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BREAKING: FG Disburses N100bn To Indigenous Pharma Manufacturers

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The Federal Government has provided loans worth N100 billion to local pharmaceutical companies and healthcare investors in order to strengthen their financial foundations and enhance domestic production of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

This declaration was made on Tuesday in Abuja as President Muhammadu Buhari greeted the new Executive Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

The president explained how the loan was made possible by the support provided to the private pharmaceutical business by the Central Bank of Nigeria in a statement issued by the president’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday.

He added that the Health Sector Reform Committee chaired by Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is currently exploring models for revitalising the nation’s healthcare system, in ways that improve quality of care and the benefit package to care providers.

On brain drain in the health sector, the President said he has directed the Honourable Minister of Health to look into ways of turning “brain drain” to “brain gain” by engaging top Nigerian medical experts in the diaspora in knowledge and skills repatriation.

He urged the Association and other stakeholders in the health sector to support initiatives by the Federal Government and work with the Committees set up to chart a fast track to a health system that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st Century.

The President also commended the Association, which is the umbrella body of all Medical Practitioners in Nigeria, for consistently choosing peaceful resolution of differences on matters pertinent to the National health system.

‘‘I commend our medical professionals for their contribution to Nigeria’s exemplary management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the control of malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, and other feats also achieved by Nigerian doctors in the diaspora.

‘‘Our response to COVID-19 pandemic has been praised internationally and your members are key parts of this success.

‘‘I recall that in the last quarter of 2021, the immediate past NMA Executives visited me and presented recommendations for the health sector, which included, the review and amendment of NHIS Act; upgrading and equipping existing health institutions; loans to fund hospital equipment; the repeal and re-enactment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act; and Appeal for more funding for the four (4) newly established Universities of Medical Sciences.

‘‘I am pleased to inform you that most of these recommendations have been addressed, whilst further action is being taken to study those involving cross-cutting administrative processes with legal implications,’’ Buhari said.

The President also used the occasion to congratulate a former President of the body, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, who is now the President-elect of the World Medical Association, the first Nigerian to hold the position.

While wishing him a successful tenure, the President expressed hope that Enabulele would use his position to support improvement in health care delivery in Nigeria and lower income countries.

He also wished the new Executive Members of NMA a successful tenure, urging them to earnestly continue to serve as arbiters of peace and progress.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who led the medical practitioners to the audience, affirmed that the doctors have been good partners with his ministry, helping to regulate the health profession as well as stressing quality service delivery.

In his remarks, the President of the NMA, Dr Uche Rowland Ojinmah, said the new National Officers Committee (NOC) was elected on the May 21, 2022.

He commended President Buhari for his steadfast war against corruption; assent to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act which will “improve the health indices of our nation;” the constitution of the Health Reform Committee under Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; and the various infrastructural projects embarked upon by the Buhari administration.

Dr Ojinmah enjoined the President to ensure full and appropriate implementation of the NHIA Act; provision of “adequate work equipment, conducive work environment and necessary budget support;” as well as elongation of the retirement age for medical consultants to 70 years and 65 years for non-consultant doctors and other healthcare workers.

Others include: implementation of the Hazard Allowance circularized in December 2021 with the arrears; as well as the setting up of a Health Bank.

He also requested for a representation of the Federal Government at the inauguration of Dr. Enabulele in Berlin, Germany, later in the year

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Metro

Police Arrests Suspects And Recover Weapons After Rampage In Osun

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The Osun State Police Command on Monday disclosed that it has arrested ten persons in connection with the disruption of law and order in Osogbo while trying to take control of motor parks.

Fidel Info reports that Hoodlums, earlier in the day, were on a rampage across Osogbo, Osun state capital shooting sporadically into the air and attacking members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, across major parks in the town.

However, the police, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, SP Yemisi Opalola, said the security outfit arrested ten suspects and recovered various weapons.

The statement reads partly, “This is to inform the general public that the Osun State Police Command is aware and frowns at the crises that erupted within the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state.”

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Faleye Olaleye, swiftly charged the Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers, and Tactical Commanders to ensure the situation is brought under control and arrest culprits.”

“Consequently, the Police operatives tactical operation led to the arrest of Ten (10) Suspects and recovery of One (1) Barretta pistol, Two (2) Pump Action, Two (2) Barrel guns, Nine (9) live and Four (4) expended cartridges, Five (5) cutlasses and charms.”

“The Commissioner of Police wishes to assure the general public that the Police Command is fully on top of the situation as Mobile/Conventional/Tactical/Patrol teams have been deployed to curtail the crises and advice members of the public to go about their lawful businesses/work without fear of insecurity or attacks.”

“He, therefore, sternly warned that anyone found culpable in these unwarranted violence/attacks will face the full wrath of the law.”

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Governance

Nigeria Has Enough Food To Feed All Residents – FG

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The nation has enough food to feed every resident, according to Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Fidel Info reports that this was disclosed by Abubakar during his presentation at the fifth meeting of the “PMB Administration Scorecard 2015-2023 Series,” which took place on Monday at Radio House in Abuja.

The Minister attributed the country’s soaring food prices to both inflation and the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, which led many nations, including Nigeria, to halt vital economic activity for months.

According to him, the ministry is building 10 large-scale integrated rice mills with a daily capacity of 320 metric tonnes in Jigawa, Kano, Adamawa, Niger, Kaduna, Gombe, Ekiti, Ogun, Bayelsa, and the Federal Capital Territory, in addition to assisting in the production and distribution of breeder, foundation, and certified rice seeds for farmers, all of which are intended to increase the nation’s food supply.

He added that the number of fertilizer factories has expanded from eight to 200 as a result of the presidential fertilizer initiative, which was started in 2016 and increased production from 300,000 metric tonnes to seven million metric tonnes.

He said, “We have enough food to take care of Nigerians. We are producing food across the country and we will continue to do so to feed Nigerians in line with our mandate and expedite the transformation of the rural communities of Nigeria.

“As it is today, many parts of the world, including our own country are yet to fully recover from the negative effects of the pandemic, which has triggered inflation and high food costs across the world.”

“The fact that some categories of food are imported by Nigeria is not an indication that we have food shortages. The high cost of food that we experience in the country is a result of rising inflation, which is not peculiar to Nigeria but due to the Covid-19 pandemic that forced many sectors of economic production to be shut down for many months.”

He also noted that the ministry was also constructing two 2000 metric tonnes specialized warehouses for the storage of food commodities at federal government-retained silo complexes in Irrua, Edo State and Ilesha, Osun State.

He said, “In a bid to ensure that the country had enough food to eat, the ministry has procured 79,277.30 metric tonnes of food commodities between 2020 and 2021 to replenish the national strategic reserve that was depleted by Covid-19 release and relief to the Poultry Association of Nigeria in 2021.”

Despite his assurance that the federal government has started taking action to eliminate such confrontations, Abubakar stated that he was unsure whether pastoralists purposely let loose their animals.

He said, “One of the measures to checkmate herders’/farmers’ conflicts is the introduction of the National Livestock Development Programme and the proposal to have ranching and grazing reserves across the country.”

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Governance

Adeleke Clashes With Osun Assembly On Renaming State

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On Monday, the Osun State House of Assembly disapproved of Senator Ademola Adeleke’s move to change the name of the state from “State of Osun” to “Osun State,” who had just been sworn in as governor.

Fidel Info reports that the Assembly stated that no one can use force to change the state’s anthem, crest, or flag because they are enactments of laws that were approved on December 18, 2012.

Adeleke changed the state’s name from “State of Osun” to “Osun State” and its nickname from “The State of the Virtues” to “The State of the Living Spring” during his inauguration on Sunday, November 27, 2022.

Additionally, as of July 7, 2022, Adeleke revoked all appointments made by the outgoing governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

Additionally, he mandated the freezing of all government bank accounts and stated that all decisions made by the Oyetola-led administration as of July 17 will be reviewed.

The House issued a press release on Monday, November 28, 2022, to refute the governor’s decision. It was written by Moshood Kunle Akande, the chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity. It read, “The State of Osun House of Assembly having reviewed the inaugural speech of the Governor and the activities of the inauguration hereby resolves as follows;

“The usage of the State Anthem, Crest, and Flag is an enactment of the law and as such, its usage is a matter of law and not choice.

“The enactment ‘State of Osun Anthem, Crest and Flag Law, 2012’ assented to on December 18, 2012, contained in Schedule 1, II, III, IV and V, which carefully details every component of this law is not in ambiguity.

“Schedule I is the State Anthem, Schedule II has to do with the State Crest, and Schedule III is the symbolic significance of the elements in the Flag.

“Lastly, while we are aware of a court judgment in effect recognizing ‘Osun State, the Assembly, pending the determination and exhaustion of all legal means would not be drawn into this matter.”

The lawmakers further said that the state will continue to be described as the “State of Osun”  and “Ipinle Omulabi” (State of the Virtuous).

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