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Council seeks standard in pharmaceutical profession 



Council seeks standard in pharmaceutical profession 

Prof. Ahmed Mora, the Chairman, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) has stressed the need to sustain standard in the pharmaceutical profession, particularly on the entering requirements into academic institutions.

Mora made the call during a courtesy visit by members of the Nigeria Association of Foreign Trained Pharmacists to the council on Tuesday in Abuja.

The association’s delegation was led by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Ikenna Ekeh, representing the association’s President, Dr John Ejezie.

The council chairman said that members of the profession must do all it required to encourage the profession,  particularly on the entering grades into higher institutions.

”This will help to attract the upcoming generation who might be willing to study the profession.

“The profession must not be encouraged to deviate from set standard, standard must be promoted into the academic institutions, standard entering requirement in terms of credit pass into universities must be obtained by those seeking admission.

“The time has come for us to look at the entry requirements, we must not compromise standard, anyone who decides to waste his or her time whether such person schooled abroad or Nigeria will not be registered with the council.

“The most important thing is to come to the regulatory body, PCN to find out whatever that seems to be confusing to them,” he said.

On internship challenge, Mora said that the regulatory and drug committee would look into the issue.

According to him, the issue of internship placement for student has been mentioned to the committee during inauguration.

He said that the internship placement would be addressed, potential pharmacists would know where to go for placement during induction.

The chairman decried the underpayment of some pharmacists, working or serving.

He urged members of the association to work it out in such a way that pharmacists would be paid nothing less than N100,000.

”Working things out is why an association is needed in every profession. They must ensure no members compromises agreement in terms of remuneration and wages,’” the chairman said.

Earlier, the leader of the Nigeria Association of Foreign Trained Pharmacists, said that the members visited the council to discuss how to attain progress in the pharmacy profession.

He said they were also there to discuss the challenges facing the profession in recent times and to identify with the council in its endeavour to move the profession forward.

Prof. Elijah Mohammed, the Registrar of the council, while explaining progress made so far by the council said it had approved six universities in all the geo-political zones for accreditation and foreign graduate programme.

“The council has been decentralised, we now have accredited schools for foreign graduate programme in Lagos, Gombe, Portharcourt, Nsuka, Jos and Zaria.

“We are looking at possibility where academic work can be done online during the COVID-19 period to reduce gathering.

“By the time universities call off their strike, we will definitely get that done,” Mohammed said.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

Aderogba George: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


COVID-19: Bayelsa schools ready, safe to re-open – Gov. Diri



Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa on Tuesday announced that the state had put in place measures to check the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) among students in exit classes billed to resume on Wednesday.

Diri gave the assurance at the ‘Safe School Reopening Train-the-Trainer’ programme in Yenagoa.

He said that the government had  provided 10,000 face masks, temperature scanners, soap and water for all public and private schools in Bayelsa.

The governor inaugurated a 10-member Safe Schools Reopening Committee headed by his Deputy Chief of Staff,  Mr Peter Akpe, to monitor implementation of the safety protocols across the state.

Diri urged the committee to ensure compliance with the safety protocols to curb infection.

He noted that Bayelsa had 339 COVID-19 cases at the moment.

Diri also noted that Rivers had 1,842 cases and Delta 1,520, saying that Bayelsa was listed the 23rd out of 36 states in infection rate.

He attributed the low infection rate in the state to strict enforcement of the COVID-19 protocols and the commitment of healthcare professionals.

“Our commitment to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged the entire globe, is total.

“Out of the responsibility for the health of our dear children,  we decided to close schools on March 26 even before we recorded the index case in Bayless, on April 27, 2020.

“I commend the efforts of our healthcare professionals who I describe as generals in the battlefield.

“With the steps we have taken, teachers have joined in the frontlines of the battle against the pandemic.

“We seek the cooperation of parents, teachers and other stakeholders to prevent teacher-to-student transmission of the virus and vice versa,” Diri said.

In his remarks, Dr Nathaniel Apoku, Co-Chairman of Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that 90 per cent of the 339 positive cases out of 5,000 people screened for the virus had been discharged.

“We have so far tested 5,000, we have only 24 active cases under our care.

“Our isolation centres are virtually empty, this is due to the commitment, dexterity and funding support by the government.

“We have always been meticulous in the implementation of World Health Organisation (WHO) and NCDC protocols,” Apoku said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other members of the Safe Schools Reopening Committee include Mr Freston Akpor, Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa Ministry of Information, and Mr Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Ebonyi govt pledges to promote breastfeeding, provides crèches, jingles



The Ebonyi Government has pledged to do everything possible to encourage breastfeeding among young mothers in the state to improve child and maternal survival.

The Commissioner for Health in Ebonyi, Dr Daniel Umezurike disclosed this on Tuesday during a press briefing to mark 2020 World Breastfeeding Week in Abakaliki.

Umezurike revealed that the state government considered the feeding critical by creating public awareness campaigns and jingles with support from partners to advocate breastfeeding in the state.

The commissioner also disclosed that civil servants who were nursing mothers in the state had been observing four months paid maternity leave to encourage breastfeeding.

He said that wife of the Governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi had established creches in the women development centre and strategic locations to enhance appropriate feeding.

“This is for mother to get close to their children, even at work so that they can breastfeed intermittently.

He added that they were also allowed after the leave resumption to close at mid-day to enable them return home to their babies to feed them appropriately.

“Breastfeeding is most important way of improving child and maternal survival. We take this very seriously.

“We do all these to encourage, protect and support breastfeeding in the state,” Umezurike said.

According to him, malnutrition is a challenge that reduces production of breast milk, when nursing mother are not properly fed.

Umezurike added that such families to include the downtrodden and widows were supported by Mrs Umahi to ensure family health were protected in the state.

He further stated that COVID-19 pandemic had affected activities, food production, consumption practices degrading land and ecosystems among others, thus every steps taken across life cycle to mitigate environmental degradation and climate crisis.

He stated that the pandemic had demonstrated that the global world interdepend and dependent on same planet, thus needs a healthy planet with support of breastfeeding.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner disclosed current situation report of COVID-19 in the state, saying that total confirmed cases is 871, deaths 25, discharged 804 and active cases is 36.

“We have three isolation centers and some on home isolation,” Umezurike said.

The Baby Friendly Initiative Coordinator in the ministry of Health, Mrs Beatrice Ojinkama described breastfeeding as foundation of live.

Ojinkama gave advantages of initiating breastfeeding to include serving as first immunization for a child to survive, help remove reserved placenta, help in family planning among others processes.

She called on the media to assist partners and the ministry in achieving the scheme.


Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Gombe govt. moves to address dearth of agric extension workers



The Gombe State government says it has taken steps to address the inadequate agricultural extension workers to serve the farming population in the state.

Mr Maina Binus, Programme Manager, Gombe State Agricultural Development Programme (GADP), made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Tuesday.

Binus said that extension services were key to the development of agricultural sector and government’s efforts towards boosting food security in the state and in the country.

According to him, it is in recognition of this that Gov. Inuwa Yahaya has initiated the move to overhaul the whole system of extension services in the state.

“The governor is engaging some consultants with a view to overhauling the whole ADP system through engagement of more hands and renovation of offices.

“He has said that he wants to build 114 farm service centres across all the 114 wards in the state. We believe he has good plans to turn around the face of agriculture.

“Those farmers, who are complaining that they do not see extension officers in the state, will soon have cause to smile, because we will soon be reaching out to them,’’ he said.

According to him, the world has changed, with agriculture being the centre of focus now, adding “whether we like it or not, a lot of investments has to go into the agric sector.’’

The programme manager said that the state government was also doing a lot to leverage on technology in rendering extension services and other innovations to attract the youth into farming.

He assured that with the 114 farm service centres, agro-allied industries would spring up to add value to farming to ensure that wealth was created for farmers in rural areas.

Binus decried the dwindling number of extension workers in the state, which he put at about 100, as against the 1,000 as at 1997.

He explained that a lot of the extension workers had retired while others had left the service in view of the low remuneration which they were being paid.

He added that the remuneration disparity between core extension workers in the state and their counterparts, who were fishery and livestock officers, had resulted in the former leaving the service in droves.

Binus commended the governor for his support in paying counterpart funds to develop the sector and the ADP, stressing that the state would become an agricultural hub, if the efforts were sustained.

Earlier, a NAN correspondent, who visited Garin Bako-Awak, Kalarin, Lapan and Boh communities in Kaltungo and Shongom local government areas of the state, had received complaints from farmers on the dearth of extension workers.

They said that the development had affected their yields and discouraged many farmers in their communities.

The farmer said that they had no one to introduce modern farming techniques to them, adding that they had consequently been forced to continue recycling old seedlings, instead of using the improved ones, with early maturing period.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Police nab 3 over alleged culpable homicide, 2 for kidnapping in Niger



The Police Command in Niger has arrested three suspects over alleged culpable homicide in Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state.

The police also announced the arrest 2 suspects over alleged kidnapping in Shiroro Local Government Area.

ASP Wasiu Abiodun, the Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Minna.

Abiodun, said that based on information received at about 10:30 hours on July 26, that two teenagers were found lying dead behind M.I Wushishi Housing Estate.

On receipt of the information, police detectives attached to Chanchaga division, swung into action and arrested three suspects in connection with the case, all  of Kpapi village in Chanchaga, Minna.

“During interrogation, the suspects confessed to have conspired and fired a Dane gun at the deceased persons, who they claimed to have encroached and damaged their farmland through illegal mining.

“The suspects will be charge to court after investigation,” Abiodun said.

Similarly, the command has arrested two suspects over alleged kidnapping in Shiroro local government area of the state.

Abiodun said on July 28 at about 09:00 hours, information was  received that unknown gunmen numbering about 14, invaded Nakudna village via Erena in Shiroro and kidnapped one Jambo Salihu of the same address to unknown destination.

On receipt of the information, Police detectives attached to Erena division swung into action and arrested two suspects, both of Nakudna and Kusasu villages in Shiroro local government area in connection with the case.

During interrogation, the suspects confessed to be indigenes of the community but conspired with their armed gang members now at large, and acted as pointers and informants to the bandits.

The victim was rescued unhurt while efforts to arrest  the fleeing suspects was ongoing.

He said that the case was under investigation and the suspects would be charged to court after investigations.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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