Doctors vow to resist pay cut, lament payroll fraud

The National Association of Resident Doctors has urged the Federal Government to curb the financial leakages in federal teaching hospitals.
The resident doctors on Friday urged the government to enrol doctors on the Integrated Personnel Payroll System before October 30.

They vowed to resist pay cut arising from improper grading and placement of doctors currently affecting many hospitals in the country.

The Public Relations Officer, NARD, Dr. Ugoeze Asinobi, said in Yenagoa that the association took the resolution among others at an extraordinary National Executive Meeting in Abuja on Sunday.

According to him, the officials at various federal teaching hospitals deliberately manipulate the grading and step system to short-pay doctors and pocket the cumulative differentials running into millions of naira.

Asinobi said the inappropriate placement of doctors on grades and scale was adversely affecting doctors in twelve federal hospitals across the country.

He noted that the development had compelled doctors in affected hospitals to go on strike thereby obstructing industrial harmony, worsening health indices and needless loss of lives.

The spokesman, therefore, advised the Federal Government to ensure that full remuneration of doctors were captured in the 2017 budget to forestall the breach of industrial harmony in the health sector in the coming year.

Asinobi said, “Any attempt to truncate full emolument of our members will be strongly resisted and will lead to immediate and total nationwide breakdown of industrial relations.

“The chief executives of the 12 affected hospitals where the pay cuts occasioned by the inappropriate placement of doctors should immediately be called to order to avoid worsening the frosty industrial relations.

“All institutions currently on strike as a result of non-implementation of full salaries with lateral conversion have the full backing of NARD and are encouraged to be steadfast.

“They should activate all mechanisms within the ambits of the law to press home their agitations and ensure that their demands are met.”

He said NARD faulted the invocation of ‘no work, no pay rule’ and rejectd it entirely, noting that its members were punished for the ineptitude of the Chief Executives of the affected hospitals and health ministry officials.

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Boko Haram region could become world’s worst crisis – UN

In this photo taken on September 15, 2016 women and children queue to enter one of the Unicef nutrition clinics at the Muna makeshift camp which houses more than 16,000 IDPs (internaly displaced people) on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria.
Aid agencies have long warned about the risk of food shortages in northeast Nigeria because of the conflict, which has killed at least 20,000 since 2009 and left more than 2.6 million homeless. In July, the United Nations said nearly 250,000 children under five could suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year in Borno state alone and one in five — some 50,000 — could die. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

Without more donor support the emergency caused by Boko Haram will become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, a top UN official said Friday, as a massive appeal remained just a quarter funded.
United Nations assistant secretary general Toby Lanzer said the suffering in northeast Nigeria and surrounding areas was the worst he had ever witnessed.

“I have worked in Darfur,” Lanzer told reporters, referring to the war-torn Sudanese region. “The scale and the depth of suffering that I have seen (in Nigeria) is unparalleled in my experience.”

Nigeria-born Islamist group Boko Haram has waged a brutal insurgency in the country’s northeast, with violence spreading more recently to western Cameroon as well as the south of Chad and Niger.
The UN has appealed for a $739 million to cover needs across the entire affected region — known as the Lake Chad Basin — but has received commitments for just $197 million (176 million euros).

“If we don’t engage in a much more comprehensive manner, including scaling up our emergency relief programmes, what awaits us down the line is the biggest crisis facing any of us, anywhere,” Lanzer said.

More than nine million people are in “desperate” need of aid, Lanzer said.

The United Nations had not declared a famine in the Lake Chad Basin, but Lanzer warned that 65,000 people were living in “famine-like conditions”.

The UN has also said that up to 80,000 children in the region could die if they do not get food aid within the next year.

When Boko Haram violence was at its peak through 2013 and 2014, the UN and other aid groups were unaware of the gravity of needs because access to conflict-ridden areas was largely impossible.

Nigeria’s military has since made gains against the extremists and emergency workers have moved in, unveiling a catastrophe unrivalled “anywhere except that of Syria,” Lanzer said, warning the Lake Chad could overtake Syria in terms of the scale of the needs.

The Boko Haram conflict, which began in northeast Nigeria in 2009, has displaced an estimated 2.6 million people.

At least 20,000 have died in violence blamed on the Islamists, but the numbers killed by causes linked to the conflict are likely much higher.

Nigeria takes on oil majors over ‘illegal exports’

Chevron and Total on Friday failed to have a court throw out a case implicating them in the alleged failure to declare billions of dollars of crude exports from Nigeria.
The US and French companies are among up to 15 oil majors reportedly targeted by the Nigerian government, which claims the practice lost it $17 billion in revenue between 2011 and 2014.

A judge at the federal high court in Lagos dismissed the firms’ applications for lack of merit after hearing arguments from both sides and adjourned the case until October 25.

Prosecutor Fabian Ajogwu told reporters outside court that the dismissal of Total and Chevron’s applications indicated there was “a course of action for the federal government”.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in May last year, promising to tackle endemic corruption and recover what he said were “mind-boggling” sums of stolen public money.

In July last year he blocked 113 oil tankers from entering Nigerian territorial waters, accusing them of exporting undeclared crude.

Buhari’s government then commissioned US auditors to compare the number of barrels of oil declared for export with those declared for import in the United States, China and Norway.

Court papers seen by AFP said the report concluded that one of “the major reasons for the decline in the revenue from crude oil exploration was due to undeclaration and under-declaration of crude oil shipments made by some major oil and gas companies”.

The first case centres around the alleged non-declaration of some 57 million barrels worth $12.7 billion to the United States by the Nigerian subsidiaries of Total, Chevron and Italy’s Agip.

Anglo-Dutch Shell’s local subsidiary is also expected to face action in the coming weeks. The identities of the other companies have not yet been revealed.

The court papers for Friday’s case only mention Total and say the government wants $245 million in damages and interest, with 21 percent interest for every year of revenue lost.

Edo Election: Obaseki’s victory is reward of APC hardwork – Bello

Edo election: Gov. Sani Bello of Niger has described the victory of Mr Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governor-elect of Edo, as a reward for dedication and commitment to service by the party.
This was contained in a statement signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Ndace and made available to newsmen on Friday in Minna,

Bello said that the victory of Obaseki at the polls was a testimony, which showed that the people of Edo appreciated the developmental progress recorded in the last eight years.

The statement urged the governor-elect to ensure that he built on the foundation laid by his predecessor, so as to take the state to a greater height.

“I want to congratulate Obaseki and Mr Philip Shaibu, his deputy, on their victory at the just concluded governorship election in Edo state.

“Your track record as a seasoned technocrat and your antecedents as an astute administrator must have informed your choice by the people.

“Your emergence at the polls as the governor-elect in the keenly contested election was a testimony of the confidence the people have in you, as a teamplayer whose contributions to Edo development are outstanding.

“As the people have willingly and massively gave you the mandate, I enjoin you to build on the good foundation laid by your predecessor. Also ensure that this is taken to the next level,’’ the statement said.

It, however, enjoined the elected to fulfill their campaign promises to the people, adding that fulfilment of promise would bring about dividends of democracy in the state.

“I urge you to live up to your vision of building a modern and progressive Edo where every citizen is empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness’’.

“Above all, you must realize that you are now governor of all, irrespective of political, ideological, religious and ethnic differences,’’ it added.

FG to make Zamfara hub of agriculture – Osinbajo

The Federal Government is planning to use the arable land in Zamfara to make the state a leading agriculture hub in the country, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said.

The vice-president announced this at the launch of the Maru township water project in Maru, Zamfara, on Friday. He said the state was blessed with vast farmland and good potential, stressing that the Federal Government decided to invest heavily in the state in agriculture next year.

He urged Nigerians to come together and fight the current economic recession, stressing that “everyone must play his or her role through the payment of taxes, obedience to law and order and helping the poor.”

Osinbajo, who commended Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara for providing infrastructure in the state, noted that “as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Gov. Yari has not disappointed his colleagues, especially at the National Economic Forum where he encouraged them to provide the much needed infrastructure for the development of their respective states.”

Earlier, Yari said he spent over N6 billion in the construction of 20 kilometers township roads in each of the 14 local government areas of the state.

He said that his administration had also provided street lights in the state capital at the cost of N150 million and spent N991 million in the rehabilitation of the Government Girls Arabic Secondary School, Gusau. Yari said the state government also spent N105 million n the rehabilitation of the School for Continuing Education, Gusau.

The governors of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and Kebbi, Alhaji Atiku Bagudo
were at the launch of the township water project, as they flanked Gov. Yari to receive the visiting vice-president.

Don’t protect corrupt people, NHRC tells senior lawyers

THE National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, yesterday, came down hard on senior lawyers and others in the public service using human rights to shield corrupt people from prosecution and justice.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, who was represented at a formal public presentation of a report on impact of corruption good health delivery, noted that the commission believes that corruption is the biggest impediment to respect for human rights in Nigeria.

The report titled: “Health in decline: Human Rights Impacts of Corruption in Nigeria’s Health Sector,” was launched by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) in collaboration with the Ford Foundation.

The report also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to, “encourage anti corruption commissions and agencies to pro actively launch and follow through investigations into credible allegations of corruption in the Ministry of Health including, investigating other pervasive allegations of corruption in the health sector in greater depth and promptly and satisfactorily concluding any pending investigations on corruption in the spending of budget allocations and international aids to the ministry.”

Prof. Angwe, who was represented by Mr Wahab Oyedokun, said: “We recognize that we have to fight corruption to ensure human rights. There is a problem in the human rights community. The problem is that we have pretenders in the human rights and legal communities using the platform of human rights to advance corruption and to shield corrupt elements in our society.

“It is our responsibility to expose and delegitimise these pretenders and to make sure that our citizens recognize that fight against corruption and impunity of perpetrators is really the cause to promote human rights.   This is the right course to take as a human rights advocate.”

He noted that the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence is a shield and not a sword, and corrupt officials cannot claim not to be tried because they have human rights, especially given the massive stealing of our commonwealth.

7 killed as militants in military camouflage attack army base in Cross River

Seven members of a militant group, the Bakassi Strike Force led by the most wanted criminal Benjamin Ene alias G1, were killed after they attacked troops position in the early hours of Friday in Cross Rivers state.
According to the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 13 brigade Nigerian Army , Captain KO Owolabi, the militants were heavily armed.

“At about 0100hrs early this morning 30/9/2016. Militant group,  The very determined troops of 13 Brigade and Operation Delta Safe repelled the attack killing 7 of the militants some of them wearing Nigerian military camouflage.”

“Items recovered are 250 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, Rocket propelled Gun luncher, GPMG Belt links and various charms were recovered while several others escaped with gunshot wounds. No casualty from the military.

The Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army General Bulama Biu want to make it abundantly clear that no militant group or criminal under any guise would be spared. The military and other security agencies will continue to hunt down any militant group or criminals that do not surrender.”

Earlier some of the militant camps and shrineswere located and destroyed by forces. Gen Bulama Biu thank all patriotic and good people of the state for their timely information, support and urged them not to relent in their efforts while going about their legitimate businesses. Please accept the esteemed regards of the Brigade Commander,” he said.