President Muhammadu Buhari has decried the massive relocation of Nigerian doctors and nurses to the diaspora.
The President disclosed this at an event in Abuja on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Femi Adesina, the spokesperson for President Buhari, represented him.
President Buhari said the brain drain has affected Nigeria’s health greatly.
He explained the importance of a healthy population. According to the President, a healthy population is required for a nation to prosper.
The President also called for a stronger collaboration of both public and private sectors to improve health facilities.
His words, “This problem (of inadequate health facilities) is further exacerbated by the significant brain drain experienced by the continent. The flight of doctors and nurses to other continents has resulted in a significant gap between the required treatments for NCDs and the available treatments and care.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Minister of Labour Chris Ngige had lamented salary disparity between foreign and local doctors.
The Federal Minister made a stern warning about the salary disparity. He said that this disparity will only encourage disunity and disloyalty among the doctors.
Senator Ngige advised the FCC to use the capacity of their office to promote national unity and loyalty.
The Minister who is also a medical doctor reminded the FCC of their constitutional capacity to improve the welfare of the doctors.
His words, “The constitution did not say that you do only cases in the public sector. There are areas we need you to look into especially where the constitution is silent.
“We have cases where doctors are employed from Egypt, Cuba and Pakistan and they are paid five times what the Nigerian doctor will get if you convert the foreign exchange they use to pay them.
“But in this country, I was here when some of my teachers left from South East to go and teach in the North East at a time. They left because we had enough down there to export to our brothers. They were paid with our local currency and given some other incentives, which at the end of the day make the economy of those states to be alright.
“Whether you like it or not, if some people are poor in Nigeria in the poverty index rating when the Nigerian poverty index is being taken, it will be an aggregate, including those places. If it is health, when the health parameters are being taken, it is for the whole. So, FCC can go into that area.”
Senator Chris Ngige also urged the commission to ensure equal distribution of the following:i. infrastructure ii. amenities iii. social services in the country.
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He advised the commission to convince the state governments to advertise those jobs given to foreigners to local doctors. According to him, this would attract the application of doctors in all parts of the country. Doctors from the
“South-East, South-South or North Central to come and fill the gap,” he continued. He further advised the FCC to be revolutionary and do new things, using its broad mandate, established by Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Nigerian constitution (as amended).