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Mortality rate: Group urges FG to resuscitate NHIS free maternal/child health programme



Health Policy Research Group an (NGO),has urged the Federal Government to resuscitate the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) free Maternal and Child Health programme to address the nation’s high mortality rate.
Dr Felix Obi, a Researcher with the group made the call in an interview  on Sunday in Abuja.
Obi who identified the programme as NHIS-MDGs free maternal health programme, attributed the nation’s high mortality on the collapse of the programme , describing women and children as accounting for the nation’s highest burden due to their vulnerability.

He however said that scaling up the programme would go a long way in ensuring drastic reduction in the nation’s mortality rate.
“Where we have problem in Nigeria is women dying while bearing children, so if we must reduce women and childhood mortality rate, we have to make available services needed by women of reproductive age and children.
“We have to prioritise implementation of the National Health Act which stipulates that Nigerians should have access to minimum basic package of health which is universal health coverage,’’ Obi said.
Obi explained that the programme was initiated in 2008 against the backdrop of nation’s performance on maternal and child health indices.
He however described the programme as an intervention scheme geared toward addressing the high mortality among women and children by increasing access to maternal and child health services through an exemplified scheme.
The researcher blamed failure of the programme majorly on lack of legislation with regard to its proper execution, failure of state government to pay their counterpart funding among others.
Obi noted other challenges are lack of political support and interference by state government, noting that political office holders were used in implementing the programme instead of health commissioners.
Also, hiking number of enrollees by Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) among others.
Obi emphasized that the federal  government terminated the project or programme due to failure of states government to pay their counterpart funds.
The researcher however called for legislation to ensure appropriate funding and its sustainability.
He identified ways to ensure adequate funding to include increase of one per cent basic healthcare provision funds to four per cent adding that 70 per cent of the said amount could only cater for the children.
“The benefit package for pregnant women in the scheme covered services provided at the primary healthcare levels while complication were referred to secondary level while the benefits for under five children covered primary care intervention.
“Each pregnant woman enrolled in the programme then was expected to graduate six weeks post partum while a child graduates on reaching five years.
“Federal and state government should show commitment by providing adequate funding in a predictable and regular manner, reduce disruption in service delivery and ensure continuity among others.
“States should explore innovative financing strategies to raise more domestic resources to increase fiscal space for financing free maternal child health similar to SDGs financing risk protection programmes for achieving Universal Health Coverage.
NAN reports that the NIHS-MDGs free maternal and child health programme which commenced in Nov. 2008 stopped in Nov. 2015.

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The man in Aso Rock is Buhari, Ngige swears



Chris Ngige

Chris Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on Sunday swore that “the man in Aso Rock” was President Muhammadu Buhari and not any impostor as being peddled by the opposition.

Ngige stated this in Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, while answering questions from journalists.

He said those who were insinuating that Buhari was Jubrin from Sudan were those who wished him dead.

Ngige said, “I’m talking to you as a medical doctor. If you are well treated by your doctor, you will be rejuvenated. That’s the case with Buhari. That is why he is bubbling with life. His doctors treated him well.

“I see him regularly. He’s the Buhari who worked as minister of petroleum; he is the Buhari who was the head of state of this country. He remembers all these.

“I ask our people to come out en masse and vote massively for him in the 2019 elections. We should stop listening to all these gutter talks.

“Truth to God, the man in Aso Rock is Buhari and no other person. I see him regularly.

“He’s the man that employed us as ministers and we meet with him during the FEC meetings.”

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Freezing of Obi’s accounts wicked, desperate – Timi Frank



Peter Obi

Peter Obi

Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has condemned the freezing of the bank accounts of the presidential running-mate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, describing it as an act of wickedness, senselessness and desperation by the current administration.

Frank said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is making a big mistake by thinking that it would defeat the PDP by depriving the opposition figures access to their personal resources.
Reacting to the reported freezing of ex-Governor Obi’s account, Frank, in a statement, on Sunday in Abuja, said it was too late for President Buhari’s administration to stop the acceptability of the PDP’s incoming government through subterfuge and devious tactics.

According to Frank, if the PDP and former President Goodluck Jonathan, who performed well could lose election in 2015 despite access to huge resources, nothing will stop Buhari’s and APC’s total defeat in 2019.

He said: “In the history of Nigeria, and in the history of democracy in Nigeria, we have never seen a government this wicked to its citizens and to the opposittion like this present government.

“Let me remind Buhari not to forget that he was poor before he became President in 2015, if today he has corruptly enriched himself – thinking that he will use the proceeds to buy votes during the election while trying to impoverish the opposition – Nigerians will prove him otherwise.

“He has forgotten that his election was sponsored by Nigerians who believed in his course, otherwsise he would not have become President.

“No amount of blackmail and witch-hunt against businessmen and opposition politicians in the country will give him victory come 2019. No true Nigerian will behave the way he treats Nigerians and opposition.”

While accusing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of bias, Frank queried why the anti-graft agency has not frozen the accounts of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo -who is allegedly involved in NEMA’s financial scandal – and that of the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole – for allegedly receiving bribes during the party’s primaries.

“Buhari’s actions are beginning to make us doubt if indeed he is the Muhammadu Buhari we know or the Jubril from Sudan as alleged by so many people. It will only take a foreigner to treat citizens and the opposition the way Buhari is treating Nigerians at the moment.

“I want to remind Buhari that he was once in the opposition and he was never treated the way he is treating Atiku Abubakar and the opposition today. In any case, whether it is Buhari or the alleged Jubril that is at the helm of the affairs in Nigeria, come February 16, 2019, Nigerians will take their country back by voting out Buhari or Jubril or both,” Frank stated.

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Senator Aruwa was a philanthropist who contributed to sports and politics, says El-Rufai



Senator Mukhtar Ahmad Aruwa

Senator Mukhtar Ahmad Aruwa

Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has described late Senator Mukhtar Ahmad Aruwa as a philanthropist who contributed to sports, farming and politics in our state.

“I received the news of Senator Mukhtar Ahmad Aruwa’s death with sadness. Our thoughts are with his family and we pray Allah to grant him Aljannah Firdausi.

“He was a senator and a philanthropist par excellence who assisted our people in different sectors. He made a significant contribution to sport in Kaduna State, especially football and polo. He established the Ranchers Bees Football Club that birthed produced many stars, like Daniel Amokachi, Tajudeen Oyekanmi, Abubakar Balarabe and some of the Babayaro brothers.

“He was also into farming where he employed many people and helped to develop several communities in our state. He was a member of Kaduna State Elders Committee and participated in several peace initiatives including the Kaduna State Peace and Reconciliation Committee of 2011.

“On behalf of the government and people of Kaduna State, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his immediate family and the entire family. May Allah grant his soul Aljannah Firdausi.”

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