Former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has advised the Federal and State Governments to use the current covid-19 pandemic to address the poor funding of the country’s health sector.
He particularly called for increased funding and investments in Nigeria’s health sector.
Gbagi, who spoke with the media in Abuja, also counseled the Federal and State Governments to implement their policies on the pandemic with human feeling through the provision of economic stimulus and palliatives for Nigerians.
He noted that increased investment and funding of the health sector have been imperative in reviving Nigeria’s economy in a post-COVID-19 period.
“The pandemic has exposed Nigeria to the fact that the country has not met the basic requirements for a functional healthcare delivery system. There are yawning gaps in the country’s healthcare delivery.
“Our health sector has suffered from the combination of poor investments and capital flights in terms of medical tourism by public officers and political office holders.
“The current coronavirus pandemic should take us to the drawing board by massively investing and funding the health sector at all levels,” said Gbagi, who was the Minister of State for Education during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former Minister also advised the Federal and State Governments to consider investment in the manufacturing and production of critically needed facilities such as ventilators, face masks, sanitisers and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country.
Such investments, according to him, will stop capital flight and create jobs and wealth for the citizens.
Gbagi, a renowned industrialist and former Chairman of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, has been at the front line of creating health awareness in Delta State through series of community healthcare trust funds established by the Gbagi Foundation.
One of such community healthcare trust funds is the N10 million community primary healthcare fund for physically challenged persons in Delta State.