At a time when countries of the world are making a huge investment in health sector following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and the search to find its cure, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian president reduces health budget while allowing the huge sum of money for the country parliament in the name of renovation.
It is either Buhari does not know that the collapsed health system in Nigerian exudes embarrassing odour, or he chooses to pretend all is well.
At the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian state was brought to her kneels solely because there are no health facilities to help in addressing the pandemic.
Many rich persons who contracted the coronavirus did not go to the public hospitals but rather opted for private hospitals because public hospitals are best described as mortuaries where deaths are certified.
Nigerians thought that the outbreak of the pandemic presents a compelling reason for the Buhari government to make a huge investment in health, unfortunately, we were wrong.
How does Buhari identify a national priority, how did the president conclude that N27 billion for National Assembly renovation is more important than health, at a time of coronavirus pandemic that has killed many Nigerians, destroyed the economy with the state lacking basic health facilities to contain the virus.
In the revised budget, Buhari approved N27.7 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex, while he reduced the health budget from N44.4 billion to N25.5 billion.
From this singular action, it is safe to say, Buhari does not understand what the issues are or do not qualify to be the president of any nation.
The most amazing is that Nigerians appear helpless in interrogating the decision of those who are entrusted to manage and allocate their resources.
Citizens are not on the street and making demands on the health budget slash at the expense of N27 billion approved for National Assembly renovation.
Worse still, the country says all revenues sources have been blocked as a result of coronavirus pandemic and is borrowing loans for infrastructure.
What manner of a president is Buhari that will approve N27 billion for National Assembly renovation and allows N25 billion for his country’s entire health budget in a time of pandemic?
Audu Liberty Oseni
National Coordinator, MAWA Foundation.