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Business

We plan to make migration of doctors unattractive – Health Minister

The FG says it’s making plans to invest more in healthcare infrastructure so as to make migration of skilled health workers unattractive.

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Vaccines, Ministry of Health to launch electronic system for National Health Insurance Scheme, We plan to make migration of doctors unattractive - Health Minister, COVID-19: India donates $50 million worth essential medicines to Nigeria, others, Second case of Covid-19 now tests negative

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has announced that the Federal Government plans to make the migration of skilled Nigerian Healthcare workers unattractive by investing in Healthcare infrastructure.

The Minister disclosed this on Friday, during the inspection of a recently launched cancer centre in Abuja.

READ: A Glance at the HealthTech and Healthcare startup space in Nigeria

Recall that Nairametrics reported in July that the FG resumed payments of improved Hazard Allowances to doctors, following threats by resident doctors to embark on strike if their hazard allowance needs were not met.

Other issues they wanted to address included the deplorable state of hospitals, and the lack of protective equipment for members of the union treating COVID-19 patients, which has led to the deaths of some doctors.

READ: Power: Nigeria records transmission peak of 5,459.50MW – TCN

In September, Nairametrics reported that Health workers, under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), went on a 7-day strike on Monday 14th. The union had earlier warned of impending strike action to protest the poor funding and infrastructural decay in the health sector. 

The Minister of Health, on Friday, said that the FG was aware of the challenges facing doctors and planned to provide better funding in the sector.

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READ: NSIA invests $5.5 million in radiology centre in Abia State

“I have heard the challenge of doctors leaving the country. We have plans to provide better funding for our hospitals in Nigeria and make such migration unattractive,” he said.

He added that the Cancer Centre performed well during the pandemic and that the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Jaf Momoh, had indicated plans of the hospital to encourage doctors to remain in the country.

READ: What you need to know as banks rebrand CBN intervention funds to woo borrowers

Bottomline

Nigeria is facing an ever-increasing brain drain in the healthcare industry, due to the rising policies of skill-based immigration in Europe and North America, which give Nigerian healthcare workers access to much better standards of living and salary packages.

The brain drain, however, may not end anytime soon, as Nairametrics reported on Friday that the Canadian government plans to receive over 1.2 million immigrants in three years, from 2021 to 2023.

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READ: Buhari insists “no kobo” of foreign exchange will be issued for food imports

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Business

CBN’s Emefiele vows to reject the continuous importation of maize in Nigeria

The CBN has said that it will oppose all attempts to continue the importation of maize into the country.

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Banks' stakeholders express 4 main concerns bothering the sector right now, CBN, MARKET UPDATE: CBN’s historic agriculture lending; Is it yielding the desired results? 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it will oppose all attempts to continue the importation of maize into the country.

This is geared towards encouraging local production as the apex bank believes that maize farmers in Nigeria have what it takes to close the maize demand gap of over 4.5 million metric tonnes in the country.

This was made known by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele while speaking in Katsina on Thursday during the unveiling of the first maize pyramid and inauguration of the 2021 maize wet season farming under the CBN-Maize Association of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

READ: Nigeria must eat what we produce, agriculture is the way out – Buhari

Emefiele said, “With over 50,000 bags of maize available on this ground, and others aggregated across the country, maize farmers are sending a resounding message that we can grow enough maize to meet the country’s demand.’

He explained that the maize unveiled at the ceremony would be sold to reputable feed processors adding that this would in turn impact positively on current poultry feed prices, as over 60% of maize produced in the country were used for producing poultry feed.

Emefiele said that the apex bank was ready to provide support to the youths that are willing to engage in agriculture and encouraged them to embrace agriculture.

READ: Nigeria secures $1.2 billion loan from Brazil for agriculture modernization

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Speaking at the event, the Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, said the state had suffered a setback in agriculture as over 60,000 hectares of farmlands were uncultivated due to insurgency, which hindered farmers from gaining access to their means of livelihood.

On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, while unveiling the pyramids, reassured the farmers, processors and other value chain participants, of the support of government towards ensuring that they perform optimally.

What you should know

It can be recalled that in July 2020, the CBN included maize importation to its list of 41 items banned from assessing forex at the official market as it directed all banks/authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.

The apex bank in its circular said that this measure is aimed at increasing local production of the commodity, stimulating a rapid economic recovery, safeguarding rural livelihoods and increasing jobs.

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Business

FG releases N29.1 billion advance for deployment of Covid-19 vaccines

The FG has announced the release of N29.1 billion to the NPHCDA as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines.

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Power: Mambilla Power Project not prioritised by Ministry of Power for 2021 Budget - Finance Minister

The Federal Government has announced the release of N29.1 billion to the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines.

This is as the government has expressed its commitment to procuring 29.588 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the AVAT initiative, coordinated by AFREXIMBank,

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed while speaking at ‘Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly webinar on Friday.

What the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning is saying

Ahmed in her statement said, “Therefore, the supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccines will cover the cost of additional vaccines over and above those provided by COVAX, as well as the full cost of operations and logistics for delivering the vaccines around the country.

“Already, the sum of N29.1bn has been released from the Routine Immunization budgetary provision (Service Wide Vote) to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines. The N29.1bn represents about 52 percent of the amount required over 2021-22”, she said.

Mrs Ahmed stated at the 18th General Assembly of CABRI that the World Bank has indicated willingness to provide needed facilities in support of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination plan.

Considering key elements of Nigeria’s vaccine financing strategy, she said that the government is working on a supplementary budget to provide for the cost of vaccine procurement and delivery

She said, “The Federal Ministry of Health plans to vaccinate 70 per cent of eligible (18 years and above) Nigerians over the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years.”

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She noted that the nation has received commitments from COVAX for Covid-19 vaccines that could cover 43.1 million of the eligible population, as donations from some development partners.

On the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the oil price crash on the Nigerian economy, she noted that prior to the pandemic, implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-20, prudent resource management and fiscal policy implementation had resulted in 11 consecutive quarters of GDP growth, with GDP growth rising from 1.91% in 2018 to 2.27% in 2019.

Mrs Ahmed also noted that “the government had begun the process of moving our economy away from its primary dependence on oil for revenues and foreign exchange, and we’re making steady gains in addressing infrastructure and human capital challenges.”

 

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