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Japa: Nurses Drag Ministers, Others To Court Over New Policy

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Some Nurses in the country have dragged the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the Minister of Health, and six others before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, over a new certificate verification guidelines issued by the Council.

The NMCN had on February 7, 2024, issued a circular revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for Nurses and Midwives in the country.

The Council stated that applicants seeking verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils must possess two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practising license.

The new guidelines came into force on March 1, 2024.

There have been series of protests by Nurses in Abuja and Lagos, demanding the reversal of the new guidelines.

Consequently, some aggrieved Nurses have dragged the Registrar of NMCN; Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare; Federal Ministry of Health and Attorney General of the Federation before the court demanding the suspension the policy.

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INEC'

INEC Warns Political Parties Against Frequent Changes in Primary Election Dates

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cautioned political parties against the frequent changing of primary election dates, citing disruptions and costs incurred. INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, emphasized the need for parties to adhere to proposed dates and modes of primaries for optimal resource deployment.

The warning came during the first regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja. Yakubu highlighted the upcoming Ondo State governorship primary elections, urging parties to maintain consistency to ensure certainty and efficiency in the electoral process.

He also addressed issues of acrimonious primaries and the emergence of multiple candidates, stressing the need for parties to avoid unnecessary litigations and disruptions. Additionally, INEC revealed that only six out of 16 political parties interested in the Edo governorship election had uploaded candidate details, urging parties to adhere to the Commission’s schedule to avoid last-minute rush and ensure successful nomination of candidates.

In his address during the first regular quarterly consultative meeting with political parties in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, expressed concern over the recent trend of frequent changes in primary election dates by political parties.

He emphasized the disruptive and costly nature of such changes and urged parties to adhere to their proposed dates and modes of primaries to ensure efficiency and optimal resource deployment. Yakubu specifically referred to the upcoming Ondo State governorship primary elections scheduled to commence on April 6, 2024, cautioning against last-minute adjustments that could undermine the electoral process.

Yakubu highlighted the need for political parties to conduct primaries without acrimony and avoid the emergence of multiple candidates, which often lead to unnecessary litigations and disputes. He urged parties to find solutions to these challenges to streamline the electoral process and minimize disruptions.

Moreover, Yakubu addressed the issue of parties granting waivers to candidates who recently defected from other political parties, leading to conflicts and legal disputes. He emphasized the need for parties to adhere to the rules and regulations governing candidate nominations to prevent unnecessary legal battles that drain resources and time.

Regarding the Edo State governorship election scheduled for September 21, 2024, INEC revealed that only six out of 16 political parties that expressed interest had uploaded details of their candidates on the Commission’s portal. Yakubu urged parties to adhere to the Commission’s schedule and avoid last-minute rush to ensure successful nomination of candidates within the stipulated timeframe.

Overall, INEC’s message underscored the importance of stability and adherence to electoral timelines by political parties to enhance the integrity and efficiency of the electoral process.

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Health

Niger State Transforms 270 Primary Healthcare Centres into Focal Centers for Enhanced Services

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The government of Niger State has initiated a transformative project by upgrading 270 out of 1,800 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) into model focal institutions. This strategic move aims to bolster healthcare accessibility and delivery across the state’s 25 local government areas (LGAs).

 

Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed Dangana, the Commissioner for Primary Healthcare, made this announcement during a stakeholders meeting with Health Directors from the 25 LGAs in Minna. He highlighted that this development follows the elevation of the State Primary Healthcare Agency (SPC) into a full-fledged Ministry by Governor Mohammed Umar Bago, emphasizing its role in enhancing healthcare services statewide.

 

According to Dr. Dangana, the partnership between the state government and development partners has facilitated the upgrade of selected PHCs into focal centres, serving as model pilot schemes. This initiative aims to set a high standard for healthcare delivery and serve as benchmarks for future enhancements.

 

Additionally, the state government has allocated N300 million for immediate disbursement to the primary health directorates of the 274 wards across the 25 LGAs. This fund will support the purchase of essential health consumables and logistics to ensure the smooth operation of healthcare facilities.

 

Dr. Dangana highlighted ongoing efforts, including a baseline study, to assess the existing PHCs comprehensively. This survey aims to identify areas of need, address staffing gaps, and ensure adequate equipment for optimal service delivery to the people of Niger State.

 

The transformation of these PHCs into focal centres signifies a significant step towards improving healthcare accessibility, quality, and efficiency across Niger State, ultimately contributing to better health outcomes for its residents.

 

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Crime

Gambia Releases 9 Stowaways to Nigerian Immigration Service

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja received nine repatriated Nigerians who attempted to stow away to Europe through The Gambia. The stowaways were handed over to immigration officials by their Gambian counterparts.

Adesola Adesokan, the Comptroller of the NIS at the airport, cautioned Nigerians against attempting to stow away, describing it as a perilous journey that has claimed lives in the past. Two of the stowaways faced a near-death experience as they almost drowned while trying to evade arrest. Fortunately, they were rescued and taken to the Nigeria High Commission in The Gambia.

Mrs. Adesokan revealed that the High Commission processed emergency travel documents for the nine stowaways to be repatriated to Nigeria. However, the individuals were initially reluctant to return, demanding money from the Gambian immigration service as a condition for their repatriation.

“Nine Nigerians were sent back by The Gambian Immigration Service after attempting to stow away through the sea. Two of them almost lost their lives because they could not swim after jumping into the sea to evade arrest,” she explained.

Despite facing challenges, including resistance to their return and demands for money, the stowaways were eventually persuaded by the Nigeria High Commission in Banjul to return home. Mrs. Adesokan stressed the need for individuals contemplating irregular migration to abandon such plans and urged for a reorientation of values.

The returnee stowaways, speaking to the media, expressed regret over their actions. They claimed to have been lured into the journey by friends who successfully reached Europe through a similar route. Abdul Yakubu, one of the stowaways, disclosed that he was engaged in selling noodles and fried eggs on Lagos Island before being convinced to embark on the ill-fated trip. Another stowaway, Daniel Vincent, admitted they did not carry any food or water, underestimating the length of the journey, thinking Europe was just a three-day sea voyage.

The incident underscores the dangers and challenges faced by individuals attempting irregular migration, emphasizing the importance of discouraging such perilous endeavors.

 

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