• Approves N1.4bn for new control tower equipment for 6 airports
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Against the backdrop of 17 deaths, from Ebola, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has directed the Federal Ministry of Health to step up surveillance at all entry points and screen all coming into the country.
This was even as government directed that an investigation be carried out, to ascertain the allegation of payment of tuition fees per unit course at the federal universities, in order to put a stop to it.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole disclosed this to State House Correspondents after FEC, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Prof. Adewole salso reiterated that part of the new measures to be taken include screening passengers coming into the country.
“FEC has now directed the federal ministry of Health to step up emergency surveillance activities at all land and airport borders, so that we can actually keep Nigerians safe.
“What we will do is to set up an emergency operation centre, which will be chaired by Dr. Babatunde Babasanya, who actually led our efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during the outbreak in 2014.
“Not only that, we will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from DRC and neigbouring countries. We will also ensure we step up all activities screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unawares.
“The Nigerian Center for Disease Control will also consider sending some teams to DRC; as part of building capacity for managing the outbreak. We want to assure Nigerians that the federal government is concerned about the outbreak and will do everything possible to keep the country safe.”
Adewole also said his ministry presented an update on the state of public health in Nigeria at the FEC meeting.
Asked if the ongoing strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), came up during the meeting, the minister replied: “Negotiations are still on with Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and the Minister of Labour is leading the negotiation and we expect that we will conclude on all issues very soon.”
On his part, the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwuka, said Council approved new license for Skyline University, Kano.
This was even as the Council has ordered investigation of alleged charges of tuition fees by some federal universities.
Ankuwa said “No federal university should charge tuition fees, that is the law. And, we understand some universities now charge fees per course unit and we are going to make sure that we investigate that properly and make it stops.
“But students can pay other auxiliary fees but not in excess. Various university councils and management should be able to fix what fees students should pay that is affordable and acceptable to the students,” he said.
Minister of State for Transportation, Aviation, Heidi Sirika also said Council approved N1.365, 364, 458.75 to procure new equipment for control towers in six airports.
“FEC approved procurement of equipment for the completion of control towers in some airports that included Maiduguri, Akure, Benin, Illorin, Kaduna and Ibadan. This particular procurement was done in 2011. “From 2011, government stopped funding a particular procurement, so, we provided for it in 2017 so that we can complete it. And, Council has graciously approved N1.365, 364, 458.75 to complete those control towers which will enhance communications and security of our airspace.”