Show Of Readiness’

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), says it is set to inaugurate” Operation Show of Readiness’’ as part of efforts to reduce road traffic accidents during the 2021 ember months.
The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Mr Bisi Kazeem told The Tide yesterday that the operation would involve massive sensitisation campaign ahead of the corps’ annual “Special Patrol’’.
Kazeem said that operation show of readiness followed the review of the FRSC’s 2020 ember months’ performance and the need to break new grounds.
“To achieve this, we have deployed public enlightenment teams to motor parks, Churches, Mosques, town hall meetings and we will use motorcade for awareness where possible.
“From the 2020 review, the corps realised that night travels are prevalent during this time (ember months) with overwhelming negative results.
“Speeding is also known to be responsible for over 60 per cent of crashes.
“As such, the corps will deploy energy to discourage people from indulging in these deadly road use behaviour (night travels and speeding),’’ he said.
Kazeem said that the corps would use Special Marshals, first responders, celebrities, traditional rulers and involve road safety clubs for the special operation in view of the COVID-19 travel advisory.
“Operation zero tolerance to road traffic crash carried out annually by the FRSC is also part of strategies to reduce crashes aside the maiden operation show of readiness,’’ he said
Kazeem said during the exercise, visual acuity test/screening for drivers would be conducted as well as free safety checks on vehicles.

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VAT Bill Scales Second Reading At Ogun Assembly

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A bill for a law to impose and charge Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain goods and services, provide for administration of the tax and for related purposes yesterday scaled second reading at Ogun State House of Assembly.
 Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Deji Adeyemo, read the bill for the first time during plenary session in Abeokuta, while the Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sherif, moved the motion for the second reading which was seconded by Mr Ganiyu Oyedeji.
 While opening debate on the bill, Mr Olakunle Sobukanla, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, noted that the bill was an avenue for the state to generate more revenue for its development.
 Sobukanla added that the more internally generated revenue by the state, the more infrastructure development in all sectors of the state.
 In his submission, Oyedeji explained that collection of VAT would allow the state to generate more revenue and meet needs of the people.
 The lawmaker stated that the people’s needs included fixing of bad roads and the construction of new ones, provision of healthcare facilities among others, which all required finance.
 Other lawmakers who spoke supported the quick passage of the bill, saying that it would boost the socio-economic development of the state.
 They noted that passage of the bill would be a financial restructuring and a form of redistribution of internally generated revenue.
 In his response, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, the Speaker of the house, commended the lawmakers for the deliberation, adding that the VAT law was needed in the state for more economic development.
 The speaker committed the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative actions.
 Also during yesterday plenary, the Ogun State Anti-Corruption Law 2021, scaled first reading.

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