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Imo health workers threaten strike action – Over double deductions of check off dues



Members of Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals, Imo state Chapter, have given a 21-day ultimatum to the Local Government Service Commission to stop deductions of check-off dues from her members.

The Union warns that its members will down tools and embark on  indefinite strike action should the Local Government Service Commission fail to stop deductions of check-off dues from members of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) at the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum which takes effect from November 17, 2014.

Comrade Nzenwata Francis, Imo State Chairman of Joint Health Sector Union addressed the press in Owerri on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 where he bemoaned the unacceptable situation where his members suffer double deductions from their salaries every month.

He observed that their members pay check off dues to both National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and Joint Health sector Union (JOHESU) which is at variance with the extant trade union laws of the country.

Comrade Nzenwata posited that at various times, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives and Medical and Heath Workers Union of Nigeria Imo State Council have expressed their grouse and disenchantment over the exploitation of health workers in the local government system resultant from the double deductions and coercion to double union membership.

According to him, the law governing the restructuring of Industrial Unions is the Trade Union Amendment Decree No. 4 of 1996 as amended by the Trade Unions Amendment Degree No. 2 of 1999 in the 3rd schedule.

He elucidated that the Decree defines the Jurisdictional scope of each of the 29 recognized and registered Industrial Unions which expressly stated that the Medical and Health Union shall have jurisdiction to unionize all workers and those classified as paramedical engaged in the Local Government Health Institutions which include Nurses, Pharmacists, Laboratory Technicians, Radiographers, Para-Medical Staff, Optometry, Environmental and Community Health Officers among others.

He elucidated further that members of Ebonyi state Chapter of Medical and Health workers Union contested the vexations double deductions in the Industrial Arbitration Court and had a ruling in its favour barring NULGE from deducting check off dues from health workers in the employ of the Local Government Council Areas.

According to him, NULGE appealed against the ruling and also lost.  Based on the court ruling, the Joint health Sector Union wrote the Local Government Service Commission severally to stop the continuous double deduction to no avail.  Therefore the Executives of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) met on November 13, 2014 and decided that enough is enough hence the 21-day ultimatum issued to the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, the Local Government Service Commission and other relevant authorities.

The Leader saw the certified copy of the ruling of the Industrial Arbitration Court presided over by Justice Auwal Ibrahim dated 21st January 2014 in a Suit No. NIC/EN/IM/2012 between NULGE and Medical and Health Workers Union Ebonyi State Chapter which was in favour of the Medical and Health workers Union.

The 21-day ultimatum notice was jointly endorsed by Deacon Ikedi Onah and Comrade Nzenwata Francis, Secretary and Chairman of Joint Health Sector Union Imo State Branch respectively.



USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas



USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital



Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council



Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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