Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says qualitative healthcare is an inalienable right and evidence of human dignity, which must be provided for every Nigerian by a responsible government.
Akeredolu said this on Monday in Akure at the inauguration of Ondo State Contributory Health Commission (ODCHC) Office.
He said that healthcare remained one of the human development indices, hence, his administration’s resolve to live up to the understanding.
“Universal Health Coverage (UHC) around the globe, and particularly in developed climes, is a norm. Health insurance, also known as contributory health, guarantees UHC.
“UHC is at the epicentre of our political and administrative ideology. We are favourably disposed to an equitable distribution of scarce resources for the health benefit of all.
“We have conscientiously demonstrated equity by providing a platform whereby both the rich and the vulnerable can draw financial strength to cater for their health.
“This veritable platform is occasioned by the establishment of Ondo State Contributory Health Commission as well as Ondo State Contributory Health Scheme,” he said.
According to the governor, residents shall contribute a little premium for their health while the amount shall be determined by the level of income, in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness.
“Our government shall, however, contribute to this scheme on behalf of the vulnerable in our society.
“It, therefore, means that pregnant women and under-five children shall be catered for free-of-charge under the contributory health scheme by the state government.
“Summarily, our aim is to reduce to the barest minimum, the financial barrier to qualitative healthcare in Ondo State,” he said.
Earlier, the General Manager, ODCHC, Dr Abiodun Oyeneyin, expressed his commitment under the governor, to make the scheme a model for the nation.
Oyeneyin further pledged that the commission’s core values of excellence, integrity, empathy and transparency would be upheld at all times.
He thanked Akeredolu for putting up a befitting place and providing a number of working tools, and said a formal request for other necessary operational tools like vehicles, would be made.
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola and Olisa Ifeajika
World Veterinary Day: NVS tasks veterinarians on qualitative, robust services
The National Veterinary Service (NVS) has urged veterinarians to remain alert and support Federal Government’s effort of providing qualitative and robust services for livestock industry in particular and humanity in general.
The Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr Olaniran Alabi, who gave the advice at the commemoration of the World Veterinary Day on Saturday in Abuja, commended the veterinarians across the country.
Alabi noted that the veterinary profession had undoubtedly contributed immensely to public health through the control and containment of transboundary animal, zoonotic diseases and ensuring global food security.
He urged the veterinarians to continually render the required services in addressing the global emergency in the face of the current global COVID-19 pandemic with resultant negative public health consequences and impending food security implications.
“It is apt to state that your efforts in the control of transboundary and zoonotic diseases such as High Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and others in the past are worthy of commendation,” he said.
He gave assurance that the profession would sustain and strengthen the ongoing collaboration and cooperation with relevant stakeholders in the containment of the deadly COVID-19 in particular and zoonoses in general.
He said such stakeholders include the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and Health sector.
Alabi further gave assurance that the NVS would continue to strengthen animal health care delivery, food safety and animal welfare services across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Veterinary Day marked annually on April 25, has its 2020 theme: “Environmental protection for improving animal and human health.”
The day was set aside by the World Veterinary Association in 2000 to highlight and promote the lifesaving work performed by veterinarians around the globe.
It was aimed to promote the veterinary profession and work on improvement of the animal and human welfare, the environment, food safety, and practices of animal transport and quarantine.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Kaduna Govt. restates commitment to offer qualitative education
The Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarafi made this known at the opening of a meeting with zonal education directors and their deputies on Thursday in Kaduna.
Makarfi explained that the meeting would identify challenges, strengths and opportunities in delivering educational services through the zonal offices.
“We want the zonal directors and their deputies to tell us what their challenges are and how to tackle them so that we will all be on the same page in delivering our mandate.
“The directors and other principal officers at the zonal level need to know their roles in the implementation of education policies and how to effectively carry out their tasks,” he said.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, described the zonal offices as “crucial” in the delivery of education services.
Yayi added that the meeting was aimed at reinvigorating the zonal offices to discharge their duties efficiently and effectively.
“We have realised over time that some functions that ought to be taken care of at zonal offices are being pushed down to the headquarters by the zonal directors.
“Sometimes we sent circular from the headquarters, but it does not get down to the schools. This is unacceptable.
“We want to hear from them what the problems are and how to address them. They are the ones at the grassroots and will be in better positions to tell us how to do so better,” she said.
She said that the meeting was first in the series of meetings that would be held to ensure that only the right people were saddled with responsibilities to deliver quality services at the zonal offices.
The Head of Service, Hajiya Bariatu Mohammed, also noted that the meeting would spur the zonal officials to discharge their duties in line with the current administration’s Public Service Revitalisation and Renewal Programme.
Represented by a Permanent Secretary in her office, Mr Ibrahim Jere, Mohammed explained that the role of zonal officials was critical to the success of the government’s programme in the education sector.
According to her, the zonal directors and their deputies must align themselves with the vision and aspiration of the current administration in the education sector.
Edited by: Shittu Obassa/Maharazu Ahmed
2020: ASUU harps on qualitative education
The union’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, made the assessment in a telephone interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday.
According to him, new educational institutions were established 2019 with no concrete plans on how to equip them.
“It is like creating new potential crisis centres.
“When you talk of educational facilities at the primary, secondary or tertiary level, there is no evidence of the supply of ingredients that can enhance quality.
“We have seen a lot of drama around activities that border on expansion but did not see equal energy being channelled toward qualitative transformation; that is why we see the sector in the outgoing year as having witnessed growth without development,” Ogunyemi said.
According to him, there is the need to focus more attention on existing institutions across board to build qualitative manpower.
“We should see them (governments) addressing the rot that currently permeates educational facilities at all levels in the country.
“I dare say that state governments are not even looking into the direction of the Universal Basic Education Commission funds, because they are not willing to make available their counterpart funds.
“These elements are access, quality and relevance. We have only been dancing around the issue of expansion, which merely talks of access,” he said.
Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni/Ijeoma Popoola
Nasarawa State Govt. will continue to provide qualitative, affordable education – DG
Malam Yakubu Lamai, Director-General, Strategic Communications and Press Affairs to Nasarawa State Governor, says the Gov. Abdullahi Sule led administration would continue to provide quality and affordable education to residents of the state.
Lamai stated this when he received Haruna Abubakar-Yerima, 400 level student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, who won a Mathematical quiz competition.
The competition was organised by the National Mathematical Science Students Association recently at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka , Anambra, in which 26 universities participated.
The governor’s aide also said that the administration would give priority to education to engender development in the state.
He said that education remained one of the pillars of development.
“The State Government is seriously committed to ensuring that all children in the state are properly educated,” he said.
Lamai said government had also concluded plans to embark on massive construction and renovation of primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions across the state.
“The decision to embark on massive construction and renovation of schools in the state is necessitated by the desire to provide quality infrastructure,” he said.
He said the government would ensure adequate provision of sanitary facilities in schools in the state.
“From time to time, the Nasarawa State Government will visit schools across the state to inspect the sanitary condition,” the director-general said.
Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)
Kaduna Govt., to offer every child free, qualitative education – Deputy Governor
Kaduna State Government says it remains committed to ensuring that every child in the state benefit from its free education programme.
The state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe made commitment on Thursday in Kaduna when she received a delegation from Teach for Nigeria, a Non Government Organization (NGO) focused on improving education outcomes in Nigeria.
She said that the government has allocated the education sector the highest percentage of the 2020 budget, in line with its commitment to offer all children, including the girl child, access to qualitative education.
“Primary education is very critical, we need to get that level right with something that they can hold on to, no matter where they might find themselves,” she said.
“Our major priority is human capital development, I am glad that we have this partnership with you.
“We are looking to develop prosperous, healthy people and having decent standard of living, and what you are doing is very important to us in achieving this objective that we have set for ourselves.
“We are getting every child to benefit from the free education with special interest to girl child, and what you are doing in Kaduna state is very important for us.”
“We are looking forward to working with the Teach for Nigeria and the additional 100 fellows to be sent to the state while thanking them for supporting government efforts in that direction,” Balarabe said.
On her part, Folawe Omikunle, Chief Executive Officer Teach for Nigeria, said they were in the state to appreciate the state government for being the first in Northern Nigeria to embrace its programme of mobilizing and raising new generation of teacher leaders.
“We came into the region in 2018 and we signed a partnership to recruite 2000 fellows over the next five years.”
According to her, the programme is about recruiting outstanding young individuals from universities and young professionals.
“We get them to teach for two years as full time teachers, but beyond teaching we get them to understand the fundamental issue in the education eco system.
“During those two years of their teaching and long after that, they begin to change the system as change agents
who have the full understanding, the insight, experience and the solutions to transform the system.
“We model a program that exists in over 50 countries across the world and who are all doing incredible work through social innovation.
“To remain in school systems as leaders working across nutrition and health and also understanding what it will take and the barriers to take off to ensure that every child has access to quality education.”
Omikunle explained that in Kaduna state they have started with 88 Fellows in 2018 who are teaching across primary schools.
“Our mission and vision is to ensure that one day, every Nigeria child has access to quality education.”
She said the organisation would continue to mobilise leaders who will drive the movement towards educational equity and excellence in Nigeria.
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed
Contributory health scheme will ensure qualitative, affordable healthcare- Akeredolu
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says activities of the state Contributory Health Commission has begun to ensure unfettered access to qualitative healthcare at affordable costs in the state.
Akeredolu stated this on Thursday in Akure at the sixth annual general meeting and scientific conference of Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association, (MDCAN), Ondo State Government Hospitals’ Chapter.
The governor, however, called on doctors in the state to assist the present administration in achieving laudable programmes, as the government could not do it alone.
He noted that the theme of the conference, ‘Healthcare Delivery in Ondo State; the Past, Present and the Future’, was apt and timely as it allowed for critical analysis of how the state fared, with a view to proffering necessary solutions to challenges.
According to him, the previous absence of a teaching hospital in the state at the inception of our administration, has left a large vacuum in our health sector, and no doubt, affected healthcare delivery.
“This has now changed with the advent of a standard Teaching Hospital with complexes in Ondo and Akure’
“The state government has recently taken delivery of state-of-the-art medical equipment, which are currently being distributed to health facilities across the state,” he said.
Earlier, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, Commissioner for Health, lauded the achievements recorded in the heath sector under the present administration.
Reprented by Dr. Niran Ikuemola, the Permanent Secretary of the State Hospital Management Board, Adegbenro described doctors as key stakeholders in the health project of the government.
Also, Dr Ishaq Ojodu, Chairman of MDCAN, Ondo State Chapter, said the association organised the yearly conference to discuss topical health issues and proffer the necessary solution.
He said the theme for this year was carefully chosen to address areas like the risk of suicide and litigation in the medical practice.
Edited by Felix Ajide
Our train services now qualitative to serve Nigerians better – NRC
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Lagos District, on Monday described its Mass Transit Train Services (MTTS) from Lagos to Ogun and Lagos to Kano as quality service-driven, not quantity.
Mr Jerry Oche, the Lagos District Railway Manager (RDM), said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) in Lagos.
He noted that the district had reduced the number of trains, in its bid to offer qualitative service to its teeming commuters.
“We want more people to patronise train services though we are not an NGO; we run trains to help serve Nigerians, so, we should not be running at a loss.
“Now that we are back, we will advise everybody to come and we promise better services compared to what it used to be.
He said that the district had concentrated on the Lagos-Ogun Mass Transit Train Service and had improved the service.
According to him, the long haul of the district from Lagos to Kano had a setback because of an accident that occurred at Minna recently.
He, however, said that the NRC teams were working to restore the line and train services.
“We don’t run a train from Lagos to Ibadan; we run a long haul Lagos-Kano, which takes care of Lagos-Ibadan-bound commuters but with the accident at Minna, this had been affected,’’ Oche said. (NAN)
Edited by Folorunso Poroye/Adeleye Ajayi
Nigeria mission urges partnership to drive inclusive, qualitative education
Nigeria’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has called for partnership among stakeholders to drive the provision of inclusive and qualitative education in rural communities.
The call came at the launch of the “Barr. Juni and Irene Menakaya Endowment Trust Fund’’ at the Nigeria House in New York at the weekend.
The fund is the brainchild of the Irene Menakaya Schools, which provides nursery and primary education for children in rural communities of Onitsha, Anambra, and environs.
Speaking at the event, Mr Nnamdi Nze, the Minister (Third Committee) at the mission, said qualitative education especially at the grassroots was critical to attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) in developing countries.
Nze, who represented the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, however, noted that rural communities were left behind, calling on all stakeholders to rise up to the challenge.
This, according to him, requires the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, including governments at all levels, nongovernmental and civil society organisations, communities, parents, teachers and students.
Nze lauded the school for the initiative, and expressed the support of the mission towards actualising the objectives of the trust fund.
Mr Mehmet Kilic, Chairman of the occasion and Preisdent, Journalists and Writers foundation, said in spite of progress by UN members in primary education, lack of inclusiveness remained a huge challenge.
He cited statistics indicating that 262 million children and youth are not attending school; 617 million children and adolescents unable to read and do basic math; less than 40 per cent of girls in sub-Saharan Africa unable complete junior secondary school, among others.
This, according to Kilic, is a wakeup call on all stakeholders to form partnerships and join forces with government to address the problem.
Dr Ada Okika, the Executive Director of U.S -Centre for SDG Global Education, spoke in similar vein, noting that lack of access to quality education in rural communities was a global challenge.
Okika stated that the situation was at variance with SDG4, which focuses on ensuring ‘’inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all’.
Okika also called on all stakeholders, including CSOs and NGOs to emulate the school’s example with initiatives and partnerships geared towards educational development at the grassroots.
Earlier, Dr Uche Menakaya, Director of the Irene Menakaya Schools, said the endowment fund was aimed at supporting SDG 4 in deprived Anambra communities and environs.
He said the 80,000 dollars being sought was aimed at expansion of the scholarship programmes, provision of computers and Internet facilities, and establishment of a “community-focussed’’ library, among others.
Menakaya said in recognition of its work, the school received a special consultative status of the Economic and Social Council of the UN in 2017.
He added that the institution also became a member of the United States Federation of the UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that highpoint of the event, which featured a panel discussion by educationists, was the unveiling of the fund’s banner by the representative of the mission.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
Housing deficit: LASG reassures residents of qualitative, affordable mass homes
The Lagos State Government on Friday reassured residents of its commitment to the provision of easy access to high quality and affordable houses to bridge the housing deficit in the state.
The Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mr Wasiu Akewusola made this known while conducting a site inspection of LagosHOMS Igando Gardens in the Alimosho area of Lagos.
“The government of Lagos state is determined to continue to pursue vigorously a housing policy that makes decent homes available to all residents, irrespective of their socioeconomic status,’’ he said.
Akewusola said that the Igando Housing scheme which had 492 home units in 41 blocks of various categories of three, two and one-bedroom flats will soon be handed over to allotees.
According to him, the Igando Gardens which has been designed to take care of the home needs of Lagosians along the Lagos west corridor of the state, will soon be handed over.
In a statement signed by Mrs Adeola Salako, Director, Public Affairs,
Ministry of Housing, said the Permanent Secretary assured prospective home owners that the houses were constructed in line with global specifications.
“The houses and the attached facilities are certified to yield maximum benefits to the future owners.
“All the buildings and appurtenances are constructed under strict supervision, to ensure strict adherence to specifications, hence there is full assurance of quality.
“The defect liability period of the project has also lapsed, hence it is certified safe for habitation,’’ Akewusola said.
He reiterated government’s commitment tp making sure that gaps in the provision of high quality and affordable housing were filled through direct budgetary allocation and Public Private and Joint Venture partnerships.
“The Lagos government is poised to ensure that the housing needs of the population are met in a manner that observed gaps are filled from time to time by utilizing all available options to reduce the problems of housing deficit in the state,’’ he said.
The inspection team included top management staff of the ministry, as well as project contractors and consultants.
(Edited by Idonije Obakhedo)
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