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Ngige under Severe Attacks for ‘Nigeria Has More Than Enough Doctors’ Comment

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The Nigerian Medical Association, the National Association of Resident Doctors, the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project and human rights groups on Wednesday took a swipe at the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, over his comment that the country had enough medical doctors.

Ngige, had on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, said doctors who felt they wanted to relocate in search of greener pastures were free to do so as the nation had enough medical personnel.

Ngige had, while responding to a question on brain drain and the deliberate recruitment of Nigerian doctors by foreign embassies in Nigeria, said there was nothing wrong with doctors leaving the country as they would continue to send foreign exchange home which would, in turn, grow the economy.

He said, “No, I am not worried (about doctors leaving the country). We have surplus. If you have surplus, you export. It happened some years ago here. I was taught chemistry and biology by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.

“Who says we don’t have enough doctors? We have more than enough. You can quote me. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send it back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them and not just oil.”

When asked if he was sure of what he was saying, the minister said it was good for doctors to travel out as they would receive training from abroad and open up medical centres in Nigeria.

“Will you call that brain drain? I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have scanners and magnetic resonance imaging, which even the government cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss,” he said.

When asked if brain drain was not hurting the health sector, he said, “Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.”

But in separate interviews with our correspondents, the NMA president, Dr Francis Faduyile and his NARD counterpart, Dr Segun Olaopa, said Ngige did not have the knowledge of the World Health Organisation’s recommendation on doctor-patient ratio.

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We’ll Henceforth Refer to Buhari as Major General and his Government as Regime, Punch Newspapers Declare

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By Eric Elezuo

The Punch Newspaper, in reaction to the oppressive tendencies of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, has declared that it would no longer refer to the Nigerian president by democratic titles but military appellations until he purges himself of ‘insufferable contempt for the rule of law’. It therefore, hinted Buhari will be referred to as Major General while his administration will be termed regime.

The Newspaper made the disclosure in its editorial of Wednesday, December 11, 2019 titled Buhari’s Lawlessness: Our Stand.

It highlighted the rearrest of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, continued detention of El-Zakzaky, Dasuki among other journalists and fragrant disregard for the rule of law as some of reasons for the decision.

The editorial reads in part:

“As as symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”

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Fowler Asked for Reappointment in Letter to SGF

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The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, says reappointing him would have helped in the consolidation of previous achievements in the tax sector.

He said this in a letter written to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

However, moves by Fowler for reappointment weren’t successful as he was replaced by Muhammad Nama.

The announcement of Nami’s nomination was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

A copy of the letter written by Fowler to the SGF was dated December 9, 2019, and titled: ‘Re: Notification of Expiration of Tenure as Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service.’

The letter read in part, “I write to notify the Secretary to the Government of the Federation that my first tenure as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) ends today 9th of December, 2019.

“In view of the above, I wish to present myself for reappointment for a second term. This is consistent with the provisions of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 and would grant me the opportunity to consolidate and build on the achievements we have recorded in the past four years.

“Please find attached the highlights of my achievements during my first tenure in office.

“I would like to put on record my gratitude to Mr. President for the opportunity to serve the nation. I am also thankful for your support in the course of the discharge of my duties. Please accept as always, the assurance of my highest regards.”

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Russia Gets Four Years Ban from Sporting Activities, Misses Olympics, 2022 World Cup

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Russia has been banned from the Olympics and other major world championships after sporting officials decided to punish it for tampering with doping-related laboratory data in another blow to Russia’s already tarnished sporting reputation, reports Reuters.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has imposed a four-year ban on Russia participating in a range of top-flight sporting tournaments, a period covering the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup.

WADA’s executive committee took the decision after concluding that Moscow had tampered with laboratory data by planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.

Russia, which has tried to showcase itself as a global sports power, has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

Its doping woes have grown since, with many of its athletes sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The sanction sanctions, which also include a four-year ban on Russia hosting major sporting events, were recommended by WADA’s compliance review committee in response to the doctored laboratory data provided by Moscow earlier this year.

One of the conditions for the reinstatement of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the athletics doping scandal but reinstated last year, had been that Moscow provide an authentic copy of the laboratory data.

The sanctions effectively strip the agency of its accreditation.

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov last month attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical issues.

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