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    Is the diaspora now about rubbishing those at home?

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    By Professor Toyin Falola

    I am so sad as I write this. I never knew that things will become so bad. Immigrant scholars in the US have now become like the Europeans in 19th century Africa, the colonizers who saw nothing good about the continent. This is now the intellectual stuff on the Internet. I have read five in the last three days. I am currently reading a book manuscript that thrashed the entire academic culture in Nigeria. It was submitted to Routledge. Of course, I have asked them not to publish it, which means nothing as another publisher will do.

    How did things get to this? You are supposed to empower your people, not destroy them. Statements to uplift and upgrade are different from statements to ridicule. We all criticize, even we criticize family members but not that we want to push them to the mouth of the lion.

    Sam and Professor Ogunyemi are on this list, and they can attest to what I want to say next. Using the platform of the African Union, I launched a public criticism of this Africa-is- bad orientation. The President of the Association of African Universities was there. I followed it up with a long memo to the African Union that they should change the nature of the engagement with the diaspora. At that meeting:

    I insisted on the formation of Africa-based journals sponsored by the AU. Some said publicly Africans cannot run journals! The next day, Sam and I held a meeting with the Commissioner in charge of higher education and they asked for a proposal. As I do too many things, I have not been able to follow up.
    If people from the US go to Africa and are asked to teach, those from Africa must also teach when they come to the US. Many of you based in Africa may not know that you are not allowed to teach in many schools in the West. No need for names, and no need to talk about my own fights.

    African scholars in the diaspora talk down on their colleagues. I said in public that most of them teach in schools that are far below any Nigerian public University. How can someone from a US Tier 2 school be talking down on professors at the University of Ibadan? Ask Professor Ogunyem and Oloruntoba how they went after me. Someone from a tier 3 schools goes to Legon and he is talking as if he is better than them. Someone from a tier 2B school goes to the University of Lagos and making himself appear better than them, when they don’t even the promotion criterion does not expect him to write a book. Someone who has no PhD student and has not produced one will go to the University of Abuja to lecture people how to mentor students.

    The debasement of the African inputs to scholarship—they publish thrash, their English is bad, they don’t understand concepts, they don’t understand theories, they are serial abusers, they are rapists, etc.

    The tragedy in this new anti-Africa orientation is that they come from those produced in Africa who came for their PhDs here. It is now becoming a pandemic to destroy Africa.

    Professor Ochefu asked me for a paper on the contributions of the Nigerians in the Diaspora to Nigerian history. I reframed it for him. In cumulation, and I am not exaggerating, we still cannot evaluate the contributions of this generation of African scholars in the diaspora. Social media has given them a platform to exaggerate their claims. I have yet to see several books that advance the agenda of the African ion building from this group of scholars. They write for white people, not for Africans.

    I became a full professor in 6 Western universities on the basis of the work I did at Obafemi Awolowo University. I say it in pubic; I say it in writing. Of course, we had our own fight, which is always about the incapacity to tolerate dissent and recognize brilliance. But what is now the point in collecting first degrees in Africa, coming to the West for PhDs and turning against those institutions?

    At home, we don’t pay back. We don’t honor the high schools that we attended. We don’t honor the universities we attended. We don’t honor the past. We don’t celebrate good people but worship bad people. We are now paying a very heavy price.

    The fight against this anti-Africa orientation must begin in Africa.

    ** Prof. Falola is an Emeritus Professor of History and African Studies

    Source: TCN

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    Opinion

    Foreigners patronizing private hospitals in Nigeria-NMA

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    Foreigners patronizing private hospitals in Nigeria-NMA

    Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has confirmed that some foreigners have taken interest in the quality of health care services being provided by some private health care facilities in Nigeria, hence the increased patronage of such facilities by the foreigners.

    Its President, Dr. Audu Bala, told journalists at a press conference, in Abuja, on Wednesday, that the patronage by foreigners from different countries of the world is an indication of the growing confidence and trust in the health care services in Nigeria as championed by the private sector.

    He said: “private sector, all over the world, play critical role in providing quality health care services to the people. Nigeria, undoubtedly, has a very high medical tourism rate. Nigerians visit medical facilities in different countries in search for quality health care services.

    “To this end, it’s important to adequately engage the private sector to turn the medical tourism in favour of Nigeria. There are several key players that have invested heavily and had left a landmark in the quality of care they provide to the people.

    “There are number of private health care facilities that receive patients from other parts of the world. So, additional investment and support for the private health care facilities would go a long way, and also champion the campaign for the reversal of medical tourism in Nigeria.”

    He made reference to recent proposal by the Association for the establishment of the National Tertiary Health Care Development Fund that will function like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in the education sector.
    “This will enable the government to provide adequate funding for the tertiary health institutions. It will also open additional gateways that will even support the private sector access fund with low interest rate,” he said.

    Reacting to the recent corruption index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the NMA President faulted the report, insisting that his members have and had maintained high level of integrity and respect in their interactions with patients in the hospital.

    He said: “The report placed the rate of bribery amongst adults who accessed healthcare services in public hospitals at very minimal percentage. We are working to reduce the figure to the bearest minimum.

    “The fact that services of Doctors and Nurses in public sector is the least corruptible is the attestation to the integrity and ethics within the health sector.”

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    Uzodinma’s infrastructural development will attract investors, tourists – Imo lawmaker

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    Uzodinma’s infrastructural development will attract investors, tourists – Imo lawmaker

    Johnleoba Iheoha, representing Ikeduru State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, and chairman, House of Assembly Standing Committee on Industry and Commerce, has said that the South East geopolitical zone would witness an upsurge of investors and tourists from within and outside the country when the ongoing works at the Nekede Imo International Market and the Assumpta Roundabout flyover are completed.

    Johnleoba, who spoke to newsmen, had described the Imo International Market, Nekede, located along Port Harcourt Road, as an outstanding business outfit that will help to position the state as an investment hub within Sub-Saharan Africa.

    The Imo legislator noted that the international market is an expansive market with the capacity to accommodate thousands of traders and allied workers in various trades and businesses.

    As he inspected the ongoing construction work at the Assumpta Roundabout flyover, said that the flyover would not only be an added glamour to the beauty of Owerri, but will go a long way to enhance free flow of traffic.

    He also spoke on the ongoing state-owned electricity power generation project at Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, saying that it would help the state to be self-sufficient in power generation and supply, which he saw as a prelude to industrial revolution in the state.

    Johnleoba equally commended Governor Uzodinma for the sponsorship of the recently concluded three-day capacity building workshop for principal officers of the Imo State House of Assembly at the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja.

    According to him, “The capacity building programme has added great value to every member of the 10th State House of Assembly.

    I now have greater knowledge, broader horizon, immeasurable zeal and courage to function as a lawmaker.

    “I now know better, my rights and privileges as well as the rights of the people who mandated me to represent them in the legislative house,” he said.

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    FAAN: Improvement of Passenger Facilitation, Security Gave Boost to Tourism

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    FAAN: Improvement of Passenger Facilitation, Security Gave Boost to Tourism

    The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said that its improvement of airport facilities, passenger facilitation and security has encouraged tourism in Nigeria.

    The agency said that the drastic action taken by the Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku against touting at the airports has brought sanity and orderliness to the satisfaction of travellers.

    Kuku identified some of these achievements when she spoke at the Wings of Change Focus Africa Conference (WOCFA) overseen by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week; held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs & Consumer Protection, Obiageli Orah, said FAAN has recently taken steps to make Nigeria’s airports safe and accessible by genuine tourists and travellers and has also made efforts to eliminate touting and other forms of criminal conducts around the airports.

    FAAN boss also spoke on the recent creation of a dedicated Department for Cargo Services in the agency, as stakeholders emphasized the need for improvement of trade facilitation, including air cargo facilities and infrastructure, cargo compliance, closer collaboration amongst African countries and Stakeholders as well as Cargo Specialized Training for stakeholders.

    There was emphasis on digitalization of passenger processing and how the embrace of robotics technology by airports in Africa would help to give customers further experience of speed, efficiency and excellence. The use of technology to drive efficiency has been part of FAAN’s priority agenda under the present dispensation.

    Making his input on the first day of the conference, the Minister of Aviation & Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, emphasised the need for removal of visa restrictions to enable free movement of people and goods across the continent, stating that to achieve this, there is need to work with Foreign Affairs Ministers across Africa.

    The Minister equally made a case for adequate funding of air transport in Africa.

    Also speaking at the event, IATA,s Regional Vice President, Africa & Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi called for pursuit of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which constitutes part of FAAN’s recent programmes.

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