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Resident doctors say strike to continue indefinitely

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Doctors

Last Updated on July 30, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) says the ongoing nationwide strike action embarked upon by its members on Wednesday may continue indefinitely.

It added that the strike would continue until reasonable progress was made by the government to address its demands as
contained in the ultimatum issued to the federal government on July 5.

The association made its stand known in a communique it issued on Saturday at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Lagos.

The meeting which began on Monday had “Bullying in Medical Practice: a Matter of
Perspective?” as its theme.
The communique was signed jointly by NARD’s National President, Dr Innocent Orji, Secretary-General, Dr Chikezie Kelechi and the Publicity and Social Secretary, Dr Umar Musa.

The demands of the group include the immediate release of the circular on the One-for-One policy for the replacement of exited clinical workers for implementation.

“We cannot continue to watch our members lose their lives and break down under the weight of work overload occasioned by massive depletion of clinical staff in our hospitals on account of brain drain.
“We demand as a matter of urgency, the immediate payment of the 2023
Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF).

“To demand the payment of all salaries and arrears including the salary arrears
of 2014-2016, arrears of hazard allowance, arrears of consequential
adjustment of the minimum wage, and promotion arrears to our deserving members without further delay.”

The association also called on the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to reverse the downgrading of the
membership certificate.

It added that continuing with the downgrading of the certificates would only reduce the value placed on the postgraduate medical training in Nigeria.

The group said it embarked on the strike action on Wednesday after many months and years of non-implementation of agreements reached with the government.

“NEC observed the attempts made by some well-meaning Nigerians to resolve the issues at stake but expressed surprise that these have not resulted in any
meaningful solutions.

“We have observed the various meetings held with government agents and officials over the demands of NARD, the various memoranda and agreements reached, and the unfortunately slow wheel of progress of the
government’s implementation processes.

“NEC also observed with shock that up till now, about two months after the agreed date, the government has not yet released the circular on one-for-one replacement of exited clinical workers,” it noted.

The association said that this was in negligence of the morbid and mortal effects of the massive brain drain on its members still working in the country and Nigerian citizens.

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Food inflation soars by 61 per cent in one year– NBS

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Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Nigerians are finding it more difficult to feed themselves, as food inflation rose to 40.66 per cent in May.

This was as the cost of food rose by 61 per cent from 25.25 per cent in June 2023 to 40.66 per cent in May 2024, highlighting a steady rise in the cost of living.

This is according to an analysis of the latest Consumer Price Index and Inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

On Saturday, the NBS disclosed that headline inflation moved by 0.26 per cent to 33.95 per cent from 33.69 per cent recorded in April.

The report noted that the inflation rate climbed to a 28-year high since March 1996 on higher food and transport prices.

It said, “In May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent relative to the April 2024 headline inflation rate which was 33.69 per cent.”

The statistics agency also reported major contributing items to headline inflation in May 2024 including food & non-alcoholic beverages (contributing 17.59 per cent), housing, water, and electricity, gas & other fuel (contributing 5.68 per cent), and clothing & footwear (contributing 2.60 per cent).

A breakdown of the data showed that the price of food commodities increased steadily from 25.25 per cent in June, to 26.98 per cent in July, 29.34 per cent, 30.64 per cent in August, 31.52 per cent in September, 31.52 per cent October, 32.84 per cent in November and 33.93 per cent as the end of December 2023.

The rate further increased to 35.41 per cent in January, 37.92 per cent in February, crossed the 40 per cent mark in March, 40.53 per cent in April and 40.66 per cent in May.

NBS said the rate rose to 40.66 per cent in May, compared to the 24.82 per cent reported in the same month last year — indicating an increase of 15.84 per cent points.

The bureau said semovita, oatflake, yam flour prepackage, garri, bean, etc (which are under bread and cereals class), Irish potatoes, yam, water yam, etc (under potatoes, yam and other tubers class), contributed to the year-on-year increase in the food inflation rate.

Other contributors are palm oil, vegetable oil, etc (under oil and fat), stockfish, mudfish, crayfish, etc (under fish class), beef head, chicken-live, pork head, and bush meat (under meat class).

“The food inflation rate in May 2024 was 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 (24.82 per cent).

“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve months ending May 2024 over the previous twelve-month average was 34.06 per cent, which was 10.41 per cent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in May 2023 (23.65 per cent),” the report said.

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Omokri tackles Peter Obi over his criticism of ‘new’ presidential jet for Tinubu

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Peter Obi

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, on Monday accused the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of lying over the reported purchase of a presidential jet for President Bola Tinubu.

Omokri said, contrary to Obi’s claim, the Nigerian government has no plans to buy a new private jet for Tinubu.

He clarified that the idea to change Tinubu’s presidential jet did not emanate from the presidency.

On Friday, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence asked the FG to purchase new aircraft for Tinubu and Shettima.

Reacting, Obi said: “It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need.”

However, Omokri faulted Obi’s comment, which he described as “another Gbajue lie.”

Posting on X, Omokri wrote: “The statement by Peter Obi condemning the Federal Government’s plan to buy new presidential jet for President Tinubu is another Gbajue lie from a man who has elevated lying to an art.

“The reason for this is because there is no such plan. It was the National Assembly that mooted the idea, as is their right. The Executive did not make such plans and has not budgeted any money for such a purpose.

“It is the same way he lied and blamed the Tinubu administration for spending N21 billion on the new residence of the Vice President. What he failed to tell his gullible supporters is that that project was initiated and funded by previous administrations, dating to when our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was in office. Please note that Peter Obi was then our card-carrying member, but he did not attack the project.

“Mr. Peter Obi counts on your gullibility and refusal to research what you read before believing him. That is why he tells such fibs.”

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