The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its indefinite strike which commenced at midnight of Monday, June 15.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the doctors will return to work on Monday, June 22, 2020 by 8am prompt.
President of the union, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, announced this in a news conference on Sunday, following a meeting between the association and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja.
Sakomba noted that the decision to suspend the strike was taken in order to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfil the outstanding demands.
“The national officers shall continue negotiations with stakeholders and progress made shall be reviewed in four weeks during the next National Executive Council meeting in July 2020.
“The decision to suspend the strike was taken in order to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfil the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of House of Representative, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum and other stakeholder,” Sakomba said.
He announced that through the intervention of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, some of their demands had been met, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in some hospitals, and the inclusion of the Medical Residency Training fund in the revised 2020 budget.
The association will, over the next four weeks, await the fulfilment of the promises made by the Governors to extend the implementation to the various states.
“On the salary shortfall for 2014-2016, The Secretary to the Government of the Federation has promised to intervene.
“Government has shown a commitment to secure group life insurance for health workers. The disengaged resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital have been reinstated, the Chief Medical Director has been directed to pay their withheld salaries and comply with the provisions of the Medical Residency,” he added.
He further stated that the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Gov. Kayode Fayemi and the Director-General of the State Tertiary Health Institutions (STHIs), Mr Asishana Okauru, had promised to discuss with the Governors of Kogi, Gombe, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, and Imo for immediate pay parity with the corrected CONMESS of 2019 and the salary shortfalls.
“NARD also met with Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo state who also gave his words to favourably look into all challenges of our members in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso with a view to abiding by the international standard,” he said.
The resident doctors had declared an indefinite strike starting on Monday June 15, following the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government to address several issues and demands.
NCC creates digital economy department to harness technology in Nigeria
The commission announced that its Governing Board had approved the creation of the new department.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the creation of a Digital Economy Department, which will be responsible for promoting the digital economic agenda of the federal government.
Among other things, this department will renew the commission’s strategy for delivering its programmes and policies, and give the necessary push to promote the national digital economy.
In a press release signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, and published by NCC on Tuesday evening, the commission announced that its Governing Board had approved the creation of the new department which would be structurally under the Office of the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC.
According to the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the decision to place the newly-created department under the Office of the EVC also underscores the “importance the Commission places on the need to successfully drive the overall national digital economy strategy of the government through ensuring its effective monitoring and supervision.”
All staff members of the Special Duties Department are to move to the newly-created Digital Economy Department. which will be headed by Engr. Babagana Digima, an Assistant Director in the Special Duties Department who will now serve as pioneer Head of the new department.
Danbatta noted that the department would be guided by the eight pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) document, the Broadband Implementation Unit in the Commission.
The eight pillars contained include: Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy and Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Services Development and Promotion; Digital Society and Emerging Technologies; and Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.
The NDEPS was unveiled in November 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari as a guide for the national digital economy which will lead to the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Update: Buhari suspends EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu from office
The suspension follows the investigation of allegations of gross misconduct against him on Monday.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, from office. The suspension follows the investigation of allegations of gross misconduct against him on Monday.
According to available information, Magu was suspended to allow for probe into allegations against him.
The EFCC boss appeared before a presidential probe panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami, who is investigating the allegations against him.
The latest development is coming a day after he was invited to face the Rtd Justice Ayo Salami led probe panel, to various allegations that had been levelled against him, which borders on misconduct and financial irregularities.
Meanwhile, the Presidency in reaction to the probe of Magu, declared that it shows that nobody under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is above scrutiny. A monitored report suggests that the investigation of the EFCC boss was to reinforce that this administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability, adding that the holder of such office must be above suspicion.
A monitored report states that the interrogation of Magu is to give him the opportunity to clear himself of the weighty allegations against him.
The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday stated that contrary to claims in the media that the EFCC boss had been arrested, he was only invited by a presidential panel that was set up to review the activities of the EFCC.
According to the DSS, he was served the invitation to the panel, while on his way to the Force Headquarters, Abuja for a meeting, so he was neither arrested nor forced to honour the invitation.
The acting Chairman of EFCC appeared before the panel probing allegations of gross misconduct against him on Monday, July 6, 2020.
Reps to investigate alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from NLNG account
Gbajabiamila mandated the House to conduct a thorough investigation on activities of the dividends account.
The House of Representatives has concluded plans to investigate the alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) account by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) without its knowledge and appropriation.
The decision by the lower chamber is on the heels of a unanimous adoption of a motion by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, during plenary session on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
Going down memory lane, Elumelu recalled that the NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989 with the aim of producing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purposes which began in 1999.
He pointed out that the NLNG is jointly owned by the Federal Government, represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49% and Shell Gas with 25.6%, Total LNG Nigeria Ltd with 15% and ENI International with 10.4%.
The Minority leader said, “The dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Funds Account of the Federal Government and to be shared among the three tiers of government.’’
Going further in his motion, Elumelu said, “The NNPC who represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG had unilaterally without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.
“There was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the 1.05 billion dollars was spent.’’
‘’There are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation. Hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.”
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committee on Public Account to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that had taken place on the dividends account.
Gbajabiamila mandated the committee to invite the management of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG in the process and report back to the house in four weeks.