A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, yesterday, advised political aspirants running for different public offices to prioritise healthcare and education spending in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Sanusi, who spoke yesterday in Lagos at the 10th Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi Foundation (MAMF) August event with the theme: ‘Nigeria Healthcare System: The Past, Present and the Future,’ expressed displeasure over the low investments in education and healthcare sectors, which he noted has led to increased brain drain and low productivity of the sectors.
He urged on the political class to make the issues of healthcare delivery and education top priorities, when making strategic infrastructure and development policies in the country, in order to reduce the brain drain in the country.
Sanusi lamented that the federal government put more interest in having fuel subsidies than paying salaries of teachers and doctors, who educate and provide the essential medical treatment to children and wives.
He said due to the negligence of the medical profession and academics, the country has lost a lot of experts to other countries, where they are making more impacts, which Nigeria could have benefited from, adding that, “education and health sectors are the foundation of development and if you lose it, you will be finished.
“I do hope that in the political discourse in Nigeria, there would be conversations around education and primary healthcare. When political aspirants run for office, we should ask them what their plans for primary healthcare, education are and how they would deal with malnutrition.
“Teachers and doctors are not looking for money but the amount of money we invest in training our children in becoming doctors and teachers can never be earned in salaries in this country, but these people deserve a decent life and also respect.
“Why are we releasing N6.7 trillion on fuel subsidy? And that is 6.7 trillion out of education and healthcare. We are saying that cheap fuel is more important to us as a country than education for our children and health care for our wives,” he said.
The 14th Emir of Kano, stated that with high inflation in the country, where the average doubles every four years and salaries of doctors and teachers were not increased to accommodate with the inflation, led to lack of motivation on the part of teachers and doctors to serve the nations.
According to him, “People want to serve but they also want to eat. They are humans who have basic responsibility; they want to educate their children. We have created an economy, where everybody on a narrow salary is being impoverished.
“We should have conversations on how to find solutions in the issues of healthcare delivery and education, rather than focusing on who is entitled to the presidency, which is bringing us down as a nation. We have gone through decades of digging ourselves into holes. And we are on a brink of national collapse and we are not addressing these issues.”
In his keynote speech, Prof. Adesegun Abudu, said one of the determinants of effective healthcare delivery was the amount of money spent, noting that only three per cent of the nation’s wealth was spent on healthcare delivery in comparison to countries such as Cuba, who spent 11 per cent
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