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Politicians Building Flyovers For Showoff, Abandoning Education, Health – Ex-Minister

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A former Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, has urged politicians to invest in human capital development such as education and healthcare as much as they build roads, hospitals, and bridges.

Adewole, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, was a guest on Inside Sources with Laolu Akande, a socio-political programme aired on Channels Television on Friday.

The former minister lamented that there has been “undue emphasis on infrastructure” without commensurate human capital development. He said politicians build flyovers for exhibitionism because they want to have something to show to the people at the end of their tenure.

According to the scholar, that is not what is needed to develop Nigeria. Investment in infrastructure must not be at the expense of investment in education and efficient healthcare delivery, he said.

“The concept of investing in infrastructure is a critical strategy. The politicians who plan for four years, or eight years, do so because they want to show something off.

“A political leader will rather invest in flyovers than invest in education and health. They want to build new schools, new universities that have no teachers, and new facilities called hospitals without human resources (doctors and nurses), without drugs, without laboratories.

“We just want people to say during my tenure, I put that up, I constructed 200km of roads, I built a flyover from Kano to Kaduna. That’s what politicians want to show off but that is not what we need to develop our country.

“I am not saying we should not invest in infrastructure but let us be balanced,” he said, clarifying that good infrastructure such as roads and flyovers is pivotal to trade facilitation and economic growth.

Adewole, who was Nigeria’s health minister during the first term of the then administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, posited that investment in education eliminates some health challenges such as maternal mortality.

He said, “When you invest in agriculture, the return is either zero, minus, or at best $1 to $3 but when you invest $1 in immunisation, you can reap between $18 and $44. When you invest $1 in anti-tuberculosis-control programmes, you can reap as much as $70. When you invest in education, for God’s sake, you are eliminating so many things.

“I was looking at the maternal mortality rates a few days ago with a colleague and we realised that when you are educated, at least secondary school education, the maternal mortality, that is the number of women who die in pregnancy, labour, and thereafter, is at least 10 times lower than those who are not educated.

“When you educate the people, you invest in human capital development [and] this his multi-dimensional poverty we are talking about will disappear.”

He said as a minister, his greatest frustration was how to get state governors to invest in efficient healthcare delivery.

“Even in some states, what they do is to set up teaching hospitals and compete with the federal, which to me is a waste of resources,” the former minister said.

He said state governments do not need to compete with the Federal Government but go to the district level and establish functional hospitals with efficient and well-motivated workers.

Adewole, who urged governors to allow the local council areas to function as an independent tier of government, backed the persistent call for restructuring.

“I am an apostle of fiscal and physical federalism,” he said, adding that though it was late for a return to regionalism, states should be allowed to grow on their own in the areas of power generation just like Abia State.

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Tinubu Appoints Walson-Jack Head Of Civil Service

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Didi Esther Walson-Jack as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, with effect from August 14, 2024.

Prior to her new role, Walson-Jack was the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education.

She was also appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several ministries.

The announcement was contained in a statement on Wednesday by the President’s Special Adviser, Ajuri Ngelale.

The statement was titled ‘President Tinubu Appoints New Head of Civil Service of the Federation.’

“The new appointee will take over from the incumbent Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, who is due to retire on August 13, 2024.

“President Tinubu, while thanking the outgoing Head of Service for her stewardship, tasks the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation,” the statement read.

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PDP Governors Declare Support For Organized Labour Demand On Minimum Wage

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By Augustine Akhilomen

….Demand Political Solution To Rivers Crisis

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has declared their total support to the demand for a new minimum wage by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

This was made known following a marathon meeting in Enugu that lasted over four hours, Bauchi State Governor and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Bala Mohammed, addressed the press on behalf of his colleagues.

He called for a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Rivers State between Governor Sim Fubara and his predecessor, Nyesom Wike.

The governors also supported the federal government’s stance on granting autonomy to local governments.

The PDP Governors’ Forum vowed to work together to achieve their goals, providing a united front to reclaim leadership positions and provide a credible alternative to Nigerians.

The governors present at the meeting included Gov. Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State, Chairman, Gov. Siminalayi Fubara, Rivers State, Vice Chairman, Gov. Peter N. Mba (Host), Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Adamawa State, Gov. Umo Eno, Akwa Ibom State, Gov. Douye Diri, Bayelsa State, Member, Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori, Delta State, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, Edo State, Gov. Seyi Makinde, Oyo State, Gov. Caleb Mutfwang, Plateau State, Gov. Agbu Kefas, Taraba State and Gov. Dauda Lawal, Zamfara State

According to the communiqué, “The meeting deliberated on a wide range of issues that border on our critical national interest, the state of our party particularly the forthcoming congress, the unprecedented hardship faced by majority of Nigerians as a result of the dismal performance of the APC-led Federal Government, the minimum wage negotiations, and the recurring issue of inter-governmental relations with special reference to local government autonomy and funding.

“Following exhaustive discussions and consultations, the meeting resolved as follows: In the spirit of the founding fathers of our great party who adopted internal democracy as the fundamental principle on which our party was built, the congresses leading to the election of party leaders, at the various tiers, must be all-inclusive, transparent, fair and in strict compliance with the constitution of the party.

“To ensure the successful conduct of the congresses across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.”

On the off season elections in Edo and Ondo, the forum admonished all the parties to the elections “to ensure that campaigns are issues-based, violence-free and in strict compliance with the provisions of the electoral act.

“Urges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide a level playing field that guarantees transparent, fair and unimpeachable elections as any act of bias will be totally resisted.

“Urges Mr. President to show leadership as a true democrat by refraining from making any statement suggestive of political interference in the entire process.

“The Forum notes with dismay and grave concern the mismanagement of the economy by the APC-led Federal Government.

“The minimum wage negotiations are becoming unduly protracted. In the face of the attendant unprecedented hardship and impoverishment of majority of our people, the Forum resolves as follows:

“That Labour’s demand for a substantial salary raise is eminently justified and therefore commands the total support of the Forum

“While the Forum fully supports Labour’s demand, agreement must take into consideration the ability to pay by the local government, sub-national and federal government.

“While negotiations are ongoing, we appeal for restraint in both utterances and actions that could lead to the complete breakdown of law and order and ultimately, the collapse of the economy.”

The governors also took a stand on the Supreme Court judgement on local government autonomy, declaring that they believed in the efficacy of the local government system which ensures that governance is brought closer to the people as provided for in the constitution.

“Will continue to support the autonomy of the Local Governments as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Forum holds the Supreme Court in the highest esteem, and is committed to obedience to court orders. However, the Forum urges that implementation of the court decision must be done in a manner that does not create a trust deficit between the federal governments and sub-national governments while also ensuring that the system does not suffer,” they further stated.

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‘You Must Pay For Everything I Did For You’ – Kizz Daniel Makes Demand Amid Rumours Of Marriage Crash

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Nigerian singer, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, better known as Kizz Daniel, has requested a refund for all his expenses, amidst reports of his crashed marriage.

Recall that rumours made rounds online last week that Kizz Daniel’s marriage had crashed after his wife caught him with another woman in his studio.

In a post on his X handle on Wednesday, the singer listed the condition for anyone wanting to break up with him.

He wrote, “If you won breakup with me, Follow no My problem just pay me my PENSION $ For all the things I don do airtime, Gifts, The F**k etc then you can leave – BALACLAVA.”

Meanwhile, Kizz Daniel has opened up about why his latest single, ‘Double,’ was dedicated to his wife, who also featured as a vixen in the accompanying music video.

Recall that the new song showcases Daniel’s signature blend of afrobeat rhythms, infectious choruses and soulful melodies.

In a statement on Saturday, the ‘Woju’ crooner said the song is a celebration of love and double joy that comes with sharing it live with someone special.

Emphasising the reason for dedicating the song to his wife, the singer said the song also speaks to the beauty of partnership and family and hopes that the romantic anthem will resonate with his fans worldwide.

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