- Urges states, LGs to invest in education, health
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that criminal activities are on the rise in all parts of the country because offenders are taking advantage of the federal government’s focus on the North-east to commit crimes.
The President made the observation yesterday while receiving the executive members of the Nigerians Medical Association (NMA) led by its President, Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
Buhari, who called on states and local governments to play stronger roles in complementing federal government’s efforts in the provision of education and health to the citizenry, also gave the assurance that the successes recorded in degrading terrorists in the North East will be extended to various parts of the country currently experiencing security challenges.
According to a statement made available to a newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President restated that security still tops the list of his government’s priorities.
Emphasizing the need to secure the country, Buhari said “If you cannot secure a country or institution, you cannot manage it.”
The President noted that efforts were still ongoing to improve employment level, following the success in getting many into the agricultural sector, stressing that opening up the economy for investments and getting the youths engaged will control crime rate.
On health and education, Buhari urged states and local governments to play stronger roles in complementing the efforts of the Federal Government, especially in getting more children into classrooms.
“The issues of health and education are constitutional. If there are too many almajiris in a state, then the government is not following the constitution.
“The states also have elites who are educated enough to remind their governments about their responsibility to almajiris,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the President of the NMA congratulated the President for winning a second term in office, attributing his return to efforts made by the government to reposition the country, especially in health sector, like establishment of a cancer centre in University of Lagos Teaching Hospital.
Faduyile commended the President for always looking towards the NMA to appoint competent members for positions in the health sector, assuring that the medical association will continue to partner with the government to bring good health services to Nigerians.
He said there was a need to make the National Health Insurance Scheme compulsory for all Nigerians, including those in the informal sector, as some special treatments, like cancer, will require funds that might be beyond the reach of many.
The NMA President urged the Federal Government to further strengthen the primary health care system, institute a health bank where medical professionals can access loans for facilities, remove duties on imported medical equipment and give more attention to security.
He canvassed that the budget on health should be improved from 4 per cent to 15 per cent.