Faith Awa Maji, Lafia
The Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ibrahim Balarebe Abdullahi has urged the State Government to initiate a special scholarship for indigenous students studying medicine and other science related courses as measures to encourage aspiring ones in the State to improve the manpower of health system in the state.
This, the Speaker said it would go a long way in boosting the capacity of the state indigenous doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals who will have the health interest of the people of the state at heart not like the non indigenes doctors and other health professionals who always embarked on strike without due considerations.
Rt. Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House made the call after Hon Usman- Labaran Shafa(APC Toto/Gadabuke) the Chairman, House Committee on Health raised the issue under matters of public interest during the House proceedings in Lafia today.
The Speaker said that if the state government encouraged the indigenous students to read medicines and other science related courses by providing them with special scholarship, it will go a long way in addressing a lot of problems associated with health workers strike in the state.
‘I want to thank Hon Shafa, the mover of this motion and all of you for contributing positively on this important matter of the health of our people.
‘When I heard about the health workers strike by the state and Gocal Government workers, I immediately directed the House committees on Health and Local Government respectively to intervene and resolve all their differences amicably’.
The Speaker lamented that, despite the House and the traditional rulers’ intervention, some of the none indigenes health workers have refused to call off their actions, noting that he is not against government giving them their entitlements.
‘The health workers at the Local Government level suspended their strike by reasoning with us as most of them are our indigenes while those at the state level refused to suspend their strike despite the house intervention, our fathers the traditional rulers also intervened and the state government through the deputy Governor who is their colleague also spoke to them severally on the matter but they refused.I was surprised even with the threat of COVID 19.
‘I am not saying that doctors and other health workers should not be giving what belongs to them or that they should not pursue their rights no, I am saying that they should be considerate and have human feeling as they took oath to protect lives and strike should be the last option not first option.
Nasarawa State House of Assembly Speaker, however read the resolutions of the house thus,
‘Honestly, I have agreed with all the contributions made by all of you by passing the following resolutions to the effect that.
‘The state government as a matter of urgency initiate the establishment of medical school in the state, particularly at the state owed university, Keffi and to encourage our indigenous students to read medicines and other science related courses to serve our people.
‘The state government is encourage to arrange for special scholarship for our medical students studying in different universities.
And 3rd points in the resolutions was that ‘the State House of Assembly is also of the view that professional ethics of medical doctors should be respected and establishment of private hospitals by engaged medical doctors by the state government should be discouraged or possibly be scrapped’, he said.
He directed the clerk to communicate the House resolution to the State Governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule for his action.
Earlier in his submission the Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon Usman Labaran (APC -Toto-Gadabuke) while moving the motion appealed to his colleagues to support his motion to enable the state government train indigenes in medicine and other science related courses for long run benefit.
Shafa while giving reasons for his motion said that most of the doctors that always went on strike without considering its implications on citizens or putting the interest of the state in their hearts do find it easier because they are non indigenes, hence the need for the state government to train its indigenous students in medicines and other science related courses.
‘Iwant this Honourable House to give optimal consideration on my motion that the state government should as a matter of urgency and necessity to initiate an avenue or intervention.
‘Such as special scholarship that will encourage and train our indigenes in medicines, pharmacies and other science related courses so that in the long run between 5 and 8 years or above.
‘We will begin to have our indigenous medical professionals and the general health being of the citizens will be guaranteed through a bond between the state government and the beneficiaries of the scholarship’.
He said by then the state will be exporting doctors to other states instead of importing.
Hon Daniel Oga Ogazi, the House Deputy leader seconded Hon Shafa’s motion and Members who spoke during the deliberation also thrown their weights on the motion, urging the state government to encourage indigenous students studying medicines and other science related courses across the globe.
In a related development, A bill for a law to Repeal the Nasarawa State Local Government Staff Pension Board Edict 1998 and Re-Enact Nasarawa State Local Government Pension Board Law 2020 which was sponsored by Hon Muhammad Odege Okpoku (APC), member representing Udege/Loko constituency.caled first reading during the House proceedings.