The Seme Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Friday said that 16 Nigerians had been deported from Ghana for allegedly committing cyber crimes there.
Dr Chukwu Emeka, the Controller of the Command, disclosed this during a news conference in Seme, Lagos State.
According to Emeka, these are young Nigerians, who claimed that they were deceived or intentionally went out of the country in search of greener pastures.
“Ghana’s Financial and Intelligence Agency accused them of cyber crime but from our preliminary investigation, we discovered that some of them were lured into these criminal activities due to the get-rich syndrome our youths are developing.
“Some of them are victims in the sense that they were deceived that they can make money if they leave Nigeria.
Unfortunately, they don’t get the actual thing they bargained for in Ghana.
“Further investigation also showed that most of them left the country through illegal routes or through the sea to other West African countries.
“We also discovered that most of them travelled without genuine travel documents, so when they got to Ghana they became prey to the authorities.
“The Comptroller General of NIS, Mr Idris Jere, has always advised Nigerians to get genuine travellers’ documents before leaving the country.
“Yes, we are part of the ECOWAS treaty of free movement and goods within the sub-region, the condition is that you must enter those countries through a legitimate route and with the right travel documents.
“It is also important to have definite means of livelihood, if not; by the time you get there, they will see you as a public charge and they will return you to your country,” he said.
He said that it was painful to see young Nigerians getting involved in some unholy activities when they were supposed to be building their talents for their future.
Emeka urged Nigerians to always travel with valid documents, adding that they should live and do their businesses according to the law of the land they had travelled to.
He said that the Government of Ghana had contacted the Seme Command ofNIS that they would be repatriating more Nigerians soon.
The controller promised to return those already repatriated to their families after NIS must have concluded its investigation.
One of the deportees, Richard Paska, a 24-year-old graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, said that he was lured to Ghana by the promise of a good job.
“My father had to look for money to let me go in February 2021 so that I could start a job.
The job was a networking business but when I arrived in Ghana, the story changed.
“I was managing myself with some Nigerians when some of the personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service arrested us and brought us back to Nigeria.
“I had intended to come back but I did not have the transport fare, I really regret going to Ghana,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 16 deportees are men with ages ranging from 19 years to 24 years.
A girl child activist, Ms Nkem Umeadi, on Tuesday in Awka called on all tiers of government to increase empowerment of the girl child.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on the 10th anniversary of the Girl Child Day in Anambra, she said the era when the girl child was relegated was long gone.
She also appealed to parents to ensure that their female children got the best of formal education as well as entrepreneurial skills.
Umeadi noted that there was no need for competition between children of both genders as women were not setting out to wrest power from their male counterparts.
“When you empower the girl child, life gets easier for everyone around her,’’ she stressed.
Also speaking with NAN, Prof. Oby Orogbu, an educationist at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, said that the girl child should be given equal opportunities as the boy child.
She noted that when empowered, the girl child would succeed in any endeavour and distinguish herself in her chosen career.
“I am very grateful today and proud of my parents who gave me the opportunity of education.
It has paid off,’’ she said.
In her remarks, Mrs Grace Anagor, a community leader in Enugwu-Ukwu Community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra said a girl child should be valued as much as a boy child.
Anagor noted that the girl child is naturally-endowed to cushion the hardships experienced in homes and advised that she should be comprehensively educated rather than married off prematurely.
The United Nations set aside Oct. 11 annually as the Day of the Girl Child to create awareness about the need for equality between the girl child and the boy child.
Prof. Dennis Aribodor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, has appealed to the federal and state governments to give education more attention in the interest of national development.
Aribodor made the appeal on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka. According to him, control tools for national development are found in the education system.
He said that inadequate attention to education would give rise to unemployment, poverty and insecurity.
“Education is a crucial sector in any nation.
Being a major investment in human capital development, it plays a critical role in long-term productivity, growth and development of any nation.
“Consequently, declining quality of education at all levels has far reaching negative impacts on the nation’s moral, civic, social and economic sustainability and development,” he said.
Aribodor advised that discussions on education reforms should be analytical in approach to proffer workable solutions.
He urged the three tiers of government to adequately fund education.
“If this is done in the proper way, there will be improved infrastructure in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools.
“There will be no more brain-drain as research activities will be effectively carried out and the sector will contribute meaningfully to national development.
“This will tremendously impact on the development of the civil service, political system, technological, communication and industrial sectors,” he said.
Echoes from 62nd independence anniversary and quest for nation building Echoes from 62nd independence anniversary and quest for nation buildingBy Uche Anunne, News Agency of Nigeria On Saturday, Nigeria celebrated the 62nd anniversary of independence from Great Britain.
On Oct. 1, 1960, the colonising power reluctantly returned power to Nigerians after hundreds of years.
This followed enormous pressure from Nigerian indigenous political leaders such as Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, among other independence struggle icons too numerous to mention.
The expectation that came with independence was huge.
So, every anniversary offers an opportunity for Nigerians to reflect on the journey so far and this year was not an exception.
With the return to democratic rule, expectations of, and pressure on the nation’s political leaders have never been so high.
The age of social media has further put pressure on those in government.
The masses that hitherto seemed to have no voice and channel to communicate their frustrations to those in authority have found their voice and means to do so Reactions from Nigerians as they celebrated this year’s edition are mixed.
While many say Nigeria has lived up to expectations, others are of the opinion that more still needs to be done.
Today, Nigeria faces security challenges: a rise in unemployment, double-digit inflation, and the need to upgrade transport infrastructure, among others.
However, Imo governor, Hope Uzodinma remains positive, saying Nigeria has made progress over the past 62 years and has the potential to do even better.
He said to achieve greater heights, Nigerians must have faith in the country and contribute their quota towards its prosperity.
“We must take time to study how countries overcame their challenges and deplore proactive approaches in confronting the challenges of our time,” he said His Kwara counterpart AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq shares the same view.
In his own Independence Message, the governor described Nigeria as a nation that has continued to rise in spite of its challenges.
He said some of those challenges such as insecurity and unemployment were not peculiar to Nigeria but also happening in many countries across the world.
The Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGDA), a Non-Governmental Organisation, urged youths to be patriotic and to use their energy to contribute to the development of the nation.
The president of the group, Dr Hope Omeiza in an independence message to youths said Nigeria was still a work in progress and called on young people to take responsibility for their future.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , Gombe State Commissioner for Health, Dr Habu Dahiru said the health sector had made impressive progress since 1960. One of the areas of progress, he said, is access to health care through the introduction of national health insurance.
“In the late 1960s and 1970s, we didn’t have NHIS.
We relied on out-of-pocket expenses to fund our health and well-being.
It was a difficult situation even to the working class,” he said.
One of the areas in which Nigeria has made massive improvements is education.
From just one university in 1948 to more than one hundred universities in 2022, and several thousands of primary and post-primary institutions, the education sector has witnessed phenomenal growth.
Though many have argued that the quality of the products of these institutions has dropped in recent years, others think that trade conflict-induced disruptions in the academic calendar are a concern.
One of the unions in the sector is the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) whose strike action has entered its 8th month.
Predictably, Johnson Eze, a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, said he is not satisfied with the performance of the country after 62 years of independence.
“We are celebrating a bastardised education system in Nigeria.
Our leaders do not believe in our education.
That is why they send their children and wards overseas and allow our education system to die.
“I have nothing to celebrate.
Maybe, I will celebrate my house rent piling up while I never occupied the room because of ASUU strike and refusal of the federal government to fund our education system,” he was quoted as saying by the media.
An NGO, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), in a statement by Auwal Musa, its Executive Director, urged government to rise to the challenges that have hindered Nigeria from developing as fast as it should.
“There should be sincere efforts by relevant authorities to address pervasive insecurity, unemployment, and poverty with a strong emphasis on true federalism and Local Government Autonomy to attract impactful democratic dividend and sustainable development to the grassroots,” he said.
A human rights activist, Mr Deji Adeyanju called for more efforts from the Munahmmadu Buhari-led administration in its fight against corruption particularly among the political class.
He said: “The new colonial masters of Nigeria – the political class – are only interested in looting and destroying the educational, health, and other sectors while sending their kids abroad to school and go to the best hospitals abroad.
” Mr Ambrose Aisabor, a retired Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police was quoted by the media as saying that ‘there is nothing to celebrate“ after 62 years of independence.
“What are we going to celebrate?
Is it economic hardship or insecurity?
Is it the infrastructure that is not on ground?
Or is it daily kidnapping and killing all over the country?
We just have to thank God that we are alive,” he said.
In his independence message to the country – his last as an elected president – Buhari said his administration was cognisant of the challenges facing the citizenry and is taking measures to find lasting solutions to them.
“In order to address insecurity, we worked methodically in reducing insurgency in the Northeast, militancy in the Niger Delta, ethnic and religious tensions in some sections of Nigeria, along with other problems threatening our country.
“Our efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions by very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management.
“In addition, the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account and cutting down on the cost of governance also facilitated early exits from the recessions,” the president told the nation.
**If used please credit the writer and News Agency of Nigeria.
The Commissioner for Health in Anambra, Dr Afam Obidike, has called for attitudinal change of healthcare workers to improve patient care and service delivery in the state’s health institutions.
Obidike made the call on Monday in Awka at a training session for heads of state health facilities.
The training had the theme: “Achieving Universal Health Coverage Through the Health Worker Attitudinal Change”.
He said that poor attitudinal problem among health workers, particularly in the public sector could further endanger lives of patients, saying that the patient is central to any health policy.
“There is need to attitudinal change at every level of care.
“Health workers are in business only because of the patient they care for, and to ensure that patients are good health in terms of their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
“The Gov. Charles Soludo led-administration wants to reform the healthcare sector through training and retraining.
And this training is to change the negligent attitude of health workers at the health institutions,’’ Obidike said.
He said that such attitudinal change was vital to achieving universal health coverage as well as improving patients care and healthcare service delivery in the state.
The commissioner said that more healthcare professionals had been recruited to drive a functional and effective performance at primary healthcare centres and general hospitals in the state.
He said that a taskforce team had also been established to check indiscipline, truancy and corruption in the health system.
In his lecture, Dr Okechukwu Ugwu of the Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, said that regular trainings would help health workers conform with the ethics of the profession and international best practices.
In his remarks, Dr Abdulnasir Adamu, State Coordinator, World Health Organisation, commended the state government for organising the training and urged participants to be committed to discharge their duties.
Community- Based Organisations (CBOs) in Anambra have urged the use of the whistleblowing policy of the Federal Government to expose the social ills in the state.
Prof. Mercy Anigbogu of the Faculty of Education, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, made the call on Wednesday at Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area at a step-down training for some CBOs on whistleblowing policy as a tool for fighting corruption.
The training was organised by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) an NGO funded by McArthur Foundation.
Anigbogu, who was the guest lecturer, said that other than financial corruption, there were other vices affecting public safety and inhibiting development in the community The guidance and counselling expert said that the trainees should use their knowledge of the principles of whistleblowing to report corruption and other socially unacceptable behaviours, including gender violence, child rights abuse and drug abuse.
She said they should endeavour to maintain their anonymity status while giving out factual, verifiable and public interest information.
Anigbogu urged the trainees to use whistle blowing to expose the ills in the society, including corruption, rape, gender violence, child abuse and drug abuse.
On her part, Mrs Goodluck Ogbogu, a participant, said the training had further enriched their knowledge on how to hold public office holders accountable.
She said though the reward system was a welcome development it could not compare with the benefit of making people to execute rightly the jobs they were elected to do.
She praised AFRICMIL for bringing the awareness on whistleblowing to the grassroots while promising that they would put it to good use.
Mr Chris Azor, Chairman, Anambra State Civil Society Network, said the three-day step-down training across the three senatorial districts in Anambra was a successful one.
Azor commended the trainees for their active participation, noting that imbibing the principles would result in better governance in the communities.
Mr Godwin Onyeacholem, Senior Programme Officer, AFRICMIL, said the step-down training was to build public confidence for the whistleblower policy of the government.
Gov. Charles Soludo of Anambra, has called for a strategic partnership with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) toward the delivery of intervention projects in higher institutions in the state.
Soludo made the call during a visit to the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said such collaboration would bring about a more robust impact with regard to TETFund intervention projects in the state.
“We have a big dream, a big agenda to partner with you and other critical stakeholders to ensure we achieve desired results when it comes to TETFUND project.
“The Federal Government is a very critical player in this field of education; as we know, education is on the concurrent list.
The federal and states work together.
“The only way we can make it work for ourselves is to work together through collaboration, coordination and cooperation.
“I will like us to work together in a whole lot of areas we are interested in and in some years to come, we will be able to say with partnership with TETFund, we were able to deliver A,B,C, D,” Soludo said.
The governor commended TETFund for its various intervention projects across the country.
He said that the three state-owned tertiary institutions in the state, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University; Anambra Polytechnic, Mgbakwu; and College of Education, Nsugbe; were eager to welcome more intervention projects from TETFund. He, however, expressed concern over the growing number of tertiary institutions in the country, saying government might find it difficult to adequately fund them in the future.
“With the tertiary institutions going the way they are now, there are still questions and issues we are not asking.
“At some point, we are going to ask whether or how the government will be able to fund or adequately fund the number or the plethora of institutions.
“But in the interim, before we get there, TETFund has been filling the gap in terms of infrastructure in our tertiary institutions,’’ the governor said.
Soludo said that TETFund had done a lot in view of the limited resources available to it compared to the massive needs of the higher education sector.
He said, “Even if the Federal Government is to spend its entire capital budget on education, it will not be enough to address all the issues.
’’ Responding, Echono said the fund had continued to do a lot both in terms of infrastructure and academic content development.
He said that TETFund projects were everywhere in tertiary institutions in Anambra, especially at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, adding that the fund would do more in the state-owned institutions.
“In Anambra, you will see a lot of our presence but I admit at the level of state institutions, we need to do more.
“TETFund has put in place mechanisms through specialised training to ensure Nigerian graduates are easily employable.
“The fund has trained over 35,000 academic staff with the Centre of Excellence churning out cutting-edge research to meet Nigeria’s developmental needs,” he said.
Echono said that in the last 11 years, 35,000 academic staff had been trained in Masters and PhDs, saying that a lot had been done in the research component of its intervention.
He said that the fund was also working on the employability of graduates by linking the institutions with industries.
The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has set up a sustainable peace team to resolve the lingering impasse between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The former Secretary General of CVCNU, Prof. Michael Faborode, and the Co-coordinator of the team, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, through ‘The Sustainable Peace Team Working Paper’.
He said that the desire of the team was not to allow the current deadlock in the ASUU strike negotiations to take hold, as the toll of the strike on all stakeholders and the nation had been colossal.
According to him, to arrive at the final list, no serving vice chancellor or pro-chancellor is included and membership was based on record of service as recorded by the CVCNU.
He said that the team comprised of Prof. Jibril Aminu, former Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID); Emeritus Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI); Prof. Ekanem Braide, President, Academy of Science; and Dr Nkechi Nwagogu, former Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar (UNICAL).
Other members of the team are Prof. Joe Ahaneku, former Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK); Prof. Fatima Mukhtar, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse; and Prof. Akpan Ekpo, former Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo (UNIUYO).
Also in the team are Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), and Prof. Michael Faborode, former Secretary General, CVCNU and former Vice Chancellor, OAU.
“We should not fold our hands and watch our ‘house’ collapse on us as elders.
So, we should speak or act now.
“We do not have any other industry other than the university system.
“Whatever can be done to bring all the actors to reason and broker peace using the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee recommendations as the fulcrum, will be worth the effort.
“A lot had been done already and such patriotic efforts should not be wasted nor despised,” he said.
Faborode said that the “Peace Team of Elders” would operate under the auspices of the .
According to him, both the Federal Government and ASUU are being reached to accept the intervention of the independent team of elders.
“The Team will liaise with the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee to understand the basis of the elements of their proposals, and check with both the federal government and ASUU to identify the areas of concern and objection.
“Afterwards the team will brainstorm on how to mitigate the thorny areas and work with all the parties to bring the imbroglio to an amicable end in the interest of all concerned and the nation.
“The meetings and consultations will be mainly online by Zoom and perhaps finally face-to-face to safe costs once we make progress.
This is however subject to review as we proceed,” he explained.
Faborode said that the team had itemised some preliminary considerations that could shape parties understanding and way forward.
He said that this was because the deadlock in the crisis seemed to be getting more disturbing with the federal government maintaining a strong stance of “no-work, no-pay” and ordering ASUU to go back to work.
He said this had also made ASUU to firmly prolong the strike to become indefinite as both sides were unwilling to proceed with further negotiation or discussions.
“How do we engage with the Nimi Briggs committee?
I am personally in touch with the chairman, and he feels the outstanding issues are not insurmountable.
“These include federal government raising its offer of salary increase from 23% to may be 50% that will ensure a Professor receives up to N800,000 monthly as opposed to the negotiated N1.2 million.
“Also, the review of the decision on salaries during strike to a mid-position, not 0% nor 100% as ASUU wants.
How can we further this admonition to both sides?
“Fundamentally, the following facts should be noted: the subsisting condition of Nigerian higher education is unacceptable and inconsistent with the economic development roles envisaged for them.
“Things have been allowed to deteriorate for too long, This, must be halted by all as we embark on an integrated revitalisation agenda in the education sector, in the interest of our economic development,” Faborode said.
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to play its role in providing a sustainable solution of raising for the effective running of the universities.
Some civil servants in the South East have called for the reform of the National Housing Fund (NHF) to make the agency meet up its mandate of housing provision.They disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews while reacting to the impact of the NHF since its inception.In Enugu, a retired civil servant, Mr Vincent Okwor, said that the fund was meant to provide houses or loans for housing acquisition and other related issues.Okwor, a former Assistant Editor-in-Chief of NAN, said that in recent times, the fund had not met the requirements of civil servants and low income Nigerians it should be catering for.According to him, previously, it only takes three months to collect your NHF contribution and its interest after retirement; but today there is delay in this process and at times contributors are short paid.“The purpose of the fund is not being fulfilled and it needs some reforms for it to function exceptionally.“I collected my contributed money and its interest in three months about five years ago after retirement; but recently, a newly retired colleague went to the fund but was delayed and was about to be short paid.“It took him accosting the managers of NHF in Abuja and intervention of a friend working in the fund for his over N100,000 short payment to be restored,” he said.A serving civil servant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the fund had not lived up to its expectation as even civil servants getting simple housing related loans below N1 million was still challenging.“The fund mandate should be looked into again and see how to make it more functional and realistic.“Myself and some colleagues applied for a Home Renovation Loan in the fund for N1 million and we even paid N9,000 for the facilitation of the loan.“But till date close to a year, we have not heard from the agency office in the South-East whether the application is accepted or not.“So, the purpose of providing little loan, let alone a shelter for civil servants is not visible any longer,” he said.Other federal and state civil servants expressed dissatisfaction over non affordability and accessibility of houses built by governments.They said that the cost of accessing and acquiring the buildings were beyond their salaries, urging government to do something to alleviate their plight from becoming house owners.According to them, it is disheartening and painful that after working for 35 years, a civil servant cannot boast of personal house or land.In Abia, a federal civil servant and contributor to the scheme, Mrs Grace Okonkwo, said that the institution fell short of the expectations of its subscribers nationwide in spite of the monthly deductions from their salaries by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).Okonkwo said that she and her colleagues, who also subscribed, had not got the houses they were paying for.She said: “I’m not satisfied with NHF because deductions are made from my salary every month but I have nothing to show for it.“For those of us in the Abia office of the institution, it is only one person out of the lot that got a parcel of land in Abuja.“I think one of the challenges for us here in Abia is that there is no Federal Secretariat, where we can easily take our complaints to or make inquiries.” For Mr Patrick Ufomba, another contributor to the scheme, the purpose of establishing NHF is defeated.Ufomba said that to the best of his knowledge, not many civil servants have been able to access the fund to execute housing project.He said that he had spent over two decades in the federal civil service but cannot boast of having his own building.“It pains, especially when money deducted monthly from my salary for that purpose.At times, I feel defrauded because I cannot enjoy the benefit of the contribution.“The Federal Government is expected to build low-cost houses for civil servants, after which they deduct the money from their salaries.“Unfortunately, such projects are not seen, especially in states,” Ufomba said.A federal health worker, Mr Julius Eze, said that he applied for a Home Renovation Loan since two years ago but had yet to get any positive response.“I’m just disappointed that l have not been able to access the N1 million that I applied for since two years ago.“I met the necessary requirements from FMBN but no official response from the institution on the issue to date.“I wish that the relevant authorities would intervene so that civil servants can access the houses or get loans as and when due,” Eze said.A Deputy Director in the federal civil service described the scheme as a scam that should be investigated urgently.“I appeal to the EFCC and the Code of Conduct Bureau to beam their searchlight on NHF and tell Nigerian workers what is happening with their monthly contributions.“It is painful that a civil servant at my level would work for decades and not own a house of my own.“This is unacceptable.Something is fishing and management of the institution has explanations to make,” the lady said on the condition of anonymity.An official of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in Enugu who pleaded anonymity, urged the Federal Government to replicate same housing they built for workers at the Federal Capital Territory to states to enable workers at the state level to benefit.He said, “We only see from television of government workers who have benefited from the FG housing plans in Abuja.“It is sad that after retirement, one will be struggling to pay house rent, school fees for children and feeding.“The highest thing any government can do for its working force is to provide them with personal accommodation, adding that many retired civil servants die because they cannot afford house rent.A staff of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, who also pleaded anonymity, described Contributory National Housing Fund as a “fraud” explaining that in spite of the contributions, many civil servants found it difficult to access housing loans “I see it as a scam because the purpose of contributing is to enable workers own house but the house is not available for them while few ones built was beyond our reach.“This is a big challenge to civil servants that earn little; government should come to our aid,” he appealed.An Enugu State teacher who simply gave her name as Sabina, also appealed to governments and developers to reduce the price at which they sold houses to low income earners.She expressed dismay that civil servants in the state did not have houses of their own as well as accessing loans from the mortgage banks and other financial institutions.“How can a civil servant that earn N40,000 to N50,000 buy the lowest house they sell N5.5m, N10m and N15m,” she lamented.In Anambra, Mrs Chinwe Orizu, the state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, said that workers were yet to benefit from national housing fund they contributed over years due to non completion of the housing estate scheme in the state.Orizu said that the process of the scheme should be made open to the public for easy accessment of information to avoid a situation where contributors would miss the opportunity to own a house or get reimbursed.Mr Christian Beluchukwu, a retired civil servant, said that he never had a house nor being reimbursed the contribution he made while in service because of the tight process involved since no estate had been built by the government for her workers.Mrs Ada Okafor, a Chief pharmacist with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, said that years back, she filled a form regarding the process to claim a house based on their contribution but surprisingly, till date nothing had been done to actualise the goal.Mrs Pamela Igwe, a contributor with Purity FM, said that government should make the process to be transparent and easy to access for contributors.Igwe said that the idea was laudable as the condition of many civil servants were pitiable in housing area and appealed to controller in charge of Anambra national housing scheme to ensure that the projects were realizable.“This national housing scheme is doable, Lagos and Delta states have achieved it so Anambra can do better.“We need houses to be called our own so at retirement, we can rest from rent age,” she said.Meanwhile, Mr Iwuchukwu Okafor, Federal Controller, Federal Housing Sector, said that national housing scheme projects were ongoing in Anambra and that efforts were being made to complete them for commissioning.Okafor said that the national housing projects started since 2016 in the state at Isiagu Community Layout in Awka South Local Government Area of the state.He disclosed that the projects were done in three stages which involved site location, clearing and erecting of the building meant for all grades of workers.He explained that the stages entailed building of condominium which implies building a detachable structures that contains three bedroom flats , two bedroom and one bedroom flat for all grades of workers.“Primarily the process starts from interested worker picking up a form from the ministry and presenting proof of contribution amongst others which at the end of the verification exercise flats would be allocated based on the contributory value of each worker.Mr Chijioke Onyi, a supervisor with the federal ministry collaborated the claim of the controller and said that they were working hard to ensure the problem of housing in the state for civil servants were solved.Onyi said that some of the challenges they encountered include access road to the estate and expressed hope that attention would be given to that as soon as possible.However, some stakeholders in Ebonyi, have decried the lack of awareness from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) on the possible steps to access the housing fund in the country.The Stakeholders, in a separate interviews with NAN, said they did not know how to access the fund or have knowledge of where deductions from their salaries were being stacked.Mrs Chika Oko, a subscriber, said she had been seeing deductions from her salary but not fully aware of how or where to access the fund.“I am a contributor and I don’t know how to access the fund for the purpose of house ownership.“I am sure some people are just enriching themselves with people’s contribution, because I have not seen a contributor who have benefited before.“On houses built by the current administration, I have no idea and I do not think there is anything like that in the state because I have not heard,” Oko added.Mr Mike Chukwuka, a civil servant in the state, also blamed FMBN for lack of information on the Federal Housing Fund scheme.‘‘It is unfair that many civil servants do not know anything on how to access the fund even when their salaries are being deducted.We should blame FMBN that is managing the fund.“Yes, I am a contributor, and I have not had any need to access the fund.But I have a friend, who have benefited, but that was when the person retired.“FMBN should come out to educate people, especially on how to benefit to clear the negative impression by workers,” Chukwuka advised.Another subscriber and teacher, Mr Kennedy Okechukwu told NAN that he had not seen any house built for contributors in Ebonyi by the current administration in the past seven years.Okechukwu said that some of the challenges plaguing the scheme remained lack of information about the fund.“Many people are ignorant of the scheme and how to access it,” he added.A Retired Civil Servant, Mr Wilson Okereke, Former Deputy Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) said he was able to access the fund after his retirement.On challenge, Okereke said that he did not encounter any and added that the process was fast.He urged the people to stop the impatient conclusion about the housing fund scheme.“Yes, I benefited when I retired in 2020. I have no idea of anybody, who have benefited while in service,” he stated.In Imo, beneficiaries of the National Housing Fund (NHF) said the process of accessing the fund was seamless and devoid of unnecessary stress.A staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Michael Erondu, said the fund was a reasonable arrangement by the Federal Government but decried the bureaucratic process involved in accessing it.According to him, the stress associated with bureaucracy of procuring the loan from commercial banks is a far cry from what the Federal Government intended it to serve.Also contributing, a senior staff of the state ministry of Information, who pleaded anonymity, said that the state’s housing fund had gone moribund.The source, who hinted that the fund used to be operative before the start of the current administration, expressed confidence that it would be reinstated.It noted that the fund was seamlessly assessed when it was still available to workers, adding that it provided a viable platform for civil servants in the state to own a house.A retiree, Mrs Kate Ubochioma, said that she could not enjoy the Fund due to its unavailability throughout the period she worked.Ubochioma called on the state government to revive the fund for the benefit of civil servants, especially low income earners.However, a secondary school teacher, Mrs Chinwendu Ohaya, commended the Federal Government for the fund, adding that she had begun the construction of her own house.‘I accessed the fund from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and it was helpful.I am currently building my own house,” Ohaya said.Another beneficiary, Mrs Ngozika Hyacinth, said that the long duration for repayment of the loan negatively impacted her salary, amounting to almost infinitesimal amount.Hyacinth, who works as a nurse, called for a review of the initiative to guarantee a more citizen-friendly process and repayment system.On the other hand, Mr Anthony Uwa, who pleaded that the establishment should not be mentioned, called for an increase in government support to the fund to enable it serve its purpose.“It will help restore belief in the system and attract more potential benefits,” he added.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Disciplinary Committee of the Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria (RRBN), has suspended one Dr Anthony Ugwu, for two years over alleged professional misconduct.
Prof. Mark Okeji, the Registrar of RRBN, said this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
Ugwu is a lecturer in the Department of Radiography, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra and the owner of St. Michael Diagnostic Center, Nnewi, Anambra.
The Registrar said the board heard and determined a case against Ugwu, who was found guilty of contravening the code of conduct.
“Consequent upon the above, Ugwu has been suspended for the period of 24 months within which time he will cease from practising as a radiographer.
“He also ceases from being involved in radiograhy activities with effect from Aug. 5,’’ he said.
The registrar said that Ugwu was also ordered by the disciplinary committee to pay N1million to offset the incidentals incurred by the board.
He said that Ugwu refused to honour invitations by the Investigative Panel and Disciplinary Committee of the board and had allegedly posted several derogatory remarks about the board to a fellow senior colleague.
Okeji said Ugwu also had circulated an official letter of the board not addressed to him on the social media.
He said the committee found such acts as disrespectful, abusive, insulting, unwholesome and unbecoming of a professional.
According to him, the committee is established by the same Act that established RRBN and empowered to receive and attend to cases of misdemeanors, indiscipline and misconduct among members.
He said the act also gave directives on the disciplinary measures that should be meted out to erring members in the country.
“This is to ensure that members of the profession conformed to the ethics of the profession,’’ Okeji said.
He said that the committee’s decision showed that the board had taken one step forward to perform one of its functions.
He said the decision was an assurance to radiographers, patients and the general public that radiography practice was safe and handled by qualified professionals.