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In Ogun, it’s one doctor to 6,400 patients – NMA


The Nigerian Medical Association has expressed worry over the shortage of doctors in Ogun, with the current ratio of one doctor to 6,400 patients in the state.

The NMA Chairman in the state, Dr Azim Ashimi revealed that in the last four years, about 25 percent of doctors practicing in the state, had left the state for other states in the country and other countries outside of Nigeria, while some have retired from active service.

Ashimi exclusively told PUNCH Healthwise that the state, with over six million people has only 1,000 doctors in the public and private hospitals across the state.

The World Health Organisation recommends a 1:600 doctor-to-patient ratio for member countries, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals target in healthcare.

Based on the NMA’s list of active doctors in the state, the association insisted that the ratio in Ogun State was approximately ten times worse than the WHO-recommended ratio.

Available statistics show that almost all the government health institutions are battling health worker shortages as they cannot cope with the high number of patients that throng the government hospitals.

Findings by PUNCH Healthwise indicated that approximately 1,197 Nigerian-trained doctors moved to the United Kingdom since May 29, 2023, to date.

According to the register of the General Medical Council of the UK, Nigeria is set to overtake Pakistan and become the country with the second-highest number of foreign-trained doctors in the UK.

Currently, India remains the country with the highest number of foreign-trained doctors in the UK.

Though about 1,197 Nigerian-trained doctors were licensed between May 29, 2023, and December 1, 2023, the total number of Nigerian doctors licensed to practice in the UK is now 12,198.

“The effect of Japa syndrome is all-encompassing; from inadequate healthcare practitioners to an increase in disease burden due to inadequate care and the proliferation of quacks to fill the gap created by the phenomenon.“Arguably every agile healthcare practitioner will likely leave. Many are planning to in the coming months while some are not thinking of it immediately.“However, experience has shown that many who left recently did not plan to do so in the immediate past until something triggered them to do so. It is therefore believed that those who are not immediately planning to japa now will do so when a trigger strong enough is evoked.“These triggers from experience include embarrassing events like not being able to meet up with children’s school fees, take care of aged parents, own a home and being molested by landlords, and not being able to care for medical bills of loved ones. All of these would paint such a health worker as a failure.“Other triggers include insecurity (violence against health workers on duty, kidnapping, and so on). Fear is if these continue, Nigeria may lose up to half of its critical health workforce by the end of 2025.”

On how best to stop the mass migration of doctors abroad, the medical expert said the government needs to prioritise the healthcare sector by ensuring adequate and good quality equipment in the hospitals.He stressed that providing adequate security in the hospital environment and generally improving basic infrastructure would help reduce the number of people who left the country.He noted, “Government needs to ensure environmental hygiene including adequate waste disposal system, public toilets, potable water supply (pipe borne water), proper monitoring and regulation of food and drink production and so on to reduce the burden of communicable diseases.

“They should ensure universality of health insurance. Universally improve security architecture to curb kidnapping and other vices“Appropriate remuneration for healthcare workers is close to what they can earn abroad, after all our politicians in Nigeria earn more than their counterparts in some developed countries of the world.“People should imbibe appropriate hygienic practices as well as seek proper attention whenever they are challenged by health.”

Copyright PUNCH

Ekiti declares three days of mourning for Akeredolu


Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has declared three days of mourning for Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, who died as Governor of Ondo State on Wednesday.

Akeredolu was, until his death, the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and South West Governors Forum.Gov. Oyebanji, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, declared the three-day state mourning on Friday.

All flags at public buildings across the state will be flown half-mast for the three days of mourning.

Recall that Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, had also earlier declared a three-day mourning in his state in honour of the late Akeredolu.His declaration came on the heels of that of Ondo State, which had led the way in declaring three days of mourning in honour of Akeredolu.

Akeredolu died at 67 in Germany, where he had gone for medical treatment for prostate cancer.

Truck crushes woman to death in Ogun


A yet-to-be-identified woman has been crushed to death by a truck allegedly belonging to the Dangote group, in Ogun State.

The incident occurred at Dalemo-Ota, along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

The Federal Road Safety Corps in a statement on Friday, said the woman was standing by the roadside when she was crushed by the truck.

The FRSC spokesperson in Ogun, Florence Okpe, stated that “the crash occurred at about 2300hrs late hours of Thursday night, involving a Dangote Truck.” The truck is marked XA354WDP.”

She attributed the accident to excessive speed and mechanical fault. The female adult was recorded dead from the crash.“The suspected cause of the fatal crash was excessive speed and mechanical fault (break failure) of the Dangote truck, which later hit a female adult standing by the roadside and she died on the spot.”

RCCCG opens up on ‘takeover’ of traditional ruler’s seat by Pastor Adeboye


The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCCG has described the claim that its General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye took over the seat of a traditional ruler, the Olugbon of Orile Igbon during a ministration visit to his place as false.

The Public Relations Unit of the RCCCG made the denial in response to a trending claim on the allegation, accompanied by a photograph of Pastor Adeboye sitting on a set said to be that of the traditional ruler in the palace.

The traditional ruler was also shown in the picture standing beside the chair where the RCCCG General Overseer sat.

Many commentators on social media, especially from the South West had based on the photograph accused Adeboye of arrogance and denigrating the Yoruba culture by not the giving the traditional ruler the respect due to him.

However, the RCCCG Public Relations team in a statement published on its social media handle denied the claim that Adeboye asked the King to vacate his throne so he could sit on it.

“This is false!,” RCCG said in the statement.

Pastor E.A Adeboye was going to minister from the altar and there was a chair which was the only chair prepared for him which was already placed there.

The seat on the altar was brand new.

“He did not and would never displace any person from his throne for him to sit down”

“Please in the future before you pass any comment on anything that has to do with Pastor E.A Adeboye – kindly find out the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from his office. Kindly check the social media handle of Pastor E. A. Adeboye’s office which is @rccg_pr so that you avoid highly dangerous errors,” the PR Unit said.

I served with sense of responsibility, says Buhari’s minister


A former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, has denied knowing a contractor, James Okwete, who was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly laundering N37bn.

She also said she served as a minister with every sense of responsibility and would defend her actions whenever called upon to do so.

“I remain proud to have served my country as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with every sense of responsibility and would defend my actions, stewardship and programmes during my tenure whenever I am called upon to do so.”

Sunday PUNCH had reported that the EFCC uncovered N37bn allegedly laundered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs under former minister, Umar-Farouk.

Details of the ongoing probe exclusively obtained by Sunday PUNCH revealed that the money was transferred from the Federal Government’s coffers and sent to 38 different bank accounts domiciled in five legacy commercial banks belonging to or connected with the contractor,  Okwete.

Following receipt of the funds, Okwete allegedly transferred N6,746,034,000.00 to Bureau De Change Operators, withdrew N540,000,000.00 in cash, purchased luxury cars with N288,348,600.00, and bought luxury houses in Abuja and Enugu State with N2,195,115,000.00

Guardiola says rivals want Man City to fail ‘more than ever’


Pep Guardiola believes many people now want Manchester City to fail “more than ever” after the club won their fifth trophy of an outstanding year.

City return to English domestic action at Everton on Wednesday after adding the Club World Cup with a 4-0 thrashing of Brazilian side Fluminense in Saudi Arabia to their trophy cabinet, having already lifted the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and European Super Cup in 2023.

No club in English football history has enjoyed such a successful year, although Guardiola won six trophies when in charge of Barcelona in 2009 when the Catalan side won La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, Champions League and Club World Cup titles.

“It is a business, you get credit when you win,” City manager Guardiola said ahead of his side’s trip to Goodison Park. “You don’t win you are nothing, zero, what you have done in the past.”

The Spaniard added: “As much as you win, they want you to fail. More than ever. I felt then when we won the sextuple in Barcelona.

“It’s normal. They don’t want (us to win). In these 14-15 years what we have won, the titles, is unbelievable.

“People say ‘how good they play, how genius it is’. But they give credit just because we win. They don’t have to look further than that.”

But Guardiola, who spent Christmas with his family in Barcelona, insisted his focus now was firmly on Everton.

“Nothing else exists than Goodison Park,” he said. “The greatest athletes forget as quickly as possible the success. They celebrate it, but around the corner is another competition.”

City are hoping Rodri will be after the Spain midfielder suffered an ankle injury against Fluminense, but they have doubts over the fitness of Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku.

Lagos sacks five LASTMA officials for corruption, reprimands two others


Lagos State Government has sacked five officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) for corruption and reprimanded two others.Adebayo Taofiq, Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, in a statement on Monday, said the Personnel Management Board (PMB) found them wanting and terminated their appointments.

He said letters of termination of appointments and reprimand were handed over to the indicted LASTMA officials.

Adebayo confirmed that all recommendations made by the Personnel Management Board on the seven indicted LASTMA officials during their meeting on Tuesday, 19th of August, 2023 were ratified by the Lagos State Civil Service Commission.

Adebayo said, “While Five LASTMA officials who were indicted for corruption received a letter of termination of appointment, the remaining two received letters of ‘reprimand’ for absence from duty posts without leave.”

Oki said that the agency would only get better if and when members of the public shared their experiences, including positive ones, and provided evidence where applicable of perceived misdemeanours.

He implored road users in Lagos to always comply with the State Traffic Law in order not to run foul of the law, which will attract penalties as stated in the law.

10-man Man. United succumb to Copenhagen in seven-goal thriller


Ten-man Manchester United crumbled to 4-3 defeat to FC Copenhagen on Wednesday in a Champions League match to remain at the bottom of Group A.

United opened the scoring three minutes into the game as Scott McTominay fed Rasmus Hojlund, who tapped the ball into an empty net.

The visitors doubled mid-way into the first half as Hojlund got his brace. He was in the right place at the right time to pounce on the rebound inside the box and gleefully rifled the ball home.

Marcus Rashford was sent off three minutes to the end of the first half after a bad challenge.

Two minutes later, Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one goal back for Copenhagen, He beautifully controlled a strongly hit pass from Diogo Goncalves inside the box. He cut inside his marker and rifled the ball into the bottom right corner. to make it 1-2.

Copenhagen equalised in the first half added time. Diogo Goncalves made no mistake from the penalty spot after firing the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to give the goalkeeper no chance.

Midway into the second half, United made it 2-3 from the penalty spot. Bruno Fernandes played the ball into the top left-hand corner, giving goalkeeper Kamil Grabara no chance.

The homers fought back and equalised seven minutes to duration. Rasmus Falk played the ball into the box, and Lukas Lerager got on the end of the cross to put it into the bottom right corner.

Copenhagen dealt United a blow, as they scored to make it 4-3. Roony Bardghji showed good composure inside the box to fire a first-time shot inside the right post.

2023: Bode George says PDP gave tickets to rich aspirants


A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bode George on Wednesday accused some members of the party’s National Working Committee of being the cause of the party’s failure in the 2023 presidential polls.

George while speaking to journalists in Lagos also faulted members of the NWC for handing the party ticket to individuals who had deep pockets.

Citing the case of Lagos, the former PDP Deputy National Chairman said the NWC deviated from the established procedures designed by the party’s founding fathers for conducting primary elections and congresses, stating that it was important to return to these established processes to improve the party’s chances in future elections.

He said, “A typical example is the primaries in Lagos either governorship; they will send people who don’t live here and who have no business here to come and conduct primaries.

How can somebody from outside know your house more than you by the time they land rather than allowing people to vote, they will be looking for the aspirants and they become their Automated Teller Machine.

“Once they finish, they will run back to the national organising department to affirm the person they supported. But I won’t expand more than that, and that is the major crisis which you see because, if you go to the bottom and do your primaries at the wards and local government levels and create division at that level, how can you fight the outsiders?”

He called for the establishment of a reconciliation committee to address the issues and pave the way forward for the PDP. He stressed the importance of conducting a thorough review of the party’s experiences in each state during the 2023 elections.

He added, “There should be no short approach; sweeping everything under the carpet is a foolish way to do it.
“We must set up a committee that will go around the country, move state by state, and make inquiries about their experiences, what happened to finances, and the political aspect. How were the primaries conducted in each state? Who did what?”

Passengers stranded as protesting NLC, TUC members picket Abuja airport


Passengers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja are currently stranded and unable to continue their journeys due to a protest organised by labour unions on Thursday morning.

The protesters, who blocked the entrance of the airport, are members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

This protest is coming after the recent alleged attack on the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State.

Many vehicles transporting air travellers to the airport were trapped outside the airport with passengers left stranded.

A passenger, Siraj Abubakar, told our correspondent that the protesters stopped vehicles from gaining entrance into the airport at around 8.30 am on Thursday.

They stopped us from entering the airport at around 8.30am. They said they are protesting against the maltreatment of the NLC chairman in Imo State and I wonder how that affects us here in Abuja,” Abubakar stated.

Officials of the NAIA have yet to respond to calls and messages regarding the development.

The unions also declared Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State persona non grata in all airports.

Sanwo-Olu inaugurates Oyingbo Flyover


Aerial view of the newly built Oyingbo Overpass of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project, commissioned on Sunday, 05 November 2023. Inset (l-r): Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo; chairman, Lagos House of Assembly committee on Transport, Hon. Temitope Adewale; Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Abiodun Oyebanji; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Minister of Power, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu during the commissioning of the Oyingbo Overpass.

The Oyingbo Flyover serves as a major transit link between Lagos Island and Mainland, ascending from Murtala Mohammed Way in Ebute Metta and dropping traffic into two separate arterial roads – Iddo and Costain.

The project solved vehicular congestions and delays, which hampered free movement in the vicinity. The overpass also eliminated pedestrian and vehicular interference on the rail tracks, significantly reducing the risk of accidents and collisions between trains and vehicles.

Sanwo-Olu said the investment would not only enhance uninterrupted flow of vehicular traffic at level crossings along the Red Line corridor, but the infrastructure would also improve commerce and life quality of the residents.

He said: “Today, we are opening another Overpass Bridge constructed to ensure safety of lives and uninterrupted flow of vehicular traffic at level crossings along the Red Line. This key project, which is the second of the five bridges undertaken by Lagos State Government along the rail corridor, has been delivered in Oyingbo, famous for being a thriving centre of commerce.

Sanwo-Olu noted that the contract for the bridge had not only harnessed the local engineering expertise, the infrastructure had also enabled skill transfer and developed local engineering solutions.

The Governor disclosed that students of engineering from tertiary institutions based in Lagos were engaged throughout the period of the construction for them to learn and derive value.

Oyebanji said Lagos had become a model for transformative leadership, progressive reforms and good governance, praising Sanwo-Olu for fulfilling his electoral promise to the people.

The Ekiti Governor said: “The commissioning of this massive infrastructure project speaks to what is possible when you have a thinking leadership and a government that works with a vision at the helm. We have seen Lagos evolve to become a great city under the grand vision of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who laid the foundation for the development initiatives being implemented by his successors in Lagos.

Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, Hon. Omolola Essien, described the event as ”momentous occasion”, noting the bridge was “a symbol of progress” for the Lagos Mainland residents.

She promised to galvanise residents in protecting the bridge and prevent illegal trading under it.

“I sincerely extend the appreciation of Lagos Mainland residents to Mr. Governor for his unwavering commitment to the transformation of Lagos and our city. I believe this infrastructure will improve the quality of life of the people and ease transportation within this axis. We promise zero tolerance to trading under the bridge and we will preserve the infrastructure,” she said.

Tinubu sued over failure to probe missing $15bn, N200bn oil revenues


A lawsuit has been filed against President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over his government’s failure to probe the allegations that over US$15 billion oil revenues and N200 billion budgeted to repair the refineries in Nigeria are missing and unaccounted for between 2020 and 2021.

These allegations are contained in the 2021 report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

In suit number FHC/L/CS/2334/2023 filed on Friday by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) at the Federal High Court in Lagos, an order of mandamus is sought to direct and compel the President to probe the allegations that US$15bn of oil revenue, and N200bn budgeted to repair and maintain the refineries in Nigeria are missing and unaccounted for.

SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu to direct appropriate anti-corruption agencies to probe allegations of corruption involving the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPDC) and State Owned Enterprises (SOE).”

SERAP is also seeking: “an order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu to use any recovered proceeds of corruption to enhance the well-being of Nigerians.”

In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “There is a legitimate public interest in ensuring justice and accountability for these serious allegations. Granting the reliefs sought would end the impunity of perpetrators and ensure justice for victims of corruption.”

The body also argues that “The allegations of corruption documented by NEITI undermine economic development of the country, trap the majority of Nigerians in poverty and deprive them of opportunities.”

According to SERAP, “Unless the President is directed and compelled to get to the bottom of these damning revelations, suspected perpetrators would continue to enjoy impunity for their crimes and enjoy the fruits of their crimes.

“Many years of allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending of oil revenues and impunity of perpetrators have undermined public trust and confidence in governments at all levels.

“The findings by NEITI suggest a grave violation of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], national anticorruption laws, and the country’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare, Andrew Nwankwo, and Ms Valentina Adegoke, read in part: “The Tinubu government has a constitutional duty to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the country’s oil wealth.

“SERAP is seeking an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to put in place mechanisms for accountability and transparency in the oil sector.

“Section 13 of the Nigerian Constitution imposes clear responsibility on the government to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of Chapter 2 of the constitution. Section 15(5) imposes the responsibility on the government to ‘abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power’ in the country.

“Under Section 16(1) of the Constitution, the government has a responsibility to ‘secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.’

“Section 16(2) further provides that, ‘the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.’

“Similarly, articles 5 and 9 of the UN Convention against Corruption also impose legal obligations on the government to ensure proper management of public affairs and public funds, and to promote transparent administration of public affairs.

“The UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption obligate the government to effectively prevent and investigate the plundering of the country’s wealth and natural resources and hold public officials and non-state actors to account for any violations.

“Specifically, article 26 of the UN convention requires the government to ensure ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions’ including criminal and non-criminal sanctions, in cases of grand corruption.

“Article 26 complements the more general requirement of article 30, paragraph 1, that sanctions must take into account the gravity of the corruption allegations.

“Nigeria is also a participating state of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which aims to foster greater governmental accountability for the use of natural resource wealth through the creation of a set of international norms on revenue transparency.

“EITI also aims to tackle corruption, poverty and conflict associated with natural resource wealth. Nigeria has the obligations to implement the EITI Standard, which sets out the transparency norms with which participating States including Nigeria must comply.