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Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, has justified the demand for payment for feeding and accommodation at isolation centres from prospective evacuees before they could be qualified for flights that would bring them to Nigeria.

A memo addressed to prospective evacuees “Need to pay for Quarantine, Isolation, accommodation centre or hotels before Departure and Arrival in Nigeria,” dated May 14, 2020 asked them to pay the total sum of N297,600 before they could be airlifted.

The memo gave the breakdown of the cost as N240,000 and N57,000 for accommodation and feeding respectively for the 14-day mandatory isolation as prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Speaking on Friday at the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Onyeama said his ministry seized the initiative to compel stranded Nigerians to pay the sum because of lack of fund to take care of them at isolation centres back home.

He said the medical infrastructure in the country were already overstretched considering the sum being spent on COVID-19 tests.

“There has been quite a lot in social media especially after the recent directives that we communicated to our missions indicating a certain amount of money that anybody who wanted to be evacuated back to the country needed to pay and it wasn’t just for their air ticket but also their accommodation for two weeks and two days and the cost of feeding.

“Now this isn’t by any stretch of imagination something that the government is happy to do. As I mentioned, if the resources were there, we will evacuate everybody and if our medical infrastructure were solid and our case was much lower, we could look at other ways of revisiting our protocol.

“But the way things are, at the moment, the fragility of our health infrastructure, the trajectory of the increasing number of positive tests being what they are, we have to take the greatest care with regard to the protocol we adopt with people coming home.

“So, it has been decided after long discussion and evaluation by the best medical minds we have that it is best for us for the interest of the country that there should be a period of quarantine when any of our evacuees comes home.

“There is a lot of uproar as a result of the cost we prepared for those willing to come back but as I said, the resources aren’t there. But we are still looking for resources all over the place but knowing that time is of the essence for the people, they have to come back.”

The Foreign Affairs Minister said every reasonable options were considered to save cost, including the use of NYSC camps as isolation centres but he revealed that the medical team in the PTF kicked against it.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Governors convene emergency meeting as Buhari signs financial independence for States’ Judiciary, Legislature

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Governors convene emergency meeting as Buhari signs financial independence for States’ Judiciary, Legislature Nigerian Governors 1 750x375 1

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has fixed an emergency meeting for Wednesday.

The meeting will deliberate on the financial autonomy grated states’ judiciary and legislature, code-named, Executive Order 10, 2020.

Signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 20, details of the Executive Order 10, 2020 were released on Tuesday.

A statement by the NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, said the consultation would be the 9th in the series of teleconference governors’ meetings since the coronavirus outbreak.

It will take place at 2 pm and have in attendance, all the 36 governors, via Microsoft Team from their various states.

The spokesman said among the issues to be reviewed are critical national questions that revolve around financial autonomy.

He said governors will also touch issues around the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) ownership, and the controversial National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Bill.

Also to be discussed is the restructuring of states’ loans and the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) deductions, which have been a recurring decimal on the governors’ table.

“As usual the governors will be given an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, as well as review a letter from the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 as it relates to the pandemic draft regulations,” he said.

Bello-Barkindo added that there would also be a general update on efforts of the Coalition Against COVID-19.

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Resident doctors demand 24-month salary arrears, improved working condition from Makinde

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Resident doctors demand 24-month salary arrears, improved working condition from Makinde dOCTORS

Doctors under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, on Tuesday, demanded for the payment of their 24 months’ salary arrears owed its members by the Oyo State Government under the leadership of Engineer Seyi Makinde.

The doctors in a statement jointly signed by its President, Dr. Abraham Akinbola and General Secretary, Dr. Abubakar Usman stressed the need for urgent payment of the salary arrears.

The duo in a statement made available to DAILY POST in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital said, “There is a need to urgently commence the payment of our two years half salary arrears from January 2016 to December 2017.

“This payment has commenced for other affected institutions in the state. Our assumption as an association is that we are not different from other Oyo State workers.

“But we feel the government of the day is neglecting our concerns. This alone has put the government in a bad light in the eyes of our members.

The resident doctors also demanded the installation, repair and maintenance of some of their sophisticated medical equipment for upmost service deliveries.

“As an association of resident doctors, we have upheld the best of professional conducts in delivering our services to the good people of Oyo State and its environs.

“We strongly admonish the government to change her disposition towards LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso to usher in the real Omituntun experience. Time to act is now to save LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso from imminent collapse.

“Only those who believe in the founding vision of the institution stayed behind and are still presently working in the hospital to achieve those dreams within scarce resources”.

The doctors further alleged that they never got the opportunity to present their challenges in spite of all efforts to meet the governor.

“We have done many press releases to keep the world abreast of our challenges while drawing the attention of the state government to the pressing issues.

“This year alone, we wrote two different letters to the governor and this is the second press release in the last four weeks. No response to address our agitations whatsoever.

“The only mention we got was when His Excellency mistook us for Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) LAUTECH in one of his briefings. Our agitations have not changed.”

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