By Cynthia Alo
The Cabinet office of the United Kingdom, UK, has described a Nigerian Information Technology Consultant, Victor Osagie, as one of the best Britain has to offer due to his ingenuity in the mass production of ventilators to boost the National Health System, NHS, in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a commendation letter from the cabinet office of the UK and jointly endorsed by all partners including Ford Motors and Airbus, the global airplane giant, Osagie was commended for his role in the just concluded ventilator challenge project which was an initiative of the UK Cabinet Office.
“Thank you for your invaluable contribution to our ventilator challenge UK team. As we battled together to save lives threatened by COVID-19 your energy, ingenuity and camaraderie made a tremendous difference. You are a shining example of the best UK has to offer”, the letter from the Cabinet Office stated.
Osagie’s team delivered the quality control system that rapidly converted disused warehouses into assembly lines. His team swiftly converted Ford Motors vehicle production lines and Airbus Aircraft production lines into Ventilator Production lines. They produced over 14,000 ventilators within a 90 day period.
This boosted the NHS ventilator capacity from less than 9000 pre-COVID-19 to over 25000 in July 2020.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, noted that the ventilator challenge has proven how much Britain can achieve when confronted with difficult problems.
“Bringing together the best minds in manufacturing, innovation and design was a right decision.
”Thanks to your effort as everyone who needs a ventilator now had access to one. And the NHS now has the vital machines needed to continue providing lifesaving support against the deadly virus.”
On his part, Health and Social care Secretary, Matt Hancook, said, ”We protected the NHS during this global pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 showed the best and the brightest stepping forward to serve their country. The response the government received to this challenge was astonishing.”
A former director with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Gabriel Ehilebo, said assets like Victor Osagie will be value added if Nigeria can get them to work with the Nigeria economic sustainability Committee to be able to robustly respond to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
In his comment, Victor Osagie advised the Nigerian Government to redirect educational resources to producing medical personnel in doctors and nurses, information technology consultants that can be exported all over the world to earn foreign exchange and also serve as a cheap source of further enhancing the skills of such personnel who can subsequently return home to provide world class services. This will be an opportunity to addressing some of the challenges of graduate unemployment in Nigeria.