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FCTA COMMENDED FOR REDUCTION OF MATERNAL MORTALITY IN FCT

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The FCT Administration has been commended for its efforts in the reduction of maternal mortality rate in the FCT, through the implementation of the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) project of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON). This commendation was made by the President of SOGON, Prof. Oluwarotimi Akinola when a delegation of Executive members of the  Society paid a courtesy visit to the FCTA on Thursday, 10th  of September.

He revealed that the Society introduced the MPDSR in 6 health facilities of the FCT, namely Nyanya, Bwari, and Kwali General Hospitals, and the Primary Healthcare centers at Kwali, Gbadalape, and Kogo adding that the implementation of the MPDSR project in these areas has reduced the maternal mortality ratio in the FCT to below the national average.

According to him, in Bwari Area Council, the maternal mortality ratio was reduced from 504/100,000 in 2014 to 468/100,000 in 2019, while maternal mortality was reduced from 317/100,000 in 2014 to 221/100,000 in 2019 in Nyanya, while the figures dropped in Kwali Area Council from 329/100,000 in 2014 to 268/100,000 in 2019.

He revealed that the national average in 2008, 2013, and 2018 was 545/100,000, 576/100,000, and 512/100,000 respectively. Professor Akinola also commended the FCTA for the establishment of a budget line for the MPDSR programmes in the FCT, adding that the FCT was the first state in the country to do so. Continuing, he said that the MPDSR project in the FCT has increased consciousness and accountability of health workers as the hospital and Primary Health Care staff have become more conscious of issues relating to maternal and perinatal deaths.

While thanking his guests for the commendation, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to the development of primary healthcare centers in the FCT. He informed them that in furtherance of efforts to improve services at the primary Health care level, the FCTA recently employed 203 volunteer midwives and Community Health Extension workers and called on the Society to work very closely with the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Office of the Hon. Minister of State for the continual provision of maternal healthcare services to the women of the FCT.

The FCT Minister also appealed to medical doctors not to embark on strike actions especially as the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that those most affected by industrial actions are the more vulnerable members of society including women requiring maternal care. Also speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Health Hon (Dr) Tanko Sununu had commended the FCT Administration for the construction of the road leading to the offices of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the National Center for Disease Control.

Present at the meeting were the Permanent Secretary, FCTA Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Dr Samuel Adejare, the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, the Ag Secretary of the Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA, Dr. Muhammed Kawu and other Executive Committee members of SOGON and senior staff of the FCT Administration.

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NIGERIA

Ijaw nation vows to resist national water resources bill

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Following its earlier condemnation by different groups and individuals, the Ijaw Nations Development Group (INDG) has condemned the reintroduction of the National Water Resources Bill in the National Assembly, vowing to resist it vehemently.

The INDG described the bill as not only provocative but also a complete distortion of Nigeria’s federalism, insisting that reintroduction of the bill was the height of insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Nigerians.

Ijaw stakeholders, who stated this yesterday during a virtual meeting attended by over 100 participants, lamented that the Federal Government sent the bill to the National Assembly without engaging the states and peoples that are the direct stakeholders but only acknowledged them as footnotes.

The Keynote Speaker at the meeting, Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN), described the bill as a deleterious agenda.

“Taking a critical look at the National Water Resources Bill 2020, currently in the legislature and our national consciousness, I am compelled to align myself with more speakers, who in recent times, have come to the conclusion that such a bill can only be the product of an undisclosed, deleterious agenda,” he said.

He explained that true federalism usually serves to recognize the rights of the constituent units to ownership and protection of the same, noting that by its vesting sections, the bill represented an egregious distortion of federalism.

“The Federal Government has not only deprived the states of the minerals and mineral oil in the land within their territories, but it is also now plotting to take the only resource left for the states to administer for the benefit of their people through the National Water Resources Bill,” he added.

He said the time was past when the Ijaw nation would sit aloof and watch, but it was time to set an agenda for its legislators at all levels.

Another speaker and Niger Delta activist, Ann Kio-Briggs, said it was disheartening that the Federal Government was tampering with the rights of Ijaw people and the Niger Delta region.

“Water represents life and belongs to my people, we live on and by the water. For the first time, the Ijaw have to wake up because they have taken our land, oil, and air through pollution and now, they want to take our water. It is our responsibility to protect our rights,” she stated.

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NIGERIA

Finally, APC concedes defeat, admits Edo poll free, fair

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The governing All Progressives Congress on Monday conceded defeat 24 hours after Governor Godwin Obaseki, of the Peoples Democratic Party, was declared the winner of the Edo Governorship Election.

Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, in a statement titled, “Edo State Governorship Election: Victory for Democracy,” which he signed, congratulated Obaseki over his victory.

Buni said,  “Edo State Governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the person of the Mr. Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the People Democratic Party.

“We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians. The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent a victory for Nigeria’s democracy

“As a party, we join our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to affirm our ‘commitment to free and fair elections’ in order to strengthen ‘the foundation for our political and moral authority.

“ We commend INEC, our security agencies, and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election. As a governing party, we will take every step necessary to support the Federal Government to consolidate all the gains achieved. “

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NIGERIA

Government has no business running refineries — Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said the problems associated with Nigeria’s refineries will persist if the Federal Government continues to own and run them.

He noted that experience has shown that refineries were better managed by the private sector hence the need for the government to restrict itself to providing the regulatory framework for such businesses to thrive.

Osinbajo said this at a virtual meeting organized for the All Progressives Congress bloggers and social media influencers at the APC National Secretariat, in Abuja, Monday.

According to him, it was time for the nation to do more to develop its gas and renewable energy resources which are cheaper and cleaner.

He said, “If the refinery is left in the hands of the government, it will continue to experience the same problem it is experiencing now. I do not think that it is the business of the government to run the refinery. It should be the business of the private sector, which is why we are trying to focus on assisting the private sector to develop modular refineries.”

Speaking further Osinbajo said, “There is a 100,000-barrel capacity refinery about to come on stream and we hope it will by the next year. It is completely private and closely located near the Port Harcourt refinery so that it can share the facilities of the Port Harcourt refinery. We are hopeful it will come on stream in the first quarter of next year.

“There are also six modular refineries that are almost ready. There is a Niger Delta Petroleum refinery in Delta state, there is another one in Imo, there is also another modular refinery in Edo State.

“We engaged the oil-producing communities to find a new vision for the Niger Delta and we tried to encourage modular refinery that will give the people in the oil-producing states a stake so that the modular refinery is not just private but the people there have some stake and equity.

“The whole idea is to support as many private refineries as possible. We are also waiting for the Dangote Refinery with 250,000 barrels capacity which is bigger than all of the government refineries put together.

“In the next two or three months, we will see the private sector playing a bigger role and things will quickly improve. We hope that this particular effort will complete the refurbishment of the refineries which will be completed soon but I am more hopeful of the private effort been the key to the future.”

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