In view of their contributions to peace building, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in Nigeria.
Governor Okowa made the call while playing host to members of South-South Monarchs’ Forum who paid him a courtesy visit at the Exco Chamber, Government House, Asaba.
He noted that as a result of the roles traditional rulers play in engendering peace in their various domains, a place should be provided for them in the nation’s constitution.
“There is need for us to provide some form of constitutional roles for our traditional fathers because, if to a large extend, they have been recognised in their various states, realising the roles they play in engendering peace, it is important that a place is actually provided for them in the constitution of this country.
“So, we will continue to support all such moves and hope that in the next amendment of the constitution, we are able to do something to ensure that a constitutional role is created (provided) for them, the governor said.
While noting that traditional rulers have been the bridge between the government and the people, he encouraged them to continue to speak with one voice on issues bordering on the South-South Region.
He appealed to stakeholders in the region to continuously speak up against the high level of injustice in the region, adding that what the region gets in terms of derivation was far less than 13 per cent.
“We should be united to change the narrative to enable us get a fair share of what is due to us as a region,” the governor said, adding that he was glad that the royal fathers were in the state to talk to one another on issues of common interest to the generality of the people in the region.
Are we getting a fair share of the 87 per cent that goes to the federal government? Governor Okowa querried, even as he said that the Niger Delta Region deserved more in terms of project and in terms of sustainable development.
Earlier, the leader of the South-South Monarchs’ Forum, King Edmond Daukoru, expressed appreciation to Governor Okowa for the warm reception he accorded them during their working visit despite the short notice given to him.
By: Albert Ograka, Asaba
Jonathan Wants NARD To Suspend Strike
Former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan had appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government to quickly resolve the ongoing industrial conflict to save lives in the country.
Jonathan made the plea during the 57th annual conference and scientific workshop of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State.
He stated that the importance of the medical profession could not be over-emphasised, just as he commended members of the Medical Laboratory Science Association for their steadfastness during the pandemics which had taken place recently in the nation.
The ex-president charged the Medical Scientists to continue investigating the causes of diseases,with a view to also working on prevention mechanisms and possible cure for it when ever they occur, saying that if the country must develope, the medical sector has to play a pivotal role.
In same vein,the Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri has charged the Federal Government to work on an harmonised salary structure for all medical workers in the country.
He said if there had been an harmonised salary structure for all personnel of the medical profession in Nigeria, the issues of unending industrial strikes due to wages-related matters would have been a thing of the past.
Diri, represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said all personnel in the healthcare delivery chain were important and therefore should be treated fairly on the platform of equity.
According to the governor, medical laboratory scientists are indispensable to the physician’s ability to properly diagnose and treat ailments in the health system.
He pointed out that although the medical laboratory profession is at the forefront of investigating diseases, it has not been accorded the recognition it rightly deserves in Nigeria.
Governor Diri, who urged the Federal Government to carry out a holistic reform in the health sector, suggested that states and local governments should be given more responsibilities and resources to provide services to the people, just as he said the Federal Government was currently being overwhelmed by the challenges in the health sector, hence there is the urgent need for devolution of power to save the sector from total collapse
“I want to call on the Federal Government to carry out a holistic reform in the health sector of our country. The salaries and allowances for all categories of health personnel in Nigeria should be harmonised.
“All personnel in the health sector are important and should be treated on the platform of equity. The medical laboratory scientists are involved in the proper investigation of diseases, but they are least recognised in Nigeria.
“Only an harmonised salary structure in the health sector will bring about equity. Experience has shown that if you satisfy the medical doctors, the nurses would complain”, he said.
“If you satisfy the nurses, then the pharmacists will complain; if you satisfy the pharmacists, the environmental health workers would complain and come up with their own fresh demands.Let’s reflect on this issue of disparity of pay package in the health sector in this conference. However, here in Bayelsa State, the challenges facing the AMLSN are being addressed by government, as follow up to our health summit. We are working on the legal framework, and also to incorporate task-shifting to achieve better results and outcomes”, he added.
In a keynote address, Dr. Azibapu Eruani, Group president,Azikel Companies called for effective collaboration in funding and promotion of research in preparing against the outbreak of any pandemic in the future to forestall its attendant human, social and economic losses.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, said the AMLSN was in the forefront of building capacity for guiding medical doctors in the handling of clinical cases and treatment of patients.
Represented by the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Dr. Dennis Alagoa, the Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari had set up the health sector reform committee to address challenges facing the sector and improve healthcare delivery in the country.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Delta Revokes Asaba-Oko Road Contract
Delta State Government on Tuesday announced that it had revoked the multi-million naira contract for the construction of Asaba/Oko-Amakom/Oko-Obiokpu/Oko-Anala Road over poor performance.
The road contract which was awarded in 2018, transverses Oko communities in Oshimili South Local Government Area of the state, and has been a major challenge to the state government over the years due to the peculiar topography of the area.
Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, told journalists at the end of the state’s Executive Council meeting in Asaba, that the meeting presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, revoked the contract because the contractor was not working in line with the speed expected by the government after collecting mobilisation funds
He explained that government would check its records and evaluate the contract performance with a view to finding out if the contractor would refund some money to government or not.
He disclosed that the state government would engage another contractor with adequate capacity to complete the job in line with the speed required for the completion of the project.
On the other decisions of the Council, Aniagwu disclosed that as part of efforts to provide potable water and reduce communicable diseases, the state government had approved the construction and reticulation of a major water scheme in Okerenkoko in Warri South Local government Area.
He also added that the council approved the inclusion of certain erosion sites in Warri as part of efforts to address flooding in the twin cities of Warri and Effurun.
“On education, Exco approved the demolition and reconstruction of a two-storey building not in best of shape at West End Grammar School, Asaba.
“The project includes expansion of the building to 20 classrooms to enable the school run one session instead of the morning and afternoon sessions it was currently operating and the provision of a conference hall for assembly as well as toilets.
“Exco today also approved the renaming of Ogini Grammar School, Oghara to Ogini Model Secondary School, Oghara and the approval of training and acquisition of starter packs in ICT for youths in the state for the Ministry of Science and Technology.
“At today’s Exco, we also discussed the provisions made for the various ministries in the 2022 proposed budget and the possibility of a supplementary budget for 2021,” he stated.
On Covid-19 pandemic, Aniagwu said Exco has directed that a massive sensitisation of members of the public be carried out again on measures being taken to control the spread of the pandemic.
“With the return of the third wave and Delta variant, a number of persons have paid the supreme price on account of the attack including members of government.
“The Governor has directed that there was need to continue sensitisation on members of the public to continue adhering to the non-pharmaceuticals of regular hand washing, wearing of face masks and social distancing.
“Government is not considering another lock down in view of the hardship the pandemic has posed to the economy.
“We however, appeal to everybody to be personally responsible in helping to curb the spread of the virus
“Beyond that, government has asked everybody to come out for vaccination because we have made at least six points available in every local government and markets across the state,” he further stated.
C’River LG Staff Protest Unpaid Salaries
Civil servants under local government employment in Cross River State on Wednesday barricaded various entrances of the new state secretariat along the Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar in protest against the non-payment of their four years salary.
The civil servants from the 18 local government areas (LGAs) of the state converged and barricaded all the gates leading to the state’s New Secretariat along the Murtala Mohammed Highway.
The protesting workers came out with different banners and placards with various inscriptions including: “Three years without salary, who did we offend? “We go to work every day. The injustice is too much”. “Every labourer deserves his wages. Governor Ayade please pay us salary” amongst others.
The spokesperson for the protesting civil servants, Com. David Iyanya disclosed that they had been suffering since 2015 as they were being owed since then.
His words: “We are civil servants cut across the 18 LGAs in Cross River State. We have been owed salaries for four years dating back to 2015 and 2018, it is very sad that for four years, we have stayed without salaries, yet we come to work every day.
“The Head of Civil Service told us that we would be paid this August and we took her words as a mother only to discover that they were lies.
“Today, we have mothers, fathers, and children here and school is resuming soon, how do we feed? For four years out of 35 years, how many years are left.
“We have all authentic appointment letters duly signed by the government of Cross River state and we were posted to our different Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“This present administration employed us and the Head of service keeps telling us she’s going to meet with His Excellency but from what we have gathered, we were reliably informed that she blatantly refused to submit our names to His Excellency and we know His Excellency is a busy man and so he delegates people to do things.
“We are about 1700 people cut across the 18 LGAs. His Excellency released a huge sum of money for verification. We have lost three of our colleagues; two women and a man. We have lost count of those in the hospital.
“As you can see,our children came with their parents because they have no money to feed and so they were brought along to buy snacks for them when they go hungry, instead of leaving them at home and they are actively involved in the, Iyanya bemoaned.
When contacted, the Special Adviser to Governor Ayade on Media & Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita said the fresh demand by the workers and their claims was strange to him.
“I am just hearing that for the first time but if they are Local Government civil servants, do they have any business with the Head of Service? I have never been aware of such development,” Ita said.
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