Mass exodus of nurses is said to be plaguing Cross River State Government as about 93 nurses working in about 1, 016 health facilities across the 18 local government areas of the state are believed to be looking for greener pastures elsewhere.
Findings revealed that nurses in the state resigned from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital in Calabar for fat pay.
Confirming the report, the Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Ojong Ogar, who expressed regrets over the situation, admitted that there was brain drain in the state.
Comrade Ogar, who was speaking with newsmen in Calabar, said: “when we came on board, we had this salary structure in which the former Governor, Liyel Imoke approved 70% Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for the nurses of Cross River State, but up till now, the balance of 30% has not be given to us.
“Because of this, a lot of nurses are leaving the state for greener pastures. When you go to the teaching hospital, they pay them 100% and if you go out to other states, the nurses there are being paid 100% but in Cross River State, the nurses are still collecting 70% CONHESS and because of that, retaining nurses in this state is difficult.
“NANNM greatest sad moment is the shortage of manpower. There is gross shortage of manpower in the state. As I am speaking to you, we have about 93 nurses covering the whole 18 local government areas with about 1, 016 health facilities.
“We are talking about Ayade Care, how do you expect 93 nurses to execute a quality nursing care for our people. In this regard, we are equally appealing to the government to look into this, employ more nurses into the health facilities”.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
PH Residents Lament As Price Of Cooking Gas Soars
As the price of cooking gas, otherwise known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), continues to rise, many households in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, have begun to groan over the situation.
Some of the users of the cooking gas within the Port Harcourt environs told The Tide that the current situation in the country was becoming unbearable.
Mrs Amuche Ogbonda, a resident of Rumuosi in Akpor, said the continuous increase in the price of cooking gas had forced many households to look for cheaper alternatives.
She said that other options like the use of electric cooker were being exploited, but noted that power outage was also frustrating the use of electric cooker.
Also lamenting over the high cost of cooking gas, Mr Kennedy Onyikwu, who resides in one of the estates within Rumuokoro area of Port Harcourt, said he was so much concerned about the huge amount of money he now spends on cooking gas.
“Government is not even addressing the matter, and everyday, price keeps going higher and higher, whereas, gas is being flared continuously in this country.
“In fact, I have decided to cut down on the use of gas. In my family, we now use gas only when there is emergency cooking, otherwise, we wait until there is electricity to power our gadget”, he said.
The Tide’s findings show that the price of 12.5kg of LPG which was sold for N7,000 about a week ago, has now increased to between N8,000 and N8,200, amidst various concerns by end users, marketers and producers of the commodity.
Also, 6kg of LPG that was sold for between N2,600 and N2,650 within the same period, now sells for between N3,800 and N4,000.
Of the 1.2 million metric tonnes of the product required by Nigeria, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited supplies about 450,000MT. This leaves a gap of 750,000MT to be filled by imports.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had said in September that out of the 85,264.80MT of LPG consumed in the country in August, 38,040.46MT was imported.
This means that 55.39 per cent of the LPG consumed in the country in August was imported, while 44.61 per cent was supplied locally.
The PPPRA data showed that 21,606.30MT was imported from the United States, 13,044.266 imported from Algeria, while 12,573.779MT was brought into the country from Equatorial Guinea.
With a good number of the product imported, its landing cost changes with the crisis in the foreign exchange market that has characterised the Nigerian economy in recent times.
By: Corlins Walter
Bayelsa Charges FG On School Feeding Programme
The Bayelsa State Government has called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the implementation of the National Home Grown Feeding programme in the state.
The State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, made the call when he received a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Diri, who expressed reservations that Bayelsa was the last state to be given the opportunity to key into the national school feeding project among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, faulted the Federal Government for the delay.
The Governor, who spoke through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the prolonged delay in the take-off of the project in the state might not be unconnected with unnecessary politics and lack of openness at the federal level.
The Governor, however, noted that the state government was prepared to partner the level and give it all necessary support for the smooth take-off and implementation of the program in the state.
Describing the free school feeding programme as pivotal to the health and learning behavior of pupils in schools, Governor Diri said no hungry child could concentrate and learn effectively at school.
He noted that Nigeria currently has the highest number of children suffering from malnutrition, adding that the free school feeding initiative would go a long way to address malnutrition among the pupils.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to expand the free school feeding program to cover all the classes in the primary school, as against feeding only pupils in primary 1 to 3.
His words: “A programme like the free school feeding one is aimed at strengthening the health of our children, to give them the required nutrients and supplements to make them be in a position to learn effectively.
“A child who comes to school with a lot of frustration and hunger cannot be in a position to acquire knowledge and skills.
“This programme is aimed at solving two problems at the same time. Improving our health indicators through well-fed children and also to motivate them to be in school. Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria, has the highest level of malnutrition among children.
“This is why this government programme needs to be supported; alll hands must be on deck. And so, we are happy that you are here for this project.
“However, we are not happy that Bayelsa is made the last state to key into the project. We believe substantially that this is not due to our fault as a state government. It is a result of some politics and lack of openness.
“But I can assure that the Bayelsa State Government is ready for the programme. We will do everything that is required of us, to ensure that the programme gets underway in the state as soon as possible”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the representative of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Abuja, Mrs. Maimuna Idris, said they were in the state to liaise with the state government and provide technical support for the National Home Grown School Feeding Project to kick-off.
Mrs Idris who is Special Adviser to the Federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs on legal matters, said the school feeding project was one of the four projects currently being implemented under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) of the Federal Government.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Edo Tasks Farmers On Food Production
The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Edo State held a food exhibition to mark World Food Day on Monday.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Our Actions Are Our Future: Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and better life”.
Farmers from the 18 local government areas of the state converged on the premises of the state ministry of agriculture to display their farm produce.
The exhibition had in attendance farmers from diverse food value chain such as plantain, yam, rice, cocoa, garri, oil palm, pineapple, poultry products, fish, honey, among others.
Speaking during the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, said the event was organised to focus attention on Agriculture and food production and to stimulate national, bilateral, and non-governmental efforts.
Aikhuomobhogbe stated that the event was also to encourage the participation of rural people, particularly women and the underprivileged in decisions and activities that influence their lives.
‘The amount and quality of food produced in a food system, the availability of that food, and its price affect the types and qualities of food people eat, as well as the variety and nutritional quality of their diets.
‘If food systems worked well in providing consumers with diverse, nutritious, and affordable diets, people could procure their food in the market, regardless of their own agricultural productivity.
‘But among poor households in Edo State and Nigeria at large, this is not the case, the rate of food insecurity and malnutrition in these areas is severe,’ he said.
According to him, the state government has put in place an agricultural entrepreneurship (Agripreneur) Programme that is expected to create 30,000 jobs
The Chairperson of the National Coconut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Ambassador, Tracy Agol commended the ministry for the event.
‘The food exhibition held today is commendable. It brought together agricultural producers and products from the 18 local areas of the state,’ Agol said.
‘If we continue like this, it means that food will be sufficient for the people.’
She called on government at all levels to help tackle insecurity in the state to enable farmers to access their farms without fear of being killed or kidnapped.
In her words, we do not have food in abundance like it used to be because of insecurity. The few farm produce that are available are very expensive.
The coordinator of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Edo North, Alhaji Momodu Oshiobughie thanked the state government for the various agricultural interventions in the state.
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