Although, there have been a lot of unprecedented interventions in the health sector, including addressing issues related to strike action by health workers, the National Assembly will continue to provide funds to strengthen the Nigerian health sector. We’re all aware that in Nigeria, we have health problems: problem with our infrastructure, problem with our health personnel and so many other things but in the last couple of years, the covid pandemic exposed the underbelly of our health institutions.
It was that covid experience, I believe, that triggered a lot of interventions that the House of Representatives and my office have made in the health sector. We have our Legislative agenda in the House of Representatives and health reform is a cardinal part of our Legislative Agenda. We have been doing all we can in terms of budgeting and other things. It was because of the deficit that we faced that we approved a lot of money to go into the health sector.
It may not be enough, but we’re going to continue. We’re trying to tighten some of our laws. I make bold to say that we’ve been very supportive of the health workers. Never before has the House of Representatives involved itself with the health sector in Nigeria, including trying to resolve health issues and getting involved in the strike action between health workers and the government. There are a lot of those interventions.
Health workers are very important. There’s no telling how many lives will be lost by just one health worker embarking on strike not to talk about a whole association. That’s why during our time in the 9th House, any time we sense the possibility of health workers downing their tools, we act quickly. I’ve been to your headquarters in Abuja to talk to your members, and I’m glad that they’ve been very cooperative.
Excerpts of my speech during the closing ceremony of a 3-day training for health workers in Plateau State held in Jos on Monday