Why Lagosians should embrace health insurance- Sanwo-Olu

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Wife of the Lagos State governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has emphasised the need for Lagosians to get active about their health by enrolling in the state health insurance scheme.

Recall that the immediate past administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, launched the Lagos Health Insurance scheme in December 2018, with the aim to providing access to affordable and quality healthcare services to the growing population.

While the population of Lagos is estimated at over 21 million, health facilities in the state are seen in short supply, a development that meant that patients, especially in public health institutions, are put on waiting queue (in some cases, for upwards of three months) to see doctors, with most of the patients struggling to pay out of their pockets.

The state health insurance scheme backed by a law enacted by the State House of Assembly in May 2015, makes it mandatory for residents to enrol in the scheme, but since the launch, little or nothing has been achieved with the scheme.

But speaking on Monday during a medical mission by James Omolaja Odunmbaku Foundation in Ojodu area of Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said: “I must add that the health insurance scheme is a critical game changer in the effort of government to increase access to healthcare services as it is a known fact that out of pocket payment is a major factor that often time limits access to healthcare especially for indigents and other vulnerable persons in the society.

“As a medical doctor myself, I clearly understand the positive mileage we stand to gain if all residents sign on to the health insurance scheme which has been designed to cater for basic primary and selected secondary healthcare services for beneficiaries such as treatment and management of malaria, hypertension, common childhood illnesses, antenatal care services, delivery, … Read More...

Super Eagles eye three points against Guinea to reach Round of 16

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Nigeria will reach the Round of 16 of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt if the Super Eagles put the Syli Nationale of Guinea to the sword in their second match of the tournament on Wednesday. The match starts at 4.30pm Egypt time, which is 3.30pm in Nigeria.

Guinea’s unexpected 2-2 draw against debutants Madagascar on Day 1, for which both teams shared a point each, means any team that harnesses six points in Group B would most certainly progress to the knockout rounds.

The availability of France –based forward Samuel Kalu, who can also play as wing back, has provided further options for Coach Gernot Rohr for Wednesday’s clash between the fierce West African rivals at the Alexandria Stadium.

Kalu elicited jubilation to the Nigeria camp on Monday evening after further tests in Cairo cleared him to play at the AFCON 2019, following a scare after he fell during training session and was stabilised before being taken to hospital on Friday. The incident ruled him out of Saturday’s clash with Burundi.

Kalu can fit into the right side of the attack, where he dazzled against Seychelles on Mahe Island in a qualifying match in September 2018 and against Libya home and away the following month, and can equally hold firm as wing back, as he did against South Africa in the penultimate qualifier in November 2018.

While AFCON 2019 is Nigeria’s 18th appearance (Wednesday’s encounter will be their 88th match), Guinea is showing up here for the 13th time. Nigeria have won the title three times, finished in second place five times and picked up the bronze medals seven times. Guinea has only a runners-up place to show for their endeavour, back in 1976 when the tournament was held based on a league … Read More...

Senegal’s brewing oil and gas controversy reinforces need for Nigeria’s PIGB

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Cayar Offshore Profond and St. Louis Profond, two oil blocks in Senegal have caused controversy since 2012, when a previously unknown company called Petro-Tim was unexpectedly awarded the licence despite having no known track record in the industry.

Soon after, Aliou Sall, the president’s brother was hired at the company. Protests against the deal erupted in the capital Dakar in 2016 during President Macky Sall’s first term.

Now, a June 4 British Broadcasting Corporation’s report has awakened the ghost of this natural resource mismanagement controversy, which Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) was designed to limit by promoting transparency and accountability in oil licensing.

According to the BBC investigation, the award of the licenses to Petro-Tim and the transfer same to Timis Corporation and subsequent events exhibited at least three red flags, common in Nigeria too.

Unqualified company: Petro-Tim had no exploration experience and was incorporated up a few weeks after the contract was signed, according to the investigation.

Company payments to a politically exposed person: Timis Corporation employed the president’s brother and paid him $25,000 per month.

The BBC also reported a secretive payment from Timis Corporation to an offshore company owned by the president’s brother, though the company and the brother deny the payment ever existed. The BBC alleged that Timis in 2014 secretly paid $250,000 to a company run by Aliou Sall called Agritrans, based on a trove of documents it reviewed.

It said Timis also paid Aliou Sall $1.5 million in salary over five years for his work in Petro-Tim, the company that was originally given the blocks before Timis Corporation, and that he was also offered $3 million in shares in Timis companies.

Asset flipping: the winning company, Timis Corporation, sold the block for a large profit having made limited contributions … Read More...

Osinbajo woos global investors in power, agriculture, other sectors

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria remains the best place to invest given its market and enterprising population.

He listed Nigeria’s power sector as one of the most viable investment platforms amongst others available to foreign investors.

Osinbajo who is currently visiting the United States, stated this while interacting with interested investors and foreign policy experts on Nigeria’s economic prospects and related matters at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

With huge power generation and distribution gap, Nigeria’s population which is put at over 200 million, continued to suffer from poor electricity supply at less than 4,000 megawatts, according to the latest statistics.

Osinbajo said the potential, effort and impact being made by Nigerians in technology can enable the country roll out indigenous technology solutions that can transform the global space.

Osinbajo who stated that Nigeria is opening up the power sector, added that “We are asking power firms to come in and invest in end to end power supply. Power Africa – a USAID project has made a commitment of $110m over five years (2018 – 2023) to provide transaction support to the entire value-chain covering gas supply, distribution, transmission and generation activities with our population, and a market-driven power sector, so the next few years promise exciting prospects.

“This is also the case with other infrastructure. We are embarking on the largest investment in infrastructure in our history, welcoming private investments in concessions and projects rail, roads, airports, and other infrastructure.”

He disclosed that Nigeria has huge prospects also exist in investments in renewable energy, energy-efficient-processes and clean technology.

According to him “gas had been flared for almost 60 years by major oil companies but in 2017 government approved the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, designed to eliminate gas flaring through … Read More...

Buhari meets with members of Committee on State Judiciary, Legislature autonomies

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President Muhammmadu Buhari is currently meeting with members of the Presidential Committee on Autonomy of States Judiciary and Legislature.

The President had in December 2018 inaugurated the committee to work out modalities for the financial autonomy of the two arms of government at the States’ level.

The President had earlier received Elders of Nasarawa state, which included the Inspector General of the Police, Muhammad Adamu, led by the newly elected state Governor, Audu Sule.

The Governor while speaking with State House Correspondents, said they were at the Presidential Villa to thank the President for appointing their sons into the federal government positions.

Sule who gave the names of the appointees to include the IGP and the Director General of the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, Shuaibu Ibrahim, a serving Brigadier General in the Nigerian Army, expressed the state’s gratitudes to the President for the appointments

Details later….

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