*Protests abandonment of NPHCDA projects by contractors
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–A coalition of students and youth groups in the country have tasked the Association of Local Government Of Nigeria,ALGON,to immediately equip primary healthcare centres in all the local government areas of the country for effective delivery of services to the local populace.
This was as the group protested against alleged abandonment of primary healthcare projects by contractors, urging the ALGON to immediately look into the issue with a view to bringing contractors to site.
The coalition, addressing the media in Abuja,after it undertook protest to the headquarters of ALGON,decried state governor’s interference in local government’s affairs.
President of Nigerian Youth Union,NYU, Comrade Chinono Obasi,led the National President of National Youth Council of Nigeria, Solomon Adodo,and zonal leaders of National Association of Nigerian Students,NANS, among others to the protest ground at ALGON headquarters.
“We are deeply pained and grossly disenchanted that some state governors are dictating what happens at the local government level despite the Local Government Autonomy Bill which was recently passed into Law, with particular emphasis on directly controlling and pocketing a great chunk of local government funds,”Obasi said at the protest ground.
According to him,”The governors have never been comfortable with the public-private partnership to provide basic healthcare at the local and community level and have presently constituted a stumbling block to the process which hitherto had taken off.”
“The result of this anti-masses stand is the decadent state of rural health infrastructure which we now see,”he added.
The coalition,in a prepared text made available to reporters,noted that:” The masses are at the receiving end as the power tussle for unbridled and unconstitutional control of local government funds rage on.”
“Healthcare is too important to be the subject of such needless control tussle and we are here today to bear our clear pains for the needful to be done by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum,NGF and ALGON.
“We reiterate our call on the Nigeria Governors Forum to refrain from resisting the efforts to build and equip more primary healthcare centres particularly in the face of the current spike in COVID-19 cases and other mysterious ailments. Already,the NGF is being perceived as anti-masses owing to the deliberate scuttling of crucial healthcare system projects.”