President Muhammadu Buhari says efforts by the Federal Government will be redoubled to improve health facilities, equipment and services in the country, listing people living in rural areas as top on priority for better health services.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari made this known when he inaugurated the Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Daura, Katsina State, on Thursday.
The president said the Federal Government had, in the last four years, invested resources in the health sector, with increased budgetary allocation moving from N259 billion in 2015 to over N340 billion in 2018.
He also revealed that significant strides had been made to life expectancy and reduced some of the killer diseases associated with child and maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100, 000 live births by the year 2030, as planned in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
He, however, maintained that ”despite this, more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and many persistent and emerging health issues in our society.”
Buhari said dependence on foreign countries for medical treatment could be reduced by turning around the health sector in the country, noting that health services in the rural areas deserved more attention.
“To achieve this, we must now redouble efforts to focus on providing more efficient funding of the health sector, improve sanitation and hygiene, and increase access to medical care in the rural areas in order to save lives of millions of Nigerians.
“There is therefore no more auspicious time to commission this Reference Hospital than now,’’ he added.
The President commended the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar for situating the Reference Hospital, with state-of-art medical equipment for radio-diagnosis, cancer screening, dialysis, laboratory diagnosis and research, in Daura to serve the aligning states and communities.
“This hospital will minimise the need for people in these areas to travel to Kano, Kaduna, Abuja or even overseas to receive medical treatment.
“I urge you to maintain the highest standard and quality of services the military is known for in attending to patients and the host community. Maintenance is central to efficiency and satisfactory service delivery,’’ the President said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Mrs Nuratu Batagarawa, said the project was conceived and implemented with personnel of the military and the community in mind to provide quality health services.
In his remarks, the Chief of Air Staff said the 60 bed capacity hospital had a total of nine medical consultants, as well as 61 general medical practitioners and dentists.
“These developments have significantly enhanced the capacity of the medical services branch to provide quality healthcare to our personnel,’’ he said.
The Chief of Air Staff also noted that the hospital had ultra-modern operating theatres, an intensive care unit, medical laboratory, eye and dental clinics and a physiotherapy department.(NAN)
Nasarawa: Police Arrest 10 for Allegedly Stealing 45 Children, Recover 6
The Police Command in Nasarawa State has arrested 10 suspected members of a child theft and sale syndicate, who allegedly stole no fewer than 45 children.
The Commissioner of Police, Shehu Nadada, made the disclosure while parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Lafia, on Friday.
According to the commissioner, police operatives attached to Keffi Division on routine patrol on Jan.10, rescued a man from mob action and upon enquiry discovered that he allegedly abducted a five-year-old boy in Keffi.
He said that the suspect later confessed to being a member of a syndicate that specialised in child theft and sale of same to the highest bidder.
Nadada said that further investigation led to the arrest of nine other members of the syndicate.
He said that further analysis on their mobile phones indicated that they had stolen and sold 45 children, who have been illegally adopted by unsuspecting member of the public across the country.
The commissioner, who did not state the period when the children were stolen, said that most of them were stolen from Abuja, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Niger states.
He said that six of the children had been recovered from Abuja, Ondo and Lagos State, while effort was ongoing to arrest more accomplices and recover more of the stolen children.
He further said that the suspects confessed to selling off many children at different prices, from N350,000 to N1.5 million depending on their age and gender.
Nadada disclosed that the suspects usually conspire with some social welfare officers to produce fake documents that facilitated the sale of the children to willing buyers.
The commissioner charged parents to pay more attention to their wards while calling on those seeking to adopt children to be wary of criminals.(NAN)
Police Arrest Car Theft Syndicate Member in Ogun
The Police Command in Lagos State said it had arrested a suspected member of a car theft syndicate, stealing cars parked anywhere in Ogun and selling them off in Lagos.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest to the newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.
Hundeyin said that police operatives from Elere Division, who were on stop and search foot patrol on Friday, at about 6.00 p. m., along Agege Motor Road, carried out the arrest.
He said that during a stop and search, the officers intercepted a Sienna Space Bus, with four men in it.
The image maker said that while the officers were questioning the occupants, the four suddenly jumped down from the vehicle and took to their heels.
“They were pursued and one of them, simply identified as John, 28 years, was arrested, while others escaped.
“The suspect claimed he was contracted by one of the fleeing suspects, whose name he claimed he did not know, to drive the vehicle from Abeokuta, Ogun Capital to Ijora in Lagos.
“The suspect also claimed that two of the suspects at Large joined the vehicle on their way to Lagos before the police interception,” he said.
Hundeyin said that preliminary investigation revealed that the said vehicle was removed from where it was parked at Kemta in Ogun.
He said that the suspect and the vehicle were in their custody, while efforts were on to arrest the fleeing members of the syndicate. (NAN)
LASRERA Collaborates with EFCC to Curb Real Estate Fraudulent Practices in Lagos
The Lagos Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) says it has collaborated with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to curb real estate fraudulent practices in the state.
The Special Adviser on Housing to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Barakat Odunuga-Bakare said this in a statement in Lagos on Friday.
Odunuga-Bakare stated that the collaboration was part of the decisions reached when LASRERA’s management paid a courtesy visit to EFCC.
She added that the partnership was a response to the growing concerns surrounding real estate activities in the state.
The governor’s aide said the collaboration between the two organisations would enhance regulation and enforcement of ethical standards within the real estate industry.
According to her, the initiative will promote a transparent environment for both buyers and sellers of property as well as secure the interests of both investors and the general public.
“LASRERA and EFCC will work closely to investigate and prosecute individuals and organisations involved in fraudulent practices such as impersonation, property flipping and document forgery.
“By leveraging their respective expertise and resources, the two bodies will strengthen the legal framework and enforcement mechanisms in tackling real estate fraud effectively.
“Real estate fraud not only undermines the integrity of the sector but also poses serious financial risks to individuals and the economy as a whole.
“By teaming up with EFCC, we are sending a strong message that such inimical practices would not be tolerated as perpetrators will be held accountable,’’ she said.
The governor’s aide expressed optimism that EFCC would put its expertise and experience in unraveling erring individuals and groups who commits fraud in the sector.
According to her, the commission’s mandate aligns with LASRERA’s mission in regulating and promoting ethical practices in the real estate industry.
She implored the EFCC, Lagos Zonal offices to always confirm the registration status of any individual or organisation who engages for real estate-related activities through LASRERA’s registration portal.
According to her, this will help the commission to know if the person or organisation is genuine or not.
Responding, Zonal Commander, EFCC Lagos Zonal Command, Mr Michael Wetkas, lauded LASRERA’s management for approaching the commission, noting that this would further assist the Commission in investigating corrupt cases related to real estate transactions.
Wetkas said that real estate investment-related issues constitute the major part of complaints received by the commission recently.
The commander said that the partnership between LASRERA and the EFCC would rekindle investors’ confidence in Lagos state’ real estate sector.
According to him, the collaborative effort is expected to have a far-reaching impact on the real estate sector and restore confidence and trust among stakeholders.
Wetkas urged the public to report any suspicious activities related to real estate transactions to the appropriate authorities. (NAN)
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