ON Thursday, April 4, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Senior Executive Course 41 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State with the theme: “Funding Universal Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria.” He disclosed that Nigerians spend over N400 billion annually on medical tourism abroad.
He regretted that in spite of government’s “commitment in the revitalisation of the health sector”, the system is still unable to respond effectively to public health emergencies and outbreaks of deadly diseases, hence the migrations for medical treatment abroad.
For many years, our politicians have neglected to build infrastructure and strong institutions which make life more abundant for the people. They have neglected the roads, schools, hospitals, and other social amenities. They have undermined and corrupted the judiciary, police, civil service, electoral bodies and other institutions.
Today, many of those politicians have found themselves out of power and are being tormented by the rot which they created. Some of them have fallen ill, and finding no good hospital in the country, had to be flown abroad for medical treatment at huge costs to the country.
More worrisome, and utterly confounding, is the State House Clinic which, despite huge annual budgetary allocations, remained a mere consulting clinic.
Apart from the health sector, the same problem prevails in the educational sector.
Most of our leaders no longer bother to upgrade the educational institutions under their care to become good enough to educate their children in Nigeria. They simply send their children to schools abroad while our indigenous schools and universities are forced to endure prolonged teachers’ strikes and shutdowns.
Our politicians should realise that the age-long saying: “No condition is permanent”, may sound like a cliché, but its eternal validity is proved by everyday events of our lives.
As we stand on the threshold of a new political term, with many new hands having just been elected and some old ones re-elected, we have an opportunity to turn a new leaf at all levels.
Those who find themselves in power should learn from the mistakes of the past. This applies to the President himself. He has four more years to make a new difference.
We want to see a situation whereby before the end of the new term of office, most of the health and educational needs of people in government and the upper echelons of society can be handled here in Nigeria.
Apart from the drain on our resources, our leaders going abroad to look for solution they should provide and enjoy back home does not give us a good image. It makes us a laughingstock.