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Striking Doctors To N/Assembly: Ban Govt Officials From Medical Tourism

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The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called on the National Assembly to ban public officials from seeking medical treatment abroad.

Leaders of the association made the call at the onset of their nationwide strike on Thursday, three days after President Muhammadu Buhari travelled to London for a medical check-up.

President of NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, made the call on the urgent need to ban officials from traveling abroad for medical purposes during an interview with Daily Trust in Abuja.

He said doing so will bring the desired improvement in the country’s health sector and also save the lives of millions of poor Nigerians who do not have the means of traveling abroad to attend to their health challenges.

Dr Okhuaihesuyi said: “If medical tourism is banned in Nigeria, it will encourage the public officials to be able to develop the health system in the country.”

Asked if that would not put many lives at risk considering the poor state of the country’s health system, and the fact that many people who embark on medical tourism do so for serious and chronic diseases such as kidney, cancer and heart diseases, among others, he said: “We have one of the best set of health workers in the world, and that is why most countries tend to scavenge on doctors in Nigeria.

“What the government needs to do is to make the hospital functional, provide equipment such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), CT Scan, radiotherapy machines, and to make their lives comfortable. Nigerians will not need to travel anywhere,” he added.

He said if the N576 billion being spent on medical tourism is deployed in renovating health infrastructure and improving service delivery, the country’s health sector would be better for it. “There is a need for government to make health a priority,” he said.

Nigeria is estimated to lose over $ 1 billion dollars to medical tourism annually. The amount many times exceeded the total amount allocated to the health sector in yearly budgets in the country.

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After Meeting NGF Chairman, Akpabio Apologies To state Governors Over N30bn Claim

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has finally apologised to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State over his comment on the N30bn allowance allegedly given to them to cushion the effect of inflation in food prices.

This was coming after the Senate President held a meeting with the NGF Chairman and some of his counterparts in Abuja yesterday.

Akpabio had, at a plenary sitting last Tuesday, said an “unverified report” indicated that state governors received N30bn each from the Federation Account to cushion the effect of inflation and the high cost of food prices.

The statement has generated controversies in the public space, with some commentators asking governors to come clean about the money they did not collect.

However, on Monday, Akpabio in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, retracted the statement, saying the SP held the governors in high esteem.

The statement reads below:

“During the session, the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30bn to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that state governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.”

Eyiboh added that Akpabio has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

He, therefore, urged the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

He added, “The President of the Senate recognises and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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Police arrest wanted Abuja kidnapper, Dahiru after Wike’s N20m Bounty

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Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have arrested a wanted notorious kidnapper, Saidu Abdulkadir, popularly known as Dahiru Adamu.

This comes barely three days after the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike placed a N20m bounty on the suspect and one other wanted kidnapper, Abu Ibrahim.

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PHOTOS: FG welcomes Super Eagles with breakfast

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The Super Eagles have arrived in the Federal Capital Territory after their second-place finish at the just concluded African Cup of Nations final.

Players including Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Victor Osimhen, Ola Aina, Frank Onyeka, Calvin Bassey, Ademola Lookman, Kenneth Omeruo, Joe Aribo and Williams Troost-Ekong were at the welcome breakfast at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Members of the coaching crew are also at the breakfast.

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