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Lagos Nurses Walk Out On Commissioners, Others

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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.”

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MFN President Lauds IFMA Over Tournament Sponsorship

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President of Muaythai Federation of Nigeria MFN, Comrade Paul Egonu has lauded International Federation of Muaythai Association (IFMA) over the sponsorship of about 600 Khru Muaythai, trainers and foreign Muaythai boxers to perform the Wai Khru Muaythai ceremony.

The event was held at the Ancient Olympia Stadium in Greece, the birth place of Olympics Games. It was witnessed by a huge crowd including notable Muauythai athletes all over the world.

Comrade Egonu made the commendation in an exclusive Interview with Tidesports yesterday, shortly he arrived Port Harcourt from MFN meeting in Lagos, saying that the commendation was also borne out of the fact that IFMA made it possible for Muaythai to feature in Tokyo Japan 2020 Olympics as a scoring sport.

He further commended IFMA leaders, Dr. Sakchai Tapsuwan, President Stefan Fox, Secretary-General Janice Linn, Sports Director Dr. Supranee Kuptasara, former manager of the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF)Associate Professor Dr. Anan Meksawan, Dr. Chao Watayotha, International Khru Muaythai and other leaders to organise ” Muauythai IFMA Senior World Championship 2024″ in Patras, Greece, May 31 through June 9, 2024.

According to him, over 1,200 Muaythai athletes from 79 countries from five continents participated in the World Muaythai Championship and Muaythai boxers were divided into different categories.

“We commend our Internatiomal body to have successfully hosted Muauythai IFMA Senior World Championship 2024″ in Patras, Greece, between May 31 – June 9, 2024 and sponsor over 600 Khru Muaythai, trainers and foreign Muaythai boxers to perform the Wai Khru Muaythai ceremony in Ancient Olympia Stadium in Greece, the birth place of Olympics Games and prepared to showcase talents at the forthcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

” Apart from that we are also happy that our parent body is making sure that the sport is acceptable in every part of the world including in Nigeria”, Comrade Egonu said.

He use the forum to urge Muaythai athletes in Nigeria to keep faith and their moral high as the Federation awaits Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports to do the needful by recognising Muauythai as a scoring sports in NSF, as they have met the statutory requirements.

” As Federation we have met statutory requirements to be a scoring sports in NSF because we have appeared in three National demonstrations and have two-third of Muaythai athletes in the States which we have achieved since 2006 at the NSF Gateway Ogun State and unofficial demonstration at the 20th National sports Festival tagged Edo2020 NSF held in Edo state”, he stated.

The MFN President also assured Muaythai athletes in Nigeria that they will participate at the forthcoming NSF scheduled to hold in Ogun State next year January.

 

Tonye Orabere

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Winners-Take-All Approach Detrimental To Political Justice And Unity – Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has cautioned that the prevailing “winners-take-all” approach to politics in Nigeria is detrimental to political justice and unity.
Speaking yesterday as the chairman of the national symposium to mark this year’s Democracy Day at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Jonathan emphasised the need for a more inclusive system where parties that perform well at the polls are given a role in governance.
The symposium, which marked this year’s Democracy Day, brought together prominent figures from across the country to discuss the state of democracy in Nigeria and the need for reforms.
Jonathan highlighted the negative impact of the current zero-sum practice, which he said fosters a culture of do-or-die politics. He urged the National Assembly to work out a formula that would ensure parties that score a certain percentage of votes in an election are included in governance, thereby promoting political justice and unity.
“The powers of the presidents are defined by different constitutions and so on and so forth.
“So our National Assembly can also look at models that will suit us. The zero-sum approach, where a party that even sometimes gets 40% of votes, especially at the state levels will have nothing, gives rise to this do-or-die politics.
“That zero-sum approach, I think, is inimical to consolidating and strengthening our democracy.
“Let me conclude by saying that together, we can forge a Nigeria where every citizen has a voice, where opportunities abound, where the promise of a better tomorrow is not just a dream but a tangible reality.
“Let us therefore celebrate this milestone with pride and renewed determination.”
President Jonathan also advised President Bola Tinubu’s administration to ensure that the politics of the next 25 years are transformative and inclusive, saying that there must be a determined effort to dilute the politics of region and religion.
“And I know you and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was a key actor in the June 12 crisis, will have the capacity to navigate through that process.
“I believe this programme and others commemorating this landmark will point the way to that glorious vision and prepare the nation for golden time centenary celebrations of enduring democracy.”
Noting that the path towards democratic consolidation has been a difficult one, he said the return of democracy in 1999, after many years of military reign, signalled a new phase in the national journey and shared vision of unity, peace and progress.
The former president added: “In the last 25 years, we have made modest progress in this regard amid some challenges. As a nation, we built an economy that was once the biggest on the African continent, experienced significant infrastructural growth, made strides in the arts and sports, and recorded many peaceful political transitions at the national and sub-national levels.
“Democracy has also brought about improved access to governance, amplified silent voices and reinforced the idea of sovereignty.
“Whenever I tune in to Nigerian TV stations, especially in the morning and see young men and women discussing and interrogating contemporary political issues and holding leaders to account, I thank God for democracy and appreciate the gains we have made over the years.
“In these 25 years, through four power transitions from one president to another, including the death of a sitting president, we have seen the gradual strengthening of our democratic institutions, the expansion of civil liberties, and the active participation of our citizenry in the political process. This progress, while commendable, also reminds us that our work is far from done.
“It is, therefore, time to make this journey seamless, through good citizenship, patriotic service as well as sacrificial and exemplary stewardship.
“We must continue to build upon the foundations laid, deepen our democratic roots, and ensure that the dividends of democracy are felt by all Nigerians, regardless of their social, economic or geographic status.”
Jonathan also called on the political class and elites to lead by example and work with unity of purpose to guarantee peace, social justice, and effective governance for Nigerian citizens.
He emphasised the need for elected representatives to reflect their roles through their lifestyles and actions.
He said: “For democracy to yield its desired dividend, we the political class and elites must lead by example and work with unity of purpose to guarantee peace and social justice for the citizens. And our lifestyle must reflect that we are elected people.

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Ibom Developers Drive Sustainable Growth Through Skill Acquisition Workshop In Amazaba Community, Akwa Ibom

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Skill acquisition is a principal factor for building a successful career, significantly enhancing one’s employability and opening doors to various career opportunities. It serves as a cornerstone for driving holistic development within communities, fostering economic empowerment, and promoting sustainable growth.
Recognising the transformative impact of its ongoing skill acquisition initiatives, Ibom Developers has extended its programme to the Amazaba community in Eastern Obolo LGA, Akwa Ibom State, from 3rd to 14th June 2024.
This initiative aims to foster economic empowerment and community development by equipping participants with practical skills essential for economic independence.
During the event, 160 women received intensive training in catering, food hygiene, packaging, hairdressing, wig making, ventilation, and styling over a period of two weeks.
Distinguished guests, including Chief Gogonte Luke Nglass, Chairman of the Amazaba Council of Chiefs, Chief Alexander Ikowa, Village Head of Okorobilom, Chief J.J Job, Village Head of Bethlehem, Mrs. Gloria Gogonte, Vice President of the Amazaba Women Association, and Victoria Solomon Bibama, Assistant Secretary of the Amazaba Women Association, were present.
Grateful for the initiative and its impact on the community, especially in advancing women’s skills, Chief Gogonte Luke Nglass expressed optimism for transformative change, stating, “We are grateful, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing the profound effects of this initiative on our community.”
Skill acquisition empowers individuals to navigate the modern job market, achieve personal and professional growth, and contribute to economic and social development.
Emphasising the role of skill acquisition in empowering women and youth, Victoria Solomon Bibama expressed, “This is highly commendable, and initiatives like these bring us closer to a future where every woman can thrive, and no community is left behind.”
Equipping women with relevant skills, especially in rural areas, expands opportunities for meaningful employment. Ibom Developers’ efforts contribute to building a stronger society, facilitating economic growth and social progress.
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