The 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II yesterday insisted that Nigeria is on the verge of collapse, urging Nigerians to ask candidates for their plans to revamp the economy.
Sanusi who stated this at the “August Event 2022”, organised by the Chief (Dr.) Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi Foundation (MAMF) in collaboration with St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos, said critical sectors like the health and education sectors are the foundation for economic growth.
Sanusi said the health and education sectors are threatened by frequent strikes and brain drain and disclosed that teachers and doctors are not looking for money, adding that they deserve a decent life for themselves and their children.
“Education and health are the foundation of the economy, if we don’t prioritize these sectors, then we are finished. You can’t treat your teachers and doctors as if they are nothing. That is the reason they are leaving the country in droves. We must reverse brain drain by respecting the demands of teachers and health practitioners,” Sanusi averred.
On bankruptcy, the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor said the first time he saw inflation jump to 18 per cent was in 2016.
“Eighteen per cent of inflation means the price of everything on an average, doubles every four years. That is what we are seeing today. For instance, a bag of rice that was sold for N8,000 in 2015, is being sold for N35,000, as at today.
“How much was doctors and teachers’ salary increase? We are in a country where citizens who are earning in naira are impoverished by the day and we are not having this conversation. We are busy talking about North-South ticket and Muslim-Muslim ticket. Is that really the problem? We need to ask Nigerians what their priorities are,” Sanusi said.
On fuel subsidy, Sanusi said the N6.7 trillion spent on fuel subsidy is a big problem, adding that the country will continue to pay the N6.7 trillion even in the next administration, if nothing is done.
“Spending N6.7 trillion on fuel subsidy only indicates that importing fuel into the country is more important to us than the education and health of our children.
“Meanwhile, this money is not coming from government savings, we are borrowing to consume fuel, which will be paid by our children and grandchildren; the same children and grandchildren we are not educating and yet, we are piling up debts for. We import from European refineries, employ European workers with our forex exchange and we are complaining of low forex reserves,” he explained.
Corroborating Sanusi, a professor and consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Prof. Adesegun Abudu, said from 1960 till date, Nigeria is marred with challenges like shortage of health professionals, and health infrastructure, brain drain and poor implementation of various health strategic plans, among others.
Though there has been an overall improvement in general outcomes from 1960 till date, Abudu said these outcomes remain much poorer when compared to regional countries and some countries with more socio-economic problems than Nigeria.
The orthopaedic surgeon however called on Nigerians to ask politicians what they are doing to encourage more primary healthcare centres; their plans to develop a strategic plan to tackle brain drain in Nigeria; increase training for all health professionals; provision of safe water; improve environmental sanitation and tackle poverty and unemployment.
In his remarks, the chairman, MAM Foundation, Mr Desmond Majekodunmi said Nigeria has a long way to go in bringing affordable healthcare for Nigerians, hence the reason why the founder of the Foundation, Chief (Dr.) Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi, was very keen in ensuring effective PHCs in Nigeria and healthcare for all.
“We will continue to celebrate the life and legacy of our father, Dr. Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi-10 years after his passing to greater glory. He dedicated a greater portion of his life to developing the healthcare system in Nigeria and we are proud to continue collaborating with St. Nicholas Hospital on the August Event lecture series,” Majekodunmi stated.