The efforts of the Lagos State Government to avert the three-day warning strike declared by the nurses in the state proved abortive on Saturday as the angry workers walked out of the meeting called by the government towards addressing their concerns.
The nurses, under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), had on Friday at a congress held at their secretariat at Agidingbi area of Ikeja, declared the three-day warning strike to begin on Monday, January 10, and end on Wednesday, January 12.
Their demands include resolution of what they termed “acute shortage of nurses and midwives, retention incentives to arrest the turnover rate, proper consolidation of CONHESS salary structure and improved working conditions.”
But a meeting at the Marina home of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday which was attended by some cabinet members in the state including the health commissioner and his counterpart at the ministry of establishments, Akin Abayomi and Ajibola Ponnle respectively; permanent secretary at the ministry of health and his counterpart at the health service commission, Olusegun Ogboye and Benjamin Eniayewu respectively; chief medical director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Adetokunbo Fabanwo, among others, failed to hold.
The nurses, who were led into the meeting by the association’s chairman, Olurotimi Awojide, and the secretary, Toba Odumosu, disagreed with the composition of the government’s representatives, insisting that they were only ready to meet with the governor.
According to reliable sources, who did not want to be mentioned for fear of sanctions, the union officers said they had held several meetings with the same officials including the head of service in the state, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, without a logical conclusion and that they were unsure if their matters were being raised before the governor.
They said it would only be appropriate to raise the matter directly with the governor, saying only a commitment made by the governor would be taken to their members for deliberation.
Meanwhile, the union’s secretary, Mr Odumosu, in a terse response to PREMIUM TIMES’ enquiry on Sunday, said it was true that the union refused to meet with the government officials for fear of “repetitions.”
He said: “Yes, we had to walk out of the meeting because the invitation we received was to meet the governor and not representatives. We had met those same officials several times in the past without resolution. So it is important that we hear from the horse’s mouth.”
He said though they met the governor on their way out of the venue, he apologised for not making himself available for the meeting.
“The governor apologised and he already scheduled another meeting with us for today (Sunday) by 5p.m. So we are patiently waiting for the outcome of the meeting,” Mr Odumosu said.
The chief press secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Akosile, on Sunday, confirmed that he was aware that the meeting could not hold.
Mr Akosile, however, could neither confirm nor deny that another meeting was already scheduled with the union. He said he would confirm and revert to our reporter.
However, as of the time of filing this report, Mr Akosile had yet to revert on the matter.
According to the association, the exodus of its members abroad for greener pastures is leaving untold pressure on those left in the system, saying the high turnover of workforce in the state is already becoming unbearable to the existing members.
Breaking down the statistics, the union wrote: “The increased foreign labour migration of nurses is no longer news. Understandably this has led to an acute shortage in the staffing of health facilities. According to our records, more than 496 nurses left the service of the Lagos State Health Service Commission alone between 2019 to 2021 and with less than 15 per cent due to statutory retirement. For context, the commission has only about 2,350 nurses.
Over 200 nurses left the service of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital within the same period. Over 80 left the primary healthcare board within the last two years which has only about 700 nurses and midwives.
“It is clear that nurses do not find job satisfaction or fulfillment here. Nurses are quitting within weeks of taking appointments. And this mass exodus continues to further overburden and overstress the nurses still within the service. The government has a replacement-on-exit policy in place which has been rendered ineffective by the inability to easily find replacements. Nurses are critical assets. Out of the 500 vacancies approved for recruitment by the governor for the Health Service Commission recently, less than 300 applied. This is in a country with a 33.2 per cent unemployment rate. It is certain far much less would actually take the job. LASUTH experienced the same fate in its own recruitment effort and it would be the same for the Primary Healthcare Board when it starts its recruitment.
“The inherent danger is that while the government is finding it difficult to fill entry-level positions, more senior nurses are also leaving the service. A replacement-on-exit policy does not cater to the deficiency of experienced hands that result from this mass exodus. The effect on the quality of care can easily be inferred.”
London School Of Public Relations Launched In Nigeria
After months in the making, the London School of PR (LSPR) Nigeria has been launched and will be offering a variety of courses including Fundamentals of Public Relations, diploma programmes, and other shorter courses focusing on brand building, reputation and risk management.
The courses, to be delivered by World-class trainers from Europe, the United States and Nigeria, are being offered at a specially discounted price for all starter courses. LSPR Nigeria is a partner company to the London School of PR in the UK.
The school has been delivering world-class training in the UK and globally since 1993, recognised in academia and the PR industry as one of the finest training establishments.
The school was founded by Professor John Dalton, biologist, communications specialist and UK business leader.
“I and my team in London are delighted that this initiative has finally come to fruition. We believe the school will be very successful in Nigeria given the position of the country in terms of its GDP, economic growth and educated workforce.
“We already have a successful operation in Ghana and expect our Nigerian business will be equally fortunate”, Dalton commented.
LSPR Nigeria is headed by entrepreneur Charles Edosomwan, who has led advertising and digital marketing company Teksight Edge for the past 8 years using data and technology to drive brand engagement and customer acquisition.
He said: “I am excited to be leading LSPR in Nigeria and I am looking forward to delivering our first courses next month. We have a team of excellent trainers who are experienced in both the virtual and the traditional classroom environments.
“The PR Landscape in Nigeria suffers from competency and standard issues especially with regards to professionalism and barrier to entry. We have the support of local business leaders and academia to ensure that professionals and business people in Nigeria can have access to world class training.”
10 Rescued As Soldiers Battle Bandits In Kaduna
Bandits yesterday morning invaded Unguwar Musa Tudun Wada Kudansa in Maraban Rido, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
A resident of the community, who spoke to The Tide source morning, said the bandits were resisted by the security personnel who quickly intervened.
He said before their arrival, bandits had already captured 10 residents to be taken to their den.
He added that, as soon as soldiers arrived at the scene, they engaged the bandits in a fierce battle that lasted for three hours.
According to him, the kidnapped victims were rescued while several residents fled as the gun battle raged on.
The Village Head of the community, Joseph Sauri Garba, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the gun duel between the bandits and the soldiers lasted three hours.
Kaduna Police Command Spokesperson, ASP Jalige Mohammed, did not respond to calls, and text messages sent to him
Benue, UNICEF Partner To Provide 2,000 Boreholes To Eight LGAs
Benue State Government in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has provided over two thousand boreholes to communities in eight local government areas of the state.
Outgoing UNICEF Chief Field Officer in Nigeria, Ibrahim Conteh, who disclosed this on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at the Benue Peoples House during a farewell visit to the Governor, said the feat was achieved in a period of four years.
Conteh stated that the intervention was to ensure that the most deprived communities have access to safe drinking water which he said could save the people, especially children and women from contracting water borne diseases.
The UNICEF Chief Field Officer who is moving to Afghanistan stated that the UN Agency has gone a step further to connect the boreholes to primary health care centres and primary schools in the communities and assured that they would also undertake rehabilitation of the boreholes.
According to Dr Conteh, UNICEF has also expended about one million dollars to provide temporary learning centres in IDPs across the state as well as partnered the ministry of education to ensure that children were enrolled in schools.
He commended Governor Samuel Ortom for always providing the needed counterpart funding to make the work of UNICEF easier as well as consistently feeding the IDPs to ensure that children living in the camps are not malnourished.
Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation to UNICEF for assisting the state through various interventions and assured that apart from the counterpart funding, the government would ensure that facilities provided by the UN Agency are well managed.
The Governor lamented unequal treatment of IDPs in Benue State as compared to what happens in the North Eastern part of Nigeria, stressing that the development was against justice, fairness and equity.
Governor Ortom prayed God to grant the UNICEF Chief Field Officer success in his new assignment in Afghanistan where he is redeployed to help intervene in humanitarian crisis.
Local government areas where the boreholes are cited include Konshisha, Katsina Ala, Guma, Tarka, Buruku, Ogbadibo, Oju and Obi.
Oil & Energy3 days ago
NLNG Approves Supply Of LPG To Nigerian Market
Oil & Energy3 days ago
Lawmaker Applauds Wike On Curbing Oil Theft, Illegal Refineries
Business2 days ago
Customs Intercepts N6, 974m Worth PMS
Oil & Energy3 days ago
FCMB Boosts Modular Refinery
Business3 days ago
SON Set To Check Hackers, Cyber Crimes In Nigeria
Oil & Energy3 days ago
Can OPEC+ Meet Production Quotas In 2022?
Focus2 days ago
Wike’s Pragmatic Offensive Against Illegal Bunkering
Business3 days ago
NCS, Apapa Records N870,39bn Revenue Boost