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Details of salary promised 58 doctors attempting to swap Nigeria for the UK revealed

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Lagos AIrport

The details of the expected earnings of the 85 doctors who were attempting to board a plane from Nigeria to the United Kingdom have been revealed.

WuzupNigeria gathered that the doctors were intercepted by the Nigeria Immigration Service [NIS] on Friday.

However, it has emerged that the doctors were expected to earn between £51,384 (N25.1m) and £98,112 (N47.9m) per year depending on the experience they have.

The figure does not include the special allowances and other perks such as free-feeding they were expected to get on the job, an advertorial by NES Health Care, a UK-based firm that helps over 150 private hospitals to recruit doctors from all over the world, revealed.

The advertorial read in part,

“Are you a doctor with ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and anaesthesia experience, looking for a better work / life balance? At NES Healthcare we can offer you this with one of our ICU RMO positions.

“You will be working in a private Hospital group, and we have various locations around the UK. The rotation is one week on duty then one week off + accommodation and meals are provided free of charge during your on duty week.

“To apply you will need a minimum of three years post-graduate experience and have 18+ months of ICU and Anaesthesia experience.

Salary is from £51,384 to £98,112 dependent on experience. Contract is for a minimum of one year. You will need to hold full GMC registration with a licence to practice, or be eligible to apply.”

The firm states that its aim is to successfully address the acute shortage of doctors in the UK and to do so in a way that simultaneously reduces overall expenditure.

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It was gathered that hundreds of Nigerian doctors had applied for the jobs advertised by NES Health Care as far back as January and had written exams and been interviewed via Skype.

Many of them had also been offered employment in the UK and had processed their necessary documents through the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and obtained security clearance from the Nigeria Police Force attesting to the fact that they had no criminal record.

However, the last step to their emigration which was obtaining a UK visa was not achieved because the UK High Commission in Nigeria had remained closed since April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to PUNCH in mid-June, the recruiting firm sent an email to the doctors, informing them that they had received approval from the UK government to fly them to England after which they would be issued visas on arrival.

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The doctors were also asked to pay £500 (N244, 500) to secure a seat on a chartered aeroplane that would fly from the UK to convey them from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos because Nigeria had not yet lifted the ban on flights due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am the recruitment director with NES Healthcare and I would like to inform you of an important update,” the email, the Punch reported, said,

As you are aware, the TSL Contact Visa Centres in Nigeria are currently closed and there is no guidance when they will be re-opening.

“In addition, we are aware that there are no immediate plans to re-open Nigerian airspace to international/commercial flights.

“We have therefore been in discussions with UK Visas and Immigration about a potential solution that would allow you to travel to the UK. With their agreement, we will issue you a visa waiver letter. This will allow you to travel to the UK and then apply for your visa once you are here.

“We are also planning to arrange a private charter flight to the UK leaving from Nigeria… The cost of the flight will be heavily subsidised by NES Healthcare so we will only ask for a contribution of £500 towards this.”

It was learnt that after the necessary payments had been made by about 58 of the doctors, they made their way to the MMIA but were stopped from travelling by the NIS.

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The NIS spokesman, Sunday James, said in a statement on Friday that the doctors claimed to be going for training but had no visas.

The statement read in part,

“The 58 medical doctors were refused departure in line with Section 31 subsection 2a and b, of Act 2015.

The chartered flight approved for landing in Nigeria was to carry 42 medical doctors for a training program but they were 58 with only two having visas for entry into the UK, a situation that calls for refusal of departure.”

Calls put through to NES Healthcare’s London phone number went straight to voicemail on Saturday.

Nigeria has witnessed the exit of hundreds of doctors in recent years due to the poor salaries they earn which is usually between N80,000 ($206) and N150,000 ($387) per month for doctors with less than three years experience working in public hospitals.

These doctors who usually have to work under poor conditions are known for embarking on strike at least once every year.

Punch

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UPDATED: Lagos revokes 2018 land use charge

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Lagos state government has cancelled 2018 land use charge and has reverted to pre-2018 land use charges while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.

The government announced this at a press conference addressed by the state commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Center, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja on Wednesday.

The government has also waived penalties for those who defaulted in payment of land use charge for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, which according to the commissioner translates to a loss of revenue to the state amounting to N5.6b.

Olowo said the new Land Use Charge Law 2020 is a product of series of stakeholders meetings and is designed to accommodate the agitations of Lagosians and reduce the financial pressure on citizens as it relates to Land Use.

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The new law reduces the penalties for defaulters from between 25 to 100 per cent to 10 to 50 per cent; there is also a 48 per cent reduction in the annual charge rates for different properties.

“Still on reductions, another major sector that had its charge reduced is the Agricultural sector, which annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.”

The government further re-introduced the 15 per cent early payment discount which has been increased by a 10 per cent special COVID-19 incentive making it 25 per cent when payment is paid before due date.

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Unlike in the 2018 law pensioners now include retirees from private and public institutions in the state (or any person that has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration) and their properties are exempted from paying land use charge.

Also “profit-oriented cemeteries and burial grounds are no longer exempted from payment of Land Use Charge,” the same thing goes for private libraries.

Olowo said,

“We have completed the LUC Reform process and review of bills. Property owners should expect to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and we expect property owners to leverage on the 25% early payment discount.

“Furthermore, the LUC payment can now be made Online via https://Lagos.ebsrcm.com Payment can also be made using USSD Code to any of our designated banks with the appropriate code stated below;

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It would be recalled that the land use charge was increased via a law under the administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and it generated a lot of heat among residents with widespread protest as resident rejected the outrageous increase.

When the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration took over the reins of governance, it promised to redress the situation and effect some reform which resulted in the latest development seen as a huge relief to property owners across the state.

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Benue rejects FG’s rice donation, says deliveries have expired

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Benue State Government has rejected three trailers load of rice donated by the Federal Government through the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs as COVID-19 palliatives.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the State Emergency Committee on COVID-19 and Deputy Governor Benson Abounu.

The chairman who also doubles as the deputy governor said the rice deliveries have expired and are no longer fit for human consumption.

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The Deputy Governor further disclosed that even though the bags of rice had been taken to the three senatorial zones, the government has decided to return them to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

Abounu said;

“Government cannot afford to risk the health of its citizen by given them expired rice to eat.”

He also revealed that the state government spent about N2 million to purchase the bags of rice.

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SERAP condemns attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has “strongly condemned reported violent attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters in Abuja, Osogbo and other parts of the country. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari must end the use of excessive force against protesters, and allow people to peacefully exercise their human rights.”

The Department of State Services today reportedly arrested Olawale Bakare and six other #RevolutionNow protesters wearing orange-coloured caps around Olaiya area of Osogbo, Osun State capital. Several protesters were also arrested by the police and the Nigerian Army in the Abuja metropolis.

In a statement today by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said:

“By failing to adequately protect protesters from violent attacks, Nigerian authorities have blatantly violated their obligations under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

“Nobody should be arrested or subjected to torture and ill-treatment simply for taking part in peaceful protests. The authorities should stop criminalising peaceful protesters.”

“Rather than suppressing peaceful protests, the authorities ought to protect peaceful protesters and ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to exercise their constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

“SERAP urges the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested, promptly investigate attacks on protesters, and identify security agents suspected to be responsible and bring them to justice.”

“Nigerian authorities need to take seriously the protesters’ socio-economic grievances, including by immediately taking measures to genuinely fight grand corruption, and improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services.”

“SERAP urges the international community including the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Union and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to publicly condemn attacks on peaceful protests and to put pressure on the Nigerian authorities to effectively investigate attacks on protesters, prosecute perpetrators and to respect and protect the human rights of everyone.”

“Nigerian constitution and human rights treaties to which Nigeria is a state party guarantee the rights to liberty and security of person, freedom from arbitrary detention, freedom of expression, and the right of peaceful assembly.”

“The UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials prohibit the use of excessive force against peaceful protesters.”

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