Showing posts with label Nigerian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nigerian. Show all posts

How Most Wanted Nigerian Drug Baron Arrested in Church

A major drug dealer, Stephen Afam Ikeanyionwu, has been arrested at a church in Ojodu, Ikeja, Lagos state, for attempting to export 69.65 kilogrammes of cocaine, heroin and cannabis to the United Kingdom.

It was gathered that he wanted to do the export through the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos.

Stephen was on Sunday, August 15, 2021 traced by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to a popular Pentecostal church on Mike Ajari Street, Ojodu Berger.

The wanted drug baron was arrested soon after he stepped out of the church after the day’s service.

The agents also intercepted a consignment of illicit drugs weighing 69.65kg going to the UK through the Lagos airport on Thursday, 12th August 2021.

The illegal baggage had been sent to the airport for export through a freight forwarding company, which in turn asked a driver to take it to the NAHCO export shed.

“Following the arrest of the driver, follow-up operations and investigations later revealed the true identity of the actual owner of the consignment, Stephen Afam Ikeanyionwu, who was arrested three days later in a sting operation,” Femi Babafemi, Director of Media and Advocacy of the NDLEA, explained. Saharareporters 


Popular Nigerian Pastor Buys ‘Virtuous’ Wife Multimillion Naira Car

Nigerian pastor identified as Akunchukwu has gifted his wife, Caroline a brand new car on their 7th wedding anniversary for being a virtuous and prudent woman.

Akunchukwu, who is the founder of Distinction Ministries, Port Harcourt via his Facebook page shared moments he presented the luxury car to his wife on Facebook, he wrote

“It’s our 7th wedding anniversary. A good man may not remain a good man if he is not married to a good woman. I have a Caroline Alfred that has helped me remain pastor Alfred without loosing my calling. I just want to say thank you my pretty wife. Jah Messenger say so! This gift is just to say thank you so much my pretty wife for being a virtuous woman and a prudent wife. Private jet is next. Happy 7th anniversary once again. Jah Messenger say so.”

The excited wife also took to social media to appreciate her husband for the car gift.

“Marriage is indeed honourable if your spouse is not horrible. I can’t stop thanking God for the kind of life partner He gave me,” she wrote.

“He said to me “my pretty wife, the other car no longer befit your status as a global celebrity. I just got you this keke to manage as we celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary today. How on earth am I a celebrity to a man who doesn’t only see me always but he sees every part of me every time he wants and yet he celebrates me like he is my biggest fan. If this is keke, then I love keke henceforth. Please help me thank Pst Alfred the Jah Messenger”. Naijanews


Meet youngest, first Nigerian to bag 2-Star Dsc in Child Developmental Science

Nigeria is blessed with intellectuals and geniuses who have distinguished themselves in their several fields of study over the years.

These Nigerians have not only put the country on the map and in the eye of the global community with their amazing talents but also contributed towards the growth and development of Nigeria at large.

One of such geniuses is a young Nigerian lady identified as Zainab Sulaiman.

Zainab Sulaiman recently bagged 2-Star Doctor of Science (DSc) award in Child Developmental Science. She is the first Nigerian young woman to be conferred the award by Human Rights Education Federation.

It will interest you to know that Sulaiman received the award alongside Bayelsa State First Lady, Dr. Gloria Ebibomo Diri, Taraba State First Lady, Dr. Anna Mbasughun Darius Ishaku, and Gombe State First Lady, Dr.Asma’u Inuwa Yahaya. Vanguardngr


Nigerian arrested in US over $800,000 million fraudulent scheme

United States authorities have arrested a Nigerian for computer fraud in a scheme worth about $800,000 (₦328 million).

US Department of Justice (DoJ) in a statement said the Nigerian named Charles Onus was arrested for charges in connection with a scheme to conduct cyber intrusions of multiple user accounts maintained by a company that provides human resources and payroll services to employers across the United States, in order to steal payroll deposits.

DoJ said Onus was arrested on April 14, 2021, in San Francisco and detained. Onus was presented on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court before Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, “Charles Onus allegedly participated in a scheme that stole nearly $1 million by hacking into a payroll processing company’s system to access user accounts and divert payroll to prepaid debit cards he controlled.

“As alleged, Onus did this as effectively as someone who commits bank burglary, but with no need for a blowtorch or bolt-cutters. Thanks to the FBI and IRS-CI, Onus is in custody and facing serious federal charges.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said, “Cyber intrusions ripple through everything our society relies upon – this one impacted people’s paychecks.
“The FBI’s goal is to prevent cybercriminals from causing harm and holding them accountable, but we can’t do it alone. Companies need to continuously improve their cyber hygiene and awareness.

“Taking steps like training the workforce to protect and frequently change passwords, and to use different login credentials across platforms, can have an impact. Each one of us, from the individual citizen to the biggest corporation, plays a critical role in defending the nation from cyberattacks.”

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen said the IRS Criminal Investigation will always work with the law enforcement partners to track down those who try to breach our country’s tax and financial infrastructure.

“We will continually endeavour to bring to justice criminals who think they can comfortably steal from victims in America while hiding behind their computer screens,” Larsen said.

Onus, according to DoJ, participated in a scheme to conduct cyber intrusions of multiple user accounts maintained by a company that provides human resources and payroll services to employers across the United States, in order to steal payroll deposits processed by the Company.

After Onus successfully gained unauthorized access to a Company user account, he changed the bank account information designated by the user of the account so that ONUS would receive the user’s payroll to a prepaid debit card that was under Onus’s control.

From at least in or about July 2017 through at least in or about 2018, at least approximately 5,500 company user accounts were compromised and more than approximately $800,000 in payroll funds were fraudulently diverted to prepaid debit cards, including those under the control of Onus. The compromised company user accounts were associated with employers whose payroll was processed by the company, including employers located in the Southern District of New York, according to DoJ.

Onus, 34, resident in Nigeria, risks a sentence of 10 years in prison.

One count of computer fraud for unauthorised access to a protected computer to further intended fraud, and one count of receipt of stolen money, each carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Theguardianng

Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili-Crosby makes 2019 TIME’s list

Acclaimed global artist, Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, has been profiled in the 2019 Time Magazine ‘100 Next’ list.

Time’s ‘100 Next’ is an annual list of 100 influential people in the world who are actively contributing to changing the world through their craft.

Read also: Such that those found guilty of such cases can be treated as murderers or even worse

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Akunyili-Crosby is the daughter of late Dora Akunyili, who was a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food Administration and Control; and also a former Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010.

In a blurb describing the artist, journalist Madeleine Carlisle wrote, “Njideka Akunyili-Crosby’s works have sold for millions at auctions.

“But in 2018, it was possible to see one at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art free of charge , you didn’t even have to go inside.

“The visual artist was only the second person to be chosen to create a mural on the walls of the museum itself, which was visible from Grand Avenue’s sidewalk.

“It featured brightly coloured scenes of domestic life: in one section, a woman rests her elbow on a table, seemingly deep in thought.

“Akunyili-Crosby — who moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in her teens— is known for such scenes, some of which are autobiographical and incorporate references to both countries,” Carlisle wrote.

In her words, Akunyili-Crosby told TIME, “I’m really looking at how [Nigeria and the U.S.] are complex hybrid spaces.”

NAN reports that in 2018, she made history after selling a painting of hers for the sum of N1.2bn.

She recently won a $625,000 MacArthur Genius Grant which set her N225m richer.

Her iconic Bush Babies painting was sold by Sotheby’s for N1.2bn. NAN

A Nigerian Otugo killed in South Africa

Amid Nigeria and South Africa seeking ways to end Xenophobia in the latter, the Nigerian community in South Africa has confirmed the killing of one of its members, Ikenna Innocent Otugo.    


Acting Chairman of Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA) in the Kwazulu Natal Province, Mr Sylvester Okonkwo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that the deceased was killed at Empangeni, in the province, on October 15.

He recalled that the late Otugo, 41, and a native of Nimo in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, was allegedly stabbed to death by unknown assailants over a business disagreement.

Okonkwo told NAN on phone from Empangeni that the late businessman had repaired a cell phone for a client in the area.

He said information available to the union indicated that the female client was not satisfied with the work Otugo did for her.    


Okonkwo said the client brought some men who allegedly stabbed the victim.
“Otugo died on the way to the hospital, following the stabbing. We have reported the incident to the police and national secretariat of our union, NUSA.

“His (Otugo’s) body is now in the mortuary awaiting autopsy,” he said.

The acting chairman said the victim is survived by a nine-year-old son.
Contacted, NUSA President Mr Adetola Olubajo said the national secretariat had been informed about the incident.(NAN)

Wizkid, Montana, Ms Banks others to perform at BBC event

Nigerian artiste, Wizkid has been announced as the headline act for this year’s BBC Radio 1Xtra Live music event.

Wizkid will join the likes of French Montana, Ms Banks, Aitch and DaniLeigh at Arena Birmingham on 5 October.

He said he was “looking forward” to the event, adding: “Big up 1Xtra for supporting our culture.” Other acts performing at the event include Headie One, Miraa May, Stylo G, and Lil Tecca.

1Xtra’s DJ Target says: “1Xtra Live is our flagship night where we really get to let our hair down and showcase some of the cream of artists we love and support on the network.

“This year we head to Birmingham, a city we’ve always had an amazing relationship with, and we bring another incredible line up with us, including French Montana, who’s gone from strength to strength since we last welcomed him as a surprise in 2017. His full set is going to go off.

“Aitch is undoubtedly next up when it comes to UK rap and he’s going to kill it; Ms Banks has had a fierce year too and is brilliant live.”

Mark Strippel, 1Xtra’s head of programmes, says Birmingham is a “beacon for rap and grime music in the UK”.

“It’s vital that we continue to reflect the scale and growth of the scene on 1Xtra.

“With some brilliant surprise acts already lined up to perform, it’s sure to be an unmissable night.”
1Xtra Live will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Asian Network from 7pm on 5 October. (Vanguard)

6 Nigerian students cancel trip for robotics competition in South Africa

Six Nigerian students who will represent the country at the Africa Robotics Challenge (ARC) in South Africa on September 28 have cancelled their trip to the country over safety concerns.

The students announced cancellation of their trip at a media briefing on Monday in Lagos.

They said the organisers had failed to guarantee their safety throughout the duration of the competition.

The students are: Tirenioluwa Shobande, 18, a 100-level Systems Engineering student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG); Ifeoluwa Aigbiniode, 15, of Yaba College of Technology Secondary School and Jeffrey Nwafor, 15, of S-TEE International School.

Others are: 19-year-old Kolawole Olatunji, a 100-level Computer Science Education student of Lagos State University (LASU); Toluwanimi Akinola, 15, of Dansol High School and Aromolaran Dominion, 14, of Supreme Education Foundation.

The National Coordinator Mrs Remi Willoughby said the organisers had informed her of their inability to provide tight security and guarantee the safety of the students while in South Africa.

Mrs Willoughby said the organisers hinted that while in South Africa, the Nigerian competitors would neither disclose their nationality nor be able to go out for sight-seeing for the duration of the competition.

According to her, the host said the event will not be given publicity and that no one else will be invited to witness the competition. (Thenation)


Italy to pay Nigerian migrants, others €700 to stay in its villages

The town of Caltanissetta in Sicily, Italy, have opened the doors of its vacant homes to asylum seekers, who have crossed the Mediterranean from Libya.

In another region in the south of Italy called Molise, new comers including Nigerian migrants will be given €700 to stay in one of its villages for three months, according to The GuardianUK.

These persons are, however, mandated to open a business and the population of each village is to be kept under 2,000.

“We wanted to do more; we wanted people to invest here. They can open any sort of activity: a bread shop, a stationery shop, a restaurant, anything.

“It’s a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population.

“If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture,” Donato Toma, President of Molise, said.

Toma said if a village can keep its population under 2,000, they will be given €10,000 per month to build infrastructure and hold cultural activities.(The GuardianUK)


We have recovered N1Billion from a Ponzi scheme fraudster in Nigerian says EFCC

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, under its Port Harcourt Zone, says it has recovered N1Billion from a Nigerian Ponzi scheme fraudster targeting unsuspecting Nigeria.

Zonal Head, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Andulrashid Bawal, giving its zone’s stewardship in the past eight years also said in Port Harcourt, Rivers State that the commission has recorded 149 convictions involving oil thieves with a total N2Billion recovered within the period.

He said, “The suspects were arrested separately in Port Harcourt and Owerri, Imo state respectively. Mr. Atakorito is the leader of a new syndicate of fraudsters while Mr. Chidi is suspected to be involved in defrauding mainly US-based victims through the selling of goods online.

“Only last month we arrested a syndicate involved in an organized Ponzi scheme. They convince their victims that they are trading on foreign exchange and cryptocurrency.  “Over N2Billion is already taken by these fraudsters from unsuspecting Nigerian victims. We have recovered over a billion naira from the suspects, investigation still ongoing.”(Vanguard)


US Jails 49-year-old woman who stole $200,000 to pay Nigerian fraudster

A jury in the United States District Court at St. Loius has sentenced one Wende Anne Terril, an American citizen to one year in prison.

Terril, 49, was sentenced on Friday with an order to pay back about $200,000 she stole from her company to help her ‘fiancĂ©’, a Nigerian scammer, who conned her in an online romance scam.

According to the prosecutors, Terrill wrote five-figure cheques and sent one wire transfer from her employer, Midwest Petroleum, to other accounts between January 27, 2017 to March 31, 2017.

The woman was the company controller and the accounts were associated with companies with which Midwest was not doing business, court documents showed.

The money was almost immediately transferred overseas. Several links in the chain of money transfers had Nigerian connections, prosecutors have said in court documents.

After Terrill left the company, a Midwest official discovered emails between her and others about ‘fiancĂ©’ Santino Gallo, who was supposedly an oil rig worker with outstanding debts.

Prosecutors said the 49-year-old was the victim of a Nigerian romance fraud scheme in which scammers create fake online profiles, develop a romantic relationship with their victims before making series of requests for money until the victim’s finances are exhausted.(Saharareporters)

Nigerian couple who supply Heroin arrested by Indian Police

The Mohali police have arrested a Nigerian couple from Delhi for supplying drugs to peddlers in Punjab and Haryana.

The accused were identified as Makaogu John and Fahe Rechelle. Police recovered 40gm heroin from their possession.

The duo was arrested on the disclosure of a Sangrur resident, Jasminder Singh, alias Jassi, who was arrested with 15gm heroin near TDI City, Mohali, on August 25.

Jaswinder was arrested on a tip-off from a naka laid near TDI City.

Police had stopped him while he was riding a scooter on the Airport Road towards Kharar.

“During his interrogation, he revealed that he had bought the heroin from a Delhi-based Nigerian couple. Following this, a trap was laid and the couple was arrested in Delhi,” said Manphool Singh, station house officer, Balongi.(Saharareporters)

24-year-old Nigerian among top 5 best talents at Mr World

The 24-year-old  Mr Nigeria, Nelson Enwerem, late on Friday in Manila in the Philippines emerged one of the top five talents at the just concluded Mr World pageant.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, who monitored the contest on cable network from Lagos, also reports that Jack Heslewood of England emerged the new Mr World 2019.

Heslewood defeated  71 other candidates during the grand  finale to become the 10th Mr World.

NAN reports that the  27-year-old model also won an award for his impressive drumming, had now succeeded India’s 29-year-old, Rohit Khandelwal.

Also, Enwerem, a model and fashion designer, who won the talent award of being the best in graceful contemporary dance, told NAN from the  Philippines that he was grateful to Nigerians and his sponsors.

“I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone who supported my journey. God bless everyone, I tried my best to represent our country which I’m very sure I did extremely well.

“Unfortunately,  I didn’t win but everyone who watched the show or was at the event and everyone who competed with us is very aware that the results ain’t fair,” he said.

According to him, all I can say right now is that I’m thankful to God, Silverbird organization, my family and friends and every Nigerian out there for making this experience worth it for me.

NAN reports that though Mr Nigeria did not make the list of the first five topmost contestants, Fezile Mkhize, (black) from South Africa did.

Mkhize emerged the first runner up and won the  Mr World Africa title.

The biennial event, which was held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, Aug. 23, had Mexico’s Brian Faugier, as the second runner up.

Bet Saliva from the Philippines went away with Mr World Asia title.

The five countries that made it to the finals were:  Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Africa and current champion, England.

NAN also reports that Enwerem was one of the 13 young men that represented Africa at the Mr World competition in the  Philippines.

The other African countries with that featured participants are:  Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Ethiopia, Guinea Bisau, Kenya, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan and Nigeria.

This 2019 edition of Mr World held in the Philippines is the 10th. (NAN)


EPL: Liverpool’s plan for three Nigerian stars revealed

Liverpool initially planned to sell three Nigerian players in the summer but ended up loaning the trio in the summer transfer window, according to Liverpool Echo.

The newspaper reported that despite the club’s desire to sell, Ejaria and Awoniyi only left the club on loan while a permanent move also could not be found for Ojo.

While Ojo is spending the whole of this season at Rangers, Awoniyi and Ejaria have moved to Mainz 05 and Reading FC respectively on loan.

Ojo has been in blistering form since his move to Scotland, scoring 4 goals in 7 appearances across all competitions, and Ejaria has caught the eye in his last two games for the Royals.

Nigeria U23 international, Awoniyi made his Bundesliga debut on the opening day of the season against SC Freiburg after coming off the bench in the 86th minute.

Both Ojo and Ejaria have made competitive appearances for Liverpool’s first team.

News: Embassy urges Ukraine government to investigate the killing of a Nigerian

The Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine has petitioned the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Police Department in Kharkiv, demanding full investigations into circumstances surrounding the alleged stabbing to death of a Nigerian, Gbolade Ejemai, on August 8.

Ejemai, a medical doctor, was allegedly stabbed to death by one Victoria Popravko, with the connivance of her father in Ukraine.

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who had been in touch with the family of the deceased and Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine, confirmed the petition in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement was signed by NIDCOM’s Head of Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, in Abuja.

Dabiri-Erewa said the petition was delivered to the Ukrainian authorities on behalf of the Nigerian Government.(Saharareporters)

Nigerian IMN leader Zakzaky flown to India for treatment

The imprisoned leader of a banned Shia Muslim group in Nigeria has been flown to India for medical treatment.

A court recently granted him medical leave after nearly four years in custody during a lengthy legal process.

In a statement, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) said Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife had left for Delhi, accompanied by a government security escort to ensure their return.

The group says he has suffered two minor strokes and is losing his sight.

Sheikh Zakzaky, 66, has been charged with culpable homicide and other offences, all of which he denies.

The couple are expected to stand trial after the treatment is completed.
The pro-Iranian IMN has accused the Nigerian authorities of inflicting "brutal wounds" on the Sheikh and his wife while in detention, and his supporters have protested for months calling for his release.


Saudi authorities free Nigerian undergraduate Zainab Aliyu wrongly accused of drug offence

Saudi Arabian authorities have released Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, who was arrested for alleged drug trafficking.      


Also released was Ibrahim Abubakar. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Zainab was arrested since Dec. 25, 2018.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the government has been able to establish the innocence of Zainab and the second Nigerian involved in the case, Ibrahim Abubakar.
Both accused, he said, would be released tomorrow to the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia.

There had been several calls for their release with President Muhammadu Buhari directing the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to swiftly intervene and secure her immediate release.

Read also: Police nab serial killer who murders 38 persons

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs Abike Dabiri-Erewa had assured Nigerians that they were making good progress and she will be back, along with 2 others in the same situation.      


Zainab was arrested after a banned drug, Tramadol, was found in her bag, but claimed it was planted in her luggage by unknown persons.
The student had reportedly travelled from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in company with her mother, Mrs. Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu.

Zainab, who was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with an illegal dosage of Tramadol.

Reports indicate that she was a victim of a cartel that specialised in keeping hard drugs in travellers’ bags, some of whom were already in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. (NAN)

Nigerian elected Mayor of London Borough

A Nigerian, Ernest Ezeajughi, has made history by winning election as the first Black Mayor of the London Borough of Brent, United Kingdom.      


Information reaching News Express has it that Ezeajughi, a native of Anambra State, was elected Mayor on April 16, 2019 by the College of Councillors on Brent, London, and is scheduled to be sworn into office tomorrow, Wednesday, May 1.

Prior to his election as Mayor, Ezeajughi, a strong member of the Labour Party, won election for a Councillor position representing Stonebridge ward at Brent Council in 2014.

He was re-elected in 2018, retaining his seat in the white-dominated political environment after a very keenly contested election. He was elected Deputy Mayor of Brent within a year.

Born in Awgbu Town in Orumba North, Anambra State, Ezeajughi had his primary, secondary and tertiary education in Anambra. He attended Aguata High School, Aguata, and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, where he studied Applied Microbiology. Ezeajughi was actively involved in student union politics, representing the departmental student union body.

Read also: Saudi authorities free Nigerian undergraduate Zainab Aliyu wrongly accused of drug offence

After graduation in 1998 and completion of his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), he worked briefly in the private family business – Koval Linkworld Agencies Ltd – before migrating to England to join wife.      


In England, Ezeajughi obtained a Master’s degree in Science (M.Sc) from the prestigious Kings College, London.

A Scientist by profession, he worked with Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

A father of four children, Ezeajughi was one of the founding fathers of a major Nigerian political party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) UK Chapter and was the Chairman in 2010-2012.

He thereafter joined UK politics and was soon became a strong member of the Labour Party. News Express

Ngige clarifies position on exodus of Nigerian doctors

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has clarified his position on the issue of international migration  by the Nigerian Medical Doctors as contained in his interview on Channels Television live morning programme yesterday,       

Wednesday, April 24, 2019  which has been subjected to serial distortion and misinterpretation, arising from skewed news broadcast by the Channels media team.
He described the incident as well as the selective reportage which it fueled in the media as unnecessary, calling for a deeper understanding of the issue in question.

A statement by the Special Assistant Media to the Minister, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, said Sen. Ngige being a patriotic Nigerian, a medical doctor, and one who neither shies away from speaking on the reality of the Nigerian situation nor given to pretences, fully appreciates the sensitivity of the issue at hand and the consequential negative import of brain drain on national productivity.

“I speak from the vintage position of being a medical doctor and member, Nigerian Medical Association since June, 1979 and enriched by my vast knowledge on health administration, having retired as a Deputy Director, Medical Services and Training from the Federal Ministry of Health in 1998, member of Vision 2010 Committee on Health as well as senior member, Senate Committee on Health 2011-2015.

“Therefore, the truth no matter how it hurts, must be told and reality, boldly faced. Hence, apart from Nigeria’s non-compliance with the World Health Organisation’s ratio of one doctor to six hundred patients of which I was misquoted, every other thing I said in that interview is an existential reality, useful and constructive facts which every Nigerian that watched the full interview will hardly dispute. I invite opinion moulders especially those who have spoken or written on this issue to watch the full clip of my interview with the channels.

“And it is for this reason that I admitted having a little cause to worry about brain drain among medical doctors .The fact is that while the federal government has recorded a remarkably steady improvement in our healthcare system, Nigeria is yet to get there. We do not at present have enough health facilities to accommodate all the doctors seeking to do  tertiary specialist training (residency) in the Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centres and few accredited state and private specialist centres in the country, where roughly 20% of the yearly applicants are absorbed while the remaining 80%,  try their luck elsewhere.”

“This situation in any case is not peculiar to Nigeria as countries like Pakistan, Ceylon, Bangledesh exported teachers to secondary schools in the old Eastern and Northern Regions in the sixties and seventies where their earnings were also repatriated to their countries.      

The statement further stated that the Ministry of Labour and Employment has a migration policy, developed with the European Union to assist skilled Nigerians work and earn decent living abroad, adding that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora has done a lot of work in encouraging Nigerian professionals abroad to return, with a good number of doctors relocating from the United States and other European countries.

It also said the problem was not limited to doctors seeking specialization as   young medical officers who graduate from medical schools spend two to three years looking for a space for Housemanship.

“Luckly, the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Employment is developing a federal assisted programme for these young doctors and other allied health professionals such as pharmacists, physiotherapists in a move to broaden training opportunities.

It again asserted that Nigeria has enough medical personnel to man non-specialist centres in the rural areas, regretting that the major problem was the refusal of young doctors to work in the hinterland.  Even the National Youth Service Corps doctors, all, today seek postings to the cities as against what obtained some decades ago.
“Besides, doctors who did not get the few vacancies in the tertiary centres especially those owned by the Federal Government find it difficult to work in the rural hospitals.      

“But the truth is that the Federal Government has in its 2019 Budget Proposal now before the National Assembly, implemented the Health Act provisions for 1% of the consolidated revenue of the Federation to be added to the health budget to boost medical services especially at the grassroots in partnership with the state governments who are expected to make a 5% counterpart contribution.

The Minister recalled, “as Governor of Anambra State, I developed a special medial incentive package to draw doctors to the rural communities by establishing the Rural Doctors Programme where officers posted to the rural health facilities got additional 25% of their basic salary as special allowance.

“The Nigerian Medical Association should ask their members who in most cases are Health Commissioners in the States and by implication members of National Council on Health to evolve and execute such policies so as to maximize the benefits which it provides.

“The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) State chapters and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have a duty to campaign and persuade State governments to devote more funds to healthcare. Doctors’ union is not only for the purpose of personal aggrandizement, asking for more emoluments and perennially egging members to go on strike.      

“Therefore, while the Federal Government, indeed, government at all levels strives to meet up with the World Health ratio of one doctor to five hundred patients, we appeal to the Nigerian Medical Association to prevail on their members to serve in the rural areas.”

An on-going programme by the Federal Government, the statement added will in near future,   revive and revitalise all the basic health centres in all the wards across the federation. (Nigerian Tribune)
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