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UKANA WEST 2 COMMUNITY BASED HEALTH INITIATIVE (CBHI) UNIVESRAL HEALTH COVERAGE DAY 2019 COMMUNIQUE

UKANA WEST 2 COMMUNITY BASED HEALTH INITIATIVE (CBHI) UNIVESRAL HEALTH COVERAGE DAY 2019 COMMUNIQUE

A communique issued at the end of a one day policy dialogue with the “Keep the Promise: Achieving Universal Health Coverage through Primary Health Care” organized by Ukana West 2 Community Based Health Initiative (CBHI) in partnership with Akwa Ibom State Primary Health Care Development Agency (AKPHCDA), Policy Alert, Akwa Ibom State Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Akwa Ibom State Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and other health stakeholders.

PREAMBLE

In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 which emphasizes the need for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and healthcare funding in Nigeria. CBHI and its partners organized this year’s State Health Dialogue with the theme “Keep the Promise: Achieving Universal Health Coverage through Primary Health Care”. The policy dialogue, first in the series, attracted experts, policy makers, media and civil society organizations.

The Honorable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, declared the event opened. Keynote and opening speeches were delivered by Chief Michael Akpabio (Community Based Health Initiative, Board of Trustee Chairman), Dr. Martin Akpan (Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Primary Health Care Development Agency – AKPHCDA), Dr. Sylvester Agwai (State Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO) and Dr. Ekaette Mbah (Vice President Nigerian Medical Association, Uyo – NMA.

Dr. Olugbemi Motilewa (Head of Department, Community health Department, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) presented the lecture on “Achieving Universal Health Coverage through Primary Health Care”. There was a panel of discussion which was anchored by Dr. Anyiekere Ekanem (Chairman, Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Uyo) and the Panelist were Mr. Ekong Samuel (Secretary Red Cross Nigeria), Chief Michael Akpabio (CBHI, BOT Chairman), Dr. Martin Akpan (Chairman, AKPHCDA), Dr. Sylvester Agwai (State Coordinator, WHO), Dr. Ekaette Mbah (Vice President NMA), Dr. Nse Udoh (CSO), Dr. Eno Attah (Executive Secretary – AKSPHCDA), Mr. Emmanuel Ononokpono (National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS State Coordinator), Mrs. Grace Uyoe (State Secretary Primary Health Centre Directors), Mr. Peter Akpan (Director of Statistics Minsitry of Economic Development and Ibom Deep Sea Port), Mrs. Ekaette Kelvin (Traditional Birth Attendance Coordinator, Uyo) and other AKSPHCDA Board members.

At the end of the event, participants made the following observations and recommendations:

OBSERVATION
Low access to quality healthcare services Government current Health funding is not sufficient to attain universal Health coverage
PHCs requires the commitment of the government to increase utilization and achieve Universal health coverage.
Low qualify medical personnel in PHCs.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
•Government have a role to play in healthcare by providing policies through increase funding, renovation and equipment of facilities across the state.

•Government has been able to create agencies and manpower through massive recruitments, we demand that family planning units, Immunization programs , HIV counselling and Rapid Diagnostic test should be properly done and encouraged.

•The state health insurance bill should be assented to and political will should be encouraged to achieve Universal healthcare Coverage.

•Promote Advocacy and sensitisations at all government levels to increase commitments to Universal Health Coverage.

•Political commitment in improving rural health services should be encouraged by all stakeholders.

•To achieve UHC basic infrastructures, effective manpower should be put in place. Civil society organizations should be carried along in health issues and citizens’ participation should be encouraged.

•Stakeholders should collaborate with the health sectors and CSOs for effective policy implementation.

•Community health workers should be trained and sensitized on the right attitude to work.

•The ministry of economic development and productivity should consider an increase in health expenditure during budget planning and implementation.

•Health insurance coverage should be made compulsory at all levels of the sectors in other to achieve the call Universal Health Coverage
CSOs should also support in massive social sensitization and advocacy in communities to enable people from the communities embraced health insurance.

COMMITMENT
•Partnership among health stakeholders to achieve the UHC in the state to have the state health insurance bill assented to in the first quarter of next year.

•Ministry of Health to form Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) Committee immediately. Save One Million Lives (SOML) State Program Manager promised to continue to support PHCs and bring it to standard.

•The WHO State Coordinator promised to join in advocating for employment of more medical personnel in the state.

CONCLUSION
Health is a right, and we must ensure that services are universally available, accessible, affordable and of quality, and that they are provided without discrimination.

AKS RETIREES TAKE TO THE STREET OVER BACKLOG OF ENTITLEMENTS

AKS RETIREES TAKE TO THE STREET OVER BACKLOG OF ENTITLEMENTS

Akwa Ibom State Primary School retirees and Next of Kins of late retirees have frowned over the nonpayment of their entitlements calling on government to give prompt attention to their plight as they take to the street on a peaceful demonstration.

The retired Primary School Teachers and Next of Kin complained of non remission of Pension Arrears, Gratuities, Enbloc Pension, Promotion Arrears, 7.5% Deductions and Leave grants from Akwa Ibom State Treasury.

They lamented over their suffering as they match in pains in the blazing sun to Hilltop mansion to ask for their right.

AKWA UNITED COACH RESIGNS

AKWA UNITED COACH RESIGNS

In the aftermath of a disappointing eight match start to the 2019/2020 NPFL season by Akwa United FC, Head Coach of the team John Obuh has resigned his appointment “…with immediate effect “.

In a tersely worded four paragraph resignation letter addressed to the Chairman of the club and dated December 15th, 2019, the experienced coach regretted that his “decision to step aside was as a result of some level of discipline and insubodination by some of the players which has caused the team valuable points since the start of the season “.

Meanwhile the club has accepted the resignation with “mixed feelings”.

In a letter of acceptance, club secretary Comrade Omon Bassey expressed the “gratitude of the chairman, for service rendered to the club during your short stay with us.

“Yes, coaches take responsibility when things go awry, yet we can testify to the professionalism and discipline you brought to bear in the running of the club including your untiring belief in the God factor in the life of this great organisation. We will miss you” the letter stated.

Akwa United wished him well in his future endeavours, “even as we daily strive to restore the confidence of our numerous fans worldwide, especially the government and good people of Akwa Ibom State.

In another development and in a move to restore sanity, the club management has suspended one player indefinitely, while two are undergoing disciplinary related investigation.

STAKEHOLDERS APPROVE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BILL

STAKEHOLDERS APPROVE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BILL

Enwono-Abasi Elisha

Educational stakeholders, Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) and concerned Akwa Ibom persons say the Akwa Ibom State College of Science and Technology bill is timely as it will offer the State viable educational opportunities and openings.

These were contained in speeches during the Public Hearing organised by the Committee on Education, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Chaired by Hon. Godwin Ekpo representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, yesterday.

Declaring the event opened, the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey who was the Chairman of the event said the bill is very timely and will bring hope to the youth in respect to skills and vocational studies.

The Speaker who was represented by the member representing Ibesikpo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko said the bill when passed will position the State to benefit from donor agencies and 80% of Akwa Ibom persons would have been trained on skills.

“As one of the persons who visited the school, we met that school in a very dilapidated State and I don’t think any of us here can send our children to that School. We saw a whole lot of hope on the faces of the students and they saw Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as the only hope to get them out of the present predicament.

“So as an Assembly it behooves on us to do everything necessary to pass this bill into law.

“When this bill is passed one of the benefits include the teaching of Science and Technology. It behooves on the Assembly to upgrade the standard of the School so they can benefit from donor agencies as in other States of the country.”

The lead sponsor of the bill and the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Godwin Ekpo in his opening remark said that the bill when passed will be beneficial to the State and its citizenry.

“The new College shall produce Higher National(HND) and Ordinary National Diploma Certificates (OND) and other certificates as approved by NBTE. Also the College shall benefit from the support of Federal and State donor agencies.

“The proposed College is to take over the physical structures, assets, liabilities of the present Akwa Ibom State College of Arts and Science in Nung Ukim, Ikono Local Government Area.”

The Commissioner for Education Prof Nse Essien said in 1997 the College of Science and Technology started as a School of Remedial Studies but to meet with educational demand of the teeming youths for a post Secondary Education the institution was upgraded in 2003 to School of Art and Science. In April 2017, the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel by proclamation upgraded the School to the status of College of Science and Technology.

He went further to say the idea to upgrade the School was to restructure the School administratively and curriculum wise to be able to produce skilled and high technical manpower for rapid industrialization and development of the State. As a State the purpose will help in the industrialization drive at a long run.

The commissioner concluded that if the bill is not passed into law, the College might lost accreditation.

The Executive Chairman of Ikono LGA, Mr. Itoro Columba thanked the Committee for the special interest in reviving the college. He argued that the Committee should be explicit about the formation of the governing council and a native of Ikono should be a member of the council.

The Acting Provost of the college, Elder Vincent Essien commended the State Legislature for the move and noted that with the law in place the college will stand to gain a lot which will give a facelift to the educational sector of the State.

The Chairman of CLO in the State, Otuekong Franklyn Isong thanked the Assembly for the bill in place but urged the Committee to expunged the section which gives the Rector utmost power to expel a student from school.

Other members of the 7th Assembly present at the event included; The Leader, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian (Oruk Anam); Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong (Ini); Rt. Hon. Mark Esset (Nsit Atai); Hon. Asuquo Nana (Ikono); Hon. Kufre Edidem (Itu); Hon. Anietie Eka (Uyo) and Hon. Udeme Otong (Abak).

N-POWER TO RELIEVE 2000 AKWA IBOMITES

N-POWER TO RELIEVE 2000 AKWA IBOMITES

Enwono-Abasi Elisha

About 2000 beneficiaries from Akwa Ibom State origin in Stream-A of N-Power are to leave the program at the end of this month in Akwa Ibom State with hope for an exiting plan by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The State Focal Person of Social Investment Program (SIP), Dr. Godwin Akpan dropped the hint in his office yesterday.

According to him, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment informed the forum of Focal Persons during a Review Meeting of the Program last week at Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort.

“The recruitment was supposed to be for two years after which you exit the program. I believe the Federal Government has worked out an exist plan for them.

“The Special Adviser to President on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais said this to the forum of Focal Persons at Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort that 2000 beneficiaries will be withdrawn from the program in Akwa Ibom State.”

He however called on N-Power beneficiaries to exercise patience as their arrears of two months allowance will be paid with that of December due to the internal arrangement in the office of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs which now oversees the program. The program was formally a desk in the office of the Vice President.

The Review Meeting was attended by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Madam Sadiya Umar Farouq and other key government officials from Akwa Ibom State Government for an intensive review of the program.

On National Home Grown School Feeding Program, the State Focal Person of SIP, Dr. Akpan said the State was firm about its report on the rejection of National Bureau of Statics figure of Public Schools in the State which was grossly below the number.

The outcome of the Bureau’s validation exercise reduced the figure of cooks from 2,682 to 1,436 which also affected the cash inflow to the State.

He called on FG to come back to the State for a revalidation exercise of pupils of Public Schools from Primary 1-3 whom the program is currently feeding. The State Office of SIP also pleaded that the FG should upgrade the N70.00 per Child per day formula so that a child can be fed properly comparing it with the cost of food items in the market.

The Focal Person also frowned at the activities of some persons who go about extorting money from the cooks in the name of monitoring.

“Touting do exist in the program. People go about in the name of monitors and fraudulently get money from the women. Meanwhile, I appealed to the women not to be desperate about anything. Whatever you don’t understand ask questions. This office does not ask the women to pay any amount of money.”

The office has help lines which are always opened for enquiry on issues concerning the program.

On Conditional Cash Transfer, the Focal Person said the money is for the very poor women in the local communities which is to boost their lives. He added that the process has been concluded and ID cards issued to the beneficiaries and the first batch will begin to get their package of N5,000.00 each from Dec, 4th 2019 through 6th December.

Concerning the Trader Money, the SIP office said the program has not folded up but the Federal Government is looking for a better way to make the money reach the market women. It is to encourage women in business and to form cooperative.

Meanwhile, the office has made known the FG readiness to make the program sustainable through governments as the Senate is making enabling laws to empower the program. It has also been made clear that programs annexed to SIP has no political party affiliation as it is meant for every Nigerian.

REPRESENTATION IS BEYOND PARTY-LINES – HON. EFFIONG JOHNSON

REPRESENTATION IS BEYOND PARTY-LINES – HON. EFFIONG JOHNSON

Enwono-Abasi Elisha

The Member representing Mbo State Constituency in the Seventh Assembly, Hon. Effiong Johnson said his coming to the State Legislature is to give support to State building and that of his Constituency which is more paramount than party-line.

The Mbo Lawmaker said this in his office, yesterday.

“I am not coming here to fight anybody. I am coming to work with my colleagues to move Akwa Ibom forward. Most especially the people of Mbo. Governance is beyond party lines. It is about building Akwa Ibom and my community.”

He said the many problems plaguing the area from poor road network to insecurity needs a selfless representation which should not sacrifice the people’s interest on the altar of politics.

Further speaking, Hon. Johnson said if urgent attention is given to road infrastructure in the area, a major road linking the area and Port Harcourt would have been in good state and the stress reduced for travelers to get through Oron before coming to Mbo from Port Harcourt. He hopes that Odesi Community which bemoans poor state of road infrastructure will have succour.

The Lawmaker said his office is open to all, party-lines not withstanding and he also extends hand of fellowship to all stakeholders across party-lines in Mbo including his predecessor for the development of Mbo Local Government Area.

It could be recalled that after the Court of Appeal Judgment seated in Calabar last month, certificate of return for Mbo State Constituency was withdrawn from Hon. Asuquo Frank of PDP and given to Hon. Effiong Johnson of APC.

However, on December 3, 2019 the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly presided over by Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey inaugurated Hon. Effiong Johnson into 7th Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

How Udom Inoyo Feeds the Multitude Sustainably

How Udom Inoyo Feeds the Multitude Sustainably

By Inam Wilson

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

One of the few non political office holders I know who understands and has applied this strategy in philanthropy to good effect is Udom Uko Inoyo, currently serving as the Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria. Inoyo has a large philanthropic heart but faced with the stack reality that all his earnings cannot satisfy the short term needs of people around him, rather than distribute the meagre resources (compared to the size of the mouths to feed) as “handouts” and “tokenism”, Inoyo, in 2007, set up the Inoyo Toro Foundation.

The Foundation has since its inception served as a veritable platform to recognize, encourage and motivate public secondary school teachers as well as provide mentorship to students in such public secondary schools.
In 2014, Inoyo opened a library in his village, Ikot Okoro Ubium, to provide learning aids, create access to research materials and develop reading and writing skills among secondary school students.

Inoyo’s investment in education through his Foundation is in recognition of the statement of Benjamin Franklyn that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. Inoyo clearly recognizes the importance of teachers in creating a spark in the minds of their students and moulding their students to dream big. As someone once said, “the dream to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, IT specialist, app developer, inventor, musician, etc. begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs, pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick”

The cumulative effect and benefits of Inoyo’s investments in education is that millions of the beneficiaries will learn how to fish and provide for themselves and generations of their families in a more sustainable way.

For those who say, “Udom Inoyo isi noho owo nkpo” (Udom Inoyo does not give handouts), my unsolicited response on behalf of Inoyo is that this attitude shows Inoyo’s respect for human dignity and in his belief that it is more useful in the long run to teach a man how to fish and feed himself for life than to give him fish to eat for only a day after which the beneficiary becomes hungry again. More importantly, by virtue of his educational, professional and career training and exposure , Udom Inoyo holds himself accountable to God for the efficient management of the resources at his disposal.

He believes in encouraging people to work hard and earn their passage in life rather than live as parasites bereft of dignity and self respect.

I believe that if a man like Udom Inoyo is interested in political office and has the chance to serve, he has the capacity , experience and the right leadership pedigree to engender good governance. He can work to transform Akwa Ibom to a modern industrial and technology hub that provides employment opportunities for our ever growing youth population. Inoyo in Akwa Ibom can create a niche economy that can compete, if not outpace Lagos by exploring the significant economic and social opportunities that digital technologies offers.He can attract investments in new technologies to bring about economic growth, well-paying jobs, improvements in quality of life, increased connectedness and accessibility to the national and international markets.

Inam Wilson is a Lagos based legal practitioner.

POLICE TRAINING TO BOOST CRIME COMBAT

POLICE TRAINING TO BOOST CRIME COMBAT

The Inspector General of Police, Akwa Ibom State, CP Imohimi Edgal has been commended for organising a 5-day IGP Tactical Police Krav Maga training which will boost Police Officers efficiency to combat crime in the State.

The Managing Director of Hensek Engineering Services, Engr. Uwem Okoko applauded the  Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu for the formation of IGP Special Tactical Squad, describing it as one of the most successful unit in the Nigeria Police.

He made this known in Uyo during the closing ceremony of a 5-day IGP Tactical Police Krav Maga training for officers at the weekend.

Engr. Okoko who was a Special Guest of Honour said, “I want to commend the IG for the formation of this special squad”.

“I want to equally thanked the leader of this unit and his men for joining hands with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal to make Akwa Ibom safe”.

According to him, some of the achievements recorded by the Nigeria Police Force in the state can be credited to the special squad.

Reacting on behalf of the trainees, DSP Uche Okoye thanked the Commander of the IGP Special Tactical Squad, Uyo Sector, SP Julian Igbudu for organising the training for them, saying “we have learnt a lot from the practical session since Monday”.

He said the training will enhance their approach towards combating crimes in the society.

On his part, the Commander of the IGP Special Tactical Squad, Uyo Sector, SP Julian Igbudu, thanked the IGP for approving the training for his officers, and promised to use the various tactics learnt during the training.

While thanking the State Commissioner of Police for giving the enabling environment, SP Igbudu noted that the IGP was committed to training its officers to be able to carry out their duties effectively.

He said the training was part of a holistic reform to get police personnel adequately equipped to discharge their duties.

 

AK- ASSEMBLY TO FAST TRACK PASSAGE OF N597B BUDGET OUTLAY FOR 2020 …IBOM DEEP SEAPORT OPERATIONAL WITHIN FOUR YEARS

AK- ASSEMBLY TO FAST TRACK PASSAGE OF N597B BUDGET OUTLAY FOR 2020
…IBOM DEEP SEAPORT OPERATIONAL WITHIN FOUR YEARS

Enwono-Abasi Elisha

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has promised to play needed legislative role that will ensure the passage of N597billion budget size of 2020, without delay.

The Speaker of the 7th Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey said this in his speech, yesterday, after the presentation of the 2020 fiscal estimate by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.

The House however charged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to give utmost cooperation to realise the speedy passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill of the State.

“For the House to conclude deliberations in this budget speedily, let me charge the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to please ensure they provide all the necessary supporting budget data and stick to the time table that will be announced by the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance.”

The Speaker also assured the Governor that through its representative, legislative and oversight functions, 2020 budget will deliver on its promises to stimulate the economy of the State.

Meanwhile, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel during the 2020 budget presentation promised that Ibom Deep Sea Port will be operational within the lifespan of his administration.

“The activities and regulatory processes towards the development of the Ibom Deep Sea Port is ongoing, with God on our side, the Ibom Deep Sea Port will be operational within the lifespan of our Second Term in office.”

From the N597.800 billion budget outlay N111.225b is for Recurrent Expenditure, N369.642b is for Capital Expenditure while N116.993b is for Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges.

According to 2020 budget tagged “The Budget of Industrialization for Poverty Alleviation Phase II,” premium has been given to the educational sector by allotting the sum of N11.45b to the sector.

It is also the resolve of the Government through its budget to build more industries and attract more Foreign Direct Investment to the state while consolidating ongoing programs and projects in other sectors of the economy.

Focus is also on the completion of Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene which is 98% ready and Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre.

LG TOUR: UKANAFUN COUNCIL TO GET REHAB CENTRE FOR REPENTANT CULTISTS

LG TOUR: UKANAFUN COUNCIL TO GET REHAB CENTRE FOR REPENTANT CULTISTS

Enwono-Abasi Elisha

The Chairman Ukanafun LG Council, Hon. Uko Idiong has disclosed that Akwa Ibom State Government is almost concluding on the construction of rehabilitation centres for repentant cultists who used to terrorize the area.

He said this when House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs led by Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency visited the Council yesterday.

According to the Chairman, “We hope the Government of Akwa Ibom State to conclude work on the two colleges to be used as a rehabilitation centre to get them trained on trade and skills so they be useful to themselves and society.”

The Chairman also said that the sum of N100,000.00 is being paid to casual staff monthly to cut grasses and keep the Council premises clean.

“We spend N100,000 per month for casual staff to be cutting grasses in the premise and keep the environment clean.

“We have paid close to N5million to the repented cultists who rampaged the area and for a year now, we have experienced peace in Ukanafun and we gather every Monday on Solemn Assembly to thank God for what he has done,” the Chairman said.

In Oruk Anam Council, the Committee met the Vice Chairman, Rt. Hon. Edwin Udofa who represented the Executive Chairman who was absent on health grounds.

In the last two years since inception of office of the present leadership, the Vice Chairman said they have built skill acquisition centre at Udua Anwa to the tune of N2.5m. Also, foundation has been laid by the administration for a Sport Academy.

However, the Committee invites Oruk Anam LG Council to House of Assembly on Friday, 18th October 2019 by 10am. They are asked to come with all Principal staff and list of projects they have embarked upon.

The committee urged the Council Chairman to ensure that utility vehicles are given to Principal officers of the Council to assist their work.

The Committee also visited Ika and Etim Ekpo LGAs same day.

At Etim Ekpo, the Committee commended the Chairman, Hon. Udeme Eduo for engaging in policies that encourages peace and order in the area.

The Chairman was urged to continue in the strife of consolidating on the gains of the Council which is ideal for development.

Other members of the committee who were part of the tour are; Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Denis – Etinan; Rt. Hon. Godwin Ekpo – Ibiono Ibom; Rt. Hon. Charity Ido -Ukanafun; and the Committee clerk, Mrs Uduak Okon.