Nigeria develops new National Health Policy to accommodate emerging trends

Nigeria develops new National Health Policy to accommodate emerging trends

(L-R) Dr Shamaki, Professor Lambo and Dr Vaz at the stakeholders meeting in Abuja(
L-R) Dr Shamaki, Professor Lambo and Dr Vaz at the stakeholders meeting in Abuja

Finalization of the National Health Policy revised for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UCH) and other health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has ended in Abuja.

Chairing a stakeholders meeting on the National Health Policy in Abuja on 18 June, 2016, the Minister of Health, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Dr Amina SHamaki stated that prior to the development of the current National Health Policy document, Nigeria had developed and implemented two others in 1988 and 2004. Both were developed at critical stages in the evolution of the Nigeria Health System and had far reaching impact on improving the performance of the system over the course of their lifetime.

However, the Minister noted that over the last two (2) and a half decades, Nigeria has recorded some progress in the performance of its health system. This includes improvements in key indices for ‘major’ communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria), as well as maternal and child health. Recently, Nigeria has been able to among others, interrupt the transmission of wild poliovirus, eradicate the Guinea-worm disease and successfully contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease.

“The key lesson from these successes is the need for the country to build a resilient health system that assures access to basic health care services in a sustainable manner” the Minister noted. Additionally, he assured  of a good foundation and that   Nigeria is in the right direction as the country  earnestly seeks to achieve the visionary goal of UHC.

In his submission, the WHO Country Representative (WR) Dr Rui Gama Vaz said that  he  is inspired by  Nigeria’s commitment towards achievement of  UHC through Primary Healthcare (PHC) but stated  that the citizenry deserves to receive quality and equitable health services without financial and other barriers.

According to Dr Vaz, “this undertaking requires institution of core health system elements that include comprehensive  and coherent health sector policies, established and sustained integrated ward/local health services with active community engagement, strengthened mechanisms which remove geographic, social and financial barriers that impede access to care and improved  information for decision making, at the national, sub-regional, and regional levels”. He added that detailed plans and investments to expand and retain human resources for health across the states, with appropriate skills mix and competences are imperative to  providing  quality health services.

The WR further observed that the attainment of UHC, requires investment in the health sector by governments and health partners which have not been optimal across the region.

He noted that only eight (8) countries have attained the Abuja Declaration target of allocating 15% of national budgets to the health sector and in 77% of Member States, out-of-pocket payments by patients remain higher than 20% of total health expenditure – a level which indicates the existence of financial barriers to accessing services. With approximately 70% out of pocket expenditures in Nigeria, UHC through PHC that includes public sector funding, initiates the much needed financial protection especially for the poor.

The technical working group session  was chaired by Professor Eyitayo Lambo with active participation of  officials of the Federal Ministry of Health, all Commissioners for Health and development partners.


For more information, please contact:

Technical contact:

Dr Teniin Gakuruh; Tel: +234 803 979 5149; Email:

Media contact:

Ms  Charity Warigon; Tel: +234 810 221 0093; Email:

Petition for Second Brexit Referendum Draws 2 Million Signatures — TIME

More than two million people have signed an online petition for a second referendum on a British exit from the European Union. The online petition has more signatures than any other on the House of Commons website. Since it passed 100,000 names, Parliament will consider it for debate, the BBC reports. The online petition site,…

via Petition for Second Brexit Referendum Draws 2 Million Signatures — TIME

Can your nationality help you secure a job at FAO?

Can your nationality help you secure a job at FAO?

Interested in a career at FAO? – exclusively for our members we have the complete list of non, under and over represented countries?


FAO Headquarters Building

Exclusively for our members we continue our deep dive into geographic qoutas within the UN family. In this articel we review quotas in the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

FAO is one of the organizations within the UN family that apply strict geographic quota when recruiting staff. For you as an applicant knowing how your country is represented is a strong reason for applying. In this premium article we provide the complete list of all countries’ staff representation and we explain how the quota it is calculated.

Similar to the UN secretariat, also FAO utilize a strict quota system. The main difference between the secretariat and FAO is that FAO also utilize the term non-representation, which refers to member countries without any staff member. 

When applying to FAO it is imperative that you check your countries representation, sources within the organization says that the quota takes precedent of gender diversity objectives. This means that in the case two equally skilled applicants are competing for the same role, one applicant is a male from an under-represented or a non-represented country and the other applicant is a female from an over-represented country. The male applicant from the under/non-represented country will win.

What means quota and is my country non, under or over represented?

When it comes to international professional staff recruitment, quota calculation as a part of the selection process is used by all UN organizations. However not all organizations are using it strictly. The Funds and Programmes (e.g. UNDP, Unicef, UNHRC etc) are for example more flexible when it comes to Nationality quota, however for their professional categories gender equality quota is always applied strictly. 

The Specialized Agencies (e.g. ILO, WHO etc) are stricter compared to the Funds and Programmes and they also include Nationality. The reason for this is probably the funding source, the Funds and Programes are funded by voluntary contributions, and however the Specialized agencies are funded through the assessed contribution decided by the General Assembly (GA).

Quota only applies to core staff positions! Quota does not apply to project posts, consultancies, temporary or local positions.

So why is quota used? FAO aims at securing diversity and fair distribution between its member states, and strives to fairly recruit qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, Nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnical backgrounds. Each year FAO assess which member states have an over- or underrepresentation of staff members within the organization. 

Another dimension is non-representation, it is decided that every member state should have 2 staff members in FAO. If a country is listed as non-represented, this country does not have one single National in the organization. FAO base their quota calculation on two parameters, population and core contribution. To know the span, FAO sum up all core positions, the total core contribution and the total population of all member countries. 

When determine the span, the decided ratio between population and core contribution is 30/70. This means that a small country with a large core contribution may get a higher span than a large country with a small core contribution, this may answer why Norway often is represented in lists of under representation. The outcome of the calculations is adding up to a number (a span). Basically one particular country could have a span between 25-35. Without going into too much detail, if this particular country would have below 25 staff members it would be considered underrepresented and vice versa, if it would have above 35 staff members it would be considered overrepresented. 

Nationals of a country within the span are normally not invited for an interview if there are enough eligible Nationals from under-represented countries in the applicant list. TO invite a national from an over-represented country to an interview requires a waiver from a type of selection board in FAO. 

None, Under and over-represented countries in FAO 2015


Non representation in FAO = member countries with no nationals currently working for FAO on a professional post under the Regular Programme budget

Antigua and Barbuda Bahrain Barbados Belarus Belize Brunei Darussalam Central African Republic Chad Cook Islands Democratic P.R. of Korea El Salvador Eritrea Federated States of Micronesia Grenada Kiribati Kuwait Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lesotho Libya Maldives Marshall Islands Monaco Montenegro Myanmar Nauru Niue Palau Panama Qatar Samoa Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Singapore Solomon Islands South Sudan Suriname Swaziland Timor Leste Tuvalu United Arab Emirates    


Under representation in FAO = member countries with less than the established minimum number of nationals currently working for FAO under the Regular Programme budget

AustraliaBrazil ChinaCuba IndonesiaIranIsrael Japan Malaysia Norway Oman Poland Slovenia Republic of Korea Russian Federation Switzerland Turkey United States Venezuela Viet Nam


Do you have dual Nationalities?

If you have two or more Nationalities and one is in the column of either non/under represented, you can select to use the one that is non/under-represented when applying. However, keep in mind that it may impact future applications (non, under and over representation changes from one year to another). Also in the past FAO has experienced problems with applicants with multiple Nationalities that change Nationality from one application to another, so that they can be eligible both for international and local opportunities. Hence some UN recruitment system audits the Nationality field, so if you as an applicant change Nationality of obvious applicant strategic purposes, the FAO may refuse to accept your application.

What does it mean if my country is over represented?

If your country is over represented we recommend that you for the moment look for professional jobs in other organizations than FAO. Even if you have a great profile and all the requirements your chances are quite small.

If you are under or even better non represented, you should take any possibility you can to apply for professional jobs that you are eligible for (meet al requirements).  

Photo: Luigi Guarino – Photo licensed under Creative Commons at Flickr The cover photo shows the FAO HQ building in Rome at night.

Re: Badaru and the Fallacy of PDP Decampees In Jigawa State, By Zakari Kafin Hausa

Re: Badaru and the Fallacy of PDP Decampees In Jigawa State, By Zakari Kafin Hausa


Please note this article appeared on Premium Times December 30, 2015

The silence of Governor Badaru as a mark of respect to Sule Lamido should not be taken for granted. If Governor Badaru is silent, the people of Jigawa State will no longer keep silent.

In a highly uncharitable tone, one writer, Dahiru Hassan Kera, twisted facts and mangled history in an article published byPremium Times on December 24, 2015 with the above title.

While baring his pang on the present administration in Jigawa State, his ignorant presentation of events in the state, especially in the last eight years, simply exposed his efforts to cover the massive fraud committed by the past government.

The defection of over 370,000 PDP members to the APC, a reality that turned the PDP into an empty shell, lacking in soul and physical presence in the state, was, in a guise, the focal point of his argument.

Historically, since the advent of the Fourth Republic, Jigawa State has never been a PDP State. From 1998, when the current democratic dispensation began, the state has been predominantly a little to the left with the emergence of Alhaji Saminu Turaki of the defunct All People’s Party (APP) as the governor.

The events that led to the emergence of Sule Lamido as PDP flag-bearer and later the governor in 2007 was the singular decision and effort of the then governor, Saminu Turaki, not the political sagacity or acceptability of Alhaji Sule Lamido, who had hitherto never won an election in the state since its creation. Sule Lamido and his group – who were then called the Kano rabble-rousers – were featherweight in Jigawa politics before the 2007 events.

For 370,000 PDP members to defect a few months after losing election, was a manifestation of the political banana peels the Lamido dynasty was built on. It was a mirage. A system built on the same groups that have today decided to take over the mantle of leadership after suffering eight years of kleptomania and failed governance.

Between 2007 and 2015 when Governor Sule Lamido was at the helm of affairs, the state allocation from the Federation Account nearly doubled what is received today. This was apart from excess crude funds that were always available at the governors’ demands, as well as the sovereign wealth fund. This verdant resource nonetheless, Jigawa at the time incurred over N117bn debt and N92bn contractual liabilities on ongoing projects, which the present administration promised to complete.

With such surfeit of resources from left, right and centre in the last eight years, one expects to see the capital city modeled out of, at least a UAE city.

The contract for the construction of the Jigawa State Secretariat, awarded by Sule Lamido at the cost of N6.6bn, was later jerked to N9.3bn before completion, an increase of about 30 percent. Even the much-publicised airfield that gulped over N17bn should not have exceeded N2bn, according to experts. Is Mr. Kera also aware that almost all the so-called developments by his paymaster were only scams designed to siphon the resources of the state.

The fact is that Governor Badaru Abubakar never awarded a contract for the cleaning of the State Secretariat at the cost of N480 million per annum. When Governor Badaru came on board, the cost was drastically reduced to N250 million per annum.

All projects initiated by Alhaji Sule Lamido were white elephant projects and conduit pipes designed for self-enrichment as exposed by the ongoing EFCC investigations.

Almost all the projects he left are now being re-negotiated down by great percentages by Governor Badaru Abubakar, despite the fact that they were awarded when the exchange rate was N160 to 1 US dollar, against the N260 to 1 US dollar obtainable today. All these re-negotiated contracts are being done in the specified quality, parameters and bill of quantities. In 2014, the past administration spent N780m on Hajj welfare, while Governor Badaru spent only N280m. The past administration also spent a whopping N21m monthly to subsidise the Dutse airport, while Badaru runs it with zero public funding.

Over 70 percent of the government house overhead costs has been saved by the present administration, besides the over N600m monthly saved on general overheads. Were these overpaid projects by Mr. Kera’s benefactor a sign of incapacity to award projects appropriately, or were they deliberate and choreographed shenanigans to divert public funds for personal use as the EFCC is currently proving to us?

The “Lamidogate” that is being exposed by the EFCC is enough concern for him to bury his face in shame instead of attempting to gain credit where repercussions and punishment should have been their rewards – not publicity blitz.

The $40,000 seized from Lamido’s son in 2012 kick-started the hereditary kleptomaniac sequences of looting. And get this painful record straight: Saminu was never accused of conspiring with his children to milk Jigawa State dry.

Between 2007 and 2015, EFCC exposed the N1.3 billion kick-back paid to Bamaina Holdings and Speed International, apart from the additional N1 billion paid directly from the state’s treasury and the government’s agencies and parastatals to the accounts of Saby Intergrated, a company owned by Lamido and his sons. This is, again, apart from N10 billion lifted directly from the state’s coffers in his inglorious eight years. This was revealed by no less a credible source than the EFCC.

Let it be known that a few months into the administration of Governor Badaru Abubakar, massive changes that focus on human development, economic recovery, educational revolution and fiscal discipline have been effected. The government, has within few months, set the state on the pedestal of attaining quality education by setting aside 32 percent of its 2016 budget for the sector, a feat that surpasses the required 25 percent UNICEF standard.

Already, over 450 teachers have been recruited, over 100 foreign doctors are on their way to the state; clinics have been upgraded to general hospitals, and general hospitals to specialist hospitals. Electricity projects abandoned for eight years by Lamido in Ringim has been concluded.

So much is happening in Jigawa State that the 370,000 decampees were left with no option but to join the train of salvation after unfortunately, participating in what they now realised was fraud and deceit.

The silence of Governor Badaru as a mark of respect to Sule Lamido should not be taken for granted. If Governor Badaru is silent, the people of Jigawa State will no longer keep silent.

Zakari wrote from Kafin Hausa town, Jigawa State.