Elevator Tragedy: Lagos NMA Declares Indefinite Strike in Three Hospitals; Labour Agrees to Resume Negotiations with FG | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Elevator Tragedy: Lagos NMA Declares Indefinite Strike in Three Hospitals
  • Labour Agrees to Resume Negotiations with FG
  • President Tinubu Sends List of 19 New Ministerial Nominees to Senate
  • Nigeria Cuts Off Electricity Supply to Niger Republic Following Coup
  • Dele Alake Pledges to Support Strengthening of Social Media Regulations if Appointed Minister

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

Elevator Tragedy: Lagos NMA Declares Indefinite Strike in Three Hospitals

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Lagos State chapter has taken a grave step by declaring an indefinite strike in three hospitals after the tragic death of one of its members, Dr. Diaso Vwaere, in an elevator accident. The unfortunate incident has raised concerns about the safety and preparedness of medical facilities in the state.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the NMA Chairman, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu, and Secretary, Dr. Ismail Ajibowo, Dr. Diaso Vwaere was trapped in the elevator for more than 40 minutes before being rescued. The association expressed deep regret and sorrow over the loss of their colleague and described the incident as avoidable.

The NMA statement highlighted a troubling issue related to the availability of blood for resuscitation. It revealed that there was no blood readily available for the critical procedure, and this has been an ongoing concern due to a government policy change on blood donation. The association believes that such issues have contributed to avoidable fatalities, making Dr. Vwaere’s death even more tragic.

In the aftermath of the tragic incident, the NMA has called for thorough investigations to ascertain the circumstances that led to the elevator crash and the delayed rescue. The association demands justice for Dr. Diaso Vwaere and emphasizes the need for accountability in ensuring the safety and well-being of medical professionals within healthcare facilities.

As a mark of respect and mourning for their departed colleague, the NMA declared five days of mourning. The association’s members expressed their condolences to Dr. Vwaere’s family and colleagues, expressing solidarity during this difficult time.

In a significant move, the NMA directed all doctors in the three government hospitals on the island—GH Lagos, LIMH, and MSCH—to commence an indefinite strike action. The strike aims to bring attention to the serious issues affecting the safety and working conditions of medical professionals and the urgent need for improvements.

The NMA’s decision to go on strike is a powerful demonstration of their commitment to ensuring the well-being and safety of healthcare workers in Lagos State. The association seeks not only justice for their fallen colleague but also comprehensive reforms to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

The tragic incident serves as a wake-up call for the Lagos State Government to address critical gaps in healthcare infrastructure and policies. Prompt action and transparent investigations are necessary to address the concerns raised by the NMA and ensure the safety of healthcare workers and patients alike. The government must prioritize the welfare of medical professionals who tirelessly serve the public and take necessary steps to prevent avoidable tragedies in the future.

See the full statement below.

Labour Agrees to Resume Negotiations with FG 

In a significant development, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have jointly resolved to resume negotiations with the Federal Government, aiming to address what they perceive as “anti-poor people policies.” The announcement came in a statement issued on Wednesday by NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC President Festus Osifo. This decision follows nationwide protests triggered by successive fuel price hikes due to President Bola Tinubu’s decision to end subsidies on petrol, a policy that has persisted for decades.

The breakthrough in the impasse between the government and the labor unions occurred after NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC President Festus Osifo held a closed-door meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa. Following the meeting, the labor unions expressed satisfaction with the commitments made by the President.

“We have decided for a return to a new and reinvigorated dialogue process to allow for full implementation,” stated the joint statement by Ajaero and Osifo. “On the strength of the President’s pledge and commitment, we thank Nigerians while we wait for the Government to fulfill its own part of the understanding as agreed with His Excellency; the President.”

According to the labor leaders, the President’s willingness to meet with them in a closed-door session was a clear indication of the success of the nationwide protests. They described the engagement with President Tinubu as fruitful, noting that he expressed his commitment to restructuring the framework for engagement based on the input of the labor leaders.

During the meeting, President Tinubu also made some significant promises. He assured the unions that the Port Harcourt Refinery would resume production by December of the current year, providing hope for addressing the issue of petroleum product availability and pricing.

Additionally, President Tinubu pledged to work towards reaching an agreement on the Wage Award for Nigerian workers without delay, addressing the demands of the labor unions for better wages and improved working conditions.

In a move towards sustainable energy solutions, the President also promised to unveil a workable roadmap for adopting Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel next week. This aligns with the nation’s efforts to explore cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy sources.

With the commitment from President Tinubu and the decision by the NLC and TUC to resume negotiations, there is renewed hope for finding a middle ground on contentious policies affecting the welfare of the Nigerian people. The upcoming discussions are expected to be crucial in shaping the future course of the nation’s economic and social policies. As both sides gear up for the dialogue process, the entire nation awaits the outcomes with keen interest, hoping for resolutions that serve the interests of all stakeholders.

See the full statement below.

President Tinubu Sends List of 19 New Ministerial Nominees to Senate

In a significant move, President Bola Tinubu has submitted an additional 19 names to the Senate for ministerial screening, following the initial nomination of 28 candidates. The announcement was made by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, during a session on Wednesday. This marks the second batch of nominees sent by the President, after the first 28 names were presented last week.

The new list of ministerial hopefuls comprises four former governors and various other renowned politicians. With the inclusion of these 19 names, the total number of nominees now stands at 47, reflecting the President’s careful selection process.

Among the prominent figures on the list are Ahmed Tijjani, Bosun Tijjani, and Maryam Shetti, whose qualifications and backgrounds are likely to undergo rigorous scrutiny during the Senate’s screening process. Other notable names include Ishak Salako, Tunji Alausa, and Tanko Sununu, all of whom are expected to face comprehensive evaluations of their credentials.

Former governors who have made the cut include Adegboyega Oyetola, Atiku Bagudu, Bello Matawalle, and Ibrahim Geidam. Given their previous executive experience, these nominees may bring valuable insights to the federal cabinet if confirmed.

In addition to the former governors, the list features Simon Bako Lalong, Lola Adejo, Shuaibu Abubakar, Tahir Mamman, and Aliyu Sabi, each of whom has a track record in public service that will likely come under close scrutiny during the Senate’s assessment.

Completing the list are Alkali Ahmed, Heineken Lokpobiri, Uba Maigari, and Zephaniah Jissalo, each bringing their own unique qualifications and perspectives to the pool of nominees.

President Bola Tinubu’s choice of candidates reflects his commitment to assembling a diverse and competent team to lead the country. The Senate’s screening process will be a crucial step in ensuring that the final selection represents the interests of the Nigerian people.

As the nation awaits the outcomes of the screenings, the spotlight remains on the candidates, whose qualifications and suitability will be assessed to determine their potential impact on the country’s future.

Nigeria Cuts Off Electricity Supply to Niger Republic Following Coup

The Nigerian Government has made a significant move by cutting off electricity supply to Niger Republic in response to the recent military coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum. T

The decision was taken following an emergency meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), during which sanctions were imposed on Niger, including freezing utility services, as reported by Daily Trust.

BBC reports indicate that the cities of Maradi, Zinder, and Niamey in Niger experienced power for about an hour before facing power outages for up to five hours. This development is highly unusual for Niger, a country that typically enjoys regular and reliable electricity supplies.

Niger Republic heavily relies on Nigeria for approximately 70 percent of its electricity supply, which is primarily generated from the Kainji Dam. The sudden cut-off of power from Nigeria has significant implications for the neighboring country’s energy needs and may have far-reaching effects on various sectors of its economy.

The military junta’s ousting of the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, has drawn condemnation from the international community, particularly from ECOWAS member states. The regional bloc swiftly convened an emergency meeting to address the political situation in Niger and took decisive actions to exert pressure on the new military government.

For now, the situation remains fluid, and the people of Niger await the resolution of the political crisis that led to these decisive actions by ECOWAS and Nigeria. The international community’s collective response will be crucial in shaping the country’s path forward and its future relations with its neighbors, particularly Nigeria.

Dele Alake Pledges to Support Strengthening of Social Media Regulations if Appointed Minister

Dele Alake, a presidential spokesman and one of President Bola Tinubu’s 28 ministerial nominees, has expressed his support for strengthening social media regulations if appointed as the Minister of Information and Culture. Alake, who hails from Ekiti State, appeared before the red chamber for his screening on Wednesday, the third consecutive day of the exercise.

Having previously served as a Commissioner of Information and Strategy in Lagos State during Tinubu’s governorship from 1999 to 2007, Alake brings a wealth of experience to the table. As a longtime ally of Tinubu, he also served as the President’s spokesman and was now nominated as a minister.

During his screening, Alake emphasized the importance of value reorientation from the family level to the national level. He advocated for serious attitudinal change, which he believes is necessary for societal development.

In response to questions from lawmakers, Alake discussed the concerns surrounding social media regulations, both in Nigeria and around the world. While acknowledging that social media has positive aspects, he also highlighted its detrimental impact on society.

Alake stated, “The downside of social media is that it is detrimental to a good and decent society.” He expressed support for the strengthening of regulations to address the negative effects of social media. He believes that existing laws that guide human conduct should be better applied, particularly in cases of libel, aspersions, defamation, and other harmful content spread through social media.

The nominee emphasized the need for the proper application of existing laws and regulations to combat harmful online behavior. He urged victims of social media abuse to take legal action against perpetrators, encouraging the full cooperation of relevant authorities in addressing such issues.

Alake pledged his commitment to support any legislative action from the National Assembly aimed at promoting responsible social media usage and ensuring the application of relevant laws. He assured the lawmakers of his full cooperation in matters concerning value reorientation and the responsible use of social media.

As the screening process continues, Nigerians will eagerly await the outcome and the confirmation of Dele Alake as the Minister of Information and Culture, should he be deemed fit for the role. His stance on social media regulations will likely spark further discussions and debates about the appropriate balance between freedom of expression and the need to curb harmful content on social media platforms.

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