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Resident doctors worry over doctors’ unemployment



Resident doctors worry over doctors’ unemployment

Abuja, April 27, 2019 The Abuja Branch of the Association of Resident Doctors has expressed worry over the increasing number of unemployed medical practitioners in the country.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday, the President of the association, Dr Roland Aigbovo, said the worsening unemployment was disturbing the association.

He described unemployment as a double-edged sword, saying that “there is unemployment on one hand and underemployment on the other.

“Despite the fact that a lot of doctors of different cadres are churned out annually, the employment rate is still very abysmal and it calls for worry.

“The number of doctors to patients is grossly inadequate.”

According to him, the association is currently talking with its management on how to tackle the problem.

He said that government needed to employ more doctors, pointing out that there were many qualified doctors roaming the streets with no work.

Aigbovo noted that unemployment could be reduced, if states and local government councils could be employing doctors at the various health facilities lying fallow across the country.

He said that the association would continue to discuss with relevant authorities until positive actions were taken by the authorities to reduce unemployment among medical practitioners.

Aigbovo lamented that members of the association were being over-worked and that they were falling ill on a daily basis.



UN elects new GA President, council members June 17



Election of the President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) holds on June 17.

Also to be elected same day are new members of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the world body.

Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, the current UNGA President and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, announced these in a statement by his spokesperson, Ms Reem Abaza, on Tuesday night.

Muhammad-Bande said the election would hold in the General Assembly Hall at the organisation’s headquarters in New York in line with social distancing guidelines.

On Friday, the Assembly adopted a new voting protocol titled, “Procedure for holding elections by secret ballot without a plenary meeting during the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic”.

It is aimed at preventing a large gathering and ensuring social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new procedure, delegates will cast secret ballots during spaced-out time slots, instead of gathering in the Assembly Hall chamber.

Muhammad-Bande said member countries would be informed of their specific voting time slots five working days prior to the elections.

“The casting of the ballots in the designated venue will be webcast.

“The president will oversee the proceedings in the General Assembly Hall and the tellers will also be observing the whole process,” he said.

Turkish ambassador to the UN, Volkan Bozkir, is the sole candidate for the president of the 75th session of the 193-member General Assembly, which begins in September.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that his name was initially sent for unanimous approval, but several countries reportedly requested a vote.

In the UN Security Council, there are five permanent members (United States, Russia, China, Britain and France) and 10 non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.

On June 17, seven countries would be contesting for five seats in the council, which is the most powerful organ of the UN.

Canada, Ireland and Norway are vying for two seats in the group of Western nations, while Kenya and Djibouti are battling for one seat to represent Africa.

India is running unopposed for the Asia-Pacific seat, same for Mexico for the Latin America and the Caribbean seat.

Eighteen new members will also be elected to serve for three-year terms in the 54-member ECOSOC, which focuses on economic, environmental and human rights issues.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)


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Namibia president commissions isolation facility built by Chinese firm




Namibian President Hage Geingob on Wednesday inaugurated a 12-bed isolation facility built by a Chinese firm to help Namibia contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Inauguration of this state-of-the-art facility shows that Namibia is serious in fighting this pandemic,” Geingob said. “We are lucky that we do not have any fatalities but our worry are the truck drivers and we continue to worry on how to handle them at borders while bringing the food supplies.”

Namibia has so far reported 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 16 recoveries.

The isolation facility, which was built by Nami Prefabricated Housing CC, has 12 fully furnished self-contained rooms for COVID-19 patients.

It is located at Windhoek Central Hospital, the country’s largest referral hospital.


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Former Afghan president supports China’s efforts to safeguard national security




Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his support for China‘s efforts to safeguard national unity and security in a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu on Tuesday.

Hong Kong‘s affairs are China‘s internal affairs, and shouldn’t be interfered with by any other country,” Karzai said during the meeting.

China‘s principle of ‘one country, two systems’ has effectively preserved national unity and promoted Hong Kong’s prosperity,” Karzai said.

“I firmly support China‘s efforts to safeguard national unity and security,” he added.

Karzai later expressed his support for the one-China policy on Twitter, posting, “China‘s right to protect its national security must be respected.”

“All countries should adhere to international law and the basic principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” he tweeted.

Chinese lawmakers voted overwhelmingly at the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature, last week to approve a decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.


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Biden sails toward Democratic presidential nomination as states hold primaries




The United States Democratic Party‘s sole remaining presidential candidate Joe Biden continued to march toward official nomination Tuesday, as presidential primaries were held in seven states and the District of Columbia.

As of Tuesday evening, the former vice president has won primaries in Indiana, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota. Voters are also casting ballots in the District of Columbia.

Biden, already the presumptive nominee, is edging closer to winning 1,991 delegates, a threshold for nomination. He will have to win 89 percent of the 479 delegates up for grabs Tuesday to formally clinch the nomination.

Though Bernie Sanders, the last candidate to drop out of the Democratic race, has claimed to endorse Biden, he remains on the ballot in a bid to influence the party’s platform, which might slow down Biden’s pace in becoming the nominee.

Tuesday’s primaries were special because they were held not only amid the coronavirus pandemic so that mail-in voting, instead of in-person, is encouraged; but also during nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody.

In Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, voters were still seen casting their ballots at polling stations despite the imposition of curfews.

Earlier in the day, Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia that the “I can’t breathe” cry from Floyd during the final moment of his life is a “wake-up call” for all Americans, and that he, not President Donald Trump, can provide the much-needed leadership that serves to unite the nation.

“I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country – not use them for political gain,” the 77-year-old said.

“I’ll do my job and take responsibility. I won’t blame others. I’ll never forget that the job isn’t about me,” he stressed.


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Roundup: Prominent scholar died in Kabul mosque bomb blast, President Ghani condemns




A prominent religious scholar, a Kabul university lecturer and a worshiper were killed and two people were wounded after a bomb blast hit a mosque in central Kabul Tuesday, in the latest bombing in a string of such attacks in the city.

The incident occurred minutes after the evening praying ended and worshipers left the Wazir Akbar Khan mosque roughly at 7:25 p.m. in so-called Green Zone, a police officer told Xinhua at the site in Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood where the cluster of embassies located.

Mohammad Ayaz Niazi, who had doctorate degree in Islamic studies, was walking from main mosque building toward an adjunct building inside the complex where he lives with his family but an improvised explosive device planted outside the ablution room detonated,” the officer told Xinhua anonymously.

One person who was taking ablution also killed and two persons accompanying Niazi were wounded.

The force of the explosion also damaged the mosque and two adjuncts buildings and a bomb disposal team also found and defused another improvised bomb at the site of the blast after the incident, the source noted.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack on Niazi who served as the imam of the mosque for many years.

“Targeting mosques, places of worship, hospitals, public facilities and sinless civilians is crime against humanity,” Ghani said in a statement reaching Xinhua on Wednesday.

“The president offered his profound sympathies to the family of Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niazi and ordered a thorough investigation into the incident. He instructed the relevant officials to use all available resources for providing treatment to the wounded,” the statement added.

Unofficial source said eight people were wounded in the attack and several wounded people were in critical condition.

Over the past years, the capital city with a population of nearly 5 million has been hit by series of terror attacks by the Taliban insurgents and militants of the Islamic State (IS) opposing the government.

On Saturday, one journalist and a driver were killed and six people wounded after militants of Islamic State targeted a local TV channel’s bus by a roadside bomb near a traffic circle in Kabul.

The latest terrorist attack by extremists against the scholars has also drawn wide condemnation by all walks of life.

More than 500 civilians were killed and 760 others wounded due to fighting in Afghanistan in the first three months of 2020, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced on late April.

UNAMA has attributed 55 percent of civilian casualties to the Taliban and other insurgent groups, 32 percent to security forces over the period while the rest 13 percent were caused by other reasons.


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V4 PMs discuss with European Council president about EU funds




The prime ministers of the Visegrad group (V4), namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, spoke on Tuesday with European Council President Charles Michel about European Union (EU) funds allocated to their respective countries, according to Czech Government Office.

The group discussed the EU Reconstruction Fund and the Multiannual Financial Framework, stressing the necessity to clarify the conditions of loans distributed by the European Commission (EC), said the Government Office in a release.

The Prime Ministers of the V4 identified the allocation criteria as an absolutely key issue. All Member States are facing a major economic downturn, so the distribution of funds should not disadvantage countries that have managed the pandemic well,” said the release.

The Czech Republic is expected to receive nearly 20 billion euros (22.4 billion U.S. dollars) from an extraordinary EC fund meant to prop up the economies of the EU members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to local media reports.

The EC allotment comes from a 750 billion-euro (840 billion U.S. dollars) proposal for direct payments and loans to affected countries.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis criticized certain factors in determining the distribution of these funds, for example, unemployment, which the Czech Republic has had at a markedly low level for several years.

“I do not agree with the criterion of the unemployment rate in 2015-2019, for example, because it is not related to the problems caused by the coronavirus crisis,” said Babis.


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COVID 19: Abia to begin massive testing of residents



Gov. Okezie  Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday announced that the state government would commence massive testing for COVID-19 as part of efforts to curb its  spread.

Ikpeazu, who  made the announcement  in a statement in Umuahia, said that the new phase of the fight against COVID-19 in Abia would  require the testing.

The governor said that massive testing would  enable the state to achieve, at least,  10 per cent coverage of the population at the initial stage of the exercise.

“The state epidemiologist has been directed to work out modalities for case searches, using sample population size of between 30 and 250 people in some densely populated LGAs.

“Leading this battle from the front as your governor, I and all members of the first family, subjected ourselves to COVID-19 test on Saturday, May 30, 2020, and the results came out negative today.

“Unfortunately, results of two of my aides, who also subjected themselves to the  COVID-19 test, were positive while others turned in negative results,” Ikpeazu said.

Ikpeazu said  that the patients had been admitted at the state’s isolation facility.

He expressed  confidence that the patients would  be  successfully treated.

He urged Abia residents to desist from stigmatising COVID-19 patients and those who had recovered from the disease,

The governor said that collective responsibility was the best weapon against the pandemic.

”If any person contracts COVID-19, it will be saddening,  but it is neither criminal nor necessarily the person’s fault.

“Let me put it on record that statistics shows that many more people recover from the virus than those who pass away from it.”

The governor directed the Transition Committee Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Councils in Abia and  their deputies to present themselves for COVID-19 test and isolate themselves pending the release of the results.

Ikpeazu urged the people of Abia to get involved in the battle against the disease by supporting government efforts against the pandemic.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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General news

I’ll stand by you, Buhari tells AfDB President Adesina



President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will stand solidly behind Dr Akinwumi Adesina in his bid to get re-elected as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The President made his position known at State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, when he hosted Adesina, who was on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a statement, quoted the President saying:

In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position.

“I didn’t say because you were a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Minister, and I belonged to the All Progressives Congress (APC), so I would withhold my support.

“I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria.’’

The President pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.

The African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Adesina is re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.

Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”

He added that the Ethics Committee of the bank cleared him of all the allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.

“My defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned.

“The law says that report of the Ethics Committee should be transmitted to the Chairman of Governors of the bank. It was done, and the governors upheld the recommendations.

“That was the end of the matter, according to the rules. It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched.

“I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion,’’ Adesina said.

While stressing that the motive was to soil his name, and that of the bank, the AfDB President said he was proud to be Nigerian, and thanked President Buhari for his unflinching support.

“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election,” he declared.

He commiserated with President Buhari on the death of the former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.

Adesina also described the new Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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AfDB President visits Aso Villa, meets Buhari



President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adesina, who arrived the State House at about 2.55p.m, was escorted to President Buhari’s office by protocol officials of the State House.

NAN reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and Adesina was unknown as at the time of filing this report.

President Buhari had on May 7,commended Adesina over the clean bill of health given to him by the financial institution’s Board of Directors.

Buhari noted that a report dated May 5, 2020, signed by Niale  Kaba, Chairman of the Bureau of the Board of Governors, indicated that Dr Adesina had been exonerated of allegations against him by whistleblowers.

The allegations were thoroughly investigated by the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, and a recommendation made to Governors of the African Development Bank, and African Development Fund.

“On the basis of the results contained in the report of the committee, I am of the view that we should adopt its conclusions by declaring that the President is totally exonerated of all the allegations made against him,’’ the report by Kaba indicated.

However, the U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, had called for an independent probe into the allegations by a group of whistleblowers against the AfDB President.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had, in May, written a letter to some former leaders on the African continent to rally their support for Adesina, who has come under severe pressure mounted by the US government as he seeks a second term at the helm of affairs of the bank.

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