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Resident Doctors insist on indefinite strike despite interventions from Femi Gbajabiamila

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Resident Doctors indefinite nationwide strike Femi Gbajabiamila

Resident Doctors insist on indefinite strike despite interventions from Femi Gbajabiamila

Despite interventions from the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike

NARD President, Dr Aliyu Sokombawhile addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, stated that strike is binding on all resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer (PMO), and House Officers across all the Federal and State Hospitals in Nigeria. 

He however noted that the union had decided to exempt its members working in various coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation and treatment centres across the country, for the first 2 weeks after which they will join the industrial action.  

According to Sokombathe exemption was made in recognition of the intervention of Hon. Tanko Sanunu, Chairman House Committee on Health Services, other stakeholders and a demonstration of NARD goodwill to the country.

NAN reports that the union had reached this decision at a virtual extra-ordinary National Executive Council meeting of the association held on Sunday to review the 14-days ultimatum earlier issued.  

Sokomba noted that despite series of meetings between the doctors and the Federal Government in the last two weeks, several issues remained unresolved.  

Some of these issues according to him include non-payment of special allowances for the resident doctors, the deplorable state of hospitals and the lack of protective equipment for members of the union treating COVID-19 patients leading to the death of some doctors in recent times. 

The doctors are also asking for universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and State Hospitals and ensuring pay parity among doctors of equal cadreprovision of funding of medical residency training in the 2021 appropriation billas well as the implementation of the revised hazard and payment of agreed COVID-19 inducement allowances. 

“Immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance agreed with the government and healthcare workers three months ago. 

“Stoppage and immediate refund of all illegal, unjust and callous cut in salaries of our members by Kaduna State and other state governments,” Sokomba said. 

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Meanwhile, Speaker Gbajabiamila had expressed surprise over their insistence on the industrial action, after what he described as a successful meeting between the union, the two ministers manning the Ministry of Health, and stakeholders from the National Assembly by last Tuesday.  

He noted that efforts had already been put in place to meet their demands, as the sum of N4 billion was approved by the House on Wednesday and confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, for the commencement of funding of residency programme as provided for by the Medical Residency Training Act. 

On the issue of a template for implementation, Femi Gbajabiamila directed that an emergency meeting with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission be held on Monday, June 15, to produce a template within the next 48 hours.  

He had also promised that the House would come up with a law to back the payment of hazard allowance and define the same for clarity. He assured them at the meeting that the resident doctors’ training would be captured in the 2021 budget whether or not it is included by the Executive in the ministry’s budget. 

With the steps taken, the Speaker had appealed to the union to stay the action for a while as the government speeds up the process of meeting their demands.  

His appeal notwithstanding, the union commenced the indefinite strike by midnight of Monday, June 15. 

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Naija News

FG to Commence Distribution of Free Metres

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free metres

The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will on Friday, October 30, 2020 commence distribution of free electricity meters to Nigerians with simultaneous launch events of the scheme in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DISCO franchise area.

According to media reports locations to receive meters include Bawo Road and environs in Kano metropolis (KEDCO), Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric), Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric), and Yaba and Surulere (Eko DISCO).

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Key stakeholders to monitor the launch of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos government representatives, the Senate Committee and House Chair on Power as well as representatives of Organised Labour and Civil Society Organisations.

The NMMP is to roll out 6 million free meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.

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Federal Government Re-affirms Support for Okonjo-Iweala as Director General WTO

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WTO

 

The Federal Government on Thursday said it would stand by former Minister, Dr. Ngozi -Okonjo- Iweala until she emerged Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO).

A statement issued by spokesperson, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye said the third and final round of the selection process of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization was concluded on Tuesday, 27th October 2020, and that the result was formally announced on Wednesday, 28th October 2020.

The candidate from Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.

“This is because apart from winning the election, all the 164 Member States of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus, in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO,” it said.

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The government said it was important to highlight that Dr Okonjo-Iweala had secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

“The ministry stated that a meeting of the General Council of the WTO has been scheduled for 9th November, 2020 for the final decision on the election process.

“Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of her candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation is realized,” it said.

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Plateau begins trial of 300 suspected looters

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Looters

The Plateau State Government on Wednesday begun the prosecution of over 300 suspected looters and arsonists in the state.
They were accused of looting, criminal trespass and inciting public disturbance, among other charges.
The suspects, who had been in military and police detention after they were arrested in different parts of Jos and the Bukuru metropolis between Saturday and Sunday, were moved to the Bassa Local Government Area on Wednesday for arraignment.

The defendants were arraigned one after the other at Jebbu Bassa Area Court before several judges including Justices N S Dashe, Adar Roseline Baraje, and L B Longs as well as Lawal Sulaiman, among others.

In all the cases brought before the judges, the prosecutors from the state Ministry of Justice told the court that the accused persons committed the offences against the state and should be prosecuted according to the law.
The defence counsels, however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy for the accused persons, particularly as they were first offenders.
The defence counsels also pleaded for short sentencing with an option of fine after their clients pleaded guilty to the offences.

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The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

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