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Nigerian press zooms in on UK’s new Health and Care Visa policy, challenges of weak safety nets

The attraction of the new the UK’s new Health and Care Visa policy to Nigerian medical doctors and the weak safety nets and incomes are the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that more Nigerian medical practitioners may leave the country as the United Kingdom yesterday announced new ‘Health and Care Visa’ policy to attract the best talents in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

The country, which has since the outbreak of COVID-19 stopped issuance of visa, opened the migration window for care professionals, social workers and their families, to bolster its National Health Service (NHS).

The report added that the new visa policy aims to make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals to come go to UK, beginning from August.

According to the report, UK is one of the leading destinations for migrating Nigerian health workers and that they are more than 4000 Nigerian doctors in UK, spread across 83 sub-specialties. 

The newspaper also says that although the working situation seems to be improving with the easing of the lockdown, Nigerian workers and consumers still face challenges in all sectors of the economy, the second round of the COVID-19 National Longitudinal Phone survey (COVID-19 NLPS) conducted In June, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has shown.

According to the survey, millions of Nigerians have been struggling to survive, as there has not been any significant improvement in safety nets or other sources of income assistance from institutions and/or remittances.

The Guardian had on Monday, reported that the last three months of the lockdown imposed to check the spread of the novel coronavirus have been hectic for most Nigerians, as they struggled to find a balance between dipping incomes and rising inflation manifest in exorbitant prices of goods amid weak currency.

The Punch says that the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper with N12.66tn budget projection for each of the three fiscal years.

The approval was given at a virtual meeting of the council presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari. The Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clement Agba, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

Agba listed other projections in the budget to include $40 per barrel oil benchmark, oil production volume of 1.6 million barrel per day, inflation rate of 11.9 percent, projected gross domestic growth rate of three percent and revenue target of N7.5tn.

The newspaper reports that MTN Nigeria Plc has commenced the trial of embedded SIM services on its network as part of its drive to lead digital transformation, and improve customer experience and quality of service.

During a virtual media launch of the e-SIM, the telecom company said it had received approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission to begin the trial.

The Chief Transformation Officer at MTN Nigeria, Bayo Adekanmbi, said the trial, which kicked-off on Wednesday, would run for one year and was open to a limited number of subscribers, who own compatible devices, on a first-come-first-served basis.

He explained that the e-SIMs had been designed to deliver freedom and flexibility, adding that they supported multiple profiles and allowed customers to connect multiple numbers to their devices.

ThisDay reports that Nigeria’s candidate for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Wednesday assured member-countries that if given the job, she will rejuvenate WTO.

Okonjo-Iweala, who spoke during a media briefing after making a presentation to the General Council of the WTO, however, added that she would ensure that her plans for the Geneva-based institute are achieved by proactively working with member countries. “The WTO DG has no direct decision-making authority.

But the WTO DG can work to make things move along with influence and that influence can be proactive. “And that is the kind of DG that I intend to be if I am selected; to proactively work with members, to deliver outcomes, starting with the next ministerial, to show that the WTO is back and that the WTO is rejuvenated.

So, I intend to be a proactively supportive DG,” she said. The former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank added: “The organisation has never had a woman or an African as DG, but my insistence is that choosing a DG for WTO should be on merit. “The best person to lead the institution should be chosen.

The newspaper also says that Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, has said that the committee for 5G network deployment has concluded and submitted its report.

Pantami, who explained that technology remains a necessity for rapid transformation of the Nigerian economy, however said that the government would seek the input of industry stakeholders on 5G deployment, before the report would be released as well as before licences would be issued for the network deployment.

The minister, who spoke at the recent 2020 Virtual IT Professionals’ Assembly, with the theme: “Adoption of 5G in Nigeria,” organised by the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), said the theme around 5G network deployment became necessary because of the many benefits that 5G network presents.


Published on 28.04.2020

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