Reps Committed to Stopping Mass Exodus of Health Workers, Says Kalu
*seeks partnership with Turkey on S’East security initiative
*as Turkish govt mulls medical school, furniture academy in Nigeria
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has expressed the parliament’s readiness to support efforts that will increase more skilled health workers in the country and curtail the mass exodus of health workers seeking greener pastures abroad.
Kalu stated this when he received a delegation from a Turkish company, Duysiad Group and Flekssit Office Furniture Limited, led by its President and Member of board, Ahmet Kızılöz in his office at the National assembly on November 28.
The Deputy Speaker decried the impact of exodus of medical professionals from Nigeria, saying that it might lead to importation of health services.
He therefore called for mechanisms and structure to be put in place to refill and replace, noting that the nation’s problem is not with numbers but with skills.
Commending the Turkish company for their interest in establishing a medical school, which will focus on healthcare education and research, the Deputy Speaker said that Nigeria is ready for investors to come in.
He recalled that President Bola Tinubu during a recent trip to Saudi Arabia expressed Nigeria’s readiness for investment, adding that the parliament will in line with the government’s renewed hope agenda, soften the ground for investors through legal framework.
Kalu said, “Turkey is like a second market to Nigeria, for building materials, medical equipment, building furniture in our various homes. The business of Turkey to Nigeria is an advantage when you compare how far we can travel in regards to Asian country like China. Proximity to market, has always been an advantage in economy relationship. I want to say that we have no regret working with Turkey before now and I am sure we are not going to have any regret working with Turkey in the future. Going through the letter you sent which I just glanced through now, seeing the area of interest which includes having a medical school, provide health services, equipping those who will provide health services is an area of need for the nation and the department is aware of this especially when we consider the huge exodus of medical practitioners out of the country.
“The parliament will be supporting any efforts towards that direction, to make sure we have more skilled health workers, in our country. It’s our intention to take care of our medical issues, and health security, using or leveraging our local health professionals, rather than importing health services from outside the country. You see a situation where, the impact of exodus of medical professionals from Nigeria, might lead to our importation of health services, which I’m sure is going to increase cost of the provision of health services to our country men and women.”
Kalu also sought for the company’s support for his initiative known as the Peace in the South East Project, PISE-P.
He informed the delegation that the initiative is a non-kinetic approach, aimed at ending insecurity in the southeast.
He said “I’m also seeing your intention to leverage our strength in regards to availability of wood in this country, which over the years have been exported as primary product out of the country to other countries who make use of it send them back at advanced price. The Peace in the South East Project, is a project based in southeast. We are leveraging to end insecurity in the region using non-chaotic means.
“So my organization which is the peace in south-east project would like to partner with you to find a way of establishing furniture academy across the region as soon as possible because we want to put our children in the classroom and give them the skills that will fetch them their livelihood and I am thinking the partnership with you will be able to help us achieve this sociological agenda of peace in south-east, so beyond business we would be doing more than business with that initiative because you would be contributing to the Peace of this region.”
Earlier, the delegation told the Deputy Speaker that they seek collaborative effort to establish a state-of-the-art Furniture Academy to foster local talent and skills in the furniture industry and a leading medical school, focusing on healthcare education and research.
They commended the Deputy Speaker for his remarkable drive towards sustainable Peace to the south east of Nigeria.
In a related development, the Deputy Speaker also tasked Nigerian students to aspire for leadership positions in their various schools, saying that becoming a great leader in future, starts now.
Kalu gave the admonition when he received a delegation from Grace School Gbagada Lagos State, who won the Kuyi ICT competition.
He said: “Today I’m the number 6 citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria, because of the inspiration I got when I was ten years old. I believe that I’m not done yet because the inspiration is still there, inspiring more ambition. So i challenge you to not take yourself as being very little to aspire. I commend Hon. Kuje for doing this, it’s like our minds is in sync with each other, because currently I’m running a leadership clinic in the University of Abuja to raise people like them into my own leadership school of thoughts.”
Udora Orizu, Special Assistant on Press Affairs to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria