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Dabiri-Erewa assures diaspora investors of enabling environment in Nigeria .





The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has assured Nigerians abroad, who plan to invest in the nation, of government’s support and enabling environment.

Dabiri-Erewa gave the assurance during a courtesy visit to Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre and Specialist Hospital in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hospital, founded by Dr Modupe Elebute-Odunsi and her husband, Mr Bolaji Odunsi, was set up in Victoria Island, Lagos about six months ago.

Dabiri-Erewa said it was commendable that one of the best professionals in healthcare, left her comfort zone, took the risk to come back and set up a hospital in Nigeria.

She added that it was an inspiration to many Nigerians abroad who wanted to do likewise.

“I think this is most commendable; to come back home to give back. It is not just giving back but giving the best to your society.

“When we travel abroad, we didn’t get anything better than this and the beauty of this is that it is owned by all Nigerians,” she said.

Acknowledging the challenges the hospital may be experiencing in service delivery, Dabiri-Erewa pledged government’s support in helping the hospital achieve its goals.

“The role of government is to create an enabling environment and the good thing is that we have a diaspora policy that puts all the things we are saying to make life better for those who want to come back.

“This is about the fourth that we are acknowledging; we also have a Stroke Centre in Imo state, set up by a Nigerian in diaspora.

“People are coming from abroad but we don’t see these things, we rather see the negatives. We are here to celebrate positivity.

“Government will support every other Nigerian professional that wants to come back home,” she said.

Dr Modupe Elebute-Odunsi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Marcelle Ruth Cancer Centre and Specialist Hospital said the desire to contribute to healthcare in Nigeria was not done light-heartedly.

Elebute-Odunsi, who is also a Consultant Haemato-Oncologist, who has about 30 years experience of working internationally, said it took a lot of planning to achieve.

She said her team did not just want to give back to the society but do it properly, by establishing a hospital that was of international standards.

“What we decided to do here was a complete one-stop shop. We see the issues when patients access care, it’s so disjointed.

“They come to see a doctor somewhere then go and see a specialist somewhere else; they do blood test in one place, scan somewhere else, there’s no cohesiveness.

“If they need a biopsy, chemotherapy, surgery, everything, it’s done here.

“Apart from a PET CT Scan, there is no reason why anybody should get on a plane to go and access care for cancer outside Nigeria,” she said.

Speaking further on the equipments, she said that Nigeria needed about 1,000 Linear Accelerator Machines to deliver radiotherapy for her population of cancer patients but currently have only five available.

Elebute-Odunsi commended the Chairman of NIDCOM for her support in ensuring that people in the diaspora who want to come home to contribute to the development of the nation are able to do so.

She urged banks to make financing accessible to people in the diaspora to make it possible for them to thrive.

Also, Mrs Kemi Ogunyemi, Director of Nursing at the hospital said that the aim of the hospital was to ensure that the journey of cancer care remained positive, regardless of what happens during the treatment.

Ogunyemi, who specialises in Oncology and Cancer Care said the period she worked as a Director of Outpatient Clinic in the United States of America had exposed her to quality and standard, which she pledged to maintain.

She urged NIDCOM to fast track the process so Nigerians in the diaspora, who are at the top of their fields and want to come back home to help with the development of the nation.

One of the patients, Mrs Ifeoma Dibia observed that accessing healthcare at the hospital was not different from what she receives when she goes abroad for treatment.

Dibia said the reasons she preferred receiving treatment at the hospital was because she receives the same quality without having to pay for flight tickets, accommodation and being disconnected from her family.

She urged NIDCOM to encourage more professionals to come back home to invest.

“We need them here, in all fields, especially health. There is no hospital you go to in New York you don’t have Nigerians. So let them come home,” she said. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

APC PCC commends CBN, Buhari for extension of naira swap deadline




The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for extending the naira notes swap deadline.

Buhari on Sunday approved a 10-day extension for Nigerians to swap their old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes for the new ones.

Emefiele announced this after a meeting with the President in his Daura country home.

The extension followed complaints by Nigerians who experienced difficulties getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from banks.

The APC PCC, in a statement by its Director, Media & Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, praised the move.

It said: “We want to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria and Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for listening to the voice of well-meaning Nigerians on the exigency of extending the deadline for change of old N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes to the new ones.

‘Following difficulties experienced by Nigerians from across the country from getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from Banks, many Nigerians especially requested an extension of the 31 January 2023 deadline.

“We welcome the 10-day extension of the deadline and the additional seven days of grace.

“This window will enable Nigerians especially those in rural and remote areas to have more time to change their old notes and avert the panic that would have followed.”

It said the President deserved “special commendation” for approving the extension “and for his leadership and statesmanship.”

The APC PCC added: “In the same vein, we praise our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his forthrightness in addressing the concerns of Nigerians at his campaign rally in Abeokuta last week.

“Asiwaju Tinubu didn’t take the easy road by shying away from what would have caused serious inconvenience for our teeming masses.

“Asiwaju showed leadership and compassion for the welfare of Nigerians, at the most appropriate time.”



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Business & Economy

ASSBIFI commends extension of validity of old Naira notes




The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) on Sunday in Lagos endorsed the extension of the validity of old naira notes from Jan. 31 to Feb. 10.

Its president, Mr Olusoji Oluwole, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN decision to extend the deadline was a step in the right direction.

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in a statement on Sunday said the CBN added a 10-day extension of the deadline of Jan. 31 to Feb. 10, to allow for the collection of more old notes.

He also noted that Nigerians would still have grace period to deposit their old notes directly with the CBN until Feb. 17.

“It is a step in the right direction, especially in providing more time for the return of old notes after the actual date of invalidation.

“CBN, however, needs to proactively monitor and address sufficient availability and distribution of the new notes.

“It should also increase sensitisation of, and probably incentivising the general public on the cashless policy to reduce the pressure on cash,’’ Oluwole said.

Banks have been contending with increased number of customers rushing to beat the Jan. 31 deadline given by CBN for the return of old naira notes which would cease to be legal tender.

New N200, N500 and N1,000 notes became legal tender on Dec. 15, 2022 after they were unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Nov. 23, 2022.

Many bank customers, however, complained that the new notes were not readily available and have yet to circulate adequately four days to the expiration of the old notes.



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Business & Economy

New Naira Notes: CBN Extends Deadline Till February 10



CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele and New Naira Notes


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the deadline for the use of the old notes till February 10.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the extension in a statement signed on Sunday.

He explained that the apex bank has sought approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the deadline for the use of the old notes by 10 days.

“Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following:  A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31 to February 10 to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians,” the statement read.

“A 7-day grace period, beginning from February 10 to February 17, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender Status.”

The CBN Governor also solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians in ensuring a hitch-free process for the implementation of the policy.

Before the apex bank extended the use of the naira note, many Nigerians experienced difficulty in lodging their old banknotes.

The scramble by many Nigerians to meet the initial January 31 deadline has been chaotic as many of them flood banking halls with huge cash in old notes to exchange them with new ones.

Others are seen in long queues at the few ATM points having the new naira notes in different parts of the country to have access.

The naira redesign was greeted by criticism by some Nigerians, including the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the policy was intended to scuttle his presidential ambition.

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