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Minister Vows Drastic Actions against Non-performing CMDs




By David Torough, Abuja

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, has warned that drastic actions will be taken against Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) of non-performing tertiary health institutions nationwide.

Pate gave the warning on Wednesday in Abuja, while fielding questions from newsmen during the third edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series (MPBS) initiated by the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation.

According to him, the focus of the CMDs should be on providing healthcare services to Nigerians in a respectable manner and anyone found not doing so will be held responsible.

He said “I want to put all federal tertiary hospitals on notice that the Minister of State and myself will make serious surreptitious visits to those facilities to see what they are doing so they should be ready.

“If any of our chief executives does not focus on the quality of care in their hospitals and we see lapses, we will take drastic action against them.

“This is because at the end of the day, these are public institutions and their focus is to provide services to Nigerians and to ensure that Nigerians are respected when they are given those services.”

He, however, said that there had been a significant increase in patient attendance at federal tertiary hospitals, a testament to the improved quality of care and confidence in the healthcare system.

According to him, through targeted investments in infrastructure, technology and human capital, the Federal Government will enhance the capacity of the institutions to deliver specialised medical services.

He added that “the Federal Government will also handle complex health conditions, ensuring that every Nigerian has access to world-class healthcare when needed.

“Our commitment to improving tertiary healthcare services is unwavering. Twelve tertiary hospitals/centres have been earmarked for infrastructure development, including the establishment of oncology centres, radiology centres, and diagnostics facilities.

“These investments will enhance our capacity to provide specialised care and meet the evolving healthcare needs of our people.”

Pate also said that though health workers were facing challenges, the ministry was working hard to remedy them.

He announced that CMDs had been notified to ensure that gunshot victims were treated immediately without having to present a police report.

He added that “on gunshot victims, we have stated it and the Inspector-General of Police also raised it but the issue is the non-public facilities,

the private facilities, some of the state facilities may not be paying enough attention.

“So, I think if we accept as the norm and the press themselves amplify this message that it is not acceptable to lose a life when one can actually save that life.

“We will begin to see change and we call on all health workers to prioritise saving lives.”

While giving account of the ministry’s affairs, he said that through sustained investment and strategic partnerships, it had expanded access to vital healthcare services.

This, he said, was particularly in rural and under-served areas, improving health outcomes and reducing the burden of preventable diseases.

“As a result of our efforts, we have recorded an increase in the proportion of women who attend Ante-Natal Care (ANC).

“Over 550,000 women now attend their first ANC and are armed with the right information and care to improve their pregnancy outcomes and reduce maternal and child mortality.”

He, however, said that to sustain and continue to build on those gains, the Federal Government recruited 2,497 doctors, midwives/nurses, and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) in the last six months to bridge the gaps.

He added that an additional 1,400 health facilities now have Skilled Birth Attendants to assist in deliveries at the health facilities, thereby increasing the number of health facility deliveries to as high as 230,000 deliveries per month.

Pate also said that the Federal Government had made substantial strides in expanding health insurance coverage.

According to him, by supporting enrolment initiatives and streamlining administrative processes, the ministry extended coverage to millions of Nigerians, safeguarding them against the financial hardships associated with healthcare expenses.

“Also, since the beginning of the administration, about 750,000 more Nigerians have been enrolled in health insurance.”

On shortage of healthcare personnel, he said the Federal Government, in collaboration with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), took proactive steps by increasing the number of medical students admitted into medical schools.

On the rising cost of pharmaceuticals as a pressing concern, the minister said that decisive action was being taken to address the issue.

He explained that “an executive order will soon be issued to curb escalating drug prices in the short term, while our mid to long-term goal involves the domestication of imported drugs within the next three years, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade.

“In a strategic move to fortify the pharmaceutical infrastructure across the nation, the Federal Government initiated the construction of pharmaceutical-grade warehouses in 21 states in collaboration with Drug Management Agencies.

“Two additional warehouses at the federal level are also underway, complemented by the installation of the Warehousing Management Information System (WMIS) – M Supply, in these 21 pharma-grade warehouses.

“This visionary project which commenced in October 2023 is slated for completion in March, with a scheduled commissioning in April.”

Pate also said that the implementation of WMIS is expected to significantly enhance accountability and transparency, ensuring the potency of public health medicines and other health commodities.

He said the Federal Government had led the development of the maiden National Policy on Cosmetics Safety in Nigeria, a crucial policy that would guide the production and safe use of cosmetics in the country.

He, therefore, reaffirmed the Federal Government’s unwavering commitment to advancing the health and well-being of every Nigerian.

He said the government remained steadfast in its resolve to build a healthier, more resilient nation, and would continue to collaborate with stakeholders at all levels to achieve its shared vision of a thriving healthcare system for all.


Alleged Kidnapping of 11 Travellers in Enugu, Mischievous, Misleading – Police




The Police Command in Enugu State has denounced media report alleging that 11 people were kidnapped at the Amechi-Idodo area of the Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway on Wednesday.The command described the report as misleading, mischievous and aimed at creating panic.The Command’s Spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Enugu.

Ndukwe said that the stance given in an online publication remained a total distortion of facts surrounding the incident of an attempted abduction along the said road, on July 16, 2024, around 6p.
m.Ndukwe said that contrary to the misleading report, a Joint Security team, upon receipt of a distress call on the incident, moved to the Enugu/Ebonyi States border point along the Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway, on the said date and time.
“Hence, they rescued 13 occupants of a Nissan commercial bus. However, three others, who scampered into nearby bushes upon the attack, are yet-to-be located,” he said.The command spokesman said that the Commissioner of Police, Mr Kanayo Uzuegbu, had ordered the sustenance of ongoing operations to locate and rescue the three missing victims and also hunt down the assailants.Ndukwe said that the commissioner reassured commitment of the command to sustain collaborative efforts with internal and neigbouring States’ security forces to ensure watertight security on major highways and borders.“The commissioner further cautions reporters and publishers to always verify their facts before going to press,” he said .This, he said, was to avoid misleading reports and creating panic in the minds of unsuspecting members of the public,” he added. (NAN)

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Tinubu Mandates 2.1m Crude Oil Production – CDS




President Bola Tinubu has directed security agencies to improve the security architecture to ensure the production of 2.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Gen. Christopher Musa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), said this while briefing State House correspondents, after a meeting with President Tinubu on Friday.

“It is a mandate for us to restore full production, we are targeting 2.

1 million barrels per day, which is achievable.
So, we are taking steps to ensure that all that is required to be done is done,” he said.

He said the President was aware of the cries of the oil producing communities and would not let them down.

He said the communities should be rest assured that steps were being taken to address their grievances so that full production of crude oil would be restored.

“For the criminals, those that are hell bent on destroying our infrastructure and stealing our crude oil for whatever reasons, their days are numbered.

“We are coming after them, and we want to assure Nigerians that all we need is to work together to achieve success.

“Nobody can do it alone, no single service, no single individual can do this alone; we all need to work together, including the states. We understand that the communities have so much needs, the President will address those issues to ensure that we have full production,” said Musa.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, said security chiefs were at the State House to brief President Tinubu on the current security situation in the country.

“This we have been doing regularly. Mr President is satisfied with our report and he has challenged us to continue to work together and improve our synergy.

“We have records of all reported crimes across the country and can tell you that crime rate is declining in Nigeria. 

“Records don’t lie, the records are there. So, I can assure you that we will continue to do what we are doing to maintain the decline in the crime rate,” said Egbetokun.

Report says that Nigeria’s crude oil production currently stands at 1.472m pbd, down from 1.502m last month and up from 1.450m one year ago.

This is a change of -2.04 per cent from last month and 1.50 per cent from last year.

The decline in daily crude oil production figure is attributed to pipeline vandalism and sundry criminal activities that have made it impossible for the country to meet its OPEC production quota. (NAN)

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Gov. Alia Promises to Pay N70,000 Minimum Wage




Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue has promised to pay the newly approved N70,000 minimum wage agreed between the Federal Government and the organised labour.Alia, who disclosed this on Friday while answering questions from newsmen in Makurdi, said that workers needed to be appreciated.The Federal Government and the organised labour had on Thursday, announced the sum of N70,000 as the new minimum wage in the country.

He said with focus and the improved internally generated revenue, his administration would pay the new wage.
The governor said despite the current economic situation in the country, things were gradually moving in the State because of careful planning and prudent application of resources.
“Even our internally generated revenue (IGR) has increased. So it is now left for us to close all loopholes to see how much we can cash in to do many other things including the payment of salaries.“Why not, we can pay. I’m focused. What is agreed by the Federal Government is definitely what we the sub-nationals can also just queue in to.“Without the workforce, we wouldn’t have any center of any government. So we need to appreciate our civil servants or workforce in a way approved by the Federal Government and the Labour organisations synonymously so that the system can work”he said.Earlier, the governor while inaugurating the governing councils of seven State tertiary institutions charged them on corporate governance.He said the future of the institutions was on their shoulders therefore, they must not fail in the discharge of their responsibilities.The governor urged them to concentrate on policy enhancement that would improve the quality of education at the institutions to meet global standards.Alia said the government would provide them with a working guidelines for efficient service delivery.Responding on behalf of those inaugurated, Mr Paul Chukwuma, Chairman/Pro-chancellor Benue State University (BSU) promised to deliver on their mandate.Chukwuma said State institutions needed adequate support to carryout research and development.He said they would use their connections to facilitate support to the various institutions.Those inaugurated include Paul Chukwuma, Chairman/Pro-chancellor Benue State University (BSU) Makurdi, while Prof Shagbaor Wegh, Mr Simon Orkuma , Dr Diana Ochoga and Mr Michael Gongul are members.At Benue State Polytechnic, Ogbokolo – Dr Demian Anyam is the Chairman, while Mr Sam Godday , Dr Kelvin Kandev, Mr Samuel Awuhe and Mr Peter Egbodo are members.In College of Education, Oju – Prof. Member George-Genyi is the Chairman, Prof Emmanuel Otor, Prof Joseph Kerker, Habiba Ochifu, and Rev. Elijah are to Serve as members.College of Education, Katsina-Ala has Prof. Gabriel Moti as Chairman, Chief Johnson Onoja, Victoria Ekwo, and Patience Iorun as members.Akawe Torkula Polytechnic, Makurdi – Prof. Okpe Okpe is the Chairman, Mr Bitacy Jirgba, Dr Shiminenge Atime, Mr Edo Egboja and Mr Achihin Hur are members.Akperan Orshi Polytechnic, Yandev has Dr Victoria Pila as Chairman, Mr Sam Agwa, Mr Nicholas Ugallali, Mrs Theresa Ikwe and Mr Joseph Adi as members.In College of Health Technology, Agasha – Dr Bem Vangerwua is the Chairman, Dr Silas Ge, Alice Yaaju, Rebecca Tor and Comfort Anongu are to serve as members.(NAN)

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