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Nurses Drag Council To Court Over Verification Guidelines

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Some Nigerian nurses and midwives have threatened to take legal action against the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria over the new certificate verification guidelines.

The nurses, Desmond Aigbe, Kelvin Ossai, Catherine Olatunji-Kuyoro, Tamunoibi Berry, Osemwengie Osagie, Abiola Olaniyan, Idowu Olabode, and Olumide Olurankinse, disclosed this in a pre-action notice letter served by their counsel, Adelewa Williams & Partners.

The NMCN, in its revised guidelines, stated that applicants seeking verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils must possess two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practising licence.

Following the new guidelines, nurses staged protests at the council’s offices in Abuja and Lagos, respectively, to express their displeasure over what they described as an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities, urging it to address nurses’ welfare, salary scale, shortage of workers, and other rights.

The pre-action letter which was addressed to the Registrar of the NMCN, Faruk Abubakar, and dated February 22, 2024, was signed by the Managing Director of Adelewa Williams & partners, Adelewa Williams.

The letter received by the Secretary-General to the Registrar of the council on February 23, 2024, was titled, ‘Pre-action notice: Notice to cease and desist from implementing the revised guidelines for verification of certificate(s) with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria issued under the hand of the registrar of the council on February 7, 2024’.

The counsel for the nurses explained that the council had always regulated the verification process of Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives to which effect the guideline currently in force was issued on May 21, 2021, and provides for a three-stage process.

They, however, alleged that with the new verification process, an unemployed applicant cannot apply for verification of their certificate, since a letter of good standing must emanate from the applicant’s place of work.

They also stated that the council is setting the criteria for employment of Nigerian nurses by foreign employers and training institutions since the applicant must compulsorily obtain a letter of good standing from their place of work, a criterion that may not be requested by the foreign board(s).

The letter read, “The fate of the applicant is placed in the hands of the chief executive officer of the applicant’s place(s) of work, and where such officer refuses to give such letter, the applicant will be left with no remedy.

“This policy is in sharp conflict with the council’s policy of mandatory continuing education programmes for nurses and midwives wherein healthcare practitioners are enjoined to frequently update the knowledge in the healthcare field with a view to enhancing the quality of healthcare delivery.

“Evidently, the ‘revised guidelines’ for verification is unconstitutional, arbitrary in nature, designed in bad faith and against the interest of the nursing and midwifery profession and its practitioners, and in utter disregard of the fundamental human rights of Nigerian trained nurses and midwives as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as well the Nurses and Midwifery Act of Nigeria Act in a bid to prevent the migration of Nigerian trained nurses and midwives from pursuing career and training opportunities in a foreign land which in effect infringes the Constitutional rights to freedom of movement of these Nigerian trained nurses and midwives.”

“Furthermore, our client demands that the council issue a memo retracting the memo of February 7, 2024, within 72 hours of service of this notice on the council. Failure upon which an action shall be instituted against the council seeking the nullification of the repugnant revised guidelines,” it added.

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister
…say poor funding, insufficient gas supply responsible for power deficit
By Gloria Ikibah
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had said that the federal government is working towards the establishment of three gigawatts of solar energy sources across the 25 states in Northern and South Western parts of the country.
According to him, this is a novel approach that will go a long way to solve the power problems, even as he called on state governments to invest in power generation in their states.
The minister stated this at a two-day Power Sector Stakeholders Interactive Dialogue/Workshop organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Power with the theme “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-tier Electricity Market: A Legislative Intervention” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adelabu who said that hydro energy would be deployed for the coastal cities, also lamented that the country has witnessed incessant collapse of transmission which is caused by lack of adequate infrastructure.
He admitted that most of the infrastructure in the power dates back to the 1960s, with no single backup for the national grid, and called for alternative sources in the situation where there is a collapse of the grid.
The Minister also disclosed that the major factors responsible for the power deficit currently faced by the country is as a result of inadequate financing and insufficient gas supply.
Adelabu who lamented the current state of power supply across the country, however, assured Nigerians of the determination of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to address the challenges and make Nigeria a suitable place for business.
He said “No sector can function optimally without the power sector. Over the years, poor financing, and inadequate gas supply have been responsible for the energy deficit we have in the country. But a lot of work is going on to address these challenges.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the
Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Victor Nwokolo explained that the purpose of the interactive dialogue/workshop was to provide a dynamic platform for stakeholders to evaluate the progress so far in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) development.
He revealed that discussions will centre around the seamless transition to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market, as outlined in the Electricity Act of 2023.
According to him, “his transition, holds immense potential to enhance competition, efficiency, and reliability within the electricity market, ultimately benefitting consumers and driving economic growth”.
He said: “Through collaborative brainstorming and analysis, we aim to chart a clear roadmap for this transition, ensuring that it is smooth, inclusive, and conducive to sustainable development.
“Furthermore, this workshop will serve as a platform for stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to the persistent challenges plaguing the power sector. From infrastructure development and financing to regulatory frameworks and consumer engagement, we will examine a wide array of issues and propose actionable strategies for improvement.
“In addition to these objectives, we aspire for this workshop to foster enhanced collaboration and partnership among stakeholders. By bringing together legislators, representatives from government agencies, regulatory bodies, industry players, academia, and civil society, we aim to cultivate a culture of cooperation and collective action towards our shared goal of a vibrant and resilient power sector”.
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How Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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Yahaya Bello Withdrew $720,000 From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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