Nigerian doctors under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, have warned of the consequences of extending invitation to Chinese nationals by the federal government following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
The association which claimed that throwing the country’s international borders to Chinese was suicidal, accused the government of championing illegality by its intention.
“We find it rather curious that our government would contemplate to throw open her international borders to Chinese nationals having watched how similar action in Italy proved socio-economically suicidal,” NARD president,Sokomba Aliyu,said in a statement, Sunday.
“The crafty Chinese scientists should be the last group of friends to trust at this time given how unreliably and covertly they have managed the information around the pandemic beginning from the data around its origin, characteristics, and other virulence features to help the nations yet to experience the surge to be better prepared.
“We should not lose sight of the fact that conspiracy theories have it that COVID 19 is a possible tool for both sociopolitical and economic manipulation and domination.
“Nigeria is too important in the African continent to act any carelessly in the face of this emerging but portent threat to human existence.
“The attempt to import Human resources for Health from China into Nigeria where many qualified medical doctors and other cadres of health workers are yet to be gainfully employed is the height of insensitivity and disservice on the part of the Federal Government and their advisers.
“The challenge at hand would have been sufficient marker to agitate the FG to the direction and timing for massive employment of medical and other health care workers to provide enough hands in the industry to battle the COVID 19 as other nations are doing. Some countries even went ahead to accelerate the graduation of their final year medical students.
“They did not turn to China. If the FG had completely employed the available qualified doctors and other healthcare workers before turning to China for medical manpower to fill any persisting gap; it would have being less suspicious. ,” it said in the statement.
Reiterating that it condemned “the planned importation of Chinese doctors into Nigeria by the Federal Ministry of Health to fight COVID-19”, NARD said it wished “to holistically cross-examine the intent and purpose of the importation of 18-man Chinese team of medical experts including doctors, nurses and those with sundry expertise to assist Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.”
“The association is in indeed puzzled that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health would be contemplating such an adventure without first discussing it with the key and relevant stakeholders like the Nigerian Medical Association; our parent body; and all her relevant affiliates that parade some of the world’s best hands in all fields of endeavour,” it said in the statement.
According to NARD,” The Federal Government cannot be championing illegality. All doctors coming into Nigeria are supposed to be licensed by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. Am sure these ones are not.”
“Nigeria is about one-fifth of the population of the African continent and currently the world has watched with awe, the very slow rate of case fatality arising from COVID 19 in Africa and is yet to understand, explain, covet or undermine that possible genetic advantage,” it noted.
The statement read further:”The Nigerian medical experts are currently winning the COVID 19 battle and should be encouraged and motivated and supported to win the war instead of distracting them with this unfortunate plan.
“The news making rounds in some quarters have it that the Chinese experts are only coming to Nigeria to play only some advisory roles and not to directly intervene in the day to day handling of Nigerian patients do not appear believable because telemedicine should have been more cost-effective, faster and easier to harness over a large number of uses that to fly them into Nigeria and move them from place to place at a huge cost to our national budget.”
NARD advised the federal government to stop the implementation of the plan and rather, immediately engage all key relevant Nigerian medical experts including NARD and present the full intents and purpose of the planned importation of Chinese experts for full evaluation, cost-benefit analysis and consensus on the best option.
“In the interim and pending when item one above is fully done, NARD wishes to distant herself from the planned importation of Chinese medical experts to Nigeria in whatever guise or hood for the reasons presented in this write-up and many more,” it advised.
“NARD shall not contemplate further warning to distance herself from the Chinese adventure by way of withdrawing all her members from every public health facility in Nigeria so that the anticipated downturn in the output of Nigeria’s healthcare service delivery can be properly situated and traceable to the Chinese as is the case today in Italy.
“NARD hereby reiterates her position which was canvased earlier in the week for the Federal government to immediately and massively employ all qualified but unemployed doctors and other healthcare workers. Get them trained, insured, motivated and deployed nationwide.
“NARD wonders if the Chinese medical experts would accept N5,000 monthly hazard allowance if they were to be engaged on such terms. Nigerian doctors and other healthcare workers have been on such depressing and unpatriotic hazard allowance and yet saving millions of Nigerians for years.
“Why did the federal government not bring Chinese experts on same conditions of service. Federal government needs to immediately review the hazard allowance and make it a percentage of the basic salary of all healthcare workers as many nations are steadily incentivizing the pay for their health workers.
“Finally, NARD is of the view that all our hospitals should be properly equipped with state of the art equipment and devices and all necessary personal protective equipment made available to all healthcare workers instead of demoralizing them with the news of plans to import Chinese experts,” the statement further read.
Nigeria Needs N1trn For Efficient Electricity Transmission – TCN
By Agency Report
The Transmission Company of Nigeria has said Nigeria requires nothing less than N1tn to effectively wheel electricity through the national grid.
The Executive Director, Transmission Service Provider, TCN, Victor Adewumi, said this at the 52nd Power Dialogue of the Nigeria Electricity Hub on which held online in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said TCN would require the sum to make the country’s power grid stable, adding that the $1.6bn which the transmission company was getting from international agencies would not be enough to stablilise the grid.
When asked to state how much would be needed to get the grid to transmit electricity effectively, Adewumi replied, “Simply put, TCN requires nothing less than N1tn to make the grid to be very stable.
“For the project that TCN is financing internally, relying on our IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) and the Federal Government budget system, TCN requires nothing less than N600bn. way that even the Federal Government can provide this kind of fund.”
He said investors were invited to come and fund some of the projects in TCN, as they would recoup their investments over time.
Adewumi said, “So the alternative way is to look at project financing, where those who have the money can come to TCN and finance probably the transmission lines and then look at the cost of energy to be wheeled on that line, spread it over a period of time and then get their money back.
He said, “But with the current kind of fund that is entering TCN, there is no way TCN can embark on that.
“This is because the Discos are not giving us the required money; we are getting less than 60 per cent of TCN tariff.
He added, “That is even after the Nigerian Electricity a Regulatory Commission forced them to do it.”
He, however, stated that the Discos would not receive all the blame as many power users were involved in electricity theft.
Nigeria Ranked 3rd Most Terrorised Country Worldwide
Nigeria has been ranked third most terrorised country in the world by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report, which stated that death attributed to Boko Haram in Nigeria increased by 25 percent from 2018 to 2019.
According to the report, “Nigeria had the second largest fall in total deaths, owing largely to a 72 percent reduction in fatalities attributed to Fulani extremists.
“Despite this decrease, the number of deaths attributed to Boko Haram increased by 25 percent from 2018 to 2019.
“Renewed activity by Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, including Cameroon, Chad and Niger, remains a substantial threat to the region.”
The report added that: “In 2019, Boko Haram carried out 11 suicide bombings causing 68 fatalities. Suicide bombings accounted for 6% of all terror-related incidents by Boko Haram in 2019, marking an 89% decline from their peak in 2017.
“Boko Haram was responsible for Nigeria’s deadliest terrorist attack in 2019 when assailants attacked a funeral in Badu, Borno State.
“At least 70 people were killed and 10 others were wounded in the attack and ensuing clash.
“The two main factions of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) and the followers of Abubakar Shekau, are both engaged in an insurgency campaign against the Nigerian government.
“Violence by the two main factions of Boko Haram have taken a large toll on the civilian population, particularly in the North-East, where continued attacks have internally displaced more than two million people and caused a further 240,000 Nigerian refugees to flee to neighbouring countries.”
FG Receives Repatriated 600-year-old Ife Artefact
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed received the repatriated Ife Terracotta from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in the company of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Harry van Dijk on Thursday in Abuja.
The Minister said the return of the stolen Ife Terracotta marked a milestone in Nigeria’s efforts at pursuing the return of the country ’s antiquities.
Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to Lai Mohammed, quoted the Minister as saying the government’s resolve to seek the repatriation of the nation’s timeless and priceless artifact was strengthened by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s marching order for Nigeria to tap into tourism and other fields, where Nigeria has comparative advantages, in order to generate income for the nation and secure jobs for our youths.
Mohammed said, “ It gives me profound joy to receive this very important antiquity, an Ife Terracotta , which is dated to be at least 600 years old . I am even more delighted that our efforts at pursuing the return of Nigerian antiquities , which we launched last November , have started yielding
“ One way of generating income for the country is if our cultural properties are exhibited around the world to a fee -paying audience, on the basis of proper agreement that acknowledges us as owners and confers the right benefits on us. But this is not possible for as long as most of them adorn the museums and private collections of others , who describe them as their properties. ”
While describing the handing over of the artifact as a new beginning, the Minister said apart from the pecuniary benefits , the priceless objects wrought by the nation ’s forebears are unifying factors among the diverse cultures in the country .
He said the Ife Terracotta was smuggled from Nigeria through Ghana to The Netherlands in 2019 with a forged document.
The Minister of Information and Culture said following the interception of the artifact by the Dutch Customs at Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands , Nigeria was invited to prove her case against the suspected smuggler , which the country did successfully , hence the return of the artifact .
“ Let me state here that Nigeria believes in joint international efforts to put a stop to illicit export and import of cultural goods . The issue of cultural property should not be a ground of rancour and discord among nations . That is if nations choose to tow the path which the Kingdom of The Netherlands has chosen by insisting on justice , fairness , and amity . ”
Onyeama thanked The Netherlands for the efficient and expeditious manner in which it deployed resources to identify , retrieve , and repatriate the Ife Terracotta to Nigeria .
Harry van Dijk said the return of the artifact is a fitting gift to mark the 50 th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention on the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking of Culture Heritage, of which Nigeria and The Netherlands are signatories .
The Director- General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Prof . Abba Isa -Tijjani, has taken custody of the artifact for cleaning and treatment at the Conversation Laboratory before its eventual display to the public.