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Lagos Residents Decry Non-implementation of free Antenatal, Delivery Services 

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Some residents of Lagos have decried the non-implementation of the state government’s free antenatal and child delivery services at some General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state.

The residents spoke in separate interviews on Sunday in Lagos.

Reports says that Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had, during a media chat on Feb.

22,  announced sweeping interventions which the state would be implementing in order to reduce the effects of the current economic hardship on its citizens.

On health, Sanwo-Olu  reintroduced free child delivery programme for expectant mothers in all the state-owned General Hospitals and special maternity centres.

According to the governor, the state government will take up the cost of the child delivery, including caesarean section.

It would also reduce the cost of some certain drugs, such as hypertension medication.

The residents said that the free antenatal and child delivery services was a lip-service, stressing that the hospitals charged for every service rendered.

Mrs Funmilayo Olatunji, a trader who delivered at Ikorodu Health Centre, Ita-Elewa, said that delivery wasn’t free at the centre.

“I had normal delivery at the centre in February 2024. We paid N8,000 for child delivery fees, N10,500 for vaginal tear, and a cartoon of Maltina.

“I’m surprised to hear that the child delivery service was meant to be free at government facilities because the reverse was my experience,” she said.

Similarly, Mr Michael Adebiyi, whose wife delivered at Ikorodu General Hospital, Ebute, said he spent over N250,000 for caesarean section delivery and consumables at the hospital.

“My wife gave birth in February, and we paid for everything needed for the delivery from blood to caesarean section charges.

“Nothing was free; in fact, I’m still owing some people because I had to run around to source for the money.

“I was happy when I heard last year that expectant mothers would enjoy free child delivery services at government health facilities as part of relief measures to ease economic burden on families.

“The government should put mechanism in place to ensure that policies made truly impact on the lives of citizens,” he said.

Also, Mrs Stella Nwosu, a hairstylist, said that she switched to a trado-medical centre for antenatal and child delivery due to the high service charges.

“Sometimes in September, I went to Amuwo-Odofin General Hospital to register for antenatal service and was told to pay ₦30,000.

“We couldn’t afford it because every child care item is expensive and to feed is even a challenge. My mother-in-law took me to a traditional birth attendant, and I delivered my baby there,” she said.

A healthcare worker, who pleaded anonymity, said that many pregnant women pay out-of-pocket for antenatal and delivery services at many government-owned facilities.

She opined that the programme required improved planning, compliance monitoring, and management for sustainability.

The healthcare worker noted that the economic situation of the country, which led to increased cost of products, especially medicines and healthcare services, would worsen the plight of couples with unplanned pregnancy.

She advised couples to take smart decisions, stressing that child care was a lifelong socio-economic experience that extends beyond access to free antenatal and child delivery services.

NAN reports that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also in 2023, during the state’s Security Council meeting on July 31, 2023, had directed General Hospitals and Primary Health Care Centres to offer free antenatal care and child delivery services.

This is part of relief measures to ease the burden of the fuel subsidy removal.

The medical intervention will cover the cost of antenatal care, including the cost of registration and ANC clinics, as well as normal and cesarean section child delivery services.

It also seeks to increase access to quality maternal and child health services in line with the state government’s Universal Health Coverage attainment drive. (NAN)

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FCCPC Summons Owner of Chinese Supermarket for Alleged Discrimination of Citizens

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has summoned the owner of a Chinese supermarket located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), for alleged restriction of Nigerians.

The supermarket located at Royal Choice Estate, Lugbe, allegedly permits only Chinese citizens access to purchase groceries.

The supermarket was under lock and key when officials of the FCCPC visited in reaction to a viral video where citizens frowned at the supermarket’s policy.

Ms Boladale Adeyinka, the Director, Surveillance and Investigations of FCCPC, who led the team, said the essence of the investigation was to verify the allegations and the contents of that viral video.

”On arrival, we noticed that the supermarket which is right behind me, was sealed and padlocked externally.

”Inquiries have shown that yes, as at this morning this supermarket was opened and people were here.

”CCTV footage also shows that at about 8:29 a.m., two vehicles departed from these premises allegedly containing the owner of the supermarket, whom we have been able to identify by name and we have her contact details.

”Now the summon is to serve notice on her to appear before the FCCPC by April 24 at 11 a. m.

”There are other regulatory tools to be deployed if she fails to honour this summons, ” she said.

Adeyinka said that if the owner of the supermarket failed to hour the summon, the commission under its powers, would seal the premises until she complied.

Mr Sanusi Shuiabu, the Estate Assistant Facilities Manager, said the supermarket was primarily established to cater for the groceries needs of Chinese residents and other tenants of the estate.

He said that there were no agreement restricting the supermarket to Chinese residents only.

Shuiabu said the owner of the supermarket who he simply identified as Cindy was a tenant in the estate.

Reports says that the supermarket was under lock and key when the FCCPC official visited. (NAN)

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Niger Delta Leaders say NDDC MD has Capacity to Perform

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Some leaders in the Niger Delta say they have confidence in the capability of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku to perform.

Mr Freedom Atigbi, the Convener of the Niger Delta Opinion Leaders, Youths and Weighted Stakeholders said this at a news conference in Port Harcourt on Monday.

He said that Ogbuku had demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, charisma, and ability to drive both human and infrastructure development in the Niger Delta during his few months in office.

“Since Ogbuku’s appointment as managing director, the NDDC has successfully completed the 25.7-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road and bridges project.

“In addition, initiatives such as the postgraduate oversees scholarship programme and ‘Operation Light up the Niger Delta’  has significantly reduced crime and enhanced commercial activities in the region.

“Under Ogbuku’s leadership, NDDC has inaugurated the Project Hope programme aimed at creating a database to facilitate the planning and implementation of training and provision for skilled labour,” he said.

Atigbi, who also serves as the Deputy President of the Ijaw Council Worldwide, said that the managing director had established the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce to support local entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.

“These achievements within few months in office underscores our belief that Ogbuku’s leadership has transformed NDDC from a transactional to a transformative government agency.

“Ogbuku has shown his ability to engage all stakeholders to achieve the goal of carrying everyone along in the commission’s policies and programmes.

“We hereby pass a vote of confidence and offer our support to Ogbuku, a balancer and unifier whose policies and programmes are tackling poverty and misery in the region,” he added.

The youth leader praised President Bola Tinubu for entrusting Ogbuku with the task of advancing his Renewed Hope Agenda in the Niger Delta. (NAN)

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Alleged Defilement: Businessman Docked for Failing to Produce Suspect

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Court Sentences Applicant to 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Cell Phone
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A businessman, Robert Makolo on Monday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court, for failing to produce a suspect he stood surety for in a case of defilement.

Makolo had promised to produce the suspect, John, who is his brother in court by the adjourned date.

The Magistrate Mr Lateef Owolabi, adjourned the case until May 30 for mention and to enable the defendant produce the suspect.

Reports says that Makolo had earlier been arraigned on Jan.

22 and stood trial on a two- count charge of conspiracy and perversion of justice.

He had pleaded not guilty.

Magistrate Owolabi, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum who must produce evidence of 3 years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

He said that one of the sureties must be a blood relative.

The prosecutor, SP Josephine Ikhayere had told the court that Makolo stood in as surety on  Nov 16, 2023 at the Anthony Police Station.

Ikhayere alleged that Makolo stood as a surety for his brother Paul, who was involved in a case of defilement.

She said the defendant promised to produce his brother the suspect anytime his presence was required at the police station until the case is finally disposed of.

She said that the defendant undertook to produce the suspect on Nov. 30, 2023 but failed.

The prosecutor said that the section contravene the provisions of Section 97 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos.(NAN)

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