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Palliative: Gov. Mbah begins distribution of 104,000 bags of rice, maize to rural poor in Enugu



Peter Mbah

Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State on Wednesday flagged off delivery of 52,000 bags of rice and 52,000 bags of maize as palliatives to the urban and rural poor in the state.

A breakdown of the palliatives showed each of the 260 wards in the state will receive 200 bags of rice and 200 bags of maize.

Mbah, however, said the palliatives were part of the short-term strategies to fighting poverty, saying the medium and long-term plans of his administration remained to eradicate poverty in the state in line with his manifesto.

“Part of our vision is to eradicate poverty in Enugu State and we knew that at the time we were saying that, there was a high rate of poverty in the state.

“But, a few days into our administration, we have had to contend with a number of policies initiated by the Federal Government such as the removal of the petrol subsidy, and also the unification of the foreign exchange rates.

“What that meant was that the people we have in our poverty bracket suddenly expanded because their purchasing power declined drastically,” Mbah said.

Mbah said that as government that was pro-people, they had to embark on short-term strategy to reduce the pressure on the people, while still bearing in mind the long-term goal of eradicating poverty.

*We are making sure that we introduce strategic programmes that would in the long run get our people constructively engaged, and make a living from such engagements.

“So, what we have simply come to do here today is to present palliatives to the people of Enugu State, particularly our rural poor, urban poor and our downtrodden.

“We have also put a structure in place to make that happen by decentralising the distribution, involving local council leaderships, the town unions, the religious institutions, among others such that once we leave here, these items will begin to get distributed across the 17 local governments,” he said.

The governor also announced the procurement of buses to subsidise transportation and enable the people to go about their socio-economic activities with ease.

He recalled that his administration had earlier set up committees to verify and clear all arrears of pensions and gratuities owed public servants in the state.

This, he said, would ensure that the elderly and most vulnerable were able to live a meaningful life in the midst of the economic hardship.

Also speaking at the event, Okechukwu Edeh, the Chairman of the Enugu State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), who is also a member of the state palliatives committee, promised that the items would trickle down to the poor immediately.

“As the ALGON Chairman, I promise you that I will work with my colleagues to make sure that these get to the downtrodden.

“It is not for everybody; it is for the poor, and it must get to them based on the expanded social register that has been compiled,” he said.

Meanwhile, different sections of the beneficiaries have commended the Enugu State Government for transparency and inclusiveness in the management of the palliatives.

Speaking, the Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Enugu State chapter, Onyebuchi Mbah, said: “I wish to say kudos to the current administration in Enugu State because they deemed it fit to practice inclusiveness.

“They involved most vulnerable groups, persons with disabilities in this exercise. I want them to continue in that direction.

“Let me also say that in the exercise so far, the state governor has played his own role and we hope that the directives he has given will be followed so that these items will get to the most vulnerable population”

Also speaking, Mrs Chika Nwankwo, Councillor representing Awgu Ward I in Awgu LGA described the palliatives as “sweet news to the poor in the rural areas where I come from.

“The poor, the sick, and many who cannot afford one square meal in a day are eagerly waiting for us to return with the goodies,” she stated.


LUTH denies late doctor worked 72-hour call duty



The management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has denied allegations that one of its house officers, Dr Michael Umoh, died after a 72-hour call.

This is contained in a statement issued by LUTH management team in Lagos on Thursday.

“LUTH management understands the fact that the family of Dr Umoh is presently mourning the death of their beloved son and requested the foreclosure of any media engagement regarding the death of their son. It is important for us as a management to make clarifications regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

“Dr Umoh died on Sept 17 while in church with his parents. The management was informed, and the death was later confirmed by one of the Consultants in his unit (Neurosurgery).

“The death of Dr Umoh is unfortunate but the narrative of a 72 hours non-stop shift is false.

“The record from Neurosurgery unit shows that the last time he was on call was 13th and 14th September, 2023.

“He was not on call on the 15th, 16th and 17th (the day he died), contrary to the insinuations on social media. He was at home with his parents on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17,” the management said.

Prior to this time, the management said, he was on call on the Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

”This shows that Dr Umoh was on call for a total number of four days in September, 2023.

“A delegation from LUTH visited the family on Wednesday to commiserate with the family and to get more details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

“The parents gave the details of what they thought must have contributed to his death but pleaded that the wish of the family be respected and that the narrative is not for public consumption,” it said.

The management described Dr Umoh as a hardworking and diligent house-officer, and a very promising young man.

It said he will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.

“May his soul rest in peace, and may the Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss” LUTH said.

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Gov Sule charges real sector conference to proffer practical solutions to economy



Abdullahi Sule

Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has charged participants at the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) 1st International Real Sector Conference to proffer practical solutions to rejuvenate the economy.

He gave the charge on the first day of the two days conference on real sector productivity held at the University in Keffi Local Government Area of the state.

The theme of the conference is “Rejuvenating the sector productivity in Nigeria”.

Sule challenged participants to get real and proffer workable and practical solutions that would rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria for optimal productivity which in turn would impact on the economy of the country positively.

“The question we should be asking ourselves here is that why are we not getting it right in the real sector in Nigeria?

“So let us proffer practical solutions so that we don’t just end up having an event and having all the communique and all that and then they end up in our offices. Let us ask ourselves what is that is possible and how do we contribute,” he said.

He said their recommendations should also be useful in shaping a better future for the real sector in Nigeria so that future Nigerians could build on that.

“So we must sit down and deliberate on what exactly is our problems in this sector. Are we ready to make sacrifices? And we must make sacrifices because that is the only way we can move forward.

“I want to assure you that in Nigeria we can change the narratives but it will take all of you here to convince the rest,” he said.

Prof. Suleiman Bala-Mohammed, Vice Chancellor, NSUK, commended the university’s Department of Business Administration for organizing the conference and urged the department to sustain it as it would be a platform for cross fertilisation of ideas and wider conversations on local and international issues.

He also urged participants to brainstorm and come up with policy recommendations on how to rejuvenate the real sector in Nigeria.

Mr John Mamman, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Education, however, told NAN that he expected the outcome of the conference would change the narratives because the real sector, according to him, is the driver of the economy.

“The manufacturing, construction, engineering and others are the real movers of the economy. Once we get it right from the drivers of the economy, other sectors will also be impacted positively,” he said.

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