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IMF releases $29bn to Nigeria, 69 others

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has advanced $29bn under the Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing instrument to Nigeria and 69 other countries.
It stated this in an emailed report on Monday.
This was part of its updated economic funding support totalling $99bn to 70 emerging and developing economies to tackle COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria got $3.4bn of the $29bn to enable it to strengthen balance of payment and local currency.
The fund said other countries also benefited from the support fund through other channels, including augmentations under existing programmes, to the tune of over $70bn, thus bringing the total support fund to the $99bn.
Many African countries like Ghana, Gabon and South Africa, among others, have been knocking on the IMF’s door for financial assistance to fight the pandemic.
As the virus plunged Africa into its deepest recession in decades, IMF continued to support many of the member countries to pull out of the financial implications on their economies.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the fund was meant to assist Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19 and resolve urgent balance of payment needs.
The fund said even compared to previous crises such as the Ebola epidemic, the needs triggered by this current pandemic are unprecedented.
“The fund’s rapid response helped many countries to contain and mitigate the impact of this external shock,’’ according to the report.
This financial assistance does not have traditional IMF conditionalities and phasing of disbursements over time. But countries still undertake policy commitments to address their difficulties, and governance commitments about how those resources are to be spent.
The Fund said the human toll and global economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented demand for financing.
The multilateral institution added that it had provided relief to more than one-third of its membership.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, the IMF has responded rapidly and decisively to meet urgent and exceptional demand for financial assistance from its membership,” it said in the statement.
Since March 2020, 70 members, including many low-income countries, have received financial support under the two instruments created to address urgent financing needs that may arise from natural disasters (including pandemics, earthquakes and hurricanes).
The IMF explained that in April, it approved a broad package of reforms, which built on previous changes to strengthen the reach and flexibility of financial assistance under these facilities.
The IMF disclosed that across Africa, countries are trying to build buffers to strengthen their economies, and for Nigeria, it is through the collection of taxes.
It said Nigeria should use the crisis to transform into a more resilient economy.

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BREAKING: No going back on nationwide protest, Labour replies DSS

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BREAKING: No going back on nationwide protest, Labour replies DSS

The leadership of the Organised Labour has responded to the Department of State Services (DSS) over its warning that the union should shelve its proposed protest billed to hold February 27 and 28.

DSS had admonished the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its counterpart from Trade Union Congress (TUC) to rescind their decision, saying the plea was in the interest of peace across the country.

But reacting to the DSS’ warning, the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, said DSS should not blackmail the Organised Labour and arrest those that want to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence as claimed.

The labour leader described the forthcoming action as “peaceful protest against unpardonable cost of living”, adding that the Congress would not fold its arm while Nigerians continue to live in penury.

He said: “We are concerned by the unsolicited advice of the Department of State Security to shelve our planned protest against the unprecedented high cost of living in spite of the indescribable suffering in the land, spiralling inflation, deepening poverty and the Naira at an exchange rate of N1,900 to the US Dollar.

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“According to the Service, the planned protest should be shelved “in the interest of peace and public order”, pre-supposing that the action is intended to be violent and disruptive even when we have a history of peaceful protests.

“More worrying is the new role the Service has assigned to itself, the chief spokes person of the government.

“According to the Service, “It is common knowledge that all levels of Government are striving to ameliorate the prevailing economic condition and as such, should be given a benefit of the doubt, So far, appropriate authorities are working assiduously with a spectrum of stakeholders to fashion out modalities to address the current difficulties”.

“We are equally worried that although the Service is aware that some elements are planning to use the opportunity of the protest to foment crisis and by extension, widespread violence”, and yet have not executed the arrest of these elements.

“We are equally intrigued by the innuendos of the Service, their philosophy of “peace” and wild allegations and we want to reassure them that no one loves this country more than us and on our honour, we would never do anything that will compromise its sovereignty or security.

“Having said this, we would not have ourselves blackmailed or lied against by the Service. Our protest is a peaceful one against the unpardonable cost of living of which the unserviced personnel of the Service are also victims. We cannot fold our hands and pretend all is well. That will be a grievous conspiracy that history will not forgive.”

BREAKING: No going back on nationwide protest, Labour replies DSS

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Ogun shuts down Harvarde College’s Nursing department for lack of accreditation

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Ogun shuts down Harvarde College’s Nursing department for lack of accreditation

The Ogun state government has closed the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta as it operated without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).  

The enforcement team, comprising officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health’s enforcement team and members of the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee (SNMC), sealed the department on Tuesday. 

The shutdown  

Dr Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, revealed during the enforcement exercise that the private institution had been offering a degree program in Nursing Sciences for approximately six years without the required accreditation.  

  • Represented by the Acting Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Serifat Aminu, Oladehinde stressed that such unauthorized programs contribute to quackery in nursing, posing a threat to public health. 

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  • The nursing department will remain sealed until it obtains full accreditation, as emphasized by Oladehinde.  
  • He denounced the value of a Nursing degree obtained from Harvarde College and similar unaccredited institutions, stating that graduates would be unable to obtain a valid license to practice in Nigeria and other parts of the world. 

He expressed concern about the proliferation of institutions offering nursing degrees without accreditation, leading to the production of quacks in the nursing profession, which poses a danger to society.  

Oladehinde urged parents and candidates interested in nursing programs to conduct due diligence by checking the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, cautioning against wasting time and resources on unaccredited programs. 

The permanent secretary warned parents to be wary of institutions making false claims and assured that the Ogun government would continue its efforts to combat quackery in both the education and practice of the nursing profession in the state. 

In response to the closure, a 300-level student, who preferred to remain anonymous, expressed shock at the lack of accreditation, regretting the financial investment her parents had made on her behalf in the unaccredited program. 

Ogun shuts down Harvarde College’s Nursing department for lack of accreditation

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Senate confirms appointment of 17 commissioners for NPC

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Senate confirms appointment of 17 commissioners for NPC

The Senate on Wednesday, February 21, confirmed the nomination of 17 persons for appointment as National Commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC).

The red chamber also approved the appointment of Jalal Arabi as the chairman of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) and three other commissioners for the agency including, Aliyu Abdul-Razak (Commissioner – Policy, Personnel and Finance), Prince Anofiu Elegushi (Commissioner-Operations) and Prof. Abubakar A. Yagawal (Commissioner-Planning and Research).

The Commissioners of NAHCON cleared by the Senate are Hon Emmanuel Trump Eke (Abia), Dr Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Mr. Chidi Christopher Ezeoke (Anambra), Isa Audu Buratai (Borno), Bishop Alex Ukam (Cross River), Ms Blessing Brume-Ataguba (Delta), Dr. Jeremiah Ogbonna Nwankwegu (Ebonyi), Dr. Tony Aiyejina (Edo), Mr Ejike Eze (Enugu), Mr. Abubakar Damburam (Gombe) and Prof. Uba Nnabue (Imo).

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Others are Ms. Sa’adatu Dogon Bauchi Garba (Kaduna), Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa (Kano), Hon Yori Afolabi (Kogi), Ms. Mary Ishaya Afan (Plateau), Mr Saany Sale (Taraba) and Mr. Ogiri Itotemaan Henry (Rivers).

The report on the screening of the NPC commissioners was presented by the chairman,

Senate Committee on National Identity Card and Population, Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP – Bauchi Central) while the report of the NPC was presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Sani Bello.

The Senate also confirmed the nomination of Dr. Kelechi Ohiri for appointment as the director general of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

The chairman of Senate Commended on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), Senator Ipalibo Banigo (PDP – Rivers West) presented the report.

Senate confirms appointment of 17 commissioners for NPC

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