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COVID-19: Resident Doctors Warns FG To Cancel Invitation To Chinese Doctors

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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.

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‘It’s Suicidal ’, Labour Rejects FG’s Plans To Slash Salaries

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Agency Report

The Organised Labour has condemned and rejected the plan by the Federal Government to slash the salaries of workers in the country.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, who said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that the plan was tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish, for Nigerian workers.

Waba said that NLC was shocked at a statement credited to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on the plan to reduce the high cost of governance by cutting down on the workers’ salaries.

”The minister also allegedly directed the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), to immediately review the salaries of civil servants as well as the number of federal agencies in the country.

”It is almost unthinkable that the government would be contemplating to unilaterally slash the salaries of Nigerian workers at this time,” he said.

Wabba added that, “the question to ask is which salary is the government planning to slash? It certainly cannot be the meager national minimum wage of N30, 000, which right now cannot even buy a bag of rice”.

He expressed the belief that the proposed slash in salaries was certainly not targeted at the minimum wage and consequential adjustment in salaries that some state governors were still dragging their feet to pay.

According to him, it is in public knowledge that the multiple devaluations of the Naira in a short time, and the prevailing high inflation rate in Nigeria, have knocked out the salaries earned by Nigerian workers across the board.

”Nigerian workers are only surviving by hair’s breadth. Indeed, Nigerian workers are miracles strutting on two legs.

”It is, therefore, extremely horrendous for a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to pronounce salary slash for Nigerian workers currently.

”This call for salary slash by Mrs Zainab Ahmed is tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish, for Nigerian workers,” he said.

While opposing the move, he demanded an immediate retraction and apology by the Minister of  Finance.

The NLC president, however, said that if there was any salary that needed serious slashing, “it is the humongous remuneration and allowances pocketed by political office holders in Nigeria, who do extraordinarily little but collect so much.

”Workers generate surplus value and revenue for the government.

”We do not constitute any unnecessary cost or burden to governance. It is also important to make the point that salaries are products of contracts governed by laws. They cannot be unilaterally adjusted.”

He said that many countries of the world were increasing the salaries of their workforce and extending social security coverage for their citizens.

According to him, many are providing all forms of palliatives to help their people through the terrible socio-economic dislocations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waba said that it would be completely strange for the Nigerian government to be thinking of a salary slash.

“This move is not only at great odds with global best responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but also in violation of relevant ILO Conventions and Declarations on Wages and Decent Work.

“We urge the government as a social partner to quickly respond to the demands by Labour for an upward review of salaries of all Nigerian workers.

“Nigerian workers have shown sufficient understanding with the government through the tough patches of the pandemic.

“Now, Nigerian workers demand reciprocity of our understanding. Nigerian workers demand an increase in their remunerations and allowances,” he said.

NAN

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Paying ransomt To Kidnappers Is Foolishness —Obasanjo

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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, has cautioned against the payment of ransom to kidnappers.

He, however, submitted that the government must develop means to deal with kidnappers and bandits heavily in place of ransom payment.

He noted that the governments of both President Goodluck Jonathan and Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) paid ransom to kidnappers but they denied it.

Obasanjo said he does not believe in payment of ransom to kidnappers and bandits, saying it encouraged criminals indulging in the act.

The former president berated any government that pays ransom, describing them as follies.

Obasanjo spoke on Wednesday at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while playing host to members of Tiv professionals Group led by Prof Zacharys Anger Gundu.

Obasanjo insisted that it requires a “carrot and stick” approach to fight insecurity challenges to a standstill.

He said “Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it.

“Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”

Obasanjo expressed fears that those beating drums of division in Nigeria don’t think about the interest of the minority ethnic groups.

He added, “Where do we want those minor groups to stand? Wherever they stand, now they are by virtue of Nigeria’s present situation a little bit protected. But if Nigeria breaks up and they are in a smaller country, they will be oppressed. They will always be exterminated. Are we thinking of that?

“I believe that if we will get it right in Nigeria, any leader must look at Nigeria with the prism of the diversity of Nigeria. For as long as you look at Nigeria with the prism of your ethnic group, then you aren’t going anywhere, either your ethnic group or religious group.

“But is there hope? There is hope.”

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Gumi Warns Against Sacking Pantami, Says Nigeria Will Regret If…

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Popular Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi Monday warned that Nigerians will regret if the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami is sacked from office.
Gumi who gave the warning during an interview with Roots TV said allegations against the embattled Minister were not true and should be discarded.
You would recall that different groups, politicians have since called for the resignation of the Minister over his past support for terror groups insisting that Pantami’s renunciation was not enough.
But in the interview, Gumi said Nigeria should get more people like Pantami and put them in power instead of calling for his removal.
“You cannot Islamise the whole world. Jesus Christ came; he could not Christianise the whole world. Nobody can Islamise or Christianise Nigeria,” Gumi began.
“All his actions, one hundred percent, shows he is not a terrorist. Those who are terrorists are after his life. The Minister should continue. His presence there is fighting the terrorist ideology.
“Show me, one person, he has killed. He has not killed anybody. He has not ordered the killing of anybody. Discard the fake news.
“The man is stabilizing a government among a section of youths, which we want them to come and join in nation-building. They should not throw him away. Leave him. He is not a terrorist sympathizer.
“And you people are fighting them. No. You should get more people like Pantami and put them in power. It will stabilize. Don’t remove him. You’ll regret,” he stated.

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