Posts tagged as: abuja

Nigeria: Govt Moves to Decrease Waiting Time for Patients

Photo: Premium Times

Photo used to illustrate the story.

By Ayodamola Owoseye

The Federal Government has been urged to provide adequate medical staff, infrastructure and staff training as part of the strategy to reduce the waiting time a patient spends in the hospital before seeing a doctor.

This advice was given by the Bureau of Public Service Reform, BPSR, on Thursday in Abuja during the handing over of the preliminary report on the findings of the agency on causes of service delay at the hospitals and solutions to resolving such incidents.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, while collecting the report commended the team saying the project is timely because the government’s major concerns have been how to improve quality care in the health sector.

“We have concerns over the level of trust demonstrated by the public over the health sector and it is worrisome when people leave the country abroad because they believe those ailments cannot be treated in the country,” said Mr. Adewole.

The minister said the study is part of a way to build quality healthcare services, trust, and win the hearts and minds of Nigerians.

He added that the collapse of the system over the years has been responsible for the state of health facilities adding that the government is keen on revamping the primary health care services.

Mr. Adewole, however, expressed optimism that there can be a change in all health facilities across the country especially in terms of personnel, referral systems and infrastructural development.

The head of the investigation team and former Director-General of BPSR, Joe Abah, while handing over the findings to the minister said there was a lot to be done in the hospitals to make them functional.

He said the BPSR had rolled out the project to see how to make it easier for patients to see doctors in government hospitals.

According to Mr. Abah, twelve public facilities were used in four states – Enugu, Kano, Lagos and Abuja – for the pilot study to track patients’ experiences in the hospitals with a view to enhancing service delivery.

The facilities selected in each state were – one teaching hospital, one general hospital and a specialist hospital.

He said the project was necessary so as to understand the experiences of patients and know how to effect changes that would change the public perception of government hospitals.

Mr. Abah said he noted that an average waiting time it takes a patient to see a doctor in any of the hospitals is three hours, though some patients spend as much as six hours.

He blamed the documentation process, waiting for nurses and waiting to see the doctor as reasons for the delay.

Mr. Abah said there is a need to overhaul activities at the hospitals especially in terms of non-medical staff strength to ease the stress for the patients to see the doctors as this is the key goal of going to the hospitals and any obstacle on the way is considered a delay.

“We need to fix the referral system and most of the infrastructure in the hospitals, the toilets which mostly are non-functional, power outages, comfortable waiting areas, signages to assist patients to know where to go for services and new electronic data capturing equipment to ease documentation processes among others”.

The minister also agreed with Mr. Abah’s observation saying a good referral system would ease the undue pressure on the secondary and tertiary health system only if the primary is fixed.

Another member of the research team, Ayoola Arowolo, who presented the results from the findings made some recommendations to the government, among which are: setting up a benchmark for appropriate waiting time, guideline plus built-in regular reviews of the balance between the benchmark and outcome. He said this will help monitor the process to know if there has been an improvement.

He also said there is a need to also implement a robust referral system for the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare so as to limit the burden placed on the secondary and tertiary services and should be supported by policies to instruct health institutions to operate an appointment system.

Nigeria: Aviation Body Backs Establishment of National Carrier

By Chinedu Eze

A think-tank body known as Aviation Round Table Initiative (ARTI), has expressed support for the establishment of national carrier but noted that such airline must be fully funded by the private sector and not by government or its agencies.

The body, which observed that weak government policies were responsible for the failure of domestic airlines, said that this form of funding for the airline would ensure its survival and independence from interferences as well as ensure it operates professionally.

In a statement issued at the weekend and signed by Olu Ohunayo on behalf of the Initiative, ARTI said it supports the establishment of national carrier that is devoid of government financial input but driven strictly by investors, noting that government should provide the necessary enabling ground and aero-political support environment.

“ARTI support for this project is hinged on our recognition of the desirability of a national carrier and the observed floundering of our flag carriers on the international routes. These shortcomings are traceable to weak government policies and poor negotiations skills in various agreements.

“Therefore, the proposed national carrier should be granted full compliments of the appropriate status, independence to be the arrow head in the implementation of operational issues arising from Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASAs) and Multilateral Air Service Agreement (MASAs) to which Nigeria is a signatory unhindered by any concessions or agreements however made,” the body said.

It also noted that all existing concessions and agreements from which benefits are being derived by any person or corporate bodies capable of impinging on the operations of the proposed national carrier should cease forthwith at the inception of the national carrier.

ARTI urged that any outstanding obligations arising from agreements made prior to the emergence of the national carrier must be renegotiated between the national carrier and such flag carrier, which would be supervised by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The corporate objective of the proposed carrier should be consistent delivery of excellent and competitive customer service; adopting global best standard practices; reciprocating all air service agreements and patriotically negotiated commercial agreement spinoff of BASA.

“We expect the government to take the following complimentary actions: it is vital that very knowledgeable aviators with cognate experience are selected to midwife the birth of the new national carrier; the governing board of directors of the national carrier should be composed of persons with proven track records of success in the aviation industry; the berthing process should last for a period not less than three years from inception and the national carrier should start with a fleet of 10 to 15 aircraft and shall be mandated to utilise the proceeds of all allocated frequencies strictly for fleet expansion and capacity building. This shall be monitored for compliance by NCAA,” ARTI said.

It also suggested that existing operators in the industry should be afforded the opportunity to observe and participate in the proposed national carrier project within stipulated guidelines and transparent process, adding that BASAs and MASAs should be reviewed with the objective of renegotiation where established to be unfavourable to Nigeria’s national interest.

Nigeria

Corporation to Deploy High-Speed Trains on Abuja-Kaduna Line

The Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC) said two new speed locomotives will be deployed on the Abuja-Kaduna standard… Read more »

Nigeria: Resident Doctors – Over 90 Percent of Members Yet to Paid Outstanding Arrears

By Senator Iroegbu

Abuja — The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said the ongoing industrial action is yet to be called off because over 90 per cent of their members are yet to receive their arrears, which is at the core of the agreement reached with the federal government.

To this end, NARD leadership would meet today to review the response of the federal government to its demands.

The member of the National Executive Council of NARD, Dr. Arikawe Adeolu, while speaking with journalists yesterday in Abuja, said the meeting would allow the leadership to appraise the event since its meeting with government.

Adeolu, who is also the General Secretary of NARD, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Jabi, Abuja, stressed that the outcome of the appraisal would determine whether the nationwide indefinite strike would be called off or not.

He said: “The appraisal is necessary as more than 90 per cent of members were yet to receive their arrears as at 3p.m of September 11.”

The federal government had in a meeting with the leadership of NARD on September 6, agreed to pay the arrears of salaries latest by September 8, 2017.

The doctors who commenced industrial action on September4, are protesting the sack of some of their colleagues, non-payment of “skipping” entitlement, non-inclusion in the IPPIS platform and non-payment of their salary arrears, among others.

On the agreement, Adeolu expressed optimism that the arrears would be paid as the federal government claims it had disbursed the arrears to the hospitals accordingly.

He said: “We were supposed to hold a meeting on September 8 but it didn’t hold because the essence of the meeting was defeated.

“We thought that government would have paid by then but we got nothing so the meeting has been postponed to September 12; it will be a closed door meeting to carry out an appraisal of events so far.”

“The federal government claims that money has been paid to the hospitals so we need to confirm from members across the country is they have received their salary arrears. Money is not usually paid directly to doctors; it is sent to the hospitals so what we are trying to do now is to verify whether the money has come into the hospitals for onward payment.

“Today and tomorrow is enough time for this money to be disbursed to doctors if it really has been paid. By tomorrow we should have a clear view of whether this money has been paid or not,” he added.

Adeolu remarked that some of the agreements reached with the federal government could not be fulfilled immediately except the payment of salary arrears to members.

Nigeria

Customs Seizes 1,100 Guns in Lagos

The Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 1,100 rifles illegally imported into the country from Turkey. Read more »

Nigeria: Foundation Offsets N17.5 Million Medical Bill for Wounded Chibok Boy

By Abdullateef Salau

Dickens Sanomi Foundation has offered $48,000 (N17.5million) for the treatment of a wounded Chibok boy, Ali Ahmadu in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Ali had a spinal cord injury when he was overrun by Boko Haram terrorists’ motorcycles when they ransacked Chibok community, in Borno state barely a few days after abducting the Chibok girls in April 2014.

Ahmadu was yesterday flown to Dubai for corrective spinal cord surgery and is expected back in three months.

The Dickens Sanomi Foundation was set up by Mr. Igho Sanomi owner of Taleveras Group.

The foundation bankrolled the medical bill after an appeal by a humanitarian group, the Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC) which was raising funds for Ali’s corrective surgery.

The founder of GIPLC, Mr. Nuhu Fulani Kwajafa, at a chat with newsmen in Abuja said Ali, after the incident, was kept under a tree for over three days and had never been given any form of medication.

“Since his mother was able to remove him from under the tree to the house in Chibok, Ali has remained bedridden as a result of his spinal cord injury,” he said. He said the group brought him to Abuja and began to mobilise for his treatment when someone called from Chibok and narrated his pitiful condition to them.

“We moved into action immediately to raise the $65,000 required for the surgery in Dubai.

“Fortunately for us after meeting some Nigerians for assistance, including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and some Nigerian lawmakers, we approached the Dickens Sanomi Foundation which has graciously made available the balance of $48,000 needed for the surgery” he added. A member board of trustees of Dickens Sanomi Foundation, Hayi Goodluck said, the foundation would not only cater for him in Dubai but will also take up his education upon his return.

This, Goodluck said, was to stabilise him and help him to live and actualise his dream as a man created by God.

The arrival of the boy at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja drew sympathy from many passengers who prayed endlessly for him and the Founder of Dickens Sanomi Foundation, Mr. Igho Sanomi who owns Taleveras Group.

Nigeria

Three Years After – Boy Goes to Dubai to Fix Spine Broken By Boko Haram

Over three years after Boko Haram terrorists ran over him with motorbikes, leaving him with a broken spine, Ahmadu Ali… Read more »

Nigeria: TCN – 11 DISCOs Rejected 22,277.53 Megawatts of Electricity in Eight Days

By Chineme Okafor

Abuja — The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has disclosed again that the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the power sector are still in the habit of refusing to take maximum electricity loads allocated to them for distribution to their various consumers.

The TCN said in a weekly electricity allocation log it posted on its twitter handle – @TCN_Nigeria, which THISDAY obtained yesterday in Abuja that between August 27 and September 3, 2017 – a period of eight days, the 11 Discos comprising of Abuja, Benin, Eko, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Yola, refused to take up and distribute a total of 22,277.53 megawatts (MW) of power produced by power generation companies (Gencos).

This is despite current records from both the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) indicating that well over 89 million Nigerian citizens do not have any form of electricity connections to their homes.

Yet, the Discos according to the TCN records refused to take up an average of 2,784.6MW every day for distribution to their customers, thereby suggesting that the rejected volumes were produced by the Gencos, and the TCN willing to transmit them.

According to the records, on August 27, the Discos collectively rejected a total of 1,351.47MW; the next day, they allowed a whopping 3,129.05MW to waste; while on August 30, they simply could not take up 2,841.1MW that was generated.

Similarly, their load rejection acts continued on August 31, when they failed to accept 2,656.46MW of power that was generated; on September 1, they could not take 2,713.95MW; as well as on September 2 and 3 when they could not take 3,010.59MW and 3,267.17MW respectively.

According to the record, Ikeja, Ibadan, and Enugu Discos were among the top in the load rejection acts of the Discos.

The record showed the load rejection acts of the Discos to include: “August 27: Abuja Disco – 143.27MW; Benin Disco – 134.71MW; Eko Disco -92.97MW; Enugu Disco -166.33MW; Ibadan Disco – 172.11MW; Ikeja – 396.24MW; Jos – 79.14MW; Kaduna – 117.43MW; Kano – 32.22MW; Port Harcourt Disco – 3.14MW; Yola Disco – 13.91MW.

“28/08/017: 335.32MW; 268.55MW; 298.83MW; 311.68MW; 375.50MW; 638.26MW; 167.82MW; 264.03MW; 212.01MW; 165.22MW; 91.83MW respectively.

“29/08/017: 358.71MW; 298.67; 359.22MW; 296.03MW; 421.14MW; 652.83MW; 183.85MW; 277.73MW; 200.40MW; 158.68MW; 100.48MW.”

It further continued respectively as: “30/08/017: 288.32MW; 237.90MW; 268.70MW; 285.95MW; 332.49MW; 600.92MW; 144.38MW; 248.99MW; 203.11MW; 156.39MW; 73.95MW.

“31/08/017: 235.34MW; 250.22MW; 272.26MW; 261.86MW; 325.91MW; 595.69MW; 106.06MW; 224.16MW; 179.57MW; 124.88MW; 80.51MW.

“01/09/017: 283.95MW; 219.55MW; 282.48MW; 248.01MW; 314.32MW; 624.36MW; 125.60MW; 215.60MW; 212.38MW; 116.06MW; 71.64MW.

“02/09/017: 304.52MW; 227.35MW; 302.66MW; 283.53MW; 359.48MW; 635.80MW; 152.80MW; 243.00MW; 227.89MW; 190.48MW; 83.08MW.

“03/09/017: 297.25MW; 285.27Mw; 320.54MW; 310.07MW; 404.54MW; 619.11MW; 156.84MW; 298.35MW; 255.51MW; 230.02MW; 89.67MW.”

Also, based on the reports of the sector’s performance within the period which the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President shared, most of the Discos have continued to experience challenges with their networks.

The advisory team’s report linked the poor distribution capacities of the Discos to the frequent outages at their feeders.

Recently, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said that Nigeria currently has up to 6,863MW of electricity that can be sent to homes and industries in the country, but due to the failures of the distribution facilities of the 11 Discos, that amount of power cannot get to homes and offices of their customers.

Fashola, explained at a sector meeting that due to improvements in gas supply to thermal power plants in the South and adequate rains in the reservoirs of the hydro plants in the North, the country could conveniently generate 6,863MW and transmit 6,700MW of it, but the entire power would not get to consumers because the 33KV infrastructure of the 11 Discos were constrained.

Nigeria: Nigeria Launches ‘Bicycle Riding’ Project for Transportation in Abuja

The Ministry of Transportation says the National Council on Transportation has approved the commencement of a ‘bicycle riding’ project, as a means of transportation in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, told journalists at the end of the National Council on Transportation meeting on Monday in Sokoto.

He said that the introduction of bicycles as a means of transportation would reduce congestion on the road and also improve the health of the riders.

“National Council on Transportation is a policy making Council, if nothing else; we approved that we should do a pilot project on bicycle riding in FCT.

“This is because Abuja is the only city that has facility for bicycle riding.

“For other states who want to do it, we must provide facility before they can proceed with it; we want to separate them from the roads because some motorists are impatient.

“So, we decided that we do it in Abuja because if you check, nearly all the roads in Abuja, there are lanes for bicycle.

“Any other state that wants to go ahead can do that but they must provide lanes for bicycle so that we do not have numerous accidents,” he said.

He said that using bicycles as a means of transportation was not new adding that countries including in China, UK and others already using it.

Mr. Amaechi, who described the project as an investment, said it would also help in exercise and reduction in the number of passengers using other forms of transportation including cars within the cities.

Commenting on other project, he said that the ongoing rail projects would really boost the economy.

According to him, the Lagos-Ibadan railway construction would need about 150,000 workers before its completion.

“Construction alone that is going on between Lagos- Ibadan would really boost the economy.

“The railway work that is going on there will need about 150,000 workers and when it is done, the business it would generate would help employ people.”

(NAN)

Nigeria

Policeman Allegedly Commits Suicide Over Deployment to Borno

A police officer in the Ebonyi State, Donatus Oyibe, has reportedly committed suicide in Abakaliki, the state capital. Read more »

Nigeria: Pilot Error Caused 2012 Helicopter Crash – Report

By Idris Ibrahim

The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, has said that ‘pilot error’ led to the death of a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, John Haruna, and three others in the 2012 helicopter crash in Kabong area of Jos, Plateau State.

The AIB released a report on Wednesday that indicated the medical certificate of the pilot of the Bell 427 Helicopter, with registration number 5NPAL, had expired as of the time of the accident, while the co-pilot was not ‘type-rated on the helicopter.’

The helicopter belonged to the Special Task Force, one of the teams in charge of security in Plateau State.

Akin Olateru, AIB commissioner, also said that the cause of the accident could not be decided due to the investigation that uncovered chains of differences and non-compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.

“The simulator had expired as of the time of the accident and that the engineer who released the aircraft prior to the flight had no type training and rating on the aircraft model,” he said.

He added that the flight which originated from the Abuja airport to the Jos Prison Service football fields was conveying the DIG to Abuja.

Punch Newspaper reported that the AIB commissioner said that the pilot had initial contact with Jos Control Tower at about 1.50 p.m. the preceding day, adding that the following day on March 14 at about 9.30 a.m., a police fuel tanker that had arrived in Jos from Abuja the previous day, fuelled the aircraft, which had been parked overnight at the Jos Prison football field.

According to the AIB report, a two-way communication was established between the helicopter and air traffic controller at 9.58 a.m. and the pilot reported endurance of two hours, five persons on board, maintaining an altitude of 4000ft, and that it was a patrol flight around Jos city.

“The pilot also reported that he would be landing at the Police Headquarters, Jos and would call the control tower when rejoining for another patrol. The helicopter landed at the Nigerian Prisons Service football field, Jos, customarily used as a landing site for the Police Headquarters, Jos at 10. 58 am.

“At about 11.50 a.m., the helicopter lifted up with four persons on board including the DIG. The control tower was notified at about 11.55 a.m. of the helicopter’s crash at Landir village, Kabong area, near Jos metropolis, and that all four persons on board were fatally injured,” the report stated.

Mr. Olateru added that three safety recommendations were made, after investigations, to the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Department of Petroleum Resources.

“NPF Air-Wing was advised to provide the proper funding, conducive working environment, develop and implement a robust training programme for its technical/operational personnel, with adequate supervision and approved equipment to enhance safety while the NCAA should ensure that the NPF Air-Wing complied with its approved maintenance organisation requirements.

“The DPR, on the other hand, was advised to launch an independent inquiry into the aviation fuel quality in the country and the resulting report should focus on the vulnerability and risk of each step in the distribution process.

“The NCAA has since recertified the NPF Air-Wing in accordance with the Part 6 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs) in 2014 as an approved maintenance organisation and its certificate was subsequently renewed in July 2016 and is presently valid up until May 26, 2018,” he said.

Nigeria: Ignore Govt, Generate, Distribute Your Own Electricity, Falana Challenges State Govts

By Oladeinde Olawoyin

A senior lawyer, Femi Falana, has called on state governments to challenge the laws restricting them from generating electricity in their states.

Mr. Falana made the call in Lagos on Wednesday at the launch of a report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, titled “From Darkness to Darkness: How Nigerians are paying the price for corruption in the electricity sector.”

The programme was supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

Mr. Falana said state governments must begin to exercise their constitutional rights by challenging the control of electricity generation, distribution and transmission by the federal government.

According to him, “Items 13 and 14 of the schedule to the constitution stipulate that state government shall have power to generate electricity outside the national grid.

“It goes further to say that the House of Assembly of each state shall make a law for the establishment of electricity boards in all states-they are not there!-to provide electricity for the people outside the national grid.

“And what’s the national grid?” he said, rhetorically.

“I generate electricity in my home, in my office. So why can the governor of Lagos State not generate electricity for all of us – about twenty million people?

“So, we must really challenge the control of our affairs by the government in Abuja.”

He, however, lamented that the National Assembly has not done much for the realisation of this agenda.

“The power Reforms Act of 2005 is largely illegal because it has attempted to concentrate power and electricity on the federal government and private companies contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

“That’s why we are challenging state governments, ‘stop going to Abuja, stop begging federal government’ to give you power to establish electricity companies in your state’.

“You have the right. If individuals can do that, why should you go to Abuja to get a licence?”

Nigeria

#ResumeOrResign – Protesters Criticise Executive, Call Senate ‘Buhari’s Errand Boys’

Protesters asking President Muhammadu Buhari to return to work or resign over 90 days after the ailing leader headed off… Read more »

Nigeria: Ogbeh Tasks Agric Varsities On Core Mandates, Food Production

By Ruth Tene Natsa

Abuja — The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has assured lecturers and students engaged in non- agricultural studies in the country’s three universities of agriculture that their careers will not be jeopardised.

He gave this assurance on yesterday in Abuja while receiving members of the governing councils of the federal universities of agriculture.

Chief Ogbeh said: “The return of the three universities of agriculture to this Ministry is a rational, just and timely action, necessitated by the new economic realities we are in, to ensure that our institutions are better focused and more efficiently and economically managed.”

He noted that the three institutions “were established to advance the cause of agricultural transformation and modernisation in Nigeria for the development of core competencies in agricultural education, research and training, amongst others. It is, therefore, expected that the admission policy of these universities will largely be reflective of this overarching goal. Our submission is that, in the long run, the universities will be better served if they focus on their core areas of business rather than on the subsidiaries.”

The minister expressed the consciousness of government on the “fears and anxieties of teachers and the students already enrolled for these subsidiary programmes.” Accordingly, he said, “we will not be cancelling them immediately. The task before you is to phase them out gradually.”

He pointed out, however, that, “as institutions of agricultural education and research, you can earn huge revenues from agricultural research, seed and seedling development, extension work, soil mapping and even production of food on campus.”

Going forward, he said, the universities should give greater priority to courses with agriculture-related content. “We do not forbid the teaching of electives like some accounting, business administration and so on, but only as subsidiaries.

The main courses must be agriculture, agronomy, botany, animal husbandry, forestry, fishery, plant entomology, breeding, cattle breed improvement, agric engineering, veterinary medicine,” he insisted.

Gambia: Former Health Minister Received Award of Excellence

The West African College of Nursing Secretariat based in Nigeria recently conferred an award of excellence to the former Health Minister Mr. Omar Sey.

The award coincided with the bi-annual meeting of the West African College of Nursing held in Abuja from 1-7 July 2017.

The award dedicated to Mr. Omar Sey last month in Abuja was in recognition of his esteemed outstanding contribution to the nursing profession.

The Gambian delegation that recently attended the West African College of Nursing Meeting in Nigeria received the award on behalf of Mr. Sey.

The West African College of Nursing Gambia Chapter on Thursday held a brief ceremony at the School of Nursing in Banjul to present the award to Omar Sey.

Speaking at the occasion, Madam Fatoumatta Jarai Daffeh, the newly elected president of the West African College of Nursing, who also doubles as the president of the West African College of Nursing Gambia Chapter stated that the former Health Minister was identified by the West African College of Nursing and it’s as a results of his support towards the nursing profession in The Gambia that earned him such a prestigious award.

She informed that the West African College of Nursing is a sub-regional organisation that closely works with West African Health Organisation (WAHO).

The objectives of the West African College of Nursing, she said, are to promote high standard of nursing and to encourage research and the training of nurses at the regional level.

In his remarks at the gathering, Mr. Omar Sey described the award as a great honour for him and thanked the West African College of Nursing for the award.

He said the award is dedicated to all the health workers in The Gambia, noting that it is because of their support that was why he received such an award.

He seized the opportunity to thank all the health workers for the support they have given him whilst he was a minister.

Gambia

We Agreed With Interior Minister

At least we could glean a common sense and clear interpretation of laws relating to migration at both domestic and… Read more »

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