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NMA Faults JOHESUs’ Claims For Indefinite Strike

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has faulted the 15-day indefinite strike ultimatum issued to the Federal Government by members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), saying the health workers acted out of envy for the medical doctors.
In a press statement tagged, “Notice of 15-Day Ultimatum And Commencement of an Indefinite Strike Action by the Joint Health Sector Union: Matters Arising” and made available to newsmen, the NMA cautioned JOHESU on what it described as a ‘recurring affront’ against Medical and Dental Practitioners, saying that ‘it is largely drawn from their unbridled greed and envy.
The statement jointly signed by the President and Secretary-General of the association, Prof. Innocent Ujah, and Dr. Philip Ekpe said the position of JOHESU that physicians enjoy the best conditions of welfare in the Nigerian public health sector is surprising.
It reads, “The claim that physicians enjoy the best conditions of welfare in Nigerian public health sector: It is surprising this type of claim from a group of people that have the facts. We out rightly deny this. The condition of welfare of medical doctors in Nigeria is not different from that of other civil servants during and after retirement.
“JOHESU need to look elsewhere for the professions or workers or public servants with the best condition of service. Medical doctors are not members of the security services or work with Central Bank of Nigeria or the NNPC or politicians. How then can a Nigerian doctor be the worker with the best condition of welfare as JOHESU chooses to describe it?
“False claim of the existence of residency training for other health care providers: JOHESU is at it again! We are not aware that there is a residency training programme in the teaching hospitals, specialist hospitals, and federal medical centres. If there is evidence of a government-approved structured programme, JOHESU should provide it. A non-specialist cannot be training and certifying a specialist. It doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. The content of this claim by JOHESU is false and is calculated to mislead the government and the general public.
“Implementation of Consultant Pharmacist cadre- The NMA has made her observations known on this matter to the Ministry of Health and the Head of Service. We choose not to over-stretch this because we cannot be seen to be supporting creations that add no value to treatment of patients and with consequent waste of funds that could be useful in solving other health-related problems in the hospitals.”
The purported creation of Consultant Pharmacist cadre is a violation of the NICN judgment which places the authority of creation of such cadre on the FMOH.
There is no such thing as Consultant Pharmacist in hospital settings anywhere in the world.
“Promoting hospital-based Consultants to be CEO of Federal Tertiary Hospitals – We refer JOHESU to the enabling Act setting up the teaching hospitals which spelled out very clearly the conditions for the appointment of CEOs of Hospital. Reference was made to postgraduate qualifications and not Consultant. Secondly, the Act made no reference to full-time or part-time employees of government alone. JOHESU should remember that any non-public servants can be recruited to that position of CEO in a hospital, if he or she satisfies those conditions as set out in the enabling Act.
“Non-discriminatory hazard allowance – The position of NMA is well known to the government and JOHESU on hazard allowance is currently being negotiated.
“Upward review of retirement age for health care professionals – This come under item 14 of the ADR list and indeed is of similar interest to the Nigerian Medical Association. While we support the demand for an increase in the retirement age for health care professionals, we wish to place on record that government had released the white paper on Onosode report of 1981 as far back as 1982, among others,” the statement reads.
The associated said it wish to assure the Federal Government of its commitment to providing quality health care, peace, and harmony in the health sector while calling on JOHESU to come to equity with clean hands as their current affront against Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Nigeria cannot advance their course.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG

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The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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Expedite action on minimum wage – NAAT tells Tinubu

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The leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has called on President Bola Tinubu to expedite action on the new national minimum wage for workers.

Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, NAAT President said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nwokoma said the union was worried over the continuous delay by the President in transmitting the new National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.

“NAAT, as an affiliate of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), stands by the position of the organised labour and call on the federal government to expedite action on the matter to avoid industrial action,” he said.

He said the union condemned in strong terms, the unpatriotic position of State Governors claiming inability to pay even the N62, 000 proposed by federal government, though, rejected by the organised labour.

“The refusal of the Governors Forum to recognise the efforts of workers in creating wealth and prosperity in the states and the country in general, is most unfortunate.

“This undermines the essence and model adopted for national minimum wage. We therefore, demand that the Governors Forum should reconsider the position and toe the path of honour.

“The proposal by the governors to pay minimum wage based on their peculiarities is condemnable and rejected in its entirety,” he said.

He stressed that the constitutional provisions, on issues of minimum wage is contained in the exclusive legislative list.

The NAAT president also called on the federal government, to immediately implement the payment of the withheld salaries of its members and the resolutions of all other outstanding issues.

“NAAT is compelled to issue this press statement as a response to the non-payment of five and half months withheld salaries, non-payment of 25 per cent and 35 per cent salary increment arrears.

“Others issues are, the non-payment of Occupational Hazard and Responsibility Allowance arrears, release of enabling circular for CONTISS 14 and 15.

“Also, the non release of arrears of Earned Allowances as contained in Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) of 2020, 2021 and 2022,” he said.

Nwokoma recalled that the union embarked on a three-day warning strike in March, 2024 and had also met with the Minister of Education, Prof.Tahir Mamman and the
the House Committee on University Education and yet nothing came out of the steps taken

He added that in all the meetings, assurances were given, especially the withheld salaries, but, unfortunately, nothing had been done in that respect by the federal government.

“Having waited this far, the National EXCO at the end of its emergency meeting held at the National Secretariat, University of Abuja, resolved to toe the path of diplomacy and advocacy in actualising its demands.

“However, if this fails, the issue will be referred to the National Executive Council (NEC) at her regular meeting scheduled to hold this July 2024 for next line of actions,” he said.

Nwokoma, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, National Assembly, among others to prevail on government and ensure implementation of all the outstanding issues for a sustainable industrial harmony.

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