By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Presidency has disclosed that plans are underway by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to address the country’s weak health systems and infrastructure to enhance better service delivery and repositioning of the nation’s health sector.
It explained that the effect of the coronavirus pandemic which had infected over four million and killed almost three hundred thousand people globally on Nigeria’s health sector necessitated such consideration to prepare for future emergencies.
The Presidency, through a statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, revealed that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) government will facilitate the establishment of standard laboratories, intensive care units and isolation centers across all Nigerian states.
This, the Presidency said, would further enhance the country’s health response against future emergencies, adding that researchers will be funded to henceforth researches local remedies that can be used to treat infections and outbreaks locally.
“Plans afoot to tackle weak health systems and infrastructure through the establishment of standard laboratories, intensive care units, and isolation centers in all states of the Federation. The health infrastructure will eventually be recalibrated for the good of the people, and in readiness for future emergencies.
“As long term measure, emphasis will be placed on integrating local content in proven researches in the cure, and production of materials in the health sector,” the statement read in parts.
Adesina, while listing the interventions of the President since the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria maintained that the government is aware of the challenges posed by the virus and will stop at nothing in putting up policies to protect Nigerians from the effect of the pandemic.
According to him, some of the interventions and steps being taken by the Buhari administration were to further assuage Nigerians apprehension that the President is working assiduously to make life abundant for Nigerians.
“There is global anxiety on what the future holds for humanity post-COVID-19, particularly in respect of the economy, healthcare, job security, and general wellbeing. Naturally, Nigerians are not immune from the disquietude, as they belong to the global community,” the statement added.
He listed some of the interventions of the President to include an economic team, headed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning set up to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, Economic Sustainability Committee headed by the Vice President to define a post-COVID-19 economy for Nigeria and Taskforce set up on the free movement of farm produce headed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The presidential spokesperson listed Fiscal Sustainability Plan to complement the suite of monetary and banking interventions recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria; a mass agricultural programme; Major rural road construction programme, Mass housing programme and Large scale installation of residential solar systems, utilizing mainly local materials as part of measures to be put in place.
Others, Adesina said, include: Expansion of the Social Investment Programme, the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Budget 2020 assumptions and targets have already been revised, time-sensitive expenditures are to be prioritized over less critical spending and extant financial controls are to be strengthened to detect, eliminate and sanction instances of waste, funds misappropriation and corruption.