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Kogi earmarks N3bn for Nigeria-CARES implementation

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Kogi earmarks N3bn for Nigeria-CARES implementation

By Friday Idachaba

Kogi State Government has set aside over N3 billion to expand access to livelihood support and food security for the poor and the vulnerable under the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Program for Results (Nigeria CARES).

Gov. Yahaya Bello disclosed this while declaring open a one-day Key Stakeholders Sensitisation and Training programme on Kogi State Government version of NG CARES Programme for Results at Government House, Lokoja on Thursday.

Bello who was represented by Dr Folashade Ayoad-Arike, Secretary to State Government (SSG), said the programme was divided into three areas including Basic Social Cash Transfer under Social Safety Network Program; FADAMA and SMEs.

Bello assured that the release of the earmarked N3 billion for the programme was been captured in the 2021 budget adding, “In Kogi, we do not believe in bureaucratic bottlenecks. We will make sure releases are made without undue bureaucracy.”

Also speaking, the state Commissioner of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning Asiwaju Asiru Idris (Mukadam), said KG CARES Programme for Results was aimed at mitigating the global effects of COVID-19 on the people and businesses in the State.

“As we know, Kogi State has no evidence of COVID-19. However, COVID-19 induced effects are very much with us, which have reduced our revenues and escalated inflation, thereby putting needless pressures on our people.

“In early 2020, the world started to witness huge disruptions over COVID-19 related issues. COVID forced lockdowns and restrictions across the globe and across sectors, which almost sniffed life out of humanity.

“Expectedly, this led to inability of businesses to cover their recurrent costs, leading to upsurge in unemployment, inflation, poverty and other disturbing social and economic indices” the Commissioner said.

In his keynote address, National Coordinator, Federal Project Suport Unit (FPSU) of Community and Social Development Project CSDP of the World Bank Dr Abdulkarim Obaje, commenced the Federal, State and the World Bank for rising to the challenge.

Obaje who represented by Mr Niyi Oduneye said that the second wave of the pandemic was more virulent and more dangerous than the first one adding that the rate at which it “operates and devastates” is far more than the first.

The state Head of Service (HOS) Mrs Deborah Ogunmola said COVID-19 had affected over 200 countries, territories and areas in the world destroying their economy, food security and livelihoods.

She said that the Pandemic also negatively impacted on livelihoods resulting in loss of wage/income, non-wage income in form of diaspora remittances from abroad, food insecurity as well as impact on household/micro enterprises.

General Manager Kogi State Community And Social Development Agency (KGCSDA), Mallam Momoh O. Dauda, the implementing agency of the programme said that programme was an initiative of the World Bank to assuage the effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on livelihoods.

“The world Bank is trying to assist in Nigeria and is giving a loan of about 170 million Dollars to all the states each state will be entitled to 20 million dollars while FCT will have 50 million dollars to quelch the effects of the covid-19”, Dauda added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the key stakeholders invited for the meeting include top State Government officials, all the 21 Local Government Chairmen and their DLGs.

Others are the 21 Chairmen of Local Government Traditional Councils, Representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), people living with disability, the media, the academics, among others. (NAN)

FDJ/

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At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

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At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD) on Saturday suspended its 10 days old strike after sustained pressure mounted on them to shelve the strike by stakeholders.
The National President of the Association, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi said the strike was suspended after series of long hours of meetings with various stakeholders in the health sector.
He said based on their responsibility to Nigerians and the fact that the Federal government has met some of their demands they have no option but to call off the strike.

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Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

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Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

The Senate committee on health has faulted the strike action embarked upon by the resident Doctors which is having a telling effect on patients.

The chairman of the committee Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe said Nigerians would hold the resident doctors responsible for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action.

Oloriegbe spoke at the public hearing  of the bill entitled  “Federal Medical Centre, Mubi, Adamawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021” sponsored by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani) 

According to him, the National Assembly made every effort to avert the doctors ongoing strike to no avail. 

“We had a marathon meeting just before Easter on March 21st specifically and we agreed on all the issues that were raised by the resident doctors.

He said there three Germain issues which included the payment of salary to house officers which as at that time they also agreed had been essentially been cleared which was the major reason they wanted to go on strike.

“The second one was what they claimed to be payment to local resident doctors, which was an aberration where there was not supposed to be local but the government agreed to commence payment which has started to be done.

“Those are the two critical ones that were germane most of the other issues that were raised were not even issues within the purview of the federal government because they were issues of state governments that owed salaries or something. 

He said they are issues that relate to things that were in 2014, 2015 which was as at that meeting, the Federal Ministry of Finance confirmed that a committee has been set up to look at the other aspects. 

“So we are surprised that the resident doctors went on strike. However, we are not reneging, my counterparts in the house of Representatives are meeting with the resident doctors.”

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World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

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World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

The Nassarawa State Government has raised the alarm over shortages of essential supplies of COVID-19 vaccines for its citizens who are yet to access the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination particularly the vulnerable persons in the state.

This state commissioner of health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba-Yahaya made the disclosure during the World Health Day in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital on Wednesday.

According to him, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the light on the inequalities among the citizens amidst shortages of essential supplies, poor people have been pushed to the back of the queue in accessing COVID-19 test kits in the state.”

He continued: “There are several shades of inequalities, discrimination based on gender, place of residence, income, educational level, age, ethnicity and disability to disadvantage of the vulnerable populations across the state.”

He, however, emphasized that there was need to start to act on the social and economic determinations of the people, by working across sectors to improve living and working conditions, particularly the marginalized groups.

While reacting on the challenges being faced by the vulnerable persons in the state, he urged leaders at various levels to work together to address inequalities in their respective countries, specially on COVID-19 vaccines.

The commissioner of health also admonished pharmaceutical companies to expand their manufacturing capacity to overcome current supply shortages in the state, urging wealthy individuals to partner with the state government so that the most at risk populations in all countries could be protected.

Also residents in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, Awe, Keana and Obi local government areas and others in the state have expressed worry over lack of access to COVID-19 test in their locality.

Narrating his ordeal, Mr. John Daniel, said they could not access the COVID-19 test in their community, owning to the fact that the health workers trained by the Primary Development Agency in charge of administering COVID-19 tests are focussing on tge rich in the state.

He said: “We are poor people. We have been relegatedto the background because we are not government workers.”

Also speaking to our correspondent, Ovey Timothy, said since the state government commenced the COVID-19 test the health workers have not be able to reach their community.

His words: “We are calling on the state government to urgently intervene and come to their rescue.”

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