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    Medical Tourism: Lawmakers Vow To Boost Enrollment In Medical Schools

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    The House Committee on Health Institutions have said that they would simplify the enrollment process into medical schools in the country inorder to have sufficient manpower to reverse medical tourism.

    Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Amos Magaji stated this during an oversight visit of the Committee to National Hospital, Abuja on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

    Magaji said they were passionate about healthcare delivery in Nigeria, adding that one of the cardinal points made in his inaugural speech was the issue of medical tourism. To this he said, “we lost and we must do everything possible to reverse the trend.

    “We must get people to start coming from different parts of the world and reduce the number of Nigerians going outside the country for treatment, let it be that Nigerians go to seek medical intervention abroad by choice. We have to wake up because, no matter who you are, when you are sick, you need somebody to treat you.

    “We will be glad to have our hospitals functional and our systems working. We’ll be glad to have others come to Nigeria for treatment.

    “In this 10th assembly, we’ll do everything possible to support the healthcare system. We’ll do everything to support the delivery, equipment of our hospitals, the PPP arrangement, those that the hospital are able to procure and those to be through intervention”, he said.

    Magaji noted that, even the budget for health was very poor, he averred that the health care system needed some urgent intervention:

    “Some were done during covid and of course covid exposed the Nigerian healthcare system because it also helped to revamp some of the hospitals, many hospitals before covid didn’t even have an oxygen plant but they do now.

    “We also want to ensure that human resources for health starting from the medical schools, making enrollment into the medical schools easy.

    “We’re going to engage the government and legislate to see how the practice of medicine in Nigeria attractive, competitive so others from different countries can come and practice medicine in Nigeria”, he said.

    Meanwhile, Chief Medical Director, National Hospital, Prof. Mahmud Raji informed that the Hospital had seen a lot of changes, from the time when things were beautiful and rosy to now when they were a bit hard, yet, despite that, the staff of the hospital were doing their best to ensure they give Nigerians the best.

    Speaking on the challenges of the hospital, Prof. Raji said, “when the hospital came into being 24, 25 years ago, it had the state of the art equipment, state of the art facilities and state of the art staff but as time went on, the level of attention given to the hospital declined steadily.

    “The great mandate of being the apex hospital where even tertiary hospitals should refer to has been the mandate given to us several years ago.

    “We are trying to live up to that expectation but in the last decade or two, unfortunately, things have not been as rosy because we know from the economic hardship the country is going through, national Hospital is not immune.

    “The financial availability to the hospital dwindled, income dwindled and as a result, a number of facilities in the country went down as a result of lack of maintenance , the structures have also gotten a bit dilapidated”, he said.

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    Governor’s wife showcases Kwara’s tourism wealth

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    The wife of Kwara Governor, Olufolake Abdulrasaq, on Thursday, urged local and international tourists to explore the tourism potential in the state.

    Mrs Abdulrazaq made the call in Ilorin at the ongoing annual general meeting (AGM) and conference of the National Association of Nigeria Tour Operators (NATOP).

    The AGM has its theme as “Tourism as Catalyst for Progress, Peace and Partnership”.

    “Kwara, with its vantage in the North-central region, is endowed with immense and captivating tourist destinations, widely referred to as ‘a wonder in the wilderness’.

    “The Owu Falls is the highest and most spectacular natural waterfall in West Africa.

    “Founded in 1945 and widely referenced as the mother of all museums in Nigeria, the Esie Museum is located in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

    “We have Imole Boja Rock Shelter; we also have the Sobi Hills, the University of Ilorin Zoological Garden, the Dada Pottery, and the Aso-oke weaving centres, among other very interesting sites.

    “In celebrating our culture and traditions, we equally have the annual Ilorin Durbar, the Gani Festival, the Shao Mass Wedding and the Patigi Boat Regatta, to mention a few,” she said.

    Mrs Abdulrazaq, who commended the tour operators for bringing their annual conference to the state, urged them to explore the spots mentioned and further promote the economic potential of the state.

    She said Kwara’s rich historical background, wonders of nature and exquisite cultural events are sights to behold.

    She said Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrasaq was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that opportunities in the tourism sector in the state were maximised.

    According to her, this is evident in the government’s engagements in partnerships, evolving investment-friendly policies and putting in place infrastructure to drive all sectors of the state’s economy.

    “In complementing this drive of government, my office and the Ajike People Support Centre are actively involved in promoting tourism and celebrating the cultural heritage of our people.

    “It may interest you to know that during our host of the Commonwealth quiz competition, top functionaries of the British government were conducted around some of these beautiful sites.

    “Also, I have sponsored some of our traditional aso-oke weavers to participate in fashion shows of international repute to showcaseenhanceate and enhancing their capacities,” she said.

    Akonitv reports that the conference began on 17 July and will end on 20 July.

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    Breaking News: Ooni of Ife Palace denounces fake romance scam allegations

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    The Palace of the Ooni of Ife has addressed a trending fake news story involving Ms Fagbule, who was allegedly defrauded of $180,000 by a scammer posing as Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, CFR, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife.

    According to a release made available Otunba Moses Olafare, Director of Media and Public Affairs at the Ooni’s Palace, clarified that the allegations are unfounded and part of a character assassination tactic aimed at gaining popularity on social media.

    The Palace emphasised that the Ooni does not engage in any personal social media interactions, with all official communications handled by the palace’s media directorate.

    The alleged scam is a fabrication, and the letter used as evidence does not match the Palace’s official letterhead or the Ooni’s style.

    Ms Fagbule, if genuine, is invited to the palace in Ile-Ife for assistance with law enforcement to uncover the perpetrators of this crime.

    The Palace advises the public to be cautious of social media engagements and reiterates that the Ooni does not interface online or via proxies.

    The Palace’s letterhead is distinct, signed by the Ooni as “Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula” and not “His Imperial Majesty”.

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    Akpabio reshuffles Senate committees, demotes Ndume to tourism

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    Akpabio reshuffles Senate committees, demotes Ndume to tourism

    The Senate did a minor reshuffling of its standing committees on Wednesday in addition to creating an entirely new Committee on Livestock to oversee the just-established Ministry of Livestock Development.

    The Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, announced the changes soon after Sen. Ali Ndume was removed as the Majority Whip.

    He was replaced by fellow Borno compatriot, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (Borno-North).

    Monguno also replaced Ndume as the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, while Ndume was redeployed to chair the Committee on Tourism.

    The Senate President said, “With the elevation of Distinguished Senator (Mohammed) Tahir Monguno to the position of the Majority Whip of the Senate, his committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters will now go to the only Senior Advocate of Nigeria that we have in the 10th Senate.

    “Senator Adegbonmire Adeniyi SAN

    now becomes the Senate Chairman on the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

    “The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism becomes Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume.

    “The Chairman of the Senate committee on the proposed Reparation and Repatriation becomes Senator Ned Nwoko.

    “The deputy chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, in line with our earlier practice, lies with Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno in addition to being the Chief Whip of the Senate.

    “The Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism is Senator Anthony Ani.

    “In line with the spirit of togetherness and forgiveness, Senator Abdul Ningi retains his earlier position of Senate Committee Chairman on Population.

    “The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agri-Institutions, becomes Senator, Simon Lalong.

    “Senator Saliu Mustafa, becomes the chairman of Senate Committee on Livestock Development, a new ministry just created. Any further changes shall be announced in due course.”

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