Workers in the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital (FNPH) in Calabar have staged a peaceful protest over what they described as “injustice” in the payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance to health workers in tertiary health institutions.
The workers said some category of staff which includes clinical staff, nurses, pharmacists; medical laboratory and some health assistance were paid 40 per cent.
They lamented that the accountant, environmental officers, the administrators, auditors and store keepers including cleaners where paid 10 per cent.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workers carried placards with some inscriptions such as COVID-19 hazard allowance, pay the 30 per cent allowance now’, and ‘we say no to 10 per cent,’ among others.
Speaking on Wednesday in Calabar, Mr Daniel Odo, Chairman of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) FNPH branch, said that every staff in the hospital was vulnerable to all risks and outbreaks.
Odo maintained that all workers in the hospital were health workers, adding that it was the reason why all workers of the hospital irrespective of rank were paid N5,000 as hazard allowance.
“As a branch of JOHESU, we say bold no to the skewed implementation of the payment of Covid-19 hazard and inducement allowance which was approved for all health workers by the Federal Government.
“The haphazard selection of few members who were paid jumbo 40 per cent of their basic consolidated salary and the remaining half, a paltry 10 per cent was aimed to divide and rule us.
“In the spirit of our resolve and solidarity that an injury to one is an injury to all, I appeal to the generality of our members and particularly those that were privileged to receive the jumbo pay to be part of the collective struggle,” he said.
Earlie, Secretary of JOHESU in FNPH, Mr Ken Bassey, said management of the hospital was not against peaceful protest.
He added that rather it was agreed by the national body of JOHESU that they staged a peaceful protest to demand for the 30 per cent balance.
Bassey also maintained that every worker in the hospital was also at risk of any health challenge or disease outbreak.
“This peaceful protest is to send a message to the Federal Government over the displeasure and injustice in the payment of the Covid-19 hazard allowance.
“But surprisingly, when the payment was effected, it was segregated. Some people were paid 40 per cent, while others got 10 per cent.
“We are saying no because we face the same risk from the gateman to the ambulance driver and all that; we must be paid and treated equally because this is not an animal farm where some people are treated more equal than others,” he said.
Addressing the protesters, Dr Bassey Edet, Managing Director of the Hospital, commended the staff for expressing their grievances, adding that he would communicate accordingly to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Bayelsa Govt. promises safety of students as schools reopen Aug.5
Bayelsa Government says it is taking steps to ensure that schools are safe to allow final year students to resume and participate in external examinations as directed by the Federal Government.
Messrs Freston Akpor and Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Information and Education, respectively assured that the government was doing its best to protect students and teachers.
They said that government was already fumigating schools across the state as well as providing hand washing facilities and urged parents and communities to complement the efforts of the government.
Akpor, who is a member of the Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that Gov. Douye Diri of the state who chairs the Task Force had approved the deployment of health professionals to schools while temporary isolation facilities would be put in place in schools.
“The government of Bayelsa has been working to get our schools ready and safe for our children and that is why we have scheduled a train the trainers programme to acquaint schools with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“The essence is to build capacity of our people and update them with the guidelines from the Federal Government on the reopening of schools that is why we are taking our time and shifted the resumption for final year students to Aug. 5.
“Government is providing face masks, infrared thermometers and access to water for schools without water supply, alternative arrangements are in place and we are poised to check the spread of the coronavirus.
“In view of the questionable and low quality of hand sanitisers, we are emphasising frequent hand washing with soap and water and we appeal to members of the public as well as parents and guardians to complement the efforts government is making.
“Parents should for example provide additional face masks for their wards so that for instance when they wash the ones provided in schools, they can have a spare one,” Akpor said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government has scheduled a COVID-19 prevention training programme for private and public schools to ensure safety protocols are complied with when schools resume on Aug 5.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Obike Ukoh (NAN)
Sen. Ubah, Obikwelu return as Anambra FA Chairman, Vice through e-voting
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has been re-elected as Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) for a second term, in an election conducted through electronic voting on Sunday.
Jude Obikwelu, a long time vice-chairman of the association was returned unopposed.
The result of the elections was signed by Jude Anayadufu, chairman of the 2020 AnSFA electoral committee and issued to newsmen by Obinna Dike, Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday in Awka.
Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist was also elected into the board as a first timer.
Other elected members of the board were Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.
Elections were also successfully conducted into 19 Local Football Councils (LFC) while in Orumba South, forms were returned late and bye election would be held on a later date.
“The elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the Returning Officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the Returning Officer for the Board Elections.
“In the LFC elections, there was a tie in the Chairmanship position for Onitsha South with option of a coin toss. A bye election will be conducted for Orumba South LFC which returned forms late. Other 19 LFCs were through”, the statement said.
“The Electoral Committee thanks the candidates, delegates, agents, stakeholders, media and the government for their collaboration in ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Appreciation also goes to the Nigeria Football Federation and Sports Ministry for their roles in the elections,” it stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anambra FA elections originally scheduled for July 27 and July 28 were suspended on the orders of the state government that it would violate COVID-19 rules.
The election had reached advanced stage with conclusion of sales and return of forms, screening, appeal and final briefing for all candidates and delegates eligible to participate in the quadrennial election before it was called off by government.
The electoral committee communicated the development to the AnSFA which met and gave it powers to conduct the election through virtual processes.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Work resumes in Osun after Eid-el-Kabir holiday
Workers in Osun resumed work on Monday after observing Thursday and Friday Eid-el-Kabir public holiday declared by the Federal Government.
The state civil servants working at the state secretariat in Abere, Osogbo, were also back to their duty posts, as many were already behind their duty desks carrying out the day’s work.
The same scenario also played out at the Olorunda and Osogbo Local Government secretariats, both in Osogbo, where some workers were seen resuming to their offices, as some others, already at the secretariats, were busy with their office works.
Staff and workers of the state House of Assembly in Osogbo, were also at the assembly’s complex carrying out their various duties and responsibilities.
Workers at some federal establishments in Osogbo too were also back to their stations as a lot of them were seen carrying out their daily jobs.
A federal worker, Mr Kareem Ashimu, said he traveled to Lagos, where his family resides, for the Eid-el-Kabir, and he returned back to the state on Sunday evening to resume work this morning.
Ashimu said the extended public holidays gave workers the opportunity to spend more time with their family, especially those working in separate states from their family.
“Apart from the festivities and celebration stuff, the break afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with my children.
“Though the COVID-19 restricted visitations and social gathering, I had a low key celebration with my immediate family and the expenses was also minimal,” he said.
A staff of the Osun House of Assembly, Mr Kamal Adeniyi said this year’s Eid-el-Kabir was the only one he ever observed without travelling to his own town to celebrate with his extended family.
“I just pray that this Coronavirus goes away soonest because it has really caged a lot of us and restricted our freedom,” Adeniyi said.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
Study finds people can transmit coronavirus to cats, dogs
A study by Italian scientists has found that people can transmit the coronavirus SARS–COV-2 to cats and dogs.
The study tested 540 dogs and 277 cats living in households in northern Italy, particularly in Lombardy, where someone was infected with the virus or in areas where there were many cases.
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed yet, found coronavirus antibodies in 3.4 per cent of dogs and 3.9 per cent of cats, indicating they were infected with the virus.
Swab tests for active virus infections were negative in all animals, as the virus shedding period ended after two weeks.
The tests were conducted between March and May of this year.
Thomas Mettenleiter, leader of the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (FLI), said the results showed that the virus could be transmitted between humans and animals.
“This confirms what we already know,” Mettenleiter said, adding that the large scale of the study was unprecedented as it was difficult to get samples.
According to Mettenleiter, most animals in the study came from households affected by the coronavirus, indicating that infection is generally transmitted from humans to animals.
People, who are infected with the virus, however, should limit their contact with their pets, although there are no indications so far that animals can die of the coronavirus, according to Mettenleiter.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)