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Ikpeazu asks Abia doctors to forfeit 16-month salary arrears —NARD



The National Association of Resident Doctors says the Abia State Government owes its members 16 months’ salary arrears.

NARD says Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, a former lecturer according to his Wiki citation, had asked the doctors to forfeit the 16-month salary arrears for him to start implementing the new minimum wage for doctors in the state.

The Publicity Secretary of NARD, Dr. Stanley Egbogu, disclosed this during an exclusive interview while speaking on the just suspended strike embarked on by his association.

However, Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi-Kalu, said NARD’s claim was not true.

Okiyi-Kalu said, “Abia State Government never, at any time, asked any worker to forfeit any earned wage for any reason whatsoever. It will be illegal and morally wrong to do so and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu did not at any time give such directive.”

Recall that members of NARD had, on Monday, September 7, embarked on an indefinite strike, protesting the failure of the government to meet the demands they made in June, following week-long strike action.

On Thursday, NARD said it had suspended its most recent strike for two weeks to allow further negotiations with the Federal Government.

Discussing the Abia issue, Egbogu said, “Abia State Government still owes doctors 16 months’ salary arrears.

“The Government of Abia State, despite not paying medical doctors the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale, has been owing to health workers.

“Currently, the governor is asking them to forfeit the 16-month salaries for him to start implementing the new minimum wage for doctors.

“There is no access road to Abia State University Teaching Hospital as we speak. No form of infrastructural development. The situation in ABSUTH seems to be the worst across the country.

“It is really sad for Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to treat doctors this way, despite seeing the importance of health when he suffered coronavirus disease,” he said.

Ikpeazu was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 on June 8, 2020, and was moved to an isolation center in Lagos. He has since been cured of the infection.

When contacted, Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi-Kalu, said NARD’s claim was not true.

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No going back on Water Resources Bill – FG



The Federal Government has declared it will go ahead with the Water Resources Bill.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed told reporters the bill was not designed to cause water wars in the country.

He said the bill is a panacea to likely water conflicts in the country.

He said critics of the bill have either not read it or might be mischievous.

He said there is no hidden agenda behind the bill.

He said it is not a subterfuge reintroduction of RUGA.

Mohammed made the clarifications at a joint briefing with the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu in Abuja.

He said: “There is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time.

These are:

– Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004

– The River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004

– The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004

– National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004

“So, why are the laws being re-packaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020?

“The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

“The overall objective of this amalgamation is the efficient management of the Water Resources Sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the well-being of its citizens.

“The Bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of the people (i.e. for domestic and non-domestic use, irrigation, agricultural purposes, generation of hydro-electric energy, navigation, fisheries and recreation).

“The Bill will ensure that the nation’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all persons.

“Critics contend that the Bill is aimed at taking the resources of a certain part of the country for the use of herders. In other words, the Federal Government is seeking to implement RUGA by subterfuge.

“We also want to state that the Bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”

Adamu said the bill was sent to all the states for concurrence without any object.

He said the bill predated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said:” This was never a Buhari bill, it is a bill for Nigeria. It started 2008 long before the President thought of winning election.”

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#Fuel hike: No going back on strike, protest – NLC




The Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed to proceed with its planned strike and protest with effect from September 28 following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.

Rising from its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja a few minutes ago, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the proposed action by the organised labour would proceed from next week.

He stated that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC.

Details later…

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#Technology: Sanusi Urges Youths To Explore and not Rely on Government



The Former Central Bank Governor, CBN, Mohammed Sanusi (II), has urged Nigeria youths not to rely on government but to explore and create opportunities for themselves, especially with technology.

The former CBN governor who was the guest speaker on the second day of the Kaduna Investment Summit explained that over-reliance on oil has left the country unproductive.

“We need to think over and over again as to how we understand economics and what we see. How do we understand technology or electricity are we consumers or are we producers and that’s why investment in human capital is so important.

“Produce young men who know that they are worth more than just using their phone to import a pair of shoes,” he said.

Sanusi said Nigeria has to take economic diversification more seriously in order to experience growth and development.

Referencing Malaysia, Sanusi gave a breakdown of the economic growth of both countries within a 30-year period.

According to him, for Nigeria “there was an increase in wealth but without any structural transformation”.

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“We were growing but we did not diversify and that explains the huge levels of poverty in the country, it explains the huge levels of inequality in the country, it explains the vulnerability of the economy to shocks, it also explains the relatively slow pace of growth because when Malaysia started, they started from a GDP per capita level lower than Nigeria’s GDP per capita in 1985. It started from $310 to $4,045 while we started from $345 to $2,055”.

He also stressed the importance of the government creating the right environment and infrastructure for private businesses to thrive.

The former CBN governor who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency noted that with the right environment, the country can move away from being only consumers to producers of technology.

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